Sunday, 21 November 2021

OPG Dobranic Highlights Importance of Optimism in Agriculture

November the 21st, 2021 - Ivana Dobranic who runs OPG Dobranic near Sisak in continental Croatia has highlighted the importance of always remaining optimistic when it comes to engaging in the world of agriculture.

As Poslovni Dnevnik/Lucija Spiljak writes, when Ivana Dobranic met her husband, there were no cattle on his family's estate in Duzica near Sisak, but there were some cabbages. Now, with a laugh, she can readily admit that their blossoming relationship was a plus for her eventual husband at the beginning because she came from a farming family. Fast forward a few years, and today, together through OPG Dobranic, they produce cabbage, cereals and are also engaged in pig breeding.

The field where cabbage grows isn't far from the Dobranic family house, and at this time when cabbage is for picking, Ivana's day begins with that job, and continues with sales carried out on the doorstep.

"I don't need to sell to retail chains, everyone knows about us and they come to our house," says OPG Dobranic's proud owner.

The family home remained intact even following the devastating earthquake which struck this part of Central Croatia back at the very end of pandemic-dominated 2020, but the barn unfortunately now has visible damage. Nevertheless, the machines she procured thanks to a measure for young farmers a few years ago remained in operation throughout.

"Those 50,000 euros were a kind of turning point for, it was an either go on or give up kind of moment. We could no longer work with the old equipment we used to have. Fortunately, the SIMORA Development Agency recognised the difficulties we were facing in our work, applied us for the tender and soon we'll soon have another successful harvest, which we owe a great deal to quality equipment,'' Ivana explained.

Ivana is a very experienced farmer who knows that growing food is not so easy today, she is especially worried about climate change that brings reduced yields, and there are no solutions globally to that issue as yet. But, no matter how difficult things can become, the positive end of the season is her motive to continue, and at the same time she points out that optimism in agriculture pays off.

“Be optimistic in the opinion that you can create something with your own hands, even when something isn't really going well, be optimistic that it will still get better. When you apply for tenders and when you want money from European Union (EU) funds, be optimistic,'' concluded Ivana Dobranic.

For more, check out Made in Croatia.

Sunday, 21 November 2021

Foreign Producers Express Desire to Build Large Rijeka Film Studio

November the 21st, 2021 - It's a well known fact that Croatia is of huge interest to filming companies, especially since Game of Thones (GoT) well and truly placed the country on the map after Dubrovnik became known globally as ''King's Landing''. Now, foreign film producers have expressed their desire for a large Rijeka film studio to be constructed.

As Poslovni Dnevnik writes, the real flow of interest in this country in terms of cinema, TV and filming began after the launch of the project "Filming in Croatia" back in 2012 at the initiative of Hrvoje Hribar, who was the head of the Croatian Audiovisual Center (HAVC), and the foundation and goal of this project is to attract foreign investment to based on the services of Croatian filmmakers, as well as based on the many locations that Croatia offers for filming.

Given the geographical position of Croatia and its diverse and stunning landscapes, interesting locations are certainly not lacking for filmmakers. Moreover, by choosing Croatia as the country to shoot a film, series or commercial, in addition to investing in the country, foreign filmmakers with the "Filming in Croatia" programme return 25 percent of the total costs back into the country, which is certainly profitable.

The mayor of Rijeka, Marko Filipovic, explained to Rijeka portal Novi list what is so interesting for foreign filmmakers in this Northern Adriatric city, known for its long industrial past.

''Over more recent years, Rijeka has certainly become extremely interesting to filmmakers, which shows through the large number of feature and documentary films shot in various Rijeka locations, as well as commercials made for many large international companies. In addition, according to the feedback we've been receiving, production companies are very satisfied with the logistical support they receive in Rijeka and in the Rijeka area from the city administration and other institutions with which they cooperate, not to mention the Kvarner Film Commission.

This sort of interest has recently been expressed by Czech production company that already has film studios, to develop a project to build a large Rijeka film studio with a number of accompanying public and educational content in the city. The company was presented with some sites and locations across Rijeka which have the potential to see a Rijeka film studio develop,'' added Mayor Filipovic, before pointing out that the reasons for choosing Rijeka are the fact that the city has a wide variety of localities and exteriors that can meet the needs of filmmakers from Central European architecture and a Mediterranean ambience to industrial heritage.

''In addition, as a comparative advantage of Rijeka, its exceptionally good position and transport connections by air, land and sea, as well as possible cooperation with programmes and studies of the University of Rijeka in the field of film art, art, design and the like, also go hand in hand with this,'' concluded the Mayor of Rijeka.

For more, check out our dedicated lifestyle section.

Sunday, 21 November 2021

Warnings to Those Who Don't Respect Croatian Covid Measures Coming

November the 21st, 2021 - The very first real warnings to those who fail to respect the current Croatian covid measures, which have seen the widening of the use of covid certificates, are set to be issued as of Monday.

