Friday, 18 June 2021

Croatia Confirms 113 New Coronavirus Cases, 3 Deaths

ZAGREB, 18 June 2021 - Croatia has registered 113 new coronavirus cases and three COVID-19-related deaths in the last 24 hours, the national coronavirus crisis management team said on Friday.

The number of active cases currently stands at 700, and 313 of them are hospitalised, including 25 who are on ventilators. A total of 4,274 persons are self-isolating.

Since late February 2020, when the first case was confirmed in the country, 359,031 people have been registered as having contracted the novel virus, of whom 8,168 have died.

To date, 2,101,829 people have been tested for coronavirus, including 4,436 in the last 24 hours. So far, 2,272,244 doses of vaccines against COVID-19 have been administered.

For more news from Croatia, follow TCN's dedicated news section.

Friday, 18 June 2021

New ECDC Map Update, Croatia No Longer Red!

June 18th, 2021 - The European Center for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC) has released an updated map of Europe, Croatia no longer red!  

Slavonia County, Karlovac County, and Moslavina are now marked in green, while the rest of Croatia is orange Like Metković reports

The ECDC map is updated weekly using data from Thursday at 23:59. Colors for individual areas are determined by combining the number of confirmed cases of infection in the past 14 days per 100 thousand inhabitants, and the percentage of the population tested.

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ECDC Twitter

Belgium is no longer in the red zone on the new map, and northern Italy, Germany, Austria, Poland, the Czech Republic, Slovakia, and Hungary have moved to the green zone. Much of France has moved to the orange zone.

Not all European countries use this map to decide on travel measures, but some, such as Lithuania, Croatia, and Cyprus, do. However, although other countries use their own models and parameters, the map has a symbolic weight and can significantly affect tourism.

According to the first data from the eVisitor system, today, the number of 200,000 tourists in one day was exceeded. Namely, 213,000 tourists are currently staying in Croatia, of which 183,000 are foreign tourists and 30,000 domestic.

"This is a confirmation that tourists see it as a safe destination for their stay and vacation. We have created all the preconditions for that, and compliance with epidemiological measures is still crucial to maintain this favorable epidemiological situation and achieve a successful season," wrote Minister of Tourism Nikolina Brnjac on Facebook today.

EU member states agreed late last week to ease travel restrictions during the summer and fully vaccinated tourists will be exempt from vaccination or isolation. In contrast, the list of European regions from which it is "safe to travel" will be expanded. 

Follow the latest on flights to Croatia HERE and the latest travel updates and COVID-19 news from Croatia HERE.

For more on travel in Croatia, follow TCN's dedicated page.

Friday, 18 June 2021

PIKNIKA – An Excellent Way to Enjoy Food and Nature While Others Cook for You!

June 18, 2021 - On international picnic day, TCN introduces Piknika, an excellent way to enjoy food and nature while others cook for you! 

Summertime is ideal for weekend trips and new experiences in nature, and one of them should be a picnic. We present a wonderful project by two friends who found a way how to offer urban families a great experience – time in nature and a delicious lunch on a blanket!

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Just over two years ago, friends Ana Gašparović and Aleksandra Kuratko Pani were exchanging their experiences of weekend trips and enjoying nature and came up with a great idea – offering a picnic experience modeled upon numerous world-renowned destinations. And not just any – all it takes is goodwill, several clicks on the menu of the restaurant of your choice, and good company for a feast on a blanket!

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“Our Piknika came to life two years ago, and the name consists of the words Pik and Nika, who are actually two characters, mascots who will speak not only of food and places to enjoy it, but also of how to behave in nature and how to properly dispose of everything used in the picnic. We came upon the picnic idea after many times we went to lunch with our families, often facing the fact that kids need entertainment along with food and how it would be good to carry something along and explore the surroundings. This is exactly what we offer to our clients daily in a more sophisticated form of healthy food made from domestic goods,” said Ana Gašparović at a press picnic, asking her business partner Aleksandra to present the contents of the picnic basket.

