Thursday, 20 June 2019

World League Super Final: Croatia Water Polo Tops Australia (11:9)

June 20, 2019 - The Croatia water polo team and Australia met on Thursday at 3 pm to play for the second place of Group B at the World League Super Final in Belgrade. 

After Croatia crushed Kazakhstan in the first round and lost to Serbia by a goal the night before, Thursday’s meeting between Croatia and Australia would decide who would finish second in Group B of the World League Super Final in Belgrade. 

Not only do Croatia and Australia have a Croatian connection - recall, the Australia coach is Elvis Fatović, whose son Loren Fatović plays for Croatia, but the two teams are no strangers in the pool. You might remember that Australia knocked out Croatia in the quarters of the World Championship in Barcelona back in 2003, which they also achieved yet again at the World Championship 10 years later. Australia even knocked Croatia out of the quarters at the World Cup in Berlin last year! 

However, Croatia wasn’t about to let Australia taste the victory in Belgrade. 

Croatia was the first to take the lead thanks to a goal by Ivan Krapić, though Australia’s Aidan Roach equalized for 1:1. Andrew Ford put Australia in the lead for 1:2, though Croatia was quick to come back after a Bušlje goal. After Hollis scored with 9 seconds to go in the first quarter, Australia was up 2:3. 

In the second quarter, Australia increased their lead to 2:4, and were even at 5:3 with 45 seconds to go in the second, though it ended 4:5 for Australia before the half. 

Croatia kicked themselves into gear in the third quarter - after Krapić equalized for 5:5, Vrlić, Benić, Vukičević, and Garcia put Croatia in the lead for 9:5. Ford and Putt brought Australia back to 9:7 - and with goals from Fatović and Lachlan Edwards, the third quarter ended 10:8 with the Croatia lead. 

We didn't see a goal by either side in the fourth quarter until there were just over three minutes to go - Vrlić scored for 11:8 Croatia. Australia reduced Croatia's lead to 11:9 thanks to a goal by Blake Edwards with less than three minutes to go. Neither team managed to score for the remainder of the quarter, and the game finished 11:9 for Croatia!

To read more about sport in Croatia, follow TCN’s dedicated page

Wednesday, 19 June 2019

World League Super Final: Croatia Water Polo Unlucky Against Serbia (10:11)

June 19, 2019 - The Croatia water polo team lost to Serbia 10:11 in Belgrade on Wednesday. 

The ‘El Classico’ of water polo took place on Wednesday between Croatia and Serbia who met in the second game of Group B at the World League Super Final in Belgrade. 

The outdoor Tašmajdan pool, which can accommodate 4000 spectators, was filled to the brim for the highly anticipated spectacle, though it’s not hard to see why -  Serbia v. Croatia. In Belgrade. We think that says enough. 

The best of the best in the world of water polo met at 9 pm on Wednesday and were fortunate to play without rain. Belgrade has been experiencing summer thunderstorms over the last few days, which interrupted Serbia’s game against Australia on Tuesday night. 

Both sides came out fierce in the first quarter. It was Croatia to ultimately come out on top, though both sides could have scored many more goals. By the end of the quarter, Croatia had a two-player advantage but failed to increase their lead. The first quarter ended at 3:2 for Croatia. 

The second quarter saw a much more balanced duel. Garcia scored for 4:3 and Buljubašić for 5:4.

Croatia fell in the third quarter. While they were up 6:5 thanks to a goal by Joković, Serbia equalized at 6:6, and Stefan Mitrović put Serbia in the lead at 6:7. Filip Filipović increased Serbia's lead to 6:8 at the end of the third quarter. 

Serbia was up 6:9 in the fourth quarter, though Joković brought Croatia back to 7:9, and Garcia to 8:9. A penalty by Joković brought the game to an even 9:9 with three minutes to go. With two minutes to go, Serbia was up by a goal (9:10) - but with just over a minute to go, Loren Fatović equalized for 10:10! 

Serbia retook the lead at the minute mark for 10:11, and Croatia had one last attack to equalize but were unlucky. Joković lost the ball in the last 10 seconds, and Serbia won 10:11. 

