Friday, 7 October 2022

Croatian Returnee Reflections: Zeljka Tomljenovic, from London to Zagreb

October 8, 2022 - Whisper it quietly, but more and more people are relocating to Croatia from the diaspora. In a new TCN series, we meet them to find out how they are faring and what advice they have for others thinking of making the switch. Next up is Zeljka Tomljenovic, who moved from London to Zagreb. 

I was born in Slavonski Brod, where I went to primary school then I went to secondary school in Bosanski Brod. I completed the rest of my formal education at the University of Novi Sad. This variety of places where I lived in Former Yugoslavia seems to set me up for my future of travel in the years to come. Then my life brought me to London, where I lived and worked for the next twenty-six years where I experienced the life that only metropolitan cities can provide. My work there was in the event management industry, and also I volunteered for the charity organization, The British-Croatian Society. 


1. You made the switch to Croatia. Tell us a little about the decision process and how long it took for you to get on the plane.

Funny to say, but it was not a decision at all. It was rather an accidental step that had happened swiftly without my consideration that brought me to Croatia. When I realized that the Paddington area, where I worked, as well as the whole of London, was getting emptier by day to day due to the Covid-19 closure, I had to pack up my stuff and secure one of the last seats on a plane to Zagreb. 


2. What did your family and community back home think of your decision at the time? 

When I arrived in Zagreb, the situation and outcome of the Covid-19 crisis were very uncertain, so my return at that particular moment seemed a logical step regarding the circumstances. At that time, I started working from home, believing that it would be just a temporary solution. I felt very supported by my family and friends. As the whole world around me was closing down, coming back to Croatia was a move in the right direction and at the right moment.  The funniest reactions on my return I am still receiving from those people that have never lived abroad. They normally look me in the eye with a bit of pity, asking me whether I am really aware of what I've done :-). 


3. Where did you get your information about the realities of Croatia prior to coming?

My touch with Croatia and its reality was continuous through the years I lived in the UK. Also, through my activities with The British-Croatian Society, the charity organization that promotes links between HR & UK for many years, I kept my relations with both countries widely open.  


4. What were you most nervous about making the switch? What was your biggest fear, and what was the reality of what you found?

It was a very big decision. No doubt about that. My life and work were set up in London, I was always on the go, I had a lot of friends and colleagues there, and I had a busy social life. I was not surprised by anything I found here as I was coming to Croatia quite frequently, and I was fully aware of its reality.


5. Think back to the time before you arrived. What were your perceptions about Croatia, and how were they different from the reality you encountered?

Life is not always greener on the other side. Once you make a permanent living in a place, it is not going to be the same as the one you remember from going on holiday. In my own experience, I have gained by this move that the freedom to do with my time what I like and not somebody else is the most valuable asset of mine. I have my free time on my hands, and I can do with it whatever I like. I could not dream about that in my previous life in London, where I knew my agenda months ahead, and most of my time I was spending just working.


6. You are still here, so obviously, the pros outweigh the cons. Tell us about some of the things that you love about being in Croatia, as well as some of the things you don't like.

The best thing about my accidental return to Croatia is the more free time I have here. The pace of life is much slower here than in London. There's always the possibility to find time for a coffee with family and friends, personal interests and hobbies, or whatever your interests are. However, dealing with the unavoidable bureaucracy in Croatia is a tough matter, and that's an understatement. Be prepared to visit many government offices in order to get one single document. The same document in the UK you would get by simply pushing the button on your computer.  Croats are not very good at respecting the rules of queuing. Getting in and out of public transport is very often a nightmare, and the best sample of that.  Another thing that I hate in Zagreb is the rundown gray facades of beautiful former palaces mostly covered by ugly graffiti, which are actually nothing more than pure vandalism. Then permitted smoking in most coffee shops, widely spread corruption, poverty among a huge number of the population ... that's just to get me started.  


7. What advice do you have for others thinking about making a move from the diaspora?

I would advise everybody considering the possibility of moving to Croatia to get informed as much as possible about the Croatian reality through different sources. They must be ready for a different lifestyle, habits, and mentality completely different from the one they have used to. Nothing is 100% perfect neither is everything so bad. There's no perfect recipe for success - everyone should have their own experience. Let them step out of their comfort zone with open eyes and open minds seeking the positive sides of Croatia. Let them enjoy new opportunities in life that Croatia offers.


