Thursday, 20 April 2023

Croatian IN2 Group Grew by 23% in 2022, Now Has 650 Employees

April the 20th, 2023 - The Croatian IN2 Group (Grupa) had a very successful year last year, and with growth looking promising and their number of employees on the up, it seems that 2023 will be another good year.

As Poslovni Dnevnik/Tanja Ivancic writes, the Croatian IN2 Group which deals with software ended the year 2022 with total operating revenues in the amount of 33.6 million euros, which marks enviable growth of 23 percent when compared to 2021.

The increase in their overall income was achieved through inorganic growth, more precisely through the acquisitions of the companies MCS Grupa and Libusoft Cicom in the amount of 14 percent, while organic growth in regard to the regular operations of the Croatian IN2 Group stood at 9 percent.

At the same time, the Croatian IN2 Group saw an increase in their total expenses, which was actually slightly more than their increase in income, standing at 24 percent.

The increase in their expenses is conditioned, as the company explained, by ongoing unfavourable global trends, inflationary pressures and the general increase in business costs across the board, the biggest impact of which comes from the increase in the number of IN2 Group employees along with the increase in salary costs.

Due to the acquisitions of MCS Grupa and Libusoft Cicom, the Croatian IN2 Group has significantly increased its number of employees, meaning that today they number 650 in 10 companies spanning five countries.

The diversification of their business operations with more verticals and markets, along with the growth of business in them, made it possible for this domestic company to maintain profitability at the levels from back in 2021, they pointed out in their press release.

"We're very satisfied with the state of our business over the past year. Our strategy for 2023 is the continuation of growth, which we plan to achieve by increasing the volume of our business with new projects, as well as with new acquisitions,'' emphasised Snjezana Stankovic, a member of the IN2 Group Management Board.

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

Wednesday, 19 April 2023

Croatian Returnee Reflections: Klara Đurkin, from Boston to Cakovec

April 19, 2023 - Whisper it quietly, but more and more people are relocating to Croatia from the diaspora. In a new TCN series, we meet them to find out how they are faring and what advice they have for others thinking of making the switch. Next up is Klara Đurkin, who moved from Boston to Cakovec. 

My name is Klara Đurkin, and I am a 29-year-old Croat who decided to leave Croatia right after high school. The decision did not come suddenly, as I had attended summer schools around the UK and US since I was 13 and truly enjoyed it. Therefore, early on, I developed a tendency towards becoming an international citizen and started working on fulfilling this goal.

I fell in love with Boston and chose to attend Northeastern University, where I studied political science and international affairs with minors in law and public policy and graduated with honors. I received two awards: I was the senior of the year and in the top 4% among all classes at the university. As I was involved in numerous extracurricular activities, I was also admitted to Phi Sigma Alpha, the national political science honorary society in the USA. During my studies, I worked for a total of two years, most significantly as a Junior Programme Officer at the Ottawa Convention Secretary (UN, Geneva), as an Assistant to 3 MEPs (European Parliament, Brussels and Strasbourg), and as a Programme and Marketing Intern at the International Law Institute (Washington DC). Then, I moved to the UK where I obtained a master's degree in law with distinction. Right after I graduated, I moved back home to Croatia, after 10 years of being abroad.

I knew I wanted to establish my own business, but I wanted to take some time off and enjoy Croatia first. So, I decided to pursue another master's degree in Zagreb. There was a multi-disciplinary master's program in political science, economy, and law taught in English that I liked, so I gave it a shot. Even though I did not necessarily love the educational system in Croatia, it was my first year back in Croatia after a decade and it was indeed teeming with surprises, both welcoming and not-so-welcoming ones.

Today, I own CoreValor, which offers business and legal consulting services to foreigners interested in bonding with Croatia, whether through living, working, or investing here. This enables me to remain part of the global community while still enjoying my homeland. It certainly seemed like a smart compromise between the two conflicting desires I had: one part of me wanted to be home and work locally, while the other aimed at embracing the world and being a global citizen. So, here I am today.


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

There were no decision-making processes involved in my case, as I had promised my parents that I would come back home and knew that I would keep my promise. It was only a matter of time before I returned to Croatia. In the end, my graduation from Bristol Law School coincided with the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, and I decided that it might be a good time to settle in Croatia and start my life there anew. However, even though I had been preparing for my return, the transition was not the smoothest because I had seen and learned how things are done around the world. This meant that I would sometimes become frustrated with the different systems in place in Croatia, such as the bureaucratic ones that are teeming with unnecessary steps and innumerable forms and supporting documents where you always miss "one more document" (if you are lucky enough). However, I knew that I could make it work for myself as long as I took the right approach that would work for me. At the end of the day, after being on my own on the other side of the globe, I began to appreciate both the greater safety and more casual lifestyle in Croatia, which is seriously lacking in the countries where I had the opportunity to live.


