Monday, 23 December 2019

3 Million German Viewers to Watch Show about Croatia on Christmas Day

ZAGREB, December 23, 2019 - The German ZDF national broadcaster will air a one-hour show - "Horst Lichter Looking for Happiness - Through Croatia on a Motorbike", in prime time on Christmas Day and an estimated three million viewers are expected to watch the show, Croatia's National Tourism Board (HTZ) reported on Monday.

The show is hosted by renowned German cook and TV host Horst Lichter who travelled together with German actor Henning Baum along the Croatian coast in search of happiness.

"Adventure shows involving popular individuals uncovering tourist destinations are an effective promotional tool because viewers watch real experiences by their idols whom they trust. I am certain that this show will result with some brilliant reactions on the German market which is exceptionally important for us and so far this year almost three million arrivals have been generated from that market, which compared to the same period last year, is an increase of four percent," HTZ director Kristjan Staničić underscored.

Lichter and Baum visited the entire Croatian coast from Istria across Zadar and Split to Dubrovnik. Their entire trip was motivated by the desire to search for their own personal happiness.

"Because of Lichter's popularity and the fact that the show will be aired in prime time, it is expected that several million people will see the show and that certainly add some wind in our sails for a positive image about Croatia on the German market," the director of HTZ's office in Germany, Romeo Draghicchio said.

HTZ added that after the premier airing of the show it will later be available on other on-line TV channels.

Horst Lichter is a popular chef who experienced two cardiac arrests in his late twenties and then decided to change his life and became a TV host. The show in Croatia was filmed in June and Licther is particularly fond of Croatia also because his wife is Croatian, HTZ said.

More news about Croatian tourism can be found in the Travel section.

Friday, 20 December 2019

Quaint, Curious Croatia: a National Geographic 1908 Appreciation

December 20, 2019 - A wonderful snapshot of a Quaint, Curious Croatia from National Geographic 1908 - home to the most beautiful market scene in Europe. 

So how was life in Croatia more than 100 years ago? 

There is sadly not so much documented evidence in English of life as it once was here, but there are some absolute gems out there. Among them is this beautiful National Geographic 1908 featured article by Felix J Koch, which takes in not only the beauty of Croatia, but also its wonderful traditions and traditional dress. 

A visit to Agram market (the former name for Zagreb), 'home to the most beautiful capital of Europe', the importance of the port of Fiume (Rijeka), and much, much more. Given that we are over 100 years ago, I am pretty sure that there are no longer any copyright issues, but rather than publishing all the pictures here, I decided to link to the full report at the bottom. I also have a PDF of the report if anybody wants (if yes, email me at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it., Subject 1908. 

And now, let's go back in time... 

This market was the cleanest, fairest, and brightest of all the markets whereof we know, and we have marketed from Hopedale, up in Labrador, to Saloniki on the Aegean... In Holland we found they cleaned things to bring the tourist; here, however, touristy was practically nil. 

So one who knows the countrysides can tell at once the girl from Sissek from the vineyard lassie of Somobor, and she can tell you who has come from Ogulin, where the moss grows heavy on the roofs, and who makes her home beside the Plitvica lakes, the summer resort of all Croatia. 

Every village had its modifications, and there must have been hundreds of varied costumes here. The entire market, as a result, was a great picture in daintiest colors. From five until eleven in the morning, one could see it. Civilians - that is, Agram folk - mingled to buy. People came too, just to look on. But the costumes were in the great majority. It was the most beautiful market scene in Europe.

Fiume (Rijeka today) has an American interest, in that it is at this port that the tremendous hordes of immigrants from the southeast of Europe embark for America. Vessels especially built for immigrant service take these across at a minimum rate. 


Ogulin is another point of interest. The little cottages here have all the charm of a cotter's life in Scotland. It is cold, very cold, however, at Ogulin, in seasons where the 'bora', the cold northeast wind, blows, and so they have thatched the roofs thickly, and on the shingles, the moss grows soft. 

At Samobor there is another phase of life. Samobor stands among the vineyards where they raise the grapes for the wine. In many parts of Croatia a glass of wine is far cheaper than drinking water.

But things were not all rosy, and reference was paid to the political tensions of the time.