As Poslovni Dnevnik writes, it appears that Minister Radovan Fuchs has caught the interest of many teachers and others working in the field of education with his ideas on this matter.

''I'm going to personally ask the National Civil Protection Directorate to consider the possibility to make it so those who get vaccinated don't have to wait a further 21 days after their first dose of the vaccine to get their hands on a certificate, but that they can still enter their workplaces with some other form of vaccination certificate,'' said Radovan Fuchs.

This, many in schools say, would encourage the vaccination of those still in doubt, and it would be easier to overcome the wait until the second dose.

''Perhaps one of the ways to provide support to our colleagues and the opportunity to come and hold live classes at their workplace is with this confirmation of them having had their first vaccine,'' said Branka Stefok Bojadjija, the director of Borovje Elementary School in the City of Zagreb.

''That could be a very positive move, it would make it easier for teachers not to have to wait for new tests,'' added Marija Mihaljevic, a pedagogue at an elementary school in Zagreb.

''I think it's okay, our responsibility is primarily to others, we work with students, we wear masks, we keep our distance,'' said Jelena Skupnjak, a Professor of Physics at Dubrava Elementary School, also in Zagreb.

''We welcome any solution that makes life easier for employees,'' said Zeljko Stipic for HRT, but the question now is how much will proposing possible further steps in cases of decision violations in Croatian schools make life difficult for head teachers and principals?

''After three days from the implementation of the latest Decision of the National Civil Protection Directorate, today, according to the instructions of our the competent ministry, school principals should start handing out the first warnings to any employees who don't respect Croatian covid measures, and after five days, if they continue not respecting the measures, they'll get a second warning,'' said Zeljko Stipic of the Preporod School Union.

We won't even talk about the third one, which is dismissal, which would cause a lot of harm to a system that is already struggling with finding proper replacements. We have given people instructions, we're giving everyone a chance, but the Croatian covid measures and the rules must be respected. It's just like if drive through a red light, if someone catches you then you'll have to pay a fine,'' Minister Fuchs warned.

For all you need to know about coronavirus specific to Croatia, make sure to bookmark our dedicated COVID-19 section and select your preferred language if it isn't English.

Saturday, 20 November 2021

Foreign Minister Says Methods of Threatening World Order Numerous

ZAGREB, 20 Nov, 2021 - Croatian Foreign Minister Gordan Grlić Radman said during a visit to Canada on Saturday that there were many methods of threatening the world order and global security, which, he said, could be based only on multilateralism, tolerance and respect.

The biggest threats are dictatorships, asymmetric threats, hybrid threats, lack of cyber security and cyber attacks, Grlić Radman said in Halifax, where he was attending the International Security Forum.

He identified as threats countries "which are counting on the establishment of a new order or geopolitical repositioning and which have a negative agenda in terms of action and manage migrations negatively."

The International Security Forum in Halifax discussed current global security issues. The Forum is dedicated to strengthening strategic cooperation between democratic countries and it brought together a large number of state and military officials, business people and think-tanks.

It was organised as six thematic plenary discussions focusing on current global political issues, primarily COVID-19, climate change, globalisation, China's ascent, new security architecture and asymmetric threats.

Grlić Radman attended the panel dedicated to China, and in that context said that the EU has to assert itself. "We cannot just condemn China's presence if we have not shown sufficient strength in terms of what we have to offer and stronger presence," he said, mentioning in that context the COVID-19 pandemic and China's being the first to start supplying face masks.

He said that China's economic influence was strong in the Western Balkans, a region that had been neglected lately.

As a Western Balkans neighbour, Croatia definitely feels China's strong presence and influence there and can speak about it. The knowledge of the nature of China's influence in the Western Balkans and in other parts of the world is possibly not sufficient, he said.

He warned in that context about the need for greater involvement of both NATO and the EU in the Western Balkans, where, he said, the situation had become destabilising.

On the margins of the Halifax International Security Forum, the Croatian minister met, among others, the international community's High Representative for Bosnia and Herzegovina, Christian Schmidt.

For more on politics, follow TCN's dedicated page.

For more about Croatia, CLICK HERE.

Saturday, 20 November 2021

Protesters Rally Outside HRT, Demand End to “Censorship”

ZAGREB, 20 Nov, 2021 - Protesters against COVID-19 certificates on Saturday evening moved from Zagreb's central square to the part of the city where the HRT public broadcaster is located, demanding to see the HRT director and have their rally covered live and calling for an end to "censorship" by the HRT.

Dissatisfied with the way the HRT covered their protest in the central city square at 3 p.m., the protesters shouted "We want elections", "Referendum and people's rule", "Thieves", "Treason", "God's law is above all laws", demanding to see the HRT director and have their rally covered live.

The protesters were met by riot police, with a dozen police vehicles blocking access to the HRT building.

