Editorial

Has the Croatian Digital Nomad Permit Been a Success So Far?

September 7, 2021 - It is just over 8 months since the introduction of the Croatian digital nomad permit. A look at the impact so far.  Eighteen months ago, hardly anyone mentioned Croatia and digital nomads in the same sentence. Today, Croatia is one of the first European countries that comes to mind when talking about digital nomad destinations. The phenomenal free PR generated by the Croatian digital nomad visa story was responsible for much of that. But just over a year since the Croatian government announced its intention to introduce only the second digital nomad visa in Europe after…

It's the Mindset: Rimac on Attracting Diaspora, Expats to Sveta Nedelja

August 3, 2021 - Miraculous things are happening in a small town near Zagreb, as local authorities and progressive businesses combine to build a prototype of Croatia 2.0.  Its name translates as Holy Sunday.  And until relatively recently, it was a town which attracted very little national or international attention.  But times have changed. I made my first visit to Sveta Nedelja less than a year ago. I was certainly curious to see what I would find. For here was the home of the most progressive local administration in all Croatia, as well as the home of the country's global…

City Breaks, Nomads, Medical Tourism: a New Era for Zagreb Tourism

July 30, 2021 - The announcement of 25 new routes from the Croatian capital by Ryanair is the latest step in the evolving nature of Zagreb tourism, which has a very bright future. When I first moved to Croatia back in 2003, my budget travel options from the UK were extremely limited. There was the unenviable choice of London to Trieste, bus transfer to Rijeka, then 11 hours on a bus to Split and the ferry to Hvar. Much preferred was Ryanair to Graz, then 4 hour train to Zagreb and onward bus to Split. I got to know Graz…

Would Nikola Tesla Have Preferred to be on a Croatian or Serbian Coin?

July 26, 2021 - A global citizen equally proud of his Serb origin and Croat homeland, what would Nikola Tesla have made of the latest Balkan political row over his identity? It is almost 80 years since the genius that was Nikola Tesla died alone in a New York hotel room, the end of an extraordinary life of invention and creativity that changed the world for the better.  He certainly deserves to be remembered and celebrated for all he contributed, but the latest proposed recognition of his genius has once more ignited a Balkan political row and fired up the…

Diary of a Croatian Lawsuit: Entering the 3rd Calendar Year

July 8, 2021 - Part 2 of Diary of a Croatian Lawsuit, documenting the speedy Croatian justice system with two lawsuits against the TCN CEO from the Croatian National Tourist Board.  Athough it is not pleasant being sued, I must confess that my first experience has been fascinating. And while I don't necessarily look forward to trekking to the Zagreb Municipal Court, the blogging material and post-court coffee with the legendica that is my lawyer, Vanja Juric, more than make up for it.  For those looking to get up to speed, here is the first part of Diary of a…

Zagreb Digital Nomad Week 2021: 5 Key Takeaways

June 28, 2021 - After an action-packed and thought-provoking Zagreb Digital Nomad Week 2021, some key takeaways for Zagreb and Croatia. I wasn't quite sure what to expect from Zagreb Digital Nomad Week 2021, but I knew that it would be inspiring. Sometimes, when I write about an opportunity for Croatia from within Croatia, it is hard to have a global perspective. Local viewpoints are not necessarily transferred to the global viewpoint. And while a lot has been written by TCN about the digital nomad opportunity for more than 2 years now, what were the true feelings of significant names…

How Dubrovnik Successfully Wooed the US Market During the Pandemic

Jun3 15, 2021 - Many tourism businesses rode out the pandemic hoping for better times. Dubrovnik has been quietly working away, successfully wooing the important US market, and now stands ready to reap the dividends of a quietly effective strategy.  I don't think I have been more wrong about a destination in Croatia than I have been about Dubrovnik. Pre-pandemic, with the VERY notable exception fo the Feast of St Blaise (simply the best time to visit the city in normal years in my opinion - read why here), it was a city I avoided due to the stereotyypes of…

Transparency, the Biggest Winner in the 2021 Croatian Local Elections?

May 27, 2021 - The first round of the 2021 Croatian local elections brought a strong breeze of change to the country, with one clear winner - transparency.  I must confess that I am looking forward to Monday morning. Apart from the fact that I will be back in court for the first hearing of one of my two lawsuits from the Croatian National Tourist Board (which I am secretly quite enjoying, but don't tell anyone), it will also be the day after the second round of voting in the Croatian local elections.  The Croatian obsession of treating even minor…

You Promised Not to Sue Me, PM: Will You Also Back Anti-SLAPP Bill?

