Saturday, 22 August 2020

5 Reasons Why the Croatian Digital Nomad Visa Should Exist

August 22, 2020 - The Digital Nomad Visa has become a hot topic of late. It is especially relevant right now, during the pandemic when a large number of people are working from home. Jan de Jong, a Dutch entrepreneuer in Croatia spoke to Lider and provided 5 reasons why the Digital Nomad Visa (DNV) should be implemented.

1. Projections claim that by the year 2035, there will be a billion digital nomads in the world - highly skilled individuals who are paid above average or very well, who determine their work locations themselves.

2. A visa for digital nomads would bring people from all over the world to Croatia throughout all 12 months of the year, which would enable Croatia to become a year-round tourist destination.

3. According to a survey conducted by Karoli Hindriks, nine out of ten digital nomads may choose to come to your country if you establish special visas for them.

4. A state-of-the-art and mobile workforce are ready to temporarily settle in your country and strengthen the economy with their consumer power, skills, and knowledge. The first countries to open up to them will reap huge benefits.

5. Digital nomads become a huge marketing machine to promote the country when they start writing blogs, recording bets, tweeting, and posting on social networks about Croatia and thus attract more people.

As Jan previously stated, digital nomads would be important for Croatia in terms of marketing, because they would share their experiences, videos, and photos with their friends, and also on social networks, which would be free promotion. Plus, this would be a great way to start 2021.

Read more about the challenges and opportunities for developing the digital nomad sector in Tanja Polegubic's excellent 10 Ways Croatia Will Be At The Forefront of Countries with a Digital Nomad Visa (DNV).

For the latest travel info, bookmark our main travel info article, which is updated daily

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Wednesday, 19 August 2020

Croatian Bureaucracy 2.0: Progress with the Digital Nomad Visa

August 18, 2020 - Croatian bureaucracy 2.0 can be very efficient, it seems, as the campaign to introduce the Croatian digital nomad visa passes an important milestone. 

Among other things, it is the speed with which things are happening that is giving me hope for the future of Croatia. 

A common-sense idea, put in the public arena, then quietly pursued behind the scenes. 

Let's move away from the pointless slogan of Croatia, Full of Life, to something which embraces which sets Croatia apart from the rest - its safety, lifestyle and authentic experiences. Croatia, Your Safe, Authentic Lifestyle Destination. 

A destination which is a haven for an increasing number of digital nomads and remote workers, who present a fantastic opportunity for Croatia to completely diversify its tourism approach and become one of the leading markets in Europe for this rapidly expanding - and highly lucrative - new type of tourism, based on its position as the lifestyle capital of Europe. 

Nomads are already coming to Croatia - and loving what they find. But without the support of Croatian bureaucracy 2.0, that love affair is restricted to the (typically) 90-day stay that many foreigners are allowed to stay at a time. 

A digital nomad visa, first championed in Estonia and now also by the Bahamas and the Republic of Georgia, would change that, allowing wealth-creating remote workers to earn online in their countries, and spend their lifestyle money in Croatia. With more and more people looking to go home to lifestyle around the world, and with Croatia boasting the best lifestyle in Europe - as well as safety, English spoken, accessibility, affordability, excellent food, wine and natural beauty, and plenty to do, the possibilities for Croatia are enticing indeed. 

One recent - and very enthusiastic - convert to the digital nomad initiative is Split-based Dutch entrepreneur, Jan de Jong, who has been particularly vocal in calling for a digital nomad visa - and his progress has been impressive. Here is a timeline, which has been documented every step of the way by TCN:

May 5, 2020 - Digital Nomads Enter Croatian Tourism Conference Strategy Debate for 1st Time 

May 11, 2020 - Digital Nomad Tourism Featured for 1st Time in Croatian Media

July 11, 2020 - Estonia on the Adriatic? Dutchman Asks PM for Croatian Digital Nomad Visa

July 28, 2020 - Split-Based Dutch Entrepreneur Jan de Jong: Croatia Should Introduce Visas for Digital Nomads

August 15, 2020 - Croatian Digital Nomad Visa One Step Closer? Ministry Meeting Confirmed

That meeting in the Ministry of the Interior took place yesterday, and de Jong posted a summary of it on his LinkedIn page shorted after the meeting:

Ladies & gentlemen, we did it! We are entering round 2!

