Thursday, 16 February 2023

Croatian Infinum Company Opens New Office in Amsterdam

February the 16th, 2023 - The Croatian Infinum company has opened a brand new office in the Dutch capital of Amsterdam as part of their wider expansion plans.

As Josipa Ban/Poslovni Dnevnik writes, the Croatian Infinum company has opened an office in Amsterdam, and in total, it is the seventh office in six countries of this domestic company that deals with software design and development. This is part of their strategy to get closer to their wnd customers, which is reflected in the opening of offices in strategic locations, as explained by Infinum.

They decided to open an office in the Netherlands, namely in Amsterdam, because this Benelux country is considered one of the strongest European technology centres of all.

In the top three markets

"The Netherlands is in the top three digitised countries in the European Union (EU) according to the European Commission's estimate for the year 2022. The companies operating there have a high level of digital literacy and recognise the value of digital products for business development regardless of the type of activity," explains Goran Kovacevic, the vice president for the dusiness Development of Infinum.

He also added that they aren't starting from scratch in the Netherlands because they already have clients there with whom they have been cooperating for a long time now, such as Philips and Signify. He also noted that they aren' limited to certain sectors in any market.

Martijn Spek, an experienced manager with more than twenty years of experience in the technology industry, will be responsible for business success over in Amsterdam. He comes to this position with the Croatian Infinum company from the IT company DevOn, where he worked as a commercial director for three years.

"Infinum was founded 18 years ago, this is the company's seventh location, but we're starting something new on the local market. In my experience, in this market it's really important to put your words into action, i.e. always deliver what you promise. Infinum has shown an enviable quality of work so far, and we can offer our Dutch clients additional value", emphasised Spek, who has a very responsible role because he is in charge of positioning the Croatian Infinum company well on the Dutch market.

The markets of Western Europe are their main focus, and Kovacevic pointed out that they include the Netherlands, Germany and Austria. "Last year, the United Kingdom also joined these markets, where we achieved very good results and we're continuing in that direction. Of course, there are also countries outside of Europe like the USA, which maintains stability and continuous growth", says the vice president for business development of Infinum. Before this office in Amsterdam, the last office that the Zagreb IT company opened was the one in the British capital of London back at the end of 2021. Kovacevic explained that it was opened due to an increase in the volume of work on the British market.

"We wanted to be available to our existing clients in the United Kingdom. This live contact means a lot to clients, when they can talk about work over coffee or lunch, and not via Zoom. The opening certainly resulted in new clients and contributed to the growth of that market. The motivation for opening an office in Amsterdam came partly because of the successful results we achieved in London. We want to create a similar setup in Amsterdam,'' Kovacevic stated.

Their team exceeded 400 people

The opening of that office certainly had an impact on last year's business results, as the Croatian Infinum company's revenues were 24 percent higher than they were back in 2021 and they achieved consolidated revenues of an impressive 23 million euros. Their number of employees and external associates at the same time exceeded 400 people.

The new office, along with those in Zagreb, Ljubljana, Skopje, Podgorica, New York and London, should contribute to the IT company's ambitions to achieve organic growth of 20 percent this year. Kovacevic stated that the special focus will be on expansion, and the opening of an office in Amsterdam is an important part of that strategy.

For more, check out our business section.

Thursday, 16 February 2023

Croatian State Bonds to be Issued Soon, Here are the Details

February 16, 2023 - Croatian citizens will be able to register for Croatian state bonds from February 22 to March 1 with a minimum deposit of 500 euros. The state plans to raise one billion euros by issuing bonds, as announced at the government session.

Registration for citizens first

Presenting the proposal for a conclusion on the acceptance of the information on the planned launch of the issuance of government bonds with the active direct involvement of the citizen sector, Finance Minister Marko Primorac said that the final preparations are being made, announcing that the bonds will be registered in two rounds, the first of which will be open to citizens from February 22 at eight o'clock until March 1 at 8 p.m., writes Index.

