Thursday, 12 December 2019

Primorje-Gorski Kotar County's Amends Plans to Facilitate Business Projects

ZAGREB, December 12, 2019 - The Primorje-Gorski Kotar County Assembly on Thursday endorsed a motion to amend the county's physical plan to facilitate new investment in the economy at the initiative of the JANAF, Delmont and Lošinjska Plovidba companies and Dobrinj municipality on Krk island.

One of the initiatives is to expand the capacity of the JANAF oil pipeline operator's terminal in Omišalj. The initiative envisages building six 80,000 m3 storage facilities for crude oil, which will replace the existing 40,000 m3 tanks; and building three 15,000 m3 storage facilities for oil products and replacing one 5,000 m3 tank with a 20,000 m3 tank.

The plan is also to connect the Omišalj terminal to the Urinj refinery with a pipeline for oil products which will be laid along the existing pipeline from the refinery to the terminal.

The motion also envisages amending the physical plan so that a state shipbuilding port can be built in the area of the Kraljevica shipyard, where the Dalmont company is currently doing business, which would facilitate further investment in the shipyard.

The plan is also to change the administrative definition of the Privlaka marina in Mali Lošinj, which will be included in a plan with a number of port basins instead of the previously designated two in order to avoid expensive infrastructure works.

Also, the Blato-Meline health tourism resort in Dobrinj will be built at another location because there has been no interest among investors for the existing one.

More news about Primorje-Gorski Kotar county can be found in the Lifestyle section.

Wednesday, 20 November 2019

Rijeka Airport to Hit 200,000 Passengers For First Time, Still Far Behind Others in Croatia

November 20, 2019 - For the first time in its history, Rijeka Airport will reach 200,000 passengers. But how does this compare to the other airports in Croatia? A closer look. 

Novi List writes that for the past seven to eight years, the airport on Krk has made its way from an airport threatened with closure, with traffic barely at fifty thousand passengers, a building that hadn’t seen any renovations since the early 1970s, and business dependent on grants from the budget, to an airport that manages to cover operating costs, while generating profits. Furthermore, more than thirty million kuna was invested in the renovation of the building, new facilities, as well as the necessary infrastructure and equipment.

As good as it may sound at first glance, Rijeka still lags far behind all airports in Croatia, apart from Osijek. Zagreb, Split, and Dubrovnik have millions of passengers, so they should not be compared, but Pula and Zadar, which, similar to Rijeka, are highly seasonal airports, exceed half a million passengers a year, which is the goal of Rijeka Airport. With just 200,000 passengers, it is nowhere near that figure, but the growth of passenger traffic in recent years shows that there is room for progress, and Rijeka Airport is at a turning point at the co-owners, with the largest share in Croatia (55 percent), followed by the Primorje-Gorski Kotar County (20 percent), will have to make the right moves with the tourism economy of the country and region. Rijeka would at least reach Zadar and Pula, of which the tourism sector would benefit the most, as well as the economy as a whole.

Deputy Mayor of Primorje-Gorski Kotar County, Marko Boras Mandic, said that by setting up a new administration and investing, the county had turned the negative trends that prevailed at the airport just seven years ago.

“With 200,000 passengers, I believe that we have reached our maximum of what we, together with the Kvarner Tourist Board and local governments, could do. We managed to stop the shutdown of the Airport, when it was considered, at the national level, that Croatia did not need it. At that time, the development of the Zadar Airport, which with fifteen thousand passengers, came to over half a million today, as well as Pula, was primarily encouraged. Unfortunately, at that time, many tourist workers in Kvarner supported the thesis that this was an auto destination and that we did not need the airport. We managed to deny it,” says Boras Mandic.

Through the combined advertising system, the counties and the tourist boards are investing around HRK 6 million a year in the development of air traffic in Rijeka, but Boras Mandic believes that with changes to the provisions on the collection of tourist taxes, the tourist boards will have more money to be directed towards air traffic.

“Majority stakeholders and politics are now on the move. It should be made clear that we currently have political trump cards that we must use - Croatian National Tourist Board Director Kristjan Stanicic, Transport Minister Oleg Butkovic and Tourism Minister Gari Capelli, three key persons for the development of the Rijeka Airport, are from this region and I believe they recognize the importance of the second tourist region in Croatia and many second cities. It is not necessary to look for the impossible, but only what is economically justified. 

