Tuesday, 13 April 2021

Should 0,5 Remain Alcohol Limit For Drivers in Croatia? Istrian Winemakers Worried of Wine Industry Hit

April 13, 2021 - This year or no later than 2023, the new National Road Safety Plan 2020 to 2030 should be implemented in practice. The plan is so far just a proposal, and one of the suggestions is to reduce the so far allowed 0.5 alcohol limit for drivers in Croatia to 0.0.

However, as Goran Rihelj reports for Hr.Turizam, Istrian winemakers think that 0.5 should remain the upper limit as they fear this will be another blow to winemakers and winegrowers.

„With a corona crisis that has no end in sight and an average drop in wine sales in Istrian wineries of 30 percent, this could be an additional blow to our sector. Istria has positioned itself as a top end-gastro destination with the quality of wine and offer, and we believe that our country should harmonize the National Road Safety Plan with European wine countries such as Italy and France, where 0,5 is allowed, while in Great Britain, for example, 0,8“, said Nikola Benvenuti, President of Vinistra.

Istrian winegrowers and winemakers point out they advocate responsible alcohol consumption but think 0.0 should be the law only for young drivers (defined by the current law of Traffic safety as a driver of 24 years of age) and professional drivers.

Prof. dr. sc. Mladen Boban from the Medical Faculty in Split, who has been researching the biological effects of wine on health for years, says this change would contradict other action plans and strategic documents with whom Croatia plans to increase awareness of the general population about the benefits of Mediterranian cuisine.

"It should not be forgotten that moderate drinking of wine with food is one of the pillars of this diet with the relatively largest contribution to the beneficial effects on health. In this context, it is important to note that in 2013, at the initiative of Croatia and six other Mediterranean countries, UNESCO inscribed the Mediterranean diet in the intangible cultural heritage of mankind. The World Health Organization accepts the Mediterranean diet as an effective strategy for the prevention of non-communicable chronic diseases as the leading causes of premature death globally", Concluded Professor Boban for Hr.turizam.



In an article in 2019 Croatian Automobile Club magazine Revija HAK  reported that in the eight of the top fatal car crashes from 2016-2018, the leading cause was driving in the opposite direction, which happens due to driving too fast. The article also states that in the said period, 12.989 traffic accidents were caused by drivers under the influence of alcohol. In that number of traffic accidents, 235 persons were killed, and 1,709 were heavily injured, while light injuries due to "drink & drive" are owned to a number of 5,524 incidents. Statistically, drunk drivers are responsible for every fourth death, according to the article in Revija Hak.

In total, Croatia saw 883 traffic accidents with fatal consequences, and 955 people died in the 2016-2018 time spawn.

While winemakers and professor Boban advocate moderate drinking, sadly, the issue of actually respecting the current limit and personal limits of intoxication before sitting behind the wheel remains questionable for Croatian drivers. However, is reducing the allowed alcohol limit enough to make a difference remains unclear.

Learn more about Driving in Croatia on our TC page

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


Thursday, 8 April 2021

Digitalisation of Nautical Fees, Payments in Person Suspended

April 8, 2021 - Nautical tourists will now be able to pay the fees related to their stay online thanks to the digitalisation of nautical fees as Croatia continues dragging itself into the modern era.

Tourist fees for nautical tourists in Croatia can now be paid online, reports Goran Rihelj for Hrturizam. The website Nautika E-visitor, available in English, Croatian, German and Italian, offers the ability to accept payments according to the size of the vessel, which can stretch from 7 to over 20 metres in length, as well as by the number of people. These options are aligned with the Tourist Tax Act.

The site was launched last year as a service of the Ministry of Maritime Affairs, Transport, and Infrastructure and allowed tourists to pay and download an electronic confirmation of payment of navigation safety fees online. The entire system has been updated in regard to the digitalisation of nautical fees, and there is no longer an option to pay the fee in person, which was the only way to do it previously.

''Croatia has a fleet of 4,300 vessels, more than 140 nautical tourism ports with over 17,000 berths and over a million cruise passengers. The average consumption of nautical tourists is 126 euros per day, and in the charter sector, 183 euros per day. More than 30 percent of that money is spent on other forms of tourism, from cultural content to wine and gastronomy,'' reads the article on HRturizam.


port, pixabay

It goes on to remind readers that Croatia.hr, the main website for information on tourism owned and run by the Croatian National Tourist Board (HTZ), also has a subsite for nautical tourits. The subsite, just like the main site, is available to view in Croatian, English, German, Italian, Czech, French, Japanese, Hungarian, Dutch, Polish, Russian, Slovakian, Slovenian, Spanish, and the Swedish language.

An important step in digitalisation development of Croatia has proven and continues to prove especially useful during the ongoing global pandemic, which makes frequent physical contact with other people risky.

As such, nautical tourists generally have an edge when it comes to being able to self-isolate and enjoy their holidays safely with a chosen group of friends or family on their private vessel. This is yet another argument for them to visit Croatia, along with the breath-taking coastal landscape accompanying clear Adriatic sea.

Learn more about sailing in Croatia on our TC Page.  

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

Monday, 27 April 2020

Goran Rihelj of HR Turizam Launches New Tourist Stories Project: Turističke Priče

April 27, 2020 - Goran Rihelj, owner of Croatia's leading B2B tourism website, HR Turizam, has expanded his online presence with a new tourism stories site. 

A new inject of online positivity for Croatian tourism was launched yesterday, as Goran Rihelj launched his latest project, Tourism Stories, in a multi-lingual site of German, English and Croatian. 

Rihelj, best known for his widely respected B2B tourism portal, HR Turizam, has become increasingly active and vocal in his passion for promoting tourism in Croatia, achieving success in some quarters few believed possible. 