8. How do you think Croatia can better assist those who are looking to return to the Homeland?

It has to be the government's decision to support and stimulate people to settle in Croatia enforced by its real action giving them reasons why they should live in Croatia. They would help those willing to learn the language and integrate into society. They would make the bureaucratic procedures simpler; they would establish centers for language learning, give advice on how to find a place to live, etc.

A brilliant sample of individual initiatives opposite of slow government-run organizations is the project Digital Nomads, set up by Mr. Jan de Jong. What a wonderful project that made a huge difference in terms of the contribution of qualified foreign workers moving into Croatia. 


Thanks, Zeljka, and good luck with

You can follow more stories in the Croatian Returnee Reflections series in our dedicated TCN section.

Would you like your returnee story - positive or negative - to be featured in this series? Contact This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. Subject Returnee.


What's it like living in Croatia, and where can you get the best survival tips? TCN CEO Paul Bradbury and TCN Editor Lauren Simmonds have teamed up to publish Croatia, a Survival Kit for Foreigners.

Follow Paul Bradbury on LinkedIn.


Friday, 7 October 2022

Second Edition of Mammothfest Kicks Off in Mammoth Valley of Mohovo

October 7, 2022 - The story of Mohovo slowly but surely becoming known as the mammoth valley of Croatia continues in a festive spirit. It has been ten years since the first discovery of a mammoth tooth. A group of local creative souls and enthusiasts decided that the area with such a long and rich history deserves recognition. Welcome to the second edition of Mammothfest!

As the portal Turističke Priče writes, the Dolina Mamuta (Mammoth Valley) Association, with the support of the community, is organising the second Mammothfest. The festival program is rich, and the star is a life-size mammoth! Over two days - October 7 and 8 - a series of events has been organised for the residents of Mohovo and all other visitors. There are currently a little more than 150 residents in Mohovo, and the organiser's wish is to popularise their village through this unique event and do something so that young people would stay there.


A series of workshops focused on ecology will be organised for children specifically, where they will have the opportunity to see how "čerpić" or mud bricks were made, of which houses were once built. An exhibition is on the agenda for Saturday, where some of the fossils found so far will be exhibited, including mammoth teeth, accompanied by textual descriptions that will explain the finds, as well as the animals that lived in these areas in some ancient age.


The programme begins on Friday, October 7, at 4 p.m. with various workshops for children, and the first day of the festival will end with a concert by Dalibor Greks.

The programme of the second day of the festival begins at 12:30 p.m. with the opening of the fossil exhibition organised on the occasion of the tenth anniversary of the discovery of the first mammoth tooth in Mohovo. At 2:00 p.m., the program titled "Fairytale Storyteller" begins, in which Sandra Vukoja will tell fairy tales to the youngest. At 3:00 p.m., workshops for children continue, as well as a surprise performance. At 5:00 p.m., the Painting of Historical Motifs workshop begins, and at 7:30 p.m., the Mammothfest kettle, i.e., a dinner of shepherd's stew for all visitors, is announced. The programme ends with a concert by Ivan Štivić and the Begeš Tambura ensemble at 8:30 p.m.


On the eve of the 2nd MAMMOTHFEST, a life-size mammoth has been placed in the centre of the village, which will undoubtedly be a lovely photo point. Come to Mohovo, learn about mammoths, taste some stew, and enjoy good music in beautiful surroundings!

Photos: Dolina Mamuta Association

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

Friday, 7 October 2022

Croatian Tourism Days: Slavonia Receives the Most Successful Region Award

October 7, 2022 - Last night, at the traditional conference of tourism workers - the Croatian Tourism Days (DHT) in Šibenik, the first part of this year's awards was given to the best in tourism. Osijek received the most successful Continental City Tourism Destination award, while Slavonia, with all five counties, was declared the most successful rural tourism destination.

As Radio Osijek writes, another award has arrived in Slavonia, more precisely to the Vukovar-Srijem County. Rujana Bušić Srpak, director of the Vukovar-Srijem County Tourist Board, is the employee of the year in the Tourist Board system. And Varja Guttert from Nature Park Kopački Rit was the best tourist guide.

Country club Terra Negra also received recognition as a finalist in the category of a unique gastronomic experience of the year.

"This award is the result of the work of all Osijek tourism workers, restaurateurs, and citizens because they make our city an authentic destination," said Osijek Mayor Ivan Radić, thanking for the award, which declared Osijek the most successful continental city tourism destination.


