Thursday, 25 March 2021

U-21 Euros: Croatia Falls to Portugal in Game 1 of Group D

March 25, 2021 - Croatia falls to Portugal in their first match of Group D at the U-21 Euros at Bonifika Stadium in Koper, Slovenia.

The Croatia U-21 national team opened the group stage of the European Championship in Slovenia against Portugal at 9 pm on Thursday evening. Croatia plays in Group D against Portugal, Switzerland, and England. 

In the first game of Group D on Thursday, Switzerland shocked England, complicating the group even before Portugal and Croatia kicked off. 

Lineups

Portugal: Costa - Correia, Queiros, Leite, Dalot - Fereirra, Florentino, Fernandes - Trinaco, Tomas, Pote

Croatia: Šemper - Šverko, Erlić, Vušković, Bradarić - Bistrović, Moro, Franjić - Majer, Kulenović, Ivanušec

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Slobodan Kadic

Recap

90' The ref added 6 minutes

84' Ten minutes without a chance.

74' The game came to life, but Croatia has not yet managed to create an opportunity to get back in the match.

69' GOAL! Fabio Vieira scored just minutes after entering the game. He came in brilliantly from the back and received the ball with space, calmly beating Šemper.

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Slobodan Kadic

68' Bišćan introduced Babec and Musa instead of Moro and Majer. He seems to be going for three points with two strikers.

61' Nothing exciting in the last six minutes apart from a series of lost balls on both sides.

55' Several counterattacks on both sides, but none ended in an opportunity to score.

49' Majer shot poorly from the edge of the penalty area and went far from the goal.

46' The second half has begun.

End of the first half.

43' Great attempt by Vitinha from about 25 meters from Croatia's goal, but Šemper was solid

41' Kulenović shoots from the edge of the penalty area, but Costa defended.

38' Gedson Fernandes found his way in front of Šemper, but shot from a tough angle and missed the goal frame.

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Slobodan Kadic

34' Pote fired from the edge of the penalty area

32' Nikola Moro's shot was saved by the Portugal goalkeeper.

29' Portugal dominates the pitch. They've only had one chance so far, but are constantly pressing.

25' Great opportunity for Portugal! Queiros headed and hit the post.

24' Two chances for Portugal, but both times blocked by Croatian stopper

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Slobodan Kadic

21' Portugal was more dangerous for a few minutes but without a good chance. The best chance was Majer's four minutes ago.

17' Lovro Majer shot from the edge of the box, but Costa was ready and defended nicely.

15' Croatia is trying to set itself high and press the backline of Portugal

12' There haven't been any notable opportunities yet 

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Slobodan Kadic

8' The game is a bit messy at the beginning, no team can keep possession for long, although it seems that Portugal is a bit more interested in the ball. Croatia will obviously not play for possession today.

4' There are no great opportunities at the opening of the match, but the game is quite open with a lot of sprints on both sides.

1' The match started.

Source: Index.hr

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

Thursday, 25 March 2021

U-21 Euros: Switzerland Shocks England in Croatia's Group

March 25, 2021 - Croatia's group at the U-21 Euros just became a lot more complicated after Switzerland beat England on Thursday. 

Switzerland surprisingly celebrated against England 1:0 in the first match of Group D at the Under-21 European Championship, which is being played in Slovenia and Hungary.

England was a big favorite ahead of this match and a favorite to win the group, but Dan Ndoye's goal in the 77th minute was enough for a shocker in Koper.

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Slobodan Kadic

The England side includes footballers like Emile Smith Rowe from Arsenal and Callum Hudson-Odoi from Chelsea, but that didn't help them much.

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Slobodan Kadic

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Slobodan Kadic

Before the championship, there was speculation that England would win the group, and Switzerland and Croatia would look for a way to surprise Portugal and go further. This result surely complicates everything.

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Slobodan Kadic

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

Thursday, 25 March 2021

Croatian Flag in Flowers at U-21 Euros in Slovenia

March 25, 2021 - Koper is one of the host cities of the UEFA European U-21 Championship, which is being held this year in Slovenia and Hungary.

On the first day of the competition, and in front of the entrance to the Bonifika Stadium, the floral flags of the national teams of Group D competing were displayed: Portugal, Croatia, Switzerland, and England.

