Monday, 18 April 2022

2022 Brač Airport Season Opens, Excellent Results Expected this Year

April 18, 2022 - The 2022 Brač Airport season officially opened last weekend as the first Croatia Airlines flight from Zagreb landed on the island. 

Shortly after 14:30 on Saturday, the first passenger plane of Croatia Airlines landed at Brač Airport. Nineteen passengers were on the domestic flight, which opened this year's season. Two passengers left the Brač runway on the same plane for Zagreb, reports Brač Danas.

Croatia Airlines will connect the Croatian capital and Brač airport twice a week, on Tuesdays and Saturdays. Departure from Zagreb's Franjo Tuđman Airport will be at 13:45, while the plane from Brač airport will depart at 15:05. The first passengers at the airport were welcomed by the director of the Bol Tourist Board, Markito Marinković.

"This year, Croatia Airlines will operate flights on Tuesdays and Saturdays. There is an announcement of a flight from Bratislava, then Bolzano Bergamo and Vienna and Graz, which Croatia Airlines operates mainly for guests of the hotel "Bretanide." We hope that the season ahead of us, despite the events in Ukraine, will still be good. Our projections are between 80 and 90 percent of the 2019 tourism results. We’ll see how the season goes. It is difficult to predict in advance what the situation will be like. However, the preparations are going well, and we expect good tourist results," director Marinković said, adding that the number of visits to websites and social networks has increased in the last two weeks.

During last year's tourist season, given the complex, almost impossible air transport due to the unfortunate coronavirus pandemic, the emphasis in many tourist destinations, including Bol, was placed on car guests, i.e., tourists from countries closer to Croatia. Marinković confirmed that car guests would prevail this year as well.

"Emphasis will be placed on guests from Slovenia, Hungary, the Czech Republic, Slovakia, and Poland. And here, we will monitor the situation and see how it will develop. Interestingly, Great Britain and France are waking up, so the results from those countries will certainly be much better compared to the past two years."

The director of the Bol Tourist Board said that Vitar Hotel opened in Bol and that Bretanide Hotel will open its doors to guests next weekend. Bluesun hotels are undergoing a thorough renovation, so they are expected to open in early June.

"If we managed to be at 70 percent last year, then this year we can be at 80 to 90 percent of tourist traffic," Marinković concluded. 

For more, check out our lifestyle section.

Friday, 25 March 2022

Controversial 'View Hotel' on Brač to Open with 460 Beds in 230 Rooms

March 25, 2022 - View Hotel will soon open in Postira on the island of Brač, with a capacity of 460 beds in 230 rooms located on a total of 11 thousand square meters.

The construction of a concrete building worth almost 30 million euros, on the first row to the sea, whose dimensions permanently change the look of the small Dalmatian town, has already caused controversy and the resentment of owners of houses, apartments, and neighborhoods who lost, among other things, precisely what the hotel boasts in its name - the view, reports Slobodna Dalmacija.

However, it is now officially known that 'View' will be leased from June 1 until the end of this year by the company "Jadran" from Crikvenica, backed by pension funds with a majority ownership package. The hotel company has more than 2,500 tourist beds and over 1,700 places in camps in its portfolio. In addition to the Crikvenica-Vinodol Riviera, it has taken over the former state company "Club Adriatic" from Baska Voda.

At the end of last year, according to the official report, Jadran constantly employed almost 320 workers, and in 2021 it ended with a loss of HRK 5 million, which is significantly less than the first pandemic in 2020 when the business cycle ended with a deficit of 112 million.

As for the Postira concrete giant, the View hotel, which plans to employ 120 workers, has already caused public doubts and outrage among some architectural professionals. Behind the project, which is being completed on the west coast of the peninsula, whose eastern side is held by the "Pastura Hotel," formerly the "Park," along with its owner Toni Bračić are partners: Pavao Vujnovac, Zoran Gobac, Josip Jurčević, and Romeo Krešić.

Vujnovac is the most famous co-owner from Osijek who, through his companies "Energia Naturalis" and "Prvo plinarsko društvo" (PPD), earned the informal title of Croatian "gas king" and one of the wealthiest Croats in the homeland.

