Friday, 27 May 2022

Czech Media Warns Tourists Not to Travel Due to Jellyfish in Istria?

May 27, 2022 - Czech media recently warned Czech tourists about jellyfish in Istria, making them think twice before planning a summer holiday on the Croatian peninsula. 

The season could not officially start until foreign media had something, well, out of the ordinary to say, which is exactly what happened in the Czech media about tourists going to Istria. 

Namely, a Czech magazine recently published false news that the Croatian coast was flooded with jellyfish, which could ultimately jeopardize the tourist season. The Czechs allegedly called on their citizens not to spend their summers in Istria, to which the Istria County Tourist Board quickly responded, Glas Istre writes.

It is true that fishers had problems with jellyfish last winter, but the Czech media misinterpreted the news, said the Istria County Tourist Board. Guests from the Czech Republic and Slovakia also sent inquiries to the Istria County Tourist Board, and one Slovak who planned to go on holiday in early June asked if the story about the jellyfish invasion was true.

The director of the Istria County Tourist Board, Denis Ivošević, says that they sent a statement to the Czech and Slovak media this week "about the real situation in the Adriatic", which is why they asked for the opinion of experts. 

Ivošević assumes that someone from the Czech Republic read a story in Croatian media about fishers complaining about jellyfish over winter and transmitted the news with a delay, interpreting it completely wrong. He pointed out that there was no danger for swimmers and that the news about the mass appearance of jellyfish on the Istrian coast was fabricated. Istrian fishers have also confirmed that jellyfish have almost completely disappeared from their waters.

One Czech magazine, on the other hand, writes that the beaches in Piran, Savudrija, Umag, Poreč, Vrsar, and the entire Italian coast of the Friuli Venezia Giulia region are "covered with transparent slimy jelly".

How about that story to kick off the season?

For more, make sure to check out our dedicated lifestyle section.

Saturday, 16 October 2021

Weddings in Istria: Region Aims to be Croatia's Top Destination for Love

October 16, 2021 - Weddings in Istria can alleviate the seasonality of tourism, strengthen the pre and post-season, and increase the local community's income.

The Istria County Tourist Board organized the first Istria Wedding MeetUp in cooperation with partners - WeddingsInCroatia, StudioBrzak weddings & events, Lepor Weddings, and Flammeum weddings & events - held on October 14 at the Parentium Plava Laguna Hotel in Poreč, reports HRTurizam

The event gathered many local experts from the world of weddings, mainly from the Istrian area, and representatives of local tourist boards, which talked about the latest trends and knowledge in this domain.

“The wedding business segment in Istria is growing from year to year. Although neither Croatia nor Istria is recognized as a major wedding destination globally, Istria has managed to profile itself according to the so-called niche segment of weddings, especially in terms of micro or same-sex weddings. Since this is a complex business discipline in which success requires the cooperation of at least a dozen different activities to create a recognizable wedding product eventually, mutual cooperation and togetherness are of key interest in this business. The County Tourist Board has once again confirmed that this product is essential for Istria because, after a fifteen-year process of restructuring and repositioning, a level of quality of accommodation and service that can be compared with similar destinations in the world has been reached. And the recent accession of Istria to the prestigious association Virtuoso opens countless opportunities for all our entrepreneurs in Istria because they have an open channel to a large number of influential travel advisors, more than 22,000, who decide in which direction and which region to support for a wedding product," said the Istria County Tourist Board director Denis Ivošević.

Ivošević also announced three new projects within the wedding segment of Istria: a new stylized thematic photo & video shooting, then bringing world-famous wedding planners to get to know the destination and advertising the Istrian wedding offer in domestic and foreign reference media.

Participants could partake in two panels. The topic of the first panel was weddings as a tourist product and the recognition and branding of Istria as a wedding destination, with Denis Ivošević, sales director of Hotel San Canzian from Buje Suzana Vrtičević Tica, owner of WeddingsInCroatia Iva Kraljevic Licardo, owner of Foto Studio Festival from Labin Rajko Borčić and the agent of the Promotion and Sales Service of the Brijuni National Park Flores Marsetič. Petar Jurica, renowned photographer and owner of the Petar Jurica Weddings agency, Arsen Maršanić, wedding organizer and owner of the Noi Due agency, and Martina Rakić, a wedding planner from the WeddingsInCroatia agency, spoke at the second panel on the topic of trends and new formats and where weddings are going in the future.

In addition to the panel, two lectures were organized, one on the topic of digital marketing, i.e., the impact of online communication on the wedding industry, led by Miško Macolić Tomičić from the MarkeThing agency. The second lecture on the very current topic of organizing sustainable events was given by Maja Bosanac, director of the Eventful agency, who presented the novelties of how events should look with particular attention to the environment.