After my open letter to our Prime Minister Andrej Plenkovic, who from his end engaged his colleague - Deputy Prime Minister Davor Božinović - I can share with you all that I got full support from MUP to proceed with operational meetings on the subject of introducing a digital nomad visa in Croatia!

Full of excitement and with high hopes for Croatia - today I had the pleasure of meeting with Zoran Ničeno, Zvonimir Vrbljanin & Anita Mandic from the Croatian Ministry of Interior (MUP)

Seeing their smiles through their masks ?(which we had to wear during our meeting) when presenting this digital nomad opportunity, confirmed their full understanding of what this visa could bring to Croatia: Year-round tourism.

I could not be happier with the outcome of our first meeting as Zoran Ničeno has committed himself to right away start forming a task force, including people from other ministries, for our next operational meeting - which shall be scheduled on short notice.

Today was a great day as the story continues.

Thank you all for your support, your kind and warm messages and for liking & sharing this post.

Follow me on #LinkedIn to stay up to date.

#LivingTheCroatianDream #digitalnomads #Croatia

TCN will continue to follow this story and update you on progress. The growing awareness of the potential of digital nomad tourism is encouraging to see, as is the government's willingness to look at new ideas in a such a responsive way. 

To be continued... 

Read more about the challenges and opportunities for developing the digital nomad sector in Tanja Polegubic's excellent 10 Ways Croatia Will Be At The Forefront of Countries with a Digital Nomad Visa (DNV).

For the latest travel info, bookmark our main travel info article, which is updated daily

Read the Croatian Travel Update in your language - now available in 24 languages

Join the Total Croatia Travel INFO Viber community.

Saturday, 15 August 2020

Croatian Digital Nomad Visa One Step Closer? Ministry Meeting Confirmed

August 15, 2020 - A victory for common sense and progress? Is the Croatian digital nomad visa dream one step closer to reality?

It is one of the simplest pieces of progressive legislation that Croatia could pass to open up an entirely new sector of its economy without spending anything. A piece of legislation that only has positives once enacted, bringing significant revenue to the economy, as well as creating jobs. 

A piece of legislation which, combined with Croatia's famed lifestyle, could catapult Croatia to be a market leader in this emerging sector in a very short time. A rapidly expanding sector. 

The piece of legislation is the digital nomad visa, and the sector is catering to the increasing number of wealth-creating remote workers looking for lifestyle as their office, and not the same four physical walls. It is predicted that there will be one billion remote workers in the world by 2035, a number which might seem a little conservative in the corona era. 

TCN has been writing about the possibility of attracting digital nomads for some time now, including it in last year's Branding Croatia for the Future; 5 Gifts and Trends to Focus On, But it was only when I sat down with a Russian/Ukrainian couple from Munich during their 3-month stay in Jelsa last June that I truly understood the potential. Their boss in Munich only required them to be in the office two months a year, and so they decided to travel for 10 months each year, choosing Jelsa, Sicily, Spain and Portugal for extended stays, then returning to Jelsa the following year for another three months. 

Their Jelsa dates were April 1 to June 30, out of the main season. They had a swim before morning coffee on the main square each day. Then they went to work in Munich. Lunch in a local restaurant, back to Munich for the afternoon's business, then another swim and some shopping before dinner. Working in Munich, spending in Jelsa. Taking Croatian lessons and engaging in the community. Rather than a tourist on a cheap package holiday in peak season, a leisurely 3-month stay in which they contributed significantly more financially to Jelsa than an average tourist does. You can read more about their story in How Croatia is Becoming Increasingly Attractive for the Digital Nomad Lifestyle.

