Tuesday, 5 October 2021

Croatia Introducing German DGNB Certification For Sustainable Construction

ZAGREB, 5 Oct, 2021 - An NGO called Croatia Green Building Council on Tuesday signed an agreement with the German Sustainable Building Council (DGNB), a Stuttgart-based non-profit organisation, on the DGNB system for certification of sustainable buildings, building interiors and districts.

The DGNB Certification System, a second-generation system compared to other international certification systems, includes assessment which revolves around ecological aspects, DGNB says.

DGNB-certified buildings consume fewer resources during construction, have lower greenhouse gas emissions and largely can be recycled.

The DGNB director, Christine Lemaitre, said today in Zagreb after the agreement-signing ceremony that she was glad to see that Croatian partners opted for promoting the DGNB system.

The head of the Croatian NGO, Dean Smolar, explained that the system was adjusted to EU regulations and the Life Level(s) project which is being implemented by the Croatia Green Building Council.

To date, over 8,200 public and private buildings and districts in 27countries worldwide have acquired DGNB certificates.

For more about politics in Croatia, follow TCN's dedicated page.

Friday, 17 September 2021

DANUP-2-Gas Project: Danube Countries United in Introducing Renewable Energy

September 17, 2021 - The DANUP-2-Gas Project, developing renewable energy opportunities for all Danube countries, is set to hold a stakeholder event on September 28 at the University of Zagreb's Faculty of Engineering and Computing (FER).

The beautiful Danube region in Slavonia, apart from boasting natural beauty, also has a lot of historical and archaeological significance. This is evident with the European Commission having recognised the ''Iron Age Danube Route'' earlier this year.

That being said, the Danube river also boasts a political and economic factors, the one that unites all the countries through which the Danube flows. One form of such international cooperation is the DANUP-2-GAS project.

''The Danube region holds huge potential for sustainable generation and the storage of renewable energy. However, to date, this region has remained highly dependent on energy imports, while energy efficiency, diversity and renewables share are low. In line with the EU climate targets for 2030 and the EUSDR PA2 goals, DanuP-2-Gas will advance transnational energy planning by promoting generation and storage strategies for renewables in the Danube region by coupling electric power and the gas sector,'' says the official website of Interreg Danube which is handling the project.

In an effort to achieve their goals, the DANUP-2-Gas project aims to bring together energy agencies, business actors, public authorities, and research institutions to join the cause.

The project started on the July 1 2020, and it will last until the end of 2022. So far, 24 institutions from Germany, Austria, Hungary, Czech Republic, Bulgaria, Romania, Serbia, Slovenia, Slovakia, and of course Croatian partners have begun cooperating for DANUP-2-Gas, united by the geographical fact that the Danube connects them all. The Hrvoje Požar Energy Institute (EIHP), the International Centre for the Sustainable Development of Energy, Water and Environment Systems, and the University of Zagreb's Faculty of Electrical Engineering and Computing (FER) are the project's Croatian representatives. Check out the full list of partners in the project here.

As (EIHP) reported on its website, September 28 will be an important date for the DANUP-2-Gas project as FER will hold a stakeholder event from 09:30 to 12:30, the lectures held in English will explain the potential of the project, as well as the uses and benefits of renewable energy in the hope of encouraging more support.

The event is imagined as a hybrid event, being held partly online and partly in person, but as EIHP warns, there is a risk of the event ending up being held entirely online, depending on the epidemiological situation.

''Based on the platform developed during the DTP project ENERGY BARGE, it will incorporate all pre-existing tools and an atlas, mapping previously unexamined available biomass and energy infrastructure. Further, a pre-feasibility study utilising an optimisation tool for efficient hub design will identify suitable locations for sectors coupling hubs and a combination of two idle resources in the Danube region.

The unused organic residue (e.g., straw) will be processed to biochar for easy transport along the Danube river and as the basis for synthesis gas generation. Adding hydrogen produced from surplus renewable energy allows for the upgrading of this syngas to a renewable natural gas. This will enable the storage of surplus energy in the existing gas distribution grid, increasing energy security and efficiency. All of the resources required for this process are available in the Danube region and the ten partner countries,'' the Interreg Danube website stated, elaborating the positive changes it is attempting to achieve.

Learn more about Croatian inventions and discoveries from Tesla to Rimac on our dedicated TC page.