Some of the protesters demanded to see the editor in chief and that the protest be broadcast live, claiming that the HRT "cannot be a factory of censorship" and that "the HRT is lying to the Croatian people, spreading fear and enemy propaganda."

Claiming that they did not want to force anything on anyone and did not want others to do it to them, and shouting "We want truth" and "People rules" and singing patriotic songs, they continued to demand a response by the HRT, saying that "people want to say what they think" and the public broadcaster has the duty to report about it.

"This is no vaccine, this is poison", someone in the crowd could be heard saying while some protesters said the world was ruled by "Bill Gates, Talmudists and Soros's followers".

An HRT employee told the protesters that there was no one in the building they could talk to, to which they responded with shouts however the protest continued mostly without incidents and around 8 p.m. the protesters started to disperse.

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

For more about Croatia, CLICK HERE.

Saturday, 20 November 2021

RTL Reporter Attacked During Zagreb Protest Against COVID-19 certificates

ZAGREB, 20 Nov, 2021 - RTL television reporter Goran Latković was attacked during a protest against mandatory COVID-19 certificates in Zagreb on Saturday while covering the event.

At the protest, which draw several thousand people from all around the country, Latković was attacked from behind and he sustained two blows to the head, rib cage and elbow.

As he was attacked from behind, the reporter did not see his attackers.

He confirmed to Hina that he would report the incident to the police.

The RTL television reported about the incident involving its reporter.

For more news about Croatia, CLICK HERE.

Saturday, 20 November 2021

Protesters Against Mandatory COVID-19 Certificates Rally in Zagreb

ZAGREB, 20 Nov, 2021 - Several thousand people from all over Croatia arrived in Zagreb on Saturday for a protest against mandatory COVID-19 certificates and epidemiological restrictions in force.

The Zagreb city police department said earlier in the day that the protest had not been announced.

"I believe scientist Gordan Lauc", "No to blind belief in authorities", "Live and let others live" were some of the messages on banners carried by the protesters who gathered in two squares, Trg Francuske republike and Trg žrtava fašizma, before starting their march towards the city's central Trg Bana Josipa Jelačića square.

Participants in the protest, which is also called the Silent White March on social networks, want the government to abolish COVID-19 certificates, which prove one's vaccination against or recovery from COVID-19 and which have become obligatory for employees of government and public institutions as well as everyone else entering those institutions.

Zagreb police said the organisers of the protest had not asked for permission to stage the event so the police would film its participants.

Before the protest, some of its participants said that citizens who do not have COVID-19 certificates are being unconstitutionally and unlawfully excluded from public life and prevented from going to work or school.

"It is our civic duty to oppose discrimination against any person, social divisions and the use of this discriminatory certificate as grounds for that," reads a statement whose authors identify themselves as citizens, participants of the Silent White March.

For more about Croatia, CLICK HERE.

Saturday, 20 November 2021

Croatia Logs 65 COVID-Related Deaths, 5,614 New Infections

ZAGREB, 20 Nov, 2021 -  In the past 24 hours Croatia has registered 65 COVID-19-related deaths and 5,614 new infections, the national COVID-19 response team said on Saturday.

There are currently 34,882 active cases of the infection. A total of 2,542 COVID patients are hospitalised and 320 of them are on ventilators. As many as 27,969 people are in self-isolation.

Since the outbreak of the pandemic in February 2020, there have been 566,118 registered cases of the contagion and 10,243 people have died.

A total of 520,993 people have recovered, including 5,640 in the past 24 hours.

To date, 3,339,432 people have been tested for COVID-19, including 12,823 in the last 24 hours.

52.04% of total population vaccinated

As of Friday, November 19, a total of 3,963,116 doses of vaccine have been administered, with 52.04 per cent of the total population, or 62.14 per cent of the adult population, having been vaccinated.

As of Friday, 2,111,804 people have received at least one dose and 1,889,974 have been fully immunised, which is 55.85 per cent of the adult population.

For more on COVID-19, follow TCN's dedicated page.

For more about Croatia, CLICK HERE.

Saturday, 20 November 2021

Summer in Croatia Through the Lens of Croatian Photographer Timotej Gošev

November 20, 2021 - ''I want people to look at my photographs, and simply desire to be right there in the place their eyes are seeing'', says Timotej Gošev, better known as Timotej on Instagram, inviting thousands of people every day to experience the Adriatic summer through his photographs. Total Croatia News managed to interview the photographer with Varaždin roots.

In what ways can photography positively impact the promotion of tourism in Croatia? The question may sound simple to answer, but nowadays photography can be manipulated in such a way that the first impression of a tourist upon arriving at his destination is one of disappointment. It happens in many parts of the world. The use of visual content, to be used responsibly and strategically, can be essential to make Croatia known around the world.

