Sunday, 7 August 2022

Croatia Logs 743 New Coronavirus Cases, 12 Deaths

ZAGREB, 7 August, 2022 - Croatia has registered 743 new COVID cases and 12 related deaths in the past 24 hours, the national COVID response team reported on Sunday.

There are now 7,272 active cases in the country, including 628 hospitalised patients, 28 of whom are on ventilators, while 3,933 people are self-isolating.

Since the beginning of the pandemic in Croatia, a total of 1,193,298 people have become infected with the SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus, as a result of which 16,401 have died, while 1,169,625 have recovered, including 1,464 in the last 24 hours.

To date, 59.58% of the total population, or 70.85% of adults, have received one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine, while 68.82% of adults have been vaccinated twice.

Sunday, 7 August 2022

Large Fire on Hvar: One Person Dead Reports Croatian Media

August 7, 2022 - Two fires on Hvar have broken out - firefighters are on the scene, reports Dalmacija Danas

Update 08:00, August 8


Update 19:00

Fire under control, firefighters remain on duty
In the late afternoon at the fire site on Hvar, there was a Canadair planes who soaked the peripheral parts of the fire site so that there would be no major problems during the night. Two Canadairs were sent to the south, where a fire also broke out.

The guest of RTL Danas was Slavko Tucaković, fire chief, who spoke about the current situation with fires in Croatia, as well as the situation on Hvar. Tucaković expressed his condolences to the family of the deceased man.

"Unfortunately, this tragedy happened. The houses are no longer threatened. There are 55 firefighters, 15 vehicles and one Canadair on the ground. There is no further threat, the firefighters will stay all night, and help will come from Split in the morning."

Tucaković also confirmed that an investigation is underway to find out how the man died.

"We have sent the Canadairs to the area of ​​Prevlaka where there is a fire next to the border crossing. If necessary, they will be redirected to the area of ​​Slano", added Tucaković.

He also praised the local fire brigade that put out the fire in Kaštela last night.

"In a very short time, a large number of firefighters brought the fire under control. So far, we have had 6,609 fires, 100 fires have been sent to the fire brigade. With the great effort of the ground forces, but also with the help of the fire brigade, we are doing a good job. The burned areas are three times larger than last time It is a very intense and difficult season," said Tucaković.

"In the rest of the summer, there will be fires, the weather is not favorable, there is wind. It can also be a warning to all citizens not to light an open fire and if there is a fire, notify the firefighters very quickly. If there is a fire, I would ask all citizens not to go near it fire and a tragedy like this one can occur today. You should listen to the instructions of the emergency services on the ground. Especially do not fly drones, they can be fatal for our air force," said Tucaković.

(1530 update from -  A man died in the fire while trying to save property from the fire.

"An investigation will be conducted at the scene to determine all the facts and circumstances of the event," Jerko Kurevija from the Split-Dalmatia Police confirmed for Dalmacija Danas.)

According to unofficial information, a man who tried to save the excavator from the fire was killed, but then tragedy struck.

The portal repors that all the fire brigades are on the scene, and that three Canadair fire-fighting planes are en route to tackle the blazes from the air.

Shortly before 1:00 p.m., a fire broke near the village of Dol, and at 1:40 p.m. a fire report was received near Zastražišće. Dol is a central village, located between Jelsa and Stari Grad, while Zastrazisce is in eastern Hvar. (15:00 Update - Hvar photo journalist Jaksa Kuzmicic has sent a message saying there is no fire at Zastrazisce, only between the villages of Vrbanj and Dol).

Firefighters from DVD Jelsa, Stari Grad and Hvar Town have been dispatched to tackle both fires..

A dense pine forest is burning. There is no initial information about buildings under threat, but putting out the fires has been made more difficult by a strong tramontana wind.


The view from Dol, taken by Norman Woollons.

We will update this article as more information comes in. 

The fire near Dol.

- At the moment, three Canadairs have arrived. The fire is being extinguished by all forces from the island, so far no call has been made for reinforcements from the mainland. We are intensively monitoring the fire through the surveillance camera system, we have no information about the direct threats to the buildings - said the county fire chief Ivan Kovačević.

The village of Vrbanj next to Dol. 

Sunday, 7 August 2022

Polish Bus Crash in Croatia: Latest Updates (August 7, 12:00)

August 7, 2022 - The latest updates from the Polish bus crash in Croatia, from the live feed

Yesterday, a serious bus accident occurred on the A4 highway in the direction of Zagreb. At least 12 people died, and at least 19 were seriously injured.