Even as Hungary is ever fomenting discord, preaching revolt, so in Croatia they are working for separation from Hungary, for Pan-Slavism - anything that will bring independence.

We were told that the powers that be have pretty well curbed liberty in Croatia. Since 1895, it seems, in Croatia no one may form a literary or political organization without permit therefor. One needs to have a permit even to hold a political meeting, and this, with other parties than the reigning one, is withheld at pleasure. Trades of labor unions likewise are under the ban. 

You can see the whole report, complete with all the glorious photos, in this link here - highly recommended!

Tuesday, 17 December 2019

Why I Live in Croatia: 30 Incredible Discoveries in 2019 Alone

December 17, 2019 - Croatia, Full of Incredible DIscoveries. With so many people emigrating, this foreign resident doubts that he could live anywhere else. 30 magic moments so far in 2019.  

I never cease to be amazed at the stories I hear about myself being a foreigner in Croatia. So many conspiracy theories, so many assumptions made about me. If I had time to read the intelligent musings of Croatia's army of keyboard warriors more than once a month, I am sure I would find out more about myself that I didn't know. 

Two recent comments amused me, however. The first was that I have never written anything positive about Croatia, and the second was that many people think that I am independently wealthy and run TCN as a hobby. 

I wish!

The truth is that I started Total Hvar with about 100 euro in my pocket and don't seem to have become much richer as the years go by. But that doesn't stop me from exploring this wonderful country in greater detail each year, now that I have moved to Varazdin County after 13 years on Hvar. It has been another incredible year, and I thought it might be fun to put some of the highlights together into one article (with links to each individual article in each header) to show that rather than looking for the exit door from Croatia, here is the kind of wonderful and diverse life you can have exploring Croatia. And if I can do it with a little determination, hard work, and 100 euro in my bank account, so can you. 

So how much fun can you have in Croatia in a 12-month period - here are my top 30 incredible discoveries this year - most are new to this year, but a few are old favourites which I heartily recommend you try at least once in life. 

Let's begin!


1. Meeting the successful shopkeeper on an island with no permanent inhabitants - Zut.

Successful Croatian businesses sometimes appear in the most unlikely of locations. Imagine coming up with an idea of opening a shop on an island where nobody lives permanently. 

But you know what, it works! A really interesting interview with the shopkeeper on the island of Zut, and if you click on the link above, there is even a video demo of his wonderful cart pulley system, which operates on an island with no electricity. 


2. The only winemaker in Split, making wine in a nuclear bunker.

Croatia has some incredible wines and some very talented and charismatic winemakers, but have you ever met a winemaker who makes his wines in Split? In a bunker under a block of apartments?

And the wines are fantastic. Meet Divina Vina.  


3. Biblos, a Lebanese treasure in the hills outside Zagreb.

One of the realities of daily life in Croatia is that things rarely go to plan, and often there is a pleasant surprise or diversion along the way. Hiring a van to collect a kitchen table from a garage west of Zagreb that we had bought on Njuskalo did not have much potential for a fun day out,  especially when the garage owner did not turn up, but when life gives you lemons, Croatia sometimes gives you lemonade - in this case a quite incredible Lebanese restaurant around the corner.  


4. Baska, a Glagolithic masterpiece on Krk.

If there is one thing I have learned here, it is that Karin Mimica from Gastronaut puts on the best foodie tours. Through Karin's wonderful tours over the years, I have discovered the secrets of parts of Croatia I never knew existed. This year's Gastronaut highlight was the Krk Food Festival, and in particular, the Glagolithic magic of Baska. 


5. Za Krizen, 6 UNESCO processions through one incredible night on Hvar.

The most special night of the year on the island of Hvar - Maundy Thursday. The 500-year-old- 'Za Krizen' (Behind the Cross) UNESCO procession, which takes place simultaneously in six villages on Hvar, as a barefoot crossbearer leads his acolytes and pilgrims on a 22-kilomotre circular procession through the night. This year, I managed to capture the start, finish and all six processions passing though the main square of Jelsa on video.  


6. Hope for Hrvatska: the EY Entrepreneur of the Year dinner.

Croatia is not just a land of tourism. It also has a vibrant entrepreneurial scene, and one of the most positive nights of the year in a country which often thrives on negativity is the EY Entrepreneur of the Year dinner at Lauba in Zagreb. Infobip the worthy winners of 2019. 