And what was the main thing that attracted them? Lifestyle. 

Croatia has the best lifestyle in Europe. It is safe, accessible, affordable, offers great authentic experiences, fantastic food and wine, natural beauty, has good infrastructure, is accessible and affordable, with English spoken everywhere. It would not be hard to brand it the Lifestyle Capital of Europe.

The world is changing, and more and more people are working in the same office. It is called the Internet. 

There are only two variables in this new global office - connectivity (3G, 4G, 5G) and time zones. Apart from that, our office is the same wherever we are in the world. 

When we leave the office, we go home. For many, home is the town or village we grew up in, surrounded by family and friends, but for a growing number, people want to leave their office to lifestyle. How about a swim in the Adriatic before dinner, or a stroll down Stradun?

So, if more and more people are seeking lifestyle as their home, and Croatia offers the best lifestyle in Europe, surely this is a marriage made in heaven? 

It should be, and it could be, but... 

Enter our old friend Croatian bureaucracy. Immigration laws are such that Americans, for example, cannot stay for more than 3 months at a time. Things are even more complicated for other nationalities. The digital nomads who are coming to Croatia are not just heading for the coast - they are as diverse as the global population itself. We interviewed Julie from Denver, Colorado last year, who was absolutely loving life in Osijek. Osijek, the city in Slavonia which has become the symbol of emigration of Croatian youth in recent years. No jobs, no opportunities. Julie found the city to be one of the best she had lived in - safe, great English, warm people, beautiful city, great nature, plenty to do, cheap - Osijek had it all. 

Back to that simple piece of legislation  

A digital nomad visa. 

What if, bona fide, wealth-creating remote workers were allowed to come to live and work in Croatia through the issuing of a special digital nomad visa? To bring their spending power and positive mindsets to the lifestyle capital of Europe, whose overdependence on traditional tourism (more than 20% of GDP) is slowly devastating its exceptional coast. 

The idea is not without precedent. Estonia, the digital champion of Europe, became the first in the world to offer a digital nomad visa. It is no coincidence that Estonia is the most digital country in Europe, as well as being home to the highest number of start-up unicorns per capita. The Bahamas has followed suit, as has the Republic of Georgia, two great lifestyle countries. 

Why not Croatia?

It is a question that until recently was being discussed only in cafes among digital nomads, but as the opportunity is becoming more obvious (especially with corona), the voices are now becoming more public. Perhaps none has taken the mantle as strongly as Dutch entrepreneur in Split, Jan de Jong. I have watched Jan's determination and progress with admiration and a big smile since he first became aware of the opportunity, presenting the concept of digital nomad tourism as a tourism strategy for Croatia at a conference back on May 5.  

Using his large LinkedIn following as a sounding board, de Jong has published a series of posts advocating for the embracing of the remote worker opportunity for Croatia, including an open letter to Prime Minister Andrej Plenkovic asking for the introduction of the digital nomad visa. You can read the letter in Estonia on the Adriatic? Dutchman Asks PM for Croatian Digital Nomad Visa.

An open letter which received a warm response, as de Jong informed his LinkedIn followers yesterday:

Yes, yes yes!! ?? I got invited to meet with Croatia's Ministry of Internal Affairs (MUP) to further discuss the introduction of Croatia's digital nomad visa! ????

One Saturday morning, I wrote a #LinkedIn post with an open letter to our Prime Minister Andrej Plenkovic.

With your support, this post got over 5.000 ?? and ❤ and over 200.000 views. ?

And then, one week later...I got asked by the Prime Minister's office to send an official email - resulting in getting invited for a meeting with the responsible ministry - Croatia's Ministry of Internal Affairs (MUP)

The meeting is scheduled for Tuesday 18.08.2020. at 15.00 PM.

But there is more good news! I've had a lovely video call with the person who was the driving force for getting Estonia ?? its digital nomad visa - the one and only Karoli Hindriks.