In addition to buying a majority stake in Kutina-based Petrokemija, he took control of Luka Ploče and the Pevex retail chain, acquired a quarter of Forten Group, the former Agrokor, and founded several companies to buy and sells fruits and vegetables that primarily do business with - "Konzum Plus." Furthermore, through his PPD, he has financed the Handball Club "Zagreb" for years. 

For more, check out our lifestyle section.

Wednesday, 18 August 2021

Via Brattia Tourist Trail Launched on the Island of Brač

August 18, 2021 - The island of Brač has launched its new and highly anticipated tourism product: Via Brattia, a circular hiking and cycling route that runs around the island, attracting both expert and amateur athletes with a passion for exploring.

It lasted, it was carefully prepared, but now that it has finally started life, only one thing can be said: Via Brattia, the circular tourist hiking trail of the island of Brač has opened the island's beauties to lovers of active holidays, as well as those who plan to become one soon.

As reported by HrTurizam, after two years of joint work of all Brač tourist boards, the municipalities of Nerežišća and Pučišća, the Mountaineering Association Profunda, and with the co-financing of the Split-Dalmatia County Tourist Board, a new tourist attraction was "born" which will have its forte especially in the pre and postseason.

Via Brattia with its 140 kilometers in length has connected the island, its many exceptional locations, and a large number of small towns and local attractions. The trail is intended for lovers of hiking, running, walking in nature, mountain biking, it is suitable for recreationists and amateurs, but also for all those who want to get to know Brač and its unusual beauties in a different way. The trail has marked markings in both directions and can be joined at any point the trail passes.

You will be guided to all locations by a map and blue and white markers, and in order to make each section even more attractive, visitors will ‘celebrate’ with a stamp. 12 conquered seals, at the end of the road, will create a picture, the coat of arms of the island of Brac, and in it the figure of St. George the patron saint of this island in the scene of the killing of the dragon.

“With the support of all local self-government units of the island of Brač and the Tourist Board of the Split-Dalmatia County, this island trail is a joint project of all tourist boards of our island and the municipalities of Pučišća and Nerežišća. After completing the marking and printing of the map, Brač finally got a long-dreamed, beautiful hiking-tourist trail. Movement, learning, and content are new tourist trends that enrich travelers with invaluable experience, and the sun and the sea are just a bonus in this story", said Ive Cvitanic, director of the Supetar Tourist Board, where Via Brattia begins and ends.

“Via Brattia is an excellent tourist product and a new trump card of Brač tourism, but also of tourism in Central Dalmatia. The Split-Dalmatia County Tourist Board has been investing in active tourism projects for years. This type of offer is based on the accelerated expansion, connection, and construction of new hiking and biking trails, climbing areas, and other infrastructure needed for outdoor sports, which are already practiced by more and more people, and with pandemics and closures, the number of guests going to nature is much higher. (...) Within our financial possibilities and marketing activities, we will provide maximum support to the project”, said Joško Stella, director of the Split-Dalmatia Tourist Board. Via Brattia tells the amazing story of Brač and combines many tourist attractions of the island into one whole.

It is interesting how our sea destinations are increasingly turning to outdoor facilities, after Camina Krk, then Camina Imota, Life on Mars on Pag, Istria bike trails, now Via Brattia concept of cycling, hiking, or hiking routes that connect interesting tourist attractions of the entire destination with the cooperation of all tourism stakeholders. A concept that is a win-win for all and that is the future. but it also leads to the ultimate goal, ie the extension of the tourist season and sustainable tourism. The sun and the sea have long been insufficient for the serious development of tourism that is not dependent on seasonality. We are especially looking forward to cooperation in the field and connecting tourism stakeholders and creating joint tourism products that brand and raise the quality of the entire destination.

To learn more about the island of Brac and all the treasures it holds, visit the Total Croatia guide for the best tips and advice for your next trip. Available in your language!

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

Friday, 13 August 2021

Int'l Summer Music School Pučišća Held on Brač Island

ZAGREB, 13 Aug 2021 - The International Summer Music School Pučišća, which is being held on the southern island of Brač in July and August has gathered participants from Croatia, Serbia, Slovenia, Austria, Russia, Ukraine, Macedonia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Poland, Switzerland, Latvia, France, Sweden and Canada.