May 9, 2021 - As the SLAPP lawsuit intimidation tactics against journalists continue in Croatia, I invite Prime Minister Andrej Plenkovic to back the proposed anti-SLAPP bill from Centar MP Marijana Puljak.  It has been an intense few weeks.  In addition to the launch of our new national tourism portal, Total Croatia, and the ongoing Digital Nomads-in-Residence Program in Dubrovnik, the aftermath of my decision to make public the two lawsuits from the Croatian National Tourist Board against me continues to feature large in my daily life. I have been genuinely stunned at the public reaction and support (95% in…

Paul Bradbury: How I Would Fix Croatia's Broken Tourist System

April 18, 2021 - The Croatian National Tourist Board is an irrelevant institution. A simple way to fix Croatia's broken tourist system.  With the exception of my time as a humanitarian aid worker running an emergency food distribution programme in post-genocidal Rwanda in 1994, I can honestly say that I have never enjoyed a job as much as I have in the last few days with TCN/TC. The huge public support for me in response to the two lawsuits from the Croatian National Tourist Board has been humbling, and completely unexpected. Thank you. The gift of priceless PR far in…

China Exposes Croatian Kingdom of Accidental Tourism Reality

April 6, 2021 - Numbers, numbers, numbers. Or how China exposed the Croatian Kingdom of Accidental Tourism for what it really is.  Our journey starts back in May 2015, some two months before the launch of TCN.  I made a decision on one of our early portals, Total Split, to do an interview that I knew would be controversial and probably result in the loss of a number of readers, as well as possibly some 'friends'. I decided that we would interview 'the most hated woman in Split' and give her some media space to give her side of the…

Bakic, Macan, Rimac, de Jong Promote Croatian Tourism Globally Free, Meanwhile...

March 14, 2021 - As a new tourist season approaches, the Kingdom of Accidental Tourism goes into overdrive. A look at efforts to promote Croatian tourism globally, as well as... well, yes. I am not a big fan of tagging on social media, although I completely understand the usefulness and power of the function. I rarely tag people myself unless I know for sure that what I am making them aware of will be on point and relevant. If there was somehow a function to only allow tags that the user would find useful, I would be the biggest fan…

Croatian Tourism 2021 Preparations v Competition: The View from London

March 6, 2021 - How are preparations for the Croatian tourism 2021 season going compared to the competition? The view from London-based tourism professionals.   With lots of other exciting things happening in Croatia and elsewhere, and with more writers joining the expanding TCN team, I find myself writing less about tourism these days than in years gone by. My fascination with a country which generates more than 20% of its GDP from tourism, yet does almost nothing noteworthy (unless by noteworthy, you mean all the dumb stuff - there is PLENTY of that) to promote continues. And I wonder what…

How COVID-19 Became a Great Croatian Tourism Promo Gift for USA Market

February 21, 2021 - Last year may have been a disaster for global tourism, but it was a spectacular one for Croatian tourism promo to the USA market, albeit quite by chance. Sometimes (actually quite often when it comes to Croatian tourism) things happen completely by chance.  Sometimes some good comes from a terrible situation, the proverbial every cloud has a silver lining.  And through the disastrous tourism year of 2020, I noted a recurring theme of hope for Croatian tourism - the most high-profile penetration of Croatian tourism promo into the important USA market.
When ABC News contacted…

As Gym Owner Faces Prison, the Virus Must be Laughing at Croatia's Inconsistent Measures

February 1, 2021 - As frustration and desperation take hold, Croatia's inconsistent measures to combat COVID-19 are only exacerbating such feelings.  As the conspiracy theories continue to circulate regarding coronavirus, I am beginning to think that this pandemic is a university degree course in the study of human behaviour at the University of Aliens on Mars.  Subject: How would humans react to battle a deadly virus spreading with ease all over their planet? A pandemic that knows no politics, emotion or mercy.  A year into the pandemic, these alien students might be surprised to learn that humans still could not…

Wuhan Lockdown Began a Year Ago, as Its Tourists Were Visiting Croatia

January 23, 2021 - The anniversary of the Wuhan lockdown a year ago today recalls a moment in time in the crazy timeline of 2020, when Wuhan tourists continued to visit Croatia.  They say that time is relative.  But that pearl of wisdom was coined before 2020.  Ordinarily, a single year would pass in the blink of an eye in the history of mankind, but 2020 lingered, its timeline so skewed, and totally different depending on your location.   We watched with incredulity as China imposed the Wuhan lockdown a year ago today, shutting down an entire city of 11 million…

