Thursday, 1 April 2021

New Lika Tourist Attractions in Untouched Nature Sure to Delight All Tourists

April 2, 2021 - New Lika tourist attractions in untouched nature are sure to delight all types of travelers! 

The residents of Lika are hoping for full accommodation capacities for Easter and the upcoming tourist season. This year, there are new attractions for tourists to discover in Lika; a real hobbit house has sprung up in untouched nature, and for a complete atmosphere, there is a forest organ, the first in Croatia.

The play of branches and wind creates a symphony on the forest organ; that's how the Lika forest sounds. "It produces the sound of air flowing through pipes and holes in pipes. They have an aid during weak winds so that people are not disappointed when the organ is not heard when there is no wind", said Tomislav Špehar, from Grabovača Cave Park. reports, the small houses with green doors lead us to a real-life fairy tale. The Hobbit houses also have furniture, a small bed, books about the Hobbits in more than ten world languages ​, and a herbarium of real Lika plants that grow in the garden in front of the houses. Last year, volunteers from all over the world worked on the creation of this project. 

"Our goal is to have editions of the book The Hobbit in foreign languages. Volunteers from Spain, France, Pakistan, and Vietnam took part in the last project", says Mario Paral, Grabovača Cave Park.

The children of Lika will also find a piece of paradise for themselves and have the opportunity to learn new languages. "When books in different languages ​​come, then I will be able to learn a little more languages," says Niko, 9 years old.

Foreign languages ​​are already being heard. The season in the cave park Grabovača started earlier than usual. "We've been open for three weekends. In those six days, we were visited by about 300 visitors. Of which 99% are Croats and only one percent are foreigners from the Netherlands and the Czech Republic", said Jelena Milkovic, director of the Grabovac Cave Park.

That is why they rightly expect more guests than last year's five thousand because enjoying the smells and sounds of the forest with a little escape in the imagination - is the cure for all problems. 

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Wednesday, 17 March 2021

Mali Losinj and Lika Among Top 100 Global Green Destinations

March the 17th, 2021 - The beautiful green heart of Croatia, Lika, and charming Mali Losinj have both been listed among the top 100 global green destinations for the year 2020.

As Morski writes, the Green Destinations Story Awards jury commission divided the top 100 green destinations in 2020 into a total of six categories and, according to the submitted material, selected the most innovative and sustainable, and one of the important criteria was the possibility of applying examples of good practice in other destinations across the world.

The Lika Destination Cluster won third prize in the category Islands & Seaside with the story Local products in the function of destination development, and Mali Losinj was included among the top six finalists in the category Communities & Culture, with the story Integrated quality management in the destination.

The truly beautiful and emerald green area of Lika is unique in many ways because it combines a beautiful continental part of the country, the Velebit mountain massif as a unique biosphere park and the coastal part that leaves nobody feeling indifferent. It is an area that includes three gorgeous national parks, a nature park, a cave park and a number of other natural phenomena. Most of this area is a unique example of rich biodiversity, which is an excellent prerequisite for the production of premium food that is placed under the unique brand Lika Quality and it is thanks to this project that the destination Lika won this highly commendable award.

¨At the recent selection for the global top 100 green destinations across the world, Lika won for the first time, but the recognition doesn´t stop there, within that same list, it was selected among the top fifteen," said a proud Petra Kovacevic, the leader of the Lika Destination Cluster.

The island of Losinj, known as the island of vitality, is a brand that has been striving for sustainable and responsible tourism since way back in 2006, and is considered one of the leaders in sustainable development in the Republic of Croatia.

¨Were glad that Losinj has once again been recognised as one of the best green destinations. Sustainability is the key advantage of the island of vitality. Through many years of measuring things up and comparing data, we´ve detected strengths, weaknesses, threats and opportunities in order to constantly improve the destination's sustainability strategy. With integrated cooperation with its residents and visitors, we have come to a solution on how to develop, but at the same time preserve a permanent quality destination for coexistence and the pleasant stay of our guests,¨ said the director of the Tourist Board of Mali Losinj, Dalibor Cvitkovic.

