Thursday, 14 April 2022

Only European Rural Tourism Congress That Exists to be Held in Cavtat

April the 14th, 2022 - The only European rural tourism congress that currently exists is set to be held in the southernmost Croatian town of Cavtat at the end of this month, firmly placing this already popular holiday destination on the map, but this time quite a different one.

As Poslovni Dnevnik/Sergej Novosel Vuckovic writes, just how far the digitalisation process of rural Croatian villages has come, whether the global coronavirus crisis was an opportunity for rural tourism or actually caused losses, how family farms can be branded and what Croatian rural tourism is like compared to the same sector in other countries, are just several of the topics which will be discussed during the 5th International Congress on Rural Tourism, being held from the 27th to the 30th of April in Cavtat.

The gathering organised by the Croatian Association for Tourism and Rural Development will see the coming together of the Village Club with the support of educational institutions from across Croatia and the Croatian Academy of Sciences and Arts, more than 300 participants from the state sector, tourist boards, family farms and others from the wider tourism sector.

A special feature of the upcoming European Rural Tourism Congress is that it is the only one of its kind in the whole of Europe, which is why experts from 10 countries will head to Cavtat to talk more about their projects.

"This year's slogan is Rural Tourism: Quality, Sustainability, Inclusion, and the main topic is competitiveness and the positioning of rural tourism after the crisis experienced by the tourism sector caused by the coronavirus pandemic.

The European Rural Tourism Congress enables a continuous exchange of experiences and knowledge, with the connection of science and profession also involved. The competitiveness of a tourist offer is only strengthened by an increased level of awareness and education about rural tourist destinations, and thus improves the way services are provided,'' the organisers pointed out.

For the ninth year in a row, the Sunflower Rural Tourism Award of Croatia, ie the Sunflower Award, will be awarded (in 8 different categories) at this April's European Rural Tourism Congress, with 138 projects from 19 counties competing.

For more, check out our travel section.

Friday, 8 April 2022

ALH to Transform Cavtat's Hotel Supetar into Boutique Hotel

April the 8th, 2022 - Cavtat's Hotel Supetar is set to be transformed into a small boutique hotel under the Adriatic Luxury Hotels (ALH) brand.

As Poslovni Dnevnik/Marija Crnjak writes, this summer, Adriatic Luxury Hotels (ALH) will bring a hotel brand in the segment of small luxury boutique hotels to Croatia's southernmost town, under which the newly renovated Hotel Supetar will operate.

The investment worth almost two million kuna per room includes a thorough renovation of Hotel Supetar, which had three stars before its reconstruction, but is located in a top location in Cavtat. The hotel will join the luxury offer developed by ALH, mostly in nearby Dubrovnik, and this is also the largest investment of this hotel group this year.

As reported by the ALH earlier this week, the renovation of Hotel Supetar in Cavtat is proceeding according to plan, and after a complete and extensive reconstruction of the hotel, this summer will see the openening of a completely new look as a high category heritage hotel.

“As part of the investment, cooperation with one of the world's leading brands is planned in order for Hotel Supetar to be placed on the prestigious list of exclusive boutique hotels, combining historical charm, respect for rich cultural heritage and modern luxury designed for the most demanding clientele that values ​​privacy and exclusivity. By investing in the thorough renovation of Hotel Supetar, Adriatic Luxury Hotels is continuing with its business policy of continuous investment in the quality and repositioning of their hotels, and thus raising the value of the destination,'' they stated from the company.

Complete restoration

Although they aren't yet ready to name this mysterious global brand they're bringing to Cavtat, their Dubrovnik hotels Excelsior and Bellevue are known to be part of the worldwide chain of independent hotels Small Luxury Hotels (SLH), which has about 520 hotels across more than 90 countries.

Hotel Supetar is located on Cavtat's beautiful and serene waterfront, in an original three-storey private villa from the 1920s, overlooking the open sea and Cavtat bay. After this complete renovation, Hotel Supetar will have 16 elegant and individually designed rooms. It will be built in a typical traditional style, with lush Mediterranean gardens and airy, spacious areas, and the interior will be an eclectic mix of vintage furniture and eye-catching architectural and art deco details.

The new hotel will also have a swimming pool located in the southern part of the hotel surrounded by a beautiful Mediterranean garden, as well as a lounge bar. Special attention will be paid to the gastronomic offer, meaning that the hotel will have a restaurant with Mediterranean specialties where authentic dishes will be served in a romantic al fresco setting with an outdoor terrace, and a newly opened Wine Club will offer a selection of the best wines with a selection of selected specialties.

Of the additional facilities, Hotel Supetar will offer a complete 24-hour concierge service.