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

My family and friends were undoubtedly thrilled about my return, but they also knew, as I did, that there was a greater and wider range of opportunities abroad. However, it was a welcoming decision because it meant that I could finally enjoy the values that are, in my humble opinion, much more valued and prioritized in Croatia than in the US, for instance, including social and, more specifically, family life.


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

I was in daily contact with my friends and family, which allowed me to stay informed about events and daily life in Croatia. Every summer, I would return home, spending time in Međimurje, where I grew up, and enjoying sunny days at the beaches of the stunning Croatian coast. Therefore, there was not a significant discrepancy between my perceptions and the realities in Croatia. However, upon my return to Croatia, I had to deal with the realities myself. Other than that, I felt prepared for what was to come.


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

I knew that there would be opportunities for me to leave Croatia and chase my dreams. However, I also realized that going abroad again would mean that I could not settle in Croatia in the near future. My wish was to gain as much experience and knowledge as possible and then use that in my home country. The longer I worked on gathering that experience and knowledge, the longer I would stay abroad where I did not really have a true home. At one point, however, I realized that by doing what I do now, namely working with foreigners but staying in Croatia, I could still be very much in touch with all these international insights while being where I call home.


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

As mentioned above, staying in touch with my friends and family members in Croatia meant that I was constantly aware of happenings and developments in the country. Hence, my perceptions were more or less a reflection of reality in Croatia. But one can never be fully prepared when such a change occurs. I was not sure whether I would be entirely happy, satisfied, and fulfilled in Croatia. Neither did I know whether I would question my return since numerous exciting opportunities are out there in the world waiting for me. That being said, the element of surprise was something that no one could eradicate for me; I simply had to process the transition on my own and make the return the best decision ever.


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

As I mentioned before, I believe that safety and a casual lifestyle are things that Croatia can boast about. While not every single corner of Croatia is completely safe and free from crime, it is generally safe to walk around without too much worry. Our lifestyle is known for being very relaxed, and we can spend hours drinking just one cup of coffee and still have a good time. This is something that is rarely seen abroad; when I was in the US, I was happy when someone grabbed a coffee to go with me because there is no equivalent to the Croatian concept of "kafenisanje". Lastly, even though Croatia is a relatively small country, we offer a diverse landscape with mountains, lowlands, waters, beaches, and over a thousand islands. I find that fascinating.

However, there is also a more critical side to the coin, and there are things I do not like about Croatia. Besides the never-ending impediments with Croatian bureaucracy that I mentioned earlier, there are one or two more issues. Firstly, I believe that we are investing in our tourism industry as much as we did when we first started attracting millions of tourists from around the world. By investment, I don't necessarily mean financial investment, but also in terms of our hospitality. In my opinion, services have not improved as much as they should have, and the tourism sector as a whole seems to be relying on what Croatia already has, instead of building on it and upgrading it further. Secondly, our mindset is a bit specific, and I wish that we, the Croatians, were more open to change and willing to "borrow" policies or approaches that have been proven to work elsewhere. We also take too many things for granted and do not always appreciate things that we should be proud of, which is, in my opinion, a part of the problem with our stagnant tourism sector.


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

Talk to as many returnees as possible as they walked in the same shoes as you, and take your time to think about the transitioning process. Make sure you explore all the options and choose wisely where you want to settle in Croatia, as you surely want to find yourself a perfect place where you will feel comfortable and at peace. In short, familiarize yourself with Croatia in all aspects as much as you can, know what you want, and take your time to find your perfect spot in Croatia. By doing so, chances are slim that you will struggle to find your place in Croatia or reconsider your decision to move there.


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

I am not sure what tools are in place for returnees, however, it would certainly be useful to have some sort of centralized platform or resource, run by the government (so that returnees know all the information is official), where all the useful information (especially bureaucratic) is easily accessible, updated and correct. Potential returnees could ask questions to which they will receive a response by an official which will be visible to others who may have the same inquiry. The platform could also be used as a networking tool through which potential returnees could get in touch with actual returnees. I guess that you, Paul, are already doing half of this so the government can use your support in this. 

Klara Đurkin

CoreValor –

Facebook –


Thanks,Klara! You will be hearing a little more from Klara when the TCN website relaunches shortly in a new section, Invest in Croatia.

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

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


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

Follow Paul Bradbury on LinkedIn.


Wednesday, 19 April 2023

Croatia's Top Chefs Recognised at Gault&Millau 2023 Presentation

April 19, 2023 - A delightful evening of fine Croatian food and wine, as the Gault&Millau 2023 edition of Croatia's top restaurants.