The competition for 100 sustainable destinations is organised to highlight relevant and true stories of sustainable and responsible tourism across the globe, which serve as inspiration for other destinations, tour operators and of course travellers and tourists.

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Friday, 5 March 2021

Interest in Houses in Zagreb Down 10%, Says Online Classified Site

ZAGREB, 5 March, 2021 - Over the past 12 months interest in buying a house in Zagreb dropped by 10% while at the same time interest in house purchase in Gorski Kotar, Lika and Istria grew significantly, shows an analysis by the Njuškalo online classified site.

Even though there have been no major changes in asking prices for real estate in Zagreb over the past 12 months, trends related to demand point to changes in customers' interest, which is probably due to a series of earthquakes that hit central Croatia in 2020.

Whereas last year clients increasingly searched for houses in Zagreb, rather than flats, over the past 12 months the interest in buying a house in Zagreb dropped by 10%.

In the entire country the interest in house and flat purchases grew less than one percent on the year but some regions have become much more attractive.

In the central mountainous Primorje-Gorski Kotar County, the interest in buying a house rose by 26.75% in the last 12 months, while in Istria it went up by 25%. Ads for properties in Lika-Senj County, too, saw an increase in views of 22.4%.

The average asking price for houses in Primorje-Gorski Kotar County was €1,595 per square metre, in Istria County it was €1,799 and in Lika-Senj County €1,160.

Potential buyers also increasingly searched for houses in Zadar County, as well as in the region of Međimurje, with interest in buying real estate there going up by 11%.

Interest in flats in Zagreb up 5.6%

From February 2020 to February 2021 interest in buying a flat in Zagreb grew by 5.6%, with the average asking price exceeding €2,150 in February 2021.

Among the cities where asking prices have continued growing are Osijek, Zadar and Pula, with Rijeka seeing the highest increase, of 6.4%, for the second consecutive month. Even though Split was previously in this group, it has been stagnating now in terms of the average asking price, Njuškalo says.

Rent in Zagreb down 9%, demand down 6%

Over the past 12 months, the rent on flats in Zagreb dropped by 9% and demand in the first two months of this year dropped 6% compared to the same period of 2020.

The average rent in Zagreb was €539, with most flats for rent having an area of 40-70 square metres, and the only flats to see an increase in the cost of rent on the year were those with an area of 20 square metres. The cost of rent for such flats went up by 3.2% to an average €231 per month.

The cost of rent dropped the most in the downtown area of Zagreb, by 11%, however, the average cost of rent still exceeds €700 a month, the online site says.

Wednesday, 3 March 2021

Former PPK Velebit Gospic Industrial Centre to Return to Life

March the 3rd, 2021 - The former PPK Velebit Gospic industrial centre has has new life breathed into it in the economic sense thanks to two dedicated Croatian companies.

As Poslovni Dnevnik writes, the former industrial complex of the former PPK Velebit Gospic, which is characterised by its large and imposing silos and warehouses, has been left empty and decaying for decades, while potential investors who do happen to have come and gone all gave up on starting any sort of production within the facility.

Today, that unfortunate picture is changing for the better and the production plant has started being used by two Croatian companies which deal with different activities, which have created new jobs in production with the aim of further expansion. These are Plastruktor and Komarna, and they have invested money and time to put the situation in the neglected PPK Velebit Gospic complex into some sort of order.

All the carpentry on the silo was changed, the premises were cleaned, the area around it was properly arranged and the storage areas were put back into operation after a very long time. The owners of the company Plastruktor, Josip and Monika Sincek from Varazdin, have been delving into entrepreneurial waters for about twenty years now. Their company currently employs twelve workers and by the end of the investment cycle, that number should increase to thirty employees. The company´s main business segment relates to the production of windshields and noise barriers, as well as the creation of mobile homes from recycled materials, for which the Sincek couple won a gold medal in the category, a special award from the fair organisers and the Grand Prix of the European Association of Innovators. Their first mobile home was recently delivered from Gospic to Petrinja, as a donation for a family left without accommodation following the devastating earthquake in December 2020.