To read more about sport in Croatia, follow TCN's dedicated page

Tuesday, 18 June 2019

World League Super Final: Croatia Water Polo Crushes Kazakhstan in 1st Round

The Croatia water polo team convincingly defeated Kazakhstan 20-4 (5-2, 6-0, 3-0, 6-2) in the first round of the FINA World League Super Final in Belgrade. The champion of the tournament secures a spot at the Olympic Games in Tokyo next year, reports T.potal on June 18, 2019. 

Ante Vukičević scored four goals to be the most efficient player of the Croatia national team, while Andrija Bašić scored three goals. Hrvoje Benić two, Ivan Buljubašić, Anđelo Šetka, Lovro Miloš, and Loren Fatović each scored two goals, while by Luka Lončar, Maro Joković and Andro Bušlje scored one. Besides the Croatian goalkeepers, only Ivan Krapić did not score for Croatia.

Miras Aubakirov scored twice for Kazakhstan, while Medvedev and Shmider each scored one. 

In the second meeting of Group B, Serbia and Australia will play at 21:00, while in Group A, Hungary - Canada (15:45) and Japan - Spain (19:15) will meet. All the teams will play in the quarterfinals of this tournament.

The Croatia water polo team will play their second match of the tournament on Wednesday (21:00) against the host, Serbia, while Ivica Tucak & Co. will face Australia on Thursday (15:00) in the final round of Group B.

Last year's winner, Montenegro, did not make it to the final tournament this year. Hungary, who won the silver last year, came to Belgrade with their B team as they await the main spectacle this summer - the World Championships in Gwangju, South Korea. 

Serbia, the host of the tournament, has a total of 10 medals from this competition, 9 of which are gold. However, last year in Budapest, they were left without a medal. 

Spain won the bronze last year and came with their strongest squad to Belgrade. They also won the silver at the European Championship last year in Barcelona and won the bronze in Zagreb this year at the Europa Cup.

The Croatian ‘Barakudas’ won their last World League medal two years ago in Russia where they secured the bronze.

To read more about sport in Croatia, follow TCN’s dedicated page

Saturday, 18 May 2019

Team from Zagreb's FER Wins SIM(P)ATIC PLC+ Challenge 2019 Competition

As Poslovni Dnevnik writes on the 17th of May, 2019, the regional student competition, held at the Faculty of Electrical Engineering and Computing in Zagreb, marked the completion of the SIM (P) ATIC PLC + Challenge 2019 project.

This project, initiated by the student association EESTEC and supported by the faculties of electrical engineering in Croatia, Slovenia and Serbia, as well as by no less than Siemens, provides the region's young future engineers with a more detailed insight into the issues that engineers usually encounter in industrial automation in order to better prepare for such work out there in the real world.

Three winning teams, one from each country, as well as the overall regional winner were selected. The winning team from Croatia consists of Karlo Hercigonja, Ivan Ratković and Nikola Benazić from the Faculty of Electrical Engineering and Computing in Zagreb, from Slovenia, the winners were Urban Aravs, Jernej Štremfelj and Tina Vindiš from the Faculty of Electrical Engineering in Ljubljana, and from Serbia, the team consists of Uroš Rakonjac, Petar Kovačević and Dejan Bogdanović from the University of Electrical Engineering in the Serbian capital of Belgrade. The regional winner of the competition is the team from Zagreb, Croatia.

Namely, the SIM (P) ATIC PLC + Challenge 2019 competition started back at the beginning of April with theoretical part of the workshop, where university lecturers from the Faculty of Electrical Engineering from Zagreb, Belgrade and Ljubljana held lectures otherwise not covered by the curriculum. In the next phase, the student teams solved the task by which the best two teams in the country qualified for the regional final in Zagreb. Within this competition finale, the finalists presented their respective solutions of the additional part of the task. Each team had ten minutes available to them for their presentations and five minutes to answer the questions from panel members.

Significant knowledge in the field of industrial automation was also demonstrated by other teams, all judged by a panel consisting of three experts from each country.

