Saturday, 2 October 2021

Croatian Visa Free USA Travel Might Boost Trade, But Issues Remain

October the 2nd, 2021 - Croatian visa free USA travel has finally been announced after years and years of waiting. As of December the 1st this year, Croatian passport holders will no longer require visas to enter the USA, and this is more than likely to further boost trade between the two countries. That said, issues of course remain.

As Tomislav Pili/Poslovni Dnevnik writes, Croatian visa free USA travel, which, according to the US Administration, will begin in December, will improve Croatia's economic co-operation with the world's largest economy, but the main obstacle - double taxation - remains an enormous issue, as the USA is one of the few countries with which Croatia has a trade surplus.

Export growth by 13 percent

As Andrea Grubisic, a senior expert associate of the International Affairs Department of the Croatian Chamber of Commerce (HGK), explained, last year, the export of goods from Croatia to the USA amounted to a massive 521.6 million dollars, almost 13 percent more than back in pre-pandemic 2019.

Although imports from the US also increased by 5.3 percent, a surplus of 323 million US dollars was realised, which is 18.2 percent more than in the previous year. "The trend continued in the first six months of this year, so Croatian exports to the USA increased by 93.6 percent, and the surplus on the Croatian side increased by almost 53 percent," explained Grubisic. Nevertheless, the world's largest economy isn't really a particularly important trading partner for Croatia.

In the total trade of Croatia with the rest of the world, the USA ranks a mere 15th with a 1.67 percent share. In terms of exports, the United States ranks 8th with 3.06 percent, and in terms of imports, only 23rd with 0.77 percent.

When asked about the level of interest from Croatian companies in doing business "across the pond", Grubisic said that according to the Croatian Chamber of Commerce and contacts with members that are just opening over on the US market, there is interest in exporting consumer goods, including food.

"Certainly, in the last few years, the ICT sector has stood out, from which Croatian companies are increasingly showing interest in opening their subsidiaries or companies in the United States, and according to revenues from exports of services to the United States, this sector looks promising," said Grubisic.

Darinko Bago, President of Croatian Exporters, believes that the facilitation of Croatian visa free USA travel will greatly facilitate the ongoing work on this matter, and that it will also result in the conclusion of new business moves.

“This is especially true for industries that produce higher value-added goods because it eliminates administrative visa application procedures, especially if you need those documents for a larger number of employees. If we look at the experiences of other countries that have a visa free travel regime with the United States, it will undoubtedly raise economic cooperation between Croatia and the USA,'' said Bago.

''However, a much bigger obstacle to trade growth is the lack of a double taxation agreement, which is necessary if we're to achieve a higher form of co-operation with the US,'' Bago added.

Two important reasons...

"Such an agreement would be especially important for Croatia for two reasons: given that America is a technological power, it would provide easier access to technology as part of the digital transformation, and the other is that the United States is also a financial centre.

Croatia is currently ''invisible'' to American investors because they'd have to pay taxes twice on the realised profit from any of their investments, in Croatia and in the USA. That is the main reason why we have a trade surplus with the USA, because American companies are planning for the long term, and at the moment it just isn't worthwhile for them to open a branch in Croatia,'' Bago pointed out.

''It should be clarified that the announced abolition refers to B1/B2 visas that enable Croatian citizens to go to the US for travel and business,'' said Andrea Doko Jelusic, the executive director of the American Chamber of Commerce (AmCham) in Croatia.

"They're a separate category of business visas that every country, including the United States, has for occasional or longer work carried out on their territory," added Doko Jelusic.

She advised Croatian companies to focus on a specific geographical area, specific sectors, and even the size of the company they're targeting. “It's easier to do business with small and medium-sized enterprises than it is to focus on large corporations,'' concluded Doko Jelusic.

For more, check out our dedicated travel and business sections.

Friday, 27 August 2021

Mala Butiga is Dubrovnik’s New Wine and Food Hotspot

27 August 2021 - Mala Butiga is a brand new shop located in the centre of Dubrovnik's historical district. It is the city's newest and one of the most interesting additions when it comes to wine and food offers.