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Krivica Cove and beach, Lošinj (Photo: Timotej Gošev)

Now I live in Croatia, but for 24 years of my life, my only reference was what I saw on the internet and on social networks. Now that I have spent two summers here, I can attest that Croatia has the advantage of meeting the expectations of those who came with a preconceived image in their heads. Those turquoise and transparent waters that you see in photos and videos, they are like that! But the Adriatic coast of Croatia is very extensive, and to it, we must add its more than 700 islands. Imagine the number of remote and wonderful places along almost 6000 kilometers of coastline that must exist to fulfill your fantasy of an Adriatic summer. Well, a Croatian photographer is dedicated to exploring, capturing, and sharing the magic of these places with his thousands of followers.

If you have looked for photos of Croatia to corroborate what everyone is surely saying about it, chances are that you have come across Timotej's photos. Also, if you have seen one of his photos, it is most likely that you have already bought your air ticket to spend the following summer in the Adriatic.

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Lopud Island (Photo: Timotej Gošev)

Croatia will always stand out for its history, and its stories. But being someone who has lived most of his life on another continent, I am aware of the visual impact that Croatia has on other countries in the world. Especially in these times, many friends shared with me photos or videos that they found on Instagram, Facebook, Pinterest, TikTok, or Twitter, and they could not believe that such a place existed, and especially in Europe. When it comes to paradise islands and turquoise waters, many think of Hawaii, the Caribbean, or the islands of Melanesia. But Croatia has already positioned itself as an alternative Eden, and one that combines dream destinations and a calendar packed with cultural activities.

I find it impressive that a photo is able to motivate someone to book airfare and accommodation. I think this reinforces the idea that the world is there to be explored, and that Croatia is one of those must-see destinations in it. But for this to work as it has been working in recent years, it is necessary that all the tourism promotion forces in the country aim towards the same objective. There is the National Tourism Board, the local Tourism Boards, and why not, talented Croatian citizens who use their platforms and content to highlight their country in a showcase.

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Kamenjak, Istria (Photo: Timotej Gošev)

One such person is precisely the famous Croatian photographer Timotej Gošev, who's approaching his mid-thirties, and currently living in Berkshire, England. He's the owner of the @timotej Instagram account which has become one of the largest social media accounts in the world by sharing travel photography and recommendations from only around Croatia. With almost 100 thousand followers on Instagram, his pictures often go viral and are reposted and shared by some of the biggest media groups such as Forbes, Conde Nast, as well as the biggest re-sharing travel accounts on Instagram such as Earthpix, Travel & Leisure, Wonderful Places & Beautiful Destinations. If you haven't seen his photography yet, be sure to check his Instagram first. He also has an impressive guide to his top 30 favorite beaches in Croatia, you can check it here.

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Dubrovnik (Photo: Timotej Gošev)

Timotej shares with Total Croatia News about his special connection to his country, his photography, tourism in Croatia, his future projects, and much more.

The vast majority of your followers and all of those who have come across your photographs on social media already know you for the quality of your work and your captivating images. But few know about your personal side and your history with Croatia. How does this connection with Croatia begin? Were you born and raised in Croatia?

It’s true. A lot of people see my photographs on Instagram, and just by looking at them can say this looks like one of Timotej’s photographs. However, very few people know me personally. Remember, I am a photographer sharing photos from around Croatia, through social media, to the world. I am not another influencer showcasing my life and hoping to influence you to be like me. My goal is to inspire people through my photography to visit and fall in love with Croatia.

It’s also very amusing to me, how so many people are surprised that I’m from Croatia. Even Croatians often assume I’m from somewhere else. I was introduced to Nina Badrić for example, and she knew of my photography but thought I was a Slovenian photographer. I think it’s purely because my name, Timotej (pronounced ‘Timo-tey’ in English), is not so common in Croatia. Think about it, most boys in Croatia are named after the first four books of the New Testament Bible. Ivan (John), Marko (Mark), Luka (Luke), Matej (Matthew). My mum wanted to be a little bit more original with her Biblical name choice, so she looked further down the list until she came to Timotej (Timothy). Simple and straightforward explanation.

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Croatian figs (Photo: Timotej Gošev)

My parents came to study in England after finishing their high school and army service in Varazdin, so I was born in the UK. But a few years later we moved back, so my younger brother was born in Varaždin. After a few years, my parents realized they could make a better life for our family back in England. So, once again, we moved back. Thankfully Croatia is just a drive and short flight away from England, so I was lucky enough to visit very often growing up. I can speak, read, and write Croatian too. I believe an Instagram account like mine, can only really belong to a Croatian, in love with his country.

Nowadays, when one associates the words ''travel photography'' and ''Croatia'', one of the first things that come to mind for a lot of people is ''Timotej''. How did you get started in photography and how has the learning process been so far? Is there another type of photography that you like equally?

