Wednesday, 21 December 2022

How to Croatia - The Lowdown on Purchasing Croatian Property

December the 21st, 2022 - When it comes to purchasing Croatian property, there are (rather unsurprisingly) numerous things to note. Some of them are very, very important. From lawyers to the Ministry of Justice and zoning (read on, it will make sense eventually) - here's what you need to know.

First of all, foreigners are able to buy property in Croatia, with more and more of them snapping up real estate on the glorious Adriatic coast and using them as summer homes or indeed renting them out as a way to make back what is usually a heft investment. While this more than understandably bothers certain locals who have genuine fears about being outnumbered or priced out of where they come from, there is a healthy mix of foreign and domestic owned property up and down the coast and on the islands.

It isn’t a surprise that Croatia attracts so many foreigners (and their wallets), and while I’ve mentioned the natural pull of the sparkling coast, many foreign nationals also purchase apartments in Zagreb, quaint houses in the rolling hills of Gorski kotar, and even old cottages in far-flung villages. You don’t need to plan to move here at all in order to making purchasing Croatian property a reality and owning a little piece of this country, but you do need to keep the rules and some restrictions in mind before taking the plunge. 

Croatian nationals

If you’re a member of the Croatian diaspora, either living here or living abroad with zero intentions of packing your life into a few suitcases and moving here, and you have Croatian citizenship, you are of course treated exactly like anyone else who has the same document and has been born, raised, and is living in Croatia. There are no restrictions on what you can purchase or where, and you don’t need to seek any special permissions from anyone when it comes to purchasing Croatian property.

EEA/EU citizens

As an EEA citizen, you’re treated in the same way as a Croatian national would be. You’re free when it comes to purchasing Croatian property whether you live here or not. There is one catch, however, as EEA citizens cannot purchase anything listed as agricultural land, this is set out in the Law on Agricultural Land. 

What does that mean?

No foreign nationals can purchase agricultural land at this moment in time. This will expire in the future, with the date being pinned down at this moment in time as June 2023. This is currently the case (and has been ever since Croatia joined the EU) as part of a seven-year transitional period in which Croatia chose to maintain its restrictions on the sale of anything classed as agricultural land to foreign nationals. 

Until then, foreigners can purchase land listed as agricultural land if they open a Croatian company, list themselves as the owners, and purchase it through their Croatian company.

Third country nationals and British citizens

When it comes to purchasing Croatian property as a third country national, you’ve got more of a task on your hands. You’ll need to inform the Ministry of Justice and seek their consent before any property sale can go through. Be prepared to wait, it can take months. 

Once you do own a property, you can’t rent it out unless you open a Croatian company and do it through the company. This is costly and is absolutely not worth the hassle, time and potential problems you’ll likely run into.

The same rules apply to you in regard to the Law on Agricultural Land in that you cannot purchase it. You can’t purchase forested land, or any property considered to be a cultural monument. 

British nationals

'Can Brits purchase Croatian property?' is a question that I see often, and the answers provided are somewhat vague. Given that the United Kingdom is no longer an EU member state, British citizens are no longer EU citizens, meaning that certain rights which were once afforded to them merely by being the holders of British passports no longer apply.

Up until February the 1st, 2020, ironically just before the coronavirus pandemic reached Europe and caused havoc like we've never seen before, Brits could purchase property in Croatia as they were EU citizens. The same continued to be true between that aforementioned date and the 31st of December, 2020, during a transition period when all EU law continued to apply to the UK as it slowly made its way out of the bloc of which it had been a leading, powerful and wealthy member for over 40 years. 

During the UK's transition period out of the EU, British (and as such EU) nationals were free to purchase Croatian property without having to get any particular permissions and without having to engage in anything out of the ordinary. This applied to all property with the exception of what was classed as 'property and real estate in protected areas' and agricultural land. Then came January the 1st, 2021, and everything changed for Britain. That was the real D-Day, when the UK ceased to be a member of any kind of the EU, the transition period ended at midnight (Central European Time) on the 31st of December, 2020.

