Thursday, 17 June 2021

Meet Saad Al Sulaibi, Croatia's First Digital Nomad Permit Holder from Middle East

June 17, 2021 - Croatia has its first official digital nomad from the Middle East. Meet Saad Al Sulaibi from Jordan, owner of a 12-month Croatian digital nomad permit.

1. You are the first person from the Middle East to get the Croatian digital nomad permit. Congratulations! Tell us firstly about yourself, and how your interest in Croatia started?

Thank you so much, my name is Saad Al Sulaibi, from Jordan. I am an account manager for a US-based company, and I work remotely from home in Amman. Through a group of friends I met a Croatian guy who lived in Amman for three years. During that time, he always used to tell me about and show me pictures of Croatia, and especially his home town, Split. This made me curious to read more about Croatia. While researching, I found an article talking about the Digital Nomad Visa. I found this an interesting opportunity and decided to apply.

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2. We do not have so many Jordanian tourists. Do you think Croatia could be a good destinations for them? What are Croatian tourism's best selling points to the Middle Eastern market?

Definitely. Croatia is a good destination for Jordanians and other Middle Eastern countries. As in large parts of Jordan, Croatia boasts of ancient cities and historic ruins and is full of stunning natural attractions. It also has great a Mediterranean lifestyle with a very affordable standard of living.

 

3. Why did you decide to apply for the digital nomad permit?

When I read about Croatia and the Digital Nomad Visa option, I asked myself - why not? Croatia has beautiful and very green nature, amazing food and wine, nightlife, is affordable to live in, has good healthcare, a great internet connection for work, and there is no need to pay income tax in Croatia while I am working from there.

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4. There is lots of interest in the permit, but not so much information from successful applicants. Can you tell us in some detail how long the application took, what was involved, how much it cost, and any problems you had?

The application took from 1 - 2 months to get approved, and it cost me around 55 USD. The biggest challenge was not having a Croatian embassy in Amman. As a result, I had to ship my application and other documents to the Croation embassy in Cairo. Also it worth mentioning the daily effort that Ministry of Interior in Croatia to make this application approved.

5. Now that you have a 12-month permit to stay in Croatia, what are your plans?

The plan for now is to Stay in Split to meet with my friend, then to Zagreb then to Krk, Hvar, Dugi Otok, Brač, Vis, Rab, Korčula, Šipan.

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6. In your opinion, what makes Croatia a great nomad destination, and what does it need to do better?

Again, Croatia is one the best places to live in for the reasons I mentioned before. What needs to be improved is marketing Croatia in Jordan and the Middle East. 

I would like to use this chance to introduce Jordan to my second family, Croatians. Jordan is great destination to visit, we have many historical places to visit like Petra, Roman theaters, Amman citadel and many others. Also we have a religious sites to be visited like Al-Maghtas where Jesus was baptized by John the Baptist, Mount Nebo where Moses looked on to the Promised Land, Umm ar-Rasas a fortified Roman garrison that contains 16 Byzantine churches, Madaba that holds the Madaba Map which is the oldest mosaic map of the Holy Land.

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The latest statistics on the Croatian digital nomad permit. 132 applications so far (12 in the last week), with 38 permits granted, and 85 in process.

For the latest news and features on digital nomads in Croatia, follow the dedicated TCN section

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Are you a digital nomad considering the switch to Croatia? Why not join us online or in person at Zagreb Digital Nomad Week 2021, which starts on Monday?

Or be a Zagreb Digital Nomad Ambassdor with a free month of accommodation from July to December, as a guest of the city. 

Thursday, 17 June 2021

Grand Prix "Golden Pen" Goes To Germany, Slovakia, and USA

June 17th, 2021 - For the 17th time, the Croatian National Tourist Board awarded the prestigious Grand Prix "Golden Pen" award to foreign tourist journalists, bloggers, and influencers for the best publications about Croatia as a tourist destination in the last, extremely demanding tourist year.

HTZ reports, the award ceremony, held last night in Pula, was attended by 15 foreign journalists from 11 countries. 