Across the square from the Great Onofrio's Fountain, Mala Butiga offers an amazing selection of Croatian wine and premium food items. It is a family business and a passion project started out of love for all things local and authentic. It is run by locals with plenty of tourism and hospitality experience that includes running a wine bar and making wines. Mala Butiga aims to be a one-stop shop for foodies and wine enthusiasts alike.


Dubrovnik's historical centre might be brimming with people and activity, but it is hardly a shopper's paradise. There are plenty of options when it comes to stores catering to travellers, but not many offer great quality for a reasonable price. When it comes to local wine and food, the quality of which is one of the major draws for people visiting the area, the situation is not much better. Thankfully, Mala Butiga is here to save the day.

Croatian Wine and Spirits


It is a very easy shop to find when entering the historical centre. As you walk through the inner Pile gate, it sits directly behind the prominent fountain to your right. Inside you will find arguably the best selection of wine in all of the Dubrovnik area. Wines sourced directly from local family wineries fall into a wide range of prices and styles. Some of the best Croatian bottles are on display. In a country where almost all the wine is produced on small scale, it took a long time to create this impressive collection. Knowledgeable staff is on hand to help you find that perfect bottle to take home as a memento of Croatia or to enjoy while on holiday with friends or that special someone. Wines from all four major regions of the country are on display, everything from light sparkling wines to full-bodied reds. You can find other spirits at the shop as well with a smaller, but a great selection of craft beer and a lovely offer of Croatian liqueurs waiting for you.


Local Delicacies Not to Miss

When it comes to food items, the deliciousness within is hard to put into words. Truffle specialties from Istria, prosciutto from various Dalmatian regions, top Croatian olive oil, cheese, cured meats, and hot sauces… all this is just a quick visit away. Mala Butiga is stocked perfectly for those last-minute shopping runs before having to entertain a group of friends at home. It is also perfect for creating instant romantic dinners or stocking up for a nice picnic in the local area. Putting together a quick picnic basket was never easier, nor more delicious. In fact, that just might be the perfect choice for a day out while in Dubrovnik. The store holds some items impossible to find elsewhere in Dubrovnik, so its popularity is bound to rise not just with international travellers, but the locals as well.


Mala Butiga is on a fast track towards becoming one of Dubrovnik’s favourite stores. Make sure you pay it a visit before filling up that free space in your luggage for the return flight and we promise you will not be sorry.

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

For more in-depth information on Dubrovnik, check out our Dubrovnik in a Page section of Total Croatia


Sunday, 4 July 2021

Over Half a Million Tourists Currently in Croatia

4 July, 2021 - As reports , Croatian Minister of Tourism, Nikolina Brnjac, published a tweet declaring over 500000 tourists currently in Croatia.

Istria and Kvarner regions, as well as Split-Dalmatia County and Zadar County are leading the list with the most guests at the moment. Considering the majority of them are coming from Slovenia, the Czech Republic, Germany, Poland and Austria, it is safe to assume most of these guests arrived by land. Airport destinations like Dubrovnik are still lagging behind in numbers, but with the recent start of Delta Air Lines and United Airlines direct flights to the city, this too is likely to change.

Dalmatian Destinations Rise

Makarska is doing well at the moment. With 6500 guests on record this popular seaside town is up a whopping 100% when compared to last year. This is still a far cry from 2019 though. This number only makes up about 50% of guests visiting Makarska in the same period two years ago.

Split is seeing the benefits of train connections to Central Europe. Since late May the city has seen direct trains to Prague, Bratislava, Vienna and most recently Budapest. Numbers at Split Airport are also rising. 160 airplanes are due to land in Split this weekend, 120 of them being commercial flights. At the same time, the Split Ferry Port is expected to receive over 40000 passengers and 11500 vehicles. Incoming tourism seems to definitely be picking up for Dalmatia's capital city.

As already mentioned, Dubrovnik is seeing two American airline companies connecting it directly to New York. Both companies started flying this week with airplanes full to capacity. This is a big step towards giving American tourists a chance to take over the position of Dubrovnik's most numerous guests from the traditionally strongest British market. Speaking of the British, they are the ones much of Croatian coast, especially Dubrovnik, are still waiting for. As of now, it is still unclear how, when and in what numbers will the British visit Croatia this year.

