Wednesday, 13 October 2021

Lošinj Open Becomes First ATP Tennis Tournament Held on 'Island of Vitality'

October 13, 2021 - On an island with a long tennis tradition, the Lošinj Open tennis tournament in the ATP Challenger 80 category is on the calendar this autumn, from October 18 to 24, which is another step forward in confirming Lošinj as a recognizable tennis destination.

As part of the Ljubičić Tennis Academy, which gathers professional tennis players and young competitors on Lošinj this year, all tennis enthusiasts will be able to enjoy this sports spectacle, as well as the natural beauties of the island of Lošinj, announced HRTurizam.

Along with Ivan Ljubičić, one of the best Croatian athletes who also hosts the tournament, the tournament will feature Italian Marco Cecchinato, former 16th player in the world and winner of the ATP tournament in Umag, and Russian tennis player Teymuraz Gabashvili, the former 43rd player in the world. After an excellent performance at the ATP Challenger in Naples, the young Duje Ajduković will also arrive on Lošinj, who will defend Croatian colors together with Nina Serdarušić.

"When I started the Ljubičić Tennis Academy, I wanted it to become one of the leading tennis centers in the world, and I recognized Lošinj as an ideal place where talent and sports skills will be developed. Therefore, I am proud to cooperate with partners who helped organize such an event which will not only set new standards of professional tennis, but also contribute to the popularity of sports, but also Lošinj as a destination," said Ivan Ljubicic, famous tennis player, top coach, and leader of Ljubičić tennis academies.

The cooperation of Ivan Ljubičić and Jadranka Group has additionally contributed to the branding of the island of Lošinj as an attractive destination, and Lošinj Open as the first tournament of this category held on Lošinj will strengthen efforts to make this island of vitality a gathering place for tennis fans from around the world. Furthermore, the tournament is also the only Challenger in Europe in that period, which is a good precondition for this sporting event to become a tradition and get a well-deserved place in the ATP calendar.

The organizer of the tournament from the ATP Challenger series, which will attract many visitors to the tennis courts within the Vitality Hotel Punta in Veli Lošinj, is Jadranka Turizam d.d. in cooperation with Ljubičić Tennis Academy and in partnership with the Tennis Club "Lošinj - Jadranka", Jadranka store, Kvarner Tourist Board, Mali Lošinj Tourist Board and manufacturer of top sports equipment HEAD, while the tournament director is Mario Višak from the Tennis Club "Lošinj - Jadranka".

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Thursday, 7 October 2021

Scientists Record Distressed Female Lošinj Dolphin Mourning Loss of Calf

October 7, 2021 -  A female Lošinj dolphin mourning the loss of her offspring saw scientists visibly heartbroken and showed once again that animals have feelings which run just as deep as our own.

The clear and beautiful waters of the Croatian Adriatic bring a lot of joy and relaxation to people from all over the world, either by jumping and swimming in the soft waters in the hot summer months or by simply observing and breathing in the healthy air either from deck or land on less sunny days.

However, like any other place, the Adriatic can be a place of tragedy and sad scenes, whether for humans or animals that call this Mediterranean ''alley'' their home. The waters surrounding beautiful Lošinj island was sadly the location of a sad tale.

As was reported on Wednesday by Croatian RadioTelevision (HRT), the Blue World Institute from the small town of Veli Lošinj, recorded a female Lošinj dolphin mourning the  tragicloss of her calf. The calf sadly died and the mother used her nose to keep the baby on the surface of the sea, swimming with the deceased calf for hours.

This recording of dolphins in the Croatian Adriatic acting this way showcased just how much love, empathy, and emotions they possess.


''These are the first recorded cases even though the research here has been being conducted for over 35 years,'' said Tihana Vučur Blazinić from the Blue World Institute for HRT.

The touching scenes disrupted scientific procedures which decided to only record the incident and not take the calf's body to try to determine the precise cause of death of the unfortunate baby dolphin.

However, since they saw these touching scenes in person, it's hard to blame them for not removing the corpse from the female Lošinj dolphin who was visibly distressed, especially when other dolphins joined the mourning mother.

''At one moment, you had a feeling as they were swimming so close, as if to hug and comfort her, like they're supporting her in these difficult times. The mother, however, regardless of other adults animals approaching, didn't want to leave her baby,'' they told HRT from the Blue World Institute.