After that, registration for citizens will be closed, and on March 3, it will be open for institutional investors and will only last one day. Everything that citizens do not register for will remain for institutional investors. The registration will be done in bank branches, which will be the leading agents of the issuance and co-arrangers.

Maturity period of two years, minimum deposit 500 euros

The maturity of the bond will be two years, and the state plans to raise one billion euros. The minimum deposit will be 500 euros, while at this moment, it is not yet possible to say with certainty how much the coupon interest will be, but it will be above three percent, said Primorac.

"The bond will have a two-year maturity with an annual interest yield of over three percent, and the goal of the shorter maturity period is to provide citizens with the opportunity to invest in line with their previous preferences with the maximum limitation of negative market risks," the government's conclusion reads.

Primorac also mentioned that citizens would receive information about the minimum interest achieved at issue before the actual registration.

The Ministry will publish the offer document today, which will contain a general set of information. On February 20, a public invitation will be published on the pages of the Ministry of Finance and the Zagreb Stock Exchange, with more details about the issue itself, as well as about the places of registration, along with defining precisely specified bank branches, of which there will be around five hundred in the territory of the Republic of Croatia.

Citizens who will hold the bond until the maturity date are invited first

Primorac explained that the bond is a financial instrument that guarantees the buyer the payment of the coupon interest at the scheduled rate and the amount of the principal at the end of the bond's maturity. 

Bonds in general, and government bonds in particular, are among the safest forms of investment. The risk associated with investing in them is primarily reflected in the possibility of a change in the price of the bond during the maturity period.

"We can say with certainty that those who buy government bonds will achieve the expected yield if they hold the bonds until the maturity date," said Primorac.

On the other hand, citizens who cannot hold the bond until maturity and want to sell it on the secondary market may be faced with price changes. In that case, there is a certain minimal risk that they will not receive the amount they initially invested.

"Once again, I would like to encourage all those citizens who plan to participate in this issue to do so if they plan to hold the bond until the maturity date," said Primorac.

Considering the interest rates on deposits that are currently in banks, Primorac said that the benefits for citizens from investing in this type of bond are quite clear.

Plenković: A practice that exists in many other countries

Prime Minister Andrej Plenković pointed out that this issue aims to dynamize the domestic capital market, as well as send a message of confidence in government bonds, in domestic public finances, and everything that has been done through systematic work and responsible management of public finances in the past years.

"Now, as a member not only of the EU but also of the euro area and the Schengen area, with a very strong credibility, we want to enable our citizens to invest their funds, their savings, in government bonds," said Plenković.

He also said that something is being initiated that has not been a practice in Croatia until now, although such a practice exists in a number of other countries, such as Ireland, Portugal, Italy, Poland, Malta, Cyprus, and Hungary.

For more, make sure to check out our dedicated News section.

Thursday, 16 February 2023

Slovenian VC Fund Silicon Gardens Has Eye on Croatian Startups

February the 16th, 2023 - The Slovenian VC fund Silicon Gardens has its eye on Croatian startups, and Split Tech City has entered into an agreement with them.

As Josipa Ban/Poslovni Dnevnik writes, Split Tech City, the first association of the Split technology community, has entered into an agreement with the Slovenian VC fund Silicon Gardens. The fund will invest between 50 thousand and 1 million euros in Croatian startups, providing a spring in the step of many.

It goes without saying how important this agreement is for the Croatian and more specifically the Dalmatian technology scene. Toni Trivkovic, the founder and president of Split Tech City, explained that Luka Abrus, one of the founders of the Five agency, initially connected them with the Slovenian Silicon Gardens.

A fund with a different mission

"After the first contact was initially made, we soon realised that we share many values. We also like the fact that Silicon Gardens is about smart capital, i.e. capital with which the startup also receives mentoring," Trivkovic points out. The agreement, as he explained, is that Split Tech City proposes interesting Croatian startups to the Slovenian VC fund, that is, it connects them.