"This year, we are awarding the prize again live in beautiful Istria. Award-winning journalists, bloggers, and influencers last year, which was extremely difficult for the tourism sector, contributed to the visibility of our country on a global level and building the image of Croatia as a safe, well-prepared and desirable tourist destination. With this, we also additionally draw attention to Croatia on the eve of the main part of the tourist season and send the message that Croatia is absolutely ready for a larger influx of guests," said the director of the CNTB Kristjan Staničić.

In addition to director Staničić and colleagues from foreign CNTB offices, the award ceremony was attended by the County Prefect of Istria Boris Miletić, on behalf of the Ministry of Tourism and Sports Monika Udovičić, Director of Istria Tourist Board Denis Ivošević, Pula Tourist Board Director Sanja Cinkopan Korotaj and numerous representatives of the Istrian tourism sector. 

"It is a special pleasure for us to host the awarded journalists and at the same time praise the Golden Pen project because journalists are critical to us even in normal tourist years, let alone in these crises when communication is also the most important promotion. Furthermore, we are glad that the ceremony is held in our region because it gives us an exceptional opportunity to present to the distinguished guests the richness and uniqueness of this region, our hospitality, natural and cultural sights, gastronomy, and other strengths by which we are recognized beyond our borders," said Denis Ivošević, director of the Istria County Tourist Board.

The most significant award of the "Golden Pen" is the Grand Prix, awarded in three categories: the best print or online media report, the best radio or television report, and the best post on blog social networks.

This year's winner of the Grand Prix award for the best report of the print media is the German journalist Helene Schmidt, whose report "Istrien - das Kulinarische Kroatien" was published in the renowned magazine Autobild - Reisemobil. In her report, Helena described the journey through Istria and small medieval towns and especially emphasized Istrian gastronomy, with numerous practical tips for visiting Istria. The published report is precious because it was published in a renowned medium followed by motorists, also the most numerous visitors from Germany to Croatia. Furthermore, the Autobild portal is the leader of the German digital market, with over 13 million users and 56 million visits last year alone.

The Grand Prix for the best electronic media report was awarded to the Slovak TV MARKIZA team. Journalist Branislav Tomaga and cameraman Miroslav Žilka won the award for a series of 10 episodes about Croatia called "S Markízou v Chorvatsku". Branislav Tomaga and Miroslav Žilka have been visitors to Croatia for many years. To show their fellow citizens the news from their favorite destination, they tirelessly reported live for two weeks from interesting locations throughout Lijepa naša, from Umag to Dubrovnik, which is why in June and July 2020, Croatia and holidays in Croatia, with 39 percent viewership, were the top topic on the most-watched television in Slovakia.

The Grand Prix winner for the best travel blog is Kate McCulley from the USA, behind the blog "Adventurous Kate." So far, she has met 83 countries and 7 continents, and in 2017, Forbes included her in the list of the 10 most influential travel influencers in the world. Her blog reports during last year's summer season evoked experiences from Croatia, from Dubrovnik to Istria. Despite the restrictions and the general fear of a pandemic, she pointed out the beauties of our offer and the responsibility and kindness of the local population.

In addition to the Croatian National Tourist Board as the main organizer of the event, this year's partners and hosts are the Tourist Board of the Istrian County, the Tourist Board of the City of Pula, and other tourist boards of the cluster of Southern Istria.

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

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

Thursday, 17 June 2021

San Sustipanske Noći is Back: Cherished Summer Concert Evenings Return to Split in July!

June 17, 2021 - The beloved summer concert series San Sustipanske Noći (Dream of Sustipan Nights) returns to Split next month after a two-year break! 

Split's favorite music event, "San Sustipanske Noći," is finally back after a two-year break; and the doors of Sustipan will soon reopen to all lovers of music, barefoot dancing, and a feel-good time. 

 

Already last year, the organizers announced that the one and only would play the first night of the event - July 14 - Josipa Lisac.

The following evening is reserved for the great gentleman of Split, whose name begins with a 'G' - July 15 - Gibbonni.