I’ve been into photography for as long as I can remember. Cameras and lenses, all the gear, simply fascinates me. So does the quest to snap a perfect picture. As a child, I always wanted to press the camera’s shutter button and shoot everything. This wasn’t possible, as it was still the time of film cameras, and film roll was precious, so parents couldn’t let me waste it taking fifty pictures of nothing. So you can imagine my joy when digital cameras came into existence with memory cards.

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Brseč, Primorsko-Goranska (Photo: Timotej Gošev)

As far as learning goes, when you figure out how to work a camera/lens, the shooting settings, and how light affects the scene being shot, everything comes down to one’s eye for a good picture. Personally, for me, the learning these days mostly centers around training my eyes even more. If you take 50 shots, 1 can easily turn out perfect. But the goal is to be able to take 1 shot and make it perfect first time. Sometimes this means learning to be patient. Waiting. It can also mean making a bigger effort to find a unique vantage point. Doing research to find out what has already been shot where you are shooting.

I love beachscape photography as you all know, and architectural too. I also love to shoot macro shots. I really want to do more wildlife and food photography in the future.

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Restaurant Mandrač, Lopud Island (Photo: Timotej Gošev)

What inspires you to be a travel photographer and how has that changed in recent years?

I’m in love with the Croatian coast and the Adriatic Sea. Its beauty simply inspires me to capture it with my cameras. I am lucky and blessed to be able to call such a place, my country. I want to see and explore as many spots along the coast, and visit as many islands as my lifetime allows me too. Each place is its own world. People today are so obsessed with seeing as many countries as possible, but few have had the pleasure of truly knowing, exploring, and enjoying theirs. I love going back to a place I’ve already visited, to see how it’s changing, developing, and evolving. I am constantly inspired by the big and little changes happening everywhere. The way I see it is, that there is a lifetime of exploration for me and capturing moments with my camera. There is no getting bored.

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How do you manage to balance your time between the UK and Croatia? Has Brexit affected in any way the way you travel between the two countries?

I like to be in Croatia during the summer, so I can enjoy the sea and beaches. It’s where I experience the most joy. Since I got my driving license, I have been planning my life in a way so I could spend the maximum possible time in Croatia every summer. To my surprise, neither Brexit nor Covid19 has affected my travels to Croatia. I have dual nationality. Croatian and British passports and therefore was legally allowed to travel to go to either home. With negative PCR test results, I drove England to Croatia three times during the pandemic. When you have a registered photography business in the UK, going to Croatia to shoot photos is a legitimate and valid reason to travel for work too.

How would you describe the personal style behind your photography? And how about your visual style?

I want people to look at my photographs, and simply desire to be right there in the place their eyes are seeing. To imagine themselves living the moment being shown. My photos need to mentally seduce and show the essence of an Adriatic summer experience in Croatia. People think my visual style is really unique, but it’s a classic beachscape visual style used in travel magazines and by some of the world’s most known beachscape photographers for decades.

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Sveta Nedjelja beach, Hvar (Photo: Timotej Gošev)

It is a beautiful summer day in Croatia, how does Timotej spend it from start to finish?

I like to wake up early. No need for coffee. I really believe in seizing the daytime. I want to be the first on the beach. Put my towel in the best spot, and go for a morning swim to truly wake up. Love soaking in the early morning sun too. Around 9 am, it’s time for a light breakfast, and then back to the beach where I’ll stay until lunchtime being as active as possible. I prefer to stay in apartments, so for lunch, it’s usually time to cook something, rather than eat out. After lunch, it’s back to the sea/beach until sunset. The afternoon is usually about exploration. Then shower, dress up a bit and go to town for dinner and some ice cream. I always end up chilling on apartment terraces late into the night, always in good company getting into deep conversations.

It has happened to me on several occasions that I have decided to put my camera aside so as not to miss the experience. How do you manage to consistently create content and live in the moment at the same time? Do you have any advice for other travel photographers?

It’s actually very simple for me. When I go to a place in Croatia, I am not going there to take a picture. I am going there to enjoy the experience and moment of being in a place which brings me total joy. I live the moments fully with my camera at home, or in my backpack. After I enjoyed the place, explored it, I come back with/take out a camera. Also, I don’t live from making social media content and I don’t have any pressure to create content. My advice to travel photographers is that when you decide to shoot a place, make a decision to spend at least 1 week there. Don’t follow the content creator crowd, and a lot of Croatian photographers, are doing this, in that they go to a spot for a few hours with the purpose of taking a photo and then off to the next location.

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Brela, Dalmatia (Photo: Timotej Gošev)

A photographer was telling me how they photographed every nice spot on Korcula Island in 1 day. Don’t make this same mistake. The world’s most famous beachscape photographers, when shooting a particular area, commit to spending a whole summer season there, chasing the billion-dollar shot, as we say. I can’t commit to a whole summer in one spot yet either, but everyone can do 3-7 days. 1 to enjoy without smartphones and cameras at least.

It could be said that you lean more towards photography of landscapes and places, but would you like to also venture into a type of travel photography where you can also highlight the Croatian people, their traditions, and their customs?

