Wednesday, 4 August 2021

20% More Polish Tourists in Croatia in Summer 2021 Than Summer 2019

August the 4th, 2021 - When it comes to Polish tourists in Croatia, it's almost as if the ongoing global coronavirus pandemic doesn't exist, with the number of Polish tourists in Croatia as surprising and encouraging as it was even last year.

As Poslovni Dnevnik/Marija Crnjak writes, the growth of the Polish emitting market when it comes to tourism, which has been recorded in Croatia for several years now, hasn't been halted by the ongoing pandemic. In July this year alone there were as many as 20 percent more Polish tourists in Croatia than there were recorded back during the record 2019 summer before the pandemic.

Polish tourists in Croatia surprised us all with their sheer numbers last year as well, when the tourist season was significantly weaker than this. The Polish market was practically the only emitting market that, despite the epidemiological situation back in August 2020, recorded an increase in arrivals of 4 percent when compared to August 2019. The share of turnover from the Polish emitting market in July and August reached as much as 95 percent of the pre-pandemic year of 2019's impressive figures.

After the figures on the 33 percent increase in overnight stays realised in the current part of the peak season at the level of the entire Republic of Croatia were published, the Dubrovnik-Neretva County tourist board reported an increase in tourist arrivals of as much as 90 percent on Monday. The extreme south of the country, which had the biggest drop last year due to issues with air traffic, recorded 65 percent more overnight stays in July than last year.

Instead of the Brits and Americans, who have been the most numerous guests in Dubrovnik for years now, the most overnight stays so far this summer season were realised by guests from Poland, Slovenia, the rest of Croatia, Germany, neighbouring Bosnia and Herzegovina and the Czech Republic.

Almost 207 thousand overnight stays realised by Polish tourists in Croatia, more specifically in that southern Dalmatian county, is an increase of almost 40 percent when compared to the record year of 2019. It also represents 30 percent more overnight stays realised when compared to the pre-pandemic year of 2019.

As the British market was officially closed in regard to tourism until the middle of the month, Dubrovnik-Neretva County had only 12 percent of overnight stays from that traditionally very secure Northern European market during the month of July, but direct flights with the United States introduced this summer helped bring US traffic to almost 70 percent of 2019's number of overnight stays.

This year, as many as nine times more American guests arrived in Dubrovnik-Neretva County than last year, and there also twice as many Poles, who thus became the most numerous guests in Dubrovnik.

At the level of the whole of Croatia, according to currently unofficial figures, e-Visitor counted 347,346 arrivals of Polish tourists who realised a total of 2.42 million overnight stays, which is not only 50 percent more overnight stays than last year, but a growth of 20 percent compared to to the last normal season of 2019.

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Tuesday, 25 May 2021

New Edition of Polish National Geographic Traveler Dedicated to Croatia

May 25, 2021 - The new issue of the Polish National Geographic Traveler magazine is entirely dedicated to Croatia as a tourist destination.

HRTurizam reports, the new issue, "Croatia - 23 journeys of life,"  brings texts, photos, and useful information of Polish journalists and travel writers who wrote about the beauties and peculiarities of Croatian destinations on 116 pages. 

"A special issue of the magazine is already on sale, so many Poles will have an additional opportunity to get to know Croatia even better, which is positioned in this market as one of the favorite foreign tourist destinations. Excellent pictures and tempting texts will be an additional inspiration for Poles to visit Croatian destinations this year," said Agnieszka Puszczewicz, Director of the CNTB Representation in Poland.

A special edition of the National Geographic Traveler represents all Croatian regions and thematically includes numerous attractions that Croatia offers in its tourist offer.

Ideas for an ideal vacation can be found by lovers of adrenaline and active holidays and lovers of enjoying the sun and the sea and the untouched nature of Croatian national parks. You can find ideas for city break holidays like Zagreb, Split, or Dubrovnik in the magazine.

The journalistic-editorial team that prepared the special issue about Croatia included the editor-in-chief of National Geographic Poland and National Geographic Traveler Poland Agnieszka Załęska-Franus. "A lot of Poles adore Croatia, as is evident by the fact that Croatia has been one of their favorite summer destinations for years. This is how the idea was created to dedicate a special issue of the magazine completely to Croatia and its beauties, small and large cities, delicious cuisine, excellent wines, and beautiful nature," Załęska-Franus pointed out, thanking for the professional cooperation, engagement, and help in creating a magazine's special issue.

Poland is one of the most important markets for Croatian tourism, which last year took a high third place in terms of tourist traffic. Last year, Polish tourists accounted for about 4.6 million overnight stays, and a strong contribution from this market is expected this year.

