Thursday, 23 February 2023

Dejan Lovren Retires from Croatia National Team

February 23, 2023 - Dejan Lovren retires from the Croatia national team and says goodbye in a letter to his fans on Instagram. 

You can find Dejan Lovren's letter to his fans transcribed below. 

"Dear national team, dear loyal fans,

I want to address you with some sad news, but believe me; I made this decision with an open heart and after much thought. This is quite difficult for me, and while I'm writing this, I'm trying not to cry, but you already know me well as a person with a heart and undisguised emotions.

The day has come when I have to say goodbye to the Croatia national team, even though I still see myself as an ardent fan who will always cheer on his national team.

As a child, I dreamed I would play in big tournaments in that most beautiful shirt with the checkers on it. I first wore those red and white checkers when I was nine years old, and I will never forget that special feeling - as if I was wearing Superman's cape. Like my hero Superman, I felt powerful, confident, and fearless.


I will forever remember October 8, 2009, as the official debut for my homeland.

I went through all the youth selections, but I always wanted to feel the top of the pyramid, which is the A national team. This is where I could show my true skills to the whole world.

Honestly, I expected more from myself in the beginning. I was disappointed several times with my performances, I thought I could give a lot more, but some things didn't add up. I once even considered leaving you early. Youth-craziness, I didn't have much patience with myself. I hope you didn't take it for granted because in the end, I listened to my heart and continued, mainly because of you, dear fans.

I want to tell all young footballers that you should look at the Croatia national team differently than anything else - look at them as your superheroes.

The most beautiful side of this national team story is all we have achieved in the past five years. It's still like a big dream to me. So many emotions passed through me, especially in 2018 and 2022, that it is difficult to describe. I lived for such moments and experienced them with the greatest pride. I will never forget them, I will carry them forever in my heart.

I want to thank all the coaches for their cooperation, starting with my first one, Slaven Bilić, then through Igor Štimac, Nika Kovač, and Ante Čačić to Zlatko Dalić. Each of you left something behind, and I will be forever grateful because I learned a lot from each of you.

I want to thank all former and current teammates for a wonderful and unforgettable journey. We have had our ups and downs, laughed and cried together, and I will have you all in my heart forever. I have played with some of you for more than ten years together. I experience you as my brothers, you were there for me when I was really having a hard time. Thank you very much.

Thanks to all the people behind the scenes who have been there since day one. I can't name everyone in order, but we know very well who these people are. You are the core of this national team, you are not in the headlines, and maybe you don't get too much attention, but believe me - without you, we are nobody and nothing.

Finally, I would like to say that you have one new fan from now on. As before, we stand by each other, because our unity is of inestimable importance for the Croatia national team, it is our greatest strength.

Thank you from the bottom of my heart,

Your Dejan"

Lovren played his last match for the Croatia national team in the 2022 World Cup semi-final against Argentina. He recorded 78 caps and five goals for Croatia throughout his national team career.  

To follow the latest sports news in Croatia, follow TCN's dedicated page.

Thursday, 23 February 2023

Pointers Travel: Croatia is an Undiscovered Gem for American Tourists

February 23, 2023 - I opened an office on 7th Avenue, and we’re starting our activities there, including the promotion of Croatia on the American market, proudly says Krunoslav Weinpert, founder and owner of DMC agency Pointers Travel from Osijek.

And there are many reasons for him to be proud because for an agency from Croatia to have an office in New York is a great success and a huge challenge. It's one thing to come to a tourist fair for a couple of days, and quite another to be present at the market every single day, writes hrturizam.

"We are starting with one project directed at all tourist boards in Croatia. It unifies the presentation of Croatia as a tourist destination to more than 2,000 agents in America. For the American market, we will present tourist destinations through 4 regions, plus "Best of Croatia.” American agents will go through training, be it 45-minute or 60-minute lessons, separate for the regions of Croatia,” says Weinpert.

The decision to open an office did not come overnight. Pointers Travel has been working on a market expansion for the last five years, and they have been to various fairs in America during that period. The opening of the office followed a logical sequence of events. American agents for sure view it differently when an agency is present on-site in the USA.