Classes are held by professors from Croatia and abroad, organisers of the Summer Music School reported.

The International Summer Music School Pučišća is being held in July and August every year since 1995. It covers different musical genres (classical, jazz, pop/rock/fusion) in separate music workshops divided by instruments. Each instrumental course is held in a separate 9 or 10-day session and consists of individual work with music professors and work in instrumental groups. During the 9 or 10-day course, many concerts are held: by attendants, professors and other musicians, in Pučišća and in other towns on the island of Brač, and at the end, a final attendants' concert is held.

There are no entry requirements for participants in the courses and everyone is welcome to participate regardless of origin, age and musical ability or knowledge. The courses consist of a combination of individual and group instrumental teaching.

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Friday, 16 July 2021

Two Bike Storytelling Trails in Bol Make Brač Tourist Town Unique in the World!

July 16, 2021 - Two bike storytelling trails in Bol on Brač can be heard in three languages and are adapted for blind and partially sighted people!

The demand for the facilities offered by active tourism is growing day by day, and the supply is getting richer. In addition, domestic and foreign guests are increasingly turning to nature, so new hiking and biking trails in Croatian destinations are becoming more numerous.

Although the sun and the sea are still high on the list of demands of many tourists, some of them are looking for something more. As a result, some tourist boards have recognized the "new normal" demands and started preparations before this season, reports HRTurizam.

Thus, three months ago, the Bol Tourist Board on Brač, aware that active tourism is one of the prerequisites for extending the season, presented three new hiking and two new bike trails based on local legends. But as we find out, the story of enriching the offer did not stop there.

“Four years ago, we marked the trails, last year we made maps and told stories for the first time, and now we have put those stories and maps on the info boards. Anyone who can't read the stories can listen to them after reading the QR code on their smartphone. As far as we can see, the info boards are already attracting a lot of attention, and people are stopping, reading, and scanning," said Markito Marinković, director of the Bol Tourist Board.

Thus, the world novelty in Bol cycling was realized in an express period of only a few weeks, which has passed since the design, licensing, production, payment, and installation of signage, info boards, and accompanying software on two Bol cycling trails about 60 kilometers long that have at least one world novelty.

Two Bol cycling trails: 767 - Smell the intoxicating scents of Brač, and 768 - Brač villas from myths and legends, are the world's first Bike Storytelling trails and have their own stories that can be heard in three languages, Croatian, English, and German, using accompanying software, at the locations of large info boards located on the trails. Thus, Bol's storytelling trails are adapted for blind and partially sighted people, at least in the storytelling part.

“Cycling trails with Storytelling are a world novelty, and another novelty is the automatic launch of these stories on a mobile phone in three languages when the QR code is scanned. This morning we agreed with the Split-Dalmatia County Association of the Blind and Visually Impaired to place markers and descriptions in Braille on these codes on the info board, so blind and partially sighted people will be able at least to hear the story of these trails in their language. Furthermore, this morning we were contacted by colleagues from two Austrian tourist regions who are interested in this world novelty in cycling tourism," said Denis Špadina, President of the Cycling Association of Split-Dalmatia County, who added that the trail is not suitable for blind and partially sighted people, but they can feel the beauty on tandem bikes. 

Bicycle paths and new info boards are just one part of the rich tourist offer of Bol, which concerning 2020, records excellent results. According to Marinković, about 73% of tourist traffic has been realized compared to 2019.

Currently, the most numerous are Slovenian tourists, followed by Germans and Croats, who make up 11% of tourists in Bol. This is a large percentage considering that so far domestic tourists in the tourist traffic of Bol made up between four and five percent.

For more on travel in Croatia, follow TCN's dedicated page.

Tuesday, 15 June 2021

Brač Trips: 3 True Stories About Hospitality, Safety, and Entertainment on the Island

15 June 2021 - One TCN intern visited Brač three times and learned first-hand about hospitality, safety, and entertainment on the island. Even though these stories are unlikely reproducible, it shows a special atmosphere of the island where you can be a most unprepared and careless tourist and leave your fun up to islanders. A look at three Brač trips!