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Slobodan Kadić

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Slobodan Kadić

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Slobodan Kadić

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Slobodan Kadić

For the Croatian flag, they needed a little more creativity with the coat of arms, but the ingenuity of the hosts is to be commended.

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Slobodan Kadić

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

Wednesday, 24 March 2021

Vatreni Spectacle: Six Croatia National Team Games in 8 Days!

March 24, 2021 - A Vatreni spectacle begins tonight, as the 2018 World Cup finalists kick off their 2022 World Cup qualifiers against Slovenia for the first of six Croatia national team games in 8 days. Recall, the Croatia U-21 side begins the group stage of the European Championship tomorrow, too!

The coronavirus pandemic, which erupted around this time last year, ultimately postponed the 2020 European Championships, which were to be played across Europe last summer. 

According to the latest information, it should be played from June 11 to July 11, 2021, in 12 cities, in 12 different European countries. No official announcement has been made about the tournament yet.

The postponement of the Euros also moved the start of the 2022 World Cup qualifiers, which begin a bit earlier, or today for Croatia and Slovenia. 

But that's not all.

The U-21 European Championship begins in Slovenia and Hungary, which kick off tomorrow for Croatia. 

The Croatia A selection will open the qualifications for the 2022 World Cup on Wednesday against Slovenia in Ljubljana at 20:45. The famous Spaniard referee Antonio Mateu Lahoz will lead the match at Stožice stadium. Fans in Croatia can watch the broadcast on Nova TV from 8 pm, with a studio show.

The Slovenia national team is led by the well-known Matjaž Kek, once the successful coach of Rijeka. Of HNL players, Dinamo's Petar Stojanović and Osijek's Mario Jurčević, and Damjan Bohar are in their lineup. 

Croatia will also play against Cyprus on March 27 and on March 30 against Malta in this microcycle. Both matches are played at Rujevica in Rijeka. All matches will be played without an audience. In addition to Croatia, Slovenia, Cyprus, and Malta, the group also includes Russia and Slovakia.

Croatia is the absolute favorite of the group. Ante Rebić and Bruno Petković will not be in the squad due to injuries, but Šime Vrsaljko is looking forward to returning. Recall, Vrsaljko is back in the national team after two and a half years and major injuries.

"We will definitely miss Petković; he was in good shape. With him, our game system is different, and we will have to change that a bit now," said coach Dalić.

However, despite the absence of Rebić and Petković, Dalić has Mislav Oršić, who is playing the best football of his life, and Kristijan Lovrić, who is not far behind.

"I have already said, Mislav deserved this round, and he will have minutes. But I have to wait to talk to the players because we haven’t been together for a long time and I don’t know the condition of each of them. Things are changing now, and he played 120 minutes against Tottenham and also played against Gorica. He can help us, and I have to be smart, wise, deploy strength and energy, so we don’t run out because it’s a hellish cycle," said Dalić.

In the European qualifiers, 55 national teams were divided into five groups with six teams each and five groups with five teams each. They will play two matches against each other in each group. Ten group winners will qualify directly for the World Cup, and ten runners-up and two Nations League teams will play additional qualifiers.

These 12 national teams will be divided into three groups, with four national teams vying for three more World Cup spots.

Schedule for Croatia A team
Slovenia - Croatia (Ljubljana, March 24, 8.45 pm Nova TV)
Croatia - Cyprus (Rijeka, March 27, 18.00 Nova TV)
Croatia - Malta (Rijeka, March 30, 8.45 pm Nova TV)

The Croatia U21 national football team traveled to Slovenia on Monday to play all three matches of the European Championship group stage.

Coach Igor Bišćan is convinced that the young Vatreni can play good games and fight for a place in the quarterfinals, regardless of its rivals - Portugal, Switzerland, and England.

"We have two days until the first game; we have to do the best we can. We have three games in a week; we will need to find a way to be ready for demanding matches. We believe in ourselves; we went through tough qualifications, which was positive for our character and mentality. In that positive atmosphere, I hope we can ensure getting out of the group," he says.

The Croatia U-21 national team will play all three matches in the group in Koper at the Bonifika Stadium, also without spectators. They play their first game on Thursday, March 25, against Portugal at 21:00, led by referee  Bartosz Frankowski from Poland. Croatia's matches at the U-21 Euros will be broadcast by HTV 2.