"This is our 10th time appearing on the American market - last year we went to 5 fairs, this year two, and before that with the Croatian Tourist Board. We were there before the pandemic. We already have two fairs arranged for next year. Next year we are going to Chicago and New York; the contracts have already been signed. Opening an office in NY immediately turned out to be a great move. We have already seen at the fair that it changes a lot. Travel agents and companies prefer to work with a company from the USA.

I can say that these are extremely large investments. So far, attending 7 trade fairs plus the ones before, while being present for two years on the American market, was a significant investment. We had some support from the EU, but we really gave it our all - not just financially, but our energy," points out Weinpert and emphasizes that, according to their experience, American agents are extremely interested in Croatia.

"Croatia is becoming one of the top three locations in Europe for the American market, and we realized that Americans still need to learn a lot about Croatia. They know some information, but they don't have much detail. Seeing as Pointers has more than 400 videos, and we work with more than 150 tourist boards all over Croatia, the decision is to approach agents in such a way. We will also do PR activities on the American market, as well as online campaigns, all kinds - adverts, Facebook, and PR articles on the American market", states Weinpert.

Focus on the pre- and post-season: Americans do not want to go to Croatia at the peak of the tourist season

Another sector that Pointers travel will cover is strategic assistance to tourist communities. Again, it is one thing to take up advertising space in the media, and quite another to have partners who are on the market, presenting, and know the market best. This is something that every tourist board should take full advantage of if it’s trying to communicate with the American market.

When asked what their cooperation with tourism boards will entail, Weinpert states three directions.

"We give the tourist boards the opportunity to become our partners in the project and, in that way, present their tourist destination, the special features of the destination and, what is very important, want to help them boost the pre-season, and post-season. Americans don't want to come during peak season; they do not find that interesting.

Secondly, we can bring them visitors with high paying power. We try to make sure that the events in which they invest significant funds are well attended, that they are sufficiently present in the American media and presented to agents as if we are "selling" the new contents of their destinations. For example, if a destination has invested in cycling or hiking in recent years, then we will focus on what they have invested in. This is how we give tourism boards the opportunity to cooperate."

The project officially starts on the 10th of March with the arrival of the first American agents in Croatia. These are agents who own companies in both America and the Emirates and cover the markets of America, the Emirates, and India.

"They want to come, they have 5 days, and their entire tour of Croatia this time starts from Baranja. We start from Baranja, Osijek, and the rest of Slavonia. Then we go via the golden hills of Papuk, Velika, towards Varaždin, the pearl that is Zagorje, Zagreb, we tour the famous four rivers, Gorski kotar, Lika, and Plitvice. Via Knin and Split, we end up in Dubrovnik.

One of the tours goes to Umag to the Kampinski Resort and includes a tour of Istrian wineries. We provide agents with study trips to Croatia, which allow them to get to know Croatia as a whole. What we are going to do now is to create more than 30 types of travel packages for the whole of Croatia; there will be between 50 and 60 travel packages, and they will be given to agents in America for use.

We provide agents with more than 10,000 photos, free of charge. These are photos that Pointers has been able to create together with tourist boards in the last 7 years, and we provide them with more than 400 videos of professional quality," explains Weinpert and adds that the benefit of what they have been doing in Croatia for the past seven years is finally being recognized.

The third segment, which is included in the entire project and is very important, is cooperation with hotels, restaurants, wineries, and destination attractions. Naturally, they find it interesting to be on the route and defined itineraries of the American agents.

"We go to the hotels in those destinations with which we cooperate; we go to quality restaurants, wineries, and attractions. We offer them cooperation on an annual level, on a contractual basis, where we also present them and include them in tourist packages. We bring agents to introduce them to all of this. I expect that by the end of the year, a large number of agents from America will come to Croatia, a few dozen. I don't know if the number will reach a hundred, but many American agents will certainly come to Croatia this year," points out Weinpert.

Croatia is an undiscovered jewel of Europe for American tourists

It is difficult to generalize, especially when the American market is concerned, but when asked what the perception of Croatia is on the American market, Weinpert emphasizes that there is great interest for this Adriatic beauty.

