Wednesday, 21 July 2021

Why is Istria on ECDC Orange List When Cases are Minimal?

July the 21st, 2021 - I think it's safe to say that everyone is sick to the back teeth of colours, traffic light systems, and the words testing and quarantine. The advent of the vaccine was supposed to put a gradual but certain end to all of this, and it leaves one wondering when everything will become normal again. Some things make little sense, and Istria being on the ECDC orange list is just one in a long line.

As Poslovni Dnevnik writes, numerous reactions, but also fears for the height of the summer tourist season were caused by the decision of the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC) to mark the Croatian coast with orange on the now almost Godly coronavirus map.

Protests against the criteria according to which ECDC designates high-risk regions were the loudest of all in Istria, from which experts and politicians said that they had a favourable epidemiological situation and that they were victims of other more irresponsible Croatian counties.

Namely, the ECDC divided Croatia into four regions - northern, Pannonian, Adriatic and the City of Zagreb. There was an initiative aimed at the ECDC to change the criteria and apply to individual counties, but it seems that the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control isn't even thinking of changing their current practice. The total lack of logic shows obviously when Istria is placed on the ECDC orange list, when, at the time of writing, there were no new cases, much less hospitalisations or deaths.

''Such a decision was agreed at the level of EU member states last year during the German presidency. Observing each unit separately wouldn't be practical, as it would mean that 1,500 regions need to be treated as being in the European Union, while with this methodology there are 330,'' the ECDC told HRT.

It's worth reminding ourselves of the fact that the ECDC monitors the fourteen-day incidence of new cases of coronavirus infection per 100,000 inhabitants and the percentage of positively tested persons, and according to these criteria, the coastal part of Croatia is shown in orange. Continental Croatia is still very much green.

On the map of Europe, most countries are in green, and in the red are Spain, Portugal, the Netherlands, Malta and Cyprus, as well as parts of Greece, Belgium and Denmark. Apart from the Croatian coast, parts of France, Greece, Sweden, Norway, Finland, Denmark and Belgium, and the whole of Ireland are also all in orange.

For more, follow our travel section.

Saturday, 22 May 2021

Pula Arena Muay Thai Spectacle: Battles Return to the Roman Amphitheater Today!

May 22, 2021 - A Pula Arena Muay Thai spectacle will be held inside the famous Roman amphitheater today! 

Glas Istre reports that today, the Roman Amphitheater in Pula will become the center of spectacular fights in Thai boxing. In the main, evening program, renowned fighters from several countries will fight, while in the daytime, the younger age groups will fight in the Croatian Championship and measure their strength around noon.

In the evening, spectators will be able to attend the five most interesting finals of the Croatian Championship, both men's and women's in the category up to 65 kg. The final four tournament of fighters up to 73 kg, however, comes with even more incentive, as the winner will receive a trip to Thailand, where they will be able to train twice a day with local fighters, have a paid fight against one of them, and enjoy free food and accommodation.

Senad Ramakić, Denis Vojniković, and renowned Istrian fighter Teo Mikelić are part of the organizational team, and the president of the Croatian Thai Boxing Association, Mario Franić, also commented on today's fights.

"We also visited some of the clubs that operate in Istria County; we are very pleased with what we saw. All that is happening in Istria is a big step in the development of Thai boxing. And the Croatian championship in the Arena itself will be an unprecedented spectacle and an important criterion in choosing a national team to go to big competitions. Everyone has a chance, and only the best will be in the national team," said Franić.


Although the citizens of Pula are still used to watching him inside the ring, this time, Teo Mikelić found himself organizing the tournament. 

"Pula really deserves this, and we are proud. The organization was harder than we expected, yet the Arena is outdoors, and we’re still not sure if it’s going to rain. In addition, one fighter from Serbia was forced to cancel his performance today; he was not allowed to enter Croatia at the border and had to return. We had to find another fighter at noon, but luckily we managed to combine something. That fighter will have to correct his weight a bit, as he has a bit overweight but has enough time available.

Organizing really isn’t a joke; I think it’s a lot easier to fight than to organize a tournament! Still, I think everything will be fine if time is on our side. In case of rain, our alternative was the Home of Croatian Veterans, but we spoke to various meteorologists and, as things stand, it should not rain tomorrow after 10 am. The ring is folded and covered with a tarpaulin," Mikelić said and continued:

"The event was supposed to start at 10 am - we have about seventy registered fighters, which would mean that the first part would end after about six hours, so around 4 pm. A break of four hours is to follow, until 8 pm when the main program of the evening begins. This way, we will start with the first part somewhere between noon and 2 pm, and then without a break or with a short break, we will continue with the main part of the evening," Mikelić said yesterday at the House of Croatian Veterans, where the fighters officially weighed.