Bišćan's side will face Switzerland on March 28 and England on March 31. England is certainly the favorite of the group.

"We are ready for something bigger. There are no weaker teams at the European Championship, but Croatia also has its qualities, and we want to reach the quarterfinals. We are a little tired, but the greatest pride is to play in the European Championship. We are not afraid of anyone; we are going to show who we are and what we are," said striker Sandro Kulenović.

The group stage of the U-21 European Championship will be held from March 24 to 31, 2021, and the winners and runners-up from each group will advance to the next stage, which will be played from May 31 to June 6, 2021.

Nine group winners and the five best second-placed teams, including Croatia and the hosts of the tournament, Hungary, and Slovenia, qualified for the final tournament. Sixteen national teams in the draw were divided into four groups of four national teams.

Schedule for Croatia U-21 side at the Euros in Slovenia and Hungary:
Portugal U-21 - Croatia U-21 (Koper, March 25, 9 pm HTV 2)
Croatia U-21 - Switzerland U-21 (Koper, March 28, 18.00 HTV 2)
Croatia U-21 - England U-21 (Koper, 31 March, 18.00 HTV 2)

Source: 24 Sata

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

Monday, 22 March 2021

Kvarner Wines in Spotlight: Two "Sparkling Kvarner” Workshops held in Zagreb

March 22, 2021 - Hotel Dubrovnik announced the 5th Salon of Sparkling Wines with two sparkling Kvarner workshops on Friday, March 19.

Fiuman reports that two sparkling wine workshops were held in front of loyal visitors: Sparkling Kvarner and Natural Sparkling (Croatia & Slovenia).

At the first workshop, six wines produced by the pét-nat method (fr. pétillant naturel) were presented at a "blind" tasting. With the leader dr. Sc. Nina Levičnik, the founder of the Salon of Sparkling Wines network and a big fan of "natural" sparkling wines, the participants learned what the terms pét-nat, méthode ancestrale, and col fondo have in common and how they differ from other methods.

The presenter emphasized the importance of "terroir" in wine production with this ancestral method. The Croatian representatives were Tomac, Šember, Veralda, and the Slovenian Atimo, Keltis, and Štemberger.

At the second workshop, participants learned that Kvarner is the third Croatian wine region in terms of sparkling wine production. The recently founded the Kvarner Wine Association which today has as many as 10 sparkling wine producers who were presented at the workshop under the auspices of the Kvarner Tourist Board. Sparkling wines in Kvarner are produced from the original varieties - žlahtina, belica, mast - charmat, and the traditional method. 

The moderator, Dr. sc. Žarko Stilin, secretary of the Kvarner Wine Association, one of the loudest promoters of original Kvarner wine varieties, organizer of several wine events, the most important of which is the International Wine and Gastronomic Festival WineRi, spoke about the interesting and special features of Kvarner sparkling wines.

Participants tasted 10 sparkling wines: Maličić winery Šipun, Porin Estate Winery Katunar, Valomet PZ Vrbnik, Gospoja PZ Gospoja, San Marino Wine houses Pavlomir, Soubze catering and Nada shop, Stara Bakarska Vodica PZ Dolčina Praputnjak, Biser žlahtine Ivan Katunar - Plovanić vina and Ružić - OPG Ružić.

Workshop leader dr. sc. Žarko Stilin proudly stated that sparkling wines in Kvarner have a long tradition, and with the Kvarner Wine Association, the promotion will be even more visible through many activities, education on table culture, organization of round tables, lectures, and scientific conferences to promote Kvarner with the support of Kvarner Tourist Board.

The wine workshops were an introduction to other sparkling events ahead of the 5th Salon of Sparkling Wine Zagreb, on June 11, 2021, on the Oleander terrace of the Hotel Esplanade. The date has been targeted to meet the summer and the upcoming tourist season when the consumption of sparkling wines will be more frequent than usual and any promotion is welcome.

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

Wednesday, 3 March 2021

Slovenia Donates Nine Trucks Full of Timber to Earthquake-Devastated Petrinja

ZAGREB, 3 March, 2021 - The Slovenian association of wood processing companies, Sloles, has donated a large amount of timber for the reconstruction of roofs in the earthquake-devastated central Croatian town of Petrinja, and nine trucks set out for the Banovina region on Wednesday carrying 300 cubic metres of timber.

