Wednesday, 1 December 2021

Happy Holidays: 70 KLM Split and Zagreb Flights from Amsterdam this December

December 1, 2021 - The latest flight news to Croatia as 70 KLM Split and Zagreb flights will run this December!

Dutch KLM will continue to operate daily between Amsterdam and Zagreb in December, and due to increased demand around Christmas and New Year, KLM will resume traffic between Split and Amsterdam just like last winter, reports Croatian Aviation.

KLM planes will land at Zagreb Airport every day in December. Two flights a day have been announced, with only one daily flight announced for December 26. 

The morning departure from Zagreb to Amsterdam is mainly made with an E175 aircraft with 88 seats. Around Christmas, a larger aircraft, E190, was announced. In addition, E190 aircraft with 100 seats were announced for the afternoon rotation from Zagreb to Amsterdam. From December 6 to 17, smaller E175 aircraft will also be used on this rotation. In the second half of the month, 100 seats per direction will be available again on the afternoon flight.

KLM will operate 40 return flights with E175 aircraft to Zagreb (7,040 seats) and 21 return flights with E190 aircraft (4,200 seats) in December, offering 11,240 seats.

KLM aircraft will return to Split Airport in the second half of December. Flights have been announced for Christmas and New Year. In December, 6 return flights were announced, three with B737-700 aircraft and three with B737-800 aircraft. KLM will offer 1,968 seats between Split and Amsterdam in December and additional seats available at the beginning of January next year.

After introducing the second daily flight to Zagreb, KLM is the dominant carrier, and a relatively large number of passengers choose the services of this airline to travel between the two cities and continue traveling to other destinations in Europe and the world. 

The Croatian national airline, Croatia Airlines, continues to operate daily between Amsterdam and Zagreb. Flights from Zagreb take off in the morning upon the arrival of planes from Sarajevo, Split, and Dubrovnik, so it is possible to continue the journey from these cities to the capital of the Netherlands.

According to available information, Croatia Airlines will operate most of its flights in December with A319 aircraft. A smaller DashQ400 aircraft was announced on only two dates - December 1 and December 8. In addition to KLM, Croatia Airlines will offer an additional 8,368 seats between Amsterdam and Zagreb on its flights this month.

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

Tuesday, 30 November 2021

Croatian Cup Quarterfinals: Gorica Wins on Penalties, Hajduk Tops Lokomotiva 6:3 for Semis!

November 30, 2021 - The first day of the Croatian Cup quarterfinals came to a close, with Gorica and Hajduk securing their spot in the semifinals!

Gorica was the first to qualify for the Croatian Cup semifinals, defeating Istria 1961 at home on penalties, 6-4 (2-2, 2-2). 

By the 96th minute, Istra had the semifinal match in their hands. With two goals, Beljo had Istra up 2-1, but in the last seconds, Kristijan Lovrić scored, and in the penalty shootout, the hero was Gorica goalkeeper Dominik Kotarski, who stopped two shots.

Assisted by Serderov, Beljo put Istra in the lead in the 10th minute. Dieye equalized in the 2nd minute of stoppage time for 1-1 at the half. 

Dieye tried increased Gorica's lead in the 68th minute though his goal was called offside thanks to VAR. Beljo put Istra back in the lead for 1-2 in the 83rd minute. 

A last-minute equalizer came for Gorica when hero Lovrić scored in the 6th minute of stoppage time to send the match to extra time. 

VAR canceled another Gorica goal in the 98th minute, and the match ultimately finished on penalties. Iličić and Silva were stopped by the Gorica keeper, giving Gorica the penalty shootout victory and semifinal spot. 

In the wild second quarterfinal match, Hajduk topped Lokomotiva 6-3 in Zagreb. 

Krovinović gave Hajduk the early lead with a goal in the 7th minute for 0-1. A penalty was awarded to Lokomotiva which Pivarić nailed in the 3rd minute of stoppage time for 1-1 at the half. 

The second half was one to remember. Atanasov nailed the far post from the goal line in the 51st minute for 1-2, which Ljubičić increased to 1-3 two minutes later. Livaja made it 1-4 for Hajduk in the 57th!

Dabro gave Lokomotiva some hope in the 59th minute with a goal for 2-4, but Atanasov increased Hajduk's lead to 2-5 with a rocket from 30 meters out for 2-5. Hajduk's goal in the 71st minute was called offside by VAR, but Sahiti's goal in the 90th minute made it 6-2 for the Split club. 