1. Supetar and Sumartin: before the tourist season

A story to tell about Brac is olives, olives, olives... Along the 40 km from Supetar, the ferry port, and administrative center, to the most eastern town of Sumartin. From time to time, olive trees are changed by other species, but mostly a road view looks really monochrome. The good news is that olive is an evergreen plant, therefore you can come on Brac out of the tourist season.

The bad news is monoculture. That is probably due to historical tradition. People say that during the Venetian rule on Brac no young man was allowed to marry until he had planted a hundred olive trees. Maybe, it also relates to a lack of knowledge about other plants. Some few people in Split can recognize Phillyrea (mock privet) trees, although it is also from the Oleaceae family, a close relative of the olive. A few know how an olive flower looks like while everyone cares only about olive oil. An olive flower is small and appears early. You can see it if you come to Brac from the end of April till the beginning of June.

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A possible reason for the prevalence of olives there is also unpretentiousness. Why plant grapes to constantly tinker with them when you can plant olive trees and don't bother either yourself or your descendants within the next 400 years? In sum, islanders have more time to care about their guests when they care less about the garden! They do care as I've learned from my own experience coming well before the start of the season. There were barely any tourists and no young people on the streets.

There are kindergartens and schools on Brac, but to continue studying, you have to go to the mainland. Unless you've decided to become a stonemason. There is a known school of stonemasons in Pucisca. Besides olives, Brac stone is another export brand of the island. Diocletian's Palace in Split, the most beautiful churches in Croatia, the parliament buildings of Austria and Hungary, and the White House in Washington DC are made of this stone. Returning down to earth it seemed to me that sculpture is quite a popular hobby among the locals, therefore you easily notice interesting sculpting along the roads in villages like Selca and Povlja.

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There are no faculties or universities on Brac. Students who left to study on the mainland unlikely to come during the winter season as well young tourists seeking a beach party paradise on Brac Bol in summer. Thus, I was going to spend my weekend walking and sightseeing alone. I took a bus from Supetar to Sumartin and went other distances between the villages by foot, 24 km in a day. However, I was most impressed by the social kind of entertainment - a village party in Sumartin on Saturday evening. I had done 24 km and wanted to drop dead on my bed for a few hours, but the hostel owner's daughter (of my age) who met me had another plan.  

We have a party up the street. You can come with me. I invite you! - No, thank you. I've walked 24 km. I'm bloody tired, I want to have a rest. Sure, I understand. You need to have a rest...But actually, you know, we are young, we don't need much rest, so, you can go to a party with me! - OK! [I didn't have the energy to argue]

The party was devoted to the end of construction of the ground floor of a house that one young guy from the village built. Village friends had slaughtered and roasted a lamb, they brought homemade wine and olive oil. I felt in the first few minutes my visit was not in vain. 

Organised 'village tours' are not popular among youth, it usually lacks true authenticity that you can meet as an independent tourist. It was the very case for me. I met fishermen, builders who speak only Croatian, students from Split (they speak English). Naturally, they played Balkan turbo-folk music. They were not good at dancing, so when guys didn't know what to do during a 'groovy' song, they grabbed heavy objects (a poker, a barrel, etc.) and began to lift them. Meanwhile, girls did sit-ups crazy fast! 

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I was going to give a dance workshop and climbed up on the table, but two girls jumped in there after me and started a conversation. They literally attacked me with questions, therefore we stood on the table for an hour just chatting. Perhaps, we would never have such a chance at a nightclub party! A chance to meet at the village party a fan of the Russian tv-series 'Kitchen' ('Kuhinja') was even less, but Eni from Brac was flattering a lot to my Russian background. 

The most epic moment happened to me when a son of the owners of the house where we had a party - the biggest house in Sumartin, only the church is higher, - was showing me everything he owned: a house, a gazebo, a grill terrace, a bar, a garden, swimming pools, garages, etc. Let's say, a sightseeing tour accompanied by nice complaints. "When I go somewhere with friends, I pay for everybody... When I show my parents anything I like, they buy it immediately for me... It's so hard to be independent if your parents are rich..." Top complaints, huh? I really had top entertainment that night! Finally, it happens amid a contrast: while some people on Brac apply for EU funds for rural areas development, others suffer from a family abundance. It's a pity and simultaneously a good topic for reflection when you travel before the tourist season.