I have a terrible memory for faces, and I always get a little anxious when I get invited to a big event with hundreds of people in the same room, many of whom I will have met in a different context. It has got me into some embarrassing situations over the years, but occasionally I see a face I haven't seen for a decade and the brain clicks.

And so it was last night, as the highlight of an excellent evening at Hotel Esplanade in Zagreb at the presentation of the 6th edition of the Gault&Millau Croatia guide - a smiling, humble man from Sibenik in his 80s walking towards me. And even more incredibly, he seemed to recognise me, despite it being 11 years since our last meeting. On that occasion, Zdravko Kalabric, the only Croatian member of the World Master Chefs Association, prepared a stunning 10-course replica of the last meal on the Titanic by Lake Jarun on the occasion of the 100th anniversary of the sinking of the ill-fated ship. 

Our first meeting was 11 years ago, soon after I started Total Hvar (and actually the first time I ever appeared in any media in Croatia in this Hvar TV report, above). Kalabric, who left his native Sibenik to try his luck in North America, where he enjoyed a glittering career as a celebrated chef, before returning to his native land and helping the next generation of Croatian chefs to improve their skills, was coaching four young Croatian chefs, who were in training for the 2012 Culinary Olympics in Germany. Here he is, being interviewed, above.


It was a very warm reunion, and it is fair to say that young Zdravko has aged better than me in the last decade.

As for the evening itself, there was plenty of fine wine, food and awards for the best Croatian chefs, a more detailed breakdown of which you can read about below in this press release.

The Chef of the Year, according to the gastronomic guide Gault&Millau Croatia, is Marijo Curić, chef of the Dubrovnik restaurant 360. The Big Chef of Tomorrow trophy was won by two chefs - Saša Began from the Foša restaurant in Zadar and Aleksandar Grubić from the Badi restaurant in Lovrečic near Umag.


The Chef trophy of traditional cuisine went to Tomica Đukić and Damir Josić, chefs of the Josić Winery Restaurant in Zmajevac, while Nenad Kukurin from the Kukuriku restaurant in Kastavo won the Chef Trophy of modern traditional cuisine. The Young Talent of the Year trophy was won by Katarina Vrenc, chef at the Sopal restaurant in Zagreb, and Mate Sučić, owner and chef of Konoba Campanelo in Mirlović Zagora.


Zdravko Kalabrić, the only Croatian chef member of the World Master Chefs Association, won the Trophy for merit in gastronomy, and the Zagreb restaurant Noel received the Trophy for the best service. The Samobor confectionery U prolazo won the Trophy for the best POP restaurant.

In the category of the best restaurants,  celebrated with 4 points, were 360 from Dubrovnik and its chef Marijo Curić, Cap Aureo restaurant and chef Jeffrey Vella, Monte from Rovinj and chef Danijel Đekić, Zagreb's NAV by chef Tvrtko Šakote, Nebo restaurant by chef Denija Srdoč from Rijeka, Sibenik's Pelegrini by chef Rudolf Štefan, Noel restaurant from Zagreb and chef Bruno Vokal, and Zinfandel's restaurant at Esplanade Hotel in Zagreb and chef Ana Grgić Tomić.


Awards to the best restaurants and chefs were presented at an exclusive dinner in the Emerald Hall of the Esplanade Hotel, where more than 90 leading chefs of Croatian restaurants gathered on Tuesday, April 18. The sixth edition of the bilingual international gastronomic guide was also presented, which included 270 top restaurants, 100 POP - popular places (bistros, street food, snack bars, pastry shops) and 100 wines from all over Croatia, and for the first time a selection of the best Croatian olive oils. In the selection of restaurants and POP places, there are 39 new ones, which are included in the guide for the first time.

"We are happy that despite all the challenges our gastronomy faces, awareness of its importance for the development of tourism and the economy is growing, and that some Croatian regions are making additional efforts to encourage their restaurateurs and small food and wine producers to improve the quality of their offerings. We are especially glad that chefs and guests increasingly recognize the relevance of our guide, and we want to thank our partners who support us and believe in the quality of Croatian gastronomy" - said Ingrid Badurina Danielsson, director of the Croatian Gault&Millau.

The guests of the gala ceremony were specially greeted by Nikolina Brnjac, Minister of Tourism and Sports of the Republic of Croatia and Kristjan Staničić, Director of the Croatian Tourist Board.


At the Gault&Millau Croatia ceremony, scholarships from the Raise the Bar program, whose goal is to increase the quality of the educated workforce in hospitality and tourism, were also presented this time. So far, 14 young chefs and pastry chefs have won valuable Raise the Bar scholarships, which enabled them to train at the world's best universities as well as practice in some of the most prestigious restaurants. Now they are joined by 4 new scholars: Stella Pasek, Željka Bleuš and Nikola Tomašić from Croatia and Tilen Utenkar from Slovenia. Filip Verbanac - director of the Department for strong alcoholic beverages, coffee in the Coca Cola HBC hospitality industry, presented the awards to the scholars.

