Wednesday, 6 April 2022

Croatia Still Leading, Most Sought After Destination for Austrian Market

April the 6th, 2022 - The Republic of Croatia is still the leading, most sought after holiday destination this summer for the Austrian market, with Austrian tourists ready to bask in the Adriatic sun and swim in the sparkling sea.

As Poslovni Dnevnik writes, ahead of the main summer part of this year's tourist season, Austrian travel organisers conducted market analyses according to which Croatia is at the very top of the most sought-after foreign destinations for the Austrian market, reports local portal Glas Istre/The Voice of Istria.

Namely, travel organiser Gruber Reisen conducted a survey among its clients and customers, which totalled 1,200 respondents, entitled ''Travel Barometer in 2022'', according to which Croatia is the leading and most sought-after destination for the Austrian market, which shouldn't come as much of a shock to anyone.

"Austria is one of the most important emitting markets for Croatian tourism, and this country is supported by data from a survey according to which as many as 95 percent of Austrians said they want to spend their summer holidays somewhere else in Europe," said Branimir Toncinic, the director of the CNTB Office in Austria, adding that security and safety when in the destination remains an important aspect for the majority of people when booking a trip. Two thirds of Austrians plan to spend 1,500 euros per person.

The results of the survey also show that the will and desire of Austrians to travel is great given that 53 percent of respondents have already booked a trip this year. At the same time, about 65 percent of the respondents said that they'd prefer a beach holiday, ie the sun and the sea are a main a motive for coming, while visits to cities are becoming more interesting to many on the Austrian market and are in second place.

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

Monday, 7 March 2022

RBA Marks Down Forecast of Croatia's 2022 GDP Growth to 4%

7 March 2022 - Raiffeisenbank Austria (RBA) analysts on Monday revised down their estimate of Croatia's economic growth in 2022 from 4.4% to 4%, underscoring uncertainty and negative risks, particularly regarding investments.

The analysts said that in light of the war in Ukraine and growing uncertainty, their forecast for the euro area economy has been marked down by 0.7 percentage points to 3.3%.

"The expected trends will have a negative, albeit a limited impact on Croatia's GDP. In the scenario that excludes the possibility of the war spreading to other countries of the EU and/or Western Balkans and implies, at least for the time being, that the tourism season will be successful, the forecast for the real annual GDP growth rate for 2002 has been revised from 4.4% to 4%," the analysts said.

The analysts however remain cautious, underscoring uncertainty and negative risks, particularly with regard to investments.

Inflation in 2022 at 4.9%

They also see a more significant risk in the spilling over of the global increase in energy and food prices, and have therefore revised up their inflation forecast.

RBA estimates that this year's inflation rate in Croatia will be 4.9% whereas previously it was forecast at 3.6%.

Data from the Croatian Bureau of Statistics (DZS) indicated an increase in inflation of 5.7% in January this year compared to January 2021, which is the highest increase since October 2008.

"We expect that this year will see stronger inflationary pressure, directly on food prices, and that the impact of price growth on producers will also affect consumers, which will negatively impact available income. In such circumstances we cannot rule out the possibility of additional fiscal support," the analysts said.

Thursday, 25 November 2021

Largest Croatian Tourist Company Purchasing Hotel in Austrian Ski Resort

November the 25th, 2021 - The largest Croatian tourist company, Valamar, has its eye on the purchase of another hotel in a very popular Austrian ski resort.

As Poslovni Dnevnik/Marija Crnjak writes, the Supervisory Board of Valamar Riviera, the largest Croatian tourist company, has approved the recapitalisation of the Austrian subsidiary Valamar A GmbH with the aim of acquiring the Marietta 4 * hotel in Obertauern, which will thus become the second hotel in Austria managed by Valamar.

Over the next two years, further investments are planned in Austria, which include investments in raising the quality of the Marietta Hotel and the Valamar Obertauern Hotel, the company reports.