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Thursday, 11 February 2021

GroMar Polish E-Learning Platform to Employ People from Ogulin

February the 11th, 2021 - The GroMar Polish e-learning platform is seeking workers, with a particular focus placed on no less than Ogulin as the company looks forward to operating in an area of Croatia one might not expect it to.

As Poslovni Dnevnik/Sergej Novosel Vuckovic writes, recently, the often overlooked Croatian town of Ogulin gained the attention of the domestic public due to the decision of the Swedish company Pervanovo Invest AB, owned by Croat Darko Pervan, to build a floor covering factory there, worth 200 million euros. The factory would become the largest in the world, but this isn't the only foreign investment to arrive in Ogulin.

Recently, the GroMar Polish e-learning platform announced that it was looking for 2D graphic artists/animators/illustrators to work in Ogulin, in its branch there. GroMar is otherwise a leader in education and digitalisation projects when it comes to employee education and development, which they've been engaged in for more than 20 years.

The GroMar Polish e-learning platform is headquartered in Lodz, the third largest city in Poland, and the company was ranked among the fastest-growing 25 technology companies in the CEE region last year, according to Deloitte. The fourth quarter of 2020 was their best, and in pre-pandemic 2019, their revenues reached 17 million zlotys (about 28.8 million kuna in total ). Among their clients are giants like Suzuki, Tesco, Pepco, DPD, and various Polish institutions and public companies.

Their main product is LearnWay, and Marcin Pisarski, the founder, sole owner and CEO of GroMar, describes it as a fully customisable e-learning platform with an unlimited number of functionalities.

“LearnWay is actually a complete set of tools for professionals in the field of human resources and e-learning. In addition to the platform itself, we also provide our clients with online training sessions, we create and design each of the platforms ourselves.

From online employment, through boarding systems, personal and professional development programmes, online education editing, online course databases, all the way to corporate communication tools and employer banding,'' Pisarski told Poslovni dnevnik.

He admits that they were somehow ''brought'' to Ogulin by Natalia Zielinska, a Polish entrepreneur living in Ogulin who is an expert on EU projects and is also the owner of EuroGrant Consulting. But what else was decisive besides the Polish "connection"?

"We met in 2019 and we liked the open approach and desire for cooperation. Ogulin is only an hour from Zagreb and Rijeka and is directly connected to Split. Since back in 2015, we've had a subsidiary of Gro-Mar d.o.o., and in 2017 we took over the company Horizont IT.

Several entrepreneurial stories are developing in Ogulin, including those which involve foreign investments, which has further encouraged us, and it isn't without significance that the local government is reducing tax liabilities such as surtax, which we recognise as positive. Undoubtedly, a very important role was played by my colleague Natalia, she emphasised all the advantages of business development in smaller places,'' pointed out the leader of the GroMar Polish e-learning platform.

For them, the key Polish national project at the moment is the educational platform (e-textbook), which is used by the entire Polish public education system due to the pandemic and the need for distance learning. This platform enjoys millions of users per month and offers thousands of pieces of material for children, parents and teachers.

"It's a great challenge and a turning point in the development of our company," noted Pisarski, adding that they will soon launch a campaign about LearnWay in European countries, including Croatia, and the contribution of Croatian employees is important to them. The plan is to have about 50 of them in total.

"We want to create platforms for education, content, training and online material based on Polish technologies, but with a Croatian soul and elegance added to them. That's why we need local experts, thanks to whom we'll have the prerequisite for the synergy of our know-how and skills and local spirit and culture. We'll create effective educational projects for schools, universities and companies,'' said Pisarski.

This Polish entrepreneur is optimistic about doing business in a small Croatian town and intends to hire more people. "Definitely. We have in our hands a comprehensive strategy for entering the Croatian market. It will not be a fast sprint, but a marathon in the long run. Our ultimate goal is an independent and self-sufficient branch of the GroMar Polish e-learning platform here in Croatia. We have the financial means to do so and we're ready for such investments. We'll definitely need experts from different fields, not only IT experts and graphic designers,'' Pisarski revealed.

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Monday, 28 September 2020

Time To Reflect, As Loyalty Not Luxury Saves 2020 Croatia Tourist Season

September 28, 2020 – The tail end of 2020's unparalleled summer offers opportunity for pause, contemplation and appreciation, as it's loyal and not luxury guests that have saved this year's Croatia tourist season.

In this day and age, things always have to get better. There's no room to sit still. Life without improvement is deemed a failure. Nowhere is this more true than the Croatia tourist season.