The night of the culinary Oscars began with an aperitif with Veuve Clicquot Brut champagne and the President's mature Ribanac, and dinner for 200 guests in the Smaragdna hall was cooked together by Paul Ivić, chef of the TIAN restaurant in Vienna, Michelin* and 4 toques Gault&Millau Austria and Ana Grgić Tomić, G&M Croatia Chef of the year 2022. Top wines from the Laguna, Belje and Mladina wineries were served alongside the vegetarian fish dishes of their delicacies. Chef Ivić won the guests over with an appetizer of cabbage turnips, radishes and kohlrabi, a main course of celery, mushrooms and marjoram and a dessert of stracciatella, while chef Grgić Tomić masterfully prepared tartares of salted red prawns and aged sea bass served with roasted celery cream and shiitake.

The Gault&Millau dinner is the largest annual gathering of Croatian restaurant chefs, a unique occasion when chefs are guests, and the highlight of the evening is the awarding of recognition for their creativity. The Chef of the Year trophy was presented to Mari Curić by Fabris Peruško - member of the Board of Directors and CEO of Fortenova Group, and Uroš Kalinić - member of the board of Konzum, whose company Velpro is a premium partner of Gault&Millau Croatia. Minister of Tourism Nikolina Brnjac and HTZ director Kristjan Staničić presented the awards to the best restaurants. Other trophies were presented to the best chefs and restaurants by the heads of partner companies that support this gastronomic guide: Zoran Ković - director of Dukat, and Iva Kuhtić - director of marketing at Dukat, Ivica Skočič - marketing director of Coca Cola, Mihaela Kadija, director of TZ Zadar County and Ivana Alilović, director of the TZ of the Zagreb County. The awarding of the trophy was led by Frano Ridjan. The Gault&Millau Croatia 2023 gastronomic guide is available globally on the website and in Tisakmedia bookstores and Tisakplus stores at a price of 18 euros.

Wednesday, 19 April 2023

IQM Destination, First Croatian Tourism Franchise Attracts Global Interest

April 19, 2023 - Croatia received the first franchise directly related to the tourism sector - the consulting company for the development of quality in tourism Feel IQM d.o.o. with the IQM Destination project, has developed a tourist destination management franchise that is already attracting significant interest from many tourist countries, including Brazil and Saudi Arabia.

As Poslovni writes, the franchise was developed in cooperation with the Čolak Franchise Consulting Group, from which they say that this project will not only set new standards in tourism but also contribute to the promotion of Croatia as a tourist destination.

The IQM Destination project was started four years ago by Đurđica Šimičić with her rich experience in the Tourist Board of the town of Mali Lošinj, and her team was joined by private accommodation consultant Anamarija Cicarelli and hotel sector consultant Pero Matić, and together with a team of external experts, they provide services of integrated destination quality management.

In short, their task is to connect all stakeholders in the destinations and focus them, come up with a plan to develop the destination, and enable things not to remain only in documents but to implement all those strategies and master plans. This task, it turned out, is often the weakest link in developing destinations.

Overcoming obstacles

"Each of the stakeholders in tourism has their own goals and tasks, but they are often not connected with destination positioning and more decisive joint action, encouragement of excellence and connection is needed. Although this is often expected from tourist boards, they have neither the budgets nor the resources to implement such a thing, which I experienced myself in the TZ of Mali Lošinj, where we tried to implement significant projects, but in our activities, we encountered just such limitations.

We provide destinations with very effective tools for measuring and managing the destination, as well as monitoring and introducing concrete measures with which they will design and implement their ideas", says Đurđica Šimičić, who we found at the project in the town of Jastrebarsko. It is just one of several destinations that have recognized IQM Destination as a partner for developing tourism.

They work on the continent and at sea; their list of references includes Split, Šibenik, Rovinj, Lošinj, Vodice, Karlovac, Pelješac, Novalja, Vukovar, Rab, Bjelovar-Bilogora County and several other Croatian destinations, which will remain the focus of the team in Croatia, while destinations abroad will be taken care of by their franchisors.

And they will get everything - from education to support at every step. Although each destination is dealt with individually according to the needs, circumstances, and products to be developed, the franchise could be set up thanks to the carefully designed system of tools and measurements used by IQM Destination and according to the recommendations of the World Tourism Federation.

Concrete measures

The goals of the project are to increase the quality of service; education adapted to the needs of tourism workers and all entities, positioning and branding of the destination, and responsible and sustainable tourism. All this is introduced with a series of concrete measurements and research.

The IQM Destination team measures residents' satisfaction with tourism in the destination, and guests' satisfaction with tourism in the destination, manages online reputation, then measures the satisfaction of stakeholders (tourism professionals), and everything is compared with local self-government plans in projects important for tourism.