Each member of the panel evaluated teams from neighbouring countries in the categories of the quality of the created program and their presentation skills. The Croatian members of the panel were prof. dr. sc. Igor Erceg (FER), mr. Sc. Tomislav Pavić (A & C Automation Adria) and B.Sc. Marko Bunić (Siemens), while from Slovenia and Serbia, there were two university professors and one Siemens representative.

"This competition is an excellent example of synergy between faculties, students and economics. Siemens wants to support projects that encourage the development of professional and practical knowledge of future engineers from this area because we're also strategically focused on the areas of automation and digitisation, which were the cornerstone of this competition,'' said Medeja Lončar of Siemens at the award ceremony.

Make sure to stay up to date by following our dedicated lifestyle page for much more. If it's just Zagreb you're interested in, give Total Zagreb a follow.

Monday, 29 April 2019

Croatia's Arena Hospitality Group Takes Over Belgrade Hotel

As Poslovni Dnevnik writes on the 26th of April, 2019, through its subsidiary Sugarhill Investments B.V., the Croatian hotel group Arena Hospitality Group d.d. from Pula has concluded a framework agreement with MK Aviation Services d.o.o. to take over the "88 Rooms" hotel, a four star hotel in Belgrade, Serbia.

The completion of this transaction is of course still subject to certain steps and to the fulfillment of certain conditions, as they have stated from the aforementioned Croatian company.

"88 Rooms" is a modern, four-star hotel situated in a prime location on Takovska Street in Belgrade, close to the business district and close to the cultural attractions of the old part of Belgrade, including Knez Mihailova Street and Kalemegdan Park. The hotel boasts 88 modern and comfortable rooms and suites decorated according to Feng Shui rules, and other facilities include a bar, a restaurant, a fitness room, a massage room and four meeting rooms with a capacity of up to 200 participants.

With this acquisition, Pula's Arena Hospitality Group continues to expand overseas following its already established business model with the management of seven international hotels in Germany and Hungary, more specifically in Berlin, Nuremberg, Cologne and Budapest.

On this occasion, the CEO of Arena Hospitality Group d.d., Reuel Slonim, said: "It's a great pleasure to be able to present this acquisition, which, with the momentum of our current investments in our existing accommodation facilities, continues our [already] announced further expansion of our business to new areas in the major cities of the region of Central and Eastern Europe. By entering this new market and strengthening our hotel portfolio throughout the year, we're able to add more worth to the group's value and at the same time create additional long-term value for our customers and for our shareholders. With such moves, we're rapidly changing the existing high seasonality of business and we're growing into a dynamic, international hotel group with year-round business.''

The Arena Hospitality Group expects that the conditions required for completing the transaction will be met by the end of this year, after which, Belgrade's 88 Rooms Hotel will become part of the Arena Hospitality Group famiily and continue its business under the brand name "Arena Hotels & Apartments" under the new name of "Arena Hotel 88" .

The value of the transaction stands at 47 million kuna, which, together with the entire investment cycle, started after a public offer in mid-2017 exceeding a hefty price tag of 500 million kuna.

Slonim continued: "More than half a billion kuna's worth of investment after the public offer is underway, starting with an investment of 70 million kuna in the first Croatian luxury glamorous resort Arena One 99 Glamping in Pomer, the current investment of 128 million kuna in the Arena Kažela camp in Medulin, 53 million kuna in the reconstruction of the Art'otel Berlin Kudamm hotel in Berlin, 60 million kuna in the renovation of the Verudela Beach resort in Pula, and 190 million kuna in the complete reconstruction of Brioni in Pula, which will carry the Park Plaza brand and be positioned among the best hotels that hotel chain.''

Make sure to follow our dedicated business page for much more.

Wednesday, 20 March 2019

Pula's Arena Hospitality Group Announces 500 Million Kuna Investment

As Barbara Ban/Novac writes on the 19th of March, 2019, Pula's biggest hotel group, the Arena Hospitality Group announced the continuation of its large investment cycle yesterday, the amount of which will be about half a billion kuna. These are investments in the hotel Brioni (Brijuni) and the apartment resort of Verudela Beach in Pula, the Kažela camp in Medulin, and the doing up of the Art'otel Berlin Kudamm over in Berlin, Germany.