The numbers of overnight stays in the Croatia tourist season sometimes seem to be the only measure by which its success is judged. Year after year, the numbers must rise. Any decrease is unthinkable. At the same time, hungry eyes still want more. Some want to reposition themselves. A new class of guest is wanted, from faraway nations. They must be of a better quality. They must stay longer, in more expensive dwellings. They must spend more.

Incredible initiatives are undertaken to turn this want into a reality. But, at the end of the 2020 Croatia tourist season, perhaps it's time to pause and reflect. For this year, it is undoubtedly loyalty and not luxury that's saved the Croatia tourist season.

In the year the coronavirus pandemic hit, arrivals by charter plane and cruise ship were seriously curtailed. So much for the flying visits of premium guests from far-flung lands. Instead, the tourists who came were from much closer to Croatia.

The English language that most on the coast are so familiar with was this year useless. On the beaches of Istria and northern Dalmatia, it was Slovenian, Polish, Czech, German, Slovakian and Italian that was heard. The packed bars of Makarska echoed with the familiar call of 'Đe si, bolan?' (where are you, bro? - in Bosnian dialect). Many of those who came drove to Croatia. And many do so every year.

1024px--Sharing-_Friday_night_pizza_(17405004226).jpg© Jeremy Segrott

Sighs and light-hearted jokes about some of these guests persist in some places. “That family come every year, but they only ever order one pizza to share between the four of them.” The choice of footwear of some German-speaking and Czech visitors frequently draws chuckles, in particular, the classic sock and sandal combo. But, just where would the 2020 Croatia tourist season have been without the 60,000 Czech and Slovak visitors who this year arrived by train?

Just two days ago, Jutarnji reported on phenomenal numbers of Polish visitors this year. Would anyone else really have taken the place of the returning family of four sharing a pizza? Just what would the season in Makarska have looked like without bolan?

Croatians are famously very appreciative hosts. On the ground, there's no doubt that such loyal guests are warmly welcomed and thanked each year by accommodation renters, restaurateurs and others. They greet returning visitors with smiles of familiarity and reserve for them their favourite place. In September 2020, gratitude to such guests was echoed by The Croatian National Tourist Board as they launched a new campaign 'Thank you', directed at the tourists who this year chose Croatia.

Perhaps it is time to ensure that this gratitude extends into any grand new initiatives for growth in the Croatia tourist season? Such loyal guests should not be taken for granted, nor forgotten.

Initiative within the Croatia tourist sector is vital. The unlocking of continental Croatia's potential is simply a must. That too of the Dalmatian hinterland and inland Istria. The exploitation of world-class Croatian assets such as nature, agriculture and health and wellness services are also perfectly on-point. The desire to attract a better class of bigger-spending visitor to luxury holidays on the Croatian coast should surely be a lower priority. After all, eyes that covet can all too frequently fail to appreciate that for which they should already be thankful.

SANDALS.jpg© Oddman47

Lead image adapted from an original photograph by © Marco Verch

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Tuesday, 8 September 2020

French Exclusive Networks Takes Over Large IT Company in Croatia

As Novac/Bernard Ivezic writes on the 7th of September, 2020, the French Exclusive Networks company has taken over Veracomp, a Polish company whose subsidiary in Croatia is one of the 50 largest IT companies on the Croatian market.

Last year, Veracomp had a revenue of 208.4 million kuna and a net profit of 3 million kuna in Croatia. It is a fast-growing company on the Croatian market whose business jumped by a third compared to the year before, both in terms of revenue and profitability.

Veracomp is originally a Polish company, founded back in 1991, and is positioned on the market as a Value Added Distributor of ICT equipment in the markets across Central and Eastern Europe. The French Exclusive Networks was founded in 1995 in France, has complementary offerings, operates across 100 countries and has 50 offices worldwide. The French takeover will significantly strengthen the company's presence in Central and Eastern Europe and also strengthen its competence in the field of cyber security.

Adam Rudowski, the CEO of Veracomp, warned that the transaction will be subject to regulatory approvals and that its conclusion is expected in the fourth quarter of 2020.

“Associating with the French Exclusive Networks is proof of the success of our approach and allows us to focus our expertise on a truly global mission, while continuing to contribute to growth and create greater value in the channel,” explained Rudowski.

He added that he will now be able to offer existing and potential partners suppliers and sellers new opportunities to increase the volume of business in the region of Central and Eastern Europe. He pointed out that this will also be a 'brand 'new chapter in Veracomp’s fantastic success story'' for their employees as well.

Olivier Breittmayer, the CEO of the French Exclusive Networks, stated they have returned to strengthening their operations here in Europe, where they initially started.