With the stork Klepetan mourning the death of his love Malena, the heart-breaking grief of this female Lošinj dolphin is proof that animals have very deep emotions and are much more like humans than we might think. These sad scenes offer another argument that should warn the public that the preservation of biodiversity is a must.

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

Tuesday, 28 September 2021

Losinj Sustainable Tourism Project Tested Out, Assessments to Follow

September the 28th, 2021 - Losinj sustainable tourism has been being tested out, and the so-called ''eco standard'' of it will be measured and judged by nobody but independent travellers themselves.

As Poslovni Dnevnik/Marija Crnjak writes, last week, Losinj hosted a project which showcased the modern simulation of sustainable travel. Six people of different professions, from several Mediterranean countries, had the task to try out and evaluate a carefully designed all-inclusive innovative eco trip called "Rhythm of the senses of the island of Losinj" in the protected area of ​​Cres-Losinj.

This is the main activity of the Mediterranean project INTERREG DestiMED PLUS called "Ecotourism in Mediterranean destinations", which, back at the end of 2019, included the Croatian Institute of Tourism. This Losinj sustainable tourism project has been being prepared for two years now and is taking place in parallel in Italy, Greece, Spain, France, Albania and of course Croatia, and the leading partner is the Italian region of Lazio. The International Association for Nature Conservation (IUCN) and WWF Mediterranean are also involved in the implementation of the project.

The subject of the project is the development of an innovative ecotourism package deal in each of the selected protected areas of project partners, which is created, tested, improved and then adapted to current market needs through the accurate measurement of the environmental sustainability footprint and all other sustainability indicators. The goal is to minimise the negative impacts of tourism on the environment, economy and community, by exact measurement, and not only by declarative, anticipated recommendations.

Specifically, the Losinj sustainable tourism project itinerary was made for smaller groups of 6 to 12 people and lasts for six days. Now, the testers, and in the future tourists, will be staying in family/private accommodation with eco references, and they'll also make the most of the more sustainable transfers provided in the wider Losinj area.

The programme includes an hour of cooking in a family restaurant, a visit to a fragrant garden and a herbarium workshop with local herbs and a tasting room, a visit to the Apoxyomenos Museum as an aspect of local cultural value, kayaking and diving on the island of Orjula, enjoying a glass of local wine, being educated on sustainability at the Blue World Institute, cycling, and a promenade walk along the Path of Vitality and a picnic along the coast.

"The name of ''Rhythm of the senses of the island of Losinj'' was created in the desire to introduce guests to the true island rhythm that Losinj breathes during the rest of the year, when it isn't the peak of the tourist season in summer. The rhythm of the senses alludes to the sheer variety of activities Losinj boasts. With their arrival, tourists extend the season and participate in the conservation of this protected area through responsible behaviour and their consumption of arrangements whose negative impact on the environment and local population is minimised, and income is kept within the local economy of the resident population,'' explained the Institute of Tourism.

The trip which the Losinj sustainable tourism project created was intended for the market of experienced, solvent, environmentally responsible and adventurous middle-aged, English and German-speaking travellers who enjoy a combination of outdoor activities and psychophysical rest, local gastronomy, culture, nature and tradition and interaction with locals through various creative workshops, experiences and visits.

These guests love and seek sustainable more remote, Mediterranean exotic destinations, they typically choose comfort over luxury, and put quality before the price of a tourist service or product. The itinerary of the ecotourism package includes a number of local service providers who have recognised the quality and long-term value of this project, which will be available on the tourism market in the future.

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Saturday, 25 September 2021

Lošinj Hosting First International Testing of Eco-Tourism Product Footprint

ZAGREB, 25 Sept, 2021 - Select foreign experts, gathered around the international project InterregDestiMed Plus, are evaluating a new eco-tourism package tour and testing its sustainability on the northern Adriatic island of Lošinj, which is the first such international test in Croatia.

The Zagreb-based Tourism Institute, which is taking part in the project, said that the project was about the professional testing of the footprint of the eco-tourism package tour in the Cres-Lošinj protected area (Natura 2000), designed in cooperation between local, regional and national partners.

The Tourism Institute in 2019 joined the Interreg DestiMed Plus project "Ecotourism in Mediterranean Destinations: From Monitoring and Planning to Promotion and Policy Support", which has been implemented simultaneously in Mediterranean protected areas and involves 12 project partners from Italy, Greece, Spain, France, Albania and Croatia.