Namely, this Pula hotel company is the only one which owns hotels in Germany and Hungary at the moment. The Arena Hospitality Group recalled that by mid-2017, via a public offer on the Zagreb Stock Exchange, they raised about 750 million kuna to continue their investment cycle.

''We're continuing with our investment cycle, which will be around half a billion kuna from 2018 to 2022. Some of the investments have already been done, some have started, and some are just beginning. Last year we renewed camp Pomer, which became the first glamping site in the country, and we believe it's one of the best in the world. That investment stood at 70 million kuna,'' said the Arena Hospitality Group's Reli Slonim.

With that move, the path to rejuvenating their camps is definitely wide open, which is a sector of theirs which they haven't invested significantly in before last year, as they devoted themselves to raising the quality of their hotels and apartment resorts, as well as their numerous acquisitions in Europe. Part of their facilities are also branded as Park Plaza.

''This year we started with the complete doing up of the Kažela camp in Medulin, and this investment is worth 128 million kuna, which is our biggest investment in the camps. After the completion of the investment, the camp will offer its guests 1,300 spacious places and 164 new luxury mobile homes. In addition, the camp will get a new entrance and reception, new beach bars, and entertainment and sports facilities,'' Arena Hospitality Group's Reli Slonim said.

It is interesting to note that mobile homes in this camp will be made up of ecological and recycled materials, and each of them will be about 40 square metres in size. This will be one of the biggest investments in camps this year in the country, and it should be finished by this [tourist] season.

A member of the management of the Arena Hospitality Group, Manuela Kraljević, also added that along with all of their current investments, they are preparing for the renovation of the Verudela Beach apartment complex too, which will begin in autumn this year. As of now, they have refurbished a ten-unit building, which is an example of how the other apartments will look when finished.

In the tourist resort of Verudela Beach, the plans are to invest about 60 million kuna during the second half of 2019. Ten accommodation units will be upgraded by this season, while the remaining 146 units and 20 villas will be renewed in time for the 2020 summer season. After the completion of the investment, the resort will be under the brand of Arena Hotels & Apartments, Kraljević said.

They also announced the reconstruction of Hotel Brioni, which for the time being, remains the only hotel in Punta Verudela that hasn't been given a ''fresh face''. It is a cult hotel which was built back in the 1970s, primarily for American guests. So far, only two showrooms have been done up, which will be somewhat larger than the existing ones, but this won't change the number of rooms.

''We have decided that we're not going to change the size of this hotel, but we will rebuild it as it is, and the room sizes will be about the same. We will invest 190 million kuna into it, and we'll start doing it up in 2020 after the [tourist] season. The hotel will be finished in one year and [everything] will be completed by 2022,'' Slonim said. In addition to investments in Croatia, this year the Pula hotel group is also renovating its hotel in Berlin, investing the equivalent of 53 million kuna into it. The hotel is located in Berlin's famous Charlottenburg district and is dedicated to the works of the famous pop art artist Andy Warhol. The investment will include a total accommodation capacity of of 152 rooms, as well as all of the other hotel facilities one might expect.

As Luka Cvitan said, the German part of the portfolio is extremely important to the Arena Hospitality Group because it gives them stability and doesn't depend solely on tourism flows in Croatia. Last year, hotels in Germany saw the largest growth, while in Croatia, things unfortunately stagnated somewhat. Business last year amounted to 758 million kuna, and was higher than last year's gain by 30 percent. That is why the Arena Hospitality Group is also thinking about further acquisitions in Belgrade in Serbia, as well as in other countries in the region.

''Also, since we have a portfolio abroad, we can offer our employees full-time employment,'' said Cvitan.

Make sure to follow our dedicated business page for much more.

 

Click here for the original article by Barbara Ban for Novac/Jutarnji

Tuesday, 12 March 2019

As Investments Fall, is Croatia's Hotel Business Stagnating?