When Bozidar Kalmeta was Minister of Transport, Zadar Airport was growing at a rapid rate, just as Pula was growing during the term of Tourism Minister Lorencin, as they recognized the potential of these airports. I believe that the mentioned three will equally know the potential of Rijeka Airport. First and foremost, Rijeka will receive at least one hundred thousand seats a year through the Flight Incentive Program (PSO), and that the funds for joint advertising will be increased and that conditions will be created for Eurowings or another company to establish its base on Krk. With these three conditions, we can reach half a million passengers. We have the same majority owner, but also totally different policies and investments in airports, with Rijeka getting the least, even though it is the airport that needs the most development. And in the way that, as we finance the development of less developed counties, the development of Rijeka Airport can be funded from the earnings at larger airports and tourist boards,” says Boras Mandic.

Airport director Tomislav Palalic says the changes to the PSO program would encourage flights within Croatia as well as the EU (in which Rijeka now has only four thousand subsidized seats on planes a year, with Pula and Zadar at seventy thousand each, and Split over 200 thousand ), and traffic could increase by another 20 to 100 percent in the next year.

“With the increase in the number of passengers and operations, we directly influence the development of accompanying external service providers, in particular, the Croatian Air Navigation Control and the INA d.d. and we encourage them to develop their resources at the Rijeka Airport site, which by their work greatly influences the provision of services to all entities at the Rijeka Airport,” says Palalić.

Rijeka Airport has resolved property legal relations on the land on which it is located in the past, adding that it has acquired the basic preconditions for applying to all types of sources of funds, especially EU funds, to which the Airport will apply for new development projects.

“Another prerequisite for upgrading the infrastructure in order to optimize and modernize the capacities in some parts is to prepare the project documentation and obtain the associated permits, which is intensively done on major projects such as the construction of a subway connection of the passenger terminal building with the bus station on the D102 Most - Krk road, the expansion of the aircraft platform and the construction of a vertical runway in relation to the existing one, to cancel the negative impact of storms on the existing runway and thus the availability of the same 365 days a year,” says Palalic.

Rijeka Airport expanded its operations beyond the airport last year and now provides training for airport staff, as well as a screening service for passengers at the Losinj airport, and intends to apply the same at large airports with traffic greater than two million passengers and at small sports airports.

“We went to the furthest airport away, Vis Airport, where we expect a location permit and the approval of the Croatian Civil Aviation Agency soon, and we even hope to put it into operation for the 2020 summer season,” says Palalic.

Regarding the investments made so far in the system of infrastructure, as well as the equipment that serves the safety of performing aviation operations, they proudly point out that Rijeka is today among the more modern airports in Croatia, and by some systems also the first thanks to the Ministry of Transport and the County of Primorje-Gorski Kotar as the two largest co-owners.

Despite this, Rijeka Airport, in relation to all other Airports in which Croatia is the majority owner, receives the least amount of funds directly and indirectly, which, even with the present indicators, is considered insufficient, but it is slowly but surely changing thanks to the Ministry of the Sea, Traffic and Infrastructure, says the director.

About the future development of Rijeka Airport and the allocation of larger incentives, primarily through the PSO program, the Ministry said that over the past three years, their budget has invested more than HRK 14 million, and over the last seven years, over thirty million.

“Rijeka Airport marked last year with historical records, generating a total of 183,606 passengers, and this trend continues this year, as the results in the first nine months indicate an increase of 11.1 percent compared to last year. Such a significant increase in passenger traffic, among other things, is the result of numerous activities, efforts and financial resources that the Rijeka Airport Administration, in cooperation with the Ministry of the Sea, Transport and Infrastructure and other stakeholders, have invested in the introduction of new routes, as well as extending the operation period of existing ones.

Considering the potential of traffic development at the Rijeka Airport, it is necessary to take into account the plans of the Management Board as well as the potential of generating additional economic activities and traffic demand in the environment served by the Rijeka Airport. Comparisons with other airports in the Republic of Croatia are not good because each operates in the circumstances unique to its environment where the market does not have the same potential or does not realize it with the same dynamics. Thus, the process of analyzing the possibility of establishing lines between Rijeka Airport and destinations in the other EU Member States, also within the PSO system, is currently underway. It is also important to emphasize that investments in the infrastructure of the airport, but of local communities, primarily tourist entities, will depend, to a large extent, on the increase in the number of passengers at Rijeka Airport,” the Ministry said.