''Dream Collection''

This will be one of the 5 ALH hotels operating within the portfolio of the so-called "Dream Collection", namely Hotel Excelsior Dubrovnik, Hotel Bellevue Dubrovnik, Hotel Supetar, Villa Agave and Villa Orsula.

ALH is developing two more products, within the "Escape Collection" are Grand Villa Argentina, Hotel Dubrovnik Palace, Hotel Kompas Dubrovnik, Hotel Croatia Cavtat and Villa Glavic, and Hotel Odisej Mljet is the only one in the "Unwind Collection". In addition to membership in SLH, Excelsior, Bellevue and Kompas are members of the global travel club Mr & Mrs Smith, and the Vapor restaurant at the Bellevue Hotel has been recommended by a Michelin guide for 4 years.

For more, check out our business section.

Monday, 8 March 2021

Cavtat Among 15 Best European Destinations for Vaccinated Travelers

March 8, 2021 – While the European Union is deciding on introducing COVID passports, some travel portals are already making lists of the best destinations for people who got vaccinated. One such list created by the European Best Destinations portal included Cavtat among the 15 best European destinations for vaccinated travelers.

The Croatian town of Cavtat has recently been nominated for the best European destination and won third place. However, this time, it has found its position on the list of the 15 best European destinations, but for vaccinated travelers. Namely, the European Best Destinations (EBD) has listed Cavtat among the 15 best European destinations for vaccinated travelers, as destination travelers will most likely be able to visit.

As EBD reports, Cavtat is considered one of the safest destinations in Europe due to a low number of COVID-19 cases and proximity to airports (in case of repatriation) and hospitals. Also, the authorities' health measures and a wide range of accommodation options favor Cavtat's title of one of the safest European destinations.

As EBD calls it, this precious key will open the doors to a country renowned for its hospitality, gastronomy, sun, natural wonders, and magnificent beaches. Cavtat is, therefore, perfect to recharge batteries, enjoy good restaurants, meet locals, stroll around, or bathe in the crystal blue waters of the Konavle region.

Cavtat is once again in the chosen company of European destinations, among them: Tbilisi – the capital of Georgia, Portuguese Madeira and the Azores, Greek Rethymno, Kefalonia, Rhodes, Kos, and Athens, Iceland, Spanish Seville and the Canary Islands, Copenhagen and Rubjerg Knude of Denmark, and the Swedish capital Stockholm.

The European Union is currently working on introducing the so-called COVID passport, and some European countries have already recognized it. Numerous European countries have announced that they will make it easier for vaccinated travelers and tourists to enter their country.

However, Croatia has not yet officially responded to the topic of COVID passports. The Croatian media have recently learned that Croatian politics generally supports all efforts that will result in easier border crossings, but only if it will not be discriminatory towards citizens. Therefore, Croatia will support COVID passports only if it would not be mandatory for passengers.

For the latest travel info, bookmark our main travel info article, which is updated daily

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Monday, 25 January 2021

Croatian City Cavtat Nominated for the Best European Destination 2021

January 25, 2021 – Croatian city Cavtat is among the 20 nominated destinations to win the title of the best European destination 2021.

The European organization Best European Destinations (EBD) organized the selection for the best European destination this year, and the Croatian city of Cavtat is among the 20 nominated European destinations on the list, reports the National Croatian Tourist Board.

Apart from Cavtat, the southernmost Croatian city, the destinations chosen this year are Vienna, Rome, Kefalonia, Paris, Lofoten, Canary Islands, Gibraltar, Capri, Cornwall, Dordogne river valley, Tahiti, Soča river valley, Tubingen, Cappadocia, Ghent, Kotor, Sibiu, Braga, and Florence.

If you would like Cavtat to win the best European destination title, you can vote online via this link from January 20 to February 10, 2021. Voting can be done once in seven days.

Also, following the situation with the coronavirus in Europe, EBD grants the right to use the logo "European Safest Destinations 2021" to destinations with an extremely low incidence of COVID-19. Given the good epidemiological situation from the beginning of the pandemic, Cavtat received this valuable label, i.e., help and tools to promote the destination.

As a reminder, the European Best Destinations portal is a European organization based in Brussels, and the main organization's activities include the promotion of European culture and tourism. Addressing the audience through online channels, the portal has an essential role in promoting Europe as the number one destination globally. It also offers tourist information for more than 355 European destinations.

Five years ago, the Croatian city of Zadar won the title of the best European destination in this selection, while other Croatian destinations have repeatedly been included on the nominates' list. This is not the first nomination for Cavtat either. Namely, in 2019, Cavtat took eighth place in the same selection. The European Best Destinations portal then described Cavtat as "a real gem" and "one of the most attractive destinations on the Adriatic coast" due to its rich cultural and historical heritage, as well as offered services for tourists, and its gastronomy.

