According to the first data of the eVisitor system, which contains tourist traffic realized in commercial and non-commercial facilities and nautical charter (eCrew system), during the Easter holidays and extended weekend, ie from 14 to 17 April, 117.288 arrivals and 399.921 overnight stays were realized in Croatia. Compared to Easter and the associated extended weekend last year, there is a high increase in arrivals of 68 percent and 94 percent in overnight stays!”The results for the first half of April are excellent and we believe that they will continue for the rest of the month. These figures are a true indicator that Croatia has something to offer outside the main part of the tourist year, and that it is becoming increasingly recognizable as a year-round destination. Before the Easter holidays, we had an increase in overnight stays of about 50 percent in April, which is an exceptional result, especially considering that April is the first month of the year in which multimillion overnight stays are realized. I believe that such good results will continue in the next two months before the summer season. Namely, the continuation of the growth of tourist traffic in the pre- and post-season is extremely important for increasing income in tourism and enabling active business for all tourism, but also other activities performed in addition to tourism that actively contribute to increasing the competitiveness of tourism and the entire Croatian economy.Said Tourism Minister Gary Cappelli.Most overnight stays in Istria and Dubrovnik During the period in question, most overnight stays were realized in Istria (134 thousand overnight stays), Kvarner (70 thousand overnight stays) and Dubrovnik-Neretva County (57 thousand overnight stays). They are followed by the Split-Dalmatia County with 47 thousand overnight stays, the Zadar County with 23 thousand overnight stays, the City of Zagreb with 20 thousand overnight stays, the Šibenik-Knin County with 14 thousand overnight stays and the Lika-Senj County with 9 thousand overnight stays. On the continent, most overnight stays were realized in Karlovac and Krapina-Zagorje counties with about 4 thousand overnight stays.Looking at destinations, most overnight stays were realized in Dubrovnik (44 thousand overnight stays), Poreč (28 thousand overnight stays) and Rovinj (26 thousand overnight stays), while by type of accommodation most overnight stays were realized in hotels (235 thousand overnight stays), household facilities 65 thousand overnight stays) and camps (48 thousand overnight stays).Germany, Austria, Italy remain the main emitting markets During this period, most overnight stays were realized by tourists from Germany (90 thousand overnight stays), Italy (41 thousand overnight stays), Austria (41 thousand overnight stays), France (16 thousand overnight stays) and Slovenia (15 thousand overnight stays), while domestic tourists realized 46 thousand nights. We add that the excellent results of tourist traffic achieved during the extended weekend confirm the announcements of a very successful month of April, which will be significantly better compared to last year, or during which double-digit increases in tourist traffic are also expected.
Share on Twitter Share LinkedIn Pinterest Email Share on Facebook Educational neuroscience has little to offer schools or children’s education, according to new research from the University of Bristol, UK.In a controversial research paper published in Psychological Review, Professor Jeffrey Bowers of Bristol’s School of Experimental Psychology warns that schools are investing in expensive interventions because they claim a neuroscientific basis. However, the paper points out that understanding the role of different structures of the brain does not actually help improve teaching or assessing how children progress in a classroom setting.Professor Bowers said: “Educational neuroscience only tells us what we know already or gives us information that is irrelevant. The problems faced by classroom teachers dealing with learning difficulties can only be diagnosed and addressed through behavioural methods.” Examples of pointless educational neuroscience findings highlighted by Professor Bowers include:Using brain scans to detect whether dyslexic children have improved their reading skills, rather than testing these children’s reading skillsDescribing learning as ‘brain-enabled’Recommending interventions that require struggling children to do more of what they are bad at, rather than finding alternative routes to learning that involve identifying and playing to children’s strengths.Professor Bowers said: “Head teachers should avoid all teaching methods that are marketed on the basis of neuroscience and pay attention to whether the methods improve performance, as assessed in randomized control trials.”Professor Bowers is an investigator in the University of Bristol’s ‘Morph Project’ testing a new literacy intervention to help struggling readers in years 3 to 4.