To follow the latest sports news in Croatia, follow TCN's dedicated page

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Friday, 21 May 2021

Donald Tusk in Rovinj: "Croatia is Ready to Restart Tourism''

May 21, 2021 - As the season approaches and tourists start to arrive, a message comes from the European People's Party's Donald Tusk in Rovinj, Istria.

As reported by, Donald Tusk, who served as President of the European Council from 2014 to 2019 and as the 14th Prime Minister of Poland from 2007 to 2014, is currently enjoying the early days of sun in Croatia with his family. Through his Twitter profile, the most famous Polish politician internationally announced his visit to the popular Istrian destination of Rovinj. The sight of Donald Tusk in Rovinj is likely to give this destination hope for the summer ahead.

Tourism in the Istrian peninsula has proven that it can defy the obstacles caused by the pandemic, not only at its worst during the past year but also in recent months, prior to the start of the rapidly approaching summer season. Istria saw, with surprise, local and foreign tourists arrive not only during Easter but also during the first weekend of May, thus exceeding their expectations in the face of the complicated situation that tourism has been going through in the country in the last year.

All this highlights the advantages of the peninsula of being better connected with the European continent, providing the opportunity for all those tourists to travel by car. It also sends out a powerful message about the willingness of many tourists to enjoy the sea and the beaches before they get crowded, and especially in the present context of social distancing. As the vaccination process in Croatia continues its course and the numbers of infections continue to decline, it seems that the results are beginning to appear.

Given this hopeful precedent, there is reason enough in Istria to believe that the approaching summer season may bring life back to hotels, restaurants, private accommodation, and more. And one of the people who believes that it is time to face the coming months with optimism is nothing less than the Polish representative in the European People's Party (EPP), Donald Tusk.

"Croatia is ready to restart tourism and to receive guests. We are all in love with Istria ", reads the announcement of Donald Tusk in Rovinj on Twitter, accompanied by a photo of him enjoying an Istrian sunset with his family.

For more information on what the City of Rovinj can offer you on your next visit, such as sights, hotels, beaches, food, or drink, be sure to check out Total Croatia's Rovinj in a Page 2021, HERE.

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.

Tuesday, 4 May 2021

Istrian Tourism Starts Off on Right Foot with 11,100 Arrivals During First May Weekend

May 4, 2021 - The first weekend of May saw 11,100 tourists arrive on the Croatian peninsula and 47,000 overnight stays, giving hope to Istrian tourism ahead of the season.

Despite the fact that this year continues to drag the same obstacles as the previous one in terms of the pandemic and its negative effect on the tourism sector, the ongoing vaccination and the recent decrease in infections seem to show that positive changes are about to appear soon not only for Istrian tourism.

The numbers of tourists who visited Istria to spend the first days of May, among which are Slovenian and German citizens, seem to be satisfactory for the tourism board and Istrian tourism.

According to, Slovenian and Croatian citizens are in the lead among the visitors, followed by citizens of Serbia and Germany, the director of the Istrian County Tourist Board Denis Ivošević told Glas Istre, commenting on the tourist results achieved in Istria over the past weekend, which saved May Day tourist figures.

Namely, as far as the structure of guests is concerned, out of a total of 47,500, Slovenians are expected to lead, with 12,600 arriving in Istria. They are followed by domestic guests, 10,000 of them, while there were almost equally 6,500 Serbs and Germans.

‘‘Approximately one-third of all May Day tourists stayed in hotels this weekend, another third of guests opted for camping, while the remaining third stayed in private accommodation, including non-commercial (homeowners or holiday homeowners)’’, continues Ivošević and adds that the most visited Istrian destinations were, as expected, Rovinj and Poreč.

‘‘These figures were expected, we knew that we would not be able to achieve greater tourist arrivals since at this time we cannot count on our most important markets, namely Germany, Austria, and Italy. In any case, taking into account that Slovenes have finally started coming to us and that Serbs have coincided with Easter with the May Day holiday, we can be satisfied’’, Ivošević claims, noting that we still cannot use the potential of a favorable epidemiological situation in Istria.