For more about science in Croatia, follow TCN's dedicated page.

Monday, 2 August 2021

Croatia Doing Well on New German Coronavirus Map, So Far

August the 2nd, 2021 - The Croatian summer tourist season is now in full swing, with many more tourists in the country than could even be thought of this time last year, the country has been managing to keep hold of its favourable epidemiological picture. The German coronavirus map, now updated with a few new rules, has showcased Croatia's safety for travellers.

As Poslovni Dnevnik writes, Germany introduced new rules for its travellers returning from foreign holidays on the 1st of August. There are now some stricter rules for Germans returning to their country from being abroad and a new way of categorising risk areas on the German coronavirus map, writes Index.

Who should have a negative test when returning to Germany?

According to the new rules, all passengers entering Germany who haven't yet been vaccinated, as well as those who cannot prove they have contracted and since recovered from the disease must have a negative coronavirus test (and it has been that way since yesterday).

This has so far only applied to air passengers, and has now been extended to all others.

The measure took effect yesterday and will remain in force until the end of the year, with the exception of children under the age of 12 and those who need to cross the German border every day due to work. Road traffic controls will not be carried out systematically, but sporadically, German officials added.

"All unvaccinated people entering Germany will have to show proof of a negative test, whether they come by air, road or rail," said German Health Minister Jens Spahn.

"In this way, we'll manage to reduce the risk of additional imports of the infection," he added.

Currently, just over 50 percent of German citizens are fully vaccinated and the government is appeals daily for people to be immunised.

On Friday, the State Epidemiological Institute Robert Koch published a list of countries from which most newly infected people bringing coronavirus into Germany arrive, on which Croatia is behind Spain, Turkey and the Netherlands.

The new German coronavirus map

At midnight on the first of August, the change related to the marking of risk areas took full effect. There will be classifications into only two categories, and not three as it was before. The category of a epidemiologically low-risk area, in which Zadar County was, is no being longer used. This doesn't mean, according to the Robert Koch Institute, that there is no risk in the areas that did belong to that now shelved German coronavirus map category.

They added that the risk areas will be classified into high-risk areas and areas with virus variants. Croatia isn't in any of the categories, but both Portugal and Spain are in the high risk category.

A high-risk area is an area that has a seven-day incidence greater than 100. People who come from such areas must enter into a ten-day quarantine if they haven't yet been vaccinated, or if they can't show proof of their recovery from the infection. They can exit quarantine after five days, if they take and produce another negative test.

For all you need to know about coronavirus specific to Croatia, make sure to bookmark our dedicated COVID-19 section and choose your preferred language.

Thursday, 17 June 2021

For Germans, Record September in Croatia on Cards if Lockdown Avoided

June the 17th, 2021 - When it comes to German tourists, Croatia has always been a firm favourite and the sight of a German convoy of motorhomes carrying bikes and small boats bombing along the motorway to the Adriatic coast isn't an unusual sight in normal years. Thankfully, this sight has gradually started to become the norm again, and if lockdowns can be avoided, as far as the Germans are concerned, there could be a record September in Croatia this year.

As Poslovni Dnevnik writes, Selimir Ognjenovic, the head of the Munich tour operator ID Riva tours, was present at a recently held meeting between the Minister of Tourism and Sport, Nikolina Brnjac, and Karlheinz Jungbeck, the Deputy President of the respected and well known German Auto Club ADAC.

Commenting on the encouraging travel and tourism announcements from the German market, he said that this car club is the right place from which to send a message about Croatia's safety and readiness to welcome foreign guests once again. He also pointed out that the Croatian Safe stay project had been met with a great response.

"People who arrive in Croatia by car are, of course, our focus, that is, they've been important before, however, given the situation, it's clear that all eyes are on them, and that air traffic will still take a bit longer to recover from this.

As for the situation in Bavaria and the announcement for the upcoming season, I can say that the Bavarian capital has come back to life, even faster than I expected, and we have 250 to 300 inquiries and reservations a day, which is almost like it is during even the best months.

What does represent a problem, however, is the very short time for the realisation of these announcements, given that a good part of the booking in normal years is done at the end of the year or in February. I'd say that the success of the tourist season will depend on how long it will last, or how long things in the off-season will last.

