Tuesday, 3 September 2019

Losinj Achieves 2 Million Overnights for 11th Consecutive Year

September 3, 2019 - For eleven consecutive years, the town of Mali Losinj has reached 2 million overnight stays.

This year, by September 1, Mali Losinj achieved 2,013,495 overnights, making it one of the top ten Croatian destinations with the most, reports Novi List.

Thanks to the promotion of key attributes of the image of Losinj island, as well as the efforts and activities invested in organizing events and enriching the year-round offer, from January to August 2019, there were 262,898 arrivals and 1,998,235 overnights.

Guests from Croatia recorded a 4% increase in overnight stays, while foreign guests recorded a 2% decrease in overnight stays, with an average tourist stay of 7.6 days. When looking at the age structure, leading guests are over 35.

The share of total overnights spent by Croats is 14.5%, while foreigners occupy 85.5%. Almost 67.4% of foreign guests came from already four traditionally important broadcast markets; Slovenia, Germany, Italy and Austria. It is led by guests from Slovenia (26.5%), Germany (19.3%), Italy (12.2%), Austria (9.4%), Czech Republic (2.8%), the Netherlands and Poland (1.7%), France (1.5%) and other countries (10.4%).

Looking at the results by accommodation, the most visited were camps (35.3%), followed by households (18.7%), hotels (18.3%) and other types of accommodation (27.7%). Also, the most overnight stays were in Mali Losinj (51.1%), followed by Nerezine (17.8%), Veli Losinj (11.9%), Punta Kriza (6.7%), Osor (4.6%) and other places (7.9%).

In August alone, 762,351 overnights were recorded, which is an increase of 1% compared to the previous year. The arrivals in August totaled 85,382, which is an increase of 5%. The highest percentage of overnight stays in August 2019 was realized in camps (285,454 nights - 37.4%), followed by visits to domestic and private accommodation (152,320 nights - 20%), by hotels (104,408 nights - 13.7%), other hospitality accommodation (82.738 nights - 10.8%) and non-commercial accommodation (137.431 nights - 18.1%).

Many options and events are available for guests who choose to spend their holidays on the ‘island of vitality’. Namely, from September 7 to September 21, 2019, the festival “Losinj sails around the world” will introduce visitors to the golden age of Losinj seafaring through various sport, gastronomic, cultural, entertaining and educational events. The 9th Losinj Half Marathon is also held in September, followed by the 37th Arbunada and the Cres-Losinj Triathlon in October, the 21st Lošinj Cup - Optimist Regatta, and in November, the Cres-Losinj Trail weekend.

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

Sunday, 16 June 2019

Mali Lošinj Officially Declared 2020 European Island of Sport!

After the Evaluation Commission of ACES Europe (President Gian Franco Lupatelli, Secretary Hugo Alonso, Bilyana Mircheva, Luke Vorel Adams and Danilo Montanari) visited the island of Lošinj from May 28 to 30, 2019, when, on World Sports Day, the entire sporting offer of the island and all sports clubs and associations was presented, Mali Lošinj has officially been given the title of the European Island of Sport for 2020, reports HRTurizam on June 15, 2019. 

During their stay in Lošinj, the commission gained insight into the entire sports infrastructure of the island, and besides the terrain, it was crucial to demonstrate that a large number of islanders of different ages use their leisure time engaged in various sports activities. The highlight of the event, along with the official presentation of the candidacy at the Museum of Apoxyomenos, was a presentation in the Bočac sports hall where all sports clubs and associations that are professionally or recreationally engaged in sports were presented.

“A great thanks to all sports clubs, institutions, and individuals who were involved in marking World Sports Day and thus helped us in the candidacy for the European Island of Sport in 2020. Conquering this title is a great opportunity for positioning and branding the entire island of Lošinj as a sports destination, with easier access to significant European funds for further investment in sports and sports infrastructure, i.e., the construction of a new sports hall, football field, swimming pools, and bicycle paths. Our island has a long history of sports, numerous teams, and champions in various sports, and each success has contributed to winning this title,” said Mayor Ana Kučić.