The answer to the question: Can Brits purchase Croatian property? was expected to change, but it didn't alter all that much. In short, yes they can, but that desired property absolutely needs to be classed as a residential property, and for that it must be in a certain 'zone'. This is all based on reciprocity agreements held between the Republic of Croatia and various other countries, and this functions in the British sense much like it did before Croatia joined the EU back in July 2013.

A tip for looking this sort of agreement up in Croatian would be to Google: Uzajamnost za stjecanje prava vlasništva na nekretninama u Republici Hrvatskoj.

It sounds a little bit complicated, but in reality it isn't. If a Croatian citizen can buy property in a certain country, then the citizens of whatever country that might be can typically do the same in Croatia, with certain conditions attached in each specific case. You also do not need to register as a resident of Croatia in order to buy a property here, as I mentioned at the beginning of this chapter.

So, what needs to be done?

Consent for the acquisition of ownership rights over Croatian property by foreign citizens who aren't nationals of the EU/EEA requires what everyone in Croatia just adores - an administrative procedure. A Brit intending to buy a property here must first make a request to the Ministry of Justice.

In the case of a British citizen who isn't protected by the Withdrawal Agreement wanting to purchase a property here, this procedure is conducted at their request to purchase real estate. That real estate needs to be 'zoned' as residential.

The procedure is laid down in the provisions of the Act on Ownership and Other Real Rights and the Act on General Administrative Procedure. A mouthful, I know. Any submitted application must be written and then be submitted to the Registry and Archives Department. This can be done by post to the following address:

Croatian: Ministarstvo pravosuđa i uprave Republike Hrvatske, 

Uprava za građansko, trgovačko i upravno pravo

Ulica grada Vukovara 49, 10000, Zagreb, Grad Zagreb, Republika Hrvatska

English: The Ministry of Justice and Public Administration of the Republic of Croatia,

The Directorate for Civil, Commercial and Administrative Law

City of Vukovar Street 49, 10000, Zagreb, Croatia

The following documents must be enclosed along with your (written) application form:

An acceptable legal basis for the acquisition of ownership (this can be a property purchase agreement, the deeds proving the property has been gifted to you, etc). These documents can be in their original form, or they can be certified copies.

Proof of ownership from the seller of the property, such as a copy from the land register confirming their ownership.

A certificate of the administrative body responsible for urban and physical planning, according to the location of the property, on the legal status of the property.

Proof of the prospective owner's nationality (such as a certified copy of their passport showcasing their citizenship) or proof of legal entity status (evidence with a copy from the court register) if the prospective owner is a foreign legal entity.

When the applicant is represented by an attorney-in-fact, the original power of attorney or a certified copy thereof must be submitted.

In certain cases, additional documentation will be sought from would-be buyers of Croatian property. It all depends on the individual request. 

So, in short, the answer to Can Brits purchase Croatian property? is a resounding yes, given that all of the requirements for reciprocity have long been met. This was of course helped not only by the UK's recent EU membership, but also by the fact that Croatia is the EU's youngest member state and that many bilateral agreements between the UK and Croatia before Croatian EU accession were long-standing and clear.

Check the property records

This is a very important step that needs to be taken when purchasing Croatian property. There are many properties in Croatia which are the subjects of ownership disputes and these can go on for donkey’s years, as they say in the UK. Doing your due diligence can help you avoid any unpleasant surprises as you go through the purchase process. You really, really don’t want to deal with any Croatian institution for longer than is absolutely necessary and the biggest wet blanket in the world would come in the form of inheriting a list of problems as long as your arm while trying to enjoy your new little slice of Croatia.

How do I check the public records for a property?

There are two ways to do this. One is by checking the Land Registry, or through Cadastre.

The information that you can access through these platforms are the purpose of the property you’ve got your eye (and maybe your wallet) on, the name(s) of the owners and certain pieces of information about them, such as their OIBs (although this isn’t always shown), where they live (or at least their registered addresses), the size of the property and any accompanying land, and if there are any ownership disputes or other problems going on.