Karoli Hindriks shared her experience with me and is willing to give Vlada Republike Hrvatske (Government of the Republic of Croatia) and me her support to really get this done ?? Thank you dear ?

So, lets stop waiting for things to get better...lets start making things better! ????

Follow me on #LinkedIn as I will keep you up to date on any further developments.

Thank you all so much for your support - ❤ -

#LivingTheCroatianDream #Croatia #digitalnomads

TCN will bring you an update of the meeting once we hear back from Jan. Good luck!

Tuesday, 28 July 2020

Split-Based Dutch Entrepreneur Jan de Jong: Croatia Should Introduce Visas for Digital Nomads

July 28, 2020 - Dutch entrepreneur Jan de Jong believes that Croatia should introduce visas for digital nomads as soon as possible, following the example of Estonia.

The coronavirus pandemic brought the world to a halt. Most work was done from home, and meetings and conferences were held via online video platforms.

Even now, many workers around the world are still working remotely, which Split-based Dutch entrepreneur Jan de Jong sees as a massive opportunity for the Croatian economy.

Namely, Dutchman Jan Je Jong moved to Croatia 13 years ago and now calls Split home. He believes that Croatia should introduce visas for digital nomads as soon as possible, following the example of Estonia, which implemented them about a month ago.

"Digital nomads are people who can work remotely, are not tied to one place, and they only need internet access. They choose this way of working while traveling the world. With the coronavirus pandemic forcing many companies to allow telecommuting, the trend has accelerated.

Forecasts say that by 2035, there will be about a billion digital nomads in the world. I believe that digital nomad tourism is a huge opportunity for Croatia because it can turn it into a year-round destination," explains Jan.

He adds that Estonia was a hit in international media with its move because it was the first country to introduce a visa for digital nomads, thus inviting highly skilled and highly paid teleworkers to their country, where they would ultimately live for a while and spend their salaries.

Their example was quickly followed by countries such as Barbados and Georgia. It would be an excellent promotion for Croatia if they showed leadership in presenting a visa for digital nomads. Time is crucial in this and I suggest that we do not invent a circuit but take the Estonian model and apply it to us. For example, their conditions for obtaining a visa are proof that you can work remotely, you can only work for foreign companies and clients, i.e., non-Estonians, and the minimum monthly income should be 3,500 euros before taxes," says Jan.

With a visa, digital nomads from all over the world could legally come to Croatia and work for a maximum of one year, but also travel and enjoy the benefits of the state.

"The main advantage for Croatia is year-round tourism and the arrival of highly paid workers who would not take jobs and spend their salaries in Croatia. There are currently 50,000 digital nomads in Bali, which has a similar population as Croatia. If these figures could be achieved in Croatia, assuming that each nomad would spend about ten thousand kuna a month for living, i.e., renting an apartment and a car, groceries, going to the hairdresser and dentist, etc., they could reach 500 million kuna, which goes directly into the budget monthly.

Digital nomads would be important for Croatia in terms of marketing, because they would share their experiences, videos and photos with their friends, but also on social networks, which would be a free promotion," Jan points out, adding that this would be a great way to start 2021.

He explains that a visa is not required for citizens of the European Union, but that is why it is, for example, for citizens of the USA. Jan adds that digital nomads from America can now legally stay in Croatia for three months on a tourist visa, and they are not officially allowed to work, although many freelancers do so. He points out that if we offer digital nomads the legal basis to stay in the country for a maximum of 12 months and work, perhaps more and more global companies will allow their employees to do just that for a certain period of time.

"Remember my words. Soon this will no longer be so innovative, as I expect many countries to follow the example of Estonia. It would be amazing to see Croatia as a leader in this; let's not wait for it to become a global standard. This time, Croatia has the opportunity to be among the first. We have opened the borders for tourists, why not open them for highly paid digital nomads as well?" adds Jan.