The accident occurred around 5:40 a.m. on the A4 highway in the direction of Zagreb between Jarek Bisaški and Podvorec. A bus with Polish license plates that left the Polish city of Częstochowa on a pilgrimage to Medjugorje fell off the road.

According to the data collected so far, the traffic accident occurred when the driver of the bus registered in Poland lost control of the steering wheel of the vehicle, which veered to the right, broke through the guardrail and landed outside the highway.

9 minutes ago
In KB Dubrava, all patients are stable
All patients treated at the KB Dubrava have serious injuries, but are stable. Four patients are in the intensive care unit, some are awaiting additional procedures, and two are in the departments of traumatology, orthopedics and plastic surgery, Josip Bubnjar told HRT.

An hour ago
New details about the injured in Varaždin
FOUR female patients in satisfactory health, injured on Saturday when a Polish bus ran off the A4 highway, were transported to Poland tonight, the director of Varaždin General Hospital Damir Poljak confirmed and added that they are still caring for seven injured.

2 hours ago
The tachograph of the bus was destroyed
The tachograph of the Polish bus was destroyed in an accident and after an authorized technician tried to extract data from it, nothing could be read, Jutarnji list has learned.

2 hours ago
In Varaždin, two patients are critical
Director of Varaždin General Hospital, Damir Poljak, said that of the remaining hospitalized in that hospital, four patients are in the intensive care unit, two of which are in critical condition, and one patient from the intensive care unit has been transferred to the trauma department.

"The injured expressed their satisfaction with the treatment of the emergency services and the help they received, and four patients were transferred to Poland last night," said Prefect Anđelko Stričak.

Patients born in 1956 to 1975 were accommodated in OB Varaždin.

3 hours ago
Polish bus owner: Guys, don't bother me. My life is ruined
"Elevan people died on the spot, and a twelfth died in the operating room. Dozens are in hospitals. I'm in shock, on tranquilizers. My life is ruined," says Jacek Antoszkiewicz, owner of the Megapol transport company whose bus had a serious accident in Croatia early yesterday morning.

"People, don't torture me. I'm shocked and on tranquilizers. My life has fallen apart. It's a terrible tragedy for me," he says in despair.

3 hours ago
Poland has published information about the injured: "Some lives are still in danger"
Spokesperson of the Polish Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Lukasz Jasina, revealed to TVN24 that after the tragic accident of the Polish bus, there are still people in Croatia whose lives are in danger.

3 hours ago
The condition of two patients in Varaždin remains serious
According to the latest information, the condition of two patients in Varaždin is still serious.

Of the 32 injured, 11 are hospitalized in Varaždin hospital. Five of them are in the intensive care unit. Some of the injured who are housed in KBC Zagreb could return to Poland as early as today. There are 19 injured in Zagreb, five in KBC Zagreb, five in KB Dubrava.

4 hours ago
Announced press conference in Varaždin
Information has arrived that the condition of two patients in the hospital in Varaždin has worsened. At the press conference at 9:30 a.m., the Prefect of Varaždin County, Anđelko Stričak, and the director of Varaždin General Hospital, Damir Poljak, will report on the latest information.

4 hours ago
Varaždin police chief: One driver was killed. It has not yet been determined who the other is
"After the investigation, it was established that the bus driver did not move on the highway for an unspecified reason, that he crossed the stop lane onto the green grass area and hit the guardrail and landed in the ditch. The investigation established that the driver was one of the deceased passengers in the traffic accidents," said Predrag Benčić, head of the Varaždin Police Department.

5 hours ago
Polish Ministry: The bus was technically correct
The Polish Ministry of Infrastructure announced that the bus that had an accident in Croatia was manufactured in 2011, registered in Poland and that it passed all the inspections required by law. The technical inspection was carried out in June of this year.

Polish Foreign Ministry spokesman Łukasz Jasina said there were 42 pilgrims and two drivers on the bus, and that all the victims were Polish citizens. He said that the pilgrimage was organized by the brotherhood of Saint Joseph.

5 hours ago
Chief of the fire department on the tragedy on the A4: Screams, wailing were heard from all sides...
The fire chief of DVD Breznički Hum recounted what happened at the scene of the accident on the A4 in which the Polish bus ran off the road. He claims that it was one of the most difficult incidents in his life.