My focus is the Ljeto (Summer) in Croatia. The goal is to photograph and show the summertime experience. Naturally, there is a lot of landscape shots. But if you have been following me for a while you also see the entire summer experience. If I go into town at night and see a cultural dance, or traditional outfits, if I like what I see, I will photograph it. But right now, the priority is to show beaches and nature, accommodation, and things one can experience when visiting Croatia in the summer. I am showing what my audience wants to see.

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Town of Rab (Photo: Timotej Gošev)

However, if Drago Sopta retires, I would gladly like to venture off and take over as the photographer of the Croatian National Football team and take pictures of the guys playing football. I believe in myself as a photographer, and my ability to shoot in a variety of styles.

It is said that there is an excessive amount of drone images to visually promote Croatia and that they do not accurately reflect the possible experience of a tourist (for example Izvor Cetina or the Croatian islands from above). But you manage to combine both images with a drone as well as those from a personal point of view. How can both promote tourism in Croatia?

Look, Zlatni Rat Beach shot with a drone, from above, looks like one of the most beautiful spots in this world. It’s unreal. Then you come there, stand on the beach, and you can’t really see it from the vantage point the drone did. So you now have two options. The first is to get upset, choose to be negative, and leave disappointed, as many do. Or you can think about it, and say to yourself, I’m standing on this magical beach full of shape-shifting pebbles, surrounded by perfect water, and enjoy the beach all day. Every destination spot in the world that looks good from above is excessively photographed with drones. Those saying it doesn’t accurately reflect the tourist experience are a very small minority, and they are there for the wrong reason in my opinion. I believe you need both to give the true picture to someone. Let them know what it looks like from above and below. Balance is key. I like to show how it looks from ground level and from the sky.

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Otok Vrnik (Photo: Timotej Gošev)

Many content creators avoid bringing discussion topics to their feed to avoid losing followers or getting into disputes with them. But in addition to visually promoting Croatia, you also take the time to raise awareness about caring for the environment, such as animal rights and the situation about smoking in Croatia. Is it necessary for content creators to be ambivalent in that regard? What responsibilities should someone with so many followers and a lot of reach assume?

I always speak my mind. From day one on Instagram. I have my opinions, and my account is a space where I can share them as well as my photography. I don’t expect everyone to agree with them and that’s okay. Does Croatia have a smoking problem? Yes. Have tourists noticed it? Yes. Is it destroying our beaches? Yes. A lot of what I highlight are facts and truth. Common sense. It’s already been said by others, and it’s very much connected to keeping Croatia’s land beautiful and not destroying it. I don’t live from Instagram, so if I lost all my followers tomorrow, it does not affect me in any way. As for disputes, occasionally some arise, but surprisingly not a lot. I think the things which I’m highlighting are things the overwhelming majority of my followers agree with me on. We all want to keep Croatia clean and beautiful for generation after generation.

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One Table Restaurant, Hvar Island (Photo: Timotej Gošev)

Regarding the promotion of tourism in Croatia, what aspects and efforts made by the national and local tourist boards in the last two years can you highlight?

I don’t see anything the National Tourist Board does, and as the majority of the tourist sector in Croatia, see them as irrelevant, and a waste of taxpayers’ money. The Local Tourist Boards, on the other hand, are great. I’ve had the chance to work with a lot of them now. It’s hard to keep everyone happy, but they are doing their best. I can say and see they are finally embracing social media, and valuing its importance more than ever. Making sure they have a strong social media presence, as well as using people like me, and other Croatian photographers to showcase their tourist regions to the world.

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Žitna Beach, Korčula Island (Photo: Timotej Gošev)

In what aspects do you think the promotion of tourism in Croatia should improve? Is there something you can criticize?

The biggest issue I noticed is the relationship between the local tourist boards, and the locals working in the tourist sector. It seems everyone is against the tourist boards and everything they do, with only a small minority pleased. I’ve been to places, and I like to talk to locals, and the moment they find out I’m involved with the local tourist board, they don’t want anything to do with me! Why? Well for starters Local Tourist boards should have nothing to do with political elections and political parties. The tourist boards should exist to serve the tourist, those offering tourist services, and they should be neutral. Also too many tourist board employees, naturally have friends working in the tourist sector and thus drive tourists to only use their services. I think you can guess what kind of issues that can create. The tourist boards should be the pride of the local tourism sector. A fair helping hand, letting the tourists know all their possibilities. Show them all the options on offer, and let them choose which to go with. I also really think it’s time for an official tourist app, where everyone in the tourist sector can list their tourist offers for free. Create it with taxpayer money. Tourists can use the app to find out and search for everything. Beach information. Boat rentals. Taxi numbers. Available accommodation. In 2021, one shouldn’t have to go to a tourist office for information anymore.

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Badija Island (Photo: Timotej Gošev) 

In what ways can photographic content contribute to effective tourism promotion in Croatia? How important is it?