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“As you will see, each basket contains bio-degradable packaging such as paper plates, cups, straws, wooden utensils, and food boxes. With each basket, we provide a blanket and table cloth along with bio-degradable bags for waste, as well as for instructions on disposal in order for every picnic to be nature-friendly. We strived to use products from Croatian companies. The knitted basket is made by Međimurjeplet, the textile is from Tekstilpromet, and the official sponsor of our project is the Consultare company which provides biodegradable bags. The food and drinks you want to enjoy is chosen by you on our website which displays all our partners and their offers. The food you order is packaged in carton boxes which preserve heat for around 30 minutes, so from the time you pick up your order at the desired location to the moment you start eating, you will have a warm meal in your hands,” explained Aleksandra and added a large number of consumers are women and younger people who do not wish to spend their weekend in the kitchen, but rather enjoy nature. The food in the basket is not priced differently than in the restaurant, while a picnic offers the opportunity to explore various destinations. The specialties filling up the baskets, as well as the offer that has a bit of something for everyone were also discussed at the press picnic run by Alma Premerl Zoko. The owner of Međimurski Dvori, Tatjana Martinjaš explained the Međimurje basket often contains breaded chicken, pasta with cabbage, and Međimurje gibanica cake, the symbols of picnicking and enjoying nature in Međimurje. Tatjana added how many young families use this service to offer their children a special experience of a family lunch with a wonderful view. 

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The experience of combining traditional specialties, but also enticing cooking, was also spoken of by Bernard Tkalčec, owner of rural tourism Zlatni Klas Otrovanec. Since his rural tourism is located on the border of Podravina and Slavonia, they offer traditional Slavonian specialties: veal baked in a wooden oven, but also an excellent offer for vegans and vegetarians with many specialties from nettle and pumpkin. Rural tourism Kezele, the first Piknika partner, was represented by Slavko Novaković who spoke of specialties of this well-known destination such as kotlovina dishes and homemade strudels, all with famous Kezele wines. The current favorite in picnic baskets is a rose sparkling that goes great with domestic strawberries. The fifth Piknika partner (Ana and Aleksandra invite all interested restaurants to join with their offer) is the Na Malenom Brijegu agrotourism from Bilogora, where among other options you can enjoy white polenta with cream, barbecue, stuffed salted pancakes, zlevanka cake and enjoy unspoiled nature only two hours from Zagreb.

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What it’s like to choose your picnic basket food and the place to enjoy your picnic was explained by Jasmina Rakić Horvat, the young owner of the Rakić rural tourism near Križevci. She prepared delicious rolled turkey with nettle, pieces of fried chicken, interesting buckwheat fritters, excellent homemade cheese strudel the way grandmothers make them. The basket also contained drinks – a bottle of wine, homemade citrus juice and utensils, blanket and table cloth, along with the ordered food. Blankets can be spread next to the estate, as well as next to the nearby Čabraji lake within walking distance, or a tractor ride. Guests often take their picnic baskets to Kalnik mountain. Baskets are available all day long, and when your picnic time ends, return it to the start of your gastro nature adventure – the restaurant of your choice. If you wish, you can purchase the basket, blanket, and table cloth for future picnics.

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Photos: Nikola Zoko

For more on lifestyle in Croatia, follow TCN's dedicated page.

Friday, 18 June 2021

Peljesac Peninsula Oyster and Mussel Production Facing Disaster

18 June, 2021 – Mali Ston on the Peljesac Peninsula is famous for its top quality oysters and mussels. But, recent drop in sales is threatening the livelihood of local producers and the Peljesac Peninsula oyster and mussel production as a whole.

The Peljesac Peninsula in Dubrovnik-Neretva Country is without a doubt one of the most beautiful parts in all of Croatia. Wine production and the cultivation of oysters and mussels have given it a well-earned international reputation. Traditions that span centuries, beautiful scenery and amazing historical towns and villages have turned Peljesac into one of the most favourite destinations for foreigners and locals alike.