"After that, the Slovenian VC fund will evaluate a startup, and if someone doesn't pass, they'll receive guidelines on what needs to be done in order to make it more attractive to investors. Regardless of the outcome, the startup makes the best of the situation," said Trivkovic, adding that this cooperation will significantly improve the Split technology scene, where there weren't very many opportunities to get bigger investments in the recent past.

Cooperation with Silicon Gardens will change that. And we're talking about a different fund that was designed by the founders of startups with successful exits, that is, that were sold out of the ownership of the companies they founded. Their slogan is ''founders for founders'', and in addition to capital, they offer mentoring and contacts to startups, which gives the investment added value, i.e. smart money.

The first Silicon Gardens fund, SGF I, was founded back in 2014 by 20 private investors, who invested 300,000 euros in it. The value of the second fund, SGF II, which has existed since the pre-crisis year of 2019, stands at a whopping six million euros, and they're also about to establish a new, third fund, which will have about 30 million euros of capital in total.

That third fund, according to Kristian Asani, the head of community and programmes at Silicon Gardens, should be ready for investment this June. With its launch, as he pointed out, they're turning to larger investments across the entire region, which includes Split. "The ecosystem for Croatian startups is still in its development phase, and I'm sure that there will be good opportunities for investment," Asani points out.

Split as a tech Mecca

Trivkovic says that he hopes for the first investments in 2023, but he doesn't want to speculate when it comes to how many there will be in the end. Everything will depend on the quality of ideas and projects of Split's local startups, he says. In addition to that, he doesn't want to reveal yet whether they already have potential candidates to propose to the fund.

Split Tech City, a community that has existed since 2015, has successfully gathered together 85 companies. The founder of this technological community added that, in addition to investments, they have also agreed on other collaborations with Silicon Gardens, such as workshops for Croatian startups. "It will be a dynamic collaboration and we'll have at least two activities on an annual basis," announced Trivkovic.

With this cooperation, he also hopes to attract young technology companies from all over the Republic of Croatia, as well as the wider region, to Split. And while fifteen years ago the situation in the second largest Croatian city was such that young people moved away and even abroad due to a lack of opportunities, with the change in work trends, i.e. the possibility of working remotely, this is also changing. Split is thus becoming an increasingly common choice for a place to live. Split Tech City has heavily contributed to this turnaround.

For more, make sure to check out our business section.

Thursday, 16 February 2023

Sustainable Zagreb: Everyone is Invited to Vrbani Clothing Exchange Party

February 16, 2023 - The Vestigium association in Vrbani in Zagreb has an interesting tradition - eco day Saturday. As part of this weekly event, they sell ecologically produced food and have an exchange party for books and clothes.

"The association was created out of necessity for mothers from the neighborhood about ten years ago because we did not have any social and cultural facilities for 15 thousand inhabitants. We decided to create this space where the things we needed could happen. We have a free exchange of books, a small library where you don't need to write down who borrowed what, but people simply take books out and bring some of their own. There are various workshops and lectures, and on Saturdays we organize an eco market, clothing exchange, and socializing events for people in the neighborhood and beyond", said Irena Borovina, president of the Vestigium Association for HRT.

She pointed out that they did not invent the exchange party, but that it has been happening as a movement in the world for a long time, and "in fact, it is a response to what is happening in the world."

"There used to be fashion collections that came out spring/summer, autumn/winter, so twice a year, and these days new fashion collections come out every week and because of that, a lot of clothes end up in the trash. We all know that a lot of resources are spent to produce new clothes, and this is our answer to the problem of fast fashion - we don't buy clothes, but exchange them among ourselves", said Irena.