Gian Francesco Lupatelli, president of ACES Europe, stressed that the association is honored to proclaim Lošinj the European Island of Sport in 2020. Mali Lošinj is an excellent example of a place that demonstrates how to engage everyone in sports, and is actively involved in raising the health of all its inhabitants, their education and their self-esteem, which are the main goals of the ACES association in Europe.

The award ceremony will be held in November this year at the European Parliament in Brussels when they will also declare the European Capital of Culture for 2023. Namely, in 2020 it is Malaga, in 2021 Lisbon, and 2022 Den Haag.

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

Saturday, 1 June 2019

Lošinj Finalizes Candidacy for European Island of Sport 2020

The final phase of candidacy to give Lošinj the title of the ”European Island of Sport 2020" was presented at the Museum of Apoxyomenos. The prestigious title is awarded by the European Association of ACES Europe, reports HRTurizam on May 31, 2019. 

The idea arose several years ago with the rise of the promotion of Lošinj as a destination for various sports activities. At the beginning of this year, the island was offered an ideal opportunity for this candidacy and developed a conceptual solution in cooperation with the Sports Association of Mali Lošinj and other associates.

The Evaluating Committee (comprised of Gian Franco Lupatelli - President, Hugo Alonso - Secretary, Bilyana Mircheva, Lukaš Vorel Adams and Danilo Montanari) met on the island of Lošinj from May 28-30, 2019 and toured the sports infrastructure across the Lošinj terrain. It was crucial to show that a large number of islanders of different ages used their leisure time to engage in various sports activities.

“It is an indisputable fact that the island of Lošinj, among other things, is known for many accomplished sports results thanks to the meticulous and persistent work of Lošinj athletes. We are therefore honored to be nominated for the title of the European Island of Sport 2020. This extraordinary award will certainly be an incentive for new activities and content to bring sport on the island to a higher level. Numerous investments in sports infrastructure are planned so that we can track the needs of our athletes of all age groups, and we pay particular attention to children and young people,” said Ana Kučić, mayor of Mali Lošinj.

On the occasion of the World Sports Day, which was celebrated for the 27th year in a row, a rich program was held at the Bočac Sports Hall, which aimed to show a multitude of sports activities and clubs on the island.

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

Saturday, 25 May 2019

Lošinj Airport Announces Expansion Plans, Busy Year Ahead

After the announcement that Silver Air will continue operating to Lošinj Airport from Zagreb and Lugano from June 15 and Venice from July 1, Croatia’s smallest commercial airport not only expects a busy year ahead but will soon begin its long-awaited expansion project, Ex Yu Aviation reports on May 25, 2019. 

"The resumption of flights to Lošinj is a natural progression of our activities as we pursue plans to develop this unique island and position it as a tourist destination. Improved connectivity with the mainland is one of our strategic goals which we are actively working on in recent years in order to position Lošinj on the tourist map in this part of the Mediterranean,” said Goran Filipović of the Jadranka Management Board. 

The multi-million euro expansion, which foresees a new terminal building and runway extension (from 900 to 1,800 meters), should begin in 2020. As expected, the upgrade will increase the number of flights to the island airport and welcome more tourists to the Cres - Lošinj area. With the expansion, the airport will be able to handle aircraft with 180-passenger capacity and will target flights from the UK and Scandinavia. The project also includes expanding the apron, constructing a fire fighting services building, new access roads and parking, adds Ex Yu Aviation

"The Lošinj Airport project will significantly increase capacity for tourist arrivals and give a new perspective for the future development of the town of Mali Lošinj, the islands of Lošinj and Cres, and the Croatian tourism industry in this part of the Adriatic,” the Ministry for Tourism said. 

Recall, the expansion project had plans to begin back in 2016, but thanks to bureaucratic issues with land ownership and a lack of funds, it had continued being delayed. 

For everything you need to know about Lošinj Airport, visit Total Croatia

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

Monday, 8 April 2019

World's Biggest Welcome in Croatia: Day 13 - Mali Lošinj to Silba (Kayak, Bike)

April 8, 2019 - Putting Croatian adventure tourism on the map, with the biggest welcome in the world. Day 13 of this incredible 2011 adrenaline trip covering 2,500 km along the Croatian coast. 

The World's Biggest Welcome, an ambitious adventure tourism project in 2011 in Croatia enters Day 13 of this 2019 appreciation of one of the finest tourism promotion projects ever in Croatia.  