It comes as no surprise that most of the yearly revenue of local shellfish farms comes from tourists travelling to Peljesac or restaurants around Croatia selling Peljesac Peninsula oysters and mussels. They're produced in cycles and are mainly sold fresh. So, any drop in sales usually means an un-recoverable loss. In 2020 there was an enormous drop in sales for Peljesac. This was the effect of COVID-19 related travel restrictions and the closing of restaurants.

Dangerous numbers

Slobodna Dalmacija released a report on the current state of oyster and mussel farming in Mali Ston with some alarming numbers to consider. Local aquaculture farmers are currently down 80% in revenue when compared to 2019. After a disastrous 2020, this number is very serious indeed. Along with this crisis, they are apparently facing problems with illegal oyster farms and illegal selling. According to a few interviewed producers, much of what is being sold doesn't even actually get recorded for tax purposes and this creates additional problems for those who are choosing to work above board and legally.

The President of a local association of shellfish producers, Marija Radic, denies there are illegal farms in operation in and around Peljesac. She also stated that instances of selling Peljesac Peninsula oysters and mussels without proper invoices is less common than some of the local producers might claim. However, she did confirm the numbers of around 80% in terms of the drop in sales are sadly correct. The only thing that can save the majority of Peljesac Peninsula oyster and mussel farmers is the return of tourism and restaurant consumption. The local market is simply too small and unable to alleviate such a dramatic drop in sales.

Do your part in helping out local businesses by visiting gorgeous Peljesac for a food, wine and beach trip. Here’s some of the best beaches on the peninsula and here you can find the locations of top local wineries.

For more, follow our dedicated business section.

Friday, 18 June 2021

Zagreb Digital Nomad Viewpoints: Impact Hub Co-Founder Hermes Arriaga

June 18, 2021 - Continuing our look at different perspectives ahead of Zagreb Digital Nomad Week 2021 & Zagreb Digital Nomad Ambassador Project, some thoughts from co-founder of Croatia's first-ever co-working space, Mexican Hermes Arriaga.

Ahead of Zagreb Digital Nomad Week 2021, which starts on Monday, we continue our look at Zagreb innovators from the co-working scene to get their perspectives on the current situation and future possibilies. One of the early movers and shakers came all the way from Mexico. Hermes Arriaga has had quite an impact as co-founder of the first co-working space in Croatia, Impact Hub Zagreb, way back in 2013. 

1. Let's start with the obvious question. From Mexico to Zagreb - how and why? 

I first came to Croatia in 2004, to visit my girlfriend back then. In 2006 I also came shortly for a small summer activity building the basis of a primary school building in Vukovar with my friend and other volunteers. I returned once more in 2008 where I spent around 8 months on Murter Island typing my MSc thesis while my girlfriend was doing an internship. The final visit was in 2009 when we moved from The Netherlands, after we both finished our Masters degrees. I decided to stay because of the potential in social and economic development I saw the country was going through pre-accession to EU.  

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2. Impact Hub was a very early mover in the coworking and community building scene. When did you start, and how would you describe the journey so far? 

We knew about the concept back in 2008 when we were in The Netherlands, but it was only in 2010 that a group of 6 crazy persons (5 Croatians and this Mexican) joined as the funding team. Two years later we opened up in January 2013 as the first ever coworking space in Croatia with the pupose of social impact in mind.

The process of pre-opening was not easy since we were doing a lot of community building, we started with almost no funding capital and an idea which was not proven. The first 2-3 years were critical, a lot of iteration on the business model, many mistakes but also quite a lot of satisfaction, such as entrepreneurs getting high quality business support, the funding we helped them to obtain and the connections they got, were all part of the first stage of our business.