As Marija Crnjak/Poslovni Dnevnik writes on the 12th of March, 2019, Croatia's hotel sector stagnated last year in terms of the number of new rooms and in the sense of the level of entry of foreign hotel brands. A lot of this, but of course not all of it, is because Croatia has deemed it more profitable to build and invest more in private accommodation, an often ''grey'' area of Croatia's tourism industry with much lower taxes and a very poor level of general regulation. The level of major investments in new hotel rooms has fallen significantly, the number of which grew by a mere one percent in one year.

Due to all the above mentioned conditions, the market is still dominated by local investors, quite a few new names have appeared on the scene in the last year, which are still to be properly positioned as hotel brands, according to the annual global report on hotel chains in 22 European countries, "European Chains & Hotels Report 2019" by the Horwath Consulting House HTL. In the Republic of Croatia, more than a quarter of these hotels, more specifically 186 of them, operate under 43 brands in total, of which 22 are local and 21 are international brands.

"High seasonality and an unfavourable environment for investors, especially with [granting the necessary] permits, are the main reason we're in 159th place on the Doing Business list, they're the biggest barriers for foreign investors, who find it difficult to decide on taking risks in developing projects in Croatia, although a few positive examples have occurred on the market which do lead to more optimism,'' stated Siniša Topalović from Horwath's Zagreb-based office.

Horwath's analysis, which is based on the numbers from Real Capital Analytic, only takes into account investments of more than 5 million dollars, reveals that investment in hotels in Croatia is down by as much as 90 percent, from 59 million euro to a mere 7 million euro.

''The growth of hotel brands in 2018 in Croatia (4 percent) should be observed through the proper placement of several local hotel names, and only time will reveal whether or not these names will be branded on the market,'' Topalović explained.

Additionally, although Croatia can be statistically put in a very good position in terms of the number of brands operating here, the market situation shows that the level of activity is lagging behind some countries which are considered to be weaker than Croatia. A good example of that is Serbia and its increasingly popular capital city of Belgrade, which has received 40 new hotels since 2014, with growth in the hotel sector in Belgrade mainly based on foreign investments and globally respected brands such as Crowne Plaza, Radisson Blu and Luxury Collection.

Although the RevPar (revenue per hotel room) rose by an average of 16 percent in Croatia in 2018, this year a slow down is expected, caused primarily by other Mediterranean countries which are recovering from their respective problems to return to the market (this includes longtime tourism kings like Turkey and Tunisia).

The main potential seems to lie outside of the height of the summer season. Along with Serbia, where further growth is expected in the hotel segment, Albania has some great potential for foreign investors, Albania currently has the smallest share of branded hotels per total number of rooms (2 percent), and Montenegro, Croatia's neighbour to the south, also offers investors fairly favourable investment conditions and is very active in encouraging a more luxurious tourist product for the country.

Greece, known for its numerous financial issues, has entered the world's top fifteen tourist destinations despite the country's somewhat infamous ups and downs, with 150 new luxury hotels ''born'' in Greece in 2018, becoming a destination in which more than one in five hotels is in the category of 4 or 5 stars. Last year, the largest amount of investments in hotels went from the United States across the Atlantic to Spain (2.1 billion euro), following came transactions from Israel to the United Kingdom totaling over one billion euro, French investors also invested 951 million euro into the United Kingdom.

Despite all of the potentially (and likely) damning economic risks from Brexit, one of the European continent's most powerful countries, the United Kingdom, had a total of nearly 4 billion euro in investment in its massive hotel business. In 22 countries from the Horwath analysis, there were a total of 146,600 hotels on the market last year with more than six million rooms, with an average of 61 rooms per hotel. The least-branded hotels had Albania, only 12, while France has 3885 hotels in the hotel chain.

Make sure to stay up to date with our dedicated business page for more on investment and doing business in Croatia.

 

Click here for the original article by Marija Crnjak for Poslovni Dnevnik

Tuesday, 26 February 2019

Belgrade Tourism Fair: Is Serbia a Croatian Wine and Tourist Market, or Not?

February 26, 2019 - Croatia's strange tourism relationship with the Belgrade Tourism Fair, the region's largest, continues. Wine but not tourism?