If we aren't put back into another lockdown due to the possible deterioration of the epidemiological situation, and that remains the basic condition for arrivals, September in Croatia will be a record one for us.

For that reason, Minister Brnjac's meeting with German bus companies, which are also an important part of the pre- and post-season in Croatia, and which suffered a strong blow due to the pandemic in the form of reduced traffic, is extremely important,'' Selimir Ognjenovic told Novi list of the potential for a fantastic September in Croatia.

For more, follow our travel section.

Tuesday, 15 June 2021

Croatian Tourism Minister Nikolina Brnjac Visits Bavaria to Discuss Tourism Cooperation

ZAGREB, 15 June, 2021 - Croatian Tourism Minister Nikolina Brnjac met with Bavaria's Deputy Premier and Minister of Economic Affairs, Regional Development and Energy, Hubert Aiwanger, in Munich on Monday to discuss ways of increasing cooperation in the tourism sector.

Brnjac said that Croatia and Bavaria would continue exchanging experience and best practice in the digitalisation of tourism services and the development of cultural and rural tourism, her ministry announced in a press release.

"Croatia and Bavaria put emphasis on the development of sustainable tourism, and their cooperation in many areas of common interest has been going on for about 50 years within the Bavarian-Croatian Commission," Brnjac said.

She noted that half of German tourists visiting Croatia come from Bavaria, which is why it is very important for Croatia to convey the information on the activities that are being undertaken so that Croatia is recognised as a pleasant and safe destination.

Bavaria supports Croatia's Schengen membership bid

Aiwanger said there was a lot of space for cooperation between Croatia and Bavaria in the tourism sector, emphasising that Bavaria supported Croatia's accession to the Schengen area next year as an important precondition for facilitating movement of tourists.

The working meeting was also attended by the deputy president of the ADAC motoring association for tourism and finance, Karlheinz Jungbeck.

Brnjac and Jungbeck discussed preparations for the summer tourist season as well as expectations and plans for future development. Brnjac said that the cooperation with ADAC, which has 22 million members, ensured the greater visibility of Croatia on the German market, adding that today's meeting set a framework for future institutional cooperation.

According to ADAC, there is a growing interest in visiting Croatia, notably in the camping segment. This year ADAC included 134 Croatian campsites on its list of the best European campsites, the same number as in 2019, and 13 of the campsites were rated as ADAC Superplatz 2021.

About 42,000 Germans are currently vacationing in Croatia, mostly in Istria. Last year German tourists generated 1.6 million arrivals and 12.7 overnight stays, which was 60 percent of overnight stays made in 2019 when a record 21.2 million overnight stays were generated by German visitors. Last year, the 12.7 million overnight stays made by German tourists accounted for 23 percent of total overnight stays in Croatia.

For more about politics in Croatia, follow TCN's dedicated page.

Saturday, 12 June 2021

74 Percent of German Investors Would Do Business, Invest in Croatia Again

June the 12th, 2021 - It might come as an enormous surprise to many who are used to reading about Croatia's troubles when attracting and indeed keeping hold of foreign investments, but it seems that the German investor impression of Croatia has dramatically improved of late. Many would choose to invest in Croatia once again.

As Poslovni Dnevnik/Marija Brnic writes, as written above, the perception of Croatia in the eyes of German investors has improved significantly - unlike two years ago, when almost half of them were absolutely sure they wouldn't decide to invest in Croatia again. According to the latest research conducted by the German-Croatian Chamber of Industry (AHK) now almost three quarters (74%) would choose to invest in Croatia.

However, the improvement compared to previous years (last year the traditional survey wasn't conducted due to the pandemic), still lags behind the assessments of German businessmen from other Central and Eastern European countries surveyed, in which as many as 85% of German investors responded very positively to.

The improvement in the assessment of business and investment is also noticeable in other countries, where two years ago, 79% of German business owners were ready to potentially risk an investment (54% in the Republic of Croatia). In terms of the quality of the location for investments, Croatia is still in 8th place among the 16 observed countries, with Estonia, the Czech Republic, Poland and neighbouring Slovenia at the very top.

According to Thomas Sichl, President of the AHK Management Board, these results about the feelings German investors have about Croatia are better than expected, and what is especially significant in the scope of the AHK survey is the assessment of the current situation and business recovery in conditions disrupted by the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.