Share on Facebook Researchers collected data on 525,046 patients (ages 40-80) from two large secondary care Scottish hospitals. They selected 144,066 patients being treated for hypertension with either angiotensin antagonists, beta blocker, calcium channel blockers or thiazide diuretics. They were compared to a group of 111,936 patients not taking any of those drugs. Researchers followed the patients for five years documenting hospitalization for mood disorders, such as depression or bipolar disorder. After more than 90 days on the antihypertensive medications, they found:There were 299 hospital admissions, predominantly due to major depression, among the patients studied, at an average 2.3 years after patients began antihypertensive treatment.Patients on beta-blockers and calcium antagonists were at two-fold increased risk of hospital admission for mood disorder, compared to patients on angiotensin antagonists (angiotensin-converting enzyme inhibitors or angiotensin-receptor blockers).Patients on angiotensin antagonists had the lowest risk for hospitalization with mood disorders compared to patients on other blood pressure meds and patients on no antihypertensive therapy.Patients taking thiazide diuretics showed the same risk for mood disorders compared to patients taking no antihypertensive meds.The presence of co-existing medical conditions increased the risk of mood disorders.These findings suggest that angiotensin-converting enzyme inhibitors and angiotensin-receptor blockers that are used to treat hypertension may be useful as new or “repurposed” treatments for mood disorders, according to Padmanabhan.“It is important that these results are validated in independent studies. This is a single center study, which looked at the risk of the more severe forms of mood disorders requiring hospitalization. It would be important to study the effect of these drugs on minor to modest changes in mood, as these will have an impact on the quality of life among hypertensive patients,” he said. Email Pinterest Share on Twitter Four commonly prescribed blood pressure medications may impact mood disorders such as depression or bipolar disorder, according to new research in the American Heart Association’s journal Hypertension.In this first study, that compared four common classes of antihypertensive drugs and risk of mood disorders, two drugs were associated with an increased risk for mood disorders, while one appears to decrease mood disorder risk, according to Sandosh Padmanabhan, M.D., Ph.D., study author and Professor at the Institute of Cardiovascular and Medical Sciences, University of Glasgow in Glasgow, United Kingdom.“Mental health is under-recognized in hypertension clinical practice, and the possible impact of antihypertensive drugs on mental health is an area that physicians should be aware of and consider if the treatment of high blood pressure is having a negative impact on their patient’s mental health,” Padmanabhan said. LinkedIn Share
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Paws Up Executive Chef, Sunny JinGUEST-WORTHY Chef: Sunny Jin, Head Chef at The Resort at Paw’s UpINSTAGRAM: @TheResortAtPawsUpCHEF JIN’S GUEST WORTHY RECIPE:Dutch Oven Baked Blueberry CobblerWHY?“This is a signature dessert here at Paws Up, and it’s worth the work. Guests can indulge in this dish here over Memorial Day Weekend at our Montana Master Grillers event, which draws the top grill-masters from around the country who come for top-notch BBQ — and desserts!”INGREDIENTS:For the crust:1 c cold butter, cut into half-inch pieces1 c all-purpose flour1/4 c cornmeal1/2 tsp kosher salt1/2 tsp sugar1/2 tsp lemon zest1/3 c ice waterFor the streusel:3/4 c softened butter1/2 c granulated sugar1/2 c firmly packed brown sugar1 c chopped candied walnuts1/2 c all-purpose flour1/2 c cornmeal1/2 tsp ground cinnamon1/2 tsp ground nutmegPinch ground cloves (optional)For the filling:4 c blueberries1/2 c sugar1 tsp ground cinnamon1/2 tsp ground nutmeg1 tsp lemon juice1/2 cup all-purpose flour2 tsp melted butterDIRECTIONS:For the crust:Using a paddle attachment with an electric mixer, combine butter, flour, cornmeal, salt, sugar, and lemon zest over medium-low speed until the butter pieces are “pea-size.” Drizzle mixture with ice water and combine slowly until dough starts to come together.Chill dough overnight in the refrigerator. Remove from refrigerator and roll dough to quarter-inch thickness. Line bottom and sides of Dutch oven with dough up to two inches.For the streusel:Beat butter using a paddle attachment with an electric mixer at medium speed until it doubles in volume. Add the granulated sugar and brown sugar and continue to whip until incorporated. Add walnuts, flour, cornmeal, cinnamon, nutmeg, and cloves, if desired. Stir until blended and set aside.For the filling:Place berries in bottom of Dutch oven lined with the cornmeal crust. Sprinkle with sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg, and lemon juice. Sprinkle with flour and drizzle with melted butter over the fruit.Sprinkle streusel evenly over the filling and cover with lid. Use six to eight charcoal briquettes under the Dutch oven and place additional briquettes in a single layer over the Dutch oven lid. Bake for 45 minutes until crust is golden and fruit is bubbly.Serves 6 to 8 Share