The island of Lošinj was chosen as the pilot destination in Croatia, being an integral part of the Cres-Lošinj maritime area protected under the Natura 2000 network and a leader in sustainable tourism in Croatia, the Institute said.

The package tours for each of the selected protected areas are tested, improved and adapted to market needs with the help of the ecological footprint indicator and other sustainability indicators.

"By carrying out practical measurement instead of only giving expected recommendations, an attempt is being made to reduce the negative impact of tourism on the environment, economy and local community," the Institute said, noting that this week Lošinj would host a modern travel simulation whose eco standard will be measured by independent travellers.

Travellers from different walks of life from several Mediterranean countries will test a carefully designed all-inclusive eco package in the Cres-Lošinj protected area, created for the market of experienced, solvent, ecologically responsible and adventure-seeking middle-aged travellers from English and German-speaking areas who enjoy a combination of outdoor activities and psychophysical rest, local gastronomy, culture, nature and tradition as well as interaction with the local population through various events.

Taking place outside the peak season, the project is also important for extending the tourism season, while income stays in the local community, with the involvement of an increasing number of local service providers, who have recognised the quality and long-term value of this tourism product, to be available on the tourism market in the future.

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Wednesday, 28 April 2021

Lošinj Gastro Weekend 2021: Local Culinary Spectacle Throughout May

April 28, 2021 - Starting this weekend, the Lošinj Gastro Weekend 2021 prepares a real treat to the visitors of 14 restaurants on the island.

A beautiful island setting of Lošinj, and delicious food next to the Adriatic - all a regular feature of the annual gastro weekend which starts this week and continues until the end of May.

As Losinj Tourist Board website announces, fourteen restaurants from Osor all the way to Mali Lošinj will each weekend have a special offer based on a specific product.

Starting with this Friday, April 30 to Sunday, May 2, the restaurants will have lamb specialties in which the local meat will be offered to satisfy your taste buds.

The next is asparagus weekend (May 7-9), followed by fish dishes (May 14-16), Medditaranian herbs dishes (May 21-23), and finally the Antic cuisine (May 28-30).
Artatore, Baracuda, Bocca Vera, Bora bar, Borik Mediterranean Bar, Deveron, Diana Steakhouse, Eki, Lanterna Grill Mare, Silvana, Silver Bay Televrin, and Veli žal are the restaurants. also covered the story and warned readers to reserve their place in the restaurants to enjoy this lovely culinary spectacle.

„In these moments, the cooperation between every actor in the destination is extremely important to overcome the negative effect of corona crisis as fast as possible. This festival is an ideal opportunity for visitors to meet Lošinj through local specialties. Come and enjoy!“, said Mali Lošinj mayor Ana Kučić, writes Turizmoteka.

"It is our wish to bring our guests almost all gastronomy pleasures the Island of Vitality is known for“, said Dalibor Cvitković, president of Lošinj Tourist Board, referring to the island's nickname.

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Thursday, 25 March 2021

Development of Health Tourism: High Priority for Croatian Tourist Offer

March 25, 2021 - Both the Croatian Ministry of Tourism and Sports and Croatian tourist boards recognised the development of health tourism as a high priority for Croatia.

To discuss the development of health tourism in Croatia, a branch that is becoming one of the more important Croatian tourist products, Croatian Tourism and Sports minister Nikolina Brnjac met with Kvarner Tourist Board director Irena Peršić Živadinov, Kvarner Health Tourism cluster president Vladimir Možetič, and Zagreb Tourist Board director Martina Bienenfeld. As life expectancy and healthy lifestyle trends increase, the value of health tourism grows. The novel coronavirus only made that growth even more rapid.

"Over 80,000 tourists in 2020 visited Kvarner (well-known for Lošinj Island and its hospital for respiratory issues) for health services. Today, many people are recovering from the consequences of the novel coronavirus there," said the Kvarner Tourist Board director Živadinov.  

"We have all the advantages for further development of health tourism: a good reputation of health services, qualified staff, natural richness of thermal sources, good climate, and long tradition of tourism," said minister Brnjac. Her goal is to pull Croatia out of the perception of a country only good for the summer season.