Make sure your desired property is zoned as residential!

When purchasing Croatian property, you need to make sure your desired property is zoned as residential, and unfortunately this information isn’t freely available with a few clicks online. To find out how any particular property is zoned, you need to send a request to the Administrative Department for Construction and Physical Planning (Upravni odjel za graditeljstvo i prostorno uređenje).

If you are not a Croatian citizen, you’ll need to pay a small fee for this and you need to request a certificate stating the property’s zone as residential.

Things to note

Engage a lawyer when purchasing Croatian property. I cannot stress this enough. Don’t try to navigate these (sometimes, alright, often) murky waters without professional legal assistance.

Have your wits about you. If something seems too good to be true, it probably is. If your gut is telling you something doesn’t seem quite right, it probably isn’t. Ask, ask, and ask again. Then ask your lawyer three more times.

When it comes to purchasing contracts, it will usually be your lawyer (as the buyer) who prepares everything. Everything, including the terms of the purchase, will be very clearly outlined in order to protect you and your hard earned cash. You’ll need to visit a notary (javni bilježnik) to have copies of the contract notarised.

Your lawyer will explain all of the fees to you as you go through the process, as there are several that act as guarantees for both parties, as well as how to obtain the certificate of ownership at the end of the process.

For more on How to Croatia, make sure to check out our lifestyle section.

Tuesday, 20 December 2022

The Women Behind the Wheel: Meet Croatia Football Team's Party Bus Drivers

December 20, 2022 - On Sunday, Ana Golomeić and Nikolina Žiljak drove the party buses for the Croatia Football Team. Just like they did four years ago when the silver Vatreni returned from Russia.

24Sata quotes the driver: "the Vatreni recognised me, and that was great. When they saw me, they said: 'Here she is, that lady who drove us the last time,'" - laughs Nikolina Žiljak, who drove the Vatreni on Sunday in a panoramic bus from the beginning of the Sava road to the Ban Josip Jelačić square. Ana Golomeić drove the staff members in the other bus.

Four years ago, when the Vatreni returned from Russia with silver, the ladies behind the wheel were ZET's drivers Ana and Nikolina, who were honoured to do so again, as they say, after a job well done four years ago.

"The bosses were satisfied because we behaved professionally and drove the whole way without any problems. I believe that's why they chose us again. We were happy to hear that we will do it again," the ladies said. However, this time, they admitted, everything was completely different from the last time.

"It was much more difficult because it was dark, the torches were blazing, and you had to be very careful about the people on the road and everything that could go wrong. Four years ago, everything was much clearer because it was daylight so I could drive a little more relaxed. Besides, it was freezing this time, and I was confined in my cabin and didn't interact with the passengers. In the end, the only important thing is that everything went as it should", said Ana. She added that although it was much shorter than four years ago, the journey from Savska to the Square took an eternity for her.

"There is no need for the gas pedal; you hold the brake. Walking would be much faster than the way I drove. But those are the rules. The journey took about 40 minutes, but it seemed much longer to me", said Ana.
Nikolina, who drove the football players, was isolated in her cabin. Four years ago, she became headline news because she refused Luka Modrić's request to sit behind the bus wheel for a while. She says there was neither occasion nor time for such teasing this time.

"I am happy that they recognised me, and that is enough. When they got off the bus, they thanked me nicely. It's a memory for a lifetime and that's why I'm grateful that I had this opportunity to drive the Vatreni", said Nikolina.
She added that her children and all the people she loves are proud of her.

"They are also honoured to say they know the woman who drove the Vatreni,” laughs Nikolina. Four years ago, she says, she was convinced that it was the only time she would do something like that in her life. It all happened again, though.

"Rarely does anyone get this kind of opportunity, and that's why I'm grateful. If necessary, I would do it all again", she said.