2. Sutivan and Milna: waiting for a miracle

My second trip to the island of Brac occurred in April. At this time islanders start slowly preparing for the season. A lot of places are still closed, but the atmosphere becomes more welcoming and bracing. Largely, I would say it's a good direction on Brac regardless of the season.

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A little derogation about the 'Su' towns. Su is Latin 'Sv', two letters have a similarity in writing and pronouncing. Sv is short for 'Sveti' (Saint in Croatian). In this way, Supetar is Sveti Petar, Saint Peter's town, Sutivan is Sveti Ivan, Saint Ivan's town, etc. I've already seen Supetar, ferry port, thus I just did a loop for my friend come from Split for the first time. Riva, St. Peter's church, Jobanova Street where you can easily think that Croatia is the most beautiful country in the world - that is Supetar. At the west exit from the city, we found a firehouse. I'm interested in fire departments on islands because they are voluntary, not municipal. Their volunteer showed us an old fire truck donated by Great Britain. When he learned I'm from Russia, he said that his neighbors here are Russian too. A wife lived for 5 years during the Chechen war in the 1990s. A husband is a healthy Russian man, he can drink a liter and a half of vodka. Great job!

We travelled from Supetar to Sutivan on foot. Further movements around the island were planned by bus. Waiting for the bus to Milna I put things from my bag at the bus stop. "Get up! Let's go! Don't forget your phone!" my friend commanded. I answered "No way! I would rather forget my own hand."

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Actually, I paid attention in Milna and noticed a lot of yacht tours on Dalmatian islands do stop on Brac in Milna bay. I liked Milna as soon as the bus began to approach it on the serpentine road. 

On the waterfront (literally 'first line' by the sea) there is an abandoned multi-storey house. I don't know what happened there, but the holes in the ceiling/ floor look terrible. A blockage on the stairs between the first and second floor doesn't let to climb up higher. Anyway, I would not recommend entering a house for safety's sake. In a corridor on the first floor, we found a nice retro 'archive'. A poster inviting for the Final concert of the 3-rd Concert-Opera Seminar in Milna on August 21, 1981, hangs in my room in Split. 

Waiting for a bus back to Supetar we were chatting with my friend at the bus stop. The topic was an exes' birthday: to congratulate or not. I implore you: Do not discuss such topics at the bus stops! When the bus came, I was lost in thought and... I forgot my smartphone at the bus stop. I realized it in a couple of minutes on the bus. But the bus, apparently, goes faster than it seems. I asked a driver to stop. I'd prefer to ask him to turn back to Milna, but we were on the serpentine road. We went 52 min down the serpentine on foot.

Somehow I was sure my phone was still there at the bus stop. It wasn't there! We asked in a nearby cafe - no one knew. We tried another cafe - it was closed. We asked men working at the marina opposite the bus stop - they were really enthusiastic to help me. They actually proved my hypothesis that everyone knows everyone on the island and it's very safe on the island. Men remembered their friend was walking with the children near the bus stop. Through 2-3 contacts we found his number. Unfortunately, he didn't answer the phone. Almost desperate I wandered back to the bus stop looking around.

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A group of people came towards me. "I have nothing to lose," I thought and came to ask them about the phone. And then a woman coming in the front took my phone out from her purse! It was pure luck, because her company was moving to the parking place behind the bus stop to leave Milna. Then we tried our luck again, because we got off the last bus to Supetar. We've overcome the serpentine road before we succeded to flag cars down. One senior man gave us a ride to a crossroad, Supetar was out of his way. Then two young men drove us straight to the ferry to Split. One wondered whether my friend and I are daughters of those Russians who own a mansion somewhere nearby. "No, wait, it was the mansion of a Hungarian oligarch, not Russian," another guy said. Anyway, we were not, so they switched a topic.

3. Bol: ideal summer beach weekend chill trip

I was deliberately postponing a visit to Bol and Zlatni Rat on Brac to the beginning of summer. Out of the season, you always risk being disappointed there, especially when you've already learned something about the prominent horn-shaped beaches (Zlatni Rat in Croatian means 'Golden Cape', or 'Golden Horn'). Golden Horn needs sun to be gold. 