Croatia offers health services in wellness and medicine tourism. Health tourism is most associated with the regions of Kvarner, Istria, northern Croatia, and Zagreb, but the goal is to include other regions that have the potential for health tourism and to achieve the goals of a strategy that needs to be accomplished by 2030.

Martina Bienenfeld said that the Zagreb Tourist Board is working on the City's recognition as the centre of medical excellence. She pointed out good traffic connections, a mixture of the Mediterranean and mid-Europe climate, as well as good prices of health services as great advantages of Croatia's capital to the international clientele.

The Health Care Bill and Services in Tourism Bill now allow hospitality and health tourism services in hospitals and medical centres. These legal changes are also significant in attracting further investments in the field.

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Saturday, 13 March 2021

Mali Losinj Tourist Board Webinars the Key to 2021 Season Preparations

March 13, 2021 - Mali Losinj Tourist Board webinars have been used as a communicative tool for all tourism stakeholders on the island in preparation for the new season. 

Quality communication is key when it comes to tourist season preparations, and the Mali Losinj Tourist Board is one positive example you'll find in Croatia. You may recall them in the spotlight last year for their FERRY FREE campaign and "insurance policy" for guests in case of self-isolation.

Thus, this year as well, the Mali Losinj Tourist Board has additionally strengthened communication in the field, as well as with education through webinars. In a conversation with Dalibor Cvitković, director of the Mali Losinj Tourist Board, Goran Rihelj of HRTurizam learned how they are preparing for this year's season on Losinj and how they, as a tourist office, communicate with tourism stakeholders.

Although education on Losinj is not foreign to you, during the COVID-19 crisis, you intensified communication with webinars. How do you communicate as a tourist office?

"Yes, I have always advocated open communication with all stakeholders in tourism; given the impossibility of holding forums and workshops, we decided to communicate through webinars with stakeholders, especially with a group of renters.

Before starting the webinar, we conducted a survey among renters with the question of which topics they would like us to cover in the webinars. So we formed topics and lecturers following their suggestions. So far, we have done three webinars, the first to emphasize storytelling in tourism and digital apartments (advertising on the web and social networks), then a webinar "How to be a good host during COVID," with an emphasis on apartments and business. In the third webinar, in cooperation with our representative offices' directors in the main markets of Italy, Austria, Slovenia, and Germany, we tried to answer "What to expect from the season?".

Of course, at each webinar, we present the current information at our disposal and the legal obligations of landlords in terms of tourist tax, membership fees, flat income tax, recategorization, etc., but also the opportunities that the Mali Losinj Tourist Board has in cooperation with landlords from co-financing marketing activities, cards for renters with discounts, loyalty programs for long-term guests, distribution of seedlings - Lošinjski cvijet, to the year-round promotion of family accommodation through all sales channels and free use of photo and video materials of the Mali Losinj Tourist Board.

We do 'hybrid' webinars so that part of the landlords can attend in our office (up to 10 people), and the rest through Zoom, and so far, we have had an attendance of 50 - 70 participants who have the opportunity to ask questions to our lecturers and us personally.

The next webinar is on Wednesday, March 17, to present the Safe Stay project in Croatia. Mr. Edvin Jurin, a well-known marketing expert, and a consultant, will present the topic "Renters - Newly different," where we will answer questions about the new different era of renting, how to create a map of the tourist experience, and how future destinations will look."

Also, open and quality communication is a tool to raise all participants' quality, including entire destinations directly?

"Of course, our goal is to raise the quality of service in all tourist offerings in the destination and work on networking all stakeholders in the destination so that Losinj as a destination gets additional recognition.

By measuring the indicators of the European System of Indicators for Sustainable Destinations - ETIS, we strive to monitor, manage and strengthen the sustainability of the tourist destination. In addition to ETIS, we are working on the Study of Sustainability of Tourism Development and Reception Capacity of Mali Losinj. Together with the island of Cres, we have adopted a tourism development strategy for Mali Losinj and Cres with defined operational development strategies from tourism products, tourism infrastructure projects, accommodation strategies, competitiveness programs, and tourism marketing.

With the vision that Mali Losinj and Cres, with their quality and uniqueness of the tourist offer, represent one of the leading sustainable, lifestyle, and wellbeing island destinations in the Mediterranean."