5 hours ago

The condition of two patients in the OB Varaždin has worsened
News came from the Varaždin hospital last night that the condition of two patients had worsened.

"We have 11 patients in our institution, five in the intensive care unit, of which two are critical, three in traumatology and orthopedics, and three in the neurosurgery department. Given that these are polytraumas, the condition of two patients worsened during the day," director of OB Varaždin Damir Poljak told HTV.

5 hours ago
The four injured are returning to Poland
Polish Minister of Health Adam Niedzielski announced that four people injured in a tragic accident in Croatia in which 12 people died are returning to Poland.

"The Polish state does not leave its citizens without help. Together with the Polish delegation, four people injured in a tragic accident in Croatia are returning to Warsaw," Niedzielski announced on Twitter.

He added that the others "remain under the best care in Croatian hospitals. We will keep you informed about their state of health".

Among the 32 injured people, four of whom are returning to the country, 19 are still in serious condition in five Croatian hospitals. The Polish Minister of Health, Polish media reports, confirmed that the prognosis for five of them is uncertain.

5 hours ago
An eyewitness speaks: The bus driver lost control, broke through the fence and landed on the highway
The investigation of the Polish bus accident in which 12 people lost their lives today on the highway near Breznica found that the driver lost control of the steering wheel, and in order to determine the cause of the accident, an autopsy of the victims and an expert examination of the driver's alcoholism were ordered.

The accident that happened on Saturday around 5:25 on the Goričan-Zagreb highway in the direction of Zagreb near the town of Breznica was investigated by the Deputy State Attorney of the Varaždin County together with the police officers of the Varaždin Police, the State Attorney's Office reported on its website.

The driver lost control of the bus and swerved into the right lane
According to the data collected so far, the traffic accident occurred when the driver of the bus registered in Poland lost control of the steering wheel of the vehicle, which veered to the right, broke through the guardrail and landed outside the highway.

12 people from the bus died in the accident, including the bus driver, all citizens of Poland. In order to determine the manner and cause of the traffic accident, the State Attorney's Office ordered an autopsy of the deceased persons, an expert opinion on the intoxication of the bus driver, and the conduct of other necessary investigations and evidentiary actions.

There were 44 people in the bus
There were 44 people in the Polish bus that went off the highway yesterday - 42 passengers and two drivers. 12 people died, and 32 people are currently being treated, Minister of the Interior Davor Božinović reported in front of the hospital in Varaždin.

Minister of Health Vili Beroš said during a tour of the injured in Varaždin that 19 people were seriously injured and 13 were lightly injured.

The Ministry of the Interior reported on Twitter that at 16:50 the section Breznički Hum - Komin in the direction of Zagreb was now open for all traffic.

You can follow the latest (Google Translate is your friend on the live feed.

Sunday, 7 August 2022

Who Needs Vowels? 30+ Croatian Words Made 100% From Consonants

August 7, 2022 - Yes, they exist. It's not made up. There are words in the Croatian language that appear not to have vowels to any normal foreigner. Why do we have them? How do you pronounce them?

First of all, you need to understand one thing: one of the facts you hear most often during your elementary school education here is that the vowels in our language are "A, E, I, O, U and sometimes R" (we don't have the "y" in our alphabet, so it's not mentioned; well, actually, it wasn't mentioned years ago when I was in school, potentially the kids today are taught the alphabet differently). The "sometimes R" is extremely confusing both to every thinking eight-year-old in second grade, and to anyone else. How can the very non-vowelly "R" be a vowel?

I don't know. I'm obviously not a linguist, I'm someone who is very literate and articulate in Croatian, but I don't know the linguistic details of how that's possible. But, for our purposes, it doesn't really matter, all we need to know at this point is that it is entirely legitimate to have a Croatian word that has no *other* vowels, except for a poor "R" in there somewhere.

Words without vowels in Croatian tend to be shorter words, and I'm sure that you've heard some of them if you've spent any time in Croatia. For a tourist, the first one you come by is trg, as in "Trg bana Jelačića", meaning square. Like the rest of those words without vowels, it's difficult to pronounce, as was proven by Google Maps and their voice navigation which struggled with that one for years, until they finally managed to get it almost right.

When I was asked to write this article, I spent maybe 2 or 3 hours actively thinking about how to best explain in writing how those words are easiest to pronounce for a foreigner, and I landed on the "ɜː". Words that might help you get it right from English are "worth", "nurse", and "stir", but if you were really trying to make that "R" be heard in there. Hey, "heard" is another one!