Americans want to avoid the biggest crowds in the peak season; they want a different type of vacation than just chilling at the beach; Weinpert further explains and points out that American tourists are looking for packages where they can taste and experience quality gastronomy and wine, and see natural and cultural sights.

"We got to know the American market well; we saw that its potential is huge, that Croatia is well accepted, that our prices do not pose any problem to them, and that they need much more in-depth information about Croatia. We push packages that last 14 days, some 7 days of cruising the Adriatic and visiting the main points along the coast, and after that, the continental areas, via Zagreb to the east of Croatia.

We do not work below that, nor does the market demand it; it simply does not make sense to come for a shorter period due to the length of the journey. We must admit that the reason for coming is still a brand stronger than the name of Croatia - Dubrovnik, followed by the Plitvice Lakes, food, nature, clear sea, wonderful people - this is what is most often communicated.

What surprised us all these years is that people who have been to Croatia have so many exceptional positive emotions for the country. Croatia is the undiscovered jewel of Europe for American tourists, which is starting to push hard alongside Greece, Italy, France; it is starting to brutally beat the competition," Weinpert concluded.

A large part of the work has already been done. The promotion has been done, and promotional photo and video materials are available, as well as direct contact with American agents who come to Croatia and experience Croatia firsthand. The most important thing, however, is to be constantly present in the American market.

By opening the Pointers Travel office, he took that big step forward and completed the whole story with strong foundations. That is the first prerequisite for a more serious approach to a market, in this case, the American market.

Finally, if you want to be part of this project and your focus is on the American market, representing a tourist community or a hotel, restaurant, or winery, contact Krunoslav Weinpert from the Pointers Travel agency (This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. ) or via the website.

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

Thursday, 23 February 2023

Damir Sabol Selling Remarkable Croatian Photomath to Google

February the 23rd, 2023 - Whoever said that entrepreneurs are doomed when trying something new in Croatia? There's no denying that it is difficult, perhaps more so than in many other EU countries, but Damir Sabol has proved that where there is a will, there's a way. The remarkable Croatian Photomath is being sold to no less than Google.

As Josipa Ban/Poslovni Dnevnik writes, Google is buying the genius Croatian Photomath, a company founded back in 2016 by Damir Sabol, which developed an application that solves maths problems. The transaction still needs to be approved by the European regulatory authority for the protection of market competition, and the decision should be made by March the 28th, 2023.

Damir Sabol, founder and director of the Croatian Photomath company, confirmed the transaction recently. "That's right, we've signed an acquisition agreement with Google, but it's subject to regulatory approval. Unfortunately, I can't say anything more until the decision of the regulatory body is known," Sabol said at the time.

Confirmation of the takeover agreement was also given to Reuters by a Google spokesperson, pointing out that they concluded the takeover agreement with Photomath back in May 2022, but he also warned that it remains subject to regulatory review.

He also added that the Croatian Photomath's technology will help Google provide a better mathematics learning experience and expand its overall offer among its young users. Currently, the biggest rival to Photomath on the American market is Microsoft's application for solving mathematical problems.

If the acquisition is approved by the European regulatory body, which is taking an increasingly tough stance on the tech giants, Google would gain a significant advantage over Microsoft. The procedure is such that the transaction, as Reuters explained, is currently in a preliminary audit. If the European Commission recognises a violation of market competition in the acquisition, it can open an investigation, which would last four months. If this doesn't happen, the transaction will probably be approved at the end of March as stated above.

If the transaction is approved, it will probably be the biggest acquisition of a Croatian startup, probably even bigger than that of Nanobit, which the Swedish Stillfront bought in 2020 for 148 million US dollars. Sabol has otherwise been tight lipped about why he decided to sell the company whose application has been downloaded more than 300 million times in six years in the first place.

The investment of two years ago in the amount of 23 million dollars also speaks of the potential of the Croatian Photomath. Menlo Ventures invested in Sabol's company with the participation of GSV Ventures, Learn Capital, Cherubic Ventures and Goodwater Capital, and the money was invested in increasing the number of employees, investing in the development of artificial intelligence and machine learning, and scaling product development and marketing.