This year we are much smarter and more prepared for the challenges tourism brings in the age of coronavirus. Last year, you had the FERRY FREE campaign and the "insurance policy" for guests in case of self-isolation. What will you do this year? 

"Through open communication with stakeholders last year, we noticed the numerous inquiries we have when a guest arrives during the COVID-19 crisis. Here, we jointly developed behavioral protocols at the destination level, sent clear instructions to all accommodation facilities in several languages ​​, from the code of conduct to the survey questionnaire in case of suspected COVID-19 infection. We also took financial responsibility to reimburse renters and guests that because of the coronavirus, they have to extend their stay, or the landlord could not rent it for the sake of the guest who was supposed to remain in self-isolation. We will have an "insurance policy" this year to provide security for guests and owners of accommodation facilities.

Other marketing activities such as "Ferry free" last year will depend primarily on the border crossing protocol and the conditions that countries from our main markets will put as an obligation to return to the same, here we are talking about "Covid passports" or the obligation for the guest to have a negative PCR or antigen test.

We are in coordination with all stakeholders in the destination. We will be ready if necessary to ensure easier and faster testing in the destination area or participate in participating in their costs, monitor the situation, have more scenarios, and be ready to respond."

To conclude, the Mali Losinj Tourist Board website clearly communicates where the tests are performed (swabs, rapid antigen test, serological tests), at what price, and where to report.

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Thursday, 11 March 2021

Jadrolinija Shipping Company Adds 54th Ferry to its Fleet

ZAGREB, 11 March, 2021 - The Jadrolinija shipping company added the 54th vessel to its fleet on Thursday - a ferry with a capacity of 600 passengers and 140 vehicles, the company announced in a press release.

The Lošinj ferry, built by the Kraljevica shipyard, will operate between Lopar on the island of Rab and Valbiska on the island of Krk in the northern Adriatic.

The vessel is 97.85 metres long and 15 metres wide and develops a speed of 13 knots.

CEO David Sopta said that fleet development was the most important point in Jadrolinija's development strategy over the last four years. He added that renewing the fleet was necessary for the company to maintain its leading position in the Adriatic and to provide islanders with a more comfortable service. 

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Sunday, 20 December 2020

PHOTOS: Epic Croatia Weather Photography Stuns The World

December 20, 2020 – The 13 winners of the incredibly popular World Meteorological Organization annual competition have just been announced, and two fine pieces of Croatia weather photography are among them. These spectacular images of Croatia weather photography show all 9 Croatian photographs which reached the final in 2020 and all 10 Croatian finalists who similarly stunned the global audience in 2019

Croatia weather photography: the two newly announced winners from the 2020 competition
LošinjSandroPuncet.jpgPhotographer: Sandro Puncet Photo taken: Losinj island

Zrinka Balabanic Beach Sv.Duh -Pag island.jpgPhotographer: Zrinka Balabanic Photo taken: Pag island

Thanks to its popularity as a tourist destination, lots of people are now used to seeing beautiful photos of Croatia. Although, the images they usually see are of idyllic beaches, cloudless skies, stunning nature and turquoise blue seas. But, as anyone who knows the country will tell you - and as these photos show - Croatia isn't always like that.

Croatia weather photography: the two newly announced runners-up from the 2020 competition
Šime Barešić Drage, Croatia.jpgPhotographer: Šime Barešić Photo taken: Drage, Pakostane

Mislav Bilic (Croatia)Dubrovnik - Lapad Peninsula.jpgPhotographer: Mislav Bilic Photo taken: Lapad Peninsula, Dubrovnik

Out of season, Croatia can experience vastly different weather conditions to those advertised in travel brochures and blogs. And, whenever there's a spectacular weather occurrence, usually there's a photographer out there, braving the elements, trying to capture it.

Over recent years, some of the best Croatia weather photography has featured in the annual competition organised by the World Meteorological Organization. 2020 has been no different.

The other five Croatian finalists from the 2020 competition
Šime Barešić Drage, Croatia222.jpgPhotographer: Šime Barešić Photo taken: Drage, Pakostane

Sandro Puncet Isolated cloudisland Lošinj, Croatia.jpgPhotographer: Sandro Puncet Photo taken: Losinj island

Zoran Stanko Geisler Alm, Dolomites, Italy.jpgPhotographer: Zoran Stanko Photo taken: Geisler Alm, Dolomites, Italy

Maja Kraljik Umag, Croatia.jpgPhotographer: Maja Kraljik Photo taken: Umag, Istria

Igor PopovicRijeka, Croatia.jpgPhotographer: Igor Popovic Photo taken: Rijeka

The winners of this year's competition have just been announced and the two fantastic examples of Croatia weather photography within the top 13 will take their place in the 2021 World Meteorological Organization calendar.