Hrvoje Jelavic / PIXSELL

"Skyrocketing numbers confirm that Osijek is the most successful continental city tourism destination. For example, this year's September is 30 percent better in overnight stays compared to the record year of 2019. Even for last year's Advent, Easter, and until the summer months just finished, the previous records for the number of arrivals and overnight stays were broken," continued Radić and pointed out that the city is investing in tourist infrastructure: "We renovated the swimming pools at Copacabana in Osijek, which in a month and a half attracted more than 30 thousand visitors. We also landscaped the Drava beach at Kopika. We are restoring the historical core of Tvrđa, which will soon become the pearl of Osijek tourism again. We are building a concert hall. The major renovation of the Osijek Airport is also underway. And the promenade along the Drava - our famous Promenade - will, once we connect the Lower and Upper Towns, become the longest promenade in this part of Europe. We also renovated the pedestrian bridge, a symbol of Osijek and a favorite photo point of our guests," said Radić.

He emphasized that numerous and well-organised sports and cultural and entertainment events contribute to excellent results. "Because that's what Osijek is - a city of sports, a city of culture and entertainment, a city of delicious food, good wines, and authentic socialisation. A city of parks, walks, bicycles, good and open people, and a pleasant place during all four seasons. A city that does not have a season, but a good year-round dynamic, from competitive adrenaline on the sports fields, through summer refreshments at Kopika, to the inner warmth of Advent", the mayor of Osijek stated with satisfaction.

The second part of the awards will be presented today, October 7, for the best in tourism, and among them is the "Anton Štifanić" award in the company/institution/association and individual category, the lifetime achievement award, and special recognitions for exceptional contribution to the promotion of the Republic of Croatia and application of the principles of sustainable development.

As questionable as some of the Croatian Tourist Board's choices are, like their official promo video, the awards given out to Slavonia and Osijek were more than deserved. Congratulations to the recipients!

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

Friday, 7 October 2022

Large Sums of Cash for Croatian Schools Which Promote Tourism Careers

October the 7th, 2022 - There are considerable sums of cash on offer to those Croatian schools which choose to incorporate education and training for careers in tourism for their students.

As Poslovni Dnevnik writes, until November the 2nd this year, the Ministry of Tourism and Sport (MINTS) will be conducting a competition for the projects of secondary vocational and art schools that promote and strengthen their competencies for professions in the field of tourism, for which one million kuna has been earmarked.

This public call was announced by MINTS at the beginning of this week, and it is in the wider scope of the ministry's long-term participation in financing the costs of creating projects for Croatian schools which work to better connect the education system and employers in the field of tourism, as well as to improve accessibility for tourists with disabilities.

Projects that lead to mitigating the impact of tourism on the climate and environment and vice versa are also being considered. All secondary vocational and art schools across the Republic of Croatia can apply for the public call, either independently or in partnership with one or more other Croatian schools. One school can request a maximum of 25,000 kuna, or 50,000 kuna if there are more than one.

This year, MINTS wants to promote tourism professions and high school education for the field of hospitality and tourism, and encourage Croatian schools and their students to strengthen their education for these professions. The topic of sustainable business and employment will also very much be in focus over this year's Days of Croatian Tourism in Sibenik.

"There can be no competitive tourism without high-quality and professional personnel, that's why we gave the opportunity to young high school students who will present their own projects and solutions as to how tourism can combine tradition and new technologies in a very innovative way, as well as address also challenges and solutions," said the Minister of Tourism and Sport, Nikolina Brnjac.

During the Days of Croatian Tourism for the year 2022, an event taking place now, prizes and awards will be given to all those who raise the bar for the quality of Croatian tourism.

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

Friday, 7 October 2022

Race for 2.2 Billion Kuna Post-Pandemic Croatian Tourism Aid Package Begins

October the 7th, 2022 - The proverbial race for a massive 2.2 billion kuna post-pandemic Croatian tourism aid package is now on, with the focus being placed on the continental part of the country as well as on the coast.

As Poslovni Dnevnik/Marija Crnjak writes, on Wednesday this week, the Ministry of Tourism and Sport announced public calls/invitations for the National Recovery and Resilience Plan (Croatian: NPOO) which comes with a total value of 2.2 billion kuna.

"I'm extremely proud that we've managed to reach this step, because the road to it was extremely demanding. I consider the fact that 2.2 billion kuna has been provided for a Croatian tourism aid package within the National Recovery and Resilience Plan a huge success and a great pledge for the achievement of the goals we've outlined in our Strategy for the Development of Sustainable Tourism, which will be adopted this year.