To date, a total of 29 million dollars has been invested in Photomath, and these investments were accompanied by good business results, as Photomath has recorded continuous growth for the past five years. The revenues of the company, the application of which uses a smartphone camera to recognise and solve maths problems, grew 622 percent from 2017 to 2021, from 810,000 to 5.85 million euros. In the same period, profit grew by 557 percent, from 65,000 to 432,000 euros, according to data from the business service Poslovna Hrvatska/Business Croatia. The number of employees increased from 16 to an impressive 91.

The fact remains that Sabol succeeds in successfully developing, but also successfully selling the companies to which he dedicates himself. This was also the case with Iskon, one of the first Croatian companies that provided Internet services, which he founded just after graduating from college, at the age of 26. In the end, Iskon was sold to Hrvatski Telekom/Croatian Telecom for 100 million kuna (13.2 million euros), which was the most successful sale of a domestic startup ever back at the time.

With the Croatian Photomath company, Sabol could quite easily repeat this scenario, that is, once again realise one of the largest financial transactions on the domestic technology scene ever. His successes are a reflection of the philosophy he lives by. In a big interview that he gave to Poslovni dnevnik back in 2015, he talked about how he walked to work in Iskon for the first three years.

"I didn't have an official car. I leased 60 modems instead. In business, you can't allow yourself to spend irrationally on personal needs, first of all, everything should be focused on the development of the company," he said at the time.

After Iskon, he successfully developed the company Microblink, which deals with the development of mobile document scanners.

Photomath was created as its spin-off. At the end of 2020, Microblink received an investment from Silversmith Capital Partners in the amount of 60 million US dollars, with which the market evaluation of Microblink exceeded a massive 1 billion kuna. Not long after that sale, Sabol retired from the management position and today has an advisory role in that company as a co-owner. In addition to all of the above, the entrepreneur who was among the first on the market to recognise the importance of cameras on mobile phones and the opportunities that were to come of that, is also known as an investor.

Investing in STEMI, Marin Troselj's School of the Future/Skola buducnosti, is just one example of an investment. FER's Nuqleus programme was also included, in which it participates as part of the investment committee, and should help young startups with its advice. Another wildly successful business under Damir Sabol's rule is therefore at a turning point, and what his role will be within Photomath if the European competition authority approves the transaction and the company ends up in the hands of the powerful Google, is yet to be learned.

For more, check out our dedicated business section.

Thursday, 23 February 2023

Croatian Labour Market Severely Lacking Workers for 28 Professions

February the 23rd, 2023 - The Croatian labour market is no stranger to lacking when it comes to getting the staff, and it is now proposing certain solutions to the fact that it is currently missing workers for around 28 different professions.

As Poslovni Dnevnik writes, owing to the chronic lack of workers with the necessary skills on the Croatian labour market, the European Commission (EC) declared 2023 the year of skills. An entire spectrum of occupations is lacking in the area of Dalmatia, with a struggle to find employees in almost every field from construction to tourism. One of the solutions is retraining, writes HRT.

Irena Radic from Komiza is one of the sixty participants of the pottery and ceramics workshop. After thirty years of working in a store, she decided to take a different direction.

"It's about retraining the production of souvenirs for our Komiza, today everything is focused on digital skills, but I think these skills should be developed as well," she believes.

"People come to us - some because it's just something they want to do for pleasure, but some people come because they want to take on new jobs. There are no rules when it comes to which genders approach us, and men and women come here," said Sandra Sumic, the head of a pottery and ceramics workshop in Split.

Only 37 percent of adults regularly attend training, and the representative office of the European Commission in Croatia, in cooperation with the Europa Direct Centre in Split, pointed out the problem through the holding of various different workshops and lectures.

"The whole of Europe is facing a labour shortage, both with highly qualified and lower professional qualifications. Three quarters of employers in the EU are coping with difficulties in finding labour both in Croatia and elsewhere in Europe," said the deputy head of the European Commission's representation in Croatia, Andrea Covic Vidovic.