"On Saturday mornings, we organize a clothing exchange in Vestigium; everyone can bring up to ten pieces of used clothing in good condition and choose something from our collection, something they like. We have women's, men's, and children's clothing; we have everything you need depending on the season - coats, t-shirts, shoes, and bags. I would also like to mention that our volunteer Vanja refreshes used clothes by adding some of her creative work to the clothes we receive and creating some original pieces from used clothes", said Sonja Nerat Eppert, a volunteer at the Vestigium Association.

"This exchange was already happening here among the members of the association spontaneously all the time - for example, something we would outgrow, we would exchange for a piece of someone else's clothing, especially for children, and when we made it into an open event which other people could join, we were surprised that a lot of young people came. So it's great for young people - they like that they can find something maybe retro, or vintage, or they don't have to pay a lot of money for a piece of clothing with an expensive brand on it, but they can find something different. You can build your style. Older people also come, a lot of families as well, but we are delighted that we regularly have young people over", said Irena.

In addition to the Vrbani space, clothing exchanges also take place in the Green Action Association in Frankopanska, and the movement is becoming a hit in all of Zagreb.

For more, make sure to check out our dedicated News section.

Thursday, 16 February 2023

Croatia Above European Average for Childhood Cancer 5-Year Survival

February 16, 2023 - The five-year survival rate of children with malignant diseases in Croatia is above the European average, and according to data, in 2021, 16 children under the age of 19 died from malignant diseases in the Republic of Croatia, according to the announcement of the HZJZ on the International Childhood Cancer Day.

As 24Sata / HINA writes, according to the latest data from the Cancer Registry of the Republic of Croatia, in 2020, 159 children under the age of 19 were diagnosed with malignant diseases in Croatia, out of which 67 were female.

In the past ten years, an average of 157 children under the age of 19 were diagnosed, and 27 died of malignant diseases.

At the national level in Croatia, out of a total of 159 children with a newly diagnosed malignant disease in 2020, 49 were under the age of 4, 27 were between the ages of 5 and 9, 34 were between the ages of 10 and 14 and 49 between the ages of 15 and 15. up to 19 years.

The most common diagnoses of malignant diseases in children were leukemia, lymphomas and malignant brain and spinal cord tumors.

In treating malignant diseases, it is difficult to define a cure, but it is common to take five-year survival as a measure of cure. Data from the extensive global observational study CONCORD-3 published in the Lancet journal show that five-year survival from malignant diseases in children in Croatia is above the European average. It is 95 percent for childhood lymphomas, 85 percent for acute lymphatic leukemia, and 73 percent for brain tumors.

Malignant diseases in childhood have significant social and medical consequences. The diagnosis and the changes in everyday life due to the new situation represent a significant stressor for the child and their family. To overcome the daily difficulties they face in caring for their child, it is necessary for parents to have help: equal access to care and modern treatment procedures and, just as importantly, families need psychological support in a timely manner, the Croatian Institute of Public Health (HZJZ) points out.

They also emphasize that support is needed even after the end of therapy because patients and their families can face the physical and psychological consequences long after a diagnosis of a malignant disease and the often very intensive treatment.

International Childhood Cancer Day is celebrated on February 15 with the aim of raising awareness about malignant diseases in children and providing support to ill children and adolescents, as well as their families and survivors.

Based on the decision of the Croatian Parliament, since 2006, February 15 has been celebrated in Croatia as National Childhood Cancer Day.

For more, make sure to check out our dedicated News section.

Wednesday, 15 February 2023

10 Things Croatia Does Better Than Anywhere Else

February 15, 2023 - It is a small country which consistently overachieves in many different ways. 10 things Croatia does better than anywhere else.


A tiny country of less than 4 million people.

But a country which punches above its weight on the global stage on SO many levels.

Having lived here for 20 years, I am constantly astounded about how much this small country has achieved in so many areas of life. Here are 10 things that - at least in my opinion - Croatia does better than any other country in the world.

Do you agree? Are there any other things? Answers in the comments below the video, please.

You can read the original article, 10 Things Croatia Does Better Than Anywhere Else on Total Croatia here.