Tickets for "San Sustipanske Noći," which every year boasts an increasing number of music fans, can now be purchased at a price of 130 kuna at Adriaticket.com system.

Josipa Lisac tickets HERE

Gibboni tickets HERE

"And our beautiful illustrated tickets will be on sale next week at Corto Maltese and Pandora Greenbox in Obrovo. In accordance with the measures and the COVID situation worldwide, this year's San Sustipanske Noć will be realized in a slightly different edition with more standing space. Still, we will inform you in the coming weeks. Hurry up to get your tickets, the number of seats is really limited this year, and there are no last-minute purchases. For all the news and information, follow the San Sustipanske Noći Facebook page and get ready for a dream spell!" concluded the organizers.

 

Sustipan park, located southwestern part of the city, was once home to a Benedictine monastery and a church in the Middle Ages. One of Croatia's most beautiful cemeteries was erected in the park in the 19th century, though it was removed in the 20th century by the Communist authorities. 

Today, Sustipan park is a place where locals love to gather and enjoy stunning views over the cliffs onto the Adriatic Sea. 

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

Thursday, 17 June 2021

Dadathlon Cycling Will Start on Sunday for Dads Around the World

June 17, 2021 - The second stage of the great event organized by Daddyhood Europe, an organization that seeks to unite dads and their children, continues this Sunday with Dadathlon Cycling and will run until June the 27th for participants around the world.

After a successful start in which Daddyhood Europe managed to bring together more than 400 parents, summing it up to almost 1000 individuals between fathers and their children around the world for its first event in April, the organization founded by Croatian Marino Manzoni and Swedish Thomas Pickelner is preparing for its next stage, which consists of Dadathlon Cycling, where parents and children go pedaling not only to win but to create indelible memories between them. TCN was present at an inauguration event at Punat on the island of Krk, where Marino was born and raised. Friends from the island and other parts of Croatia joined to share some great moments, and you can see some of the best moments in the video below.

Daddyhood Europe is an initiative created from the idea of spreading the importance of the active role of parents in the emotional development of their children. The creators, in addition to promoting the strengthening of this bond through sport and other healthy activities, also pursue the objective of raising awareness among governments and companies about the value of making the presence of parents more flexible both at work and at home.

Now, Daddyhood Europe and dads and their kids across Europe are getting ready for the next stage: the Dadathlon cycling event that goes on between June 20-27th, and they’re inviting all fathers around the world to register, participate, and spend some unforgettable moments with their children.

‘‘We are super happy that so many dads and kids participated in the first event. The feedback has been amazing and we are really looking forward to seeing the next stage’’, says Marino Manzoni, Croatian co-founder of DaddyHood Europe.

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Marino Manzoni, Croatian founder of Daddyhood Europe, and his daughter

One of the participants of the running event was the school principal David Willows from Brussels.

‘‘I ran with my teenage twin daughters and thanks to the Dadathlon event we really pulled ourselves together and started training more focused as a family. We did something I never thought was possible and finished the 15k level. Now we are thinking of signing up for a half marathon after the Dadathlon.

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The Dadathlon race is held virtually across Europe throughout the year. It started with a running event on 17th-24th of April, followed by cycling in June and hiking in September. Although the initial goal was to reach parents all across Europe, participants from all over the world have joined the initiative, including dads from Brazil, United States, South Africa, Australia, and more. Croatian parents are among the biggest groups, more than 20% of the participants were from Croatia.

To complete the full Dadathlon, participants need to do all three stages, but they can also choose to participate in the one or two disciplines that they like the most. Furthermore, there are three different distances to choose from according to one's ability.

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In addition to entering their results, participants can also compete by uploading their best photos.

Dads will be able to upload their time on the platform raceid.com, but it is not a performance competition. Instead, the most inspirational photos and videos will be awarded generous prizes. To do so, participants will need to upload their pictures on Instagram and tag Daddyhood Europe (@daddyhoodeurope) and use the hashtag #DaddyHoodDadathlon.