An own goal by Elez gave Lokomotiva their third goal of the match in the 4th minute of stoppage time for the final 3-6, and Hajduk has comfortably booked their spot in the semifinal. 

Osijek and Slaven Belupo will meet Wednesday at 4 pm, and Dinamo and Rijeka at 6:30 pm.

To read more about sport in Croatia, follow TCN’s dedicated page

Tuesday, 30 November 2021

Ancient Spalatum Port Discovered in Split, Connection to Diocletian's Palace

November 30, 2021 - Archaeological findings have uncovered an ancient Spalatum port in the Split area, tracing back to the Roman settlement in the 2nd century. 

The conclusion of the latest archeological campaign in the Spinut seabed on the north side of Marjan is an archaeological sensation: there, during the Roman settlement of Spalatum, in the 2nd century, an ancient port was built, which reached its peak during the construction of Diocletian's Palace, reports Slobodna Dalmacija

From the port, the road led to Spalatum, a settlement in the area of today's Manuš, inscribed on the ancient road map Tabula Peutingeriani from the 2nd century. It continued to the Diocletian's Palace construction site 200 meters away.

The underwater site in Spinut has been known since the 1950s, and in the mid-1960s, thanks to the efforts of Mladen Nikolanci, director of the Archaeological Museum in Split, and Nenad Cambi, the museum's curator at the time, interest in Split's underwater archaeological heritage began.

Nenad Cambi has on several occasions analyzed the Spanish and North African amphorae found in Spinut, and Irena Radić Rossi conducted archaeological research in 2006, finding that it was still an ancient port.

As part of the "Underwater Heritage of Marjan" project, run by the Museum of Croatian Archaeological Monuments in cooperation with the Diving Club "Špinut", minor archeological excavations were carried out at the underwater archeological site in front of the "Gusar" rowing club.

"Examining the Marjan seabed during September and October this year, the attention of archaeologists was attracted by slab bricks measuring 36 cm x 36 cm, exactly the ones most used in the construction of Diocletian's Palace, especially in the construction of arches. They are scarce in other sites in Dalmatia.

Along with other material found during the smaller soundings, it became clear that the Spinut port was used in Diocletian's time. The large-scale construction project required the constant supply and storage of bricks, stone, wood, food, and other necessities for slaves and workers engaged in the construction of the Palace.

"In front of the Palace was the main port, while Spinut was most likely an auxiliary port," explained Dr. Miroslav Katic, director of MHAS, adding that a good part of the construction material for the Palace had to be stored.

"Pillars were brought from Egypt, marble from Greece, and various luxury materials for furnishing buildings from other parts of the Mediterranean. The unloaded material was not immediately installed, but stored and taken as dictated by the dynamics of the works."

Material from the port of Spinut was transported to the Palace by a 1.5-kilometer road. The reconstruction of the ancient landscape of Split, made by Dalibor Popovič, best evokes the land connection, i.e., the road that approached the Palace from the west, points out Katic.

Research has revealed the intense activity of the port in the 2nd century, and according to experts, it may have been repaired at the end of the 3rd century, when the construction of Diocletian's Palace began and its use continued in late antiquity.

"In fact, it was created during Spalatum, a Roman settlement that preceded the Palace. It initially served farm buildings located somewhere in Spinut and reached its operational peak in Diocletian's time," they added.

The archaeologists concluded that the transport of a larger quantity of goods between Salona and Spalatum, i.e., the Palace, was more accessible and safer by sea than by land.

The research in Spinut, i.e., the "Marjan's Underwater Heritage" project, is co-financed by Split-Dalmatia County in the Program for the Development, Protection, and Valorization of Maritime Heritage in Split-Dalmatia County.

As an associate and partner of the Museum of Croatian Archaeological Monuments, Marjan Park-Forest is collaborating to produce a small video that will present Marjan's underwater heritage to the general public.

The head of archaeological research in Spinut is the curator of MHAS Miroslav Gogala, and archaeologists Miroslav Katić and Nikolina Uroda, and Dalibor Burić participated in the research. Divers Bruno Stanić, Antonija Grubišić Čabo, Stipe Boban, Jakša Babić and Paško Krančević from RK Špinut participated.

Work on examining Marjan's underwater heritage will continue next year.

To read more about lifestyle in Croatia, follow TCN's dedicated page.