120 indicators of sustainable and responsible tourism are "measured" during the process for each destination
Everyone is involved in the project, from the accommodation and catering establishments to wellness centers, travel agencies, shops and souvenir shops, taxi operators, and companies that manage the parking lot, utilities, and attractions.

Then destination standards are set, which are related to quality, local products, tradition, quality, and trends in tourism. They also prepare marketing analyses of individual stakeholders in the destination for clients, work on product development, private accommodation education, and hotel industry trends.

As Šimičić, a member of the UNWTO expert group for sustainable development, explains, in each destination in the advanced phase of the project, it is proposed to measure the indicators of sustainable and responsible tourism, with the measurement of more than 120 indicators, according to the instructions of the World Tourism Federation.

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

Wednesday, 19 April 2023

How to Croatia - Your Guide to Croatian International Protection

April the 19th, 2023 - In this edition of How to Croatia, I'm going to take you through what you need to do when it comes to applying for and (hopefully) being granted Croatian international protection. This status afford the holder certain rights, so let's delve deeper.

First of all, what is Croatian international protection?

Croatian national protection doesn't really differ all that much from international protection offered by the vast majority of European countries. It is designed to safeguard the rights of refugees and other such groups and individuals who are fleeing war, persecution or unrest. It gives the holder the right to remain in a country without the threat of deportation/repatriation, and seek and be given asylum on the basis of non-refoulement. 

What are the specifics of Croatian international protection?

In the Republic of Croatia, an individual seeking international protection is considered an applicant as soon as they express their clear intention to apply for said status officially. They are considered an applicant until a decision is formally reached by the competent ministry on their application. The ministry which makes these decisions is the same one which deals with all immigration, residence and citizenship affairs - the Ministry of the Interior (MUP). MUP deals with Croatian international protection applications on the basis of what are known as first instance proceedings, after which an administrative dispute can be brought against the ministry's decision in court should the applicant want to appeal a negative response.

What's the difference between seeking international asylum in Croatia and simply entering the country illegally?

While some would argue that there are little to no differences, there are. A person arriving in Croatia illegally who then states their intention to apply for international protection will not face any sort of punishment by the Croatian authorities. However, this is only the case when the said individual has arrived in the country directly from the area they're fleeing from because there is a genuine risk to their wellbeing or life should they be forced to return to their country of origin. They also need to have justified reasoning for their illegal entry, and should that be accepted, they then must apply for Croatian international protection as soon as possible after having arrived. 

It is important to note that the individual in question's suffering, persecution or threat to their wellbeing or life must fall within what the Geneva Convention considers said situations to be.

How is an application for Croatian international protection lodged with the authorities?

Upon arriving at the Croatian border, an individual seeking Croatian international protection can make their intentions known to the border police. It can also be lodged at the following locations:

At any administrative police station

At any police station which may or not may otherwise deal with administrative issues

at an Asylum Seeker's Reception Centre

What rights are afforded to those who are granted Croatian international protection?

Upon expressing their intention to apply for international protection, an applicant is permitted to stay in the country until a decision is officially reached by MUP. After the application is completed, the applicant will be given a special card which will serve as proof of their status in the country. 

The procedure for international protection will see the applicant and their family members (if applicable) housed in an Asylum Seeker's Centre. Their family members are also entitled to remain in Croatia if the individual who applies for international protection is granted that status. During their stay in the aforementioned centre, their needs will be provided for, this includes: food, drink, hygiene products, toiletries, healthcare, financial aid (in some cases, see caveats below for more information), Croatian language classes and more. This even extends to sport and other activities.

What are those who are granted Croatian international protection entitled to?

Those who are successful in being granted international protection in Croatia have certain rules that they must follow in order to be afforded the rights this status provides them with, so I'll go through them first. If a person is granted asylum, they must respect Croatian law and the Croatian Constitution, undergo a medical examination, agree to have their identity checked and confirmed, they must fully cooperate with what the government and the authorities ask of them, follow the rules of the centre they're being temporarily housed in, present themselves when the ministry asks them for interviews, report any changes to their address after leaving the centre. They must also not leave Croatia while their request for international protection is being decided upon. This can, in some cases, also refer to their movement within Croatian borders. If any limits on movement have been imposed for whatever reason, they must not break those rules.


Once a person has been granted Croatian international protection, they are free to do the following:

They are free to practice their religion as they wish (within the boundaries of the law).

They are entitled to access public healthcare on the same basis as a Croatian national or resident.

They can access legal counselling due to their situation.

Should children be involved, primary and secondary education is given on the same basis as it is given to other children in Croatia. Said children can also be appointed a trained guardian.

They can have the procedures surrounding their asylum application and status dealt with and expressed to them in a language of their choice.