The virtual races are completely flexible. Each race can be entered separately, the period to complete each race lasts seven days. This allows each competitor to choose the most suitable time and place to start and finish the race, according to their family preferences. This might just be the beginning of this new concept of races for fathers and children.

Check out all the prize winners and motivations of the first stage in this Facebook Album.

You can register for the full Dadathlon race HERE.

You can find the link for the Facebook event of the second stage, Dadathlon Cycling, HERE.

For more about lifestyle in Croatia, visit our dedicated TCN page.

Thursday, 17 June 2021

True Kaštela Crljenak Label Awarded at Creative Spring Days

June 17, 2021 - As part of the Kaštela Creative Spring, a Wine and Gastro Week was held in which the label of excellence, True Kaštela Crljenak, was awarded.

The label is primarily intended for labeling high-quality wines produced from the Kaštela Crljenak variety. The label is awarded to wine producers who have production areas in the area of the town of Kaštela and who are entered in the Register of Grape and Wine Producers, reports Dalmacija Danas

The initiative to design the label of excellence came from Kaštela winemakers and was supported by Mayor Denis Ivanovic and the Tourist Board. In the Bedalov tasting room, an award ceremony of excellence was held for Kaštela winemakers, and eleven of them carried the label of excellence. Namely, Ante Kuzmanić, Karlo Žanić, Ivica Kovačević, Dražen Krolo, Neven Vujina, Ivica Radunić, Anton Kovačev, Vlado Perišin, Marin Milan, Jakša Bedalov and Ivan Kovač Matela are Kastela winemakers whose wines carry the label of excellence.

"Dražen Krolo, a winemaker from Kaštela, planted his vineyard in the Dalmatian hinterland. He was one of the first to plant Kaštela Crljenak in 2003, knowing that it was a variety that originated in this area.

It is a variety that has disappeared from this area for no reason; it is challenging to make wine. We struggled a lot for a couple of years until we got used to it, but we didn’t regret it. This crljenak is, indeed, a brand in the world, and every promotion of crljenak and raising it to a higher level are commendable," said Krolo.

Found 20 years ago

"The mark of excellence is, of course, the wind in the back, one step higher in branding. We are a small group in Kaštela, but we are trying to bring the Kaštela Crljenak to an international level," said Radunić, in whose vineyard the root of zinfandel was found twenty years ago.

"The city of Kaštela has been supporting Crljenak for many years. It has already become our brand, and it still needs to be branded. Through the Creative Spring Days, there is a special emphasis on Kaštela Crljenak, and winemakers will definitely have the support of the City," said the Mayor of Kaštela Denis Ivanović.

Learn all about Croatian wines on our Total Croatia page

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

Thursday, 17 June 2021

First Cruiser in Split after 9 Months Bringing 1200 Tourists on Friday

June 17, 2021 - The first cruiser in Split after 9 months will sail into the Split Port on Friday, bringing 1,200 guests with it. 

Souvenir shops, get ready! On Friday, after a very long time, the first big cruiser arrives in Split, bringing about 1,200 passengers, who should stay there for ten hours, reports Slobodna Dalmacija.

As Vice Mihanović, director of the Split Port, revealed, the luxury cruise ship MSC Splendida should arrive at the external berth of the Split City Port on June 18 at 7 am, and the departure was announced the same day at 5 pm.

"Splendida comes from Corfu, and passengers will leave the cruise to the city in an organized manner, by bus and walking tours. We hope for a good epidemiological situation so that as many ships with tourists as possible enter Split in the coming months," says Vice Mihanović.

Admittedly, a cruiser also arrived in Split before Splendida on Monday, but it is a far smaller ship - the Belle de l’adriatique. The last major cruise ship to Split was seen last September, followed by months of drought that coincided with a bad epidemiological picture in Croatia and around the world.

"Currently, in the announcements for this year, we have the arrival of 155 cruisers in Split, but all this is very uncertain and depends on the pandemic. Failures are common. All this is far from the record 2016 when 286 cruisers came to Split, but the situation is getting a little better, and it will largely depend on ourselves," says the director of the Split Port Authority.