I first came across the Belgrade Tourism Fair last year.

Having launched Total Slovenia News a couple of months before and with Total Montenegro News about to go live, the prospect of finding every significant tourism business and organisation in one room for four days was too hard to resist, and I headed to the Serbian capital with great anticipation. 

I could not have found a better scenario. Montenegro had the largest stand of all, all the main Slovenian tourism regions and spas were represented, and there were even the options of preliminary meetings with other countries in the region, in case we ever managed to expand further. 

There was just one thing missing. 

Croatia. 

The Belgrade Tourism Fair is the largest in the region, now in its 41st year, but last year there was not a single tourist board there. Well, officially at least... 

belgrade-tourism-fair (4).jpg

My initial conclusion is that Croatia had decided not to exhibit in Serbia due to the regional conflict back in the 1990s, but then I was surprised to learn that Croatia had been the partner country of the Belgrade Tourism Fair as recently as 2011. The Secretary of State for Tourism at the time stated:

At the 33rd Belgrade Tourism Fair, Croatia will be especially presented as a tourist destination. The State Secretary of the Croatian Ministry of Tourism, Ivo Mujo, stated that Croatia's arrival [presentation] in Belgrade, after accepting the invitation to become a partner country of the Belgrade Fair this year, was a new dimension of cooperation.

"Serbian guests are important to us in Croatia, but this isn't a one-way process, because more and more Croatian tourists are going to Serbia. He stressed that he believes that this year's presentation of Croatia in Belgrade will bring Croatia and Serbia closer in the tourist(ic) sense."

And just seven years later, no official Croatian tourism presence whatsoever. I asked the organisers why, and they checked the list of exhibitors and said they were surprised that there were no Croatian tourism boards there. Rumours of a Croatian boycott of the fair after President Vucic's visit to Zagreb were on everyone's lips, but officially the Croatian National Tourist Board said that their interests were elsewhere:

From 2010 to 2017 the Croatian National Tourist Board (CNTB) organized a continued promotional presence of the Croatian tourism offering at the Belgrade tourism fair. While in 2011, we were also the partner country of the fair for that year. However, despite multiple successful years of intensive promotion at the fair, the interest of partners interested in utilizing the CNTB fair facilities/booth, namely tourist boards, agencies, tourism-related companies, etc. wishing to present their offering at the fair has waned over the past few years, decreasing year-in, year-out. Even though there was not enough interest to have a formal presence at the fair this past year, we would like to point out that aside from a presence at fairs, the CNTB also promotes the destination through various marketing activities in Serbia. For example, in May 2017 an online brand campaign was executed on the Serbian market, which included promotional advertising of our key product categories: sun and sea, food and wine and nautical. The campaign was promoted through a range of online portals and over 6 million ad views were achieved.

Serbia represents a neighbouring market that has a strong knowledge of Croatia as a destination as well as Croatia's tourism offering. It is also a market where most visitors arrive through individually organized trips and when looking at the number of overnights in 2017, ranks as the 18th market (with 973 thousand overnights). We still plan a continued presence on the market through other promotional campaigns and activities.

I asked the current Secretary of State for Tourism about the lack of official Croatian tourist board presence, and I received this reply:

Croatia is a very popular tourist destination in Serbia, and tourists from Serbia are our traditional guests. Last year in Croatia, guests from Serbia had 153 thousand arrivals and 973 thousand overnight stays, representing an increase of 11 per cent compared to 2016. Similarly, Serbia is a very popular destination for our people, especially when it comes to shorter or city break visits.  In this respect, we believe that positive trends in the growth of tourist traffic and accompanying promotional activities on both sides will continue in the coming years.

Reason enough to make a little effort to attract some more tourists, especially in a traditional market so close to home, where the potential was to get a tourist not for a one time visit from China, but for life. 

belgrade-tourism-fair (2).jpg

Apparently not. 