7. 5 Michelin Star Chefs on 1 Uninhabited Island - Festa Days on Zut.

The reason that I was able to meet the shopkeeper on Zut above, is that I was there for Festa Days on Zut, one of the culinary events of the year. And if you are looking for a great story, how about this one. A family with land on an island with no water, electricity or ferry connections decides to open a quality restaurant in 1993, in the middle of the war. How would you rate their chances of success? Some 26 years later, no less than five Michelin-star chefs accompanied 5 of Croatia's top chefs for a gourmet bonanza - I think Festa more than exceeded 1993 expectations, don't you?


8. Korculanske Pjatance, a Spring Food and Wine festival of note.

For excellent food and wine festivals, however, few beat the excellence of Korculanske Pjatance Spring Food and Wine Festival on Korcula - a really special time to visit a very special island at the end of April/early May. 


9. Harvesting lavender on the top of Paradise.

But for special times and aromatic authenticity, nothing beats a 04:30 start in early July on Hvar - harvesting lavender with celebrity snapper Jadran Lazic has been part of my summer calendar since 2013, this year with wonderful a capella singing from the local lavender harvesters.


10. RokOtok, the most heartwarming project on the Adriatic in 2019.

And then I met him - Ribafish. Simply the most heartwarming project on the Adriatic in 2019. And it will be again in 2020 and 2021. Wonderful man, wonderful project, check it out. 



11. The amazing Red History Museum in Dubrovnik. The Good, the Bad and the Ugly.

The very mention of Tito or a red star evokes such an allergic reaction in many that I was stunned to learn that the Red History Museum had opened in Dubrovnik, of all places. Whatever your views of the past, it is hard to deny that this is part of Croatian history, and the two guys behind the project put together a brilliant exhibition of the good, the bad and the ugly of this most contentious of eras. Despite the seeingly controversial topic, it quickly went to the number one museum in Dubrovnik on TripAdvisor. 


12. Finding an English pub in a field in the middle of nowhere in eastern Croatia.

The most random find of the year. Having found the red telephone box in Vinkovci in the lead photo, a little investigation informed me that there was a Brit who was not only responsible for that but had also opened an English pub in a field in the middle of nowhere a few kilometres away. I set off in search of it...  


13. The miracle town, home to Croatia's only miracle authenticated by the Vatican which you can visit.

Croatia is 90% Catholic, and neighbouring Medjugorje in Bosnia and Hercegovina gets over a million tourists a year, despite there being nothing to see and no official recognition from the Vatican. Now, what if I tell you that not only does Croatia have a miracle authenticated by the Vatican, but you can also visit it, in Croatia's official miracle town.  


14. Vucedol, unique Croatia with a world-class product.

Vudecol. Just wow. One of the absolute must-sees in Croatia. Sadly seen by so few.  


15. The Entrepreneurial Mindset conference in Zagreb.

Those entrepreneurs are getting more organised and more vocal. The conference of the year - Poduzetnik Mindset - (Entrepreneurial Mindset) was held in Zagreb in September. Rimac, Bakic, Murvos, Tedeschi, Bagatin and many other superheroes from the Croatian business world shared their stories - and their failures. And the most impressive part? In the front row, there were no ministers, but high school students - what a way to inspire the next generation. 


16. Reviving a Croatian fashion giant - a visit to Nenad Bakic and Varteks.

One of the most engaging business stories of the year has been the rebirth of Varazdin fashion giant, Varteks, under the dynamic leadership of Nenad Bakic. There are so many aspects to this story which deserve attention, and we only touched on a few of them in this interview in his Varteks office earlier this year. 


17. Elite tourism on Hvar: the opening of 5-star Palace Elisabeth.

My beloved Hvar kept calling me back, and it is always a joy to visit Croatia's premier island, especially for the official opening party of Palace Elisabeth, heritage hvar hotel, the first 5-star hotel on the island. It was quite a party, and it is quite a hotel.  