Last year, out of Croatian destinations, the city of Rijeka was nominated for the best European destination, and in the end, it took eighth place on the list. Three years ago, the Croatian island of Hvar took a high fourth place on this same list.

For the latest travel info, bookmark our main travel info article, which is updated daily

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Wednesday, 23 September 2020

Croatia Filming Locations Are Best Again As Succession Bags 7 Emmys

September 23, 2020 – Following incredible success with Game Of Thrones, Mamma Mia and others, Croatia filming locations prove to be the best again as HBO's Succession wins 7 Emmys

Historic Dubrovnik was always pretty enough to attract people from far and wide. Dubrovnik has a lot of sights to visit. In addition, it offers many activities such as hiking, cycling, sailing, boat ride, Seabob experience etc. But, following its appearance in TV show Game Of Thrones, interest in visiting the walled city went through the roof. Tourists were not the only ones who wanted to come.

HBO drama Succession is just the latest hit to take advantage of the spectacular scenery while filming in Croatia. The show has just bagged no less than seven prestigious Emmy awards for the season partially filmed in Croatia. In the drama series category, it picked up Emmys for Best Leading Male Role, Best Guest Role, Best Casting, Best Directing, Best Screenplay and Best Picture Editing.

10_02_succession_s02-sept20-hbo.jpgCast members filmed aboard a yacht with beautiful Croatia and its Adriatic waters as the backdrop © HBO

The shooting took place over 12 days in July 2019, primarily on a yacht on which the show's central characters, the Roy family, were taking a holiday. The Croatia filming locations used were the waters around Cavtat, Korcula, Mljet and Sipan. The series ventured into more urban areas of Croatia and, for those scenes, filming locations in Zagreb and Rijeka were sourced. The German-built Solandge was the yacht used in the filming and costs as much as $1.1million (£850,000) to rent for one week.

19690220-7610097-Finale_The_second_season_of_Succession_came_to_a_close_on_Sunday-a-69_1571931109237.jpgThe Roy family aboard the yacht Solandge in Croatian waters © HBO

Now in its third season, Succession centres on the dysfunctional Roy family, owners of a global media and hospitality empire. It stars British actor Brian Cox as the ailing family patriarch with Kieran Culkin heading up the otherwise all-American cast. A total of 613 people worked on the shooting of Succession in Croatia, of which 595 were Croatian (161 film workers, three trainees and 431 extras).

20139614-7610097-image-a-72_1571931767347.jpgSolandge is currently one of the most luxurious yachts in the world © Moran Yachts

In recent years, major movies such as Star Wars, Robin Hood and one installment in the long-running James Bond series have joined the likes of Game Of Thrones and Mamma Mia in enjoying Croatia filming locations. However, filming in Croatia goes back much further than that. During the 1970s and early 1980s, no less than three Oscar-winning movies used Croatia filming locations - Fiddler on the Roof (1971), The Tin Drum (1979) and Sophie’s Choice (1982).

You can read more about filming in Croatia and Croatian filming locations by reading our dedicated section here

For the latest travel info, bookmark our main travel info article, which is updated daily

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Sunday, 21 June 2020

Tourism in the Corona Age: 10 Virtual Ways to Discover Cavtat and Konavle

June 21, 2020 - Tourism was on hold when we started this series of articles, but most of us have plenty of time. So let's look at the virtual resources available to explore Croatia virtually. We continue our new Virtual Croatia series with the tools to discover Cavtat and Konavle.

A few weeks ago I wrote that being a tourism blogger in the corona era was about as useful as being a cocktail barman in Saudi Arabia. I feel less useless now, a few weeks later, and I am encouraged by the number of Croatian tourism businesses who are contacting us wanting to start thinking of promoting post-corona tourism. 

One of the challenges of writing about tourism at the moment is that there is nothing positive to write about. With people confined to their homes and tourism in Croatia currently not possible, many have decided to go into hibernation until it is all over. 

I think that this is a mistake, and I have greatly enjoyed the TCN series by Zoran Pejovic of Paradox Hospitality on thinking ahead to tourism in a post-corona world.  You can find Zoran's articles here.

Way back on March 14 - several lifetimes ago - I published an article called Tourism in the Corona Age: 10 Virtual Ways to Discover Zagreb. The way I saw things, now was an OUTSTANDING opportunity for tourism promotion. People have time, they yearn for their freedom and former lives, so give them the tools to thoroughly research and enjoy your destinations, and you will have then longing to be there. And when they do come, they will have a deeper understanding of the destination due to their research. 