We started this process from a position where there was no provision for funding tourism down on the coast, nor tourism that takes place during the summer, and we've reached this moment when we have 930 million kuna in grants for public tourist infrastructure and as much as 1.25 billion kuna in grants for investment in private tourism infrastructure, both in the continental part of the country and on the coast," said Minister of Tourism and Sport, Nikolina Brnjac.

To speak more specifically, this regards two public calls. The public call for grants called "The regional diversification and specialisation of Croatian tourism through investments in the development of tourism products with high added value" carries with it a total value of 930 million kuna.

Its goal is the construction and adaptation of public tourist infrastructure that can stimulate the recovery and resilience of the Croatian tourism sector, contribute to the reduction of excessive tourism in the most developed tourist areas and the stronger tourist profiling of less developed destinations. As a Croatian tourism aid package, it is seeking to ''level up'' the country's tourist offer in a more well-rounded way.

These projects will also contribute to raising the quality of the destinations they regard and enable the extension of the tourist season through the encouragement of sustainable forms of tourism and the development and further adaptation of public tourist infrastructure in accordance with EU environmental protection standards, which also contributes to the green transition.

The second public call is for private companies and is worth a massive 1.25 billion kuna, and its purpose is the construction of tourism infrastructure, the development of tourism products acceptable to the environment and the efficiency of resources, especially those in less developed touristic areas by connecting enterprises in the tourism value chain, increasing the resilience and productivity of companies, as well as allowing for their better positioning on the demanding market through the introduction of innovation and digital technologies.

"Last year, the Ministry of Tourism and Sport started holding a series of workshops with all interested parties throughout the Republic of Croatia, and both invitations were also announced at a public consultation so that everyone would have an equal opportunity to submit their comments. In order to achieve maximum transparency, grants from these two calls will be awarded through an open procedure.

The applicants will be able to enter their project proposals into the eNPOO system from November the 7th, 2022, from 12:00 to February the 3rd, 2023, until 12:00. which means that everyone in the Croatian tourism sector has another thirty days to familiarise themselves with the documentation in great detail before submitting their project applications, and they're also free to ask questions about possible ambiguities. These invitations will be open for a total of slightly longer than 120 days,'' the Ministry revealed.

For more, make sure to check out our dedicated politics and business sections.

Friday, 7 October 2022

Croatian Educational Campaign About Integrating Ukrainian Families Begins

October the 7th, 2022 - A praiseworthy Croatian educational campaign aimed at raising public awareness about the importance of accepting Ukrainian families who have fled from their war-torn homeland has kicked off.

As Poslovni Dnevnik writes, the very first words of the educational video created by the Centre for Missing and Abused Children which aims to shed light on the importance of the acceptance and integration of displaced persons are that ''we're all born free, mum says that the entire world is ours. I guess we should know that, because we've seen it all.''

Since the end of February this year and the beginning of the armed conflict in Ukraine following Russian invasion, we have been witnessing wanton destruction in that country by Russian forces, due to which many Ukrainian families were forced to leave their homes and flee the country entirely.

In order to provide displaced persons with the best possible support, the Centre for Missing and Abused Children has launched an informative Croatian educational campaign called Sinergija integracije/Synergy of Integration, which is being financially supported by the Office for NGOs of the Croatian Government and which aims to provide displaced persons, in this case those individuals are primarily Ukrainian families, with faster and easier access to all necessary information about protection, help, education and getting into work.

"With this Croatian educational campaign, we want to increase the level of awareness of the wider public about the needs of integration of Ukrainian families in the area of ​​Osijek-Baranja County, but also in other parts of Croatia. In addition to the video, which aims to provide a sense of hope, togetherness and love, we also created other promotional and educational materials such as picture books, colouring books and short stories, with which we want to ensure the reduction of the language barrier and connect children from different cultures,'' said Tomislav Ramljak, head of the Centre.

The Synergy of Integration campaign is part of the wider Slavonian heart for families of Ukraine action/Slavonsko srce za obitelji Ukrajine plan, as part of which an Info Centre for displaced persons from Ukraine was established in Osijek, where they could get all the information about their registration of residence, temporary protection, rights from the social welfare system, employment, healthcare and education. Back at the beginning of June, the Day Centre was established, where various activities and workshops for displaced persons from Ukraine are being held every day.