18. The lifeblood of Dalmatian life - the olive harvest. 

Posh hotels are one thing, but life in Dalmatia comes down to the simple things. I used to hate the olive harvest and obligation to go to the family field, but it is now something I look forward to  - natural stress relief with liquid gold. 


19. Taking part in the Vukovar Remembrance Day parade. 

From stress relief to heightened emotion. I have always stayed away from Vukovar commemorations, as I felt a foreigner did not have a place there, but I decided to go this year to at least document the event in English, as nobody really had. 


20. A barbecue in an English pub in a field near Vinkovci with foreign veterans from the Homeland War. 

But these foreigners very much belonged to the Vukovar gathering - a quite extraordinary night back in that English pub, with a barbecue for some of the foreign veterans who fought for Croatia during the Homeland War.  


21. From famous photographer to organic farmer, the OPG Mario Romulic experience.

Although I had been east before, 2019 was the year when I made the most discoveries. One of my favourite was catching up with an old friend on a new journey - celebrated photographer Mario Romulic, turned organic farmer. A stay at OPG Mario Romulic is highly recommended!


22. Ilocki Podrum, a wine story to beat all Croatian wine stories.

I have eaten some strange-sounding foods in my time, but Torn Underpants? That was the name of the appetiser in Ilok which came with a glass of Ilocki Podrumi Traminac, before the start of a fascinating tour which included the most expensive Croatian wine on the market - yours for just 7,400 euro a bottle. Only 182 left, so hurry! 


23. Conquering Croatian bureaucracy, a victory for long-named foreigners.

Among the most important incredible discoveries of 2019, Croatian bureaucracy that works! Varazdin MUP not only managed to figure out how to extend my name from Paul David Raym to Paul David Raymond after years of my name being squeezed on official documents, but they also sorted my post-Brexit paperwork in just 18 minutes, the time I took to sort out a new driving licence.  


24. The surprise business story of the year - agility, fun and innovation in the Croatian car parts industry in Sesvete.

Remember the bit above about how days in Croatia never take the path you think they will? How excited was I about visiting a car parts factory in Sesvete? Exactly. 

But how wrong could I be? Read. This.  


25. Innovative tours, engaging guiding, a masterclass in tourism from Secret Zagreb.

How do you keep your kids off their gadgets and engage them in the world around them? Just go in a tour with Teta Iva from Secret Zagreb. Not only the most innovative tours on the market, but also arguably delivered by the most engaging and passionate guide, the creator of all Secret Zagreb tours, Iva Silla. Truly magnificent.  


26. Innovative souvenirs - Orlando's chocolate elbow in Dubrovnik.

There are so many small businesses doing funky things in Croatia, and I particularly liked this very original Dubrovnik chocolate souvenir, the exact length of Orlando's elbow. 


27. The Pride of Berlin: Bagatin named International Cosmetic Surgery Clinic of the Year.

If Vukovar evoked strong emotions of sadness, the strongest moments of pride were reserved for Ognjen and Andrea in Berlin earlier this month. The Croatian medical tourism industry is one I am following closely, and it was an honour to be one of just two others from Croatia to witness Bagatin Clinic named International Cosmetic Surgery Clinic of the Year by 20 independent expert judges at the International Medical Travel Journal 2019 awards in Berlin. Congratulations, and richly deserved. 



28. A first visit to the oldest continuously inhabited town in Europe: 10 things to know about Vinkovci. 

And having solved the puzzle of the red telephone box in Europe's oldest continuously inhabited town, it was time to discover the rest of Vinkovci under the expert guidance of Goran Rihelj. I salute you, Sir!


29. Marked by Masters, a branding masterclass in Trogir. 

Dalmatia in late November is not noted for being a time it is Full of Life, but there was a very notable exception. And an exceptional one. In glorious Dalmatian sunshine, Trogir shone - but really shone - with the spectacular launch of its new branding and logo, Trogir, Marked by Masters. 

Check out the video above. 


30. HeadOnEast - Hedonist, magical Osijek stuns the Croatian tourism world. 

But just as Trogir shone, so too did Osijek, as it played host to all the tourism bods at the annual Days of Croatian Tourism. Even locals were stunned at the magic of Osijek and Tvdja. 

And if you have not had the chance to HeadOnEast yet, why not put it on your list of things to do for 2020?  