Croatia's Ambassador to Slovenia, Boris Grgić, Slovenian Minister of Agriculture and Forestry Jože Podgoršek and officials from Sloles attended the handover of this shipment at Novo Mesto.

Ambassador Grgić stressed the importance of the aid from Slovenia, which was among the first countries to respond after a 6.2 magnitude earthquake struck Banovina on 29 December, leaving seven people killed and extensive property damage. He said that the aid showed the importance of cooperation between the two countries and good neighbourly relations.

Minister Podgoršek said that this time too it turned out that neighbours were the first to come to aid and that by doing so Slovenians proved to be good neighbours, always ready to help.

Immediately after the disaster, the government of Prime Minister Janez Janša showed solidarity and sent housing containers, power generators, heaters and heated tents, and the Slovenian Red Cross initially donated €10,000.

Several times over the last two months, with the assistance of the Slovenian army and private hauliers, a number of mobile homes and housing containers have been brought to the earthquake-affected region, as well as many private donations of humanitarian aid, including those raised by Croats living in Slovenia. 

Sunday, 10 January 2021

Slovenian and Austrian Firefigthers Bring Aid for Earthquake Victims

ZAGREB, 10 January, 2021 - In a humanitarian campaign organised by the Breznicki Hum Municipality with the help of a Slovenian volunteer firefighters association, PGD Paloma Sladki Vrh,  and Austrian OBR fire brigade, 24 trucks and vans on Saturday delivered aid for people in the quake-hit areas of Sisak, Petrinja and Glina.

The convoy entered Croatia on Saturday morning at the Dubrava Krizovljanska border crossing.

According to the press release, the convoy, accompanied by police, delivered large quantities of construction materials, construction tools, beams, planks and slats, generators and heaters, textiles, pillows, blankets, field beds, food, water and numerous other necessities for the many inhabitants of the quake-hit area.

Upon arrival at the storage terminal of a company called NIL-Z in Petrinja, they were welcomed by Petrinja Mayor Darinko Dumbovic, who thanked them for collecting and delivering valuable help.

The secretary of the Slovenian firefighters association, Valentina Oslovnik, its commander, Robert Oslovnik, and the commander of Austrian OBR fire brigade, Johannes Matzhold, expressed their satisfaction with participating in the campaign.

The head of Breznicki Hum Municipality, Zoran Hegedic, thanked the participants of the campaign and firefighter from Breznicki Hum, Slovenia and Austria.

Hegedic also thanked the Croatian customs for the excellent cooperation during the arrival of the convoy, Croatian police for accompanying them and all those who helped in any way.

Saturday, 19 December 2020

Foreign Ministers of Croatia, Italy and Slovenia Adopt Joint Statement

ZAGREB, Dec 19, 2020 - The foreign ministers of Croatia, Italy and Slovenia adopted a joint statement in Trieste on Saturday saying that they shared the vision of the Adriatic Sea as a bridge connecting all the nations in this region and as a source of prosperity for all. 

The meeting was held following the announcements by Italy and Croatia that they would declare their respective exclusive economic zones in the Adriatic.

The Adriatic Sea, as a half-closed sea with intensive maritime traffic and a vulnerable ecosystem, needs an integrated approach to environmental protection, risk prevention and sustainable development, says the joint statement signed by Foreign Ministers Gordan Grlic Radman of Croatia, Luigi Di Maio of Italy and Anze Logar of Slovenia.

The ministers agreed to continue talks on further cooperation in the trilateral format in key areas, including economic development, connectivity, the blue economy and comprehensive protection of the sea. For that purpose, the three countries will establish a mechanism to advance their cooperation at political and expert levels.

Italy and Croatia exchanged information on the progress of the initiatives to declare their respective exclusive economic zones, reiterating that they were taking this step fully in line with the principles of international law, the UN Convention on the Law of the Sea and EU law. In addition, the ministers agreed to hold the next trilateral meeting in the first quarter of next year.

Grlic Radman expressed satisfaction with "a very useful exchange of views on the progress of cooperation," adding that today's meeting mainly focused on operational modalities and priority areas to advance trilateral cooperation in the Adriatic Sea.