Nowhere was this more true than in his successful campaign to put the tourism spotlight on Slavonia with his determined efforts to bring the annual Days of Croatian Tourism to eastern Croatia for the first time. The annual event took place in various location in the east in October and was a great success.


Emboldened by that success, he then set about organising his first-ever conference, One Day or Day One, #hrturizam2030 - an ambitious attempt to bring the main parties from the public and private tourism sector together to move forward on things they could agree on, as well as discuss ways on solving the problems of things they could not. The much-anticipated conference fell victim to the corona shutdown and will now take place later in the year. 

Rihelj's new project, Tourism Stories, is described thus on its website:

To travel is to live - said Hans Christian Andersen.

We are passionate travelers, we love exploring and traveling, learning about local tourist stories, and living to travel.

The TouristPriče.hr portal is a new tourist lifestyle portal for the promotion of tourist destinations and Croatia as a tourist destination.

Our tourism now needs the greatest support and assistance, and the very meaning of the portal and the main thread of the guide is the promotion of tourist destinations and Croatia as a tourist destination. 

Tourism is stories, and we want to explore and tell all our stories. Let's tell stories, our authentic stories.

Tourist Stories is a new project by Goran Rihelj, founder and editor-in-chief of HrTurizm. This portal is aimed at the general public and is positioning itself as a tourist lifestyle portal that brings you positive tourist stories of Our Beautiful.

Tell stories with us ...

Bravo, Kolege. You can visit the website here.

Sunday, 6 October 2019

Days of Croatian Tourism: A Thank You to HR Turizam's Goran Rihelj

October 6, 2019 - Lots of congratulations and self-congratulations in Slavonia this week, with one notable exception. A thank you to Goran Rihelj and his determination to promote tourism in Slavonia. 

I have to confess that I thought he was nuts at first. 

A tourism blogger from somewhere in the east of Croatia, who signed his emails with Best regards from the oldest town in Europe.


And then when I researched, I found out that yes indeed, there was a town in Slavonia which was called Vinkovci and which had been continuously inhabited for 8,300 years. Hell, two Roman Emperors were even born there. 

And I had never even heard of it until this Goran Rihelj chap started sending his regular greetings. And if I had never heard of it... 

From his blog on Vecernji List to his own portal HR Turizam, this Goran Rihelj was establishing himself as quite a tourism authority in Croatia. And he was not afraid to speak his mind and to talk about tourism topics that were perhaps not the most convenient to be discussed in public. 

And then, an initiative, which confirmed he must indeed be nuts - a campaign to bring Days of Croatian Tourism to Slavonia! The great tourism gathering at the end of each season where all the tourism kings congregate in a pretty coastal resort for 2-3 days of relaxation, partying and prizes. Locations so far which have hosted Days of Croatian Tourism - Opatija, Bol (both twice), Rovinj, Sibenik, Dubrovnik, Zadar, Porec, Mali Losinj and Hvar.

What was this Goran Rihelj talking about, taking this wonderful relaxing holiday away from the coast to come to Slavonia? 


A campaign was officially launched, and Rihelj enlisted the thoughts of Minister of Tourism Gari Cappelli, who acknowledged that the initiative was Rihelj's and that while he supported it, there were logistical challenges to be overcome, not least finding accommodation for 1,000 people. 

The campaign was launched in June, 2017, with the hashtag #DHTSLAVONIJA2018, but hopes that the event might be staged on the continent were dashed when it was announced that Days of Croatian Tourism 2018 would be held in Hvar Town. 

The voices from Slavonia got louder, and some boats from the Pannonian Sea from Pozega came down to remind people about Slavonia at Days of Croatian Tourism 2017 in Mali Losinj. 

Soon afterwards, an announcement that I personally thought would never come - Days of Croatian Tourism 2019 would be held in Slavonia!

I congratulated Goran on his success, but he dismissed it as a success not for him but for Slavonia. But he did remind me that I had promised to visit him in the oldest town in Europe. And what better time than during the first Days of Croatian Tourism on the continent. It was an honour to accept the invitation, and several fabulous days followed - here are 10 things I learned about eastern Croatia this week alone.  

The event was a major success, with many of Croatia's tourism workers in Slavonia for the first time, and many, many of them enthusiastically sharing their experiences of Slavonia on social media. And locals were also engaged - the atmosphere in Osijek old town on Friday night was magical. 

And there were prizes, so many prizes, given out by Minister Cappelli and the other tourism chiefs - from destination of the year (Rovinj) to categories such as tourist inspector of the year. 

But a word of thanks for Goran Rihelj, the man whose initiative started everything? Sadly, nothing. The 2017 acknowledgment of Rihelj's initiative seems to have been lost in 2019, with the tourism chiefs full of congratulations and self-congratulations at their initiative to bring the event to the continent. 


Not everyone forgot Goran's initiative and determination to make Days of Croatian Tourism come to his beloved Slavonia, and several colleagues paid tribute to his efforts. 

As I do now. Thank you, Goran, for showing the way. May it be the start of a brighter future for Slavonia. 

To learn more about eastern Croatia, here are 25 things to know

To follow Goran Rihelj's HR Turizam portal, click here



Wednesday, 15 March 2017

A Tourism Blueprint for Croatia, from the Oldest Town in Europe

Did you know that the oldest continuously inhabited town in Europe is in Croatia? That and several other thought-provoking ideas from Goran Rihelj, founder and driver of Croatia's best tourism portal HRTurizam. TCN caught up with Goran on March 16, 2017. 

Tuesday, 24 January 2017

Why are we Ashamed of Tesla, Penkala and Other Croatian Innovators?

In a world of lazy journalism, there are still some great pages to follow in Croatian, and few are better than the innovative tourism portal HR Turizam, run by Goran Rihelj, who is not afraid to ask some thought-provoking questions.