“Hotel Marietta 4 * with 120 keys is today one of the largest and best hotels in the famous Obertauern ski resort. It provides its guests with a fantastic location on the ski slope near all of the facilities in the destination. With the completion of this transaction, Valamar will operate two hotels in Austria, which will employ more than 130 Valamar employees from the Republic of Croatia during the winter.

For Valamar, this acquisition represents an important step forward in the further internationalisation of our business portfolio with the aim of expanding it and managing hotel and tourist facilities in the best winter holiday destinations across Austria and Italy. The recapitalisation of the Austrian subsidiary of Valamar A GmbH by Gustav Wurmboeck, one of Austria's largest shareholders in Valamar Riviera, aims to accelerate the further expansion of the Valamar Group's portfolio, with the acquisition of the Marietta Hotel being another significant step in that same direction,'' they stated from the very well known company.

Zeljko Kukurin, President of the Management Board of Valamar Riviera, pointed out that the further expansion of the largest Croatian tourist company's portfolio in the direction of winter holiday tourism is an important step forward in the internationalisation of business and the use of Valamar's management synergies.

"Experience so far has shown us that guests who come to us in the summer want to spend their holidays in Valamar's facilities during the winter. In addition, by expanding to winter tourism, we're providing our employees with year-round permanent employment, increased income and the opportunity to gain international experience and develop their careers in the long term here with Valamar,'' concluded Kukurin.

For more, check out our dedicated business section.

Thursday, 23 September 2021

Austrian Company PicoPack to Begin Knin-based Packaging Production

September the 23rd, 2021 - Knin has faced economic issues for a long time now, with many people leaving for either Zagreb, seasonal work on the coast or heading abroad. The Austrian company PicoPack could be set to turn things around for this inland Dalmatian town as it sets up local production.

As Poslovni Dnevnik/Suzana Varosanec writes, an new opportunity is opening up Knin, known for its role during the Homeland War, to do better economically and become a European brand for polypropylene jumbo bags. These bags are applied in a wide variety of sectors, including the agriculture, petrochemical and food processing industries. These are highly sought-after products that are otherwise imported into Croatia, but with this move, the Croatian packaging industry will soon get its first representative in the segment of the production of industrial packaging for bulk products.

The Austrian company PicoPack had the best conditions offered to them in Knin

The Austrian company PicoPack Group, a manufacturer and distributor of industrial packaging, is finalising an agreement regarding its new project, which they have decided to implement right here in Croatia. In order to supply their numerous customers from Europe and the Russian Federation and to invest in production capacity of about 18,000 square metres, the investor chose Knin. The inland Dalmatian town was chosen above all other options.

The holder of the project is the newly established company Velebit ambalaza, in which the Austrian company PicoPack will hold a 51 percent share and the entrepreneur Goran Jerkovic will hold one of 49 percent. Austrian entrepreneur and leader of PicoPack, Manfred Pribyl, confirmed that good offers from other countries, such as Bulgaria, were also considered for the project, but the best conditions and in that sense support for the project, after Jerkovic's engagement, were received from Knin. The new Knin factory could be one of the largest in all of Europe, Pribyl says, adding that the company is expanding its production globally under the influence of the coronavirus pandemic, in response to increased transport costs and longer delivery times.

Production in India, organised sixteen years ago, is now being redirected solely to the African, Australian and American markets, but the model of how they work will be replicated at the Croatian Knin factory. In addition to the workers at the plant, they will additionally have a larger number of them in education within their small educational institution, so they will always have enough workers. Pribyl stated that he will motivate them with net salaries of up to 1,000 euros, but also with the distribution of about 20 percent of profits to workers every six months, which is an unprecedented positive example in recent entrepreneurial practice.

Since back in 2007, nine entrepreneurs have been operating in the Preparandija zone, but Knin is completing the reconstruction of two significant facilities, one of which is the former Kninjanka facility. According to the head of the Knin Administrative Department for EU Programmes and Economy, Josko Nedoklan, the project is worth around 33.34 million kuna, is co-financed by the European Regional Development Fund, and the works on the facility should be completed by April 2022.

For more, check our our dedicated business section.