South Africa and Portugal were the first to do their post-corona tourism promotion videos several weeks ago (Post-Corona Tourism Planning: Lessons from South Africa and Portugal), a trick which has been followed by other tourism countries, the latest being Croatia with the national tourist board campaign, #CroatiaLongDistanceLove, going live yesterday.

But while these campaigns create longing and market presence, they don't really educate. People now have time to really get into destinations. And dreams of escape to somewhere more exotic are high on the list of priorities of many. 

So TCN has decided to help with that education with a new series called Virtual Croatia, where we will be helping you discover many of Croatia's destinations with all the best virtual tools available on your self-isolating sofa at home. 

We started with Tourism in the Corona Age: 10 Virtual Tools to Discover Hvar.

After this, we put our a press release (which you can read here in English and Croatian) offering a free article to any local tourist board in Croatia who would like the free promotion in our Virtual Croatia series

The Sinj Tourist Board was the first to respond, and now you can see just how rich the tourism offer is in this proud Alka town - your virtual tools to Discover Sinj. This was followed by DIscover OpatijaDiscover Brela, Discover RogoznicaDiscover Stari GradDiscover OmisDiscover Lumbarda and Discover Jezera.

Today, Lucija Velizić from the Tourist Board of Konavle helps us tell you the story of the southernmost part of Croatia, of the tourism in Cavtat and Konavle. 


Discover Cavtat and Konavle - the Gems in the South

Konavle is a region with particular natural beauties and contrasts: mountain and valley, green hills and naked stone, the blue, and the green. Cavtat is the biggest town in the Konavle region.

Official promotional video for Cavtat-Konavle region, made in 2019.

A somewhat older promotional video worth watching.

Žal beach in Cavtat 

Get to know Cavtat old town and the beaches of Cavtat

When the guests really fall in love with a place, this is the kind of video they make. 

Another lovely video made by a guest of Cavtat


Look Beyond Cavtat to the Konavle Region

Intro video for Konavle

Sokol-grad, magical fortress worth a visit

A perfect location for an active vacation

A pathway commemorating Ron Brown


Official Cavtat-Konavle Website

Find more materials about Cavtat and Konavle on the tourist board website, or find out more about Konavle or Cavtat.

Cavtat has been put on the list of the safest destinations to travel to post-corona. 

1. European-Safest-Destinations-GREEN.png

Will you give Cavtat and Konavle a try this year or in the upcoming years? 

To discover more of virtual Croatia, you can follow this series in our dedicated section, Virtual Croatia

If you are a local tourist board in Croatia and would like your destination featured in this series for free, please contact us at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. Subject Virtual Croatia (and destination name)

Friday, 31 January 2020

Visit Cavtat's Fascinating Underwater World With Virtual Reality

As Morski writes on the 31st of January, 2020, virtual immersion in the rich underwater archaeological site of Cavtat is now possible at the BLUEMED Centre for the Promotion of Knowledge, which was opened within the Archeology Department of the Konavle Museum and Gallery in the Franciscan Monastery of St. Blaise in Pridvorje.

The importance of archaeological treasures and their presentation weas discussed by County Prefect Nikola Dobroslavic, Deputy Director of the DUNEA Regional Agency, Bruno Bebić, Konavle's Ivo Radonic and the Director of the Konavle Museum and Gallery, Antonija Ruskovic.

Prefect Nikola Dobroslavic congratulated everyone involved on the successful realisation of this project, which is raising awareness of not only the cultural heritage of Cavtat and southern Dalmatia, but of Croatia as a whole.

''It's a great pleasure for me to be here today to congratulate you on this beautiful project, just one in a line of projects which raise awareness of our area, in this case, what's under the sea, and to have the opportunity to show it to our fellow citizens and guests.

I'm sure that the Knowledge Promotion Centre will be a nice addition to the existing museum. Yesterday and today I participated in the celebration of several projects funded by European Union funds, and it all goes to show that we know how to use EU funds, and that their potential is huge. Each project has its value, no matter how much money is withdrawn, and we'll continue to work on withdrawing funds with the DUNEA Regional Agency. We wouldn't be able to realise this many projects with our own funds, nor with funds from the state budget, and many projects await us,'' concluded Dobroslavic.

DUNEA Deputy Director Bruno Bebic explained the activities carried out by the DUNEA Regional Agency over the last three years, emphasising that the Cavtat project is a step forward in promoting cultural heritage.