"During the meeting we spoke favourably of our relations and I think this meeting is a good start for cooperation in different areas. All three countries remain committed to promoting cooperation in a true European spirit in order to protect the Adriatic Sea, bring our coastal nations closer together  and transform the area of our co-existence together," Grlic Radman said at the end of the meeting.

He said that Croatia would declare its Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ) in January as an upgrade to the existing Ecological and Fisheries Protection Zone (EFPZ). He said that Croatia would exercise this right under international law and with the agreement of Italy and Slovenia. 

The State Secretary at the Croatian Ministry of Foreign and European Affairs, Andreja Metelko Zgombic, noted that the meeting was held in a friendly atmosphere.

 She said that the boundaries of the Croatian EEZ would overlap with those of the existing EFPZ until an agreement was reached with Italy and Montenegro on the final delimitation of the zones.

As for Slovenia, Metelko Zgombic said there was no reason for concern because "even those voices in Slovenia that support the results of border arbitration can rest assured because the arbitration ruling itself, which Croatia, unlike Slovenia, does not accept, clearly says that exclusive economic zones can be declared in the Adriatic or the Mediterranean in the future and that that will not infringe Slovenia's rights."

She said that the rights of third countries would remain protected because exclusive economic zones guarantee freedom of navigation.

Sunday, 6 December 2020

In Cultura Veritas: Successful International Cooperation of 40 Winemakers

December 6, 2020 – With the project In Cultura Veritas, 200 kilometers of wine roads and 80 cultural heritage sites were connected in the cross-border area between Zagreb County in Croatia and the Obsotelje and Kozjansko subregions in Slovenia.

As Lokalni.hr reports, the main goal of this recently completed project, which lasted 28 months and is worth one million euros, was to contribute to the attractiveness, attendance, and protection of the cultural heritage of the area and increase economic activity through the development of a new sustainable cross-border destination. The goals were also to strengthen the capacity of local stakeholders and the comprehensive promotion of tourist destinations from the Zagreb County and the Slovenian subregions Obsotelje and Kozjansko.

The In Cultura Veritas project was implemented by Zagreb County, with partners the Museum Documentation Center and the Association of Croatian Travel Agencies. Slovenian partners were the Sotla Development Agency, the Municipality of Šmarje pri Jelšah, and the Maribor Agricultural and Forestry Institute.

On behalf of Zagreb County, the project was presented by Ivana Rendulić Jelušić, who pointed out that thanks to this project, the attractiveness of the offer of cultural and wine tourism in Zagreb County was increased following the requirements of modern visitors.

The cooperation of about 40 winemakers from the area of Zelinska, Samoborska, and Plešivička wine roads, the towns of Samobor, Jastrebarsko, and Sveti Ivan Zelina, and their city museums have borne fruit.

As Večernji.hr reports, the attractions of wine and cultural tourism within the new destination have been promoted by the application of modern digital tools, the improvement of the visitor infrastructure, and the renewal of cultural heritage.

This project idea was developed thanks to the recognition of common and insufficiently promoted tourism potentials in the cross-border project area. The area has a rich and somewhat forgotten cultural and historical heritage preserved in about 80 cultural heritage sites located along 200 km of wine roads.

The centuries-old tradition of wine production is an important part of life in this area, and the quality of the wine is confirmed by numerous awards that adorn the walls of wineries on Plešivica, Zelina, Samobor (Croatia), and Šmarje-Virštanj wine roads (Slovenia). It is in this area that the oldest vine in the world is located, the one from Maribor. Also, the fluttering and fresh white wine Kraljevina, which is believed to have been drunk by the famous Beethoven, is an autochthonous variety produced only in the Zelina area in Croatia.

Zagreb County was the leading partner of this project and thus digitized the tourist offer of the new cross-border tourist destination. A digital catalog with the cultural and wine offer of this area is available on the project website, where you can find information about winemakers, museums, natural heritage sites, photographs, multimedia content, and interesting facts and legends about famous people associated with the project area.

The digital catalog is also available on a mobile application, as well as on tourist machines and smart benches set up by the Zagreb County in the center of the cities involved in the project – Sveti Ivan Zelina, Jastrebarsko, and Samobor.

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

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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