If a formal decision on their application for international protection hasn't been reached by MUP within nine months of their application, an asylum seeker is entitled to take up lawful work. This can only occur if the delay in MUP giving a decision in response to their application isn't their fault.


As MUP explains, if applicants for Croatian international protection already earn an income which exceeds the Croatian minimum wage, they will not receive the aforementioned financial aid and will be expected to cover their expenses during the time spent at the Asylum Seeker's Centre themselves, either partially or entirely depending on the situation at hand. 

Financial aid will also not be provided to those who are employed and have sufficient income to allow a fair standard of living.

If an applicant has the financial means, they are free to live at any address in Croatia instead of the aforementioned centre at their own expense. This can only be done after being given explicit permission from MUP to do so.


For more on moving to, living in and travelling in Croatia, make sure to keep up with our dedicated lifestyle section. An article tackling anything from a specific administrative issue to tips on renting a car or bringing your pet into the country is published every Wednesday as part of our How to Croatia series.

Wednesday, 19 April 2023

Remains of Ten Missing People from Homeland War Found Near Vukovar

April 19, 2023 - As of today, Croatia has 1,812 people missing from the Homeland War. After 30 years of waiting, four families from the Vukovar area identified the remains of their loved ones.

As 24Sata writes, in the mass grave of Šarviz dola near Negoslavci, discovered in February of this year, at least ten remains of people killed in the Homeland War were exhumed, and DNA analysis has identified four people so far.

These people were Ilija Krivić (59), Antun Šter (29) and Josip Bali (41) from Vukovar, and Ivan Ilanić (58) from Berk. Their families came to the Vukovar hospital to identify their remains and get the results of the DNA analysis, which confirmed that they were indeed these people.

"For some of you, this is the end of the wait, and for some, the agony goes on," Ljiljana Alvir from the Association of Associations of Missing Persons said on that occasion. Minister of Veterans Affairs Tomo Medved was also present at the identification and conversation with the families. He said that DNA analysis for the other remains is expected to be completed soon, and he pointed out that in the last ten years, 248 people killed in the war have been found and identified.

"My brother Antun disappeared in September 1991 in Vukovar. He was 29 years old. He lived in the Vučedol bungalows with his mother and a few other women and men. When the army invaded Vučedol, they took my brother and all the other men, including my father-in-law, who was also missing. We never found out where they were taken. Mom was in the camp for two months with the other women. She died two years ago and always said she would die before finding her son's bones. And, well, she didn't live to see it. It's terrible. My father also died during the war; we buried him in the yard because the city was shelled. One of my brothers killed himself in 1996 in Zagreb with a bomb; another died in Austria, escaped the war, and died there on a construction site; the third was killed in Sotin; we found his remains and buried him in 2007. I was afraid that I would never find my brother", Marija Šatorović, the sister of the found Antun Šter, said in tears, adding that her last memory of her brother was from the time of the heaviest shelling of Vukovar when he came to her door with a basket full of fish.

"Shells were falling outside, and he was fishing with a friend. He knocked on my door, brought me a bag full of fish and vegetables from his garden, and said, 'Here, so you won't be hungry.' That was the last time I saw him", says Marija.

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

Wednesday, 19 April 2023

Croatian Project Museum of Illusions Aiming for 100 Locations Worldwide

April 19, 2023 - The Museum of Illusions - a globally renowned project born in Croatia, is embarking on an aggressive global expansion. The ambitious team of Metamorfoza, which is in charge of business expansion, aims to have 100 such museums worldwide in its portfolio by the end of 2026.

As Poslovni writes, the Museum of Illusions currently has 42 locations from Zagreb through New York, Dubai, Milan, and Paris, in 25 countries. Such intensive expansion was accompanied by strengthening the team that globally manages the brand from Croatia. So, for example, last year in Charlotte, North Carolina, they opened their first own museum, which is directly managed by the Zagreb team, which is why the team had to grow fivefold.

"We are currently the world's largest chain of private museums, and Metamorfoza is the company behind the brand. Our team consists of more than 50 experts from Croatia who cover the areas of project management, research and development, logistics, architecture, finance, marketing, and account management.

In 2023, we will continue with the wave of employment, which is also influenced by the future openings of the Museum of Illusions, including locations in the USA. It is precisely for this reason that we are opening an office in Atlanta that will be the headquarters for the American market, while the global headquarters of Metamorfoza will remain in Zagreb," said Metamorfoza director Teo Širola at the presentation of the plans, adding that so far more than nine million visitors have passed through the Museum of Illusion, and 2022 was the most successful year.

The business model is set so that Metamorfoza owns the franchise, and each museum has its franchisor who is responsible for the business and runs it with the help and support of the Zagreb team. Together, they guide franchisors through all phases, from museum construction to development and day-to-day management.