From 2016 to 2019 we consolidated the business, getting stable revenues and  a better positioning in the market being recognized by organizations in the private, governmental and civil society sector as the place where change comes to work. We also started with the bigger programmatic part of our business managing, designing and developing programs of entrepreneurial education and support to different markets (social entrepreneurs, women entrepreneurs, migrant entrepreneurs and the development of skills and capabilities of youth).

The journey from October 2019, when we moved (for the 2nd time) to a bigger space (550 sqm) with more space for hosting events and other gatherings, bigger area for offices and coworking, to March last year was all going according to our growth plan. Then a pandemic started and the earth decided to shake. Take a look on our report with many info about our journey.  

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3. Tell us about some of your successes and failures on that journey. 

Pre-pandemic, we offered an inspirational space designed for human interaction and learning. We hosted a vibrant and diverse community, and we provided meaningful and curated content of support. 70% of our members are co-founders of their project/organization. Since 2013, 126 new full time jobs have been created by Impact Hub members and only in 2018 for example, 70% of members achieved double digit revenue growth (vs previous year).  

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Our own business revenues were growing organically (18% growth rate the last 5 years until 2019), the space-based model with the expansion we had in the new space was very close to being self-sustainable, the programmatic area of our business with acceleration, incubation and mentoring was also growing, and a  couple of small consultancy engagements where appearing on the horizon. Among other relevant data that we have until 2019, is a Net Promoter Score of 60 among our members and other people coming to the space, 81% of the members have said they accessed new clients and beneficiaries while working here and 95% of them said that most people in Impact Hub can be trusted (previous info is from yearly surveys analysed by the Social entrepreneurship Center by the University of Vienna, see our presentation about it here).

We also had big failures, like the big and juicy EU project (150K Euro value) we decided to step out of 3 years ago, after realising that its development In Croatia would have been detrimental to our positioning and financial sustainability. Or the corporate package we designed last year and totally did not fit the market. We can also mention our big focus on delivering impact, forgetting big time to communicate the successes and overall impact that we have had in many of the entrepreneurs and individuals, failing to properly build a marketing strategy around that.  

4. There is a lot of buzz about the digital nomad opportunity in Croatia, especially with all the PR from the 12-month permit. How do you rate Zagreb as a DN destination. What does it do well, and what does it need to do better? 

Zagreb is the best positioned of all cities in Croatia for entrepreneurs, according to, for example, the latest ranking from StartupBlink Ecosystem report. It is also high in the list on nomadlist.com. We were, I believe some of the first spaces in Croatia to offer an special package  to digital nomads, which we opened for the first time back in 2016. The package evolved in such a way that up to last year during the summer of a pandemic year being the package that helped us to pay our space costs during July and August when we had more than 60 % of our members from that package, they stay for a shorter time (less than 3 months), are digitally connected workers from other countries traveling alone of in pairs.

We added extra support helping them find affordable spaces, we connected them with the locals and helped them answer their basic questions they had from MUP. However, there is no clear definition of a digital nomad, apart from their need of temporary working space and reliable internet connection. Their profile is very diverse. Our business model focus on leveraging the connections around our community and that implies having some kind of roots here, with a social capital and connections that can add to the community, so we had an offer for digital nomads but they have not been in our core as members, even if they stay 12 months, the question reminds the same, their interest is not necessary to stay connected locally.

Zagreb does well for them because of the diversity of cultural and social activities the city offers, because of how safe and reliable certain basic services are, from drinkable water from any tap to good public transpor. Sure, it can still do better with the bureaucratic process and ease of registering a company, or giving access to short term credit to non-Croatians and making a visit to the doctor more affordable if you don't have social security/insurance from the government.

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5. One message that was clear from the Dubrovnik Digital Nomads-in-Residence program was the need to build community. As an observer, I think building community and providing local education of the opportunity are key. How would you assess the DN community currently, and can you give us 3 quick wins on how Zagreb can strengthen it? 