Director of the Croatian National Tourist Board Kristjan Stanicic points out that Rijeka Airport has the largest space for increasing the number of passengers in the tourism sector, since Kvarner is still lagging behind other tourist regions by the number of airlines and more markets. According to Stanicic, they could open new markets and extend the tourist season.

“Airports play an important role in the development of all tourist destinations as they enable faster and easier travel to the destination, which is an important criterion when choosing a destination for certain segments of tourists as well as tourists from more distant markets. In line with these trends, it is desirable that airports, such as destination hotels, cooperate more closely with each other to establish and maintain business relationships with tour operators, as this is one of the most effective ways to positively increase the number of flights. The added synergy of all stakeholders in joint appearance and promotion in established and emerging markets is key to strong marketing support in introducing new airlines,” says Stanicic.

The trend in tourism, he added, is that the number of guests traveling by plane is continuously growing, so he sees the opportunity for Rijeka Airport as well.

“There is certainly room for further growth and progress, especially in the tourist sense, as it is in a good geographical position near the most popular destinations in Kvarner, but also near key road routes. The Croatian National Tourist Board will also contribute to harnessing these potentials and stimulating further traffic growth, primarily through joint advertising with strategic partners. Kvarner has all the potential for quality positioning as an airline destination in foreign markets. In the Croatian National Tourist Board, together with the system of tourist boards, as part of strategic projects, we very intensively cooperate and support partners, that is, tour operators and air carriers that have programs for Croatia and Rijeka Airport as well. For these activities, we have secured around HRK 40 million this year for the implementation of strategic promotional campaigns in broadcast markets, or for strategic cooperation with airlines and tour operators, which have organized programs for Croatia in their offer,” says Stanicic.

To read more about travel in Croatia, follow TCN’s dedicated page

Tuesday, 19 November 2019

Several Archaeological Sites Discovered During Wastewater Project on Krk Island

November 19, 2019 - Work is underway on a project for the collection, drainage and treatment of wastewater on Krk island, co-financed by the European Cohesion Fund. In the process, several archaeological sites have been discovered. 

Novi List reports that the Ponikve Voda Utility Company said on Tuesday that four contracts are now being implemented, the first of which relates to the reconstruction of the water supply system and the construction and rehabilitation of the drainage system with DTK infrastructure, worth HRK 266.9 million.

The works include the construction of gravity (79,464 meters) and pressure (6904 meters) sewage pipelines, 26 sewer pumping stations, reconstructing 39,854 meters of the water supply network, rehabilitating 10,218 meters of the sewage collection and 1192 maintenance holes, and 63,464 meters of an electronic communications network.

Project monitoring services cost HRK 7.1 million, project management technical support services HRK 6.7 million, and project implementation information and visibility services HRK 285.925.

The works are being carried out in the area of eight island settlements - in Omišalj, Njivice, Malinska, Krk, Kornić, Punt, Baška and Dobrinj, and a total of 46 teams are working on the ground.

They have so far completed 69.5 percent of the sewage works, 68.6 percent of works on the water supply system, 45.3 percent of works on DTK infrastructure, and 57 percent of works on home connections.

However, most exciting is that during the works in the cores of Omišalj and Krk, archaeological sites have been discovered.

So far, coins from the 2nd century (Krk), remains of private Roman thermal spas from the 1st century (Krk), remains of Roman objects and street communications (Krk), remains of a medieval cemetery (Krk), a burial site beside the Church of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary from prehistoric times to the early modern age (Omišalj) and parts of the sewage and water supply systems of late antiquity (Krk) have been found.

The total value of the project on Krk island is HRK 648.3 million, and HRK 369.1 million has been provided from the Cohesion Fund. The project is a multi-year project that involves the construction of wastewater treatment plants and extending and upgrading a public sewage system for six agglomerations on the island of Krk - Omišalj, Malinska-Njivice, Krk, Punat, Baška and Klimno-Silo.

The project will provide a 100% secondary wastewater collection and treatment service, and the reduction of direct discharges into the sea will contribute to ensuring good seawater quality for swimming and tourism.

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

Tuesday, 29 October 2019

Inspector-General Fails to Declare 700 Square Metres of Property on Krk

ZAGREB, October 29, 2019 - Inspector-General Andrija Mikulić of the ruling HDZ party has entered incorrect data in his declaration of assets by failing to declare as many as 687 square metres of his house on the island of Krk, the RTL broadcaster's Potraga programme has discovered.