The Croatian National Tourist Board reports that, according to the eVisitor system, which shows tourist traffic realized in commercial and non-commercial facilities and nautical charter (eCrew system), in Croatia during the first weekend in May, ie from Friday, April 30 to Monday, May 3; there were 41,400 arrivals and more than 157,000 overnight stays. Out of that, foreign tourists made almost 23,000 arrivals and 112,000 overnight stays.

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

For more information and travel tips on the Istrian region, be sure to visit our newly launched Total Croatia portal.

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

Tuesday, 20 April 2021

Forbes Included Istria in 50 Spectacular Places to Visit Post-Pandemic

April 20, 2021 – Another recognition of Croatia's beauty and tourist offer as the American magazine Forbes included Istria among 50 spectacular destinations for post-pandemic travels.

As reported by Ina Rodin, the Croatian National Tourist Board director in the USA, the prestigious American media have been writing about the current conditions for entering Croatia in recent days.

The Forbes article states that Istria is an ideal destination for all gastronomy lovers who can taste quality olive oil, truffles, prosciutto, wine, and seafood in Istria. The article also emphasizes the beauty of Istrian towns and its excellent geographical position.

"Foodies should consider Croatia's Istrian Peninsula for their next taste-testing vacation. As the crow flies, you're practically in Italy; in fact, there's a ferry that runs between Venice and Pula, Croatia. You'll find truffles, olive oil, prosciutto, wine, and all types of seafood, plus delicacies that are 100% Croatian.

This region is popular with European travelers, but Americans are only just beginning to visit. If you go, be sure to split your time between a coastal city (such as Rovinj or Pula) and inland villages (hill-top Motovun is a favorite)," writes Forbes.

The story of the American television network CNBC also revealed all the charms of Istria. It provided an overview of the digital nomads' costs of living in four global destinations, namely Bali, Jamaica, Barbados, and Croatia. The story of life in Croatia is told through the example of Melissa Paul, a digital nomad who found her place under the sun in Istria.

The American edition of the travel magazine Condé Nast Traveler also writes about Croatia, which brings a list of countries that are open to vaccinated visitors and states the current conditions for entering those countries.

Lonely Planet, the world's leading brand of tourist guides, also writes about the current conditions of entry into Croatia. In an additional article about our country, they list the 17 best must-visit locations in Croatia. The list includes Dubrovnik, Plitvice Lakes, Hvar, Mljet, Zagreb, Istria, Vis, Bol, Korcula, Krka National Park, Split, Zagorje, Zadar, Cres, Cape Kamenjak, Kopački Rit Nature Park, and Motovun.

Besides, the Travel Pulse portal and the renowned American travel magazine Travel+Leisure write about the conditions for entering Croatia. Travel+Leisure includes one Croatian destination, namely the city of Split, in the nine best European destinations for retirees.

For all you need to know about coronavirus specific to Croatia, including border, travel and quarantine rules, as well as the locations of testing centres across the country, make sure to bookmark our dedicated section.

For more on travel in Croatia, follow our dedicated section.

Monday, 12 April 2021

Istrian Wine in International Spotlight Thanks to Croatia Unpacked

April 12, 2021 - Saša Muradori and Tanya Schmitt are the founders of Croatia Unpacked, with which they seek to popularize Croatian wine in Canada. Their company has been recently featured this month in an article in The Circular - the monthly publication by The Circle of Wine Writers - the world's leading international association of authors, writers, journalists, bloggers, broadcasters, photographers, and lecturers, communicating about wines and spirits.

Tanya was interviewed by award-winning wine writer & editor of The Circular, Amanda Barnes, about her interest in wine, her experience with Croatia Unpacked in the wine industry in Canada, and her passion for Istria. TCN transmits the full interview with Tanya:

What sparked your interest in wine?  

I’ve always enjoyed wine, but it was when I met my husband – a self-confessed old-world wine snob – in 2005, that my interest was really sparked. Thanks to some wonderful trips (the only rule we have when we travel is to eat and drink local) and many enjoyable dinners, my palate swiftly evolved, and I quickly became a wine lover with, who would have guessed it, a preference for old-world wines…

It was, however, only when we discovered Croatian wine that I ever considered entering the wine industry. Croatia produces intriguing wines that, on tasting for the first time, were both familiar to us yet, at the same time, totally unique. Before I knew it, I found myself on a fascinating journey of discovery – exploring wine regions where indigenous grapes thrive, and where the influence of Croatia’s distinctive terroir is ever-present. Although I am no wine expert, I was quickly convinced that this was a wine experience that deserved attention.

