Ina Rodin launches IR Global Consultants, aims to bring luxury to Croatia

January 5, 2022 – Ina Rodin had two terms with the Croatian National Tourist Board (HTZ), and she is now back in the private sector, having started things off with the launch of IR Global Consultants, with which she wishes to bring a touch of luxury to Croatia.

As Poslovni Dnevnik / Marija Crnjak writes, after two terms and seven years as director of the Croatian National Tourist Board in the United States, Ina Rodin embarked on entrepreneurship.

In recent days in New York, she has founded a company called IR Global Consultants and a brand called Convene Hospitality, and she will provide consulting services in the tourism and travel industry.

As revealed by Ina Rodin, her future work will continue to include the promotion of the Republic of Croatia, and she plans to pay particular attention to strengthening the luxury tourism segment, including working on a greater presence of strong brands of luxury hotels across Croatia. The former director of HTZ Office was particularly recognized in the industry for the significant results she achieved during her two terms, and the successful positioning of Croatia as an increasingly popular destination for American tourists.

During her tenure, Ina Rodin, among others, developed a strong collaboration with Virtuos, a leading American and global luxury tourism group, which awarded her the title of Ambassador of the Year during the Virtuoso Travel Week in Las Vegas in 2017.

In addition, Ina Rodin recently received the “Tourism Oscar” in sunny Miami, a silver award won by the Croatian National Tourist Board in the category of best European tourism organization, while Croatia has won a bronze medal in the category of the best destination in the whole Mediterranean.

This is the second time that Croatia has received the Oscar for tourism, the first time in New York in pre-pandemic 2019.

“In our industry, what I’m going to do is called ‘advocacy’ services. In fact, it will be like classic advice, combining supply and demand, in addition to reinforcing the image of the American market through the placement of stories and products in the media. I will try to capitalize on everything I learned during my two terms in America, but also partly return to the hotel consulting profession, in which I was before leaving for the United States, ” explained Rodin.

The United States is the most promising distant market for Croatia

For Ina Rodin, leaving HTZ does not necessarily mean leaving America, which she currently considers to be the most “potent” and most promising distant source market for Croatian tourism.

“America has the most potential for Croatian tourism than any other distant market and the promotion of the country should certainly be even more present there, especially since the coronavirus pandemic has broken out, because it will take several more years. before the normalization of relations and tourism. with China and the whole of Asia begins. Last summer, with the introduction of direct flights to Croatia from the United States, it turned out that this potential was recognized by American airlines, who took advantage of it, as Croatia was one of the few countries that allowed Americans to travel at the time. However, our openness and our interest should be cashed in the years to come, so I will work on continuing cooperation with the airlines, ”explained Ina Rodin, who, in addition to the American market, also plans to carry a special attention to neighboring Canada, a rather neglected market until now, even if it has great potential, she believes.

Canada in focus

“This market is very interesting for us for several reasons. First of all, Croatia has a strong diaspora in Canada, and partly because we have good infrastructure, there are direct flights. So there are already relationships there. Plus, Toronto is one of the biggest bases, it has the finest travel agents who sell not only to Canadian customers but also to US customers. I am particularly interested in this segment of luxury tourism, because there are a lot of agents in Canada who belong to either Virtuos or Travel Leaders, and these are the main consortia for luxury tourism, ” he added. she noted.

Of course, Croatia still has a lot of work to do to build a luxury product that appeals to both US and Canadian customers, which can be “twisted” in this chain of supply and demand that already exists. Rodin therefore plans to capitalize on his current relationship with Virtuoso, helping Croatian businesses and hotel companies to become part of this same Virtuoso “family” or another similar consortium.

Virtuoso is already present in Croatia, there are two DMC members of Virtuoso in Croatia, as well as seven hotels. In 2021, Virtuoso acquired four other Croatian brands, Grand Park Hotel Rovinj, Ikador Luxury Boutique Hotel & Spa Icici, Maslina Resort Hvar and Villa Korta Katarina & Winery.

One step forward…

“But we don’t want to stop there, the more hotels we get, the more opportunity we have to satisfy this segment of customers, who are looking for special facilities provided only by Virtuoso hotels. However, this should be taken care of in Note that the offer of luxury products in Croatia is still quite limited, not everyone is ready to welcome this guest profile.

These are customers who spend a lot of money on various services, staying exclusively in 4 and 5 star hotels. At the same time, it is no longer so important to them that they have to stay in well-known hotel chains, like the Hilton or the Marriott, which was the case with previous generations of travelers.

This is especially true for Americans who have traveled to and around Europe before, they are seasoned travelers looking for local experiences, boutique hotels and local brands are not excluded, ”explained Rodin.

However, it would be great for Croatia to look to more serious hotel brands with a luxury portfolio that are present in the world, to put Croatia on the luxury tourism map. The guests she talks about would love to have brands in Croatia like Aman, One & Only, Capella, Six Senses, Rosewood.

Although Croatia may not yet have reached the price point that would be profitable for the entry of some of these luxury brands, if we had one of these hotels the destination would have more weight to do. ”, Concluded Ina Rodin, who plans to work on such projects here in Croatia.

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