"The Croatian labour market is lacking in tourism and healthcare workers, and that's why in the last two years, we have opened courses for nurses and we also have a competence centre," said Blazenko Boban, the Prefect of Split-Dalmatia County.

Back in 2021, there was a shortage of workers on the Croatian labour market for as many as 28 professions!

"This issue spans the whole spectrum of occupations, from construction, personnel such as carpenters, masons... and on the other hand tourism workers, cooks, bartenders... That's why we're constantly organising retraining and training sessions," said Marin Kanajet from the Croatian Employment Service's (CES) regional office in the City of Split.

"We have an institution that deals with lifelong training. We'll also strengthen this and we have to educate our people, not only the young, but also the elderly, because artificial intelligence (AI) is taking over jobs and that's why they need to be retrained for something else," said the mayor of Split, Ivica Puljak.

Undoubtedly, training and retraining are a big step in business across the European Union as a bloc, and these are issues which stretch far beyond the Croatian labor market.

For more, make sure to check out our news section.

Thursday, 23 February 2023

Croatian Kanaan Company Secures Agreement with Costco

February the 23rd, 2023 - The Croatian Kanaan company has secured an agreement with no less than Costco, the second largest retail chain on the planet which pulls in eye-watering figures as revenue each year.

As Poslovni Dnevnik writes, snacks made by the Croatian Kanaan company from Donji Miholjac, one of the best European producers of quality snacks, will now also be found on the shelves of Costco, the second largest retail chain in the world, which generates enormous revenues of 227 billion US dollars a year.

The above information was confirmed for Lider by Zvonko Popovic, the so-called "Croatian king of crisps" and the owner and director of the Croatian Kanaan company, which holds the title of one of the best European producers of top quality snacks.

Popovic said that it is a great honour for his company to have entered Costco's stores. He also revealed that they currently have orders for Mexico, and by the end of the year they will make sales for the USA, South Korea, Australia and even for New Zealand.

Due to the current crisis and ongoing spiralling inflation, the Croatian Kanaan company has faced numerous challenges, from rising costs, disruptions in supply chains, the security of their energy procurement, issues with the procurement of packaging, and reduced quantity and quality of some basic raw materials due to bad climatic conditions.

"Unfortunately, the prices are much higher than they were in earlier periods. We're hoping for more stable conditions this year and for us to be able to maintain our prices,'' said Popovic for Lider.

Back in 2021, the Croatian Kanaan company generated impressive revenues in the amount of 22.65 million euros, and in 2022, their revenues grew by about 20 percent compared to the previous year, to an encouraging 27 million euros. More than half of their sales are exported to the markets of neighbouring Hungary, Serbia, Bosnia and Herzegovina and Slovenia, and then to customers in France, Lithuania and Denmark. In total, they sold around 8,000 tonnes of various products in 2022, and their goal is to be close to that amount in 2023 as well.

Popovic revealed to Lider that in the future, they want to expand into higher category products, such as protein-added snacks and vegetable crisps, and maintain the quality of the their basic products; flips with peanuts, popcorn and crisps.

For more, make sure to follow our dedicated business section.

Thursday, 23 February 2023

Villa Dubrovnik Settles Land Dispute, Luxury Villas to go Ahead

February the 23rd, 2023 - Villa Dubrovnik has finally settled its land dispute and will go ahead with the creation of new luxury accommodation units in a very desirable part of the city.

As Marija Crnjak/Poslovni Dnevnik writes, Hotel Villa Dubrovnik is embarking on a project to build luxury tourist villas in the Sveti Jakov area of Dubrovnik, on its own land that is free of encumbrances, after the legal entanglements with the Europrojekt company were finally resolved on Monday. So far, there have been no details about the project published, and Villa Dubrovnik promises to present their ideas to the local community in due course.

As stated in the recent announcement on the Zagreb Stock Exchange, based on the settlement between Villa Dubrovnik and Europrojekt, the Commercial Court in Dubrovnik issued a verdict on Monday rejecting the plaintiff Europrojekt's claim and cancelling all encumbrances on the aforementioned land.