Then we have the island of Krk. Rt is the shortest one (not really, but the last two are so weird we'll come back to them later), and you'll often come across it when sailing - it means "the cape" (in the "Cape Canaveral" sense of the word, not in the magician's attire sense of the word). Then there's grb, the coat of arms - our flag has a very fancy and confusing one of those in its center, so it might come up sometimes. While we're at it, there's also Grk, which can mean two things: a person from Greece, or, more importantly (especially if you're on the island of Korčula), the very local white wine variety you should absolutely have when there!

You absolutely don't want to encounter krv while on vacation here, unless you're reading some fiction involving blood. Especially not on your prst, which is a finger. Crn is black, brz is fast, grm is bush, grč is a cramp (mostly) in your leg, so you might get some of those while swimming. Hrt is a greyhound dog, krš is karst (see, this one is almost the same in both languages!), skrb is a noun for when you're taking care of someone, smrt is death, srp you probably also won't come across, unless you end up somewhere on Hvar harvesting lavender (sickle, as shown on the second image in the linked article).

If you hear strm on your way to the beach, that should worry you: it means steep, and it means that coming back from the beach might be a problem. Trn you also want to avoid as much as possible, it is a thorn (also very similar in the two languages). Trs is a vine, which is coincidentally a word I most often misspelled in English in my entire life, while writing for Total Croatia Wine. Tvrd is really hard to pronounce, which seems only fair, as it means hard or tough. Čvrst is even harder to pronounce, with the infamous "č" at the beginning, but the meaning is very similar to tvrd, so for most basic conversations you can stick to tvrd and pretend never to have heard of čvrst. Vrh is the top or the peak, so if you're into mountains, you'll get to some vrh while here, vrt is a garden where your veggies come from (often in Dalmatia called vrtal, with a single vowel graciously given to help), vrč is a pitcher for water, beer (very rarely here will you find beer served in pitchers) or wine.

Zvrk is a spinning top, so unless you're talking about Inception, I don't see how you could need that in a conversation, and škrt is a quality of a person who's cheap and doesn't want to spend any money. Brk is a moustache (but much more often the word brkovi is used), crv is a worm or maggot, trk is a quick dash and I saved the best for last: krnj. You are absolutely not required to remember or ever try to pronounce this, as it means truncated, is rarely used and my god, not only does it have no vowels, but it also has a "NJ" in there!

The two I promised we'd discuss later are brief and don't include "R": s and k. S means with (sometimes it's spelled "sa", for very complicated reasons), and k means to, in the sense that you would say "come to me" - "dođi k meni".

There are several more words without vowels in the Croatian language, but are so rarely used that I had to really think hard to figure out what they meant. I think we've had enough of this vowel-less fun for one day and that you've learned enough about the strange world of the Croatian language if you got this far.

Sunday, 7 August 2022

Owner of Polish Bus in Croatia Crash: My Life is Ruined

August 7, 2022 - The owner of the Polish bus which crashed with 12 fatalities in Croatia yesterday morning has been speaking to the media, reports 

"Eleven people died on the spot, and a twelfth died in the operating room. Dozens are in hospitals. I'm in shock, on tranquilizers. My life is ruined," says Jacek Antoszkiewicz, owner of the Megapol transport company whose bus had a serious accident in Croatia early yesterday morning.

Let us remind you that the accident happened yesterday around 5:40 a.m. on the A4 highway towards Zagreb, between Jarek Bisaški and Podvorec.

"The bus left on Friday at 9 a.m. from the Warszawa-Zachodnia railway station," explains Jacek Antoszkiewicz in an interview with Fakt. "There were 44 people in the vehicle, including two experienced drivers," he added. According to him, the bus was correct, it passed all technical tests, but he did not want to say whether this was the first such long route for the drivers.

"People, don't torture me. I'm shocked and on tranquilizers. My life has fallen apart. It's a terrible tragedy for me," he says in despair.

The pilgrimage was organized by the office of the Brotherhood of St. Josip. Among the pilgrims were three priests, six nuns and pilgrims from the vicinity of Konin, Sokołów and Jedlnia near Radom.