As one of the main entities in Croatia doing proper community building ;), we believe it is all about setting the right conditions for communities to thrive. There is no such thing as managing a community, it is far better to enable a community, build the right container where fertile ground is ready for them to grow. Strong and resilient communities by the way are always small in size, their links are nurtured by practices and daily activities. At Impact Hub we have a value-based community where people also contribute on shaping and building this community.

This happens with time and not overnight, everybody needs a reliable social capital and connections to grow. We have experienced and will be experiencing that with our new business iteration to be released after the summer. Three things that can help are: 1. Be sincere about building a community 2. Practice a lot and be consistent on the terms, responsibilities and roles of everyone in the community and 3. There are no shortcuts ;)  Read More

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6. You are taking part in Zagreb Digital Nomad Week 2021. Tell us about your involvement, and how important you see the event to develop Zagreb's visibility in the DN community. 

We need more events telling people about the collaboration that is happening among key ecosystem stakeholders, co-creation and collaboration are 2 words in the core of what we do (as stated back in 2016 by an article about the Future of work) an it is very nice to see this happening. Impact Hub will be offering free co-working throughout the week, and I will be taking part in a panel on the Friday, entitled DNA Croatia, Policy and Connecting to a Global Community. 

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7. You were certainly a pioneer all those years ago. What is your view of the startup scene, particularly with a view to collaboration and cooperation?

Cooperation is now happening, but not yet at the level needed. What is needed is more collaboration, but unfortunately many organizations do not understand the real meaning of it and think in transactional terms. We have been able to thrive as a small enterprise because of the collaborations and partnerships with a few but important key stakeholders in the startup scene. I think things are changing and I see a bright future. 

8. Zagreb was very different when you moved here, but you were once a newcomer to the city. What Zagreb-specific advice do you have for nomads arriving in the city?

Be open. Try to connect locally from day one and make mistakes. This is a small city and you can get to know a lot of people by listening with attention while speaking with intention. 

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9. And finally, sell Zagreb to potential DN visitors in a paragraph. 

Treat Zagreb as you would like to treat your hometown. Connect with the intention of making a positive impact, be mindful of the cultural differences and do not worry about the local mindset. If you do good the rest will give back… eventually.

You can learn more about the activities of Impact Hub Zagreb on the official website.

To register for free (both online and in person) for the Future of Work day on Friday June 25, register on the Saltwater Nomads website.

For more details of Zagreb Digital Nomad Week, click here.

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For the latest news and features from the digital nomad scene in Croatia, follow the dedicated TCN section.

Fancy a free month in the Croatian capital from July 1 to December 31 as a Zagreb Digital Nomad Ambassador?

Friday, 18 June 2021

Air Canada Zagreb Service to Launch from Toronto in 2022!

June 18, 2021 - The latest flight news to Croatia as an Air Canada Zagreb service will launch from Toronto in 2022! 

Great news for the Canadian market in Croatia as Air Canada plans to launch a service between Toronto and Zagreb from June 2 next year.

Namely, Ex Yu Aviation reports that Air Canada will take over the route from Air Canada Rouge. Air Transat also operates on this route and plans to resume its seasonal service to Zagreb service on May 29 next year with the 332-seat A330-200 jet. Recall, Air Transat canceled all already announced flights on the Toronto-Zagreb route this year back in March. In January, the airline confirmed that it planned to re-establish the line between Toronto and Zagreb in the upcoming summer season, leaving the possibility of reducing or completely canceling the line if the demand was not satisfactory. The airline established a direct line between the two cities in June 2016, continuously increasing the number of weekly flights from season to season until the summer season last year when the line did not operate due to the pandemic.

Thus, from June 2, 2022, the new Air Canada service will run three weekly flights on Mondays, Thursdays, and Saturdays and return the following day. The 297-seat Airbus A330-300 aircraft with 32 seats in business (signature) class, 24 in premium economy, and 241 in the standard economy will operate on this line. 

The last flights that connected Toronto and Zagreb operated in October 2019, after which the COVID-19 pandemic stopped all flights between Toronto and Zagreb in 2020 and 2021. 