In the north, Rijeka region is seeing the return of Lufthansa flights as well as low-cost Eurowings flights. These will be a huge boost for the numbers from German market as the two companies now connect this part of Croatia to Frankfurt, Munich, Düsseldorf, Berlin and Hamburg.

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

Thursday, 1 July 2021

68% of Croatian Residents Thinking of Going to Coast This Summer

July the 1st, 2021 - As many as 68 percent of Croatian residents are planning on heading to the country's coast this summer, marking an increase when compared to last year.

As Poslovni Dnevnik writes, this year, 68 percent of Croatian residents are planning to travel during the summer holidays, significantly more than last year when just 54 percent of them planned such a holiday, according to the results of the MasterIndex survey which was published on Tuesday.

The survey was conducted for Mastercard back in May 2021 by the Improve agency on a sample of 1,043 users of banking services in Croatia aged from 18 to 55. A total of 68 percent of the survey's participants plan to spend their summer holidays this year in Croatia, with 39 percent saying they will definitely go on holiday somewhere in the country this year, a jump of 16 percent from a year earlier, while 29 percent plan to travel, but aren't yet quite sure of where and exaxtly when, this year's survey showed.

The main reasons for the large decline in the travel segment during the coronavirus pandemic were the epidemiological measures, fear of coronavirus infection and financial uncertainty. Thankfully, that is dinally changing, an increasing percentage of the population has been vaccinated and that has led to a drop in the number of infected people and to a more optimistic financial outlook, so more and more people are opting for a long awaited break somewhere, the statement said.

The research also showed that this year's summer holidays are being planned for primarily by (78 percent) highly educated people, those with higher incomes and those from Zagreb or Northern Croatia. In terms of travel, 51 percent of respondents have no fear of contracting the novel coronavirus.

When it comes to Croatian residents with certain concerns, the main fear is the possibility of contracting the virus. In addition, they're afraid of travelling and then being faced with quarantine, while 11 percent are worried that they will not be able to return home on time. In terms of safer travel, 22 percent of the respondents opted to ban boarding for passengers who didn't have a negative test.

Survey participants who will not go on holiday this year in 28 percent of cases cited financial uncertainty as the main reason for their indecision, 21 percent said they gave up on the idea this summer because of work commitments, and 20 percent cited health concerns as the main reason for not going to the coast. Half of the respondents said they would stay in private/family accommodation during the summer.

That number is then followed by 37 percent of Croatian residents who plan to stay in their own properties, with family or friends, and this accommodation option is most common among respondents from Zagreb (46 percent). Only 17 percent of the respondents plan to stay in hotels. The price of accommodation this year plays a much bigger role in choosing a travel destination than it did last year - the price-quality ratio is crucial for 64 percent of people, and the cost of the accommodation is the most important factor in choosing a destination for 62 percent of the Croatian residents surveyed.

For more, follow our travel section.

Tuesday, 29 June 2021

Croatia A Desirable and Safe Tourist Destination For The French

June 29th, 2021 - The French magazine 'Destination,' the French edition of Forbes magazine, the women's magazine Version Femina, the daily, and the portal Le Figaro are just some of the prestigious French media that actively write and publish about Croatia as an attractive, desirable and safe tourist destination.

"Croatia's presence in the leading French media represents additional visibility and promotion, which is extremely important to us in these circumstances. Although destination magazine has a high readership, it will be available at points of sale for several months, at a time when many other destinations are also being promoted to attract French guests," Danijela Mihalić Đurica, Director of the CNTB Representation in France, pointed out, adding that numerous announcements in the French media were, among other things, the result of the office's activities in France, HTZ reports


Destination France latest edition

Namely, the latest issue of Destination magazine is entirely dedicated to Croatia. The 100-page magazine talks about the beauties of Croatia. In addition to beaches and islands, the beauties of inland destinations such as Zagorje and city-break destinations such as Zagreb, Split, and Rijeka are included. The magazine has been printed in 100,000 copies and will be available at points of sale throughout France until the end of the summer. The French edition of Forbes Magazine published a list of 12 attractive European islands that are ideal destinations to visit this summer, and the list, along with the most beautiful Portuguese, Greek and Spanish islands, includes Korčula with additional information about current conditions for entering Croatia and the Stay Safe in Croatia project.