More on this story on TCN:

Božinović: On-Site Investigation Completed, 44 Persons on Board Polish Bus

Croatian PM Extends Condolences to Polish PM

Fatal Bus Crash in Croatia, 12 Polish Tourists Killed (Updated Report)

Sunday, 7 August 2022

Lipovac Autopark to Boost Economy Along the A3 in Slavonia

August 7, 2022 – In Lipovac, in the municipality of Nijemci, test archaeological probes were dug in the future area of ​​the Lipovac Autopark. It should be finished in the next two to three years and hopes are that it will help boost local economy.

As Glas Slavonije writes, when the construction of the car park begins, the work will certainly not be slowed down by the archaeological investigations to be carried out before the earthwork and construction work, and the frequent complaints from builders that deadlines need to be pushed through will be avoided. Archaeological research is mandatory in all areas where the profession assumes there could be important and interesting archaeological discoveries.

Lipovac Autopark, a protected and safe parking lot for goods vehicles, is one of the strategic projects of the Vukovar-Srijem County, the owner of which is the Municipality of Nijemci. Economic development will be stimulated by taking advantage of the geographical and traffic location in the southeast of the county. The project is still far from the beginning of the works, but it is known that it will be built as part of the Lipovac Business Zone and is included in the spatial plan of the Municipality on approximately 54 hectares of land owned by the Republic of Croatia.

As GS reminds, the main purpose of the project is to solve the problem of heavy traffic caused by truck traffic at the border crossings to Serbia and, at the same time, to increase the safety of road traffic.

“Works on the strategic project of Lipovac Autopark are carried out continuously. The creation of project-technical documentation is a thorough and long process, but this project is of strategic importance for us and our county, and we expect the rest of the documentation to be resolved soon and help the further implementation of the works. In cooperation with the competent ministry, we continue to work on acquiring donations of the land needed for construction. The support of Prefect Damir Dekanić, the entire county and the Vukovar-Srijem Development Agency is present in all the steps necessary for the realisation of this project”, says Vjekoslav Belajević, Mayor of Nijemci Municipality. He adds that Lipovac Autopark will be a modern built and equipped, safe, and protected parking lot for trucks on the A3 Bregana - Zagreb - Lipovac motorway, with all accompanying facilities: sanitary facilities, motel, service workshop, café, administration building, inspection service, and customs control.

The implementation of this strategic project, whose value today is much higher than the initially planned HRK 53 million, will enable economic development and raise the standard of living of the population in eastern Croatia, especially the Vukovar-Srijem County and the Nijemci Municipality.

The Vukovar-Srijem Development Agency says that the car park could be completed within two to three years.

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

Sunday, 7 August 2022

Slavonia and Podravina, Wine Not?! Festival Announced

August 7, 2022 – September in Croatia is just the most beautiful time. For the best possible experience, in Virovitica-Podravina County they decided to make it wine month. Wine Not?

According to Press 032, the most anticipated wine event Slavonia and Podravina, Wine Not!? will once again gather lovers of wine, fine snacks, unique environment, art, and untouched nature on the famous Noble Route. The festival was announced in Orahovica, in the Patkoš boutique winery on the slopes of Krndija and Papuk.

The pink nocturne in noble dress in the unique Janković Castle on September 3 is the best introduction to as many as six exclusive wine events. A completely different experience awaits wine lovers on September 11 at a picnic in the beautiful Jankovac park forest of the Papuk Nature Park. Wine and art will be discussed on September 17 at Wine&Art in the Pejačević Castle in Virovitica, and on September 22 it’s all about Graševina in Dravska Priča in Noskovci. On September 24, a wine marathon will be held in Orahovica, followed by Wine and Poetry on October 1 in the Interpretation Centre – Petar Preradović's House.


Pexels (Taryn Elliott)

“I am extremely happy that after last year's events, more winemakers want to get involved in this beautiful story. Three criteria are decisive for the selection of wines to be tasted at the six wine events – top quality, all wines must be from the area of ​​Virovitica-Podravine County and, of course, they must be available on the market”, noted the well-known oenologist Ivana Nemet, ambassador of the event Slavonia and Podravina, Wine Not!?

“In recent years, Orahovica has been developing in the direction of wine tourism. In our area, the green Silvanac produces excellent results, and we have become known in the wine world for that variety. I am happy that in addition to the famous PP Orahovica winery, we also have beautiful small boutique wineries with excellent wines that attract an increasing number of wine lovers to our city”, said Saša Rister, mayor of Orahovica, at the presentation of this year's manifestation Slavonia and Podravina, Wine Not!?