Legal entanglements

This is the epilogue of the story about the attempt to sell the aforementioned land to the company Europrojekt, which has allegedly never paid the required amount since signing the purchase agreement with the hotel way back at the beginning of 2021, and just a week ago, it has been said that it sued Villa Dubrovnik because they ''didn't want to return the deposit of one million euros''. With that settlement, Europrojekt gave up its claim for double the amount of the advance, and Villa Dubrovnik agreed to return the down payment, although until a few days ago they had claimed that there was no basis for the return.

It is currently non-operational land in the Sveti Jakov part of the city, spanning a total area of 6,675 square metres. The attempt to sell the land off, all with the aim of preserving the financial stability of the company, was launched in the midst of the coronavirus pandemic, and the sales contract with Europrojekt stipulated that the land be sold for 4.2 million euros plus VAT.

At that time, Villa Dubrovnik was still owned by the large Turkish Dogus Group, and in the summer of 2021, pressured by the consequences of the global public health crisis, it was sold off to a group of eight Croatian pension funds. With the aim of paying the full purchase price, on October the 6th, 2021, Villa Dubrovnik signed a long-term loan agreement and an agreement to secure a monetary claim (mortgage) on the property as a pledge debtor, and with this agreement, the hotel was to be paid the purchase price no later than the 15th of October 2021, and following the payment, the mortgage should have been established.

However, the payment never arrived. According to Villa Dubrovnik's report on its business operations for the year 2021, it is stated that during that year, the Company and the Group recognised income in the amount of 7.4 million kuna based on the down payment for the sale of the land in the past.

It is un that report that they noted that, based on the contract, the buyer had the obligation to pay the difference in the purchase price by a certain deadline, and otherwise, they'd lose the down payment. However, since the customer breached the contract and failed to fulfill their obligation, the Group recognised revenue from the collection of damages in accordance with contractual law.

However, they relented. As Villa Dubrovnik pointed out in its recent press release, the court decision confirmed Villa Dubrovnik's ownership of the aforementioned real estate, the previously paid down payment in the amount of one million euros was returned, and Villa Dubrovnik also achieved the desired structuring of the land parcels.

To speak more specifically, by exchanging and selling smaller parts of real estate with the owners of neighbouring properties, who are in partnership with the company Europrojekt, the required minimum area was reached, which will allow Villa Dubrovnik to develop its already planned project of the construction of luxury villas on all parcels under its ownership, which wasn't the case before.

"The planned development of the project of luxury villas in Sveti Jakov is currently still in the initial phase, and we're convinced that, with its synergistic potential, it could provide additional value to the overall tourist offer of the city. Of course, as a socially responsible company which akes into account the interest and opinion of the public, we'll publicly present our ideas beforehand to all involved and interested stakeholders, and in cooperation with the city authorities responsible for spatial planning, we'll ensure compliance with all of the relevant regulations that define construction in the area of Sveti Jakov,'' said Mirna Loncar Strazicic, president of Villa Dubrovnik's management.

For more, check out our news section.

Thursday, 23 February 2023

List of Most Popular Croatian Museums Across the Country Published

February the 23rd, 2023 - The list of the most popular Croatian museums which are dotted all over the country has been published. From Dubrovnik to Hrvatsko Zagorje, here are the favourites.

As Poslovni Dnevnik writes, visitors are returning en mass to Croatian museums. According to data from the Museum Documentation Centre (MDC), throughout 2022, 35.6% more art lovers visited Croatian museums than they did in 2021 - with a total of slightly less than 3.5 million visitors (3,458,338). Nevertheless, attendance is still 34 percent lower than it was in the last pre-pandemic year of 2019.

The most visited of the Croatian museums last year was the Archaeological Museum of Istria, under which the collections in the Pula Arena stand out the most, having been visited by 509,778 people, a very encouraging 200,000 more than the year before. This attendance brings the numbers for this museum back to those from 2018 and 2019, and the jump can be attributed to the growth in the overall number of tourists visiting and discovering Istria.

In second place are the Museums of Hrvatsko Zagorje with 301,508 visitors, which is a noticeable increase of 13.4% when compared to the reference year of pre-pandemic 2019.