For more, make sure to check out our lifestyle section.


Monday, 21 June 2021

Istria Featured On Six Austrian Magazine Covers

June 21st, 2021 -  The northern Adriatic Istrian peninsula is featured on the covers of six Austrian tourist magazines and an influential weekly supplement, Istria County Tourist Board said on Monday, calling this "excellent news."

ADAC Reisemagazin, Alpe Adria Magazin, Dumont, Der Feinschmecker, and Merian are prestigious tourism and lifestyle magazines that present Istria as a close and attractive destination and bring a wealth of travel and accommodation information and advice on Croatia's largest peninsula and Austrians' closest to the Mediterranean, the Tourist Board said.

The weekly supplement in Saturday's edition of the influential Kurier Freizeit has Istria on its cover and an eight-page spread, the Tourist Board said, adding that this was Austria's largest-circulation daily with up to 250,000 copies sold.

In a press release, County Prefect Boris Miletić said that "Istria is a world tourism brand today, as confirmed by frequent and numerous features and articles in respectable world media."

He called the fact that Istria was featured on the covers of as many as six magazines in one day "a historic success."

Miletić said that "according to the indicators so far, this season will surpass all expectations, which means that we have been recognized as a safe and desirable tourist destination."

He said Istria would continue to invest in tourism, primarily ecologically sustainable tourism, and culture, food, and nature.

Istria County Tourist Board director Denis Ivošević said the appearance of Istria on six Austrian magazine covers represented incalculable promotion.

The Tourist Board also carried a statement by ART Redaktionsteam director Wolfgang Neuhuber, who said, "Neither Tuscany nor Piedmont nor South Tyrol nor the French Riviera, but Istria."

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 centers across the country, make sure to bookmark our dedicated COVID-19 section and select your preferred language.

Tuesday, 9 February 2021

Denis Ivošević of Istria Tourist Board: We Want to Achieve Even Better Flos Olei Results

February 9, 2021 - Denis Ivošević of the Istria County Tourist Board revealed that olive oil producers in the region have prepared earlier than ever to achieve even better results in the 2022 Flos Olei guide, and that their work with olives won't stop there. 

Glas Istre reports that at the end of January, the Istria County Tourist Board launched a campaign and sent an invitation to all producers to apply for and deliver extra virgin olive oil for the new edition of the 2022 Flos Olei guide.

According to the Istria Tourist Board director, Denis Ivošević, they began collecting Istrian extra virgin olive oils much earlier this year to reserve the first spot at the tastings. He adds that it may sound unusual, but the order of evaluation is already significant for the outcome and maintaining the reputation of Istria as an international olive oil destination.

"The fact is that every year, more and more is invested in knowledge, but also the acquisition of new skills, so we believe that we will collect a record number of samples that will allow us to approach new records - not only in the number of listed Istrian olive growers but also that for the first time, one of the Istrian olive growers reaches the prestigious 99 points. This is the result we hope for, which would mean a lot to all of us and bring additional momentum to the development of olive growing and confirm the top reputation of Istria as an olive growing destination," says Ivošević.

Recall that Istria has been part of this unique guide since 2005, when only two Istrian producers from the region were included. The Ipša family from Ipši and the Beletić family from Novigrad had the honor of being the first. The guide was then published under the name L'Extravergine, and from 2010 it changed its name and publisher to a new, today recognizable name, Flos Olei. Since the first edition of the guide under this new name in 2010, Istria has taken an important role and positioned itself as the second-best olive growing region, just behind Tuscany. However, every year the advantage of Tuscany was smaller. Finally, in 2016, Istria took the top spot that it has maintained to this day, but with a far greater advantage than Tuscany previously had on Istria. 

"It sounds unreal, and I would say pretentious, but Istria has been declared the best olive growing region in the world for the sixth year in a row. How it looked last year is sufficiently shown by the fact that Istria had 71 olive growers and Tuscany 43. However, it is even more important that more than a thousand samples from all over the world arrive for evaluation, that a professional panel of verified tasters in the organoleptic sense tastes all the received samples, that after that, a selection of the 500 best in the world is made, which is impressive," the director of the regional Tourist Board proudly points out.

The flattering accolades should be taken as motivation for further investment and growth.