Besides sunny weather needed, a trip to Bol is easily organised leisure that few things could spoil. Ferry boat trips Split-Supetar and bus trips Supetar-Bol matches perfect, thus you don't lose time waiting. Also, it's pleasure to continue with a green promenade from Bol village to Zlatni Rat beach after a mountainy road to Bol. I would, perhaps, aware that there are a lot of people in the season. However, it has some advantages. For instance, my friends and I came on Sunday and saw a wedding on the square in front of the parish church (Zupna crkva Gospe od Karmela) in Bol.

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Returning from the beach we noticed that the return trips to Split are also perfectly matched. Therefore, you have all the possibilities: 1) to have dinner in Bol and go back to Supetar/Split by last trips; 2) to take the second to last bus to Supetar, have dinner there and go to Split by last ferry trip; 3) to go back to Supetar/Split by second to last trips and have dinner in Split. We choose first and enjoyed island hospitality in one of the restaurants in Bol. "Why is the place called Jadranka?" a question came to my mind. "My name is Jadranka," an owner answered to me. She was the only child, and (grand) parents called it after her. With her husband, they cook all dishes and keep this place already for decades. One more sign of true hospitality is that they remembered our friends who visited it two months ago.

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Saturday, 19 December 2020

Energy Transition Plan: Brac Island Introduces Green Renewable Energy Policies

December 19, 2020 - Brac Island introduces green renewable energy policies after a cooperation agreement with local stakeholders was signed on Friday.

Dalmacija Danas reports that a Cooperation Agreement of Local Stakeholders on the Road to Independent and Clean Energy on Brac Island was signed in Supetar on Friday. The signing of the Agreement thus completed drafting the initial Energy Transition Plan of the island of Brac from 2021 to 2030, prepared by the working group Otok Brač, with technical support and coordination of Porzana d.o.o., Zagreb in co-authorship with the EU Clean Energy Secretariat.

Ivana Markovic, the mayor of Supetar, expressed satisfaction with several things, but especially pointed out ‘the commendable unity of the island and all eight local self-government units in finding the best opportunities, spatial among others, for some things like a communal solar power plant to be realized’.

"Together with ten island communities in the Republic of Croatia, Brac has applied for the EC tender, which includes obtaining funds for the development of the Strategy on how to reach energy transition projects. A total of 26 islands in Europe have received funding for this. As the name suggests, our ultimate goal is for our island, like all others, to be self-sustaining, take advantage of all the natural opportunities the island has, and develop alternative energy forms. I am glad that all the municipalities on Brac have joined, and what I am happy about is that large funds have been left with Europe, and it is about 750 billion euros for all the islands. I hope that all of us together, not only local self-government units but also citizens and entrepreneurs, will prepare projects and use the funds provided by the EU. For Supetar, this specifically means using renewable energy sources, the use of sun and wind, to be in some way independent. The use of solar panels ultimately has a double effect - reducing the negative impact on the environment and streamlining the business of entrepreneurs and saving households," said Markovic, adding that this is a broad project, a strategy that is not based only on Supetar.

Ivan Samardžija, as a representative of RERA, but also one of the two island coordinators (in charge of the islands of Brac and Hvar, while the other coordinator is in charge of Vis, Solta, and Drvenik Veli and Mali) explained his role.

"Our task is the overall coordination of all public legal bodies, stakeholders on the island to withdraw EU funds and overall island development. We are working on developing the National Island Development Plan in cooperation with the Ministry of Regional Development and EU funds, and we will soon start an individual Island Development Plan. Following the amendments to the Law on Islands, we are working within the County Development Plan, so we will arrange practically all the documents and start working for this time period."

The mayor of Pučišća, Marino Kaštelan, also pointed out some problems, i.e., difficulties that he noticed after working meetings on this topic.

"We had a meeting in Pučišća, where the experts, representatives of public authorities and regulatory bodies at the state level focused on energy issues, and all interested investors in the field of renewable energy sources gathered. We had a quality and well-argued discussion that should lead to the final resolution of investors' problems. On the one hand, we have a state that is overwhelmed by the demands of different investors with different ideas for renewable energy projects - power, the capacity of seven gigawatts in the next year or two - and on the other hand, these same investors have not properly proved ready for such projects.