And then there were the events I have not yet had time to blog about - a superb performance of The Nutcracker at the Croatian National Theatre (thank you, Ankica Mamic - an incredible night). 

And while 2019 was another year of incredible discoveries of Croatia, it also pushed TCN into new territory in other directions. 


A first article for The Daily Telegraph.



A first international media award for TCN. In Malaysia!

We were thrilled to win Best Online Feature at the inaugural Medical Travel Media Awards in Kuala Lumpur in August. 


My childhood dream of becoming an international male model was finally realised at the age of 50 as I became the latest face of Varteks' campaign, Imperfect Guy in a Perfect Suit. If they can make me look presentable, imagine what they can do for you... 


After an interview with leading portal on the state of Croatian tourism was read over 100,000 times, I got my own occasional column on their site - link juice to die for. Thanks for the opportunity.  


And speaking of opportunity, an opportunity arose to partner with the University of Zagreb to start an intern programme with journalist students from the Faculty of Political Science and Journalism. Early days and lots of fun so far, with one intern about to be published in London just a few weeks after starting with TCN. 


And it is always a boost to the day when the international media picks up a really fantastic Croatian story and spreads it all over the world. 

So when people ask me - as they do, a LOT - why I am living in Croatia when everyone else is leaving - the very honest answer is that I genuinely couldn't live anywhere else. Life - and the lifestyle - in Croatia is simply too beautiful, absurd and addictive to want to live anywhere else. 

And, far from needing millions to live here, if I can start a business with 100 euro, an idea and determination, sitting in a cafe in Jelsa, there is no reason why you can't as well. I won't pretend it is easy, but the rewards are definitely worth it. 

Why emigrate? Where in the world are you going to find incredible discoveries and a lifestyle like the above outside Croatia? 

Tuesday, 10 December 2019

Tourist Companies' Profitability Lower Despite Increase in Number of Arrivals

ZAGREB, December 10, 2019 - Despite an increase in physical indicators - arrivals and overnight stays - tourist companies in Croatia have this year reported a decrease in profitability, which can impact their future investments, Croatian Tourism Association (HUT) director Veljko Ostojić said on Tuesday.

Presenting to reporters an analysis on the tourism sector in the fourth quarter of this year, Ostojić said that all types of accommodation this year recorded a drop in the occupancy rate and that all companies had to deal with a labour shortage.

"The number of overnight stays this year has grown more slowly than the number of new beds and that disproportion brings into question the profitability of companies. This year, expenses, notably labour costs, have grown faster than revenues, which has also had an impact on the results," he said.

He warned that 2020 would be a very challenging year, especially as Croatia's rivals in the Mediterranean have been recovering owing to good results this year.

Ostojić said that he was primarily referring to Turkey, which is this year's leader in the Mediterranean, with an increase of slightly more than 14% in arrivals from 2018, while Spain, with a decrease in arrivals, is the biggest loser.

Ostojić said that Spain planned to stop increasing accommodation capacity and turn more to investments in product and service quality, which, he said, could be a good message to Croatia as well.

The European hotel market expects a 1-3% increase in average hotel prices, similarly as on the global market, and the value for money ratio will be the most important, Ostojić said, adding that in planning the 2020 tourist season one should take into account the slowing down of the European economy, Brexit and climate change, as well as other trends affecting the behaviour of tourists and their holiday destination choices.

"All recent economic forecasts for 2020 are optimistic, and for tourism they are even better, so the Croatian tourism industry can expect the continuation of current trends, but more will have to be invested in quality to keep financial results at this year's level," said Ostojić.

More tourism news can be found in the Travel section.

Monday, 2 December 2019

Russian MUZ TV Filming Zagreb Christmas Market

ZAGREB, December 2, 2019 - A crew of Russia's MUZ TV music channel is currently in Zagreb where it is filming Zagreb's Christmas market as well as the SalajLand Christmas light show in Cažma, the Croatian National Tourist Board (HTZ) said on Monday.

MUZ TV is Russia's version of MTV and the production crew will stay in Zagreb until December 4 where it will shoot on site at Zagreb's Christmas market and the SalajLand Christmas light show, which will be broadcast on its Independent Traveler show on December 21.