People travel to different places in the world for different reasons. Everyone is looking for something specific. An image they have seen either in a photo or video usually serves as the primary mental motivation for doing so. They want to see that image with their own eyes. I have always argued that people come to Croatia first and foremost for the natural beauty of the sea and beaches. The old towns. Natural parks. I loved our old tourist slogan, the Mediterranean as it once was. So, before booking a flight or hotel, people want to know what the particular area they are potentially going to visit has on offer. I have been the first Croatian photographer to share certain places in Croatia on Instagram for the very first time, and the response was, we had no idea this place existed.

I’ll give you a personal example. I grew up spending summers around Zadar. Since I was a kid. Only recently as an adult, I discovered one of the most beautiful spots in Croatia. Vrsi, right by Zadar. I never saw this spot advertised anywhere. So I never went there. Some beaches like Zlatni Rat were advertised everywhere, so normally, I went there, and it was crazy crowded. By showing a little bit of every place, you are now giving people the choice to go to so many places.

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Stiniva Cove, Vis Island (Photo: Timotej Gošev)

If you could describe Croatia to your followers as an ideal travel destination, based on five unique aspects, which ones would you choose?

1. Raw natural beauty everywhere. 2. The crystal clear blue water. 3. Safety. We are an extremely safe country for tourists throughout the day and night. One of the lowest crime rates in the world I believe. 4. Quality of food and drink. 5. There’s something for everyone.

Is there anything in particular in Croatia that catches your attention and would you like to investigate further? I have seen that at some point you inquired about the history of abandoned stone houses on the Croatian coast and islands. It is really a fascinating subject.

The abandoned stone houses are a sad story. I really hope the property ownership laws change soon. They are killing Croatia. A lot of people say it’s impossible. But I believe there’s an easy fix to it if you apply common sense. Pass a law, that every property in Croatia within 2-3 years has to have one owner owning 100% of it. No more multiple owners, owning small percentages. If some owners can’t agree on a deal between themselves, it goes to auction among all the owners, and the highest bidder gets the property. Why hasn’t this happened? I hear lawyers in Zagreb make a killing on these property disputes. I also think Croatia has a serious waste management problem. Especially on the islands. I’ve heard shocking accounts from those who live on the islands about what really happens with the waste tourism generates. I think the situation is worse than many believe. And if that’s really true, we need to do something about it. I truly believe the world sees Croatia as a clean country where natural beauty can be seen in abundance which is its biggest selling point. The land is really ‘Lijepa Naša’ and it needs to stay that way.

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Otok Vrnik (Photo: Timotej Gošev)

Connected with this issue are the party sailing trips such as The Yacht Week. Everywhere they go, they leave so much rubbish behind it's unreal. In the sea. I’ve seen it. Again and again. All the locals I meet in the entire tourism sector as well as those simply living in the spots The Yacht Week comes by, wants these party sailing holidays banned. It’s beyond me how this hasn’t happened yet. Whoever is giving them the green light to continue summer after summer needs to be put in the spotlight.

Besides being a travel photographer, do you also consider yourself a travel journalist? Many content creators upload their photos or videos and that's it, but you like to include reflections, chronicles, and recommendations alongside your images. Is it something that you are interested in developing further in the future?

I grew up reading travel magazines like Conde Nast, and I currently collect travel-themed coffee table books full of pictures with text. There’s always a story behind what you see in a photograph and something to learn. I do consider myself an excellent writer in the English language. People have noticed this, and this past year, a few travel magazines and a national airline, asked me to write for them about Croatia, as well as showcase my photography to their readers. I hope more people will ask in the near future. It’s something I love doing.

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Čikat Bay, Lošinj Island (Photo: Timotej Gošev)

What does your Instagram profile look like on a summer day in Croatia? How do you usually interact with your followers or people who need help or recommendations?

During the summer the plan is to share 2-3 posts a day. The pictures being posted are usually what I photographed 1-2 days prior. Also, because we are in the summer season, many of my followers are currently in Croatia, or about to visit. This results in a crazy amount of questions. I used to answer every question without fail in previous years, but with an increasing number of followers, it’s impossible sadly. Remember I’m not getting paid to do this. It takes a lot of time. This summer I was receiving roughly 300-500 messages a day. A lot of people also don’t read the caption in my posts and then send messages, for example, asking what’s the name of the beach in the picture I just posted, without making an effort to read the caption where this has already been stated. This is very frustrating. However the questions generally are usually based on recent posts, so I try to answer a lot of them in one of the next posts or stories.

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Bol, Brač Island (Photo: Timotej Gošev)

Besides photography, what other things do you spend your time on? Do you have any other interests or hobbies that are just as exciting?