Majske Poljane, Glina, Petrinja: A Foreigner View of Croatia's Emergency Response

December 30, 2020 - A day after the devastating Petrinja earthquake, TCN visits Majske Poljane, Glina and Petrinja, finding tragedy, humanity, and Croatians pulling together with huge hearts.  My first and only previous visit to Petrinja was in the winter of 2003. For reasons which now escape me, I went to pick up a Ukrainian employee of OSCE and his son. The son had a broken leg and my task was to transport him to hospital in Zagreb. Of Petrinja, I remember very little apart from the snow, the cold, and the many destroyed buildings after years of war and…

After Digital Nomads, Will Croatian Tourism Chiefs Act on 4 More Gifts?

Two small but very significant things for Croatian tourism happened in one Facebook post just before Christmas.  The post was by arguably the most communicative senior member of the government on social media, State Secretary for Tourism, Tonci Glavina, who regularly updates his followers on good news regarding Croatian tourism and government activity, communication which is very welcome.  And Glavina's status update of December 23 caught my attention in particular, for two reasons, and opens a small window of opportunity for progressing tourism strategy in Croatia: The post was significant firstly as this was the first time (to my knowledge)…

25 Things Which Made Croatia Shine in the Pandemic Year of 2020

December 12, 2020 - This is the year to forget for all of us. Or is it? Look on the bright side - 25 things which made Croatia shine in the pandemic year of 2020. There are only 20 days to go until the (hopefully) brighter lights of 2021. I am sure that many of you, like me, have lived about ten lifetimes this year, the most chaotic, stressful, unpredictable and scary perhaps ever. But we are still here, hanging on, and hoping for better things.  But 2020 was not such a disaster for everyone. In fact, if you take…

Croatian Language: Logical, Phonetic, Impossible, Dialectalised & Globalised

December 6, 2020 - Is the Croatian language as impossible to learn as they say? It really depends on how you view it. A bigger question might be whether or not locals can understand each other when they speak it.  One of the most amazing experiences I have had as a parent so far was watching my eldest daughter learn to read at the age of four.  One day, she sat with all the letters, learned what the fuss was about, how to write and pronounce them. I was really impressive and the proudest father in the country.  "Come on…

A Foreigner Reflects on a Decade Writing about Life in Croatia

October 30, 2020 - A decade is a long time in online writing, especially when life in Croatia is the topic. Some reflections of a foreign blogger writing about life in Croatia over the last ten years.  I remember it as though it was yesterday, even though the spinning wheel of time tells me it was ten years ago this week.  A chill in the dark late winter air on the main square in Jelsa, I the only person outside, the numerous locals huddled in their coats in the warmth of the cafe interiors.  I had just written my first…

Time To Reflect, As Loyalty Not Luxury Saves 2020 Croatia Tourist Season

September 28, 2020 – The tail end of 2020's unparalleled summer offers opportunity for pause, contemplation and appreciation, as it's loyal and not luxury guests that have saved this year's Croatia tourist season. In this day and age, things always have to get better. There's no room to sit still. Life without improvement is deemed a failure. Nowhere is this more true than the Croatia tourist season. The numbers of overnight stays in the Croatia tourist season sometimes seem to be the only measure by which its success is judged. Year after year, the numbers must rise. Any decrease is…

Croatia On Slovenia RED List. What Does That Actually Mean?

August 20, 2020 – Slovenians must quarantine if returning from Croatia after the weekend, but what are the implications of Croatia on Slovenia RED list? Update on August 20, after the official placement of Croatia on Slovenia RED list by the Slovenian government was made public: in order to make things easier for their nationals currently vacationing in Croatia, Slovenia has decided to extend the deadline for the return to Slovenia until Monday. Slovenians who own real-estate and boats in Croatia are given an extra 48 hours, so they can take care of their property before leaving Croatia without self-isolating upon…

As TCN Celebrates 5 Years, Reflections on Running an English News Portal in Croatia

July 7, 2020 - Total Croatia News is 5 years old today. It has been quite a journey - some reflections on how TCN started and where it is going. Looking back, I can't believe how naive I was.  To think that I could run a national news portal in English, covering the whole of Croatia, when my knowledge of Croatia barely extended to more than every inch of the island of Hvar, Diocletian's Palace and Zagreb train station.  I am exaggerating a little, but not so much.  I don't think I have ever written the story of how TCN…