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

Tuesday, 18 April 2023

New for Croatia 2023: 1. Inside 5-Star Hotel Ambasador in Split

April 18, 2023 - A new tourist season is upon us, and there are a number of quality additions to the Croatian tourism offer. In a new series on TCN, we take a look, starting with the new star of the Split waterfront, Hotel Ambasador.

The social media posts are increasing in number. A new hotel, a new restaurant, a new tour operator offering something truly unique. The 2023 season is expected to be epic in Croatia, and with several quality new offerings emerging, there should be a little bit of extra choice this year. 

So what and where are these new quality additions. In the first of a new TCN, we take a closer look at some of those new businesses which have opened their doors and are awaiting their first full season. 

And where better to start than the finest addition to the Split waterfront in many a year - the new 5-star Hotel Ambasador Split with the 7-star location and view?

When I first moved to Croatia back in 2003, Split was known as the Gateway to the Dalmatian Islands. Visitors rarely stopped in the city, using more as a transit point for the charms of Brac, Hvar, Vis and Solta. But then Split started to emerge as a serious destination in its own right and is now regarded as one of the coolest destinations on the Adriatic. And while there was a rental accommodation boom, it was mostly in the private accommodation sector, and the number of hotels - especially quality hotels - was severely lacking. 

As a statement of intent to move Split tourism upmarket to cater for the luxury sector, Hotel Ambasador Split is certainly in the right spot, located superbly between the marina and the riva - accessible to both, but away from the crowds and the noise. The majestic nature of Marjan Hill is just a short walk away. And for a bedroom view, I don't think I have stayed anywhere more mesmerising, especially being a light sleeper. I recommend you sleep with the curtains open, initially to enjoy the spectacular view of Diocletian's Palace and the boat traffic in the harbour, but then to watch the changing colours of the same view through the night. It is simply quite brilliant. 


The 101 rooms are a mixture of superior and premium rooms, junior suites and the accommodation pride of the hotel, the spectacular 110m2 Ambasador Suite, which is surely the best address in the city. 

A striking feature of the hotel, which compliments its modern, and sleek design, is the throwback to the traditions of life in Split. The hotel itself has a heritage dating back to 1937, when a hotel of the same name stood, and the first thing you notice on entering the lobby are the magnificent photographs of aspects of life in Split over half a century ago.


Superb scenes of kids playing traditional street games, as well as snapshots of daily life, including the beloved beach game of picigin on Bacvice. These photographs are also a part of the room design, making each room individual. When I stayed, the photograph of the Split riva covered in snow was a wonderful contrast to the sunlight streaming in through the window.  


Croatia's luxury tour operators have been quick to check out this new stylish addition to the Split hotel scene. Split has always struggled to offer the same level of quality to top-end guests in comparison to Rovinj and Dubrovnik, for example, but the opening of Ambasador is an important step to changing that. it was a joy to finally meet the pioneer of inbound luxury Croatian tourism from the US market, the legend that is Wanda Radetti, when I visited. Wanda was on an inspection visit and has been busy making reservations ever since. you can learn more about Wanda's impressions from this interview on TCN - Where Luxury Collides: Wanda Radetti Meets Hotel Ambasador in Split.


The spectacular views continue at the Pool Bar, which is open to hotel guests only. And what a location to while away a lazy afternoon after a morning's sightseeing. 


Health snacks, salads and drinks are served, with towels available - a perfect spot to follow the pace of life in Split's famous harbour.

Looking for a view that is EVEN more spectacular and offering a lot more privacy? The top terrace has the best views of all and will soon be available for private hire, so if you are planning on a unique dinner to impress friends or business partners, look no further. 


Bar Split, just off reception, and its accompanying terrace, is a fine addition to the Split scene, and an excellent new address for those looking to take their daily coffee while overlooking life on the Adriatic. 


Open to non-residents, Bar Split's terrace is an excellent way to sample the atmosphere of the hotel for locals, while enjoying a different view of the Dalmatian capital. And if you are looking for something a little stronger, check out the signature cocktails on offer. 


Relaxation comes in many forms, and after lounging at the Pool Bar for a while, the Hacelia Spa is waiting to welcome you for a range of massages, saunas and beauty services.

Hacelia Spa also comes with a fully equipped gym. Day passes and monthly memberships are available to non-residents.


Looking for an impressive location to hold a conference or seminar? 

Below the main hotel, but with plenty of natural light, is a multi-purpose conference room, away from the buzz of the city, which is ideal for banquets, conferences, and other such events. With a capacity of 100 people maximum, this versatile space offers a range of meeting opportunities - full catering services are available on demand. 


One building, one addition to the Split tourism scene, but with quite an offer packed into it.