The European Marine Energy Centre (EMEC), in collaboration with the Offshore Renewable Energy (ORE) Catapult, will host a workshop on 25th March 2014 to review the existing suite of marine renewable energy standards (wave & tide) and identify areas where new standards require to be developed.A full workshop programme with input from acknowledged experts will be made available to delegates once confirmed, and will include the following:Introduction to standardsOverview of existing EMEC marine renewable energy industry standardsIntroduction to proposed new standards (including Installation, O&M, Cables, and Environmental appraisal)Break-out sessions to further explore and discussThe workshop will be held on Tuesday 25th March 2014 at the BMA Conference Centre, Edinburgh. The workshop is free to attend but places are limited and subject to confirmation.[mappress]Press release, March 4, 2014; Image: EMEC
On 1 May 2014 Statoil completed the farm down of 10% of its interest of 25.5% in the Shah Deniz Production Sharing Agreement and the South Caucasus Pipeline Company Limited to BP (3.33%) and SOCAR (6.67%).The consideration for the sale and transfer of these assets is USD 1.45 billion.The divestment that was announced in December 2013, is in line with Statoil’s strategy of portfolio optimisation based on rigid prioritisation of future investments, and capturing value created from a significant gas position.Statoil portfolio in Azerbaijan consists of 15.5% in the Shah Deniz (SD) project and the South Caucasus Pipeline (SCP), 8.56% in Azeri-Chirag-Guneshli (ACG) and 8.71% in Baku-Tbilisi-Ceyhan (BTC) Pipeline.Statoil also holds 20% share in Trans Adriatic Pipeline (TAP) AG which is developing the pipeline for transport of the Shah Deniz gas to European markets.Licensees in Shah Deniz: BP 28.8%, SOCAR 16.7%, Statoil 15.5%, Lukoil 10%, NICO 10%, Total 10% and TPAO 9%.Press Release, May 06, 2014; Image: BP
NYC-based PIRA Energy Group reports that sizable volumes of new production capacity will be coming online in the next 12 months, but the ramp up on contracts tied to this capacity will lag behind by a considerable margin. In addition, expiring contracts on existing LNG projects offer additional supply to the trading mix, most notably from Indonesia, PIRA said in its report.The year-on-year U.S. storage surplus is well on its way to inflate an additional ~100 BCF by end-month. The implications of such a massive year-on-year increase will carry forward given that weekly stock builds ahead increasingly must fall below last year’s record pace. Certainly, these issues will make May Bidweek (concluding next Monday) all the more interesting as a test of whether last month’s price action that dragged the prompt month decidedly lower will be repeated.In Europe, the approach to storage management and the acquisition of supply are quite different from normal at the beginning of the 2015 injection season. The normal rules and assumption will not apply because of the sizable decrease in oil-indexed prices in the coming months, which are causing all kinds of unique optimization plays.PIRA foresees Mexican energy policy reforms, coupled with low oil prices, increasing the nation’s dependence on U.S. gas exports. Reforms to stimulate foreign investments were aimed to revitalize domestic oil and gas resource development, as well as upgrade critical infrastructure, but the collapse of oil prices has undercut resource investments and depleted already capital-short PEMEX. By comparison, reforms targeting private infrastructure investments are gaining strong traction, signaling more positive momentum for gas demand, especially gas-fired power generation. Stronger gas demand and stiffer domestic gas production headwinds should boost the call on U.S. exports from 2.0 BCF/D in 2014 to 5.6 BCF/D by 2020.[mappress mapid=”17191″]Image: BG Group