Mikulić stated in his declaration of assets that his house and the land it was built on measured 180 square metres while an inspection of land books showed that the property in question measures 867 square metres.

When contacted by RTL for a clarification, Mikulić said that the mistake was not intentional and that he had launched a procedure to change the area declared as well as to enter other changes he was required to enter by the end of the year.

He said that when declaring the property's area, he thought that he had to declare exclusively the area and value of the housing unit.

However, RTL says that the 180 square metres stated as the area of the house was not the accurate area of the house in Malinska on Krk. According to land books, one unit covers 154 square metres while the other measures 47 square metres.

"It is completely clear that what has to be declared is the total area of the land plot on which a house is built and that what is stated is the value of the house and its yard, i.e. the entire area and the total value of the real estate. That is important because declarations of assets must be accurate," the head of the Conflict of Interest Commission, Nataša Novaković, said.

Mikulić was unavailable for comment on Tuesday while his party colleagues, Health Minister Milan Kujundžić and Regional Development and EU Funds Minister Marko Pavić, expressed understanding for him, saying that what he did was an unintentional mistake.

More news about conflict of interest issues can be found in the Politics section.

Friday, 20 September 2019

Croatian Destinations in European Sustainable Tourism Competition Final

If you know anything that lies beneath the surface-level of the tourism industry and you think of sustainable tourism, Croatia is likely not positioned very high on your list. The Croatian tourism ''strategy'' is questionable at best, and so is its old and incapable infrastructure when it comes to trying to cope with damaging, mass tourism.

The likes of Dubrovnik, its incredible overcrowding, traffic, poorly prepared infrastructure and cruise ship hell are notorious examples of just how not to do things, and Croatia's UNESCO protected southernmost city is also the country's most famous tourist destination.

Thankfully, there are several much less famous Croatian destinations that could work to balance out beautiful Dubrovnik's semi-disastrous reputation in terms of sustainable tourism, and two of those destinations are far from the extreme south of Dalmatia, in the rolling green hills of Istria, in the north of the country.

As Poslovni Dnevnik/Marta Duic writes on the 20th of September, 2019, Motovun, Krk and Rovinj's popular Batana Eco-museum are among the finalists for the best European Destinations for Sustainable Cultural Tourism.

Motovun and the aforementioned Rovinj museum are both located in Istria, while Krk is a large island in Kvarner, belonging to Primorje-Gorski Kotar County.

The finalists of the European Travel Commission selection for the best European destinations for sustainable cultural tourism have now been announced. Motovun is a finalist in the wine tourism category, along with two other renowned European winep-oriented destinations, namely the French destinations of Pays d´Armagnac and of course, the Loire Valley.

In a competition of 55 destinations from 19 European countries, the above-mentioned little Istrian town is not the only finalist from Croatia. In the category of intangible heritage, among the finalsites, is the amazing Batana Eco-museum in Rovinj, and in the category of innovation and digitisation, the island of Krk is a finalist with its digital presentation of the rich cultural heritage of the island of Krk.

The winners by category will be announced at the grand ceremony, which will take place on October the 24th in Granada, Spain.

Make sure to follow our dedicated travel page for much more.

Sunday, 15 September 2019

'The Routes of the Frankopans' Give New Value to Rijeka - European Capital of Culture Project

September 15, 2019 -'The Routes of the Frankopans' is a cultural and tourist route that includes 17 castles, fortified towns and palaces, and three sacred complexes.

HRTurizam writes that the Frankopan princes of Krk left a deep mark on Kvarner, and because of their exceptional international influence, many consider them the most significant family in Croatian history - and true diplomats.

The history of the Frankopan princes of Krk lasted more than five and a half centuries: the members of this great family were the bearers of political, social, economic and cultural development in their territories, primarily in the present-day Croatian region of Kvarner.

The noble family, whose origin is linked to the island of Krk, extended their influence to the Kvarner region, part of Lika and part of the interior of Croatia. Thus, because of the historical heritage and the importance of the Frankopan family for the whole of Kvarner, and because many castles and palaces were left behind, a project for the development and revitalization of the cultural and tourist route 'The Routes of the Frankopans' has been launched 

The cultural and tourist route includes 17 castles, fortified towns and palaces, and three sacred complexes. The route is divided into four territorial units that emphasize the diversity of the landscape of the Kvarner region, namely the island of Krk, Gorski Kotar, Rijeka with its surroundings and Vinodol.