Tuesday, 30 November 2021

Third Ryanair Aircraft in Zagreb Arrives, Additional 9 Routes Launch in December

November 30, 2021 - The latest flight news to Croatia as the third Ryanair aircraft in Zagreb will arrive this week, with 9 additional lines launched around Europe. 

As already announced, Ryanair is basing its third A320 aircraft (from the Lauda fleet) at Zagreb Airport this week and is launching an additional 9 new routes to well-known European destinations, such as Dublin, Manchester, and Eindhoven, reports Croatian Aviation.

Ryanair will start regular operations on 9 new lines this week according to:

Paphos (Cyprus), from 03.12., twice a week, on Mondays and Fridays,

Thessaloniki (Greece), from 03.12., twice a week, on Mondays and Fridays,

Dublin (Ireland), from 02.12., three times a week, on Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Sundays,

Naples (Italy), from 17.12. twice a week, on Mondays and Thursdays,

Malta (Malta), from 04.12., Twice a week, on Tuesdays and Saturdays,

Eindhoven (Netherlands), from 03.12.,, twice a week, on Mondays and Fridays,

Malaga (Spain), from 01.12., twice a week, Wednesdays and Saturdays,

Basel (Switzerland), from 03.12., twice a week, on Mondays and Fridays,

Manchester (UK), from 02.12., twice a week, on Thursdays and Sundays.

Taking into account the existing lines, only Dublin is not a new direct destination from Zagreb, while the eight other mentioned destinations are new.

On December 2, Ryanair will base the third A320 aircraft from Vienna to Zagreb on new routes, giving the well-known airline a total of 24 scheduled international flights from Zagreb Airport. More than 60 weekly flights from or to Zagreb have been announced, which is more than 22,000 seats on a weekly basis.

The new lines are not completely diaspora-oriented, which is the case with other lines that are already operating. It should also be noted that Ryanair does not have a representative office in Zagreb, so there are often problems when accepting and departing passengers on these flights, as was the case this Friday on a flight from Zagreb to Charleroi when passengers physically attacked airport employees, adds Croatian Aviation.

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

 

Tuesday, 30 November 2021

Zagreb Heating Issues Continue as Temperatures Plummet

November the 30th, 2021 - Parts of the City of Zagreb have been left without heating as temperatures plummet and a harsh frost covers the now hardened off dead leaves which cover the ground. The situation with Zagreb heating should be solved at some point during the day.

As Poslovni Dnevnik writes, there is currently no heating in the Western part of Zagreb this morning, which is just what everyone wants when temperaturs dropped to -3 here in the capital at 06:00 this morning. Residents of Spansko and Malesnica have definitely been left without heating, and it also seems that residents living around Lake Jarun are also in the same boat today. In addition, some residents of Precko, Gajnice and Rudes have been taking to social media to complain of the same issue.

''Our boys are still out in the field and we're waiting for their return. We had a situation last night around 01:00 and we're informing our heating service users of what happened. We assume that the problem will be solved during the day,'' HEP said when questioned by 24sata.

A full statement from HEP on the unfortunate Zagreb heating situation soon arrived:

A hot water pipe burst in Tresnjevka and the western part of the city was left without heating and hot water. HEP predicts that this will be the case until late in the evening. They added that the pipe burst due to its old age of the hot water network and corrosion caused by the spillage of rainwater mixed with the means used to treat pavements in winter.

Due to the rupture of the hot water pipeline in Tresnjevka in Losinjska street and near Jarun in Hrvoje Macanovic street, this morning, the supply of thermal energy to all end customers in the western part of the city of Zagreb was suspended. HEP-Heating employees have started with the emergency repairs of the rupture, after which the supply of thermal energy will be re-established. The estimated duration of the suspension is until late in the evening today.

The reasons for the rupture of the hot water pipeline are the age of this section of the hot water pipeline network and the corrosion of the pipes caused by the spillage of rainwater mixed with the means used to treat the surface of pavements in winter. The sections of the hot water pipeline in question that were broken didn't include the works of revitalisation of the hot water network that were carried out this summer as part of the ''Revitalisation of the hot water network in the City of Zagreb" project, however, the plan is to totally replace them over the next two years. HEP-Heating employees are making every effort to repair the hot water pipe bursts as soon as possible, and they're asking end customers for their patience and understanding,'' HEP announced.

For more, check out our news section.

Tuesday, 30 November 2021

Nomad Rescue: New Croatian App Created as One-Stop Shop for Digital Nomads

November 30, 2021 - Nomad Rescue is a new one-stop web application for digital nomads, developed by Algebra University College graduate students. 