In addition to this investment in the second part of the complex, along Bilajska street, an entrepreneur from Split, the owner of the company Komarna, Sandro Babic is investing in a plant for the production of tortillas, which should come to life in the period ahead of us. All works are proceeding according to the expected dynamics, and according to the owners, the first tortillas produced in the former PPK Velebit Gospic complex will soon be on Croatian store shelves.

The Mayor of Gospic, Karlo Starcevic, and the Deputy Mayor, Kristina Prsa, as well as their associates, all visited the plant, and the enterprise owners bringing it back to life expressed their joint satisfaction with the current cooperation with the mayor and the professional services undetaken by the Gospic and its local administration, which was made available to them at all times.

With the launch of these two projects, the former PPK Velebit Gospic complex will be operational again after a full thirty years, and if all plans are realised, the people of Gospic could soon get new catering and tourist facilities at the top of the silo, which will surely be an attraction.

This is an example of a very good practice of attracting investors, and in Gospic, according to Mayor Starcevic, new jobs will be created in production when both plants are fully operational and this will be the direction that Gospic will be heading in in the future, and as Starcevic points out, job creation in production is the only sustainable way of ensuring Croatian demographic renewal.

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Monday, 25 January 2021

Falling Snow Causes Treacherous Conditions on Croatian Roads

January 25, 2021 – Released images show falling snow is causing extremely difficult conditions on some Croatian roads, both motorways and state roads, with the mountainous regions of Lika and Gorski Kotar most affected

Any optimists living in Zagreb could be forgiven for thinking winter was over. Over a succession of two days last week they were basking in the relatively balmy daytime temperatures of 16 degrees. The sun shone brightly, the boots stayed indoors and lighter jackets were thrown on to visit the shops. Not everyone in Zagreb is an optimist, though. And those with an experience that is greater than their hope knew the reality of the situation; Croatia's winter can turn round at any moment to bite you in the ass.

croatia-4082276_1920.jpgSnow covering the Lika region

And that's exactly what happened this weekend, when falling snow produced treacherous driving conditions across a wide area of Croatia. On some motorways, a ban on trucks with trailers and tractors with semi-trailers is in place because of the continually falling snow. Another response to the falling snow has been to make winter vehicle equipment mandatory.

HAK1.jpegA thick layer of snow covers the road near Delnice at 19.14 on Sunday 24 January 2021 © HAK

While the Croatian capital was experiencing its warm spell, falling snow continued to descend on more mountainous regions of the country, Lika and Gorski Kotar in particular. And it is those that remain most affected by the treacherous driving conditions. Hrvatske Autoceste (Croatian Motorways) are responding to the continuing weather conditions. But, they released pictures of one motorway section near Delnice which, even after plowing, was 30 minutes later again covered by the falling snow.

HAK2.jpegA snowplow arrives at 19.15 to clear the snow © HAK

Thick falling snow and ice made it difficult to drive on the A6 Zagreb - Rijeka highway. The National Association of Drivers and Vehicle Owners (HAK) issued a series of warnings for the following routes: A1 Zagreb-Split-Ploče between the junctions of Bosiljevo II and Maslenica, A6 Rijeka-Zagreb between the junctions of Bosiljevo II and Kikovica, state road DC1 between Zagorje and Gračac and state road DC3 through Gorski Kotar between Zdihovo and Kikovica.

HAK3.jpegBy 19.45 the road is in the same state as before the snowplow arrived, because of continually falling snow © HAK

HAK also reported that there is currently no passable road for trucks with trailers and tractors with semi-trailers from the direction of the continental interior towards Rijeka and Istria and Dalmatia and vice versa. The colder temperatures are expected to stick around for most of the early part of the week, although the skies may be clearer in some regions. Temperatures will rise again heading towards next weekend under an increasing cloud cover, but the chilly conditions might well bounce back towards the end of next weekend. Zagreb itself could even experience more snowfall at that time.