''The establishment of the Knowledge Promotion Centre marked the end of the BLUEMED project implemented by the DUNEA Regional Agency with partners from Spain, Italy, Cyprus and Greece, and the Faculty of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science Zagreb. Konavle's museums and galleries, the Konavle Municipality, the Konavle Tourist Board and Epidaurum Diving Centre were all extremely important for this project.

On this occasion, the director of the Konavle Museum and Gallery, Antonija Ruskovic, commented on the importance of local community cooperation on such projects.

''Museum work and materials are mostly uninteresting to the general public, especially nowadays when we're living in a fast pace and are aware that new technologies are the only attractive way of presenting museum material. Through this project, I can say that we at the museum have made the most profit. We've received one presentation that we will be able to offer to a wider audience, and the impact on the overall popularisation of cultural heritage is much greater and more significant. Many thanks to the DUNEA Regional Agency, the Konavle Municipality and the Konavle Tourist Board, as well as all our staff who will assist tourists in exploring the new setting,'' said Antonija Ruskovic.

Make sure to follow our dedicated lifestyle page for more.

Tuesday, 14 January 2020

TCN Down Under: Interview with Australia Water Polo Coach Elvis Fatovic

January 14, 2020 - Continuing our 'TCN Down Under' series, Daniela Rogulj interviews former Jug captain and assistant coach to Croatia, and current Australia water polo coach Elvis Fatovic in Sydney. 

On a sunny Wednesday morning, Elvis Fatovic and I met in the Bronte neighborhood of Sydney, in front of Australia's famous Iggy's Bread, owned by Igor Ivanovic of Belgrade. It was the Bronte Balkan experience, as passersby greeted us in Croatian and spoke of preparing sarma for Orthodox Christmas. We were served freshly-baked bread and hot coffee to complement the Bajadera I brought over from Split.

For a moment, I'd almost forgotten where we were.

After exchanging sentences mixed in English and Croatian, Elvis shared his life story about how he, a Croatian water polo legend from Cavtat, moved his life to Sydney to lead the national team of Australia. 

Elvis hails from Cavtat, just 30 minutes south of Dubrovnik. Water polo is the pulse of that area, and Elvis grew up in Jug Dubrovnik’s youth system. 

“That is the natural path. Cavtat is probably one of the smallest, most successful water polo towns in the world. For example, in the London Olympics, you had three gold Olympians from Cavtat. Sukno, Boskovic, Obradovic are all from the area. 

In Cavtat as a kid, you have two options - one is to play water polo, and the other is to play in the brass orchestra. And I’ve done both, haha.  But I thought that I was more talented in sport, and at some stage, you have to decide which way you want to go. It’s also common that the more talented players follow the steps of the successful players and move to Dubrovnik, so that is how I ended up in Dubrovnik. Water polo then was very big; we are talking about the ‘80s, a long time ago when Jug won the first European Champions League title. It was hard not to fall in love with the sport. 

It was crazy to watch, and during that time, 4-5,000 people would be at every game. 

Thankfully I had quite a solid career. It’s a dream for the majority of water polo players to play for a great club in your city, and I had that privilege."

From Jug, Elvis played one season at rival club Mladost Zagreb. 

“Yes, that was one season when a lot of things happened in my life. It was after the war, and Jug was at a good level but without a light at the end of the tunnel. It didn’t seem like something big was going to happen. Because of my career, I went to Mladost. Before that, I refused to go to Italy, and at the beginning of the ‘90s, I preferred staying in Dubrovnik, but then I decided okay, it’s time to take a step in my career.  The best part of that was that I met my wife in Zagreb. Though she is not from Zagreb, she’s from Primosten. Not only did we meet there, but it was quite a successful time for the club, and I also met some of the greatest friends I could have, like Vjeko Kobešćak. After that season, my wife and I married and had kids.

Around '94/'95, Jug started to build something great. It was the beginning of the Jug we have now.”

While Elvis played for Jug, they won 5 Croatian Championships and 6 Croatian Cups. He also led Jug to win the European Championship in 2001 and 2006, and won the LEN Europa Cup in 2000.

“The highlight was definitely winning that first European Championship. We played in the old pool, in front of 5,000-6,000 people. I can’t imagine it ever being so packed again. We played against Bečej, which was a Serbian club. In that period, they were an unbelievable team and a big rival. In two years, they didn’t lose a single game. We beat them with a buzzer goal, which I scored, and that was probably the highlight of my career."

What was it like living in Dubrovnik in the middle of Jug's success?

“It was amazing. During that time, athletes were like celebrities. Especially because Jug wasn’t so successful before, and that’s probably part of the reason why maybe even fewer people follow them now. Winning has become the norm, the people expect it, so maybe Jug needs to lose for a while in order to bring the people back, haha. But no one wants that. 