''The story of Exclusive Networks began in Europe, and after global expansion to the EMEA and APAC regions and North America, now is the right time to expand further into Central and Eastern Europe, which has always been our plan for future growth,” says Breittmayer.

He added that acquiring a successful and well-established distribution group is the best way to accelerate a presence in the new region and create opportunities for their strategic supplier and GSI partners. He has announced new investments and is particularly pleased that there is a strong cultural match and operational coherence between the two organisations.

"Our plan is to support continued success, and not to impose new structures. This means keeping Veracomp's key management in their current roles so as to ensure business continuity and achieve a plan for accelerated growth," Breittmayer concluded.

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Saturday, 22 August 2020

Polish Ambassador Thanks Croatia For Efforts To Find Missing Hiker

August 22, 2020 – Polish Ambassador Andrzej Edward Jasionowski writes in heartfelt gratitude on behalf of the Polish Republic and its people. Addressed to Interior Minister Davor Božinović, the letter sincerely thanks Croatia, HGSS, the police, army and volunteers for their tireless search.

The Polish Ambassador, Andrzej Edward Jasionowski, has sent an official letter of gratitude to Croatia for the sustained efforts in trying to find a missing hiker. The document was sent to Croatian Interior Minister Davor Božinović but clearly it is addressed to members of HGSS, the Croatian police, army, air force and the country's volunteers who manned the search.

Letter sent by the Polish Ambassador

In the letter, Polish Ambassador Mr Jasionowski details his inability to address individually every member of the vast search party, who scored the mountain range around Biokovo for his missing countryman. In sending the letter to the head of the Ministry for the Interior, he clearly wishes the sincere thanks to be passed on to all those involved in the action.

Polish Ambassador Mr Jasionowski also acknowledges, on behalf of the Polish nation, his awareness of the cost of such an extensive search. 600 people including members from 15 stations of HGSS (the Croatian Mountain Rescue Service) from across Croatia, mountain rescuers from Bosnia and Herzegovina, the Croatian army, the Croatian police, members of mountaineering associations and many volunteers were involved in the search. Croatia allocated €160,000 for helicopter flights and the aerial search alone. Volunteers were assisted on the search by tracking dogs and drones, which took thousands of photos.

39-year-old Polish national Lukasz Dariusz went missing while hiking on Biokovo on Friday 31 July 2020. Unfortunately, he still remains missing.

Polish Ambassador to Croatia Mr. Andrzej Edward Jasionowski, pictured with Mrs. Katarina Grabar-Kitarović in 2018 © Polish Embassy Zagreb

Friday, 7 August 2020

More Polish Tourists Holidaying in Croatia This Year Than 2019

In the first five days of August, more than 3.9 million overnight stays were realised by Polish tourists in Croatia, which is almost 70 percent of last year's result achieved in the very same period.

As Poslovni Dnevnik/Marija Crnjak writes on the 6th of August, 2020, about 65,000 arrivals and almost 380,000 overnight stays from the Polish market have been made so far in August, which is a 4 percent increase in traffic in arrivals and 10 percent in overnight stays realised by Polish tourists when compared to the same period last year. Even for such a small sample of a mere 5 summer days, the data is almost unbelievable for this year, in which all markets around the world are declining as a result of the coronavirus pandemic.

"After an excellent July, we expect even better tourist results in August. Namely, in addition to the Polish market, where the turnover has also increased, we've excellent results in August from the markets of Germany and Slovenia, where we recorded about 96 percent of last year's turnover in the same period. These results confirm that our country is perceived as a safe and quality tourist destination, and it's up to all of us to respond by behaving and adhering to all of the prescribed epidemiological measures and maintain that status,'' said the director of the Croatian Tourist Board, Kristjan Stanicic, adding that from the Czech market, Croatia achieved almost 80 percent of last year's result in the first five days of this month, and from the Austrian market - more than 60 percent.

The Croatian National Tourist Board (HTZ) pointed out that recently the national Polish television TVP dedicated its edition of the most watched morning show in Poland entirely to Croatia as a tourist destination. It is a show called "Pytanie na śniadanie" which, according to the Nielsen Audience Measurement, is watched by about 485 thousand Polish viewers every day for three hours. The show about Croatia presented natural beauty, cultural heritage and eno-gastronomic offer of the country, and the guest on the show was Agnieszka Puszczewicz, the director of the CNTB Representation in Poland.

"Visiting the show was a great opportunity to present different motives for the arrival of Polish tourists to Croatia in front of a large number of viewers. We mustn't forget that Croatia is one of the favourite summer destinations of Poles to which they're always happy to return. I believe that the Polish market will have a strong share in the overall results of Croatian tourism during this very challenging year as well,'' concluded Puszczewicz.

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