One of the most widely read French women's magazines, Version Femina, followed by an average of five million readers, published an article recommending a visit to beautiful Dubrovnik, Stradun, Lokrum, Lovrijenac Fortress, and other sights of this "pearl of the Adriatic Dubrovnik is the central topic and article on the specialized portal Figaronautisme, dedicated to nautical sports. This high-quality and highly readable nautical portal suggests to its readers a visit to Lokrum, where there are beautiful beaches, the natural phenomenon of the Dead Sea, and the Royal Fortress built by the French themselves during Napoleon's occupation.

Biba magazine also writes about Croatia, which ranked the Plitvice Lakes National Park among the most beautiful places in Europe, while Korčula is on the list of the most beautiful islands that should definitely be visited this summer. 

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

Thursday, 24 June 2021

Basketball Legend Magic Johnson Returns to Dubrovnik!

24 June 2021 - Magic Johnson returns to Dubrovnik with his wife on holiday. This is his second time in the city he fell in love with last year.

If there ever was a globally recongisable name in the world of sports, it is that of Magic Johnson. This legendary American reached the pinnacle of basketball success while playing for LA Lakers. He was also one of the key players in the original „Dream Team“.

He played 13 seasons for LA Lakers and won three NBA Most Valuable Player awards. The basketball Hall of Fame honoured him two times, once for his games under LA Lakers and once for his contribution to the success of the USA national squad. His average assists record still stands to this day. There are many other sporting achievements in his career, but aside from those, he made headlines in 1991 by announcing he has contracted HIV. Magic Johnson did much to raise awareness of the deadly disease and dispel myths surrounding it.

Fan of Dubrovnik

As Dubrovacki Vjesnik reports, Magic Johnson's visit to Dubrovnik means he kept his promise of returning to the city. Johnson visited Croatia last year. While enjoying Dubrovnik's Stradun he told a member of the media he finds the place beautiful and will be returning. Not even a year has passed and he is once again seen smiling with his wife Cookie on one of Croatia's most beautiful streets. It is unclear if Johnson will continue the trip to other parts of the country as he did last year.

Regardless of his travel plans, low numbers of guests on the streets of Dubrovnik seem to be attracting plenty of wealthy travellers who aim to avoid crowded destinations. While many in the city complain about lack of travellers and revenue, half-empty city streets are a perfect draw for guests looking to enjoy the medieval city without the hassle of overcrowding.

For more, follow our dedicated lifestyle section.

Monday, 21 June 2021

Croatia To Promote Its Destinations On Lonely Planet And Culture Trip platforms

June 21st, 2021 -  The Croatian Tourism Board (HTZ) has launched cooperation with leading global travel platforms and specialized travel media Lonely Planet and Culture Trip to provide the latest information on Croatian holiday destinations and tourism services in eight European markets.

"Cooperation with such important global travel platforms, which are followed by nearly 20 million unique visitors a month, is important in promoting Croatian tourism and travel destinations. This will give us additional visibility in key European markets from which we expect the largest number of visitors this year," HTZ director Kristjan Staničić said in a statement on Monday.

Cooperation with the Lonely Planet platform, which is visited by 11.5 million unique visitors a month and has about 32 million views a month, will cover the United Kingdom, Germany, Italy, Poland, the Netherlands, Belgium, and France. The focus will be on the culture and gastronomy of the continental regions of Slavonia and Baranja, Croatian nature parks, the southern island of Brač, and the coastal city of Zadar.

Cooperation with Culture Trip, which attracts about 18 million unique visitors a month and has about 8.1 million followers,  will focus on cycling, rural tourism, boating, island hopping, and cultural landmarks.

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

Thursday, 17 June 2021

Jadrolinija National Ferry Company Acquires New Ship

17 June 2021 - Jadrolinija national ferry company acquired a new ship that will connect the town of Biograd with Tkon on Pasman island.

"Jadrolinija" is one of the most used words in the Croatian language during the summer, at least on the coast. This national ferry company has been connecting the mainland and the islands of the Croatian part of the Adriatic for decades. Its international lines see it connecting Croatia with Italy for part of the year as well.

Because of the small size of the towns and villages and the scarce population living on the islands, only a portion of these lines are profitable and the fleet is pretty large. It is therefore quite a newsworthy item to see Jadrolinija presenting a new addition. Ferry „Tkon“ joined the fleet that now counts 55 ships in total.