The third most visited of the Croatian museums is Zagreb's Nikola Tesla Technical Museum with 259,493 visits and an increase of 33% when compared to 2019. Compared to 2021, however, the growth in terms of the number visitors has been even greater, as high as 136 percent.

The Museum Documentation Centre writes that this museum achieved this impressive growth through numerous events and educational activities – 25 open exhibitions and 4,769 professional tours. In addition, the Nikola Tesla Technical Museum opened its doors to other museums across the City of Zagreb that were left without space due to the damage left by the March 2020 earthquake.

Dubrovnik's museums are in fourth place with 235,526 visitors, while in fifth place is the Museum of the City of Split, which, together with Diocletian's cellars, attracted 210,103 visitors in total.

There was also a significant increase in the number of students who, compared to last year, visited various Croatian museums almost four times more often. This can be attributed, the MDC explains, to the cessation of the application of epidemiological measures put in place back during the pandemic, and the most active in working with young people were the Museums of Hrvatsko Zagorje, which were visited by 77,237 children from primary and secondary schools.

That museum is followed by the Nikola Tesla Technical Museum, in whose programmes 49,257 children participated, while in third place came the Museum of the City of Zagreb, which attracted 23,965 of the youngest visitors last year.

Croatian museums and galleries were visited by 912,594 tourists, or 386,116 more than the previous year, almost two-thirds of which were accounted for by just three of the country's most regularly visited museums - the Archaeological Museum of Istria, the Museum of the City of Split and the Museums of Hrvatsko Zagorje. Interestingly, the Dubrovnik museums located in Croatia's most famous tourist destination still don't keep any records of foreign visitors.

If we look at the cities individually, Croatian museums are still the most visited in Zagreb, where, despite the fact that almost half of Zagreb's museum houses are closed for constructive renovation, 22% of all museum visits at the national level were recorded.

For more, check out our news section.

Wednesday, 22 February 2023

NY-Based Croatian Rapper Ludi and Iva Ajdukovic Release Single "Ti i Ja"

February the 22nd, 2023 - New York based Croatian rapper Steve Mesic LUDI has released his sixth hip hop single "TI I JA" (YOU AND ME) on which he hosted Iva Ajdukovic. He describes the song as "ideal for relaxing after a night out when everything is kind of too loud and you just want to rest your ears".

The production and arrangement was handled by Serbian producer Mija Pavlek Trim, who is also the author of the music while Ludi is the author of the lyrics. D'Knock did the mixing and mastering.

"Working on the release single was pure pleasure, and the guests delighted me. Iva Ajdukovic is a wonderful person and a totally crazy woman, and Alen Lemesevic from Sarajevo spiced up the whole thing by playing a couple of guitar parts.

I've always wanted to record something with Iva Ajdukovic, and I feel fortunate to have achieved this, even though we're on different continents. In addition, this is the first collaboration with Mija Pavlek Trim, who was very well received by the D'Knock Production team. We're connected first of all by friendship, and then by a very warm vibe, and we will continue like that,'' said Ludi (Madman in English).

Ludi filmed the video in New York City, more precisely on the streets of Manhattan, and in a home studio in his apartment. Iva recorded her scenes in Velika Gorica in a music studio. Danijel Kovacevic and Michael Robayo are responsible for the production of the video, and Danijel Kovacevic (Studio 25)once again did the editing and colour grading.

The song is available on all digital services, published by the D'Knock Production label and distributed and published by the IDM Music company.

For more, make sure to follow our dedicated lifestyle section.

Wednesday, 22 February 2023

Experiencing the Changing Demographics of Croatia as a “Black Croat”

February 22, 2023 - We are delighted to welcome Maja Dezulovic to TCN, and she begins with a somewhat different perspective - life as a black Croat in Croatia. Welcome Number 185! If you would like to write about Croatia from your perspective, contact This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. Subject Writing.

When I was a high school student in Zagreb from 2005 to 2007 I could go months without seeing people of African descent anywhere. For the entire first year I was the only student of African origins in the school. I remember how seeing an African in the street was memorable because it felt like a rare snippet of home. Nowadays that is no longer the case.