A team of graduate students from Algebra University College, "The Nomads," has developed an application that makes it easier for digital nomads to navigate the country they have chosen while answering all practical and operational questions about life in the country, reports Index.hr.

There has been a lot of talk in Croatia to attract digital nomads to live and work in the country, which has been successfully implemented in terms of regulations that allow individuals in Croatia. Thus, Croatia became one of the first countries globally with such an elaborate program for attracting digital nomads.

It is this idea that the Algebra University graduate students decided to explore and expand in more detail, where an innovative project program has recently been implemented as a compulsory course in all graduate studies.

Students acquire entrepreneurial skills during this two-year graduate study program and go through a program similar to waiting for startups in each incubator; they also have mentors available to advise them. There are no exams, no tests, but each individual's contribution is evaluated as well as the overall team result - which together represents an innovative way of practical teaching that we have not had the opportunity to see so far.

A unique part of this project is that it brings together students from various graduate studies conducted by Algebra University - software engineering, digital marketing, and data science - so students meet with different skills and different previous education, who often did not have the opportunity to get acquainted earlier in their studies, which makes exchanging ideas, knowledge, and working on the project much more exciting and fun. 

"Our motto is that students through this course should learn how to reach the goal - after that, each new endeavor is a step forward for them, and they have a clear feeling that they will succeed; it's just a question of when. In other words, it's just a matter of their persistence," emphasizes Maja Brkljačić, one of the course leaders and head of business development in the longest-lived and most relevant startup incubator in the country, Algebra LAB.

One-stop-shop for digital nomads

Seven members of the "The Nomads" had fun studying the lifestyle of digital nomads, which led to the idea of developing a web application, "Nomad Rescue," a one-stop shop for digital nomads. Their research of the problems digital nomads face has shown that it is challenging to relocate to another location for some. In contrast, for others, the situations they face after relocating are much more challenging.

Andro Žonja and Ivan Jakovljević, graduate students of software engineering, Nina Tudor, Marta Krznar and Filip Puljić, graduate students of digital marketing, and Antonio Akrapović and Mateja Novaković, who are studying at the graduate study of data science, designed an application that would quickly and efficiently offer nomads reliable information on various topics.

Nomad Rescue is designed as a social network that integrates a program to search for accommodation for longer stays. Its users will be able to use this social network as a tool to meet other digital nomads in their location and thus find roommates. It will also feature an accommodation search tool for those nomads staying for a more extended period and a module that students call a "virtual guide" that will allow users to integrate into the new environment more easily.

"It is a platform that tries to facilitate the selection of a new living environment, finding accommodation, reviewing the content offered by nearby locations, and meeting other nomads through the social network," explains Ivan Jakovljević.

"I came up with the idea almost a year before we started this project," says Nina Tudor, a graduate student in digital marketing and leader of the team.

"I follow people who travel and work and live the life of a digital nomad, and that is something I would personally like to do in a few years. I wanted to do this for myself, and as the trend of living as a digital nomad is constantly growing, I knew it could be interesting to others. The idea was perhaps too ambitious for independent production, so I am thrilled that others recognized the idea and, in this way, it came to life. Of course, the idea went through a couple of phases of changes, and in the format in which it is today, everyone in the team deserves credit," explains Nina.

The digital nomad trend is constantly growing, especially since the pandemic started. Many employees do not want to go back to offices, and companies must adapt to new labor market demands. "The pandemic has accelerated the trend of working from home, which enables employees from the IT sector and related professions to travel and stay in other areas. Maybe because of the climate, lower living costs or simply because they are interested in other cultures," says Ivan Jakovljević.

Nina says that she spent many years working in tourism and talking to people from different countries, so she concluded that many tourists like to stay in Croatia and return from summer to summer. "That's why I wasn't so surprised by the interest in the digital nomad program in Croatia. Moreover, I'm happy that people like Jan de Jong recognized the importance of such a program and made an effort to make it happen," says Nina Tudor.

Although Croatia is one of the first countries to introduce a program for digital nomads, the application was designed by students to be easily applied to any country.

"Of course, data entry is a challenge in such cases, but our application relies heavily on global information repositories offered by Amazon and Google," explains Ivan Jakovljevic.

"We believe that local governments or tourist boards could use the application to promote their locality towards digital nomads. One of the best indicators of how much a certain environment is favorable to digital nomads is the availability of information in digital form," says Ivan.