"During the corona crisis, I would say the most challenging year in recent history, when there were almost no investments and those planned were stopped in time, only the field of olive growing, among the few, achieved what was intended. Thus, the largest investments were made to raise the quality of processing, storage, and the presentation and sale of Istrian extra virgin olive oils. Total investments exceed HRK 50 million, which is an extremely great achievement for such a specific, niche product. On the one hand, investments have been made in new modern and technologically advanced processing plants. On the other hand, investments have been made in architecturally interesting building solutions with designer-equipped new tasting rooms and boutiques. So last year, the Chiavalon family opened a new olive growing center in Vodnjan, a modern building that includes a special line of Mori olive processing, with a new cellar, tasting room, sales point, storage space. The Ipša family also continued with investments, which also opened an attractive olive growing center in Ipši near Oprtalj. It is a renovated and revalued traditional building where there is a new line of Mori olive processing, with a new cellar, tasting room, point of sale, Istrian tavern, and warehouse. The interim director of the Fund for the Reconstruction of Earthquake-Affected Zagreb, Damir Vanđelić, and his family have opened a new olive grove and center along the road from Bale to Rovinj. The new oil mill is also a refurbished and revalued traditional building housing the new Mori olive processing line, with a new cellar, tasting room, and sales outlet, combined with fruit and vegetable production, given that the olive grove center is located on a 67-hectare-large family farm.

We should also mention the significant investments of the Galić family, which opened a new cellar for extra virgin olive oils in Kostanjica near Grožnjan, a tasting room, and a sales point and a panoramic terrace, as well as Oleum Maris, where a new olive center opened along the road between Vodnjan and Pula. It is a modern building with a new basement and sales point and continues with a new tasting room and projections and a panoramic terrace. Finally, thanks to an investment by the Beletić family from Novigrad, a new, modern Pieralisi olive processing line was opened.

This list is only part, or the most significant investments of Istrian olive growers, with a handful of smaller ones that complete the picture of how much importance is attached to raising new olive groves, acquiring new knowledge and skills, improving production and the technological process, but also new models of presentation and sales of the final product - extra virgin olive oil of premium quality.

"In Istria, olive growing has become the ultimate question of identity and national pride!" says Ivošević.

"Olive growing in the broadest sense of the word is not just producing extra virgin olive oil. If we have proven that we are capable of producing high-quality extra virgin olive oil, that we know how to promote, brand, advertise, and sell it, we must certainly try in other disciplines that come from the basic product - olives," says Ivošević, and delves into the areas where there is potential for further growth. He says it is the production of table olives, which is rarely used commercially on the Peninsula today.

"We have almost no serious producers who have found their niche or specialization in this area, and that is the part we definitely miss, especially since the demand for such a product is extremely high, especially given the developed gastronomy in Istria and Croatia. The use of table olives can definitely be used in a wide range of Istrian gastronomy presentation. For example, it can be used in various forms and techniques of preparation as an introductory greeting from the kitchen, as a separate snack, or in combination with other products as a supplement to various tastings. It can also be used as an appetizer, hot or cold, as an addition to the main course, and why not as part of a dessert? But, most importantly, we would avoid importing the worst quality of such olives, which we import almost without any quality criteria and health control," explains Ivošević.

One of the directions is certainly a stronger focus on niche cosmetic production of olive-based boutique cosmetics. In this part of dedicated production, he recalls, we have pioneers who began using extra virgin olive oil in cosmetics, not only through sales in specialty stores but also in increasing use in wellness, beauty, and health treatments.

It is unnecessary to explain that extra virgin olive oil, in the way it is produced in Istria, is a natural product and contains many qualities. It is naturally rich in unsaturated fatty acids. It has a high content of phenols that have a beneficial health effect because olive oil polyphenols help protect blood lipids from oxidative stress. Extra virgin olive oil is also a natural source of tocopherol, a precursor of vitamin E, which helps protect cells from oxidative stress when present in sufficient quantities. Tocopherols in the presence of phenols act synergistically, i.e., enhance their antioxidant effect.

"It has long been known that extra virgin olive oil is a natural remedy, and now the globally known Jennifer Lopez has launched a cosmetic line based on olive oil "JLo Beauty Olive Complex," which will certainly encourage some to try the same in that specific niche of cosmetics and natural remedies," says Ivošević.

In the end, he says, the waste generated by processing olives can be used wisely, by using firewood seeds. In this way, the potential of olives would be fully used, and the problem of disposing of that waste would be partially solved.

"With new directions, such as this, Istria will show that in addition to the prestige in the production of premium extra virgin olive oil, we turn to other disciplines that include an extensive range of opportunities - from the segment of health, nutrition, and psychophysical fitness, beauty treatment and rejuvenation, wellness treatment, in the broadest sense of the word, all the way to sustainable and responsible development in terms of waste management for heating," concludes Denis Ivošević.

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Thursday, 6 August 2020

Istria County Using Foreign Journalists, Influencers and Bloggers to Attract Tourists

August 6, 2020 - The Istria County Tourist Board brought in several foreign journalists, influencers and bloggers to help promote the region during the coronavirus pandemic. 