You’ve been involved with Croatian wine and tourism since 2019. What attracted you to Croatia initially?

I am English, my husband Dutch, and outside of work, we are history & art lovers, explorers, foodies, and wine lovers. We live in Canada today, but holidays typically take us back to Europe, where we jump on a motorbike and hit the open road. Before heading out on a road trip a few years ago, a friend recommended that we visit Istria (northwest Croatia, a short hop from Trieste in Italy).

We took his advice and discovered a region so culturally rich yet relatively undiscovered, a gourmet paradise and a land of opportunity. During our short stay there, we visited one of the best-maintained roman amphitheaters in the Mediterranean, learned about the ancient technique of Amphora winemaking at a beautiful local winery, saw mosaics in Poreč that rival those in Ravenna, and were wowed by the food and wine scene. As entrepreneurs, we also saw incredible potential: gaps begging to be filled in the tourism sector, as well as opportunities to introduce the relatively unknown yet extremely high-quality local produce to the global stage, to name but a few.

You also co-founded ‘Experience Istria’. What do you think is the quintessential Istrian (tourism) experience?

Istria is a hidden gem. In recent years it has been labeled the “New Tuscany” – and with good reason.  I often say to people that if you were parachuted into Istria, you could easily be mistaken for thinking you were in Italy, but a very rustic, natural version of its more developed neighbor. Tourists typically flock to Istria’s Adriatic coastline, with destinations such as “Venetian” Rovinj, being an eternal crowd-pleaser.

For me, however, it is time spent in the hinterland of Green Istria that reveals the true, authentic heart of the region. Picture a landscape of rolling hills, medieval hilltop towns, mysterious truffle-laden forests, and olive groves and vineyards stretching as far as the eye can see.

In October 2016, my husband and I visited Istria in the “off-season” for the first time. It was during this trip that we promised each other we would return at this time, every year. Autumn in Istria is difficult to beat. You will find yourself treated to the pungent aroma of generously shaved white truffles in the traditional konobas (local restaurants) scattered around the interior. Take a truffle hunt with a trusted guide and you may be lucky enough to find one yourself! It is also harvest time for both grapes and olives.  As you roam the endless wine and olive oil roads, you will witness the locals coming out in their dozens to gather the precious fruits by hand, which will soon be lovingly transformed into the next great vintage, or in the case of olive oil, into liquid gold.

Unknown to many, Istria has been named the best olive oil-producing region in the world for the last 6 years, and an olive oil tasting experience is not to be missed. Istrians are proud of their cultural heritage and this can be witnessed in Autumn through a host of local festivals filling the cobbled marketplaces of hilltop towns. As an added bonus, with the summer crowds long gone, all that the region has to offer can be explored in relative isolation.

What really excites you about Croatian wine at the moment, and what do you think wine writers really ought to put on their radar?

I am excited about seeing Croatian wine increasingly recognized on the international stage. The tally of awards at the top competitions is growing year after year, and the global exposure to Croatian wine seems to be growing with it. This is a trend that I hope we will see continue.

The pandemic has, without doubt, been extremely challenging for the wine industry, as it has for many others. I do believe however that there has been one key learning out of it that will hopefully benefit Croatian winemakers in the long term. It is not easy to sample Croatian wine outside Croatia. Exports are notoriously low, with the output largely being consumed within the country by locals and tourists, with minimum quantities making their way to some fortunate countries throughout the EU.

With restaurants shut down, and tourism at all-time lows in the last 12 months, many winemakers have recognized the importance of diversifying their sales channels. This heralds an opportunity not only for the winemakers but also for inquisitive wine lovers, with previously unheard of varietals making their way onto wine shelves around the world. A few years ago, the intrepid explorer in search of sampling Grk, would have no option but to make the journey to the distant island Korčula, off the Dalmatian coast. To think that this wine will be available in Ontario (Canada) this summer is pretty exciting!

As for what I would like to see wine writers put on their radar, my answer would be Croatian wine! There is still relatively little coverage of the region, which historically may be tied to the low exports and thus lack of availability. However, as more and more wine agents, ourselves included, are bucking the trend and focusing on making Croatian wines available around the globe, it would be great to see wine writers embracing this evolution, and helping to educate consumers on this emerging new old-world wine destination.