A few days ago, on LinkedIn, Jan published an open letter to the Prime Minister, Andrej Plenkovic, but he has not yet received a response.

"The support I received is simply amazing. I can say that people in Croatia and abroad liked the idea of visas for digital nomads. So far, I have not received an official response from the Prime Minister's Office, but my post on LinkedIn is full of messages from people around the world who want to know more about how they can come to Croatia to work and live for a limited period of time.

Everyone is interested in how this can be done, regarding taxes and residence permits. That is why a visa for digital nomads is important, in order to provide answers to all these questions," concluded Jan.


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

Saturday, 11 July 2020

Estonia on the Adriatic? Dutchman Asks PM for Croatian Digital Nomad Visa

July 11, 2020 - What if Croatia went digital and made it easy for remote workers to work here with a digital nomad visa? A question for the Prime Minister.

A timeline.

1991 - Estonia, a small, impoverished ex-Soviet republic, with no real resources, an empty bank account, and 92% of its trade dependent on Russia. 

2020 - Estonia, the undisputed king of digitalisation in Europe, with the best mindset, more unicorns per capita than anywhere in the world, and a digital nomad visa which attracts the finest talent. 

Is it time to turn Croatia into Estonia on the Adriatic? Dutch entrepreneur Jan de Jong in Split sent an open letter to Prime Minister Andrej Plenkovic.  

Dear Prime Minister Andrej Plenkovic,

My name is Jan de Jong, born in the Netherlands, but living in Croatia for nearly 14 years. Over the past months I have promoted Croatia as an amazing country to live & work for digital nomads. (My LinkedIn posts about digital nomads got over 450.000 views)

As a result, my LinkedIn inbox is full with messages from people from all around the world who are seriously considering to take this step - but they all wonder "how"? (in terms of tax laws & staying permits).

Imagine, giving those digital nomads the right to come and work from Croatia up till max. 12 months - regardless of their nationality under a digital nomad visa. (Like Estonia introduced recently)

Many apartments that are empty outside the season could find new tenants. The salaries those digital nomads earn, they will spend in Croatia - resulting in an enormous boost of our economy through consumer spending.

If we open Croatia for tourists, why not open this country for highly paid digital nomads?

I thank you in advance for taking this digital nomad visa into consideration.

Puno hvala, ??

Jan de Jong iz Splita

Give this post a ❤ if you support the idea of introducing of a digital nomad visa in Croatia?

#LivingTheCroatianDream #entrepreneurship #Croatia #DigitalNomads

Learn more about why Croatia is a great digital nomad destination, even without the visa

Tuesday, 23 June 2020

Positivity & Croatian Mindset: a Dutch Entrepreneur in Split Speaks

June 23, 2020 - Injecting positivity into the Croatian mindset - learn the simple secret from a successful Dutch entrepreneur in Split. 

Last year, I wrote an article called The 3 Stages of Learning for a Foreigner in Croatia: Love, Hate & Nirvana.

If you like my writing, I think it is one of my better pieces, and it reflects my 18-year journey as a foreigner in Croatia to my current state of Nirvana, with no drugs involved. 

If I had to summarise my findings which got me to that blissful state, I guess it would be something like this:

1. Accept the things you cannot change, have the courage to change the things you can, and have the wisdom to know the difference. 

2. Do not try and change Dalmatia, but expect Dalmatia to change you.

3. Surround yourself with only positive people doing progressive things. There are SO many of them in Croatia, all living in their own bubbles. Connect those bubbles. 

It really is that simple.

The  Permanent International Ambassador of Positivity in Croatia, Dutch Entrepreneur Jan de Jong in Split, reached Nirvana long before me, and with a much healthier bank balance thanks to his successful entrepreneurial endeavours here. 