Glas Istre writes that the tourism sector has found itself in big trouble and a rather tricky situation given the extraordinary circumstances due to COVID-19. Nevertheless, in the first half of 2020, the Istria County Tourist Board managed to animate several prominent foreign journalists, influencers and bloggers who visited Istria as part of individual and group trips and agent trips from various countries in cooperation with the Croatian Tourist Board and various partners, points out Denis Ivosevic, director of the Istria County Tourist Board.

"From the very beginning, the situation was very uncertain, and now, as the circumstances improve over time, the PR activities of the Istria County Tourist Board are intensifying. In cooperation with the PR partner for the German and Austrian market ART RedaktionsTeam, we organized the reception of journalist teams from several important German and Austrian media, including Fallstaff, "a la carte", Kronen Zeitung, Freizeit & Kulinarik and many others. Through the Croatian National Tourist Board Representation in the United States, Istria was visited at the end of July by American agents, owners of boutique agencies specializing in luxury eno-gastronomic experiences," says Ivosevic.

The Istria County Tourist Board, together with the tourist boards of Rovinj and Pula and the CNTB Representation in Paris, is preparing a large project for promotion on the French market in the coming period.

Namely, the region will be featured on the leading travel show in France "Echappées Belles" which provides excellent visibility. There are plans to record a new show about Croatia from August 10 to 23. The ninety-minute show will be aired in May 2021 on the national TV channel France 5 in a prime time slot. The show is watched by an average of more than a million viewers on French national television.

"In cooperation with the PR partner for the German and Austrian markets, a group of 12 very important Austrian and German journalists will come to Istria in September and the first half of October, accompanied by the owner of the ART RedaktionsTeam agency. We hope that the situation will continue to improve everywhere in the world and that the coming period will bring us at least a little relief and some new optimism. The investments we are investing in this year, which are investments in PR agencies, promotional campaigns, and in air transport, will have a direct effect on the next tourist year. This will be most visible in the partnership projects and the increase of airlines to Pula," Ivosevic concluded.

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Friday, 22 November 2019

Istria County and Sotheby's Organizing First Ever Istrian White Truffle Auction in London

November 22, 2019 - The Istria County Tourist Board, in cooperation with the world-renowned auction house Sotheby's, is organizing the first-ever auction of the Istrian white truffle in London on Monday, November 25. 

Glas Istre writes that the event will be held at the prestigious Harry's Bar in Mayfair, an elite area of London's West End, one of the most exclusive private clubs featuring members of the London elite, international jet setters and UHNW individuals (ultra-high-net-worth individuals).

The Istria County Tourist Board will organize the auction in cooperation with the world-famous auction house, led by its chairman for the UK, Lord Dalmney, and with the support of the FOX Communication PR agency in London. During the auction, guests will have the opportunity to enjoy dinner based on the Istrian white truffle, and extra virgin olive oils and wines from Istria.

Zigante Truffles from Plovanija near Buje is also involved in this vital project for Istria. Namely, Zigante will provide the main ingredients for the auction and Istrian dinner. The auction will be conducted in four parts, and will be intended for both guests present and interested who will bid by phone.

In the first part, truffles of smaller sizes will be auctioned, and in the second part, medium-sized truffles, followed by the "Truffle Experience in Istria” package. In the end, the biggest truffle of the season will be auctioned, which resulted in a sold-out dinner and a long waiting list of truffle-hopefuls. Better yet, all proceeds from the auction will go to charity.

In addition to Istrian white truffles, Istrian extra virgin olive oils from the Chiavalon family will be served with truffle-based specialties. They will also be available at Harry's Bar tables for all guests to taste. 

Along with extra virgin olive oils, the attendees will be served wines from the Kozlovic family of Momjan - the Malvasia, Teran and Momjan Muscat.

“Istria has given increasing importance to the UK market, where many promotional efforts have been made over the years, increasing the number of UK guests, intensifying existing ones, and opening new routes - especially in the pre- and post-season. Also, since last year, the Istria County Tourist Board has been working with the London-based PR agency, FOX Communication, so that Istria becomes more and more present in the media and events there, which is why the region is seeing an increasing growth of British guests.

The Istria County Tourist Board is working intensively to make the region more famous in London and its surroundings, with a focus on medium- and high-spending power guests. Thus, the truffle auction is listed as one of the activities that will help build the image and reputation of Istria as a destination. I believe that this auction will contribute to the affirmation of the Istrian brand," said Istria County Tourist Board Director Denis Ivošević, adding that Istria is most commonly recognized worldwide for its gastronomy and lifestyle.

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