The project aims to develop a cultural and tourism product whose content will attract more visitors to the locations of the castles, which were not at the forefront of the tourist offer of the Kvarner region, and thus revive the less developed parts of Primorje-Gorski Kotar County. The project protects the Frankopan family's cultural heritage in the Kvarner region and creates new socio-economic value through its tourist valorization.

The project is developed by Primorje-Gorski Kotar County and its partners are the cities of Rijeka, Kraljevica, Bakar and Čabar, the municipalities of Čavle, Lokve and Vinodol and the Diocese of Krk, the Rijeka Museum of Natural History, the City of Krk Cultural Center, the Rijeka Tourist Board and the Kvarner Tourist Board. The total value of the project is HRK 64,116,001.04, while the EU grant amounts to HRK 47,306,235.33.

The first phase of the project took place between 2005 and 2008 when an investment was made in ten Frankopan castles in the Vinodol Valley. The second phase of the project lasted from 2013 to 2016, within the framework of the EU project HERA from the IPA program of the Adriatic Cross-border Cooperation, when the reconstruction project was extended to Rijeka, Krk and Gorski Kotar, or a total of twenty objects, with the intention of creating cultural-tourist routes that will permanently integrate objects into the cultural life of the wider community. The third phase began in 2015 when the project was submitted to the Ministry of Regional Development and EU Funds competition. A total of HRK 47.3 million in grants from EU Structural Funds has been approved for the renovation of facilities, their arrangement, promotion and creation of new tourist products that will revive the island of Krk, the Vinodol region and Gorski Kotar throughout the year. The total value of the project is HRK 61 million. 

The project will be completed at the end of 2019 and the 'The Routes of the Frankopans' will give new added value to the Rijeka - European Capital of Culture 2020 project.

To read more about travel in Croatia, follow TCN’s dedicated page

Sunday, 18 August 2019

WOW Association Members Visit Winemakers on Krk Island

On August 3rd, in the middle of the summer, a meeting of the members of the WOW Association and the winemakers of the island of Krk, or more precisely, Vrbnik was held.

The get-together point was in Dunat, in the beautiful beach bar Casa del Padrone, where around twenty members of the association (some accompanied by their husbands, who decided to join) and some journalists were welcomed by Sanja Muzaferija, the association president and their hostess for the day. Sanja knows Krk very well, as she has spent her summers in Punat for many years.

Casa del padrone svi.jpg

The young owner of the beach bar, ambitious Adrian Štimac told the story of the bar to the visitors, explaining how the concept of the place is for the guests to spend the entire day at the bar – which means at the beach! It's decorated completely in the marine style, with details such as oars, barrels with anchor signs and completely white and turquoise blue. The bar's hostesses welcomes all guests, rents out the beach chair to them (100 kuna a day) and they just need to enjoy the view of the Punat marina, islet Košljun or the ski-lift wakeboard nearby, take a swim, get free water, a towel, a piece of watermelon... The entire idea is to offer their guests to take a hedonistic approach to their day, because a kind Thai lady is waiting to give you a Thai massage, if that's what you'd like, you can have a beach-appropriate lovely meal, have a fresh-made juice, cocktail, sparkling or still wine.

pogled na Vrbnik 2019.jpg

After that experience, the small group went on towards Vrbnik in good spirits. The first stop was at the terrace of the Ivan Katunar House of Wine where the WOW member Egle Katunar awaited for their arrival. They were offered seven wine labels, their own olive oil from Vodnjan, where Egle was born, and the amazing story of the winery, cellar and the 40 year tradition of winemaking in the Katunar family. The tradition is made by two Ivans, father and son, and the brand is named after them. The first harvest to be bottled was in 1989, and the first forays into commercialisation was also made then by her father in law, Ivan Katunar senior, who Egle called a visionary in several occasions. Both father and son welcomed the members of the group, and nobody should be worried about keeping the tradition, as Egle was feeding her baby, her second child, between the tastings. The vineyards of the Ivan Katunar House of Wine are located in the Vrbnik field, at the Krasina locality, which is extremely good for the grapes, and produces high-quality yield. The group got to see the cellar and the winery in the house of the Katunar family, built in 1963, renovated in 1987, and the new cellar with the modern technology was dug in 2007. Another series of changes happened in 2017, when the new, modern visual identity was created, as well as the new retail space in the house. The large terrace with the view of Vrbnik is almost finished, as is the grand tasting hall. One thing they highlight here is that the entire process of winemaking, from the vineyard to the table, is controlled by the Ivan Katunar House of Wine.