MSC Splendida is a huge ship, 38 meters wide and 333 meters long, can accommodate over three thousand passengers and has over a thousand crew members. There are 1,637 cabins on the cruiser, including 43 for disabled guests or tourists with reduced mobility. It has as many as 18 decks, including 14 for guests.

Splendida offers a wide selection of restaurants, bars, and lounges, four swimming pools, a well-equipped gym, and a luxury spa, award-winning family activities, and facilities, as well as a luxurious MSC Yacht Club with 71 spacious suites and all-day butler service.

As reported by MSC Cruises, the Splendida is their fifth ship to begin regular sailing this summer. MSC Grandios and MSC Seaside sail the western Mediterranean. The MSC Orchestra recently embarked on cruises in the eastern Mediterranean. The flagship of the MSC Virtuos fleet cruises the United Kingdom with reservations open to British guests only.

"They are fully supported by the leading health and safety protocol, under the protection of which tens of thousands of guests, as well as crew members, have been safely sailing onboard the MSC Grandios since its first presentation in August 2020, and protects local communities that visit. MSC Magnifica will continue sailing the eastern Mediterranean on June 20 starting from Italy - they will regularly sail to Split where they will achieve 20 ticks this year," said MSC.

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

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

Thursday, 17 June 2021

Zagreb Tourism Cautiously Returning After Over One Year of Difficulties

June the 17th, 2021 - Following more than one entire year of obstacles, difficulties and for some time entire impossibilities, Zagreb tourism is making a cautious but definite return to life, with June 2021 seeing more foreign visitors arriving for a long awaited city break in the bustling Croatian capital.

As Poslovni Dnevnik/Marija Crnjak writes, after a break of over a year in tourist traffic, which in addition to the pandemic was largely due to the Zagreb and Sisak earthquakes and their obvious consequences, Zagreb tourism is slowly returning to "shape", with an increase in overnight stays and reservations noted, especially for late summer and going into autumn.

Individual guests still predominate when it comes to this current trend in tourist traffic, but leisure and business groups are slowly returning too, and it is interesting that in some hotels most of the guests are Americans.

Those working in the sector have noted their cautious optimism and that their positive feelings increased significantly about one month ago, when the vaccination programme against the novel coronavirus both outside of Croatia and within the country intensified, bringing with it a much more favourable epidemiological picture and a slow easing of anti-epidemic measures.

Croatia's eVisitor statistics

The statistics are so far still modest, but growth is already visible. According to eVisitor, from the beginning of the year to June the 9th, the number of registered overnight stays in Zagreb amounted to almost 363 thousand, which is an increase of 3 percent when compared to last year's tourist traffic. Most overnight stays were realised from other parts of Croatia, followed by Italy, the USA, Germany and neighbouring Bosnia and Herzegovina.

At the same time, out of the total number of realised overnight stays, foreign tourists realised the majority, ie 62 percent of overnight stays on the Zagreb tourism scene. The average number of days of stay is also increasing and amounted to 2.65 overnight stays, the Tourist Board of the City of Zagreb revealed.

As for the share of specific locations, 49 percent of all overnight stays in Zagreb tourism were realised in hotels, 42 percent in private/family accommodation, and the rest in hostels and other types of accommodation.

Compared to the same period back in record, pre-pandemic 2019, the results are currently at the level of 37 percent in overnight stays. Zagreb is also the destination with the highest number of overnight stays realised in the first five months of 2021 compared to other destinations in Croatia.

The statistics for the month of June so far are significantly better than they were back during the same comparable period last year, with an increase in the number of overnight stays of 124 percent being realised during the first 13 days of June, although so far these are low numbers of barely 41 thousand overnight stays. In June, we had about 3,200 guests a day in Zagreb, mostly staying in hotels.

As noted above, so far in June this year, most overnight stays were from other parts of Croatia, followed by the USA, Italy, Germany and Bosnia and Herzegovina. Of foreign visitors, guests from the US took first place in overnight stays in both May and June, which shows a positive recovery trend and the interest of guests from that market, the Tourist Board pointed out.