It seems that we are on the same page when it comes to positivity and the Croatian mindset. Here is what he wrote:

Why are Croats who move abroad often becoming more successful than they were back home in Croatia? ?? Let me try to draw a picture here:

✅ If you hang around 5 confident people, you will become the 6th

✅ If you hang around 5 intelligent people, you will become the 6th

✅ If you hang around 5 millionaires, you will become the 6th

✅ If you hang around 5 people who only complain about how nothing is possible in Croatia, unless... - guess what: You will become the 6th

For this exact reason I always choose the people I surround myself with very carefully. I am very allergic to negative people and will exclude those type of people from my life ⛔

People who only tell me how bad things are or how things are very difficult here, those people don't get much attention either.

People who are optimistic, who have plans on how to improve their life and lives of others, who are honest and hardworking - with those people I can spend all day discussing all kinds of things. ??

So, ask yourself:

? Who are the 5 people you hang out with?
? How is this affecting you?

Do you agree? ??

Follow me on #LinkedIn. Follow my journey towards Hrvatska 2.0.

#LivingTheCroatianDream #Entrepreneurship

Are you interested in a better Croatia for your children? Tell us about you and what you can offer at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. 

CROMADS: Why You Should Move to Croatia, With or Without Uhljebistan

You can follow CROMADS on Facebook - website going live in July, 2020. 

Tuesday, 12 May 2020

Webpower's Jan de Jong, TCN's Paul Bradbury on Positivity in Croatia at Business Cafe Online

May 12, 2020 - A look at Croatia, the land of opportunity through the eyes of two foreigners who have been living and working in Croatia for 32 years between them. Business Cafe Online this Thursday will feature Webpower Adria CEO and serial entrepreneur Jan de Jong and me. 

It may sound obvious, but not that maybe people to adhere to one of the simple things to ensure you have a happy and stimulating life in Croatia. Simply surround yourself with happy, positive and forward-thinking people. Rather than sit in a cafe surrounded by complainers, or battling with Croatia's vast army of online keyboard warriors, seek out people who want to find solutions to problems, rather than complain about them. 

It may seem obvious as I said, but it took me almost 15 years of living in The Beautiful Croatia to come to this realisation - the final lesson in The 3 Stages of Learning for Foreigners in Croatia: Love, Hate and Nirvana

And I get the chance to hang out with two of the most positive and stimulating forces in my little Croatian bubble on Thursday, May 14, as Business Cafe Online has invited me and perhaps Croatia's finest ambassador of positivity and entrepreneurial opportunity, Dutchman Jan de Jong, to talk about life as a foreigner entrepreneur in this beautiful land. 


Between us, we have been here for a combined 32 years. I arrived in 2002, and Jan has been creating jobs and opportunities with much more success than me since 2006. He is also becoming a regular in the Croatian media with his vision for a better, healthier, and more digital Croatia 2.0. 

Event announcement from Business Cafe Online is below - and the Facebook page is here

Which obstacles do foreign entrepreneurs face when starting and running a business in Croatia?

Is Croatian lifestyle a brand - why should everyone consider moving to Croatia and working from Croatia?

What do foreigners see and locals don't?

And many more interesting topics

In 2019 we started Business Cafe International events besides regular ones going on since 2010.

This time using online platforms we will share two very interesting entrepreneurial journey stories by Paul Bradbury (Total Croatia News) and Jan de Jong (Webpower) .

Here is an interview with Paul Bradbury

You can also read about Jan de Jong here.

Event will be available and streamed free on our

FB page.

YT channel.

Free streaming was provided to you by GreenHypnotic ( and Jedem doma (

Monday, 11 May 2020

Digital Nomad Tourism Featured for 1st Time in Croatian Media

May 11, 2020 - Digital nomad tourism is an obvious tourism strategy of the future. Thanks to Dutch entrepreneur Jan de Jong in Split, it made its first appearance in the Croatian media today.

Did you feel that?

It is not quite the strength of the famous Adriatic bura, but it is a wind of change. 

What a week!


First of all, the Ministry of Tourism decided to upgrade from an email-free ministry, with the humble facsimile at the core of its communications strategy on its homepage...  