At that time, the majority of the players were from Dubrovnik, and the people really followed us. When we played in Hungary, students from Zagreb would follow us - they’d even travel to Italy. It was extraordinary to be a part of that story.”

We switched gears to the Croatia national team, where Elvis had 128 appearances. Elvis spoke about the moments that stood out. 

“To be honest, I wasn’t the happiest with my national team career because there was a huge gap. I didn’t start playing for Croatia until when I was almost 28, and that's because of a situation when I moved from Mladost to Jug. But even so, I played two Olympic Games and we won the European silver, which was also great. I think, even as a national team player, I had more disappointment than greatness. Especially in the two Olympic Games when we were one of the favorites to win the gold medal. Here in Sydney, during the most crucial moments, half of the team had the flu, and we lost the quarterfinal game, and that was an enormous disappointment. As a player, you need at least six months to recover from that.”

Elvis finished his career as a player in 2007 and moved onto coaching. But was a coaching career always in his cards?

“It probably was because I captained Jug for ten years and was the right hand of the head coach. We always joked about the staff positions the senior players would take and more or less, everything happened that way. I was always interested in that job and one of the youngest coaches to ever lead Jug. I was the coach of the junior program for one year, and then immediately after, I became the head coach.

At the same time, as I became head coach of Jug, I became the assistant coach of Croatia under Ratko Rudić. It was a fantastic experience to work with someone like Ratko. It’s one thing when you are a player, another when you are the assistant, but it is completely different when you are the head coach. And I am so grateful that I had the chance to work with the best one. Ratko is the most successful coach in the history of water polo, and maybe not only water polo - perhaps of all sports. It was great to learn and see how the game is not only about the tactics; it is about many other things aside from that.”

Croatia water polo won the gold at the 2012 Olympics. Elvis was the assistant coach then. 

“I believe that 2012 was not only about the summer when we won gold. It’s even more important for us, especially with our Croatian mentality, to look at what happened in January that same year. We played the European Championship and finished 9th. We lost so many games and were not performing well, and that was a huge disappointment, but it happened at the right time. We had seven months to set our goals and prepare, and if you ask me, that was perhaps the key to Croatia's success."

After a fruitful period as the assistant coach of Croatia, Elvis was asked to be the head coach of Australia. He moved to Sydney in 2013. 

“For me, as a coach, I needed some time to adjust to everything, because it is entirely different here than in Europe. Europe and Australia have nothing common when looking at the sport, and to be honest, I didn’t expect much. The priority of the players is also different. The majority of them do not play professionally. I had to adjust the training, to read their priorities. It is also different here because there is a significant difference between the Olympics and any other competition, and I believe it shouldn’t be that way. In Australia, the Olympics are huge. 

The most important thing for Australia is to keep consistency with the players. We managed that in the last couple of years and were able to deliver some great results, especially in the previous two years. We have become very competitive with everyone. I think there is still a considerable difference in the approach here and there are definitely a lot of advantages in the European teams, especially with how the national leagues are set up and how much time the teams spend together. If you try to explain to someone how it works in Australia, the majority won’t believe you. I am really enjoying working with the players here. They are a little bit different than us, so when they have a session at 5 or 6 am, they don’t complain, and they do it properly. They don’t just show up. I respect that a lot and I love working with them.”

Elvis has led Australia against Croatia multiple times since 2013. The first time was in the quarterfinal of the World Championships in 2013, while the two nations most recently met at the test series in Sydney last December. Elvis spoke about the emotions that come with facing his homeland. 

“The first time was a bit weird and that was the game when we almost beat them in Barcelona. No one expected that. Croatia came as the Olympic champion and we lost in overtime. It was strange, but you are focused on your team, your performance, as that is your professional job, and from that point of view, that was the first time and maybe the hardest time. Things maybe changed a bit for me when my son joined the Croatia national team - and he always looks especially inspired when they play against us. But again, we beat them last year once, which was a great success for us as we beat them in the quarterfinal of the World Cup. If we talk about quality, Croatia is always in the top two, and they really showed us that in the World Championship this year when they demolished us, even though we were very keen to beat them that game. But okay, that was our bad game and their great game. I respect Croatia as a team a lot, but on the other hand, we will always try to win.”

Elvis is leading Australia to the Olympics for his second time. What are the expectations in Tokyo?

“I want to take it game by game, because if we say ‘we will win the gold’, that is too easy to talk about and a lot harder to do. On paper, you have many stronger teams. On the other hand, I believe the gap between the strongest teams (Croatia, Serbia, Spain, Hungary) and the rest of us is smaller. When there is the special pressure of the Olympics, I believe that anything is possible. I want us to keep progressing. 60-70% of our team has been together for the last 6-7 years, which makes a difference, and I just hope we can keep delivering the results we have over the last few years.”