Representatives of the Zagreb Tourist Board participated in last week's conference of the American Association of Travel Advisers ASTA in Dubrovnik, and noted the great interest American tourists have for Zagreb, which will host about fifty American agents this weekend as part of a study trip to Croatia. The guests from the USA are the most numerous in the Esplanade Hotel, whose numbers are significantly better than the average, revealed the hotel's director Ivica Max Krizmanic.

"There's a growing sense of optimism when it comes to our reservations as well. We expect to end June with an average occupancy rate of 45 percent (just this week we're at 85 percent), and July and August will be at 50 percent occupancy. We expect higher growth in overnight stays in September and October.

As for restaurants and events, we're mostly full, events are returning, there are some business groups here and there. Most of the guests are individual guests, but this is a trend that started even before the pandemic struck and is desirable because these are guests who tend to spend more,'' explained the director of the much loved Esplanade Hotel. Current predictions are that Zagreb's beautiful Hotel Esplanade will end 2021 with 50 percent of the revenue it generated back in 2019.

Josipa Jutt Ferlan, the director of Zagreb City Hotels and the cluster general manager for Hilton in Zagreb, who is also the president of the Hotel Association of the Croatian Chamber of Commerce, pointed out that there is a positive atmosphere in the sector.

''Aside from that short period last spring, despite the low traffic, Canopy (Hilton) remained open all the time for restaurant guests who settled in and came to us regularly for breakfast and coffee, and we introduced delivery at a time when hotels had to be closed to guests. The decision to stay open proved to be the right one, and we're glad that we didn't take away the habits that were important to our fellow citizens,'' pointed out Jutt Ferlan.

In addition to the increased interest of individuals in the leisure and business segment, since the vaccination programme was intensified, including mass vaccinations in companies, interest in various events has increased in Hilton's hotels in Zagreb, adding to the spring put back in the step of the Zagreb tourism sector.

"People are hungry for a bit of everything, especially socialising in person again, and we can see this in the increased number of inquiries for conferences and business events, and the decline in interest in hybrid events. Although technology allows us to do this, and we've accelerated the development and use of digital platforms during the pandemic, we mustn't forget that humans are social beings and that rallies have survived much greater crises than this pandemic, including wars.

It turned out that nothing could replace live meetings, and that when it comes to online events, a large proportion of participants get involved only technically, and actually do something else. Therefore, I believe that the event segment of our business will return very soon,'' concluded Jutt Ferlan.

For more on Zagreb tourism and all you need to know about the Croatian capital in 2021, check out Zagreb in a Page.

Thursday, 17 June 2021

Indian Ambassador to Croatia Discusses Yoga, EU, Tech and Diplomacy

June the 17th, 2021 - It might seem like India and Croatia couldn't be further apart, but there are some ties which bind. The Indian Ambassador to Croatia sat down to discuss many topics, from Croatia's EU-related plans to tech, culture and yoga.

As Poslovni Dnevnik/Lucija Spiljak writes, here in Croatia, June the 21st, known as the longest day of the year, will see International Yoga Day marked in more than 30 cities. Here in the country, the marking of this day will be organised by the Embassy of India in Croatia, which continuously highlights the positive effects and traditional systems such as yoga that are effective in boosting immunity.

Participation is free, and in addition to yoga for all age groups, participants will have the opportunity to enjoy a presentation by yoga teachers and experts. Next year, on August the 15th, India celebrates 75 years of independence, but also 30 years of establishing diplomatic relations between Croatia and India.

On that occasion, Nj. E. Raj Kumar Srivastava, the Indian Ambassador to Croatia, talked about the current bilateral relations between Croatia and India, why Indians are interested in Croatia, what the digital ecosystem of India and Croatia is like, but also how yoga enriches Croatia's tourist offer.

You've been living and working in Croatia for more than half a year. What are your impressions?

''Croatia is a beautiful country, full of natural, cultural and ethnic diversity. Although it's 1/60 the size of India in terms of geographical area, there's a lot on offer just because of these varieties. Croatia has a very rich and much longer history that gives the Croatian people a sense of pride and self-respect. This is visible when you communicate with people from Croatia.