... to a totally faxless ministry, replaced by not one but FOUR email options. 

Prior to that, some even more progressive news in the digital era - the concept of digital nomad tourism as a strategy for the development was muted for the first time at a national Croatian tourism conference, SMART Tourism 5.0. 

Dutch entrepreneur Jan de Jong, who has already created hundreds of Croatian jobs in internet marketing since moving to Split in 2006, was the man behind the initiative after reading some articles on TCN. You can see him put forward his arguments for Croatia as a digital nomad tourism destination in the conference video clip aboe. 

De Jong's arguments resonated with many, and today another milestone for the digital nomad tourism initiative, as de Jong featured in a full-page interview with Vecernji List. The first - but certainly not the last - time that digital nomad tourism has featured in the Croatian national media. 

It is almost a year since TCN started writing about the potential of digital nomad tourism in Croatia in Branding Croatia: 5 Gifts and Trends to Focus On.

On June 19, 2019, I wrote an article called How Croatia is Becoming Increasingly Attractive for the Digital Nomad Lifestyle.

In it, I wrote about the daily routine of a Russian-Ukrainian couple in Munich, and their daily routine in Jelsa from April 1 - June 30:

Let me give you an example from a meeting I had yesterday with a very nice Ukrainian and Russian couple in their early 40s here on Hvar. They live in Munich and he works for an IT company, where the boss has decided that his staff would be happier and more productive if he let them work remotely 10 months a year, with only 1-2 months required in the office. The boss himself only spends 6 months in the office and has arranged things whereby he can spend the other half in the warmth of Asia. 

The couple I met last night decided that they wanted to use the opportunity to travel and to experience life in different countries and integrate into communities. The wife came with her family to Jelsa 19 years ago on holiday, and the memories were warm enough for them to decide to put Jelsa into their plan, and so they have been here for 3 months, from April to June, with plans to do exactly the same next year. From Jelsa, they will move to Sicily for 2-3 months and then onto Portugal or Spain. And after the required stop in Munich, it will be back to Jelsa next April. 

The working day is just like any other for someone working online. Deadlines, phone calls, emails, contact with bosses and colleagues. But all this is done remotely. What is different is that each morning starts with a swim before work and a swim after work. They shop in the market, drink coffee in the cafes, and eat in the restaurants. They are even learning Croatian, as they want to get the most out of the community experience. Friends and family come to visit, and they too visit the market, cafes and restaurants. The couple also has many friends with a similar lifestyle, who will be following the places they stay in and consider them for their own digital nomad experience. 

There will be one BILLION digital nomads by 2035, according to some estimates, and there is nowhere in Europe better placed to host them than Croatia, which offers a unique combination of safety, accessibliity, affordability, tourism, great food and wine, good English, good Internet, and a fabulous lifestyle.  

This is a sustainable tourism which will not devastate the coast or succumb to overtourism. A tourism which will suit different people with different needs. As everyone is emigrating from Osijek, for example, meet the digital nomad from Denver who thinks Osijek is one of the best places to be on the planet

To learn more about digtial nomad tourism, check out the Total Croatia guide

Saturday, 18 April 2020

"Croatia Has All Ingredients to Offer Best Standard of Living in Europe"

April 18, 2020 - Who has the potential to have the best standard of living in Europe? Why one Dutch entrepreneur in Split believes it is Croatia. 

One of the many things I love about working at TCN is the exposure it gives me to a wide cross-section of people, opinions and backgrounds regarding Croatia. I have never come across a country with such polarised opinions about absolutely everything. It brings an extra challenge to reporting on things here, and I long ago gave up on thinking that I would ever write an article that everyone would agree with. 

As I get older, I find that I am placing less emphasis on the opinions of people in faraway lands with Croatian heritage but no more experience of the realities of life in Croatia beyond a fortnight on an Adriatic beach each summer, and more emphasis on the opinions of people who have not only tried to make a living here, but who have succeeded. And if one of them managed to employ over 400 locals on the way, then all the more reason. 