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

 

Tuesday, 20 December 2022

Croatian Post Issuing New Crypto Stamp with Nikola Tesla Motifs

December 20, 2022 - On Wednesday, 21 December, the Croatian Post (HP) will issue the fourth crypto stamp in the form of a postal block with the motif of Nikola Tesla and his tower for the World Wireless System.

As Poslovni writes, the authors of the new crypto stamp are Zagreb designers Ivana Vučić and Tomislav-Jurica Kaćunić, and the stamp with a nominal value of HRK 50.00 was printed in 30,000 copies.
The promotion of the fourth issue of the crypto stamp will be accompanied by an exhibition of Tesla's personal belongings at the post office.

Tesla's glasses, bag, hat, cane, and gloves will be available for viewing from the end of December 2022 until the beginning of February 2023 at the post office in Jurišićeva Street, the press release states.

Nikola Tesla's personal items that will be exhibited in the Zagreb post office are owned by the Croatian Post and form a permanent exhibition at the post office in Smiljan, Nikola Tesla's birthplace, adds HP.
HP finalised the new edition of the crypto-brand in cooperation with the companies BitX and MarrowLabs, as well as with the "Nikola Tesla" Technical Museum.

"By buying a crypto stamp, you get a physical postage stamp that you can use to send parcels and a digital stamp in the form of a non-fungible token (NFT)," they add.

The digital edition of the crypto stamp will be available in five different categories, each with a motif of one of Tesla's inventions.

The digital edition with the motif of Tesla's experiment with an egg in a rotating magnetic field (Egg of Columbus) will have the smallest number of copies available (2,000), while the digital edition with the motif of Tesla's turbine will have the most copies.

Other digital editions will have the motifs of a Tesla coil, a wireless signal transmission system, and a remote-controlled ship.
The new crypto stamp can be purchased in post offices, on the epostshop.hr website and in the online Crypto Center, where it will be possible to pay with cryptocurrencies.

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

Tuesday, 20 December 2022

Croatian Infosit Planning to Conquer European Union Market

December the 20th, 2022 - The Croatian Infosit software company is celebrating twenty years of doing business, and planning to tackle the demanding European Union (EU) market next.

As Poslovni Dnevnik writes, the very first more complex software from the Croatian Infosit company was launched from the living room of the founder Goran Mrvos in Varvari near Porec in Istria, and now, they're rightfully celebrate two decades of doing very successful business.

The Croatian Infosit software company started functionong 20 years ago with just two employees, and today it has 25 experts creating, as they say, robust platforms that are at the centre of the integration of complex tools that drive online sales and marketing of medium and larger tourism and hotel companies, as well as national associations.

"I'd say that the fact that we already did significant work in the first wave of digitisation was important for our positioning as a long-term partner in the digital transformation. We were constantly learning and improving our competences, processes and work methods. While building an agile organisation, we went through several important stages of development,'' recalled the founder and director of Infosit, Goran Mrvos.

As his company celebrates a very successful twenty years, Mrvos announced that Infosit plans to increase its focus on its strengths, one of which is the digital transformation of tourist organisations, as a niche in which, as he claims, they have a lot of knowledge and experience.

"In addition to our presence on the markets of Croatia and Slovenia, we're planning to enter the markets of other European Union (EU) countries, either independently or with strategic partners. We are strengthening our existing teams and forming new ones that will take care of the deliveries, and master the work on the international market, thereby strengthening our position as a leader in the IT4hospitality niche even more,'' revealed Goran Mrvos.

For more, check out our dedicated business section.

Tuesday, 20 December 2022

Croatian Gaming Studio Gamepires, Creator of SCUM, Acquired by Jagex

December the 20th, 2022 - The Croatian gaming studio Gamepires is set to become part of the large and very well known global game developer and publisher Jagex, which announced the acquisition of the Zagreb company describing it with superlatives.