Mentors who help the student team develop the project say that it is logical to recognize this topic. 

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"It is expected and quite logical that the students of this generation decided on this topic because the idea of digital nomads is something that will be very prominent and present in their work experience. Moreover, Algebra students from abroad are also digital nomads, in a way. Currently, we have 2-3 startups in Croatia working on this topic, so it is very hot, and the need for such a platform is real," emphasizes Maja Brkljačić.

Such projects, once launched, can significantly contribute to the country’s success and attractiveness as a destination for digital nomads. These people travel efficiently and quickly, change their geographical location, and just as easily and quickly need to get the critical information. The project is set up in a scalable way. It can be easily replicated to other countries, which is crucial for finding sources of funding because VC funds and EU funds strongly prefer global or at least European solutions.

"From this group interdisciplinary project, I learned a lot about the marketing side of development and product design itself. I also received knowledge from colleagues in the field of data science about the use and management of information and how to implement it in our product," says Andro Žonja, a programmer who develops the back-end, i.e., the server-side of the application, which consists of a layer with business logic and a database and enables communication internally and with the client part of the application.

On the other hand, one of the future graduates of data science, Mateja Novaković, also says that "interdisciplinary cooperation is quite common today and is encouraged in all spheres of life and work." She liked working with fellow program engineering students because it allowed her to go beyond the tasks she has as a member of the data science team.

"I think this is one of the more important subjects because it prepares us for a real labor market where at some point we will need to work with people from different industries and different ways of thinking. So it is exciting for me to work on the project because of all the knowledge that I will get, not only from the mentors we work with but also from colleagues in the team," emphasizes Nina Tudor.

Antonio Akrapović says that just like any other team working on a project, without a reasonable exchange of knowledge and skills, "the project could not even start, so this synergy and exchange of opinions is crucial." Antonio was in charge of the data collection strategy and its application from data science to improve the user experience when searching for the desired service most efficiently.

But just like in the real world, not everything is always ideal - and one learns through challenges. Ivan Jakovljević especially emphasizes good communication as a prerequisite for integration and the success of each team:

"The fact that members come from different educational backgrounds enriches ideas and views on the problem, but also sometimes makes communication difficult. As a result, each newly formed team has a relatively low level of efficiency given the potential of its members. Over time, the team adopts a common language manifested in norms and a clearly defined work process. Only after that step can the team realize its potential. However, to get to that point requires quality communication and overcoming certain obstacles, which is challenging to learn from books but requires the experience of teamwork.

The mentor's task is to help the team with their knowledge and experience during the two years of project development. Of course, there are always several challenges.

"The biggest challenges arose with project modules that students have not dealt with so far, such as security aspects and the use of certificates, and data collection, which made it difficult to analyze and evaluate such tasks because students did not have reference experience with similar functionalities," says Aleksander Radovan, Algebra lecturer and expert in Java software solution development. But such situations are good because students have the opportunity to acquire knowledge that they have not yet encountered while studying or working on real projects.

Aleksander Radovan advised a team of students in the segment of software engineering and the use of current technologies in developing solutions.

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"In such situations, we helped students by adding a task related to research and development - R&D - and, after discovering how they can implement certain functionality that was a challenge for them, in the next project sprint, i.e., intensive work with a mentor, I can add the job of creating specific functionality," explains Radovan.

It is crucial, just like with any other startup, that students avoid pitfalls when developing projects.

"Most startups are designed in a way that their founders start from their own needs, believing that if the product is helpful to them, then it will probably be beneficial to others. However, such an assumption needs to be verified or validated by market research, which is a rather complicated procedure.

Our biggest challenge was to check if our ideas seem helpful to other people and try to rank them according to market interest," says Ivan Jakovljević.

Finally, how to successfully launch a new web application with such international solid competition arises. Maja Brkljačić, Business Development Manager at Algebra LAB and who has extensive experience in mentoring and organizing the incubation process for many startups, can offer advice not only to this innovative team but also to others working on similar projects in their startups.

“First and foremost, I would say: know your customer. The market for mobile applications, but also web applications, is a shark pool. In October this year alone, 69,000 new mobile appointments were announced on the Google Play Store. So for someone to want to install your application on their mobile phone or use your web service, they must be motivated," emphasizes Maja Brkljačić.

Then "you need to know how to reach that user; how they can find you among more than half a million new applications a year."