Sunday, 13 December 2020

LiPO Regional Party Established

ZAGREB, Dec 13, 2020 - A new regional party, called LiPO, was established in Lika-Senj County on Saturday, and its leader, county head Darko Milinovic, said that with 1,500 members it was the strongest regional centre-right party in Croatia.

Milinovic said the party's statute, adopted today, allowed for the formation of factions.

The party's name, LiPO, is an acronym formed from the initial letters of the names of the regions that constitute Lika-Senj County - Lika, the Croatian Littoral and islands.

Milinovic said that the founding assembly was held at six locations in Gospic, Otocac, Novalja and Senj due to epidemiological restrictions.

With some 1,500 members, LiPO is the strongest regional centre-right party in Croatia, and the second strongest regional party after the IDS, with more registered members than Bridge, GLAS, We Can! and the HDSSB, which have deputies in the parliament, said Milinovic.

Deputy party leader Ante Dabo, the mayor of Novalja on the island of Pag, said that LiPO would be an inclusive regional party and a partner to the government.

Saturday, 21 November 2020

Prilika Group: Lika Agency Hunting For Opportunities Abroad

After five years of operation of this agency, the rebranding of the only communication agency from the Croatian region of Lika was presented, which now appears on the market as the Prilika Group.

As Poslovni Dnevnik/Marta Duic writes on the 20th of November, 2020, over the years, this Lika-based communication agency has cooperated with numerous clients from across Lika and enabled topics and information from this part of Croatia to get the media space it deserves. The main team consists of six people with four more who are occasionally engaged due to the specific knowledge they possess, and after the restructuring, the Prilika Group organised themselves by departments - media, agency and sales.

"This has been a turbulent year since day one, and we expect it to continue being that way until the last day, too. As a company, we didn't use state funds because we had stocks that allowed us to carry on for those three months, but unfortunately we're now with a smaller number of associates than we were back before the coronavirus crisis. Back in March, everything seemed ideal, we had planned growth in traffic, which was then an increase in traffic of some 25 percent when compared to last year.

Not only did we lose that part of the increase, but also our long-term clients who, affected by the crisis, no longer had the funds to continue with any further engagement. Still, in April and May, we adjusted quickly and started working with a few new clients to make up for those losses.

During the summer months, we decided to go forward with the first restructuring of our company. We've carried out a recapitalisation and we're no longer a j.d.o.o. which used to be a burden to us in doing business. The restructuring took two months, which is relatively little time, but it was enough for us to put three brands in one place. We did all this because of our plans, we want to enter the international market and now we're ready, regardless of the coronavirus pandemic,'' explained Ante Fumic, the owner of the Prilika Group.

Today, the Prilika Group has a brand new website and the agency department includes more than 30 services in one place. Investing in rebranding ended up being cheaper than planned because most of the work was done in-house.

In five years of doing business, Fumic points out the joint advertising for the Croatian National Tourist Board as one of their key jobs.

''From the very development of the media plans, the design of strategies and plans for clients, to the implementation and reports. Through the CNTB, we told our clients many great touristic stories that have been put out here in Croatia and abroad. At any time, we administer a dozen different social media channels, which are taken care of by a team composed of community managers, graphic designers and photographers, we participate in EU funds projects, and numerous clients who have hired us for our PR services, graphic design or classic marketing services are also part of our story.

In addition, I'd like to single out the growth of our portal Lika Club, which has become a serious regional medium which signed a partnership with RTL, and the development of the tourist magazine The Plitvice Times, which we have been publishing for three years now,'' added Fumic.

The Prilika Group continued to work on local projects and with local clients this year as well, and they are especially proud of their new collaborations with Gospic.