All eyes are on the European Championships this month. Croatia needs to win the tournament qualify for the Olympics. What do they need to do to make this happen?

“There is just one spot for the Olympics to be won at the Euros. Three teams are coming without pressure - that’s Italy, Serbia, and Spain. Croatia, Hungary, Montenegro, and Greece are looking for that one spot. Especially Hungary, who is playing at home. Hungary has a pretty good looking road to the semifinal. Still, I believe that Croatia has a great team, a great chance, and even if they don’t qualify here, I have no fear because the remaining qualifying tournament is this March in Rotterdam, and they are too quality not to qualify.”

Three Croatian clubs are competing in the Champions League this season, while Croatian clubs always lead the Regional League. How does Elvis see the current state of Croatian water polo?

“Croatia surely has the best teams in the Regional League. The club structure is still one of the strongest. The only stronger league is probably the Hungarian league, which brings over a lot of international players. The structure and competition in Croatia is quite good, but the problem with European clubs is that they play too many games. In my opinion, Croatia has slowed down a bit in the development of the players, which I believe could be better. Some of Croatia’s junior and youth results in the European and World Champs are outside the top eight, which means that something is wrong, and something needs to change.” 

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

Tuesday, 6 August 2019

Most Luxurious Resort in Croatia: Aman Cavtat to Change Croatian Tourism?

It is expected to be the most luxurious resort in Croatia, though it could also be a major turning point in Croatian tourism as we know it - meet Aman Cavtat.

The ground will break for the construction of Aman Cavtat at the end of this year, and if all goes to plan, the new resort could act as a catalyst for all current and future investments in the country, as has happened in Montenegro, writes Petros Stathis for, an investor in Montenegro and the region and the co-owner of Aman Resorts Group.

Croatia is ready to take the next step in its tourism development - a step on the international stage as a luxury destination,  Stathis adds. 

Learning from the examples of Montenegro and the shift in tourism initiated by Aman Sveti Stefan, it is time for Croatia to taste the same sweetness of success. Aman Cavtat, worth 50 million euros, whose construction is set to begin at the end of the year, will mark a significant turning point for tourism in Croatia and the Balkans as a whole.

This is another example of the importance of foreign investment in the economic growth of the region and the importance of building on the business success of investors and the interests of the local tourist boards. 

The goal for Croatia is simple because it follows the goals set for every investment and construction of a resort anywhere in the world - which is to leave a lasting legacy the country will be proud of and which will encourage further development.

Stathis explains that Aman Cavtat is a project to build the most beautiful and luxurious resort in Croatia, which will be erected without disturbing the harmony of nature, and promises to respect the local infrastructure. The opportunity is enormous because it acts as a catalyst for all current and future investments - as it happened in Montenegro.

Stathis goes on to say that Aman Sveti Stefan Resort in Montenegro has raised the level of the hospitality industry, showing that accountability and respect for the area in which you operate can be evidence that a well-designed and well-executed project can create hundreds and even thousands of jobs for the local, population and, by doing so, it will attract new investments.

Foreign investment today accounts for more than 30 percent of Montenegro's GDP, most of which can be attributed to tourism, but also to the country, which has created a good investment climate for foreign investors.

In recent years, tourist authorities in Montenegro have made considerable efforts to move the country away from cheap tourism to extremely luxurious projects such as Aman Sveti Stefan, thus attracting tourists with higher spending power. This has also made the market more attractive to foreign investors hungry for a substantial return on investment.

After the renovation of Aman Sveti Stefan ten years ago, the Financial Times newspaper called it "the first sign of a revival of Montenegro's luxury tourism." It is tourism that today accounts for more than 20 percent of Montenegro's GDP and is projected to grow to 30 percent by 2028.

Aman Sveti Stefan was followed by projects such as Porto Montenegro, which boasts a marina for expensive yachts, a five-star hotel and a shopping village, luxury villas, a heliport, and a museum. The estimated investment in Porto Montenegro so far is over €450 million, which is a big boost for the local economy. 

By learning from Montenegro’s experience, Aman Cavtat has the potential to play a vital role in the development of current investments, while supporting local development, business, and employment today and in the future.

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

Thursday, 16 May 2019

Construction of Luxury Aman Resort in Cavtat Beginning This Year

As Poslovni Dnevnik writes on the 15th of May, 2019, the saga with the former Cavtat ''Macedonia'' hotel could well have a happy end, Večernji list reports.