Which Croatian wines are particularly resonating with the Canadian market? And what is the greatest challenge in selling Croatian wine to Canada?

The greatest challenge in selling Croatian wine in Canada is education. Croatia is not recognized by the average Canadian wine consumer as a wine-producing destination, let alone an old-world wine region. This is somewhat understandable, given that 12 to 18 months ago, you would have had to search high and low to find a single bottle of Croatian wine on a physical, or virtual, store shelf across Ontario – Canada’s largest province.

Changing this perception takes time – it will not happen overnight, but we are confident that it will happen. With the goal of shifting this perception, we spend significant time on promoting the brand of Croatia as a whole, rather than the brand of winery A or winery B. The wineries we partner with understand this challenge and have taken steps to form an association with this collective goal in mind. We are cautiously optimistic that, thanks to this association, we will secure EU funding in 2021 / 2022 for some pretty exciting promotional activities that will take place both in Canada and Croatia (as the situation allows). In the meantime, we are starting to see a shift emerging.  As more wines are available on the market, inquisitive wine lovers are excited to try new varietals, are intrigued by the taste profiles, and, invariably, are surprised by the quality.

Wines with a great story are definitely resonating with the Canadian market. For example, the majority of Canadian wine lovers may not be familiar with Plavac Mali, but they most definitely know Zinfandel. Plavac Mali is the renowned offspring of 2 ancient Croatian varietals, one of which – Tribidrag – is in fact the original Zinfandel. Telling this story draws an immediate connection in the mind of the consumer with something known and trusted, and it has definitely opened the door to a new and growing following for Dalmatia’s flagship red.  Followers now start to embrace Plavac Mali and compare it to a Californian Zinfandel, in the same way, others compare a Burgundy to a Californian Pinot Noir.

We have, most recently, had incredible success with Dalmatian Dog Babić from Testament Winery. Babić is a lesser-known varietal, comparable to the much loved Italian Chianti. It is the price to quality ratio of this wine, outshining similar wines from its Adriatic neighbor, that has contributed to its success, with its latest release in Ontario selling out in less than a week. This will not be a one-off. There are many other success stories like this just waiting to be told!

Finally, do you have any exciting travel plans post-pandemic? What’s next on your bucket list?

 Like so many, I am longing to travel again, once it is safe to do so.  Priority number one will be spending some time with my close family in England. After this, we will definitely be heading back to Istria, hopefully just in time for white truffle season!

In a few year's time, we are looking forward to calling Istria home. In addition to the pleasure that we know this will bring us in our daily lives, its central location, in the heart of Europe, also opens up easy access to a range of new bucket-list targets.  First on our list will definitely be riding on our motorbike into Istanbul!

If you are interested to get a taste of Istria from the comfort of your home, then please join Tanya, and her co-host Wanda Srdoc, on April 24th at 6 pm for "An Evening to Experience Istria" - a gourmet escape to Istria with wine and truffles!

To read the original article by The Circular, click here.

To know more about wine in Croatia, read our Total Croatia dedicated page.

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

Tuesday, 6 April 2021

Expectations Were Exceeded: Thousands of Guests Traveled to Istria for Easter!

April 6, 2021 - Despite the epidemiological situation that has put the tourism sector on a hold, the Istrian County Tourist Board is satisfied with the number of guests that arrived in Istria for Easter over the last week.

‘‘On a daily basis, Istria has had approximately 16,000 guests every day these days, which means that we will realize slightly less than 50,000 overnight stays, led by Germans and locals’’, says the director of the Istrian County Tourist Board Denis Ivošević, commenting on tourist results in Istria over the past Easter holidays in a report made by Glas Istre.

‘‘If we compare it with an average year, say 2018, we can say that this year we are at some 50 percent of that. If we compare this year's results with the record year 2019 when Easter fell on a much later date, then we are at some 30 percent’’, Ivošević explains and confirms that, regardless of that result, ‘‘we can still be extremely satisfied’’.

‘‘Namely, we were afraid - he continues - that many Germans would return to their homes because their authorities put us on the red list. However, fortunately, this did not happen so we can be satisfied with the numbers’’.

Ivošević adds that even though they’re aware that several German tourists decided to stay home or choose nearer options, the numbers were still good considering the current situation.



Around 50 hotels opened for the Easter holidays in Istria, and among them were both large hotel houses and small family hotels. Also, about 25 camps received guests, and so did a large number of private family apartments in the interior of Istria and on the coast.