The 10 Croatian finalists from the 2019 competition
Danica Sičič Srobreč, Croatia2019-min.jpgPhotographer: Danica Sičič Photo taken: Srobreč, Dalmatia

Romeo IbriševićPlitvička Jezera2019.jpgPhotographer: Romeo Ibrišević Photo taken: Plitvice Lakes National Park

Božan Štambuk Bundek Zagreb, Croatia2019.jpgPhotographer: Božan Štambuk Photo taken: Bundek park, Zagreb

Miroslava Novak (Pribislavec, Međimurje) 2019.jpgPhotographer: Miroslava Novak Photo taken: Pribislavec, Međimurje

As well as the two winners, two further examples of Croatia weather photography came in the runner-up category, of which there were 12 in total.

Francesca Delbianco  Zagreb, Croatia2019.jpgPhotographer: Francesca Delbianco Photo taken: Zagreb

Ivica Brlić Sava river Davor, Croatia.jpgPhotographer: Ivica Brlić Photo taken: Sava river, Davor, near Slavonski Brod

Nataša ŠafarKarlovac, Rečica2019.jpgPhotographer: Nataša Šafar Photo taken: Rečica, near Karlovac

Romeo IbriševićPlitvička Jezera201922222.jpgPhotographer: Romeo Ibrišević Photo taken: Plitvice Lakes National Park

Over 1000 photographs from all over the world were entered in the 2020 competition. The submissions were narrowed down to a final selection of 70 contenders. As TCN reported back at the start of October, no less than 9 examples of Croatia weather photography made it into the final 70, taken by 7 Croatian photographers.

Danijel PalčićPagIsland2019.jpgPhotographer: Danijel Palčić Photo taken: Pag island

Aleksandar Gospic Ražanac, Croatia2019.jpgPhotographer: Aleksandar Gospic Photo taken: Ražanac

Croatia regularly punches well above its weight in the annual competition, as we can see from these 10 examples of incredible Croatia weather photography that were among the finalists in 2019.

All images courtesy World Meteorological Organisation

Saturday, 21 November 2020

Croatian Oxygen: You Can Now Buy Fresh Losinj Air in Bottles

November the 21st, 2020 - We in Croatia tend to take fresh air for granted, well with the exception of those of us in Zagreb perhaps, but otherwise we forget just how much people in many other countries desire a lungful of clean oxygen. You can now purchase fresh Losinj air in a bottle.

As Poslovni Dnevnik writes, Ivan Volaric decided to pack the healing fresh Losinj air into suitable bottles and offer it to everyone who, unfortunately, has to breathe poor quality air. It will not solve their problems, he adds, but it can at least alleviate their suffering for a while, the Losinj native believes.

As 24sata reports, Ivan started to realise his idea back in 2016, opening the Air Rio trade, in which he filled bottles with fresh Losinj air in a step by step way. His original intention was to focus on the overseas markets of China and India, countries which unfortunately lead in terms of the number of deaths from issues directly related to breathing in polluted air, ie, where the product wouldn't only be a souvenir but something that would also make it easier for people to breathe in everyday life.

''The primary meaning of our compressed air isn't exclusively to help people living in areas with polluted air, but the perception and acceptance of this product in such areas is significantly different than it is in Croatia, where, fortunately, we don't really have such problems. In Croatia, clean air is a relatively normal thing, so we're actually not even aware of how lucky we are and how often we take this fact lightly,'' explained the owner of the company that is the first in all of Europe to engage in this business and export thousands of bottles of packaged air.

''During this time dominated by the pandemic, the intake of additional amounts of oxygen is extremely useful, which has also been confirmed by those working in the profession. In the days before the coronavirus pandemic struck, this oxygen was good for professional and recreational athletes, but nowadays it carries a much higher value. Patients with COVID-19 often have respiratory problems, and the use of such an oxygen bottle can give them the opportunity to help themselves,'' stated Volaric.

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