I can’t say that I really experienced racism or hate in Croatia. The closest thing to prejudice I experienced was on a walk on Jarun as a teenager. My friend and I were about to pass a man walking towards us with a little girl, possibly his daughter. As they got closer he glared at me with disgust and grabbed his daughter closer. “Ciganka!” He exclaimed. That’s the Croatian word for gypsy woman. I was saddened by his reaction but also not offended because I felt it came more from a place of ignorance rather than hatred. That was one of two occasions on which I was mistaken for a gypsy.

Most Croats who don’t know me mistakenly assume that I don’t understand Croatian and proceed to gossip about me in front of my face. However, rarely is it insulting or malicious. Most commonly they comment about my hair. I’m okay with comments, even those directed at me. I’ll even answer questions sometimes. The thing I don’t like is when people assume it’s just okay to touch my hair without asking. There are four words that Africans with natural hair often want to say to the ill-informed Croat who encroaches on personal space. Solange captured them in the title of her song “Don’t touch my hair”.


As the demographics of this country inevitably shift, some of the challenges faced globally by non-white minorities will begin to surface here too. The biggest issue, I believe, is ignorance within the majority population. Croatia has been almost completely white for a very long time. People are open, they want to interact, the thing is that they don’t know how to because they haven’t had to before.

As with most things the solution here is to educate people and one of the best ways of it happening organically is through exposure. The more we welcome people of colour here the more effortless integration will become for all.

It also helps to remember that people’s reactions come from a place of innocence. People are in awe when they see people who look nothing like those who they encounter in their daily lives. If you look different you’re on display. You get used to it and while the population of non-whites remains so small it comes with a responsibility too – you represent your race with your behavior and responses.


It is my hope that the description of “that Black woman who speaks Croatian”, often used to refer to me, will become less surprising as more Black men and women learn the language and themselves become a part of the Croatian community.

My only fear is that many non-whites are coming here as migrant workers to fill in the labour shortages, which may skew perceptions of them. They’re entering a social class that is looked down upon no matter what race you are. I hope Croatia becomes home to a good number of African doctors, engineers and people in places of leadership to combat the stereotype of the Black labourer and serve as hope to a demographic of people who may mainly be confined to the working class in Europe.

On my last extended trip to Zagreb in January not a day went by without my spotting a person of colour in the streets around the main square. It’s refreshing. I hope that locals will recognise the wealth that diversity has to offer a nation and embrace it.

Read more... What is It Like for Black People Living in Croatia?


Wednesday, 22 February 2023

Croatia Hosts Water Polo World Cup in Zagreb this March

February 22, 2023 - After the 2022 European Championships in Split, Croatia is again the center of water polo. This time, the world's water polo elite is coming to Zagreb, where the World Aquatics Water Polo World Cup will be held from March 8-14.

The Barracudas thus become hosts to the national teams of France, Hungary, Italy, Japan, and the United States of America in the first edition of the World Cup. 

The World Cup is played in two groups with six national teams each. Croatia is playing in the Zagreb group with powerful opponents. Five intense matches await Croatia, which will be an excellent opportunity to prepare for the most important competition this year - the World Championships.

The Croatia national team gathers in Zagreb on March 5 and plays their first game of the tournament on Wednesday, March 8, against the USA.

"I invite all spectators to the World Cup tournament. We are in a group against Italy, Hungary, Italy, Japan, the USA, and France. We expect a tough rhythm with five games in a week, which will be a great mini-test for what awaits us this summer at the World Champs. I hope we will play well and reach the super final," announced player Luka Bukić.

While Group A is held in Zagreb, Group B is simultaneously held in Montenegro with the national teams of Greece, Serbia, Spain, Georgia, Australia, and Montenegro.

The only safe participant in the World Cup Superfinal is the USA, as they are hosts of the Superfinal tournament. 

Thus, two more teams from Croatia's group and three from the group who played in Podgorica hope to secure their spot in the final tournament.

The World Cup matches in Zagreb will be played according to the following schedule:

Tickets for the tournament can be purchased at

To follow the latest sports news in Croatia, follow TCN's dedicated page.

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