It's absolutely true that there are no major changes in business expectations compared to the 2019 survey in Croatia or in other countries - 50% expect that the situation will remain unchanged compared to the previous year, and 43% that it will be better, with a mere 7% expecting that it will be less favourable.

But about a third of German companies surveyed said they had already reached pre-pandemic levels, while 12% expected to return to then-levels by the end of this year, and 38% said it would not be realistic in their case before 2022, 14% expect recovery only in 2023 and 2% do not expect recovery whatsoever.

This year’s standard annual AHK survey also included the question of government measures to help businesses mitigate the effects of lockdowns and pandemic-induced disruption on their businesses.

The biggest weaknesses in the Croatian investment and business case are usually dominated by corruption, the sheer non-transparency of public procurement procedures and legal uncertainty in the AHK survey, which is still the case, and the biggest advantages are EU membership, quality skilled labour and the level of productivity.

However, AHK representatives also point out the potential which could result from Croatia's entry into Schengen and the Eurozone. They claim that in their view, Croatia is making good progress in both of those respects.

Another positive point from this survey that the share of companies that assess the current economic situation as negative has fallen compared to 2019 from 61% to 49%, and overall, companies are much more optimistic about their own business situation compared to how they felt two years ago.

Then, 27% rated their business situation as good, and now 44% of them give it that rating. When looking at about 20 aspects of doing business in Croatia, AHK respondents give an average score of 3.29, which is better than 3.55 from 2019, since one was the best and five was the worst.

For more, follow our dedicated business section.

Friday, 4 June 2021

Germany Removes Several Croatian Counties from List of COVID-19 Risk Areas

ZAGREB, 4 June 2021 - Germany has removed large parts of Croatia from its list of COVID-19 risk areas, the Robert Koch Institute said on Friday.

As of 6 June, Dubrovnik-Neretva, Istria, Karlovac, Krapina-Zagorje, Požega-Slavonia and Split-Dalmatia counties are no longer epidemiologically risk areas, the Institute said.

This means that travellers from those counties no longer have to register online, show a negative test or go into quarantine upon entering Germany. This does not apply to travellers from other Croatian counties.

A negative COVID-19 test is still mandatory for entering Germany by plane.

Croatian neighbours Bosnia and Herzegovina, Slovenia and Serbia are still listed as risk areas. 

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

For all you need to know about coronavirus specific to Croatia, including travel, border, and quarantine rules, as well as the locations of vaccination points and testing centres across the country, make sure to bookmark our dedicated COVID-19 section and select your preferred language.

Thursday, 3 June 2021

Croatia Airlines Reintroduces Summer Flights Between Rijeka and Munich

ZAGREB, 3 June 2021 - Croatia Airlines (CA) on Thursday operated its first flight this season between Munich and Rijeka.

The reintroduction of regular flights between Rijeka and Munich is part of the plans to renew and intensify flight arrangements from Croatia to other European destinations during this summer season.

CA flights on the Rijeka-Munich route will available on Thursday and Sunday this summer, plus also on Tuesday during July, the Croatian air company said.

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First flight on the route Munich-Rijeka today (Croatia Airlines Official Facebook Page)

CA plans to operate flights to seven Croatian destinations and another 18 destinations in Europe this summer.

Zagreb will be connected with 14 European destinations, Split with 12, and Dubrovnik with six destinations outside Croatia, for instance.

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.

Saturday, 15 May 2021

Promotional Film "My Novalja on the Island Of Pag" Wraps Up Production

May 15, 2021 - A German film crew visited Novalja last week to shoot a promotional film called ‘‘My Novalja on the Island of Pag’’, and will premiere in mid-June 2021.

The Tourist Board of the City of Novalja, in cooperation with the company Pointers Travel d.o.o. and in co-production with the German production company Blue Planet TV from Berlin, agreed to collaborate on a 22-minute report on the tourist destination Novalja called Meine Novalja Auf Dem Inseln Pag (My Novalja on the Island of Pag)

As turistickeprice.hr reports, from 6 to 13 May 2021, the German film crew visited the city of Novalja and shot a promotional film that will be shown from mid-June 2021 through a minimum of 30 broadcasts on numerous TV stations throughout the Western European market. Five people from Blue planet TV production and two people from the Osijek company Pointers Travel d.o.o., video and TV production department, took part in the production of this format, and they are also actively involved in the organization of production.

my-novalja-on-the-island-of-pag-1.jpg

The host of the travel promotional film with the working title "My Novalja on the Island of Pag" is the famous German actor Oliver Hörner, who will guide viewers through a report on Novalja and all its peculiarities.