"Given the image of Gospic across Croatia, which is often associated with negative concepts, as well as the conditional underdevelopment of Lika, Gospic announced a tender to work on communication, in terms of putting out positive information that happens there but doing so sufficiently enough to be observed at the national level. Over the past six months since we started working on that we've had some great results,'' noted the director of the Prilika Group.

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Tuesday, 10 November 2020

Joso Mraovic, One of the HDZ Founders, Died of Coronavirus

November 10, 2020 – Joso Mraovic, known as one of the founders of the HDZ in Lika, who was also called "Lički Tuđman", died yesterday in the Rijeka hospital from coronavirus.

According to Maxportal, because he was infected with the coronavirus a few days ago, he was admitted to the Rijeka Clinical Hospital, where he was on the respirator, and passed away on Monday afternoon. He had underlying heart and blood pressure problems.

The news of his death was published by the Gospić HDZ.

"Today is a particularly sad day for the two Mraović families, the family of the late Joso and the late Mile. Today is a sad day for all the founders of HDZ and the Croatian state, today is a sad day for all Croatian defenders of Gospić and Bilaj. Unexpectedly, two true patriots left us, two falcons who participated in all important processes from the very beginning of the creation of the Croatian state.

Dear Mraović families, we are proud that we participated with Joso and Mile in the creation of our only homeland, and we hereby express our sincere condolences on behalf of all HDZ founders from the town of Gospić. Joso and Mile will be with us and in our hearts forever," reads the post on their Facebook page.

The news was confirmed for 24sata by the Lika-Senj County Prefect Darko Milinović, who knew Mraović.

The controversial politician and businessman died at the age of 68, and apart from the founding of the HDZ, he was also known to the Croatian public for the affair of raping American Ilisha Jarrett, a former Gospić basketball player. For that case, known publicly as the „ličko rukovanje“ („Lika handshake“), he was sentenced to two years in prison in 2005.

As Jutarnji list reports, the case then attracted a lot of attention, especially because of the reasoning of the verdict of Gospić judge Branko Milanović, who acquitted Mraović in the first trial. Namely, to the dismay of the public, he stated that forcible pushing of a finger into the anus should not be understood as rape and that it is actually identical to shaking hands, which is why the term "ličko rukovanje" ("Lika handshake") was later coined.

However, the Supreme Court overturned that verdict and returned the case to the court in Rijeka, where Mraović was sentenced to three years in prison for lewd acts identical to rape. The Supreme Court reduced his sentence to two years, and he was eventually released from prison four months earlier, in 2011.

Mraović was expelled from the HDZ in 2001, and two years ago, there was talk of his return to the party, even though this was not possible after he was convicted of a crime.

The nickname "Lički Tuđman" ("Lika's Tuđman") was given to him in his homeland because of his distinctive political appearance and influence, and the whole of Lika knew him by that nickname. He was a member of the Gospić City Council and the Lika-Senj County Assembly. He was renowned as a wealthy and powerful man.

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Thursday, 8 October 2020

Lika and Mali Losinj Among the TOP 100 Sustainable Destinations in the World

October 7, 2020 - Global Green Destinations has named Lika and Mali Losinj among the TOP 100 sustainable destinations in the world!

HRTurizam reports that Global Green Destinations is an international foundation that brings together the world's sustainable tourist destinations. This week, Global Green Destinations Days released the Global TOP 100 Sustainable Destinations for 2020, which included two Croatian destinations: Lika and Mali Losinj.

The competition for 100 sustainable destinations is organized to show stories of sustainable tourism and good practices, as inspiring examples to other destinations, tour operators, and travelers. According to the evaluation of the TOP 100 Green Destination team, this year, the selection was more than ever determined by the quality, efficiency, and portability of good practice stories submitted by destinations when applying.

Since its founding, the Lika Destination cluster has been guided by the philosophy of sustainable development (Smart Sustainable Destination), and the main activity of the cluster is the tourist promotion of Lika destinations on the domestic and foreign markets based on natural, cultural, historical, gastronomic and health features.