The Centre for Missing and Abused Children is otherwise a leading organisation that has been operating for more than fifteen years in the field of protecting children from abuse and sexual exploitation on the Internet. It takes care of children who are having to cope in unfavourable living conditions every day and tries to raise the quality of their lives. In cooperation with the wider community, various experts and competent institutions, the Centre works to prevent the disappearance of children and provides support to families in crisis situations.

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

Friday, 7 October 2022

Croatian Island Movement Accepted into European Small Islands Federation

October the 7th, 2022 - The Croatian Island Movement (Pokret otoka), which works to take care of and further improve the needs of the inhabitants of Croatia's many islands, has been accepted into the European Small Islands Federation.

As Morski writes, at a recently held meeting of the Board of Directors of the European Federation of Small Islands (ESIN), the decision to accept the Croatian Island Movement as a representative of Croatia's islands was confirmed.

On September the 7th and 8th, the Croatian Island Movement participated as an observer during the ESIN annual assembly which was held on the Estonian island of Kihnu, at which the proposal of the president of the federation, John Walsh, to admit a new organisation from the Republic of Croatia to membership was accepted.

After the unanimous support of the Assembly, composed of representatives of the Finnish, Aland, Swedish, Danish, Irish, Scottish and French islands, the Croatian Island Movement became a full member of the ESIN, cemented by recent participation with the Board of Directors.

The ESIN is otherwise a European organisation founded back in 2001 with its official headquarters located in Sweden, and it brings together the representatives of over 1,500 small European islands which are home to over 350,000 islanders in total.

As a network of islanders, the federation enables the exchange of experiences, knowledge and best practices at the local level, advocates and develops a new approach to island development policies, and is the voice of small island communities at the European Union (EU) level. As the Croatian representative, Island Movement (Pokret otoka) will continue to promote the importance of sustainable development, community work and a bottom-up approach to development policies in and through the ESIN.

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

Friday, 7 October 2022

Ajme Meni! Shocking Truth of Amazing Official 'Croatian Tourism Month' Project

October 7, 2022 - Ajme Meni! If you ever wanted an example of the difference between what our tourism gurus tell us, and the reality, read on - a closer look at the wonderfully successful 'Croatian Tourism Month.'

I have moved on from writing about Croatian tourism. Our new book, Croatia, a Survival Kit for Foreigners, is out next week. My new departure into the world of YouTubing brought over 50k views with the first video, and I have just been offered my own TV show.

Apart from some client commitments, I had moved on from Croatian tourism being a main focus. 

Or so I thought. 

One event I really enjoy attending each year is the annual Days of Croatian Tourism in October. It is a wonderful affair, where all official tourism workers gather for 2-3 days to congratulate themselves on another successful season. There is great food, wine, entertainment, endless selfies, and awards, awards, awards. It really is a splendid affair, so splendid that last year I renamed it as Days of Croatian Self-Congratulation. You can read more in my article on last year's gathering - Ever Been to a Party Where the Host is Suing You?

Because I am one of the rare attendees who offers some constructive criticism on occasion, I am not particularly welcome at the event in certain quarters, perhaps even more so now that the Croatian National Tourism Board decided to sue me twice in 2020 (the only blogger/journalist to be sued by them that year - cases ongoing). The reaction when I walk into the room is always wonderful - and threefold. There are those who turn their backs and want nothing to do with me. There are those who welcome me as a friend and express appreciation for what I do. And there is a bigger number who turn their backs but message me privately saying that it is nothing personal and we can meet for beers in their hometown, but that they can't be seen to be a fan of mine at such an event. 

I totally understand, for after many years, I know how Croatia works. 

I decided to come to Days of Croatian Self-Congratulation in Sibenik with the sole intention of enjoying and catching up with friends and clients. And then...

Last night's round of self-congratulations was only a warm-up to the main event tonight, which will be beamed live on national television and attended by the Prime Minister. Sustainable tourism, extending the season, all the usual buzzwords will be trotted out as usual. There is an ongoing project, Croatian Tourism Month, of which all the kings are very proud - their effort to extend the season, and a tremendous success if you believe all the official words. 


I smiled when I saw a headline in the Croatian media yesterday. Apparently, the promo video for Croatian Tourism Month, just 30 seconds, included some stock footage of a train in Norway. It must be hard to get such things right when you are busy congratulating yourself so much. 

Just for fun, I checked the stats and info below the video.