The Croatian gaming scene has come on leaps and bounds over the last five years or so, with the unlikely location (in the opinion of many) of Novska in continental Croatia becoming the very heart of the Croatian gaming scene. Many companies and studios have since popped up all over the country, and slowly but surely Croatia is becoming as recognised for its gaming potential as it is for that of its blossoming IT and tech scene.

''We're extremely excited to see how we can continue to build on everything we've achieved with SCUM so far and refine the game to its full potential,'' the leadership behind the Croatian gaming studio Gamepires stated, which created the wildly popular game SCUM. As Poslovni Dnevnik writes, they stated the above when recently discussing what they're calling very big news for the gaming industry in this country as a whole.

"We are delighted that Gamepires is joining our family, and its founders Tomislav Pongrac and Andrej Levenski both built a fantastic approach to gaming. Now we will support their vision to take SCUM to an even higher level," said Jagex's CEO Phil Mansell of the acquisition of the Croatian gaming studio Gamepires, which is otherwise headquartered here in the City of Zagreb.

Gamepires is otherwise known for reaching an extremely impressive 250,000 sales in first 24 hours of SCUM's release, as well as over one million sales in a mere three weeks, making it the fastest selling new game ever on Steam.

For more on Croatian companies, entrepreneurs and innovation, make sure to check out our dedicated business section.

Tuesday, 20 December 2022

Osijek Airport: Direct Connections to Six Destinations for Advent

December 20, 2022 - If you've always wanted to visit the east of Croatia but hesitated because it's been a bit far, your time might have just come. The Osijek airport is now directly connected to six destinations: Zagreb, Split, Rijeka, Dubrovnik, Pula, and the Croatian Gastarbeiter mecca, Munich.

As Jolie.hr writes, Advent is the right time to visit continental Croatia. And Osijek Airport provides direct flights to this Eastern Croatian metropolis from the Croatian cities. You can also visit Osijek by direct flight from the Bavarian capital of Munich. Osijek Advent was declared the best in Croatia in 2021, and this year it shines with the glow of thousands of lights. Take a walk along the path of holiday magic from the art nouveau European Avenue to the fairytale Fortress, where you will find an abundance of smells and tastes of Christmas.

A rich cultural and entertainment program at the Fortress

This year's Advent is a real opportunity for family quality time, where everyone can find something for themselves. The youngest will be able to enjoy fairy tales in the Great Winter Story Room, watch cartoons in the Christmas Cinema, and write letters to Santa Claus! Concerts, lectures, exhibitions in the Archaeological Museum, and gastronomic mornings have been prepared for the big ones. Celebrated chef Rene Bakalović will create New Slavonian cuisine for visitors, preparing the most delicious Slavonian dishes in a modern way.

The ice fairy tale of the ice rink at Sokol offers unforgettable moments to young and old lovers of winter joys, and after showing off your skating skills, you will have the opportunity to warm up with mulled wine or dance to Christmas hits. And if you are not of an adventurous spirit and enjoy walking around the city more, explore the hidden parts of the city whose every corner breathes holiday magic and a Christmas atmosphere.

The most beautiful view from 35 metres

An essential part of Advent this year is the "panoramic wheel" that will take you high above the city’s rooftops. The largest Ferris wheel in Croatia is located at the Baroque Fortress, where you can enjoy a wonderful view of the city. The daytime ride places the fairy-tale city below your feet, and the night ride provides a view of thousands of lights. This year's Advent programme lasts until the 30th of December, and if you decide to spend the craziest night of the year on the streets of Osijek, the band Crvena Jabuka will count you down into the New Year on the central town square.

Visit the beautiful Baranja and the Danube region

Along with the Osijek Advent tour, you can visit the Vukovar Christmas market or the restored Eltz manor museum. After the New Year's celebration, you can enjoy the rich gastronomic offer of Baranja. Go on a tour of the wine cellars and enjoy traditional Baranja delicacies. The Slavonian metropolis has never been closer - visit Osijek and see why it won the title of the most successful continental city tourism destination! More information on the Osijek Airport website.