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Following the events of last year – Brexit, Trump, Leicester City winning the Premiership – and more than 40 years working in the construction industry, there is little that makes me pause and wonder at the meaning of life any more. However, the nonchalant, misinformed sense of complacency displayed by housing minister Gavin Barwell recently has left me slack-jawed in amazement.Barwell says that Brexit won’t delay housing reform and that the changes brought about by the referendum result will be “profound”, but apparently it’s business as usual in his department. To say that the effect of Brexit is “profound” is a bit like stating that the effect of the iceberg on the Titanic was “potentially disruptive”.The ever-optimistic Barwell predicts an influx of Whitehall staff working to deliver into reality the proposals outlined in last month’s “Fixing our broken housing market” white paper – something that aims to speed up the delivery of new homes and encourage new entrants to the housing market. The forthcoming changes to the planning regime and attendant impact on housing is not an insignificant matter. It has the potential to greatly affect our industry and its customers.Barwell’s comments on his department’s staffing capacity come despite a National Audit Office (NAO) report last month that questioned the civil service’s ability to deliver on key policy areas at the same time as handling the UK’s departure from the European Union.To say the effect of Brexit is ‘profound’ is like stating the effect of the iceberg on the Titanic was ‘potentially disruptive’The NAO said that as of February 2017, the civil service has created more than a thousand new roles in the new departments and elsewhere to prepare for exiting the EU and negotiating new trade agreements. Apparently only two-thirds of the roles have been filled, mostly by transferring staff from elsewhere in government. The NAO stated: “There has not been a commensurate increase in the overall size of the civil service.”So, in summary, that is far fewer people than leading consultants say is required to solely negotiate Brexit – most of them have been moved from existing jobs, and even then one-third of the posts are still vacant.However, cheery Barwell is still confident that housing is at the top of the prime minister’s list of priorities, apparently saying of his own department’s resources: “Given the priority [of housing], I would have thought that we’re going to want more people working in that area.”You may recall that Theresa May promised an affordable housing programme. Key measures mooted in “Fixing our broken housing market” included offering councils greater powers to drive the delivery of new housing, with the potential to seize sites that developers were too slow in bringing forward. Also included were proposals for “standard open-book Section 106” arrangements and reform of the Community Infrastructure Levy. The housing minister is now saying that while some of the measures – which are open to consultation until 2 May – would clearly require new legislation, his team was exploring a range of options to implement the proposals as quickly as possible.I am not convinced Barwell will get the influx of civil service talent he needs to draft competent legislationThe statistics to support his assertions of speedy action are not encouraging. In this context it is worth revisiting some figures. In 1969-70 local councils built 175,550 houses, in 2015-16 they started work on just 1,480. The trusts, foundations and housing associations that were due to take over the role of councils as builders created 22,610 in the previous financial year. Most experts say we need around 250,000- 300,000 houses built a year for the next five years just to stand still – due to population growth and more people living in smaller family units.Brexit is potentially going to have a massive effect on our ability to reach these targets in several ways. Legislatively, as the new Neighbourhood Planning Bill is passing through both houses, minds may be elsewhere – possibly entirely focused on Brexit. I am not convinced that Barwell will get the influx of civil service talent he needs to draft competent legislation contributing to either this bill or the National Planning Policy Framework document. The bill and the framework are needed to provide practical, implementable measures through the legislative and planning process. A number of the proposed changes would mean the further empowerment of local government officials to decide who builds what, where, how and when. My fear is that bad laws will make for bad practice.In terms of the commercial realities brought about by the triggering of Article 50, as the pound fluctuates over the next two years, wobbly currency markets will disrupt contractors’ supply chains and costs, and likely deter EU workers from desiring employment in the UK if the value of their wages goes up and down unexpectedly. This labour resource is something many in the industry, particularly in London, have come to rely on.Barwell may view Brexit as “profound”. Many of us see it in more negative and stark terms. But then, perhaps as a minister who voted to remain, working in an increasingly tribal party, he has to put political pragmatism above the vicissitudes of the real world. I am worried that we are all going to pay the price for half-baked, under-examined legislation which could lack the appropriate vigilance and scrutiny.Richard Steer is chairman of Gleeds Worldwide