Tuesday, 24 August 2021

PlanRadar Closer to Total Digitalisation of Croatian Construction Site Work

August the 24th, 2021 - The PlanRadar platform is one step closer to solving the issue of endless amounts of paper and pens on Croatian construction sites, bringing it all onto a screen and as such, into one place.

As Poslovni Dnevnik writes, Bojan Petkovic, the director of PlanRadar for Croatia, Slovenia and Serbia stated that ''we're one step closer to abandoning large and inconspicuous paper reports and the complete digitalisation of work on construction sites, especially in the area of ​​data exchange and processing.''

That's how Petkovic described the new opportunity that this Croatian-Austrian startup offers to the users of its software platform, with Croatian construction sites hopefully abandoning endless amounts of paperwork.

As they announced, PlanRadar has introduced a new, extremely important feature in its solution - Digital Project Reports, which further facilitates the collection of data from construction sites and enables them to use data even more efficiently within the application itself.

As explained from this company, which currently has more than 13,000 users across more than 55 countries, thanks to Digital Project Reports, users and subcontractors can now import PDF reports into the PlanRadar platform and easily collect data from various construction sites by using existing forms and importing data. These reports can be searched or new reports can be created based on them.

“Our users use many different, pre-defined reports to respond to the reporting needs of the relevant institutions or their partners and investors, such as a construction log. In order to further facilitate and speed up the process of collecting information and reporting, we decided to go one step further and after creating digital report forms that are available with just one click within the PlanRadar application, enable the import of data from existing PDF forms through project reports,'' explained Petkovic.

It's worth mentioning that the PlanRadar platform has pointed out that by digitalising these work processes in construction, they're working to further reduce the frequency of errors, save time and enable a significant increase in efficiency. This will likely be of enormous benefit to Croatian construction sites, especially as the post-earthquake reconstruction of Zagreb, Petrinja, Sisak, Glina and elsewhere gets underway.

For more, follow our business section.

Sunday, 22 August 2021

Austrians Constructing New Dalmatian Shopping Centre - Stop Shop

August the 22nd, 2021 - Kastela, as well as the wider Split area, will be richer for another shopping centre from April next year thanks to the ''Stop shop'' retail chain, a brand of the Austrian company Immofinanz, the first such Dalmatian shopping centre, which already present in the northern part of Croatia in both Osijek and Valpovo.

As Poslovni Dnevnik writes, investors confirmed to Slobodna Dalmacija that the new Dalmatian shopping centre project is currently in the early phase of obtaining a building permit, and on August the 12th this year, they reported the beginning of the removal of dilapidated buildings at the location in Kastel Sucurac.

Immofinanz purchased the land covering a total area of ​​16,099 square metres (located on the site of the former Adriachem) last year from a company called Kemokompleks, backed by entrepreneur Enver Moralic.

The plot was neglected because in the meantime the remains of the former Jugovinil warehouses, which burned back in 2003 in a fire, still hadn't been removed. In the immediate vicinity there are three existing retail facilities - Lidl, Plodine and Super Konzum (the former Getro).

The procedure for obtaining a permit for the new Dalmatian shopping centre is, as stated, currently underway, as was confirmed to Slobodna Dalmacija from the Kastela City Administration. When looking at the system of the Ministry of Construction, it is evident that the permit was stamped back on July the 29th, but it isn't yet enforceable and final.

The ''Stop shop'' in Kastela is just one of the new retail parks that will be opened in the Republic of Croatia, says Josko Pitesa, the director of the Zagreb-based company Immofinanz services and management, whose founder is the aforementioned Austrian company, who announced that construction will begin after obtaining the needed permit.

The new Dalmatian shopping centre will cover about 7,500 square metres in total, and the opening is planned for April 2022.

What makes ''Stop shop'', which already has centres in Osijek and Valpovo, different from other shopping centres is the lack of common spaces in a large building from which one enters individual stores, which avoids the costs of joint maintenance. It is designed in such a way that each store is entered directly from the car park. Among the tenants of the centers in Osijek and Valpovo are DM, Deichmann, CCC, Spar, Intersport, Takko and KiK.