"In the past three seasons, the show has attracted more than 25 million viewers throughout Russia. I am certain that the show from Zagreb and SalajLand will be an opportunity for a lot of Russians to come to know Croatia as a quality all-year round destination with a very rich offer during the winter months too," HTZ director Kristjan Staničić said.

Daily direct flights between Zagreb and Moscow throughout the year will certainly contribute to the positive trends from the Russian market, added Staničić.

The increase of the tourist turnover from the Russian market this year will be almost 14% and interest by Russian tourists for Croatian destinations is constantly rising, the director of HTZ office in Russia, Rajko Ružička said.

This is the third study tour that HTZ has organised for Russian television. A crew for the "Let's Go, Let's Eat" show on NTV filmed in Croatia in June, and in September the Friday TV did some shooting for its show "Orel I reshka".

More tourism news can be found in the Travel section.

Monday, 18 November 2019

Nautical Tourists Who Rent Vessels Have Spent 645 Million Euro in Croatia

ZAGREB, November 18, 2019 - Nautical tourists who rent vessels in Croatia spent 4.8 billion kuna from the start of the year until the end of October, the Croatian Chamber of Commerce stated on Monday.

Of that amount, almost a third, that is above 30%, went on what those visitors enjoyed in cultural tourism and local cuisine.

These figures were presented during the first Yacht Charter Conference called "Booking Manager Summit", which is taking place in Zagreb on Monday and Tuesday.

This educational and networking conference for charter professionals intends to enable charter professionals to gain knowledge from leading experts in sales, marketing, SEO, photography and taxes.

"Yacht chartering is the most important segment of nautical tourism in Croatia," Ivan Soža, the head of the HGK county branch in Šibenik, informed the conference,

Croatia has 4,500 vessels, 140 marinas and 17,000 berths for nautical tourism.

More news about yachting in Croatia can be found in the Travel section.

Sunday, 17 November 2019

Tourism and Wine are Inseparable, Iter Vitis Conference Hears

ZAGREB, November 17, 2019 - Tourism and wine are inseparable, an international conference of the Iter Vitis European Cultural Route, which took place in Motovun, Istria County on November 14-16, has concluded, organisers said on Saturday.

The "From heritage to brand" conference, held as part of the Iter Vitis European Cultural Route General Assembly, brought together more than 200 experts, tourism employees, winemakers and representatives of institutions from 11 countries.

Franjo Matušić, state secretary at the Ministry of Tourism, said Croatia had an exceptional cultural heritage because different cultures mixed throughout its history, and that 12 European cultural routes, including Iter Vitis, passed through it.

He said wine had always been an essential part of Croatian tradition, and that its quality and the number of autochthonous wine grapes proved it.

Oenology and gastronomy are inseparable and one of the ten key products on which the development and future of Croatia's tourism is based, Matušić said.

Assistant Regional Development and EU Funds Minister Stella Arneri said environmental protection and rural tourism were important for a sustainable vision of development. This vision is centered on the rich cultural heritage which, included in cultural routes, gains additional visibility and protection, she added.

Iter Vitis director Emanuela Panke said wine had always been linked to tradition, identity and lifestyle as well as being one of the key instruments of intercultural dialogue.

The Iter Vitis European Cultural Route passes through 20 states and Croatia joined it in March this year. The route encourages the development of wine destinations.

Cultural routes facilitate the development of rural areas and year-round tourism, and joining Iter Vitis is in line with Croatia's tourism development strategy until year 2020, said Dijana Katica, president of a Croatian tourism and rural development association.

More tourism news can be found in the Travel section.

Monday, 11 November 2019

More Cruise Ships Visit Croatia Than Last Year

ZAGREB, November 11, 2019 - Over the first nine months of 2019, foreign cruise ships accounted for 567 journeys in Croatia's Adriatic Sea, 2.3% more than at the same time in 2018, bringing 885,000 passengers (+6.1%), according to the national statistical office.

In said period, 62 cruise ships docked in Croatian ports, two less than in the first nine months of 2018, and their passengers stayed in Croatia for a total of 1,137 days.

The ships came from ten countries. The highest number of cruises was realised by vessels under the flag of Malta (164), bringing 215,800 passengers.