What is it like to live in Croatia? An expat for 20 years, you can follow my series, 20 Ways Croatia Changed Me in 20 Years, starting at the beginning - Business and Dalmatia.

Follow Paul Bradbury on LinkedIn.

Subscribe to the Paul Bradbury Croatia & Balkan Expert YouTube channel.

Croatia, a Survival Kit for Foreigners is now available on Amazon in paperback and on Kindle.


Wednesday, 15 February 2023

Priča o Jednoj Lopti by Marta Huber: Story of First Football in Croatia

February 15, 2023 - In the packed hall of the Multicultural Centre in Županja, there was a promotion of a special picture book, an educational museum publication for children and young people, "Priča o jednoj lopti" by Marta Huber.

As Glas Slavonije writes, Marta is a curator at the Regional Museum, and her book is about the first time football was played and the first time a ball was even held in Croatia. It is about a segment of the past of the city on the river Sava, about the time from the end of the 19th and the beginning of the 20th century, when industrialists from England arrived in Županja and built a tannin factory there because of the rich oak forests. And with the English, the first football arrived. The picture book tells the story of love between the industrialist Fred and Šokica (traditional local lady) Katarina, as well as the story of life in a Slavonian village about a hundred years ago. 


The promotion guests were greeted by Hrvoje Tkalac, director of the "Stjepan Gruber" Museum, asserting that his colleague Marta had decided to show the city's past in a charming way with her excellent work. The author of the afterword, Katarina Bušić, museum advisor from the Ethnographic Museum in Zagreb, said that, both as a museum worker and as a Županja native, she is proud of the local team that decided to prepare a picture book, the first museum publication of its kind in Croatia. The story is told in a straightforward, understandable, and suitable way for children, providing a lot of data and information. She concluded that this small, truly local picture book contains all the topics a story must have. Nothing in it is made up; all the events really happened in Županja.


The collaborator on the picture book, professor Katarina Berać Vuić, is the author of the glossary that appears on each page, as well as the quiz at the end of the picture book. She presented the picture book through a conversation with Marta Huber and academic painter Mislav Lešić - Đurakov. The author admitted that she had been carrying the idea of writing for a long time. In the Museum, she often meets kindergarten and school children, so she tries to adapt the historical narrative for their age. She thought that with good visualization, all the events, years, and circumstances would be more understandable to children. She succeeded in this, thanks to vivid illustrations with a multitude of local natural and ethnographic peculiarities and details hidden on the pages, which were brought to life by Mislav. Congratulating the authors, an excerpt from the picture book was read by Mayor Damir Juzbašić at the end of the promotion.

The book can be purchased in the Stjepan Gruber Museum in Županja.

For more, make sure to check out our dedicated Lifestyle section.

Wednesday, 15 February 2023

Croatian Labour Market Strong Regardless of Crisis, Unemployment Falls

February the 15th, 2023 - Despite the economic crisis that we're still stuck in owing to not only the negative effects left behind by the coronavirus pandemic but also the ongoing war in Ukraine, the Croatian labour market is coping well. There's even been a considerable drop in the unemployment rate.

As Poslovni Dnevnik/Suzana Varosanec writes, it's to be expected that the start of seasonal employment will break the trend of the increase in the number of unemployed people on a monthly basis, as it always does each and every year. In January, 122,369 unemployed people were registered with the Croatian Employment Service (CES), meaning that on a monthly basis, the number of registered unemployed persons continued to grow for the fourth month in a row. Compared to December, it increased by 4553 or 3.9%.

However, at the annual level, as RBA analysts point out in their analysis, the downward trend that began back in April 2021 has continued, and compared to the same period in 2022, a decrease of 8,624 persons or 6.6% was recorded.