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For this occasion, they presented Biser Žlahtine 2017 as a welcome drink, a sparkling wine made by 100% Žlahtina, an indigenous Krk white wine, made using the charmat method. After that some Ivan Katunar Žlahtina 2018 was offered, then a surprisingly refreshing and light Chardonnay 2017 (this is the only winemaker making Chardonnay on Krk), Rosé 2018 which women of the WOW association instantly loved, Sansigot 2016, a red wine made by the indigenous variety of this region, Yellow Moscatto 2018 and prošek Sv. Ivan 2010. There was olive oil, olives, wonderful cheese and some prosciutto to help with the wines.

After the group has purchased all the wines they planned, Egle Katunar took them on a walk around Vrbnik, to show them some of the important sights and monuments of this wonderful small town. They climbed up to the bella vista, more precisely – the terrace of the legendary Nada restaurant. There Ivan Juranić welcomed them with some sparkling wine and a million dollar view of the Velebit channel and Crikvenica Riviera on the mainland from the terrace above the cliff over the local port.

The restaurant was opened in 1974, as a small and friendly local eatery, and in its 45 years it managed to become a successful restaurant, known for their food far from Krk. In their beginning, Nada was dedicated to making traditional meals from Vrbnik, mostly cooked by grandma Nada herself. She also came to welcome the group in person, and told them how proud and happy she was that her daughter and son in law first, and then her grandson kept the idea of the restaurant for this long. Today, Nada restaurant lovingly offers modern Mediterranean cuisine, with emphasis on seafood dishes, and are well known even outside of Croatia, as foreign customers often visit and take home good impressions.

rose.jpg

WOW group got to enjoy first a roast-beef sandwich, then some tuna carpaccio, traditional pasta from Krk called šurlice with shrimp, seabream and an amazing lava cake with some ice-cream. Today the Nada winery was also renovated and ready to accept organized groups of tourists, after being used only for the production of wine and wine-based products. The decoration is rustic; the combination of the stone and wooden beams was kept, while the rest of the restaurant has a more modern feel. Happily in the synergy with the terrace that serves as a summer jazz stage, Nada is a place that shouldn't be missed when in Vrbnik. Of course, many guests feel that way, so we recommend you make a reservation to make sure there's a table waiting for you.

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And you might be wondering what wines the group tasted at Nada: their Soubze Brut sparkling wine, Nada Žlahtina, Sw. Nadalia rosé and Zaberde, a blend of the red varieties from Vrbnik. In addition to those wines, made by Nada winery, Ivica Dobrinčić from Šipun winery also got to present a few of his wines to the group. Šipun Žlahtina from 2018 and Sansigot 2016 were tasted, but a very special rosé made from another indigenous variety, Troišćina was not tasted! The winemaker was able to make such a spectacular wine that the first vintage was sold out completely, receiving raving reviews by the buyers and experts alike, but that meant that the WOW Association group was not able to taste any of it! Maybe next time...

Wednesday, 24 July 2019

Croatian Camp Charging for Access to Shade on Beach

The Croatian tourist season of 2019 hasn't been going all that well when compared the recent record years where little effort needed to be made and the tourists arrived in their droves.

2019 has seen it finally dawn on the powers that be that the VAT rate needs lowering and that a bit more effort needs to be made to attract tourists when in competition with recovering rivals such as Turkey, and even Greece which has just experienced a massive overhaul in its tourism policies - and for the better.

While numerous articles, videos and photos arise of otherwise very popular destinations on the Dalmatian coast which are normally thronged with tourists at this time of year almost entirely empty and quiet, those responsible for the state of Croatian tourism continue to twiddle their thumbs in awe of why Croatian companies who work in the tourism field are needing the quotas for foreign (non-EU) labour to be increased, and why cheaper Mediterranean destinations are pulling would-be tourists in Croatia to other countries which are cheaper.

Clutching at straws, perhaps, it seems some in Croatia have taken to charging for basic human rights to make up any potential deficit in their tourism revenues this summer. We had the recent case of a place in Trpanj, on the Peljesac Peninsula, charging people three times the usual price of a sun lounger if it's underneath a palm tree, then justifying it by stating that if people don't want to pay for that, then they can rent the sun lounger and simply lie underneath it for shade (yes, really)

Now, we have yet another case, this time on the island of Krk in the Kvarner region. 