There are so many aspects of this hotel that I really like, but at the end of the day, one really has to come back to THAT view - what a way to start the day on your next Split vacation.


You can learn more about Hotel Ambasador Split on the official website.


Paul Bradbury was a guest of Hotel Ambasador Split in December, 2022.



Tuesday, 18 April 2023

Why Croatia? Oyster Tasting on a Floating Island in Mali Ston (VIDEO)

April 18, 2023 - Croatia has a multitude of individual gourmet experiences, including the fabulous oyster tasting on a private floating island just off Mali Ston. 

It is only a tiny place, and nearby Ston is not much bigger, but Mali Ston and its neighbour really do pack a lot into their tourist offer. 

Here you can find the expansive salt works that used to generate 35% of the annual revenue for the Republic of Ragusa, as Dubrovnik used to be known, as well as what some claim as the largest fortified wall still in existence outside China - the wall was built to protect the salt. 

But for foodies, there is one more reason to visit Mali Ston.


Mali Ston is one of the best places in Europe to sample an oyster or three, and the local restaurants have become very creative in how they present their gift from the Adriatic over the years in their menus (I thoroughly enjoy a 5-course oyster menu on my first visit). But when it comes to combining tourism with oysters, it is pretty hard to beat the unique experience of leading local restaurant, Bote Sare. 

In addition to the excellent waterfront restaurant of the same name, the Bote Sare team offers an oyster boar trip to a floating island they constructed a few years ago. Here you can learn all about the oyster growing process, seeing progress of the strings of oysters hanging over the side of the floating island, before sampling a fresh batch with a fresh glass or three of local white wine. 

You can check out a lot more about the experience in my article a few years ago, How to Shuck a Croatian Oyster on a Floating Bar on the Adriatic.  O much better, check out this excellent video by 45 Degrees Sailing, on a recent CROMADS experience.


You can subscribe to the Paul Bradbury Croatia Expert YouTube channel here.

What is it like to live in Croatia? An expat for 20 years, you can follow my series, 20 Ways Croatia Changed Me in 20 Years, starting at the beginning - Business and Dalmatia.

Follow Paul Bradbury on LinkedIn.

Croatia, a Survival Kit for Foreigners is now available on Amazon in paperback and on Kindle.


Tuesday, 18 April 2023

Eazytowork App by Cro Returnees Presented at Osijek Business Centre

April 22, 2023 -  An innovative app, Eazytowork, was presented at the Osijek Business Incubator. It offers a unique employment solution in Croatia, especially for young people who want to earn money while utilising all their skills and qualities to leave a good impression at their workplace.

In short, writes SiB, it can be argued that the Eazytowork app makes it easier to find temporary jobs for those who want to work but are not permanently employed. It allows the "booking" of jobs by shift. The employer announces shifts as needed, and the worker selects and "books" their shifts according to their capabilities.

The company Eazytowork itself was created in Ireland about two years ago when its founder Bernard Tomljenović started developing the idea of an application for quick and easy employment. Originally from Osijek, Bernard left for a temporary job in Ireland four years ago. The idea for an app through which employers and workers can easily connect came about during an annual vacation in Croatia.

Namely, Bernard noticed the problem of lack of communication between those who need small and quick jobs done and those who could provide those services. He was particularly motivated by the video of a young man who travelled around the country and provided similar services as a volunteer, so he began to think about a similar way of doing business that would solve the problem of smaller businesses.

The beginning was challenging. First, it was necessary to find the right direction and the right collaborators with whom the app could be launched. In the first ten months, he kept stumbling, which was reflected financially in a loss of over ten thousand euros.

Bernard then established cooperation with the Čakovec company Red Code, and after two years, the app came to life. During that time, Bernard's brother Tadej joined the Eazytowork team, while his high school friend Dominik Bogojević was with him from the beginning.

The innovative venture presented numerous challenges to young men aged 22 to 25, but they overcame them with perseverance, their own financial resources, and a lot of effort. The result is an innovative app for "booking" jobs throughout Croatia.

It should be noted that business registration in Croatia and the creation of a database of employers and employees are currently underway. The Eazytowork team is pleased to note that in just a few days, about a hundred job seekers have registered, and the number of interested employers is also growing.

As they are natives of Osijek, the founders of the Eazytowork team wanted to hold the first presentation of the app in their city, which is now widely known as the centre of the IT sector in Croatia and beyond. The company will continue to make it easier for young people to find jobs and unlock new ways to earn faster.

In addition to the "booking" of jobs, expansions in the app will soon allow all interested parties to publish various services such as tutoring for students, haircuts, installation of PC components, etc., which will greatly benefit young people who provide and advertise services through the app. Employees will also have access to various online courses they can take within the app, such as work safety.

Check it out on Eazytowork's official website.

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

Page 16 of 3789