Almost a million views, but only 7 likes. Comments turned off, the post only in Croatian, and no live link to the dedicated website (which is also in Croatian only, despite Croatian National Tourist Board Director saying that the project was also targeted at foreign tourists). 

Last year I was more than a little shocked when I checked the site to find that the ONLY thing to eat all month on this incredible project was popcorn in several counties. Yep, had Cinestar not offered 35% off their popcorn, there would have been nothing to eat in four counties. (Read more in Gourmet Croatia: 35% Off Popcorn the Only Offer in Kingdom of Accidental Tourism)


Come back Cinestar!

This year the ONLY things currently available (one week into this wonderful month-long promotion) is strukli and a wine tasting in Zabok.

And that's it.

For the whole country. 


In fact, if you take accommodation out of the offer, here is what this incredible promotion has to offer in numbers:

24 - cultural attractions

26 - active tourism

13 - natural attractions

4 - wellness

1 - sailing

5 - excursions

1 - transfers (a discount on motorway tolls ENC)

18 - package holidays

2 - rural tourism

67 - experiences

The 67 experiences are fascinating. They include things like walking through Tunnel Gric in Zagreb, something I do every day, finding the planets of the sun, or taking the Zagreb funicular. All without discounts. And if you look a little closer, there is a little disclaimer:


Bajkovite prirodne i kulturne znamenitosti. Očaravajući mirisi i zvuci. Odjeci davne prošlosti. Iako nisu dio ponude akcije "Mjesec hrvatskog turizma", posjetite ove znamenitosti tokom godine i doživite Hrvatsku na jedinstven način.


Fairytale natural and cultural sights. Enchanting smells and sounds. Echoes of the ancient past. Although they are not part of the "Month of Croatian Tourism" offer, visit these sights throughout the year and experience Croatia in a unique way.

So if we take out the experiences and the accommodation, we are going to be pretty hungry with nothing to do. 

Officially, however, it seems that this excellent project is one of the saviours of 12-month tourism in Croatia, with Minister of Tourism and Sports, Nikolina Brnjac claiming in the press release:

The month of Croatian tourism, which we started at the beginning of my term as a weekly event, and last year was extended to a month due to great interest, certainly contributed to these results.

Like so many things in Croatian tourism, the idea is not bad, the execution appalling. Offering discounts of 35% in the shoulder or low season to encourage people to travel then makes sense. 

Except October is not the shoulder or low season on the continent. It may be on the coast which is where most interest and resources are invested. And expecting small businesses to take 35% off the bottom line is crazy. Being a little more creative and perhaps taking off VAT on services might attract more interest from service providers. Interestingly, the Amadria Park in Sibenik, which is hosting Days of Croatian Self-Congratulation, is not part of the Croatian Tourism Month programme.

One well-known and very successful hotelier in continental Croatia told me that the kings had asked if she was interested in joining the programme and offering a 35% discount in the month of October. She is already overbooked for the month, and her reply was brilliant:

"I will be the first to give a 35% discount in October, one of my busiest months, when I see hotels in Dalmatia offering a 35% discount in August."


Osijek, 91% booked tonight. Things may be slow on the coast right now, but if one of the aims is to boost continental tourism, they have picked the wrong month. 

I am looking forward to tonight, to see how much praise will be heaped on this wonderful official initiative. Sadly, unlike last year's Croatian Tourism Month, I won't be able to ask someone to pass the popcorn. Strukli, anyone?


Read more - What is it like to be sued by the Croatian National Tourist Board?

What's it like living in Croatia, and where can you get the best survival tips? TCN CEO Paul Bradbury and TCN Editor Lauren Simmonds have teamed up to publish Croatia, a Survival Kit for Foreigners.

Follow Paul Bradbury on LinkedIn.





Thursday, 6 October 2022

Croatian Tourism Days Kicks Off : Norway Stock Video for Official Promo?

October 6, 2022 - October is Croatian Tourism Month and the National Tourist Board organised its annual Croatian Tourism Days. And so another edition of the Days of Croatian Self-Congratulation has kicked off with a bang. This year's promo video, it seems, needed to be spiced up. So they did what anyone would do. Use stock footage of a train in Norway.

As RTL writes, the Croatian Tourism Month is an action of the Ministry of Tourism and Sports and the Croatian Tourist Board, which is taking place from October 1 to 31 of this year. It will enable all citizens of Croatia to visit and get to know other parts of our country at discounted prices, according to the official website of the mentioned action.