As Poslovni Dnevnik writes on the 23rd of July, 2019, this announcement sparked numerous heated discussions on social media about high prices during the tourist season and charging for totally embarrassing things.

Namely, in Punat, on the island of Krk, it is evident that they are charging for sun loungers in the camp, but they also have something else to offer if you really want to splash the cash to ensure your basic right to not get sun stroke or skin cancer - a place in the shade.

Rather unsurprisingly, this weird photo caused a number of reactions on Facebook and quickly spread.

You'll beed to cough up 30 kuna if you want to rent a sun lounger, but a place in the shade for adults is a further 15 kuna, and for children, a further 10 kuna. Naturally, when this came to light, people were dumbfounded.

Officially, it has now been found out that in this camp on Krk, being charged more for a place in the shade has been going on in previous years, too.

Make sure to follow our dedicated lifestyle page for much more.

Saturday, 29 June 2019

Bikers Protest Against Road Toll Collection on Krk Bridge

ZAGREB, June 29, 2019 - Bikers from Rijeka and Primorje-Gorski Kotar County on Saturday staged a protest against the collection of the road toll on the bridge connecting the mainland with the northern Adriatic island of Krk, slowing down traffic by paying the road toll with small change.

Traffic across the bridge, which is usually dense at this time of the tourist season, was significantly slower on Saturday morning.

Police were regulating traffic, directing bikers to one of the four open road toll collection points.

The protesting bikers said that the purpose of their action was to have road toll collection on the Krk bridge cancelled as the bridge had long been paid for and was the only bridge in the country where the road toll was still collected.

Asked to comment on the protest, Transport Minister Oleg Butković said in Rijeka that the protesters were harming themselves and Croatia but noted that there were grounds to abolish the road toll for the Krk bridge.

"We are conducting talks with the World Bank in that regard. The total debt of the road sector is 5.5 billion euro and we cannot make a decision of that kind without international creditors who helped finance the construction of motorways and refinance the debt," Butković said, adding that the government would cancel road toll collection for the Krk bridge if such a move was approved by international creditors.

More Krk news can be found in the Lifestyle section.

Monday, 27 May 2019

New Catamaran Lines Presented, to Operate in Summer 2019 Season

In the last several days we've received three separate reports of new catamaran lines introduced for the summer season of 2019, with the intent of inter-connecting Croatian islands. The fact that Croatian islands were often perceived as not inter-connected enough, and that you often had to go to Split in order to get to another island which was in fact quite close was often listed as one of the bigger problems for tourists in Croatia. 

Well, that seems to be changing: during summer 2019, there will be at least three new catamaran lines which will help fix that! Those are:

  • Split Airport - Split Town - Bol on Brač Island - Stari Grad on Hvar Island, operated by https://splitexpress.com/en
  • Rijeka - Krk (Krk) - Lopar (Rab) - Novalja (Pag) - Zadar, operated by G&VLine
  • Dubrovnik - Korčula (Korčula) - Hvar (Hvar) - Bol (Brač) - Split, operated by Jadrolinija.

The last of the three mentioned existed last year too, as we've made clear in our 2018 guide on how to get to Korčula Island. Obviously, it has proven to be a success last year, so Jadrolinija has decided to bring it back, starting operation on May 30th, and lasting until the end of September. The timetable (link to the .pdf document) is similar to last year's, with the key difference being that it will be departing Split 45 minutes earlier in the afternoon (at 15:30, while last year it was at 16:15), thus arriving in Dubrovnik also 45 minutes earlier. In addition, in Korčula, the ferry will not be docking at Dominče ferry port, rather at either the east or the west port in Korčula town itself. The very modern catamaran Jelena will be carrying passengers on this line.

Rijeka - Krk - Rab - Pag - Zadar is a new line, which connects the islands that are close to one another, but have never been well-connected. Now the new catamaran line will give the passengers the chance to island-hop, but also to make a same-day visit to the islands, as it will leave Rijeka in the morning, arriving in Zadar around midday, and you'll be able to from Zadar to Rijeka at around 8 pm. For a detailed timeline, click here (link to the .pdf document).

The timetable for the catamaran line connecting Split Airport, Split Town, Bol on Brač and Stari Grad on Hvar is a bit more complicated, but you can see it below:

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