"I would say that the communication process must be as fast and simple as possible - the digital age does not suffer delays, technical problems, waiting. Which means your app needs to work perfectly. In other words - it is better to have a smaller number of functionalities when entering the market, but the degree of their refinement is as high as possible," she concludes.

Ultimately, the "Nomad Rescue" team gains valuable and vital experience and knowledge of how developing such a project in practice looks. Although this knowledge is, for the most part, actually an extension of what has already been learned during their studies, they emphasize that it is always necessary to acquire knowledge outside the formal educational process.

"It is necessary to acquire knowledge independently and outside the framework prescribed by the study curriculum. However, the knowledge we gained from different subjects proved extremely useful in certain application development steps. For example, in the field of software engineering, these are topics such as how to organize large amounts of data to be easily accessible for analysis, how to containerize an application to run on multiple computers, cryptography for sensitive data protection, and other technical topics that are crucial for the success of our project," sums up Ivan Jakovljević.

This course teaches students to neglect their domain specializations in one section and look for a common language with other colleagues.

“We ask them to participate, as much as possible, together in working on different tasks: so software developers have to start communicating with end-users, which is a very new and often surprising experience for them. At the same time, product developers develop a functional specification and face, for example, how difficult it is to make changes to functionalities once they have been developed. So tomorrow, when they will work on similar complex projects, we expect that our students will communicate much better and understand their colleagues in other departments," concludes Maja Brkljačić. 

To read more about lifestyle in Croatia, follow TCN's dedicated page.

Tuesday, 30 November 2021

3 Digital Nomad Ambassadors, 1 Nomad Table, Tonight at BIZkoshnica in Zagreb

November 30, 2021 - Month 5 of the Zagreb Digital Nomad Ambassador project is coming to an end, with no less than 3 ambassadors taking part in tonight's Nomad Table hosted by Rax Suen.  

I was not quite sure what to expect when Rax Suen from Singapore was selected as the Zagreb Digital Nomad Ambassador for November, but I knew it would take this excellent project into a new direction. And so it has proved. Rax is the first Asian ambassador, and his perspectives on the potential of both Zagreb and Croatia regarding the digital nomad community have been particularly insightful.

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And I think this young man from Singapore has had a little fun along the way, despite the fact that November is perhaps not the most attractive month to visit. One highlight was certainly the outstanding Michelin Starry Nights in Dubrava, raising money to dig wells in Uganda, above. 

Rax is holding his final event this evening at BIZkoshnica coworking space at Ilica 71 at 18:00 (all welcome), when he will be handing over ambassadorial duties to our final ambassador, Anna Maria Kochanska from Poland.

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We will have a lot more from Anna Maria soon, but here is her application vdeo below.

Anna Maria is arriving this afternoon and will be put straight to work at Rax's final event and Nomad Panel and after party at BIZkoshnica.

Actually, Anna Maria is not quite the final ambassador of the project. The project organisers - Saltwater Nomads, TCN, Doma Zagreb and Zagreb Tourist Board also wanted to recognise the efforts of a young American whose blood has been infected with a love of Zagreb, and whose pro bono promotional efforts of Zagreb and Croatia in general have been among the most effective of any this year. 

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Having spent 6 days with Steve Tsentserensky in the car in eastern Croatia recently, his passion for Zagreb is unbridled, and we are delighted to welcome him to the project as the Zagreb Special Guest Digital Nomad Ambassador 2021. Below is the first video of Steve's I ever saw: Subject Zagreb.

Rax has put together a very strong panel for tonight's event:

The event panel brings together a diverse group of digital nomads to share more about their remote work journey, from travel to business and lifestyle. Discussion will include tips and insights to take your lifestyle remote, as well as real world challenges that can arise in a nomadic life.

Panel:
Steve Tsentserensky  - United States | Writer, Videomaker

Alyssa Houseknecht  - United States | Branding and Design
Nate Cronk - United States | Sales Copywriter
Anna Maria Kochanska - Poland | Business Development, Cross Cultural Consultant

See you there!

For more news and features about digital nomads in Croatia, follow the dedicated TCN section

Tuesday, 30 November 2021

Croatian 2021 Tourist Results Almost Nullify Coronavirus-Induced Drop of 2020

November the 30th, 2021 - The pace of economic recovery seems more difficult to assess than the decline that followed the unprecedented situation that dominated 2020. Croatian 2021 tourist results, however, have well and truly outdone themselves.