Regarding the structure of guest arrivals, there were six and a half thousand German tourists that arrived in Istria. This was followed by about five thousand local tourists. Unfortunately, the number of Slovenes, Austrians, and Italian tourists was considerably low in comparison to previous years.

‘‘Approximately 35 percent of all tourists stayed in hotels this weekend, 35 percent in private accommodation or apartments, while 25 percent of guests decided to camp’’, says Ivošević, and adds that the most visited Istrian destinations for the Easter holidays have always been Poreč and Rovinj, and so they were this year again.

‘‘About 4,000 overnight stays were realized in Pula this Easter, which is satisfactory considering the epidemiological situation in the world’’, says the director of the Pula Tourist Board Sanja Cinkopan Korotaj, adding that 40 percent of guests chose private accommodation, 24 percent of them chose hotels and 18 percent decided for camping.

''The structure of guests in Pula seems to be a copy of the situation in the whole of Istria, so we had 40 percent of Germans, 34 percent of domestic guests, and 12 percent of all Austrians, Italians, and Slovenes''.


Credit: Aminea Maravea Camping Resort (Novigrad)

‘‘This year's figures are above our expectations, so we can be satisfied. The number of arrivals this year is an indication that people want to travel and no longer want to be locked in their homes, cities, or states. People want freedom. Seven hotels were opened in Poreč and about 10,000 overnight stays were realized in four days, which is satisfactory considering the conditions in which we operate’’, says the director of the local tourist board, Nenad Velenik. ‘‘However, we see that the structure of guests here is a bit different, so in Poreč the locals are in the lead’’.

‘‘The occupancy by markets is interesting. Namely, in the first place are guests from Croatia, followed by Germans, and in third place are tourists from the Czech Republic, followed by Austrians and Swiss. Therefore, traditional markets such as Italian or Slovenian have been completely absent this Easter, explains Velenik and hopes for a more favorable epidemiological situation and greater vaccination of the population, especially tourist workers, as the May Day holidays are getting closer. Thus, we can once again come to the green list of countries in our major markets’’, concludes Velenik.

Ivošević ends by saying that they were unable to get information on the specific numbers of many other tourist boards since they did not answer the official phone numbers. Thus, these Easter holidays will remain short of the tourist figures of Umag, Labin, Medulin, Rovinj, and Fažana.

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

Wednesday, 31 March 2021

Boost for Istrian Tourism as Die Welt Tells Germans They May Travel

March the 31st, 2021 - Istrian tourism could be given a breath of fresh air amid the ongoing pandemic as an influential German publication publishes an article detailing where German tourists may travel without the need for quarantine.

The coronavirus pandemic has dealt a heavy blow to the entire world, but those countries which typically rely heavily on tourism have suffered tremendously. Croatia, with tourism being its strongest economic branch, hasn't been immune to the devastating economic effects of the pandemic, lockdowns and travel uncertainty. Istrian tourism, however, has been given a new spring in its step as the influential German publication Die Welt tells German tourists, who are otherwise great lovers of Istria, that they may enter.

As Morski writes, Nera Milicic, Head of the Croatian Tourist Board's representation over in the German city of Munich, explained the following: This publication in Die Welt, which is one of the leading ''opinion makers'' among German media, and whose readers have higher purchasing power and higher demands, will certainly contribute to the additional perception of Istria, but also Croatia, as a desirable holiday destination for German guests.''

The author of the article, Sonke Kruger, stated that it is possible for German tourists to travel to Istria without the need for self-isolation or quarantine upon entering Croatia and returning to Germany, but there is still the obligation to present a negative PCR test at the border. The author additionally emphasised the fact that Istria is the most attractive and the most accessible Croatian region for German visitors, many of which tend to come by car.

The article also conveys information from German tour operators who are very interested in Istrian tourism and holidays in Istria, and pointed out that many Istrian hotels are already open, while the number of accommodation options available to tourists will only increase even further in the coming months.

It's worth adding that in addition to Croatia and the mention of Istrian tourism for German visitors in that particular article, it also lists the parts of Spain and Portugal where German tourists can currently travel without mandatory quarantine on returning home to Germany, but it is noted that various regulations related to the prevention of the spread of the novel coronavirus are still in force, from mandatory testing to strict hygiene rules and the wearing of protective masks.

For all current coronavirus information specific to Croatia, including travel and border rules, as well as testing centres across the country, make sure to bookmark this page.