Ex Yu Aviation adds that the Canadian market is significant for Croatia as it serves both travelers on holiday and those visiting friends and family. 

Just how successful the routes between Canada and Croatia have been can be seen by the 2019 figures when Air Canada Rouge and Air Transat recorded 65,486 passengers, a 14.6% increase compared to 2018. Furthermore, the number of indirect passengers flying between Croatia and Canada was 71.254 in 2019.

This announcement means even more good news for the capital city airport, which also welcomes a Ryanair base this year with 15 international routes. 

Follow the latest on flights to Croatia HERE and the latest travel updates and COVID-19 news from Croatia HERE.

For more on travel in Croatia, follow TCN's dedicated page.

Friday, 18 June 2021

A Summer of Meaningful Tourism in Bakar

June 18, 2021 - A look at meaningful tourism in Bakar this summer. 

The past period has been very challenging for all those associated with tourism, from service providers to travelers themselves. However, according to the well-known proverb that every evil is for something good, the more resourceful ones have successfully used the unpleasant "new normal" situation to create new content and stories. Rumors about one of the (unexpected) winners of the corona crisis prompted us to visit Bakar, a small town on the Kvarner coast.

No giving up

We wanted to experience this newly discovered destination and learn firsthand how the symbol of heavy industry turned into a destination that is being talked about. Even after a short coffee-chat on the romantic Bakar „riva", one can conclude - the locals have not given up. They joke that their ancestors repulsed the Ottoman and Venetian sieges, and defied storms as sailors; thus, they couldn't give up either. They put their heads together (keeping a covid-safe distance, they note) and decided to retaliate against an invisible but ubiquitous enemy with a similar weapon which they have plenty of - intangible but omnipresent history of their town.

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The project called „Baštinska škrinjica" (The Heritage Chest) has turned the local population into digital promotors of the Bakar area. Grandmas were influencing, grandpas couldn't stop sharing, and suddenly, entire local history and natural wonders found their place on social media! What is this lake „now you see me, now you don't"? Didn't know that one of the largest churches in Croatia was there! The National Park Risnjak peak also! Look, just an „ordinary" Bakar bakery sells „Bakarska torta," a traditional cake made by the 150 years old recipe! Have to try it, have to see it!

A good start to the summer

As the reputation of excellence spreads rapidly, this year Bakar picked up two "Simply the Best" awards, and last week its values ​​were recognized in "practice" as well. Before many posh Adriatic destinations, a group of French tourists docked in the ancient Bakar port. One of them, Mr. Pierre Klin, shared his impressions: "This is our first time in Bakar. The program is fantastic! Sailing through the bay, the beautiful old town, the story of the tuna fishery, the hospitality of the hosts. The taste of tuna and sparkling wine with beautiful melancholic music make this trip truly unforgettable."

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If this made you eager to visit Bakar, don't worry, an opportunity to do it is just around a corner. At the end of June, another „Margaretino leto" (Margaret's Summer) begins. Inspired by the life of the blind waterboy Ivan Čop, who lived in Bakar during the second half of the 19th century, this year's traditional Bakar summer festivity brings us some interesting educational tours and workshops. For instance, visitors will experience „sightseeing" tours while blindfolded. That way, they will discover another dimension of Bakar and get to know the everyday life of the blind as well. As for Bakar, content like this will hopefully position it as one of the Croatian pioneers of contemporary „meaningful tourism." Don't miss it!

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Follow the latest travel updates and COVID-19 news from Croatia HERE.

For more on travel in Croatia, follow TCN's dedicated page.

Friday, 18 June 2021

New Line for Summer: Fast Boat Connecting Split and Sutivan Now Operating!

June 18, 2021 - A new fast line connects Split and Sutivan on Brač this summer, allowing tourists and locals even more options between the island and the mainland. 

Namely, since June 15, the new daily line has been in operation (excluding Sundays) from Split to Sutivan on Brač Island. 