Walking around the fair, I was struck by the conversations of young people walking around, looking for their next holiday. Greece shone. So did Turkey, Bulgaria, Slovenia and Egypt. There was also plenty of more exotic destinations which attracted plenty of interest. I noted that the boys from Palestine were back after a successful Belgrade Tourism Fair in 2018. 

belgrade-tourism-fair (3).jpg

And somewhere, almost as an afterthought, the entire official Croatian representation - the Tourist Board of Zagreb (at least this fair actually existed and they didn't pay 29,000 euro for nothing) and the Tourist Board of Losinj. 

That was it. 

A little more research showed that there were a small number of other tourist boards there in a different capacity, including this presentation of Eastern Croatia

But at an influential fair on Croatia's doorstep, where Croatia was notable by its absence. 

belgrade-tourism-fair.jpg

Even our old friends, the Kings of Accidental Tourism from Hvar were not to be seen. Last year was 150 years of organised tourism in Europe, which was celebrated with great style paying tribute to the special Hvar-Belgrade bond at a party that was never supposed to make the Croatian media. But in year 151, that love seems to have waned. 

Unofficially, I can confirm that the Hvar love of Belgrade is real. I bump into more people from Hvar each time I visit the Serb capital than I do walking the streets of Jelsa. 

belgrade-tourism-fair (1).jpg

So why the lack of Croatian interest in the Belgrade fair? The simple explanation from one section of our enlightened readership is that Croatia doesn't want any Serbs to visit. 

It is an argument that one can understand from recent history, perhaps, not a great economic argument, but understandable. But then you go to the wine section of the Belgrade Tourism Fair, and seemingly the biggest stand belongs to... Croatia. 

Ably supported by the Croatian Chamber of Economy. 

The Croatian Chamber of Economy at the Belgrade Tourism Fair where Croatia had all but totally boycotted the main tourism section once again, but was out in force promoting wine. None of the numerous Croatian exhibitors could understand the lack of official Croatian tourism presence at such an important fair on Croatia's doorstep. One which had the potential to woo the next generation and get them hooked on holidays in Croatia for the next 30 years. 

But the Kings of Accidental Tourism obviously have a plan. 

Palestine 2019, anyone?  

Friday, 14 December 2018

Pavle Strugar, War Criminal Who Shelled Dubrovnik, Dies in Belgrade

Pavle Strugar, the war criminal who shelled Dubrovnik, causing not only wanton destruction and horrific damage to the UNESCO World Heritage Site, but also a terrible loss of life, has passed away in Serbia.

Strugar was born on the 13th of July, 1933 in Peć, in the then Kingdom of Yugoslavia, now Kosovo. The Montenegrin general served in the Yugoslav People's Army (JNA), undertaking various different roles, and eventually becoming the commander of the Second Operational Group of the JNA, which operated in southern Croatia, in 1991.

Under his command, the JNA monstrously attacked Dubrovnik in 1991, in a siege which caused tremendous damage to the city, and took the lives of both veterans and civilians. The terrible siege of Dubrovnik lasted until 1992, with Strugar retiring one year later, in 1993.

As Jutarnji reports on the 13th of December, 2018, the retired General Pavle Strugar has died in Belgrade following a short but serious illness.

Strugar was tried and sentenced for his actions, as well as for the deaths of civilians at the Hague tribunal, this was coupled with the fact that in 1991, he did nothing to prevent the horrendous war crime of the shelling of Dubrovnik. The Montenegrin initially attempted an appeal to his sentence, but that was later withdrawn.

Strugar voluntarily handed himself over to the Hague Tribunal in 2001, making a name for himself as the first Serb or Montenegrin to make such a move. Because of his part in the criminal shelling of Dubrovnik, a beloved UNESCO World Heritage Site, he was sentenced to a pitiful 7.5 years in prison, and of course, he didn't even serve that, after serving a mere two-thirds of his sentence, he was released back in 2009. 

Strugar will be buried this Saturday at the Bežanijska cemetery in the Serbian capital, according to a report from Mondo.rs.

Make sure to stay up to date with our news page for much more.

Monday, 24 September 2018

Serbian Planes to Land at One Croatian Airport

''The extended runway enables the beginning of the cooperation with Air Serbia, with whom we've been negotiating for a long time,'' stated Peović.

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