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President Josipović- Croatian Youth Hostel Association enriches the lives of young people with its work
In Zagreb's Old City Hall CYHA celebrated its 60th anniversary

Croatian Youth Hostel Association celebrated with a formal programme on 31st of January, in Zagreb's Old City Hall, 60 years of existence and continuous work on the development and promotion of youth tourism and hostelling in Croatia.

There were 200 guests at the celebration of the great jubilee, among whom were representatives of neighbouring  hostel associations and countries, and with their arrival and sponsorship  the Croatian president Ivo Josipović,  minister of tourism Veljko Ostojić and assistant minister for social welfare policy and youth Maja Sporiš supported the event.

''Croatian Youth Hostel Association with its work enriched the lives of many people'' said president Josipović in his speech and pointed out that the special value of CYHA is not only in hostels and organisation of youth travels but also in their educational programmes.

Congratulating the anniversary, president Josipović called on the relevant ministries and the Government to do everything to strengthen the youth hostelling infrastructure and expressed his hope that the state will support their work more in the future.

At the ceremony minister of tourism Veljko Ostojić extended his congratulations saying that CYHA has a quality partner in the ministry for all its projects not only for their good results but also for young tourists whose experience and emotions are important for their later return to Croatia.

Ministry of social welfare policy and youth considers CYHA its partner but also an important stakeholder in all processes concerning the development of youth policies in Croatia, said assistant minister Maja Sporiš. ''In this context it's important to emphasize the European dimension of CYHA in implementation of European Youth Card (former EURO<26) which promotes youth mobility in Europe. Considering it is a card that offers a set of discounts for young people, its promotion and improvement is today considered essential, said Sporiš and emphasized that the Ministry offers assistance in further development of youth card, financially as well as in consultative and operative sense.


CYHA president Marijan Polašek reminded that CYHA was founded 60 years ago today at the initiative of young people and their desire for organised travel in Croatia and abroad, which is today's function of the Association, at the same time offering young people different educational and other programmes in its hostels.

CYHA runs 6 of its own hostels and 5 affiliates with the increase from 8 to 10% in the number of arrivals and overnight stays, which marks hostels and youth tourism as one of the most propulsive segments of Croatian tourism.

Considering the demand and increased arrivals of young people from all over the world, hostels are a hit in Croatian tourism but not only for tourists but also among entrepreneurs, because in the last 10 years their number rose from 14 to more than 80.

Except for the 60th anniversary, CYHA marked on Thursday two other important anniversaries for youth tourism and hostelling in Croatia; 100 years from the first organised youth excursion and 75 years from the foundation of the first Croatian hostel, Youth Hostel Dubrovnik.

As part of the ceremony CYHA awarded Medals Of Youth Tourism  to prominent persons which with their work and cooperation with CYHA contributed to the promotion of youth tourism in Croatia- Goran Beus Richembergh, member of the parliament and president of the parliamentary committee for tourism; Sanja Horvatić, National centre for evaluation of education; Želimir Kramarić and Robert Pende, assistants to minister of tourism; Morana Makovec from the Ministry of social welfare policy and youth; Tatjana Miščančuk, journalist of HINA news agency and Nevenka Pašalić from the Ministry of science, education and sport.

Numerous acknowledgements for cooperation were also awarded- cities of Rijeka, Osijek and Zagreb; Croatian National Tourist Board; Zadar Tourist Board; Faculty of Tourism and Hospitality Management and Institute for Tourism.

Special award ''World Traveler'' was awarded to Ivan Rako, active member of CYHA who visited a third of the world countries and regularly published travelogues in ''Hosteler'' magazine.

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