Quality cooperation with 8 protected natural areas, including as many as 3 out of 8 national parks in Croatia, forming a joint ticket to Lika, implementing multi-day programs to stay longer, networking and connecting local producers under a common brand - Lika Quality, opening new markets and encouraging the increase of local production and numerous projects in the field of destination, cultural and sustainable tourism are just part of what the Lika Destination Cluster has been working on since day one, to create conditions for the development of sustainable year-round tourism in Lika.

"Destination Lika in recent years is becoming increasingly recognizable in the tourism market, and this certificate is just further proof of how the Lika Destination Cluster works well on the promotion of the destination and development on the principle of sustainable development," points out the Lika Destination Cluster and emphasizes that this prestigious award is proof of destination development in the right direction and aligned with the latest world trends.

Mali Losinj is again in the group of the best this year, and in 2020, it competed in the categories of Culture and Community and Nature and Ecotourism.

"Sustainable development management, which is a strategic issue and a great responsibility, is carried out at all levels of the destination, as evidenced by the fact that we are included in the Top 100 sustainable destinations in the world," said the director of the Mali Losinj Tourist Board, Dalibor Cvitkovic. The Mali Losinj Tourist Board is among the leaders in sustainable development in Croatia.

“We were among the first to get involved in the European Commission project: ETIS - European Tourism Indicator System for Sustainable Destinations, we participate in the CROSTO project - Croatian Observatory for Sustainable Tourism Development and many others. This year, as an example of good practice, we presented the Integrated Quality Management in Destination (IQM) project, which involves more than 130 stakeholders in the destination to raise quality in all segments, creating quality standards, stakeholder connectivity, and recognizability of Losinj as a destination of excellence. We are glad that, along with Losinj and Lika, the destination was chosen in the Top 100 sustainable destinations in the world because it is proof that our strategy of sustainability and balance of tourism and environmental development is sailing in the right direction," concluded Cvitkovic.

By publishing this annual list and sharing awards of good practice and success stories in destination management, the initiators recognize the steps taken to make tourist destinations more sustainable, responsible, and attractive to visitors.

This leading global conference dedicated to sustainable destination management and competition is held under the auspices of the Top 100 Partnership, with special contributions from Green Destinations, QualityCoast, TravelMole, Vision on Sustainable Tourism, Travelife, ITB Berlin, Asian Ecotourism Network, Ecotourism Australia, and GLP Films.

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Friday, 2 October 2020

Milanovic Wishes Lika Residents Wealthy Lives

ZAGREB, October  2, 2020 - During a visit to the Lika region on Friday President Zoran Milanovic opened the Autumn in Lika commercial tourism event and said that Lika-Senj County has beautiful and rich land, unbelievable resources, wishing its residents wealthy lives and for everyone to be envious of them.

Recalling his own family roots which are partly from Lika, Milanovic said that the fact that this large county has only 50,000 residents "is not a drama or a call for alarm," but that they should be able to use their resources and live a nice and rich life.

"The food you offer and sell has quality and means living and earning. Your potatoes are produced in all of Europe and are excellent. It is not valued enough as a product on the market and should be more expensive. That needs intelligence, assertiveness, boldness and stubbornness and then success isn't far at all," he said.


Picky tourists don't choose the Alps but Lika

He added that picky people are no longer choosing the Alps for their recreation but Lika and the area around Gospic and Otocac.

"Important things are happening here. You have all the preconditions to be competitive and that these 50,000 people live in wealth and for themselves and not like my ancestors for Austria or some other army. Keep your own. That need not be narrow minded or nationalistic, but open," he said addressing exhibitors, describing their products as the "window to the world and a bag of money."


Despite unfavourable conditions agriculture has increased by 3.9%

Listing various incentives, Agriculture Minister Marija Vuckovic said that investment funds were improving from tender to tender and the money invested was becoming more and more effective,  adding that despite the unfavourable circumstances Croatia's agriculture had increased by 3.9%.


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