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

 

Tuesday, 20 December 2022

Euro Croatia: What to Expect During the Dual Circulation Period

December 20, 2022 - Euro Croatia: from the 1st of January 2023, the official currency in Croatia will be the euro. From January 1 to 14, 2023, there will be a dual circulation period, where kuna and euros can be used for cash payments.

As SiB / Net.hr write, on January 1, Croatia will enter the eurozone, and the euro will become the official currency. Although preparations for the euro are already in full swing, Croatian citizens will be able to pay with kuna even after the New Year. From January 1 to January 14, 2023, there will be a dual circulation period, where kuna and euros can be used for cash payments.

In the dual circulation period, citizens still have to pay attention to certain things. For example, a merchant or payee is not obliged to accept more than 50 kuna coins in one transaction. The payee is obliged to apply the regulations on preventing money laundering and terrorist financing, which refer to the limit of the amount that can be paid in cash.

The change will be returned in euros, but it is possible to do so in kuna. The Law on the Introduction of the Euro provides that as an exemption from the application of the dual circulation rule if the business entity is not objectively able to return the rest of the amount in euro cash. In that case, they can return the remaining amount in kuna or kuna and euros.

As stated on the euro.hr page, which contains all the information related to the changeover to the euro; the dual circulation period starts on January 1, 2023, at 00:00 and ends on January 14, 2023, at 24:00.

CNB recommends citizens use debit cards as much as possible in transactions in the first days of 2023. "Furthermore, to facilitate cash transactions in the first days after the introduction of the euro, from the beginning of December 2022, citizens will be able to obtain starting packages of euro coins, which will enable them to pay in the new currency from the first day of 2023. With the same goal, In the first months of 2023, ATMs will have to be stocked mainly with euro banknotes of smaller denominations (of 10 and 20 euros)," according to the euro.hr website.

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

Monday, 19 December 2022

Zagreb Tourist Board CEO Martina Bienenfeld Reflects on 2022, the Return of Tourism

December 19, 2022 - It has been a great year for tourism in Zagreb after the pandemic challenges of 2020 and 2021. TCN catches up with Zagreb Tourist Board CEO Martina Bienenfeld to reflect on a successful year.  

Advent in Zagreb 2022 - it feels like the pre-pandemic world of 2019, and a great way to finish the year. Are you happy with the reaction to this year's event?

During the whole year, we were exposed to various extraordinary situations, starting with the uncertainty surrounding the pandemic, and then the war in Ukraine and the energy crisis and inflation, so I am very happy that, with all our partners, we managed to organize this year's Advent Zagreb. The reactions of our guests are very positive. They are very satisfied with the Christmas decorations of the city, the rich and varied cultural and other programs, the holiday atmosphere, and currently they only criticize the rain - the only factor that, unfortunately, we cannot influence. I hope that the temperatures will drop a little more and bring us snow for the complete winter atmosphere.

Zagreb has been hugely successful over the last 6 years with its award-winning Advent, and you were one of the few cities to keep the tradition going during the pandemic. Tell us about the challenges of making that happen.

The last Advent and the one before it, were organized during the pandemic, which was a completely new challenge and situation. However, we managed to adapt and develop a hybrid Advent concept that had a lot of online events, but also outdoor events that were organized respecting all the COVID measures. But now, we're happy to be back to normal and, in contrast to 2020 and 2021 when trips and events were mostly limited, this year we are noticing a strong recovery in tourist supply and demand.

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The world has changed, and so has tourism, with new trends and opportunities. One of the biggest successes of Zagreb in the last 2 years has been its prominence as a top global digital nomad destination. Tell us more about that.