For more, follow our dedicated business section.

Friday, 20 August 2021

Iron Age Danube Route Recognised by European Council

August 20, 2021 - The Iron Age Danube Route is a new addition to the Croatian offer, relevant not just for tourism but for science, research, and education, and recognised by the European Council.

The Iron Age Danube Route addresses one of the most fragile, though imposing and attractive prehistoric archaeological phenomena, the Iron Age landscapes. Characterised by monumental structures, such as burial mound cemeteries, flat cemeteries, fortified hilltop settlements, and oppida, as well as elements indicating the complex organisation of space, Iron Age landscapes belong to the period between the 9th and the end of the 1st century BC, according to the official website of the Iron Age Danube Route Association (IADR).

This association was founded back in July 2020 with the goal of enhancing international scientific cooperation regarding the period of the Iron Age, as this is a period marked by an extraordinary corpus of movable and intangible heritage. The focus on the Danube region is, among other things, owing to this heritage being housed in numerous museums across the Danube region, including the most important regional and national institutions.

''Compiling the existing sources of knowledge and creating a strong interdisciplinary and international network of expert institutions from Austria, Croatia, Hungary and Slovenia in the fields of archaeology, cultural heritage protection, tourism, as well as local stakeholders, the Iron Age Danube Route Association was founded in July 2020 with the aim of the further development and management of the IADR,''

The Archaeological Museum in Zagreb is one of the founding partners of the association, and other institutions from Croatia include the Centre for Prehistoric Research, Kaptol County, Papuk Nature Park, and Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences at the University of Zagreb. Other partners include museums and faculties from Hungary, Austria, and Slovenia, all bringing their top experts in the field to the table for the association to work.

And that work paid off. As reported by the Archaeological Museum in Zagreb's website, the European Council granted the culture route certificate to the Iron Age Danube Route which stretches through Austria, Bulgaria, Croatia, Hungary, Germany, and Slovenia.

''This is the first culture route of The European Council with its headquarters in Croatia“, said the Museum's website adding that the route is managed by the Association.

''The Iron Age Danube Route matched the criteria by the five priority fields of action by the European Council. These include cooperation in research and development, the progression of European heritage and history, educational exchanges, youth culture, engagement within the frame of the current cultural and artistic practices and sustainable cultural tourism development,'' explained the website.

The certificate is important as it enhances the overall visibility of the sight, allowing the public to become better informed about the area, and enriching the overall Croatian cultural and tourist offer, creating new opportunities both for business and for scientific and educational purposes.

Did you know Vukovar is located along the Danube river? Learn more in our TC guide.

For more about Croatian history, follow TCN's dedicated page.

Sunday, 8 August 2021

Austrian Heute Claims Tourists Returning from Croatia Importing Infection

August the 8th, 2021 - The Austrian Heute publication has claimed that Austrian residents returning from spending their holidays in Croatia are importing coronavirus into the country. It certainly isn't good publicity for Croatia as it fights to keep its coast orange on the ECDC's coronavirus map and green on the UK's travel traffic light system.

As Poslovni Dnevnik writes, the Austrian Heute wrote that two weeks ago, the biggest concern regarding covid positive returnees to the country from holidays abroad were returnees from Spain, of which there were 322 at the time, and in second place were returnees from holidays in Croatia, 187 of them.

''The number of imported infections from the Republic of Croatia has been on the rise. And now, a mere two weeks after that, the number of newly infected returnees from Croatia to Austria has exploded and is 4.5 times higher than it was fourteen days ago,'' the Austrian Heute pointed out, as reported by Vecernji list.

The same source noted that in just one week, an increase of 501 new cases of coronavirus infection was recorded. This was then supported by figures and indicators that in the calendar week of 29/30 alone, 834 coronavirus positive Austrian returnees from holidays in Croatia were recorded, which is an increase of 501 cases in just one single week.

The Austrian Heute writes that Austrian epidemiologists, along with those from Croatia, are still worried about the situation with the wildly popular holiday destination of Spain, although the number of newly infected Austrians who returned home from that country had dropped by 37 cases.