The story dates back to the year 2013 when a group of investors announced that the currently abandoned and devastated site will the luxury Aman resort built there. Things were of course rather complicated, which isn't remotely unusual, and in the meantime the ownership structure of the investor's company has changed, but the key player, Greek entrepreneur Petros Stathis, didn't think for even one moment to walk away from the planned and desired Cavtat investment.

Passionate about business and temperamental like any real Greek, he is the owner of several Aman hotels and resorts groups, including Aman Sveti Stefan in neighbouring Montenegro and over in Venice. Business wise, he's mostly focused on the Balkan region. He is active in both banking and real estate world and was even the director of the famous Athenian Football Club AEK.

Unlike many before him, the industrious Petros Stathis refused to give up on Croatia, and at the end of last year, in Croatia's southernmost town in the extreme south of Dalmatia, he intensified his efforts to finally get the project of Cavtat's Aman resort off the ground. Otherwise, Aman is a chain of luxury hotels in 34 locations in as many as 21 countries, and the first resort under that name was opened back in 1988 in Phuket.

Such resorts usually have only fifty rooms, and each guest is matched by four employees on average. In an interview with Vecernji list, Petros Stathis revealed that things really are finally getting going, being ''raised from the dead'' as it were, and that such a resort in Croatia, more precisely in Cavtat, is no longer just fiction.

Soon, you're coming to Croatia, does this mean that the Aman project in Cavtat is definitely going ahead?

I can say with pleasure, that the short answer to your question is yes!

I'm thrilled to be able to say that we've made progress and we expect the machines to return to their location at the end of this year. Otherwise, it was never the case whether or not the Aman Cavtat project would be realised or not, but as I mentioned before, we had a complicated beginning and we had to overcome many obstacles.

It's great, of course, to return to Croatia, but this project, believe me, is more than me. This is also about Croatia and our partners and people from this community. Our focus has always been on the future and the realisation of the resort in Cavtat so that the country could further profit through the Aman project, just how other countries have benefited from it. Whenever we start these types of projects, we want to complete it according to the plan, but it's rare that all factors are in our full control.

A project of such magnitude requires coordination and cooperation. We made a huge effort and we were lucky that we had positive support from many sides. Soon it will be six years ago since the construction of the luxury Aman resort at the location of the former Macedonia hotel in Cavtat was first announced, the first machines even arrived at the construction site, but soon after that it all stopped.

What made everything slow down over the last few years?

It's no secret that this project has a complex history. Since taking ownership of the site, we have been working hard and working with all involved parties to resume construction.

Why is Croatia interesting for you to invest in and is it easier to invest in Montenegro, for example?

As an international company, we always look globally.

Each country has a different approach to investment and development. I personally love your beautiful country and its people. I have strong family ties in Croatia and I've spent many happy moments here. Croatia is a wonderful country, rich in history, with beautiful nature and positive people with a positive business attitude that reaches international business boundaries. But the potential offered by Cavtat is the most attractive part of this story.

This is a great opportunity for us and will have a major role in current investments in Croatia. Our goal for Croatia is the same as for any other country in which we've built and invested, which is to create the best we can and leave a lasting, positive legacy of which the country can be proud. The goal of this project is to build the most beautiful resort in Croatia, in keeping with the environment and local infrastructure.

This opportunity is huge and we hope to act as a catalyst for further internal development in Croatia, now and also in the future. It's incredible when you think that more foreign tourists visit Croatia than, for example, Australia. And this is almost double the annual level. Tourism makes up more than 12 percent of Croatian GDP, and this money goes to local wages, through the construction of hotels and other related projects.

This country has a talented, entrepreneurial workforce. Half of the population speak English, but Italian and German are also spoken. And just look at the innovations you're responsible for! Everything, from chemical pencils to parachutes, bulbs, MP3 code, all created by Croats. It's time for Croatia to become more significant on the world stage, and we want to play a key role in that story.

What is the value of the investment in Cavtat and when will the new hotel be completed?

This is a huge 50 million euro project that will build the best of the best in Cavtat. This is our approach to building every resort. To provide the best. We wouldn't even launch the project if we couldn't achieve the best possible. This isn't just a hotel. This is an investment in the development and the future of Cavtat, through which we'll support local development, jobs and employment. We'll start with the works at the end of this year, and later on we'll inform you about our opening plan.

How will the Aman resort in Cavtat look and what will it offer to its guests?

Personally, I can hardly wait to see how it will look once when it's done. This is a new level of design and unification with the landscape, and local, natural materials will be used. If you look at any other Aman resort we've built, including the ones in Montenegro in Sveti Stefan, you'll get a very good idea of ​​what Aman Cavtat will be like.

Make sure to follow our dedicated business page for much more on investment and doing business in Croatia.

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