SPLIT - SUTIVAN - SPLIT

Line operated by Krilo Shipping Company

Boat: KSC "Naranča"

Crossing time: 30 Minutes

Ticket price: 30 Kuna

Schedules:

Preseason and postseason: June 15 - July 1 & August 30 - September 15

SPLIT -> SUTIVAN

Monday - Friday from Split at 09:30 & 16:15

Saturdays from Split at 09:30 

SUTIVAN -> SPLIT

Monday - Friday from Sutivan at 10:15 & 17:00

Saturdays from Sutivan at 10:15

You can find the table with the details below:

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In the high season, the schedule changes, and the boat will proceed to Milna after Sutivan on the evening ride. You can find the table of the departures and arrivals in Sutivan and Milna below:

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SPLIT - BOL - SPLIT

Starting from July 1, the company will start connecting Split and Bol on a daily basis, twice a day.

Line operated by Krilo Shipping Company

Boat: KSC "Jaffa"

Crossing time: 60 Minutes

Ticket price: 100 Kuna for adults; kids from 4 - 12 years of age: 50 Kuna; infants 0-3 years of age: free of charge.

SPLIT -> BOL

Monday - Sunday from Split at 09:30 & 17:00

BOL -> SPLIT

Monday - Sunday from Bol at 11:00 & 18:30

You can find the table with the schedule below:

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The line is operated by tourist agency TransferCroatia.com (Accommodo vobis doo), located at Obala Lazareta 3 in Split (between coffee bar Jimmy and Terminal F, facing the port). The agency has sold tickets for Krilo for the last few years. KSC is a boating company with a regular year-round line connecting Split and Rogač on Šolta and Milna on Brač island.  

Tickets can be bought at Obala lazareta 3. Currently, cash payment is only accepted, but card payment will be introduced soon. 

Follow the latest travel updates and COVID-19 news from Croatia HERE.

For more on travel in Croatia, follow TCN's dedicated page.

Friday, 18 June 2021

Mozemo! And SDP Join Forces: 20 Main Zagreb Projects Presented

June the 18th, 2021 - Mozemo! and SDP have joined up at the Croatian capital city's helm and have presented 28 of the main Zagreb projects they intend to implement as a team.

As Poslovni Dnevnik writes, SDP and Mozemo! have signed a coalition agreement on cooperation in the City of Zagreb. The draft agreement contains 28 points on their programme cooperation, which will ensure a majority in the Zagreb City Assembly.

A list of 28 Zagreb projects that will be crucial during their first term has also been published, and we're bringing you a list of them below in full:

1. The reformation of the city administration, city institutions and city companies with the aim of the responsible, transparent and efficient management of the city administration, companies and property.

2. The establishment of a city treasury system that will be visible to all residents through an online platform to enable financial transparency

3. The acceleration of the post-earthquake reconstruction of public buildings and private homes damaged back in March 2020

4. The setting up of an online anti-corruption platform for reporting all irregularities and illegalities in the work of the city administration and city companies, especially in public procurement or tenders

5. The digitalisation of all administrative processes and the speeding up of procedures for residents, the use of digital technologies for communication with people and for the better regulation of traffic, public lighting, the water supply and waste collection

6. The management of Zagreb's city owned property in an efficient, transparent and sustainable way so that property income is used to maintain existing properties and ensure a more balanced development

7. The introduction of extracurricular activities within the scope of "Education for active citizenship" in primary and secondary schools, with the aim of preparing students to take a conscious, responsible and active role in society and care for the public good, a healthy lifestyle and responsible money management

8. The building of new nursing/care homes and the establishment of day care centres in city districts, as well as the provision of better care for the elderly in their own homes

9. The adoption of the traffic development plan of the City of Zagreb, the integration of the public transport system, the expansion of the tram network and the building of proper bicycle paths

10. The realisation of two brand new underpasses under the railway, one of which will be in the western part and the other in the eastern part of the city