The goal of the project is to encourage domestic tourism and increase tourist traffic in the post-season, according to the description of the project. However, it seems that the way in which they decided to promote the Croatian Tourism Month is interesting. As if there wasn't enough natural beauty and potential in Lijepa Naša, stock video of a train traveling from Oslo to Bergen in Norway was used to illustrate the railway in the promo video.

The official Croatian Tourist Board promo video

The frames are identical, which is blatantly obvious. The only differences are in the colours and contrast, as those who analysed the video noticed. This sparked a discussion on social networks, where the airport used in the video was also criticised.

Whether or not this was a blunder in the promotion of Croatian tourism, you can judge for yourself after watching the original video HERE.

RTL sent an inquiry about the video to HTZ and the Ministry of Tourism and Sports, the reply to be published as soon as they receive one.


What is also quite interesting about this involvement is the total lack of engagement by those who have watched it. Almost one million views, but just 7 likes. Comments are turned off and the info about the official website for the promotion is not hyperlinked. It is a good job that tourists come anyway, without such excellent promotion. 

Stay tuned, and make sure to check out our dedicated Lifestyle section for more.


Thursday, 6 October 2022

Korčulanske Pjatance: the Korčula Foodie Festival, First Time in Autumn

October 6, 2022 - The organisers would like to invite you to join the celebration of the traditions and food on the island of Korčula, the festival called Korčulanske pjatance, this year held in October for the first time, in the weekend of 20-23.

The unique island gastro story was started in 2017, and this year's festival will be the fifth edition. The festival is held all over the town (and some locations on the island, outside of the confines of Korčula town), and this year they are offering a variety of visits by famous chefs, lectures, workshops, just hanging out with the people in the industry, exhibitions, fairs and thematic evenings, and you will also get to discover the secrets of the autumn on the tastiest island in the Mediterranean.

Some traditions are tastier than others, and the autumn on the plates of the people of Korčula is a good enough reason to visit. Previously, the festival was held in the spring, but the brief autumn version of the festival held (courtesy of the pandemic) in 2020 led the organisers to explore the season of grape and olive picking again this year. This year, the restaurants involved in the festival are Fillipi, Radiona, Lešić Dimitri, Cupido, Nigra, konobas Mate and Škafetin and traditional producers Eko škoj.

If you're following the scene in Korčula, you might recognize that there is a restaurant with a Michelin star on the list (Lešić Dimitri restaurant), with two other Michelin-recommended establishments from Korčula also participating in the festival: Fillipi and Konoba Mate. The effort to brand the island on the national and global scene, with restaurants supporting each other in their work and cooperating in the organisation of such a festival can only be applauded.

Thanks to the Pjatance, the island of Korčula has seen a lot of education in terms of the most recent trends in modern gastronomy. In the last four festivals, most of the star chefs in Croatia held workshops or shared their experiences, including David Skoko, Hrvoje Zirojević, Dino Galvagno and Rudolf Štefan, chocolate maker Stiv Kahlina and many others.

This year's opening on the well-known Rotonda will bring together the islands of Hvar, Brač, Šolta and Vis, and their products will be offered at the fair, organized in cooperation with LAG 5. The cult restaurant Planjak in Korčula, a locals' favorite, will try to teach the visitors the island art of "marendavanje" (translating "marenda" is not easy. Words marenda and gablec are used in different versions of Croatia for basically the same thing, a meal that can be compared to what would be called "brunch" in English, but it's definitely NOT that. You need to come to Korčula to learn if you want to know more). The masterclass lectures will be held by the famed chef Igor Jagodić and pastry chef Tea Mamut, and there will be a workshop on collecting the herbs on the island, led by the curator Sani Sardelić. There will be a few wine workshops held, as well as lectures on olive oil, protecting and branding of various island products, beekeeping etc.

Daniela Jelinčić, PhD of the Institute for development and international relations will present her scientific findings to the public for the first time, in her lecture on the science and art of the experience of food. And, this year, after being closed for many years, a part of the festival's program will be held in the newly renovated Blue Club nightclub/bar, which will be open to the public after many years.

Themed dinners will be held in many restaurants with affordable prices: Kevin Bonello, a chef from Malta will work with Marko Gajski from Lešić Dimitri, and Igor Jagodić and Tea Mamut will also work together. There will also be an exhibition of works by Tisja Kljaković Braić in the Town Park in Korčula, mostly dedicated to the food.

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