As Poslovni Dnevnik/Jadranka Dozan writes, what can be taken from what has been released by the Central Bureau of Statistics (CBS) on the first estimate of GDP for the third quarter of 2021 and the real growth rate of 15.8 percent compared to the same quarter last year (according to seasonally adjusted data), is that most analysts can admit that it exceeded their expectations. The Croatian 2021 tourist results were excellent, and with this being the country's strongest economic branch, it certainly poured some much needed cash back into the country's wallet.

Apart from personal consumption, which was mostly in the double-digits, and although the published data of 16 percent also largely exceeded forecasts, some economists will point out that they were pleasantly surprised by the positive contribution of net foreign demand, primarily due to significantly lower growth in the import of goods and services in relation to exports. In the summer months, this is primarily ''stamped'' by tourism.

The growth rate of total Croatian exports reached almost 49 percent, while imports of goods and services increased by just 14 percent when compared to the third quarter of last year. Prime Minister Andrej Plenkovic didn't miss the opportunity to boast about the fact that this is the second highest annual rate of quarterly GDP growth so far (behind the one recorded in the second quarter, of almost 17 percent).

At a press conference, he pointed out that in the first nine months of 2021, Croatia had annual growth of 10.7 percent, which is the highest rate, in his words, since independence. With the message that “the Government will do everything to make the growth at the end of the year reach at least nine percent, he noted that among the EU member states for which data for the third quarter has been made available, Croatia's 15.8 percent is by far the highest GDP growth.

Admittedly, at this time last year, Croatia also took the lead in the CBS estimates of quarterly GDP, but at a rate of decline. At that time, Croatia was the only country with a double-digit decline in the EU, but it turned out a little later that it was slightly larger down in Greece.

At the level of the whole of 2021, it is almost certain that the Croatian economy will record the highest growth rate to date. Bearing in mind that epidemiological measures were tightened due to the coronavirus crisis at the end of November last year, which ultimately contributed to an annual decline of 7.4 percent in the last quarter, solid growth is also expected for the last quarter of this year. In any case, all indications are that year-round growth could be very close to the double-digit rate. However, even 9 percent growth would mean catching back up with the GDP levels of the pre-crisis 2019 this year, although it was calculated at the beginning of this year that after last year's sharp decline, we'd have to wait until at least the end of next year.

Although it is now quite certain that Croatia will be in the group of several countries with the highest GDP growth in the EU this year, less impressive is the fact that in 2019 Croatia only managed to exceed the level of GDP from 2008. According to the latest estimate from Government statisticians, growth in the third quarter of 2021 was recorded by all major components of domestic GDP, with the exception of Government spending, which fell by 4.5 percent compared to the third quarter of last year.

The largest contribution to growth came from a 16 percent increase in personal consumption as the largest component, and from the exports of goods and services (with significantly slower growth for imports). With as much as 71.6 percent higher exports of services compared to the three summer months of last year, the exports of goods increased by 13 percent, while the imports of goods increased by 12.4 percent and services increased by 22.3 percent.

Positive rates also continued with gross fixed capital formation, although growth (7.4 percent) was slower than in the previous quarter (18 percent). Observed according to the production method, quarterly gross value added (GVA) recorded an annual increase of 13.5 percent. As expected, the largest contribution was made in the group of activities related to tourism, and Croatian 2021 tourist results have been truly remarkable, primarily due to a lasting favourable epidemiological situation. This allowed Croatia to excel in comparison to its Mediterranean competition.

In the category that unites wholesale and retail trade, transport and storage, as well as accommodation and food preparation and serving activities, GVA increased by almost 40 percent. Positive rates were also achieved in the remaining ten categories, with double-digits also recorded in the following activities: Information and communication (11 percent) and Professional, scientific, technical, administrative and support service activities (16 percent).

For more, check out our business section.

Tuesday, 30 November 2021

Survey Looks into Plans of Croatian Tourists for Winter Travel

November the 30th, 2021 - Croatian tourists have been planning winter trips despite the fourth wave of the coronavirus pandemic, but there could still be issues waiting to throw proverbial spanners in the works, including the recently discovered new variant, Omicron.

As Poslovni Dnevnik/Marija Crnjak writes, although Croatian tourists had made fewer trips by September this year than they did last year, their plans for winter travel, including abroad, have apparently increased. At least that's what Croatian tourists thought in September, before the onset of the fourth wave of the pandemic. This was revealed via the MasterIndex survey on the usage habits of financial services in Croatia, conducted by the Improve market research agency, on a sample of 1,046 users of banking services in Croatia aged 18 to 55.