Martina Jakelić, director of the Virovitica-Podravina County Tourist Board, which in cooperation with the local tourist boards organises the six wine events, pointed out that this year's manifestation brings together important points on the Noble Route.

“For everyone who wants to be a part of this beautiful wine story, it is important to note that the number of places is limited, the registration fee for participation per event is HRK 100, except for the Wine Picnic in the Jankovac Forest Park, which will cost HRK 150, and the registration fee includes the rental of a picnic basket for two people. Registration forms and more information about the event can be found on the website of the Virovitica-Podravina County Tourist Board”, said Martina Jakelić.

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

Sunday, 7 August 2022

Božinović: On-Site Investigation Completed, 44 Persons on Board Polish Bus

ZAGREB, 7 August, 2022 - The on-site investigation of the bus crash that occurred on the A4 motorway in northern Croatia on Saturday morning, in which 12 Polish nationals were killed and 32 injured, has been completed, Interior Minister Davor Božinović told a press conference in Varaždin on Saturday afternoon.

The bus was carrying Polish pilgrims to the Marian shrine of Međugorje, southern Bosnia and Herzegovina.

Božinović said that the personal effects of the passengers were stored at the Varaždin Police Department and would be released upon request from official institutions.

He said that Polish police officers, present in Croatia as part of the programme "Croatia, a safe tourist destination", assisted in facilitating communication with the crash victims and gathering information for the Polish Embassy.

The Varaždin County Red Cross has organised counselling for the victims and, if necessary, for emergency services staff who were the first to arrive at the scene.

Based on the information exchanged with the Polish police, "44 persons were on board the bus, 42 passengers and two drivers. 32 persons are currently hospitalised and 12 were killed," Božinović said.

Eleven passengers have been admitted to Varaždin General Hospital. "Five of them are in intensive care, three are in neurosurgery and three in trauma. Two patients have been operated on and two are having a thoracic drain inserted. Neither of them is in a life-threatening condition. All are stable," the hospital's director Damir Poljak said.

The on-site investigation, led by a county deputy prosecutor in cooperation with the police, found that the driver had lost control of the steering wheel and skidded off the road. Post-mortems were ordered for those killed and blood alcohol tests for the drivers, the State Attorney's Office (DORH) said on its website.

Sunday, 7 August 2022

Beroš Says Can't Comment on Possible Omissions in Reporter's Treatment for Now

ZAGREB, 7 August, 2022 - Health Minister Vili Beroš said on Saturday he could not say for the time being if there had been any omissions in the medical treatment of reporter Vladimir Matijanić and that that would be determined by a medical inspection he had requested.

Asked to comment on the claims by Matijević's partner, reporter Andrea Topić, that the medical assistance he received was inadequate, Beroš said that he did not have sufficient information on the case for the time being and that the case would be looked into.

Topić has said in a post on social networks that doctors at the KBC Split hospital and emergency medical staff did not want to help Matijević.

She said that Matijević, who suffered from Sjögren's syndrome and interstitial lung disease and was suspected to have two other autoimmune diseases, tested positive for COVID-19 earlier this week.

He could not be vaccinated against coronavirus due to his medical condition.

Topić said that despite severe symptoms caused by COVID-19, hospital staff refused to admit him.

She described in her post how many times they had contacted the hospital and the emergency medical service, saying that after the first emergency home visit, emergency medical staff again refused to take Matijanić to hospital. After his condition further deteriorated, an emergency medical team arrived again but it was too late, she said.

Topić also said that staff at KBC Split had told them that no medical institution in Croatia had a drug prescribed for patients with serious conditions to prevent severe COVID-19 symptoms.

Asked to comment on this, Beroš said that doctors prescribed medicines based on the patient's medical condition.

"I cannot believe that anyone whose condition requires it would not be prescribed the medicine they need," he said, noting that there were currently several medicines for the treatment of COVID-19 symptoms and that it would be investigated what condition the reporter was in and if it had required therapy and which.

Saturday, 6 August 2022

New Investment Coming to Toplice Jezerčica in Hrvatsko Zagorje

August 7, 2022 - Inland tourism is often given a back seat when we're talking about Croatian tourism. However, big investments and changes are happening, and we bring you an interview with one of the big players, Goran Fabris of Poreč and Rovinj fame, currently doing his magic in Toplice Jezerčica (Jezerčica Spa) in Hrvatsko Zagorje.