Ships sailing under the Bahamas flag accounted for 102 cruises and 130,800 passengers, those under the flag of Panama for 94 cruises and 224,300 passengers, and those from Italy for 71 cruises and 175,400 passengers.

The largest number of cruises by foreign liners was registered in June and September (101 each), while the highest annual increase was recorded in April by 48.5% to 49 cruises.

The most visits of foreign vessels on cruise were realised in the seaport of Dubrovnik (412 visits), followed by Split (213), Zadar (92), Hvar (90), Korčula (86) and Šibenik (56).

More news about Croatian tourism can be found in the Travel section.

Friday, 8 November 2019

Croatia Reports Record 20 Million Tourist Arrivals

ZAGREB, November 8, 2019 - Croatia has recorded over 20 million tourist arrivals and 107 million nights in one year for the first time, the Tourism Ministry said on Friday.

According to the eVisitor system, which records the tourism turnover in commercial and non-commercial facilities and the nautical charter, 20.1 million arrivals and 107.03 million nights have been registered as of today, up 5% and 2% on the year respectively.

"This historic result, this challenging year for tourism... is proof and confirmation of the quality of the synergy of the public and private sectors, without which such results would not have been possible," said Minister Gari Cappelli.

"I'm confident this record will motivate us all to continue to build and make Croatian tourism even better," he added.

National Tourist Board director Kristjan Staničić said that after last year's entire tourism turnover was surpassed last month, "these historic 20 million tourist arrivals additionally confirm the strength and stability of Croatia's tourism sector."

He said 2020 would be challenging and that many tour operators and airlines had announced that they would expand their programmes for Croatia.

This year so far, the biggest number of nights was generated by tourists from Germany, Croatia, Slovenia, Austria, Poland, Italy, the Czech Republic, the UK, the US, Australia, Canada, South Korea and China.

The coastal resorts of Dubrovnik, Rovinj, Poreč, Split and Medulin recorded the biggest number of nights.

More news about Croatian tourism can be found in the Travel section.

Thursday, 7 November 2019

Croatia's Tourism and Economy Promoted at China International Import Expo

ZAGREB, November 7, 2019 - The Croatian Chamber of Commerce (HGK) and Croatian National Tourism Board (HTZ) on Thursday, presented Croatia's economy and tourism at the China international import expo, which is being held in Shanghai from November 5 to 10.

This is the 2nd edition of the China International Import Expo (CIIE) with more than 150,000 Chinese and foreign buyers and exhibitors from more than 100 countries and Croatia is participating in the expo with its "Croatia Day" exhibition which has enabled numerous contacts between Croatian companies and Chinese partners, HGK and HTZ informed on Thursday.

HGK president, Luka Burilović, said that the Chinese market is no longer reserved for only the most courageous and that the door to the Chinese market is open for the entire world.

"This is an opportunity that we must not miss and this fair is proof that China is turning to imports and reducing its trade surplus. It is important for us to be permanently present here. Our exports to China increased by 25% last year alone which is proof that we can compete on such a large market. On the wings of good indicators and good political relations it is time for even more concrete results," Burilović said.

He added that last year's expo was beyond expectations and business deals valued at 50.8 billion dollars were concluded and that he hopes that Croatian companies will manage to get a piece of that cake, too.

HTZ director Kristjan Staničić underscored that Croatia's exhibition was awarded this year and that this is the 2nd time this year for Croatia to presented its tourism on such an important market.

Staničić explained that so far this year the number of Chinese tourists to Croatia has increased by 24% in arrivals and bed nights year on year, with China being in second place in terms of the number of tourists from distant tourist markets.

According to China's national tourist board, 200 million Chinese residents are expected to travel abroad in 2020 and HTZ expects the number of tourists coming to Europe and Croatia to increase too.

He added that this year 483 Chinese tourist agents completed internet courses on Croatia's culture, nature, gastronomy and adventure tourism.

During the expo Staničić met with one of the most important Chinese partners, Shendi Group and Ctrip for talks on future cooperation.

Ctrip is the largest online tourist agency in China and the second largest in the world and the largest advertiser of hotels and accommodation in China with more than 300 million users in more than 220 countries.

More news about Croatian tourism can be found in the Travel section.

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