This country is also building a future towards becoming a fully European country by joining all EU instruments in the years to come. This opens the way for Croatia to further develop towards political, economic and strategic development. As the Ambassador of India to Croatia, I witness opportunities to further strengthen our bilateral relations G2G (government to government), B2B (business-to-business) and P2P (people to people) on a daily basis.''

Next year, Croatia and India will celebrate 30 years of having established diplomatic relations. How would you rate that relationship and collaboration today?

''During these 30 years, both India and Croatia have grown, and our bilateral relations in all spheres have also developed. With the exponential growth expected in India over the next two decades as Croatia becomes a fully European country and joins Schengen and the Eurozone, the future of our bilateral relations will be significantly upgraded.

We need to reduce the information gap that exists about the growing opportunities to improve our engagements for the mutual benefit of our people, and I see here the role of our embassy which is proactive and which sees our role in promoting not only India in Croatia but also Croatia in India.''

It has been stated before that you're very interested in the IT industry and new technologies. How do you rate the IT sector and the startup scene in Croatia? What is the digital ecosystem of India, and on the other hand, what's it like in Croatia?

''Technology has played an important role for developing countries that have moved to a higher level of development at exponential rates. For a country the size of India, it's important to leverage the technology and skills of our human resources to make our demographic challenge a demographic profit. The importance of digital technologies has been further highlighted by the ongoing coronavirus pandemic in which these technologies have enabled connections between customers and service providers, whether it be in the fields of health, education, business, politics, or even in diplomacy.

Therefore, one of my priorities is to connect the digital ecosystem of India, which is among the best in the world, with the Croatian technological ecosystem in favour of our friends from Croatia, more so than it being other way around. An Indo-Croatian Talent Partnership would be extremely complementary to the demographics of Europe and Croatia.

That's why we're developing a skills-based collaboration programme where experienced people from India can help the technological ecosystem in Croatia to grow further. This is being conceived through new initiatives between universities in India and Croatia to connect young talent, thus ensuring future relations between the two countries.''

What is the interest when it comes to travel and tourism of Indians towards Croatia, and vice versa?

''Before the pandemic hit the world in 2020, nearly 70,000 Indian tourists visited Croatia in 2019. That number will definitely be better when travel starts again, hopefully as soon as possible in the coming months.

Similarly, there are many Croatian tourists who would like life-changing experiences in various aspects of thematic tourism that India offers - from wellness to adventure, from wildlife to lavish splendor, from beaches to mountains to innovation and spirituality.

India is very well known among the Croatian people. There are many Croatian companies that have been present on the Indian market for more than ten years now, and the number of such companies will likely only increase in the coming years if joint efforts begin to expand the opportunities available over in India.

Croats also know a lot about Indian culture and tradition, including some Croats who shared their very surreal “déjà vu” experience when they first landed in India - meaning they felt very comfortable and at home despite the differences between the two countries in terms of development and demographics.''

Here in Croatia, as in the res tof the world, June the 21st is marked as International Yoga Day. What's the level of interest Croats have in yoga and how can it enrich the Croatian tourist offer?

''There are historical ties between the peoples of our two countries and there are newly built relations between the younger generations. Yoga and Ayurveda are two important areas for human well-being, and have also been practiced in Croatia for a long time with the help of many Croatian teachers and experts, especially during these pandemic-dominated times when the qualities of yoga and ayurveda to boost immunity are being recognised worldwide, including by the WHO (World Health Organisation).

International Yoga Day is now being celebrated on June the 21st, the day declared by the United Nations back in 2015, and this year it will be celebrated all over the world, including here in Croatia in more than 30 locations. Yoga brings with it the positive energy of inclusion, it creates harmony between the body and the mind, humanity and nature, and human consciousness with universal consciousness.

Increased popularity and facilities related to yoga in tourist locations in Croatia would definitely increase the wellness of visitors and therefore it would be useful for the Croatian tourist offer to add the topic of wellness to the package,'' concluded the Indian Ambassador to Croatia.