In the last 2 years, Zagreb paved its way as one of the best destinations in Europe on a digital nomads’ map. In 2021, we organized Zagreb Digital Nomad Week, then the Digital Nomad Ambassador program which lasted six months and in December we had Digital Nomad Jolly Wrap Up. This year, actually 2 weeks ago, we hosted Zagreb Digital Nomad Very Merry meeting which attracted numerous participants to our city during weekend. The dynamic fusion of workshops, presentations, social and tourism activities focusing on the key themes, provided a comprehensive and stimulating content for anyone engaged in the digital nomad lifestyle. All these activities helped to make Zagreb a digital nomad hub and the results of the NomadList survey, where Zagreb took 2nd place as the most popular destination for digital nomads, proved that we’re doing a good job. The British platform Reassured also published its research, and our city took 5th place as the best city for digital nomads. Research like this confirm that Zagreb is very well perceived in the world of digital nomads as a city with optimal value for money, quality infrastructure, growing industry, hospitality of the local population and colorful events, which enable digital nomads to conduct business efficiently and easily throughout the year.

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Having lived in Zagreb for 18 months now, I am constantly surprised at how there is always something going on somewhere, especially in the parks, streets and squares. It seems that there has been a lot more focus on developing the city as a year-round destination for art and culture. Tell us a little more.

In the last few years, Zagreb has become an increasingly dynamic and interesting tourist destination that offers its guests a number of cultural, sports, gastronomic, entertainment, MICE and business events throughout the year. Zagreb Tourist Board, together with the Zagreb tourism industry, develops year-round tourism and, as a result, Zagreb has a developed, sustainable, balanced, and responsible tourist offer. In particular, Zagreb Tourist Board, in cooperation with partners, designs, sets up and develops projects such as the Festival of Lights Zagreb, Zagreb Classic, Artupunktura and Advent Zagreb, which encompass all four seasons and complement our year-round offer. We also support various cultural, artistic and creative projects which make Zagreb always interesting. The tourist results confirm that Zagreb is a year-round destination, and the months when we have the most visitors are from April to October and, of course, during Advent. However, this does not mean that there are no visitors in January, February or November. Moreover, Zagreb records excellent results even in those months, which is also a characteristic of the city-break destinations. We also conduct comprehensive online and offline, summer and winter marketing campaigns, which, for the purpose of promoting our city as an attractive tourist destination and informing potential visitors, are responsible, among other things, for the results Zagreb has.

The arrival of a budget airline has opened up Zagreb to many destinations. How much has that been a factor in developing tourism, and can you share any information about new flights/airlines in 2023?

Zagreb is the main cultural, university, scientific and technological center of Croatia, connected to Europe and the world with more than 50 airline routes, as well as a modern road network, which also puts it in the position of a year-round tourist destination. Half of the guests come to our city by plane, and a large number of them come from long-haul destinations such as the USA. The presence of low-cost flights is certainly important for the development of the city break segment, but today almost all airlines offer special tariff classes. As for new flights, for the moment, we have only confirmed news from our national carrier Croatia Airlines which will maintain services to fifteen European destinations (excluding domestic routes) out of its main hub in Zagreb. A total of 120 weekly rotations are planned or 240 weekly flights.

It has been a very busy 2022 for Zagreb after the last two crazy years, and there are many positives to reflect on. What were the highlights for you?

The changes in global trends and social values in the last two years have been extremely intense and volatile, and this created an additional possibility for Zagreb's tourism to be even more competitive and attractive. However, the highlight in 2022 for me was to see how quickly tourism recovered and travelling blossomed. Let’s not forget that we started this year with wearing masks and strict COVID measures and now it all seems like a long-gone history.

And what can we expect in Zagreb in 2023?

It’s difficult to predict what future holds, but with entering the Eurozone in 2023 and Croatian membership in Schengen, we should definitely see the positive aspects of deeper integration of Croatia into the EU. Both events should strengthen the Croatian economy and enable the free movement of people and goods which will for sure foster tourism of whole Croatia and its capital, as well.

Follow the latest news from Zagreb in the dedicated TCN section

Monday, 19 December 2022

Croatia, the Tiny Country Which Consistently Delivers

December 19, 2022 - The heroes are home, with some 80,000 cheering the returning Vatreni to Zagreb with their third World Cup medal in just 6 tournaments.