Now there should be some criteria according to which it would be decided which projects go further and then really follow them. In my opinion, the key problem is the transport of energy from Dalmatia, where we know that we have the best conditions for the production of solar energy in solar power plants and wind farms. We can spend that energy in Dalmatia for a period, when tourism is at its peak, for example, but in principle, real consumption is in Croatia's interior. To transport this energy produced in Dalmatia inland, huge investments are needed. This should be done by HOPS, the network that moves from Konjski towards the interior, towards Zagreb, so that it expands and upgrades. That the 400 kW line is strengthened so that the amounts of energy can be placed further.

This way, we will have smaller projects. If every product cannot reach the market with quality and cheapness, it will eventually stop being produced. That's where I see the problem. Maybe my approach is a bit more conservative because a lot can be done with smaller things, local, individual investments from panels on the roofs of family farms to electric bicycles. All this is useful and valuable, but we will make the right step only with the right infrastructure. I understood; there are funds. I call on HEP and the Ministry of Economy to be partners with these investors because the benefits are mutual," concluded Kaštelan.

Maja Jurišić, president of the Island Movement, commented that ‘energy transition is a luxury in Croatia.’

"The experience of working with the Secretariat for European Islands has shown me that Croatia is one of the few, if not the only, that has all its islands connected by an electric cable to the mainland. So we have a fairly secure system, as much as some might disagree with it. In Europe, however, many islands are ‘torn off’ from the mainland because they are too far away, dependent solely on themselves, on fossil fuels with high shipping costs and unclean energy sources. When we ask the average person on the island, they think that the energy transition is not a development priority at the moment - survival is a priority for most. As a tourist country branded as a destination with a thousand islands, we have the opportunity to raise the destination, the complete picture of the country, by introducing green renewable energy policies. On the contrary, by introducing renewable sources, we reduce costs and increase competitiveness, increase the visibility of the destination and thus ultimately compete in the market," explains Jurišić.

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Saturday, 7 November 2020

'Magical Brac Island' Presented on French National Television TF1

November 7, 2020 - 'Magical Brac Island' has been presented on French national television TF1, thanks to famous French editor and journalist Jean-Marie Bagayoko.

French national television TF1, which is watched by more than 7 million viewers, screened a five-minute report on Croatia with special emphasis on the beauties of the island of Brac and one of the most beautiful beaches in the world, Zlatni rat, said Danijela Mihalić Đurica, Director of the Croatian National Tourist Board in France.

The report Envie d’évasion: la fabuleuse île de Brač (Desire to Escape: The Magical Brac Island) is the result of a visit by the famous French editor and journalist Jean-Marie Bagayoko to Zagreb because of the recent football match between France and Croatia. Delighted by Croatia's beauties, the journalist decided to present some other Croatian curiosities to the French public, in addition to the football image of Croats, and this time the decision fell on the island of Brac, which Bagayoko calls the 'pearl of heavenly decor.'

"We are extremely pleased with the latest positive announcements in the French media. Given the stopped tourist trends and the current moment when movements are significantly limited, and people spend more and more time in front of small screens, it is necessary more than ever to maintain visibility in the media, not only through television but all available promotional channels. That is why preparations for 2021 started earlier because most of the French stayed at home this year. Still, as soon as those infected numbers go down, they are ready to continue traveling. Croatia is definitely one of the favorite holiday destinations of French guests," said Danijela Mihalic Đurica.

In the report, the journalist reveals that, apart from the turquoise sea, the beach, and tourists, Brac is recognized in the world for its tradition of stonemasonry, white stone, and the School of Masonry in Pučišća. Brac stone, as the pride of islanders and Croats, is presented as a unique material from which many international monumental buildings are built, and the journalist singles out only a few examples as the most impressive buildings - Split's Diocletian's Palace, the United States White House and the Parliament building in Budapest. The secrets of stonemasonry, as well as the tradition passed down from generation to generation, were revealed to the French audience by professors and students of the school who emphasized the great importance of the school, but also the exceptional quality of Brac stone, which has been used to build famous buildings around the world.