Valuable Addition

It was purchased from Rapska Plovidba (Rab Shipping) as reports. Tkon is a product of renowned Croatian shipyard Viktor Lenac. It is 42 metres long, 15,3 metres wide, and can hold 250 passengers and 35 cars. It was built in 2003. In comparison, ferry „Prizna“ that serviced this Jadrolinija line so far is over 50 years old. It will be on stand-by for the busiest parts of the year. After the purchase Tkon is heading to the docks for maintenace and re-painting. This is good news for all travellers to Pasman island, but also all the islanders and Biograd locals. Chairman of the board of Jadolinija, David Spota said the move goes along the strategic goal of updating and improving the fleet. This is the fifth new ship to come under Jadrolinija flag in the last four years.

It really is difficult to avoid blue-striped Jadrolinija ships along the Croatian coast. They bring much joy to all those wishing to visit some of over a thousand magical islands of Croatia. Here's to Tkon's smooth sailing!

Follow the latest travel updates and COVID-19 news from Croatia HERE.

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


Thursday, 17 June 2021

A Guide To A Positive Tourist Experience in Croatia

June 17th, 2021 - 2020 has been a difficult year for Croatia as the country mostly depends on tourism. With the borders opening and travel returning to normal, it's important to remain respectful to the people and the environment you're in, no matter the place. Here is a guide to a positive tourist experience in Croatia just in time for the summer season. 

1. Learn basic words

Many Croatians speak English, especially those in the tourism industry, but it's always a nice gesture to learn a few basic words. Simple words such as "hvala" (thank you," "kako si?" (how are you?) can go a long way and make Croatians feel really special. Also, it's pretty cool to be able to say you know some basic Croatian! It can't be that hard to leave a few unique words which can completely change your experience while on your holiday! 

2. Clean up after yourself



Croatia prides itself on keeping its beaches pristinely clear, but it's not always possible as a tourist destination. Remember that you're a visitor to our beautiful country, and be mindful of that. While not everyone does their job cleaning up trash, every town, city, and island is packed with trash cans for your convenience. Those beaches, unfortunately, don't clean up themselves and if you'd like to return to crystal clear water and a pristine beach, do your part! 

3. Avoid political discussions

Croatia's history is long, complicated, and recent. The last occurred only 26 years ago, which many tourists aren't aware of. If you aren't aware of the history, avoid getting into the discussion because Croatians are very passionate. Remember that your knowledge of history is completely different from those who lived through it. Do your best to avoid the topic or listen to gather knowledge of the situation if it comes up. 

4. Double check the currency before paying



Very often, tourists assume you can pay with Euros anywhere in the country, and while this is mainly true, many businesses in Croatia are family-owned. They may accept Euros but not coins because even though we are a part of the European Union, our currency remains the Croatian Kuna. At times it might be much easier to pay in the local currency, and there are many ATMs and exchange offices all around the country. 

5. Be open to new experiences

Much like any other destination, there is more to Croatia beyond the mainstream tourism locations. If you're in Dubrovnik, explore beyond the walls. If you're in Split and Zagreb, there is so much more out there outside the city center. Croatians are more than sharing the beauty of their country with tourists, and a lot of it remains unnoticed by foreigners. Be open to new experiences, such as exploring and trying out things outside of your comfort bubble! 

6. Be respectful

We get it; you're on holiday in a beautiful country, but try to be mindful of the local people. Respect the historical monuments, the environment you're in, and the locals. Don't overcrowd historic places everyone wants to enjoy or block narrow streets in Split, Dubrovnik, or islands. The city does not belong to you at the end of the day, but it is thrilled to have you. 

For more information about currency in Croatia, click HERE.

Follow the latest travel updates and COVID-19 news from Croatia HERE.

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

Tuesday, 15 June 2021

10 Things Croatians Do That Tourists Find Weird

June 15th, 2021 - As the summer season begins and the country is welcoming a large number of tourists, it's time to take a look at 10 things Croatians do that tourists may find weird on their visit here. 