The plan? To showcase the diversity and fabulous offer of adventure tourism in Croatia by following a GPS route the length of the Croatian coast in the shape of the word 'Welcome' - thereby creating the biggest welcome in the world from a hospitable tourism country. 


Mali Lošinj

Day 13 moved on kayak and bike from Mali Lošinj to Silba. 

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40 kilometres for the day: 5 km by bike from Mali Lošinj to Veli Lošinj, followed by 35 km by kayak from Veli Lošinj to Silba to complete forming the ‘E’ in ‘Welcome’.


The Day 13 journey began on the island of Lošinj in all of its glory. A look at Mrtvačka bay. 


Lacko began kayaking towards Silba, with the view of Osorcica in the background.



The group arrived in Silba, an island southeast of Lošinj and one of the very few islands with absolutely no cars or traffic.


Ecological awareness on Silba.


And a sign for Ožujsko, which is usually hard to find on the more remote islands, Lacko wrote back in 2011.



More Silba sights.



And to end? A Silba sunset.  

A key part of the project was promoting tourism, and the official website has details of the key places visited during the day. 

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Mali Lošinj.

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You can see the entire project on the Welcome website, as well as much more of Luka Tambaca's stunning photography on the Welcome Facebook page

Tune in tomorrow for Day 14, as Lacko moves from Silba to Prpa by kayak, bike, standup paddleboarding and foot. 

To follow the whole project from the start, follow the dedicated TCN page

Sunday, 7 April 2019

World's Biggest Welcome in Croatia: Day 12 - Martinšćica to Mali Lošinj (Kayak, Foot, Bike)

April 7, 2019 - Putting Croatian adventure tourism on the map, with the biggest welcome in the world. Day 12 of this incredible 2011 adrenaline trip covering 2,500 km along the Croatian coast. 

The World's Biggest Welcome, an ambitious adventure tourism project in 2011 in Croatia enters Day 12 of this 2019 appreciation of one of the finest tourism promotion projects ever in Croatia.  

The plan? To showcase the diversity and fabulous offer of adventure tourism in Croatia by following a GPS route the length of the Croatian coast in the shape of the word 'Welcome' - thereby creating the biggest welcome in the world from a hospitable tourism country. 

Day 12 moved on kayak, foot, and bike from Martinšćica to Mali Lošinj.

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41 kilometers for the day: 15 km by kayak from Martinšćica to Osor, followed by 26 km on foot and bike from Osor to Mali Lošinj to continue forming the ‘E’ in ‘Welcome’.


And it begins on the island of Cres, making their way towards Osor. 


The narrow channel between Cres and Lošinj in Osor. 


And onto Osorscica.


With a much-needed moment to take in the hazy view from Osorscica.


The picture-perfect Sv. Mikula in Osorscica. 


And a wild view from Osorscica onto Mali and Veli Lošinj. 


Finally in Lošinj to stop and look at the reflection of a very colorful boat. Lacko considers it the most creative thing they did that day. 


They made it to Lošinj just in time to catch the festival of local cuisine. 



Of course, they had to try it. 

A key part of the project was promoting tourism, and the official website has details of the key places visited during the day.

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Mali Lošinj.

You can see the entire project on the Welcome website, as well as much more of Luka Tambaca's stunning photography on the Welcome Facebook page

Tune in tomorrow for Day 13, as Lacko moves from Mali Lošinj to Silba by bike and kayak. 

To follow the whole project from the start, follow the dedicated TCN page

Wednesday, 9 January 2019

Lošinj Apoxyomenos Museum Nominated for European Museum of the Year Title

As Morski writes on the 8th of January, 2019, at the end of last year, the Apoxyomenos Museum on Mali Lošinj was nominated for the title of the European Museum of the Year among as many as 39 other European museums, from Russia to the United Kingdom. Otherwise, this popular Mali Lošinj museum is the only museum in the whole of the Republic of Croatia to compete for this prestigious title since the year 1977.

The work and effort of the staff of the Apoxyomenos Museum has also been rightfully recognised by the respected European Museum Forum, which has accepted the museum's candidacy for the prestigious title of European Museum of the Year under the auspices of the Council of Europe. The award gives recognition to the vast European museum scene and thus promotes innovative processes in the museum world.