In addition to stonemasonry, the report emphasizes the gastronomic tradition and the famous island specialties of lamb and the centuries-old tradition of olive growing.

The island of Brac is one of the Croatian islands along with Hvar, which is visited by an increasing number of French guests every year.

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Friday, 18 September 2020

Smart City Supetar: First Croatian Island Town with Implemented Smart City Services

September 18, 2020 - By launching e-Services in the City of Supetar, which enables citizens never to receive and send forms and requests to the City Administration, Supetar became the first city on Croatian islands to implement these services, which are a fundamental part of the Smart City Supetar concept.

Dalmacija Danas reports that thanks to the mentioned benefits, citizens can perform numerous administrative processes from their own home without the need to come to the City Administration office.

What is very interesting in this project is that the City of Supetar applies and adapts concepts and technologies related to smart cities to the island environment that has its own characteristics and needs and differs in many ways from the needs of larger cities such as Zagreb and Rijeka.

A special challenge was the need to establish a perfect balance between the technological possibilities that allow us to advance technology daily and the local population's specific needs. It should also be emphasized that the City of Supetar, as a small community, has limited financial and technological opportunities. Still, regardless of all the island's challenges, the digitalization process progresses with big and safe steps.

The decision to develop and implement the Smart City strategy came after thinking about implementing processes in the City Administration as transparently and simply as possible, and how they would be mutually beneficial for both City Administration employees and our fellow citizens. In this situation, it was out of the question to buy ready-made solutions because they are not in line with the needs of the City of Supetar, but to make maximum adaptation to the local community, which automatically meant significantly more time and effort.

In practice, it looked like they had to review all the processes carried out within the City Administration and the relationship of the administration to the citizens, and based on that, create a modern and contemporary city that saves citizens time and maximum facilitation of various administrative processes that have so far required significantly more time.

The Law on Islands, which regulates and defines the management and development of Croatian islands, placed great emphasis on smart cities and islands, which was a great driver and a kind of motive for the City of Supetar to take the initiative and become the first island city in Croatia which has an operational plan for the development of a smart city - Smart City Supetar 2019 - 2023 and already available and launched services within the concept of Smart City Supetar. The operational plan was adopted by the City Council of the City of Supetar in 2019.

Considering the overall strategy of the Operational Plan, two basic goals have been set that the City of Supetar wants to achieve: digitalization of the administration that is currently underway and the introduction of a ferry application to reduce congestion during the summer and for all guests and passengers to have all available information with them.

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Wednesday, 22 July 2020

Zlatni Rat Beach on Brac Island Receives Bilingual Website

July 22, 2020 - The famous Zlatni Rat beach is a trademark of Croatia, and particularly of the island of Brac and the town of Bol.

HRTurizam writes that now, this symbol is the first beach in Croatia, and among the first in Europe, with its very own, bilingual website - www.zlatniratbol.com.

 The extraordinary story of Zlatni Rat is its natural phenomenon where the beach itself changes its shape and position depending on the wind that blows, waves and sea currents, which form the very top of the beach. It is continually evolving. Interestingly, measurements have shown that Zlatni Rat, which is also known as the 'Golden Horn', is growing longer every year.

The website aims to inform guests about the offers on the beach, provide various service information, beach etiquette, as well as real-time weather forecasts, but also the related offer of the destination Bol.

Tourist workers in Bol are currently achieving about 50% of last year's tourist traffic, and they hope to be at about 70% of last year's traffic by the end of July.

Most visitors are from Germany, followed by Slovenes, Czechs, Croats and Austrians.

"Given the situation, we can be satisfied with the arrivals. If there are no major difficulties related to the coronavirus, we hope to achieve about 70% of last year's visits at the end of July. From July 24, in addition to the existing line, we expect the introduction of a second catamaran line directly to Bol. It is important to point out that we adhere to all epidemiological measures to make our guests feel safe and comfortable," said the director of the Bol Tourist Board, Markito Marinkovic.

Twelve daily ferry lines between Split and Supetar and one catamaran line between Split and Bol currently run to Brac, and twice a week (Tuesdays and Saturdays) Zagreb is connected to Brac by air. At the beginning of August, there are plans to introduce an airline from Frankfurt to Brac, which would be active until October 23, 2029. 

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