 1. Our coffee culture 



Croatians love drinking coffee and taking their time, and we tend to take our coffee culture very seriously. At home, we make Turkish coffee, and outside we drink Italian, simple as that. We like our coffees very strong and mostly black, nothing fancy. The only acceptable additions are milk and sugar, no fancy sweeteners or syrups allowed in Croatian households. Another thing about our coffee culture is that we take our time and sip it slowly. It can take hours to get through one cup of coffee because we are in no rush. Drinking coffee in Croatia is a carefree and relaxed part of our culture that we embrace daily. 

2. Rakija fixes everything

Rakija is considered to be the magic fix for any trouble in Croatia. Do you have a sore throat? Take a shot. Did someone break your heart? Take a shot. Do you have a fever? Maybe don't take a shot, but you should soak a towel in Rakija and put it on your head. Did you hurt yourself? Have a shot and disinfect the wound with Rakija. It is an all-around problem solver in Croatia. 

3. Family comes first 

In Croatia, there is nothing more important than family. It's normal for children to leave the nest very late and live with their parents until they get married. Most people also stay in their hometown, so they see no point in moving out. It's just how things have always been here, and family is number one always. At home, you are known because of your parents, and your name determines your value and social status. In Croatia, it's very common to be asked "who are your parents," especially in small towns because people really do know everyone. 

4. Cooking with Vegeta


Podravka Facebook

If you enter any Croatian household and don't have Vegeta, are you really in a Croatian household? Vegeta is a vegetable seasoning used daily in any Croatian kitchen and on everything you can think of. It simply is an all-purpose seasoning that is a staple in any Croatian household. 

5. Seafood Fridays 

Seafood on Fridays is very popular in Croatia because of our religion, so you'll notice that most restaurants have some seafood specials every Friday. Most people follow it even if they aren't religious, and in a Croatian household, you cannot and should not be eating meat on Fridays. It mostly consists of fish, but it's considered acceptable for as long as it's from the sea. 

6. Propuh

If you're from Croatia or have been to any Croatian household, you're aware that propuh is pretty much illegal. Propuh is a wind that blows right through the house, and doors and windows shut almost immediately. It's a habit we have gotten used to here, and we associate propuh with being extremely dangerous because you could easily get sick, and we do our best to avoid it. When propuh occurs, the whole household goes into panic mode to close the entire house immediately as if the world is falling apart. 

7. We eat everything 

Croatian cuisine is diverse and offers the freshest products in its regional dishes, and menus vary accordingly by season and region. Strangely enough, Croatians do eat everything from dormouse, Vitalac (Skewers made of baby goat or lamb’s entrails such as lungs, liver, or spleen), beef tongue, and frog legs are a few unique delicacies in Croatia. Don't judge it until you try it but maybe don't ask the waiter to translate the dish when ordering and go with it. 

8. If it grows, we celebrate it 


Squid fishing festival (Hvar)

As simple as that. Croatia has plenty of food festivals all year-round to celebrate delicious natural food. Some of these may sound silly, but we take our food festivals very seriously across the country. They vary from squid fishing in Hvar, Lavander festival in Hvar, Beans festival in north-eastern Croatia, to Chesnut and Paprika festival. In addition, there are lots more unique natural food festivals which you can explore to dive into the best of the best Croatia has to offer.  

9. Hair drying rules

In Croatia, we take our hair drying rules very seriously because we are taught from a young age. You must always blow dry your hair, or you'll get sick, and when you do blow dry your hair, you have to wait at least an hour before going outside. Our parents and grandparents will probably get a heart attack if we leave the house with wet hair, even in the middle of summer. Also, you cannot be sitting next to an air conditioner or a window with your wet hair, it's just a big no from Croatian parents. Letting your hair dry naturally doesn't exist in Croatia and if you're brave enough to do it, prepare for some arguments with your Croatian friends and relatives. 

10. The Dalmatian grunt 

 The way of greeting people across Dalmatia places is unique and confusing for both locals and tourists, known as the Dalmatian grunt. The greeting is very basic, and the same one can be used to say hi to a friend, give a compliment or even say bye. Mostly heard along with the Hvar dialect, the island people keep their vocabulary very simple; shouting "ee!" or "ej!" can mean many different things. Check it out in the video below. 

Follow the latest on flights to Croatia HERE and the latest travel updates and COVID-19 news from Croatia HERE.

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

Find out more about Croatian food here HERE.


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