There can be few places better during the World Cup than Croatia. The tiny country which dared to dream is transformed into a sea of red and white squares, as seemingly every member of the population possesses their own version of the national football shirt. A tiny nation of just 4 million people, and yet one which consistently delivers on the international stage at the big tournaments when it matters. Third place in 1998, the first World Cup of a newly-independent nation. Runners-up last time in Moscow, and one more bronze this time round, as Croatia overcame Morocco 2-1 in the third-place playoff, having succumbed to Argentina 3-0 in the semi-final. 

You will find plenty of people telling you how the referee was against Croatia against Argentina, much less of them who will reflect on Croatia's biggest friend in the tournament, a Belgian striker called Lukaku in the group stages. Did that unfair penalty change the game? Perhaps. Had Lukaka scored one of the many open goals from one metre out, there would not have been a discussion about Argentina. At the end of the day, what matters are results.

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(Photo: Slobodan Kadic)

And when it comes to results, few can compare to the success of the tiny country which dared to dream. Three medals in 6 World Cups in 24 years is a phenomenal achievement for any country, even more so for one so small, with a shrinking population of less than 3.9 million. What is additionally impressive, to me at least, is just how much of this is as a result of home-grown talent, which has been nurtured back in the Homeland. Livakovic was unquestionably the goalkeeper of the tournament, whatever the official decision, and in Gvadiol, Croatia and one of Europe's biggest clubs, have one of the centre-backs of the world for many years to come. 

And there is plenty of home-grown talent that went on to shine on the international stage elsewhere, none more so than talisman captain Luka Modric, who started his journey at Dinamo Zagreb. I read somewhere that in the days of former Yugoslavia, players were not allowed to play abroad until they were 28. This no doubt strengthened the Yugoslav league at the time. Such a rule does not apply in Croatia, and the Croatian National League is fairly weak as a result, but the sheer number of talented stars that emerge from such a tiny country is breathtaking indeed. 

And many of those stars were on show on Zagreb's main square of Ban Jelacic lat night, as the Vatreni returned home to a waiting crowd of 80,000 fans who had braved the December cold weather to welcome back their heroes. The timing was somewhat ironic, coming around the same time as the actual World Cup Final back in Qatar. But for many in Zagreb, the true champions of the tournament were the Croatian team on the main square. It was quite a party, not quite as crazy as the 550,000 who turned up in the summer of 2018 to welcome back the sliver-medal winning team from Moscow, but understandable given the time of year. Croats do celebration so well. 

Congratulations to Croatia and all my friends here on another great success. It has once more been very impressive to watch. 

Now, if only we could channel this passion, positivity, and success into changing things in this country... 

****

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.

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Monday, 19 December 2022

How Much Will Croatian Clubs Earn From Croatia's World Cup Performance?

December the 19th, 2022 - We've seen how much FIFA will give to HNS and how much each player on the Croatian national team will take home from the government for their time spent representing the country in Qatar this year, but what about the Croatian clubs themselves?

As Poslovni Dnevnik writes, the Croatian national team performed incredibly under the guidance of the much loved Zlatko Dalic, remaining in the game at the World Cup for the second time in a row until the very end (the last time being back in 2018), which greatly benefits Croatian clubs whose players also play for the Croatian national team.

Dinamo Zagreb, which sent five of its players to Qatar - Dominik Livakovic, Josip Sutalo, Mislav Orsic, Bruno Petkovic and Sadegh Moharrami, will earn the most of all of the Croatian clubs (HNL). Croatian clubs will all receive 10,000 dollars for each player for each day spent at the World Cup in Qatar. In translation, Dinamo Zagreb will earn 50,000 dollars per day from this alone for its players having been on the pitch over in Qatar.

This amount is paid out by FIFA for as long as the selected national team remains in the tournament, and the Croatian clubs themselves are compensated for the fact that the players had to undergo short preparations before the tournament.

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

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