"Compared to January 2021, the number of unemployed people registered at the CES is lower by 42,976 people or 26%, while compared to January 2020, it's lower by 17,555 people or 12.5%. This is a reflection of the recovery of economic activity after the coronavirus pandemic, but also of generally positive trends across the Croatian labour market, which has been reflected in the improvement compared to the period before the outbreak of the pandemic," the analysis states.

Under the influence of these processes, the Croatian labour market is active and the demand for workers definitely hasn't decreased, and according to RBA analysts, the lack of labour in certain industries is also reflected in the increase in the number of workers coming into Croatia from third countries.

According to the Institute's data, the number of received applications for residence and work permits for foreign (non-EEA) workers in 2022 stood at almost 130,000, and 109,241 were granted by MUP. During January, 12,653 applications were received for 163 occupations, and the most requested were from the construction industry. Most of the requests received came from the City of Zagreb, followed by Istria and Split-Dalmatia counties.

However, reliable statistics on the total number of workers from third countries don't yet exist, so we can only talk about estimates, the analysis emphasises. Economist Damir Novotny has drawn attention to the fact that it isn't a question of the general robustness of the Croatian labour market, but of the sectoral one, because the Croatian labour market is quite shallow and there's a big difference from sector to sector, as well as territorially, so one type of trends applies to Adriatic Croatia, and the other for the continental part of the country, and especially for the City of Zagreb.

"The whole of eastern Slavonia has a weak offer of jobs spanning all sectors, while Istria has a trend of immigration because it has a very strong offer of jobs in the tourism sector, but also in the accompanying activities that supply it with food and various services, which is why Istria is the most developed Croatian region after Zagreb,'' explained Novotny.

Of the total number of unemployed registered back in January, 12,996 (77.1%) came from previous employment, and the most common reason for their job termination was the expiration of a fixed-term employment contract (52.4%). Back at the end of January, there were almost 28,000 vacancies, which is 77.5% more than there were back at the end of 2022 and 5.3% on an annual basis.

According to RBA analysts, the Croatian labour market is continuing to show very strong resistance to unfavourable economic and geopolitical trends so far in 2023 - this is a characteristic of the entire EU, which is contributed to by the already present labour shortage. In the coming months, they expect the continuation of positive trends, but at a lower intensity due to the slowdown in economic activities.

Novotny notes that tourism, despite the global slowdown in economic activity, will continue the strong growth that began last year as new capacities are opened and investments are being made, and this is similar to the construction sector, which is facing an investment cycle funded by the EU. Processes on the Croatian labour market in the upcoming period will also continue to differ greatly from sector to sector.

For more, make sure to check out our dedicated news section.

Wednesday, 15 February 2023

Croatian Hotels "Attend" First Virtual Fair - Virtual Hotel Job Fair

February the 15th, 2023 - Croatian hotels have been present at the very first virtual job fair in this region, which promises to ''make things easier'' for those in this particular sector in Croatia and also across the immediate region.

As Poslovni Dnevnik/Marija Crnjak writes, four larger hotel chains and three luxury resorts from the Republic of Croatia, along with several leading companies from neighbouring Montenegro and Serbia, have been participating in the first regional virtual job fair, the Virtual Hotel Job Fair, which opened on Tuesday and will last two full weeks, 24 hours per day.

This is otherwise the very first virtual edition of the job fair that the employment agency Friendly HR from the Serbian capital city of Belgrade previously organised in a live edition, but the advantage of this concept is that the fair is accessible at any time and to anyone. It also significantly simplifies the process of getting information and ensuring the application of potential workers to jobs that interest them.

"The situation on the labour market is equally difficult for everyone across the region, quality accommodation facilities that want to provide top-notch service don't have enough professional staff as they have gone to Western countries in search of better salaries, or it's simply that increases in capacity haven't been accompanied by an increase in the number of educated staff.

We're here to make it easier for everyone in the region, and at the fair we have companies from Serbia, Montenegro and Croatia, which we help to make contacts with potential workers or employers. Thanks to technology, we have the ability to provide them with information on the platform and enable direct contact via chat, as well as direct applications for specific jobs", explained Tamara Danojlic, project manager of the Friendly HR agency, which also organises fair for future students in Serbia.