Out of the summer season, I live in England, so when I’m not working, I really love to play sports. I play football, basketball, volleyball every week, competitively. Then there’s gym and lap swimming. I’ve always been into cooking too. So, always trying to master certain dishes and learn new ones. In the summertime, besides photography, it’s very much every activity connected to the water. I’m a big water sports lover. I love diving. I’m a very active individual. I love the company of friends too. I’m a very social extrovert that likes to laugh a lot.

What next projects do you have planned? What are the next steps in Timotej's life and career?

Oh, I have a lot of ideas. Some are already slowly turning into reality. I would love to see more art stores around the world selling my prints of beautiful beachscapes from around Croatia. At the moment it’s just a few in England. As well as being a good photographer, I also believe in my ability to capture video, so expect to see some epic short films soon. I’m also already working on my very own coffee table book taking you on a journey around Croatia’s coast and islands. I’m really excited for this. I have the photographs and text, and just need to find the right publisher to make the dream come true. Lastly, due to demand, I think I will slowly get into trip planning. So many people want me to plan their visit to Croatia. I’m honoured.

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Pritišćina beach, Vis Island (Photo: Timotej Gošev)

Your talent as a photographer, and your Instagram account, have resulted in many collaborations over the last few years. What’s your favourite one so far? Is there one you would really love to do in the future?

It’s hard to pick a favourite. I love them all. This past summer I did a collaboration with Valamar Hotels. Had the chance to visit all their hotels across Croatia over a period of 6 weeks. It was amazing. Shooting the hotels, rooms, beaches in front of the hotels. The facilities. Loved every second. The sailing collaborations are always unforgettable too. What would I love to do? Shoot Villa Sheherezade in Dubrovnik. Or shoot a mega-yacht in Croatia. I dream big.

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Lopud Island (Photo: Timotej Gošev)

Finally, are you planning to ever move to Croatia permanently?

If you ask me, “Timotej, would you like to live in Croatia one day?” The answer is obviously going to be a definite yes, yes I would. However, I wouldn’t want to live there throughout the whole year. I can see myself living there between April and October. I’m the type of person who dreams of having multiple homes. At least two in two different countries. But in life, you should also never say never. If the right opportunity arises, who knows, I might end up living in Croatia all year long. Living there would give me the chance to photograph Croatia during all the seasons, and not just summer.

For everything you need to know before planning your next summer vacation in Croatia and all these magical destinations shown in this article, be sure to check Timotej's Instagram account and our new guide to everything Croatia, Total Croatia, here.

If you don't have Instagram, follow him on Facebook.

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

For more about Croatia, CLICK HERE.

Saturday, 20 November 2021

Reduced Qatar Airways Zagreb Flights, Croatia Airlines Only Flight Between Zagreb-Heathrow

November 20, 2021 - The latest flight news to Croatia as reduced Qatar Airways Zagreb flights have been announced in December, and Croatian Airlines remains the only route between Zagreb and Heathrow... for now. 

One World Alliance member Qatar Airways is reducing the number of weekly rotations between Doha and Zagreb in mid-December, reports Croatian Aviation.

The news does not come as a surprise as the occupancy of aircraft on this route is relatively low, with few arrivals from Asia. Qatar does not have a wide base of transfer passengers that were the backbone of the line to Zagreb before the pandemic.

Until Saturday, December 18, Qatar Airways will run three flights a week between Doha and Zagreb, every Monday, Wednesday, and Saturday. From mid-December, flights will be canceled on Mondays and the line will operate only twice a week, on Wednesdays and Saturdays. The same number of weekly rotations is planned until the end of January next year.

Qatar Airways uses A320 narrow-body aircraft on this line, the smallest in its fleet. Until there is a significant opening of countries in Asia and until passengers from these countries visit Croatia in greater numbers, the number of weekly departures will remain uncertain. 

Furthermore, Croatian Aviation reports that British Airways has again canceled all flights on the Zagreb-London route at the end of this month. Consequently, only Croatia Airlines operates between Heathrow and Zagreb. 

British Airways again canceled a number of flights between Zagreb and London, as the airline is dissatisfied with the demand on this line, and ticket prices between the two cities have never been more favorable. Namely, before the pandemic, British Airways came to Zagreb with A321 aircraft, when more seats were required due to frequent overbooking.

Since the beginning of the pandemic, the Zagreb line has not functioned well, thanks in part to the strict measures in the UK. British Airways operated to Zagreb until the beginning of November, then all flights were canceled at the end of this month. There were plans to return in December with a smaller number of flights, but that is currently still in question.

Croatia Airlines operates between Heathrow and Zagreb four times a week, every Monday, Wednesday, Friday, and Saturday. One more flight per week is available compared to the summer months. All flights depart from Zagreb in the afternoon, with an evening return from London.

Ryanair also operates between London and Zagreb daily, but to Stansted Airport, which is approximately 65 kilometers away from the center of London (Heathrow is only 22 kilometers away from the center).

For more on flights to Croatia and other travel announcements, make sure to check out our dedicated travel section.

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