Robert Kuščar of the Volim Zagorje Facebook Page, a Zagorje enthusiast, talked to Goran Fabris, a member of the Rudan d.o.o. Tourism Sector Board, one of the most successful domestic hoteliers with extensive experience in Valamar in Poreč, Maistra in Rovinj and Jadran in Crikvenica.

How much is the total investment in Donja Stubica?

If we observe the entire investment cycle, which should last 4-5 years, the total investment should amount to HRK 440 million. This includes the total remodelling of the existing hotel facilities. We plan to expand from the existing 47 to slightly more than 200 rooms. In the same period, we will additionally invest in the existing camp. Of course, the most important thing to highlight is the investment in a new aquapark on an area of ​​almost 2 hectares. It is this aquapark and its close connection to accommodation facilities that should ultimately represent a novelty in continental tourism in Croatia, because it implements ideas and business standards that have long been known for in Austria, where exactly such resorts record improving results year after year.

Is continental tourism even economically profitable?

When we talk about profitability - there is a public perception that tourism is not and will never be highly profitable, which is ultimately correct. The development of tourism always brings along a whole series of benefits for the local community, and its profitability always depends on several basic factors. Some of the most important are: the legal framework that includes tax rates such as VAT, etc., but also the destination itself, because building a hotel in Rovinj or Donja Stubica is not the same. Rovinj is the best example of how the vision of one man, accompanied by the financial potential of a company, created a destination that, over the past two decades, has been branded precisely on the basis of investment in new facilities. Our desire is to do something similar in Toplice Jezerčica. We believe that the investment will have a long-term positive impact not only on Stubica but also on Zagorje as a whole. This is precisely why we believe that we will get the support of the local community, as well as the administration at the state level because each of them can help us a lot. The Ministry of Tourism has made huge strides in understanding the needs of the tourism sector in recent years, so we hope that this direction will continue. It is very important for us to succeed in realizing the funds from the National recovery and resilience program. In addition, the support of the local community regarding spatial plans, building permits, and exemption from paying communal contributions would help us a lot. These are all important steps that lead to a faster and more profitable investment.

Once the complex is finished, how many new jobs will there be?

Today, there are 70 people employed in Toplice Jezerčica. We believe that ultimately, once the project is completed, that number should be at least three times higher.

What are the novelties you plan on bringing, compared to today's spas?

The existing facilities will be upgraded to 4* this year, and 170 new rooms, new congress facilities, renovated wellness facilities, and indoor and outdoor water facilities will be added to this through the next two phases of the investment. The camp will remain the same size, but with an increase in capacity and additional investments in raising the quality of accommodation. It's important we mention the new Aquapark, with facilities that currently do not exist in the continental part of Croatia.

Are the hotel and swimming pools being demolished and are new ones being built or upgraded?

We will demolish, renovate and build. For now, we can only reveal that in our development plans we have limited ourselves to the space we own. We are not planning additional expansion beyond the existing plots we own. It is a big and serious investment project, so we have to play it safe. Making plans in an area that has not been legally resolved in terms of ownership would be frivolous, to say the least, but also irresponsible,

How come you recognized Zagorje as a destination for high tourism?

Rather, we could say that Zagorje found us. When we first received information about the possibility of an acquisition, we recognized a good opportunity for our new step forward in the tourism business, and the new ideas and plans just came out of nowhere.

When can we expect the first machines on the construction site?

The works on the reconstruction of the existing capacities will start in early October, and the much more demanding ones related to the Aquapark and new hotel capacities will depend on the rate of us + obtaining the necessary permits and the results of tenders related to the realization of the right to grants.

Will the Toplice Jezerčica be completely closed during the construction, or are you planning to build and operate it?

If possible, we would definitely like to preserve the continuity of the water features, but I must admit that we have not yet made a final decision on this. It is certain that the accommodation facilities will not be in operation from the beginning of October until sometime around the end of November

Will the name Terme Jezerčica remain? Previous experiences have shown that foreign tourists have a hard time trying to pronounce this word, which reduces the marketing and branding potential.

The projects like this always require a serious marketing approach, with the elaboration of all the necessary details related to the defined "final product" and being able to present it in the markets. In our case, that task is additionally demanding because we are still not able to clearly define the time course of the investment, let alone the course of accompanying marketing activities. I agree with you that the existing name may not be overly marketing demanding, but I must emphasize that our first goal is to become a kind of a "riviera" for those who can reach us by a two-three hours car ride!

Page 7 of 3659