Croatian Tourist Board Reform: These are the Problems, This is the Solution

June 2, 2020 - The Croatian tourist board needs urgent reform. A detailed look at the problems... and a solution.  The Croatian Minister of Tourism Gari Cappelli called me a few days ago. I have never met or spoken to him (or Croatian National Tourist Board director, Kristjan Stanicic) since Minister Cappelli assumed the office back in 2016. The phone call was therefore quite a surprise, and we had a nice little chat, including an invitation to meet in his office. That meeting is scheduled to take place tomorrow.  It comes at a time when Croatian tourism is trying to…

Croatia COVID-19 Health, Travel & Stats Live Updates May 20, 2020

May 20, 2020 - A Croatia COVID-19 overview of the latest health, travel and stats news on the coronavirus crisis, with live updates in English, powered by Index.hr. There are currently 2234 officially confirmed Croatia COVID-19 cases and two new cases since yesterday afternoon. 1978 patients have recovered. 96 people have died. 10 patients are on ventilators. There are 169 active cases. You can now track the progress of the curve of cases and recoveries on the official koronvirus.hr homepage. (You can also follow it into the English version here, which has less content but covers the essential information). Note that koronavirus.hr…

Croatia COVID-19 Health, Travel & Stats Live Updates May 18, 2020

May 18, 2020 - A Croatia COVID-19 overview of the latest health, travel and stats news on the coronavirus crisis, with live updates in English, powered by Index.hr. There are currently 2228 officially confirmed Croatia COVID-19 cases and 2 new cases since yesterday afternoon. 1946 patients have recovered. 95 people have died. 10 patients are on ventilators. There are 195 active cases. You can now track the progress of the curve of cases and recoveries on the official koronvirus.hr homepage. (You can also follow it into the English version here, which has less content but covers the essential information). Note that koronavirus.hr…

Croatia COVID-19 Health, Travel & Stats Live Updates May 10, 2020

DUE TO THE SIZE OF THIS ARTICLE, THE UPDATES HAVE MOVED TO THIS LINK   May 10, 2020 - A Croatia COVID-19 overview of the latest health, travel and stats news on the coronavirus crisis, with live updates in English, powered by Index.hr. There are currently 2187 officially confirmed Croatia COVID-19 cases and 11 new cases since yesterday afternoon. 1764 patients have recovered. 90 people have died. 13 patients are on ventilators. There are 333 active cases. You can now track the progress of the curve of cases and recoveries on the official koronvirus.hr homepage. (You can also follow it into the…

Croatia COVID-19 Health, Travel & Stats Live Updates May 5, 2020

UPDATE - DUE TO SIZE OF THIS ARTICLE, THE DAILY UPDATE IS NOW ON THIS LINK   May 5, 2020 - A Croatia COVID-19 overview of the latest health, travel and stats news on the coronavirus crisis, with live updates in English, powered by Index.hr. There are currently 2112 officially confirmed Croatia COVID-19 cases and 12 new cases since yesterday afternoon. 1560 patients have recovered. Eighty-three people have died. 14 patients are on ventilators. There are 469 active cases. You can now track the progress of the curve of cases and recoveries on the official koronvirus.hr homepage. (You can also follow…

Croatia COVID-19 Health, Travel & Stats Live Updates May 1, 2020

DUE TO ARTICLE SIZE, THIS UPDATE HAS MOVED TO A NEW PAGE ON THIS LINK May 1, 2020 - A Croatia COVID-19 overview of the latest health, travel and stats news on the coronavirus crisis, with live updates in English, powered by Index.hr. There are currently 2085 officially confirmed Croatia COVID-19 cases and 9 new cases since yesterday afternoon. 1421 patients have recovered. Seventy-five people have died. 17 patients are on ventilators. There are 659 active cases. You can now track the progress of the curve of cases and recoveries on the official koronvirus.hr homepage. (You can also follow it into…

Croatia COVID-19 Health, Travel & Stats Live Updates April 27, 2020

UPDATES HAVE MOVED TO THIS LINK DUE TO THE SIZE OF THIS ARTICLE April 27, 2021 - A Croatia COVID-19 overview of the latest health, travel and stats news on the coronavirus crisis, with live updates in English, powered by Index.hr. There are currently 2039 officially confirmed Croatia COVID-19 cases and 9 new cases since yesterday afternoon. 1166 patients have recovered. Fifty-nine people have died. 21 patients are on ventilators. There are 814 active cases. You can now track the progress of the curve of cases and recoveries on the official koronvirus.hr homepage. (You can also follow it into the English…
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