The Friendly HR agency provides a wide range of services in the field of human resources, from finding talent, evaluating and educating employees, employer brand to the organisation of team activities and corporate events. The idea is that the Virtual Hotel Job Fair will take place twice a year, and this first one is important because it is taking place before the summer season, when the search for workers for Croatian hotels is in full swing.

There numerous Croatian hotels present - The chains Falkensteiner, Liburnia Riviera Hotel, Losinj Hotels&Villas and Aminess and the resorts Maslina from Hvar, Marina Novi from Novi Vinodolski and the Obonjan Resort are all participating in the fair.

The platform has a rich animation that gives visitors the impression of a virtual walk through the fair, and in addition to visiting company stands and talking to representatives of hotel companies, visitors can attend a series of lectures in the fair's conference hall.

"We wanted to add this educational component as well, by offering content that candidates would otherwise have to pay for, and here all the content is free. There will be training sessions and lectures in the field of catering, where participants will be able to learn new things, expand their knowledge and gain additional experience in this exciting and dynamic business. These activities will allow visitors to learn more about the hotel industry and to better prepare for their future jobs," stated Tamara Danojlic.

That the demand for workers across Croatia is stronger than last year was shown by the recently held online seasonal job fair, which recorded more than 200,000 visits and more than 1,200,000 page views, as well as more than 7,200 applications for their advertised jobs. Those interested could apply for a record number of more than 200 job advertisements, and according to tourism sector estimates, 10 to 15 percent more tourism workers will be required in Croatia this year than last year.

The search will be more difficult than it has been over the past few years, given that tourism is returning to all countries in an environment without public health restrictions. Looking for workers from third countries will be a little easier for employers than it was in previous years, given the new rules regarding the employment of seasonal returnees and faster procedures have been announced.

For more, check out our dedicated news section.

Wednesday, 15 February 2023

Accommodation in Croatian Luxury Villas in 2023 20% More Expensive

February the 15th, 2023 - Croatian luxury villas are always in demand, but staying in them this year will typically see you forking out as much as 20 percent more.

As Marija Crnjak/Poslovni Dnevnik writes, bookings for Croatian luxury villas (in reference to short-term rentals for tourism) have been in full swing since December 2022, despite prices being about 20 percent higher than they were last year owing to continued inflationary pressures. Rather unsurprisingly, the Austrians are the most numerous guests of all in this luxury segment, the British are also making a strong comeback, while Croatia's most faithful visitors, the Germans, are opting for Greece in larger than usual numbers this year.

Bookings from outside of Europe and from distant destinations are also growing, as evidenced by the agency My Luxoria, one of the three largest agencies specialising in the rental of Croatian luxury villas and other sorts of holiday homes. My Luxoria boasts more than 700 Croatian luxury villas in its portfolio, and annually they bring about 20,000 guests to the Republic of Croatia, most of which have considerably higher purchasing power (read: deeper pockets).

Ankica Caleta, the owner and director of the My Luxoria agency, revealed that half of the booked accommodation they've secured so far this year is for stays of seven nights, the Germans stay on holiday the longest on average, around ten days, and guests stay in Istria the longest of all Croatian regions.

Istria and Kvarner are mostly being booked by Germans and Austrians. Europeans who fly by plane, such as from the UK, more often choose to land at Split Airport and then head to their accommodation in various Dalmatian villas. In this segment too, seasonality is still a problem, because most catering and hospitality establishments, attractions and other entertainment facilities are still closed.

"Guests who book the most luxurious homes in which to stay while they're here have nowhere to spend their money outside of their accommodation facilities at this time of year, and it is up to us to respond to that demand in order to retain guests within the elite tourism segment," says Caleta.

For more, make sure to check out our dedicated news section.

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