Back in September, 43 percent of respondents planned to travel abroad this winter, while in September 2020, 21 percent planned to travel abroad. 17 percent of them planned to go skiing, 51 percent had an Advent trip planned, while as many as 24 percent of respondents intended to head off abroad celebrate the New Year. Those who said they weren't planning a trip abroad cited financial worries or fears of cancellation as their main issues. The most attractive locations for travelling within Croatia were Zagreb and its surroundings.

When it comes to realised trips, in 2021 2.7 trips per passenger were realised by Croatian tourists, and a year earlier, 3.4 trips were for leisure, while the number of business trips until September remained the same as last year (1.6 trips per respondent). For comparison, back in pre-pandemic 2019, respondents travelled an average of 4.2 times for leisure and 2.6 times a year on business. On average, a little less than 8,000 kuna was spent on one trip for leisure, and as many as 92 percent of respondents find out information about the destination of their trips via the Internet.

Most Croatian tourists pay for their trips with debit cards and cash, and as for the amount they spend on travel, it is higher than it was in the year before.

Of those Croatian tourists who planned to travel abroad at the time of the survey back in September, half planned to travel to a European destination during Advent, and on average they planned to stay on such trips for 3 to 4 days. A quarter of the respondents planned to celebrate the New Year in one of the larger European cities, and they thought that such a trip would last on average 5 days. As for skiing, such a trip was planned by 17 percent of respondents.

Among the respondents who planned a trip, most are those with a higher level of education and who have a higher income, they were also mainly respondents from Istria. Thus, 28 percent of Istrians were sure that they'd travel somewhere abroad this winter, compared to only 3 percent of respondents from Northern Croatia. At the same time, 68 percent of Slavonians planned an Advent trip to a European destination, as opposed to 47 percent of those from Istria and Zagreb. Comparing the data with last year, it could be seen that the number of those planning an Advent trip abroad or to go skiing has increased significantly, but it would be interesting to see what these same respondents plan today, in the midst of the fourth wave of the pandemic and with the emergence of a new strain of the novel coronavirus.

While before the pandemic, each respondent travelled to one of the European destinations on average once a year, now that average has dropped to 0.3 trips. The number of trips within Croatia also decreased slightly, in contrast to 2.6 trips made back in 2019, in 2021, respondents travelled an average of 2.1 times a year.

As for spending on leisure travel, although people are travelling less, respondents are spending more. Thus, on average, Croatian tourists spent a little less than 8,000 kuna on one trip, and last year they spent an average of a little more than 6,100 kuna. Back in pre-pandemic 2019, the average travel spending was 5,150 kuna in total. Respondents from Zagreb and Northern Croatia also spend much more on this type of travel than respondents from the likes of Lika and Istria.

For more, check out our dedicated travel section.

Tuesday, 30 November 2021

Opuzen School Kids Remove Plastic from Neretva River Mouth

November the 30th, 2021 - A group of Opuzen school kids spent the recent World Childrens' Day cleaning up plastic waste from the Neretva river mouth as a way to protect an honour their environment.

It's not exactly news that the European Union (EU) as a bloc has been trying to crack down harder on plastic waste, with many companies banning plastic straws, cups and even bags unless they're able to be used time and time again. A group of Opuzen school kids are aware of just how damaging plastic waste is to the environment, taking an incredibly long time to break down, and have sought to protect their local river, the famous Neretva, from harm.

As Morski writes, on the occasion of the World Children's Day, an action of cleaning the Neretva river mouth of plastic waste was organised. More specifically, the action in which Opuzen school kids became young environmentalists took place in the Special Ornithological-Ichthyological Reserve.

The world is already so polluted with plastic that each of us eats at least five grams of plastic a week in our food which corresponds to the size of one whole bank card. The horror is all the greater if we know that we get all the plastic into the body through eating a very basic, regular diet.

This was the guiding thought of last week's action of cleaning up the Neretva river mouth, in which, in addition to the Regional Agency DUNEA, the Public Institution for the Management of Protected Areas of Dubrovnik-Neretva County and the Biom Association, local children from Opuzen which is situated along the river participated.

At the beginning of the action, a short educational presentation was held about the reserve located within the Neretva Valley and about the pollution of the sea with plastic and other harmful waste. After that, the participants put on their gloves and went into action. The praiseworthy efforts of these Opuzen school kids working to keep the Neretva river mouth safe and clean will more than likely be repeated soon.

For more, check out our dedicated lifestyle section.

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