The award will be held this year in Sarajevo from the 22nd to the 25th of May. All forty candidates from across the continent of Europe can be viewed on the official EMYA website.

The wave of good news has continued over these very early days of 2019 as the Apoxyomenos Museum was also declared number one on the list of the top 10 museums in Croatia to visit, based on the choice of the 2018 Travelers' Choice from TripAdvisor, as was reported by Pokret otoka (Island movement).

The stunning bronze statue of a young Apoxyomenos athlete was found under the water near the island of Vele Orjule near Lošinj, at a depth of 45 metres. When the statue was discovered, it remained in a completely preserved state, missing only the little finger of the left hand, and a part of its original bronze base was astonishingly still attached to the foot of the right leg. The statue was recovered in 1999.

It is an old Greek piece, known now as the Croatian Apoxyomenos, kept in a state of absolutely exceptional preservation, an example of remarkable historic beauty and artistic value, apparently dating from the 1st or 2nd century BC.

The project of the extraction of the statue from the sea, its conservation and restoration work, and of course further research and proper representation of the statue was made possible through the funds of the Ministry of Culture of the Republic of Croatia and owing to a welcome donation from Oxford Maritime Ltd. from the United Kingdom.

Conservation and restoration works started back in the year 2000 and were performed at the Croatian Conservation Institute in Zagreb. The works were led by the now late restaurateur Giuliano Tordi, a former employee of the Opificio delle Pietre Dure Institute in Florence, Italy, in collaboration with Antonio Šerbetić. The works lasted for six long years.

Make sure to stay up to date with more on the Apoxyomenos Museum and much more by following our dedicated lifestyle page.


Click here for the original article by Marta Stupin for Pokret otoka

Monday, 10 December 2018

Croatian Company Develops Artificial Intelligence for Hotel Guests

One Croatian company has developed a type of artificial intelligence purely for hotels, and as of next summer, various hotels belonging to the Jadranka Group will have the brand new system made available for their guests from around the world.

''Alexa, what can I do today?'' a guest of the Lošinj Bellevue Hotel will soon be able to ask.

''You can go and visit Susak and Ilovik, or visit the wellness pool. In the evening, I'd suggest going to the Matsunoki Japanese restaurant,'' Alexa, Amazon's virtual assistant, will respond.

As Novac.hr/Filip Pavic writes on the 10th of December, 2018, no, we're not talking about some dreamlike hotel in the year 2048, but about 2019's tourist season in the hotel accommodation belonging to the Jadranka Group. This Croatian hotel company, will become the first in Croatia, and in the world, to introduce a special type of ''hotel artificial intelligence'' to its accommodation facilities.

"We've created a system of artificial intelligence that will give to each guest, in a given moment, taking into account the enormous amount of data, a prediction of the type of content and services the hotel has that they might be interested in," explained Marko Lukičić, a member of the board of directors of the Jadranka Group, who is also the co-founder of Acquaint, the Croatian company which thought of and then designed this artificial intelligence system, which is solely for hotels.

As has been said, the whole system, which is currently called Amenity Recommender, is fully functional and is currently being tested in five hotels belonging to the Jadranka Group on the island of Lošinj - The Bellevue and the Alhambra, which are both five-star facilities, as well as in Aurora, Vespera, and Punta, each with a four-star rating.

''The plan is to equip the rooms of Hotel Bellevue with Amazon Echo, which are speakers through which the guest can talk to Alexa the virtual assistant, before the next tourist season. She will ''lend'' her voice to our artificial intelligence system. We will also connect the system with the hotel TV system and customer relationship management system (CRM) to be able to communicate with the guest across all channels,'' Lukičić added.

Namely, this hotel artificial intelligence system will be a kind of virtual consultant and tourist guide that will try to predict what the guest wants to see and experience while on holiday. Excursions, restaurants, museums, wellness, diving courses, massages, yacht rentals, etc.