11. The ensuring of a sustainable number of parking spaces per neighbourhood

12. The improvement of the availability of healthcare services through a better system of health centres more evenly distributed across the city's districts and the provision of preconditions for the construction of a hospital in Novi Zagreb

13. The increasing of palliative care capacities across the city

14. The development of new planning bases for the new General Urban Plan of Zagreb and Sesvete, in accordance with the principles of balanced polycentric development in which new housing units are accompanied by appropriate social and communal infrastructure

15. The construction of new public apartments for rent to make housing in the city more affordable

16. The increasing of the share of recycled and composted waste and the ensuring of all of the proper preconditions for closing the Prudinec - Jakusevec landfill

17. The proper development of a transparent system for financing cultural activities and appointing members of the governing bodies of cultural institutions, the introduction of the monitoring of the implementation of the programme and the ensuring of cultural facilities being more accessible in neighbourhoods

18. The expansion and improvisation of the water supply and drainage network

19. The modernisation of the city's kindergartens and schools in compliance with the pedagogical standard and the supply of all of them with locally produced food

20. The combatting of gender-based violence against women and LGBTIQ+ people

21. The improvisation of the city's sports infrastructure, especially for recreational and amateur sports

22. The improvement of people's social security through more adequate measures and services

23. The increasing of green and wooded public areas

24. The improvement the accessibility of the city to people with disabilities

25. The establishment of youth centres and support for young people, especially when it comes to education and employment

26. The provision of incentives for energy renewal, energy transition and the further development of green technologies

27. The encouraging of new technology companies in sectors such as that of the IT and the green economy to develop business in Zagreb

28. The enabling of continuous cooperation between the scientific research community, private companies and the City of Zagreb in order to develop communal innovations and create new work places

For more on Zagreb projects and Croatian politics in general, make sure to check out our dedicated politics section.

Friday, 18 June 2021

New Rijeka Hilton Costabella Resort Opening Doors in Just a Few Weeks

June the 18th, 2021 - The much talked about new Rijeka Hilton Costabella Resort is set to open its doors as the summer season rapidly approaches, with high hopes for their first Croatian tourist season, despite the coronavirus-dominated uncertainties which still reign.

Kvarner Bay has increased in popularity in terms of tourism over recent years, with many preferring the often more temperate climes in comparison to a very hot and humid Dalmatian summer. The close proximity to Istria is also a bonus, particularly for wine lovers. Not to mention its close connections to be able to visit both Italy and Slovenia in normal, non-pandemic years.

As Poslovni Dnevnik/Marija Crnjak writes, Ryan Gauci of the brand new Rijeka Hilton Costabella Resort has a degree in hotel business from the Faculty of Tourism in Malta and has more than twenty years of international experience under his belt.

The Hilton Rijeka Costabella Beach Resort & Spa will open in just a few weeks and will be run by Ryan Gauci, who has been appointed the new general manager of the resort.

"I'm looking forward to this new opportunity and I'm proud to be able to lead the great team at the Rijeka Hilton Costabella Beach Resort & Spa. My ultimate goal is to make the resort the first choice for guests visiting this area. We're going to try to provide all our guests with an authentic and unforgettable stay. We will provide them with the highest quality services and ensure the hospitality for which Hilton is known around the world, and enable them to experience the unique Adriatic joie de vivre,'' said the new CEO Ryan Gauci on the eve of his appointment.

In addition to his vast experience in the field, Ryan Gauci has worked various jobs at Hilton hotels across Europe, including those in Malta and in the United Kingdom, Poland, France and Italy. Before coming to the much anticipated Rijeka Hilton Costabella Beach Resort & Spa, he was the head of the famous Hilton Prague hotel in the Czech Republic.

Ryan will lead the Rijeka Hilton Costabella Resort's team towards their first summer tourist season in the heart of the beautiful Kvarner Bay, while Jose Luiz Ruiz Arroyo has been responsible for the implementation of the project before the opening of the resort for eighteen months.

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