Wednesday, 17 March 2021

Central Istria Tourist Board Promotion Video Wins Two Awards

March the 17th, 2021 - The Central Istria Tourist Board has outdone itself with its fascinating promotional video, winning two prestigious international awards and attracting a lot of attention to this truly beautiful part of the country.

As Barbara Ban/Novac writes, the promotional film of the Central Istria Tourist Board has won two awards at prestigious international tourist film festivals. Great recognition came to the film from the 21st Golden City Gate 2021 International Tourism Film Festival - Tourism Multimedia Award, where it won second place in the Regions category. The film festival is part of the prestigious ITB Berlin tourism fair, the largest in the world, which was held online due to the pandemic. The second award for the same film came not long after from Russia, where the film won the commercial film category at the TRAVEL FILM International Film Festival.

The film was produced by the Labin-based company Level 52 back during the middle of last year. The authors moved away from their usual postcard-style videos, using the popular storytelling element instead. The destination is presented through the revival of legends, magical creatures, as well as by showcasing the actual residents of Central Istria and local products. Different stories are connected through the Central Istria Tourist Board´s promotional film with a unique narration and original music. Showing the known, but also the hidden, and highlighting multiple often overlooked destinations in this part of Istria makes this film stand out among the rest.

Authors Sanel Isanovic and Goran Nacinovic pointed out that this is a really important recognition for their hard work and that such awards encourage further work. Client trust and creative freedom allowed them to do something different, which was ultimately very well received.

The director of the Central Istria Tourist Board, Sanja Kantaruti, emphasised that this recognition is an enormous success, which they are extremely proud of, and that such promotion at international festivals is an immeasurable advertisement for Central Istria as a tourist destination. She emphasised that the plan is to continue this form of audiovisual promotion and numerous other projects aimed at promotion for tourism.

This bold and unconventional approach from the author's team, said the director of the Istria County Tourist Board, Denis Ivosevic, proved to be a winning tourist story.

Istria County is ready to look forward to the new season ahead of us, and these awards will certainly contribute to another successful season in Central Istria. So far, the film has been screened in the selection of the Amargos Tourism Film Festival and the Travel FilmFest International Festival. However, the award from Berlin is undoubtedly the most significant recognition that the film could receive, given that it is the world's leading fair, it is also worth noting that Germany is the main emitting tourist market for Istria.

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Tuesday, 23 February 2021

Holiday Homes in Istria Already Full, Expected Excellent Summer Season

February 23, 2021 – Istrians are hoping that the upcoming season will be significantly better than last year, with holiday homes in Istria already fully booked.

As HRT reports, Istria is already ready for the tourist season, which Istrians hope will be significantly better than last year. They are most optimistic due to the proximity to the most important markets from which their guests come by car. Apart from the coast, the peninsula's interior is becoming more and more interesting for tourists.

Five hundred tourists are resting this winter in Poreč, mostly athletes. Most of them have been guests in Istria for many years.

"You have hundreds of kilometers of beautiful mountain bike trails for training, you are close to us, we do not depend on airplanes, we come quickly by car, we stay at sea, you are excellent hosts for everything we need," said Matthias Krick from Germany.

In the long-term tourist champion of Croatia, Poreč, they are ready for an excellent summer season. The announcements are great.

"It's going very well. There are bigger announcements for Easter, May 1, and later 'rush hour.' We are preparing as if the season will be great, and we strongly believe in that," says Nenad Velenik from the Tourist Board of Porec.

Phones in the tourist boards of central Istria are constantly ringing. The Istrian green oasis has never been bigger bait.

"The advantage is that the holiday homes in our county are isolated, scattered on the beautiful hills in the greenery. After the lockdown and isolation in big cities, especially in Germany where our guests come from, people wanted nature, beauty, and spending holidays with their loved ones," says Sanja Kantaruti from the Central Istria Tourist Board.

And travel agencies are also ready, just waiting for the opening of borders and transparent rules.

"We even have questions from guests about whether renters are vaccinated, what the vaccination situation is in Croatia, what the current situation is. They want to be safe, travel safely, and get home safely. We hope that all this will be resolved and that the borders will be opened, and we are ready," said Alen Babić, owner of a travel agency in Poreč.

A favorite and close destination of Germans, Austrians, Italians, and Slovenes, Istria is ready to present the tourist season well in not at all enviable circumstances, just like it did last year.

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