The report will be shown and promoted through numerous channels, which will achieve multi-million viewers, namely: broadcasting on ANIXE auf Reisen (one of the most popular German travel channels), NTV, RNF (Metropolregion Rhein-Neckar, Mannheim). Also, the report will be distributed via the Waipu TV platform, as well as Amazon Prime and Samsung TV Plus channels.

‘‘Our expectations are that with this project and the recorded report, Novalja will certainly become an even more important destination, which in this way will directly access the German-speaking market and beyond and show all its attractions that make it special and set it apart from other tourist destinations’’, said the Director of the Tourist Board of Novalja, Marina Šćiran Rizner.

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The filming started in Novalja: on its squares, in the churches of St. Catherine and Our Lady of the Rosary within which there is a floor mosaic from the 4th century, in the City Museum from which one enters the unique Ancient aqueduct from the 1st century, on the Rose of the Winds, the city beaches. Furthermore, it was filmed in the Straško camp, the Liberty, Olea and Boškinac hotels, Novaljsko polje, Stara Novalja, the Žigljen ferry port, the Pag bridge and numerous beaches in the City area.

Through the magical Gardens of Lun Olives, where the famous actor was greeted by a girl in traditional costume with a basket of local delicacies, he rode a horse to the oldest olive, tasted raspberry oil, and drank tea from Lun olive leaves.

my-novalja-on-the-island-of-pag-4.jpg

In the early morning hours, when the team was hosted by extremely kind hosts - the owners of the family farm VIDAS, Mr. Oliver taught the sheep how to make Pag cheese, and for breakfast, homemade delicacies were served, such as Pag curd. At the host family farm Škunca, the team enjoyed the immortelle fields, listening with great interest to the story of organic production and processing of medicinal and aromatic plants.

‘‘This is my first time on your island and I am really amazed by its landscapes and places. I can't help but get the impression that adventures like cycling, trekking, kayaking are waiting for you around every corner. I am also delighted with your cultural and historical sites. I will definitely be back to your beautiful island again’’, Oliver Hörner pointed out with enthusiasm.

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All the interesting content listed here, framed in the story that will be told through this film, will surely intrigue and arouse interest in choosing a destination for German tourists for the upcoming summer season, convinced that Novalja will be their first choice.

‘‘Tourists from Germany have been realizing almost the largest tourist traffic in Novalja for many years, and our mission is to constantly invest in promotional activities in the main traditional emitting markets, which in the 2020 season showed their loyalty in choosing Croatia and Novalja as their first summer destinations’’, added Marina Šćiran Rizner.

The promotional film was filmed in the city of Novalja, which is located on the island of Pag, and you can find more information about what it can offer you on your next trip, in Total Croatia’s Pag in a page, HERE. Total Croatia’s articles are now available in your language!

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

Tuesday, 13 April 2021

Convoy With 70 Tonnes of Humanitarian Aid From Bavaria Arrives in Petrinja

ZAGREB, 13 April, 2021 - A large convoy from Bavaria, carrying more than 70 tonnes of humanitarian aid from Bavaria for residents of Sisak-Moslavina County, hit by a 6.2 magnitude earthquake on 29 December 2020, arrived at a divers' base in Petrinja on Monday.

The drive, organised by divers and Ante Šistov, helped collect more than 70 tonnes of construction material, including bricks, oriented strand boards, electrical fittings, doors, tiles, etc.

Šistov said this was the second humanitarian convoy for the region of Banovina, noting that so far more than 120 tonnes of humanitarian aid had already been delivered to the quake-hit region.

The base for the collection and distribution of humanitarian assistance in Petrinja was set up by the HRVI Nemo-Adriatic association of divers-disabled war veterans, with support from the Croatian Homeland War Volunteers Association and the Promocija Ronjenja agency.

The campaign, which is still ongoing, has been joined by numerous divers' clubs and centres from Croatia and abroad, firefighters and rescuers from Slovenia, Italy, Germany, Austria as well as numerous German companies.

For more about earthquake in Petrinja, follow TCN's dedicated page.

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