The ''virtual receptionist" will choose three specific recommendations for the guest among the 750 available services, taking into account enormous amounts of available data. Among other things, the age, sex, country of origin of the guest, as well as who they're with on holiday, the room in which they're staying and the which period in which it is will be taken into account to provide the best recommendations. As extensive as that is, that is not all. The system will also ''keep its eye'' on the weather and change the offers recommended should the weather take an unfavourable turn.

''It's important to emphasise the fact that this artificial intelligence deals with anonymous guest information and based on this data, it is not possible to detect the guests' identity. It doesn't accumulate data, it simply processes it,'' explained Lukičić, noting that the rules of the Personal Data Protection Act (GDPR) will be absolutely respected.

The constant advancing of technology has been bringing in the question of just what will happen to staff, human staff, that is, who used to be the ones to perform such tasks. Will they be replaced by artificial intelligence? No, says Lukičić, stating that the intentions behind this innovative invention were never to remove the need for a human touch in this industry.

''The receptionists will have a key supervisory role, and they'll also get acquainted with artificial intelligence with courses. Provided with information, they will be able to offer a more quality service and create an even better experience for the guest,'' added Lukičić.

Otherwise, the whole story came to light just two years ago. Back then, Lukičić, as the responsible person for the digital transformation of the Jadranka Group, was given the opportunity to test his ​​artificial intelligence idea which has been ''seducing'' him continually from back in his student days spent at FER.

"When we began with that whole story, of course, we tried to find an already finished solution. We contacted companies which already have their own artificial intelligence platforms, such as Google, IBM and Microsoft, but we've come to the conclusion that they could only offer us generic intelligence or a chatbot. We needed something much more precise,'' recalls Lukičić. His list of criteria for the hotel system of artificial intelligence was highly specific and seemingly impossible to reach at the time.

"We were looking for a company that had profound expertise in hotel industry, expertise in machine learning and data knowledge, as well as programming, to make us a special type artificial intelligence. As expected, we couldn't find such a company,''

Lukičić realised that in order to truly get their hands on what they needed, they had to set up their own company that would bring all these skills together properly. In other words, start completely from scratch. He readily admitted that after this Croatian company was created, the actual process of developing artificial intelligence was a painstaking one.

''A lot of statistics, linear algebra, learning, programming, studying, and discussion were needed to eventually have a very small number of code lines. And, there you go, the artificial intelligence was born. But with the science-fantasy part of the story, there was also a business story,''

According to Lukičić, besides its futuristic possibilities, artificial intelligence also provides the possibility of raising hotel revenues in a very specific way. Namely, artificial intelligence of this kind requires very little investment and relies solely on customer spending. There is no need to expand accommodation capacities or raise prices, which are the traditional ways in which to raise revenue. The goal, he says, is to increase the overall value of the facilities through subtle content delivery, without aggressive and offputting sales pitches and a bombardment of offers.

''According to our tests, in regard to a four-star luxury hotel on the island of Lošinj, which has very low maintenance costs, the profits after the introduction of artificial intelligence doubled,'' stated Lukičić, noting that the benefit will depend on a number of factors, such as the type of hotel, its existing maintenance costs, as well as any planned investments for the future.

As far as further plans are concerned, Lukičić hopes that by the end of the year, Acquaint, which currently has only six employees, could sign a global agreement to introduce their system to some European and Asian hotels.

''We're already working with Oracle engineers to create a certified interface for our product. That would make Oracle one of our sales channels,'' says Lukičić, referring to the Croatian company's collaboration with a multinational IT company. They are also in contact with Amazon, the largest e-merchant whose voice technology is being used already, but for any type of official co-operation, he will have to open an office across the pond in the United States.

"All this gives us enough arguments to say that what we do makes sense even though we're currently a research and development company and we aren't making any revenue," Lukičić concluded.

Make sure to stay up to date with more information on Croatian companies, products and services, as well as the business and investment climate in Croatia by following our dedicated Made in Croatia and business pages.


Click here for the original article by Filip Pavic for Novac.hr/Jutarnji

Sunday, 21 October 2018

European Commission Signs Declaration on Importance of Islands

Will Croatia's islands finally be given the proper means to catch up with the mainland?

Tuesday, 14 August 2018

A Look at Food and Drink Consumption During Peak Season

We've all seen and experienced the crowds during the summer, but just what effect are such large numbers of people having on consumption?

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