New Investment Coming to Toplice Jezerčica in Hrvatsko Zagorje

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Volim Zagorje FB page
Volim Zagorje FB page

Robert Kuščar of the Volim Zagorje Facebook Page, a Zagorje enthusiast, talked to Goran Fabris, a member of the Rudan d.o.o. Tourism Sector Board, one of the most successful domestic hoteliers with extensive experience in Valamar in Poreč, Maistra in Rovinj and Jadran in Crikvenica.

How much is the total investment in Donja Stubica?

If we observe the entire investment cycle, which should last 4-5 years, the total investment should amount to HRK 440 million. This includes the total remodelling of the existing hotel facilities. We plan to expand from the existing 47 to slightly more than 200 rooms. In the same period, we will additionally invest in the existing camp. Of course, the most important thing to highlight is the investment in a new aquapark on an area of ​​almost 2 hectares. It is this aquapark and its close connection to accommodation facilities that should ultimately represent a novelty in continental tourism in Croatia, because it implements ideas and business standards that have long been known for in Austria, where exactly such resorts record improving results year after year.

Is continental tourism even economically profitable?

When we talk about profitability – there is a public perception that tourism is not and will never be highly profitable, which is ultimately correct. The development of tourism always brings along a whole series of benefits for the local community, and its profitability always depends on several basic factors. Some of the most important are: the legal framework that includes tax rates such as VAT, etc., but also the destination itself, because building a hotel in Rovinj or Donja Stubica is not the same. Rovinj is the best example of how the vision of one man, accompanied by the financial potential of a company, created a destination that, over the past two decades, has been branded precisely on the basis of investment in new facilities. Our desire is to do something similar in Toplice Jezerčica. We believe that the investment will have a long-term positive impact not only on Stubica but also on Zagorje as a whole. This is precisely why we believe that we will get the support of the local community, as well as the administration at the state level because each of them can help us a lot. The Ministry of Tourism has made huge strides in understanding the needs of the tourism sector in recent years, so we hope that this direction will continue. It is very important for us to succeed in realizing the funds from the National recovery and resilience program. In addition, the support of the local community regarding spatial plans, building permits, and exemption from paying communal contributions would help us a lot. These are all important steps that lead to a faster and more profitable investment.

Once the complex is finished, how many new jobs will there be?

Today, there are 70 people employed in Toplice Jezerčica. We believe that ultimately, once the project is completed, that number should be at least three times higher.

What are the novelties you plan on bringing, compared to today’s spas?

The existing facilities will be upgraded to 4* this year, and 170 new rooms, new congress facilities, renovated wellness facilities, and indoor and outdoor water facilities will be added to this through the next two phases of the investment. The camp will remain the same size, but with an increase in capacity and additional investments in raising the quality of accommodation. It’s important we mention the new Aquapark, with facilities that currently do not exist in the continental part of Croatia.

Are the hotel and swimming pools being demolished and are new ones being built or upgraded?

We will demolish, renovate and build. For now, we can only reveal that in our development plans we have limited ourselves to the space we own. We are not planning additional expansion beyond the existing plots we own. It is a big and serious investment project, so we have to play it safe. Making plans in an area that has not been legally resolved in terms of ownership would be frivolous, to say the least, but also irresponsible,

How come you recognized Zagorje as a destination for high tourism?

Rather, we could say that Zagorje found us. When we first received information about the possibility of an acquisition, we recognized a good opportunity for our new step forward in the tourism business, and the new ideas and plans just came out of nowhere.

When can we expect the first machines on the construction site?

The works on the reconstruction of the existing capacities will start in early October, and the much more demanding ones related to the Aquapark and new hotel capacities will depend on the rate of us + obtaining the necessary permits and the results of tenders related to the realization of the right to grants.

Will the Toplice Jezerčica be completely closed during the construction, or are you planning to build and operate it?

If possible, we would definitely like to preserve the continuity of the water features, but I must admit that we have not yet made a final decision on this. It is certain that the accommodation facilities will not be in operation from the beginning of October until sometime around the end of November

Will the name Terme Jezerčica remain? Previous experiences have shown that foreign tourists have a hard time trying to pronounce this word, which reduces the marketing and branding potential.

The projects like this always require a serious marketing approach, with the elaboration of all the necessary details related to the defined “final product” and being able to present it in the markets. In our case, that task is additionally demanding because we are still not able to clearly define the time course of the investment, let alone the course of accompanying marketing activities. I agree with you that the existing name may not be overly marketing demanding, but I must emphasize that our first goal is to become a kind of a “riviera” for those who can reach us by a two-three hours car ride!


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