I often call Ognjen Bagatin, the charismatic and dynamic CEO of Bagatin Clinic, Mr. Positive. For an international ambassador of positivity, look no further than Jan de Jong in Split, whose latest LinkedIn post focuses on how Croatia could have the best standard of living in Europe.  

[I am not dreaming - I am wide awake]

Did you know that the Dutch tourism industry is 8 times larger than that of Croatia?

Yet, in the Netherlands, people barely talk about the importance of this industry, because it represents only 3% of the Dutch GDP. (Vs. 20% in Croatia)

To me, this only shows the growth potential Croatia still has in other sectors of the economy. And that's exactly what I believe Croatia's entrepreneurs should be focusing on.

Do we really need more apartments, or another hotel, or another pizza place? 

How about agriculture, the service sector, production, exports? 

For 5 months a year, we can't find enough waiters, chefs, cleaning personnel. But when somebody graduates from university, they have a hard time finding a job.

Is there nothing we can learn by watching closely at what entrepreneurs do in other countries? Plenty of great company solving problems at large and doing things that are not being done in Croatia yet. And then, when I say that there are so many opportunities left in Croatia, people think I am dreaming...

If you would only see what I see you would realise that I am wide awake.

Croatia, the land of unexplored terrain, the land of opportunities.

#LivingTheCroatianDream #entrepreneurship #Croatia

best-standard-of-living-in-europe (1).jpg

Read more from Jan de Jong in 5 Things I Learned from Croatian People.

To learn about Jan's entrepreneurial story in Croatia so far - it is a great one - check out his interview in our Foreign Entrepreneurs in Croatia series.

Saturday, 22 February 2020

5 Things I Learned from Croatian People: Dutch Entrepreneur Jan de Jong

February 21, 2020 - There are those who are negative about Croatia, and there are those who are positive. And then there is Dutch entrepreneur Jan de Jong. 

A couple of years ago, I announced - to much derision - that TCN wanted to start a series on foreign entrepreneurs enjoying life in Croatia as a counterbalance to all the stories of crushing emigration. 

The comments, as usual, were scornful, with one of Croatia's army of dedicated keyboard warriors declaring that he would eat his hat if we got more than 2.5 entrepreneurs. As you can see from the response, our keyboard warrior friend has been eating lots of hats ever since. And if you are a foreign entrepreneur in Croatia and would like to be featured in the series, please contact us on This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. Subject Foreign Entrepreneur. 

Among those who responded was a Dutchman called Jan de Jong, who has enjoyed incredible success since moving to Split, and you can read all about this in Jan's interview here

I have only met Jan de Jong once, during his excellent presentation at Business Club International, and I was impressed not only with his success, but also with his positivity about life in Croatia. I have been following him ever since on LinkedIn, where his followers are able to enjoy regular doses of positivity about doing business in The Beautiful Croatia, including this one today, which I am shamelessly lifting from his home page. I hope you don't mind, Sir. Keep up the good work and see you at LEAP 2020. 

✔ Fighters mentality: Fight as hard as you can, don't give up, don't give in. I shall be the one paying for coffee, for drinks, for lunch. ☕????

✔ Carpe diem: Don't always think about tomorrow. You live life today.??

✔ Preparation: Make sure the fridge is always full. Somebody might visit you...and then...we eat, we drink.???

✔ Networking: Perhaps more than in other countries it is a lot about "who you know". Even in situations like delivering a baby in the hospital - make sure you know a doctor. ?‍⚕️

✔ You can't choose your family, but you can choose your "kumovi". (godfathers, best man, etc.) And those relationships with kumovi are super strong - and they become your extended family. Beautiful! ❤

There is also one thing I will probably never learn from Croatian people...PADEŽE! Seriously?!? 7 of them ??

Živim u Hrvatskoj

Volim Hrvatsku

Pozdrav iz Hrvatske.

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