For more information on the Indian Ambassador to Croatia and much, much more, follow our dedicated politics section.

Thursday, 17 June 2021

For Germans, Record September in Croatia on Cards if Lockdown Avoided

June the 17th, 2021 - When it comes to German tourists, Croatia has always been a firm favourite and the sight of a German convoy of motorhomes carrying bikes and small boats bombing along the motorway to the Adriatic coast isn't an unusual sight in normal years. Thankfully, this sight has gradually started to become the norm again, and if lockdowns can be avoided, as far as the Germans are concerned, there could be a record September in Croatia this year.

As Poslovni Dnevnik writes, Selimir Ognjenovic, the head of the Munich tour operator ID Riva tours, was present at a recently held meeting between the Minister of Tourism and Sport, Nikolina Brnjac, and Karlheinz Jungbeck, the Deputy President of the respected and well known German Auto Club ADAC.

Commenting on the encouraging travel and tourism announcements from the German market, he said that this car club is the right place from which to send a message about Croatia's safety and readiness to welcome foreign guests once again. He also pointed out that the Croatian Safe stay project had been met with a great response.

"People who arrive in Croatia by car are, of course, our focus, that is, they've been important before, however, given the situation, it's clear that all eyes are on them, and that air traffic will still take a bit longer to recover from this.

As for the situation in Bavaria and the announcement for the upcoming season, I can say that the Bavarian capital has come back to life, even faster than I expected, and we have 250 to 300 inquiries and reservations a day, which is almost like it is during even the best months.

What does represent a problem, however, is the very short time for the realisation of these announcements, given that a good part of the booking in normal years is done at the end of the year or in February. I'd say that the success of the tourist season will depend on how long it will last, or how long things in the off-season will last.

If we aren't put back into another lockdown due to the possible deterioration of the epidemiological situation, and that remains the basic condition for arrivals, September in Croatia will be a record one for us.

For that reason, Minister Brnjac's meeting with German bus companies, which are also an important part of the pre- and post-season in Croatia, and which suffered a strong blow due to the pandemic in the form of reduced traffic, is extremely important,'' Selimir Ognjenovic told Novi list of the potential for a fantastic September in Croatia.

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Thursday, 17 June 2021

VIDEO: David Skoko Records British Chef Gordon Ramsay Speaking Croatian

June the 17th, 2021 - Can you imagine Gordon Ramsay speaking Croatian? The short-tempered British chef is well known for his more than colourful use of the English language, to put it politely. His hot headed swearing and creative insults on popular programmes such as Hell's Kitchen made him known globally, that and his skills in the kitchen, that is.

Croatian is a complex and extremely rich language when it comes to swearing. In no other language I have personally heard does anyone's mother get dragged into everything quite so much, and this colourful way of expressing oneself is always as popular as it is a bit shocking among non-Croatian speakers when they are taught what certain words and phrases mean. Pair this with Gordon Ramsay's tongue and I wouldn't want to imagine what could be said. Thankfully, Ramsay and Croatian don't quite seem to go too well together.

Much loved Croatian chef David Skoko posted a video on his Instagram of Gordon Ramsay speaking Croatian. It's safe to say that unlike his skills in the cooking department, his Croatian needs some considerable work.

As Morski writes, celebrity Croatian chef David Skoko posted a video on his Instagram profile in which his young son Anton is teaching, or at least trying his very best to, the famous British chef Gordon Ramsay some words in Croatian language.

The recording was actually made last summer during the filming of Ramsay's documentary show Uncharted, as part of which he also recorded his culinary adventures here in Croatia, as reported by Index.

Gordon Ramsay speaking Croatian is an amusing struggle to listen to as the talented chef twists his tongue trying to pronounce words such as susnjezica (sleet) and kukuruz (corn), making his young teacher Anton laugh. In the end, he concluded that words in Croatian are just too long.

Watch the video below:

Fancy going a step beyong even Ramsay in the swear word department and giving swearing in Croatian a go? Find out all of the many ways the beloved ''J word'' can be employed with this extensive list, coupled with English translations and instructions for use!

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