In third place in terms of ''imported coronavirus infection'' among lab positive Austrians returning from being abroad are those coming home from Italy, of which there were 68 last week alone. The fourth is Greece, from which 110 lab positive people returned home to Austria, which is 31 infected people more than a week ago.

For more on travelling to Croatia, make sure to follow our travel section.

For all you need to know about coronavirus specific to Croatia, make sure to bookmark our dedicated section and select your preferred language.

Friday, 25 June 2021

Austrian DocLX Company to Ensure Safety in Istria for Graduates

June the 25th, 2021 - The Austrian DocLX company is going all out to make sure a group of Austrian graduates can celebrate the end of their studies in Istria without potentially endangering the local community's health and epidemiological picture.

As Poslovni Dnevnik writes, the Austrian DocLX company, which is the organiser of travel and other similar events, will apply an innovative security concept to prevent the spread of the coronavirus so that Austrian graduates can celebrate the end of their school year right here in Croatia safely, the company said in a statement.

The concept of the ''safety bubble'' which is successfully used in competitive sports, will provide the group of Austrian graduates with a safe environment while also protecting the local community from the spread of the novel virus which has dominated the world since the very beginning of 2020.

Strict safety protocols were developed by the Austrian DocLK company together with numerous renowned experts and advisers of the Austrian Federal Government, including Meduni-Wien, Professor Hans-Peter Hutter, as well as respected epidemiologist Professor Michael Kandy.

The complete concept of safety and prevention during the ongoing pandemic is being implemented on the Lanterna peninsula in Istria on 630,000 square metres thanks to the Austrian DocLX company's safety concept. Their concept is otherwise based on extensive testing and the creation of the aforementioned ''safety bubble''. Each participant will be tested using a PCR test two days before their departure, then immediately before their departure or before boarding the bus itself.

Every other day during the event, all of the high school graduates and employees will continue to be tested using the mandatory PCR test, considered to be the gold standard in detecting the presence of SARS-CoV-2 in the nose and throat. Approximately 630,000 square metres of leased land on the peninsula has only one access road leading to it that is completely closed off to unauthorised persons.

Preventive measures have been developed and implemented in close coordination with the Austrian and Croatian health authorities and have been formally approved for the group of graduates from Austria.

For more, follow our travel section.

Wednesday, 23 June 2021

Documents Confiscated From Dubrovnik Archives Returned

ZAGREB, 23 June, 2021 - Documents that were confiscated from the Dubrovnik State Archives and were found in the Salzburg Diocese Archives were handed over on Wednesday in the presence of Croatia's Minister of Culture and Media Nina Obuljen Koržinek and Croatia's Ambassador to Austria Danijel Glunčić.

The operation ended successfully with the return of Croatia's cultural heritage, Minister Obuljen Koržinek said, noting this isn't the first or last time this has been done.

Ambassador Glunčić underscored that the Salzburg Diocese had full understanding that the medieval documents could not be considered to be part of Austria's or Salzburg's history.

The documents involved are two pontifical documents which the diocese was immediately prepared to return to Croatia, and this was also approved by Austria's state authorities, he said, adding that the documents will be placed in Dubrovnik's Archives.

Police working on issues related to cultural heritage

Police Director Nikola Milina said that the police were working on cultural heritage issues, adding that they have had good results so far.

A soon as the information was released, the Croatian police contacted the police in Austria and the documents were quickly identified which led to them being returned, he said.

Digitalisation to facilitate return of other missing documents

Director of Dubrovnik State Archives Nikolina Pozniak is convinced that digitisation will contribute to other documents that have gone missing from the archives and other institutions to be returned.

The head of the archive's collection, Zoran Perović, explained that the documents returned today are two pontifical bulls dated 1189 and 1252. The first notes that the Pope is deploying Archbishop Bernard to Dubrovnik while the other bull refers to the appointment of an archbishop to be a judge in a dispute between the Bar and Dubrovnik Archdioceses.

For more about politics in Croatia, follow TCN's dedicated page.

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