Saturday, 31 July 2021

Split Ports Expect 101 Thousand Passengers This Weekend

July 31, 2021 - The Split ports expect 101 thousand passengers will arrive in the city and the surrounding islands this weekend from numerous destinations around the world, Croatia as well.

The Split Airport will thus conclude July with a share of 48 percent of passengers compared to July 2019, and the city airport, where they do not hide their satisfaction with a share of 75 percent compared to July 2019, a record month for the airport, reports

The Split Airport expects 190 planes to land and takes off over the weekend, of which 150 are on a regular route, while the remaining 40 private planes will carry 36,000 passengers through the port.

"July should be completed with 350 thousand passengers, and for comparison last year in the same period there were about 170 thousand, while July 2019 ended with 720 thousand", said to Hina the head of the Passenger Reception and Dispatch Service of Split Airport Mate Melvan.

He noted that the last weekend in July and the first in August have been the most numerous in terms of tourism for years. "We are still monitoring the situation with the crown, and for now the season is going great," Melvan added.

''The weekend is also a record in the ferry port, where more than 65 thousand passengers and over 15 thousand vehicles are expected'', said the coordinator of Jadrolinija, Jelena Ivulić.

According to the data she presented by Saturday at 1 pm, two extraordinary lines to Supetar have been introduced, while the ferries to other islands are full. Passengers in vehicles in a column in Zvonimirova Street continued to wait for more than two hours to the ferry port.

"We are now at 75 percent of the numbers we achieved in July 2019. We are more than satisfied and we believe that the season will not end abruptly", said Ivulić.

She mentioned that the traffic pressure is from all sides, from the entrance to Split, but also at the entrance to the ferry port. "We recommend everyone who needs to go to the port to start as soon as possible and arm themselves with patience, but it is worth enduring for our islands", she said.

For everything you need to know about Split, from what to do, what to see, where to eat, where to stay, tours, and much more, check out the Total Croatia 2021 guide.

For more on travel in Croatia, follow TCN's dedicated page.

Friday, 30 July 2021

Geographic Information System for Maritime Domain in Split County Presented

ZAGREB, 30 July 2021 - A geographic information system for the maritime domain in Split-Dalmatia County was presented on Friday by county head Blaženko Boban, who called on citizens to report cases of devastation of the maritime domain so that it could be protected as much as possible.

Split-Dalmatia County accounts for one third of the Croatian Adriatic coast, it has the largest number of concessions for the use of the maritime domain and it has invested significant effort to protect it, Boban said, calling for the involvement of all, the state, inspectors and members of the public, in its protection.

The geographic information system enables citizens to report via mobile phone cases of devastation of the maritime domain.

County deputy head Stipe Čogelja said that once all toponyms were entered in the system, it would be possible to check if a concession was being used in line with the law.

"Revenue from concessions in 2020 rose by 120%, and I am almost certain that one of the reasons is full transparency. Until now, information had to be collected personally from different registers but once everything is digitalised, we will have a great tool for the integral planning of processes on the coast," he said.

The head of the county office for tourism and maritime affairs, Matea Dorčić, said that the project covered 52 ports, noting that this was not the first geographic information system but was the first to offer all data and information on the maritime domain and the related concessions in force in the county, as well as applications for concessions that were being processed. 

For more news, CLICK HERE.

Friday, 30 July 2021

Split PR Agency VAJT Bags Second IPRA Golden World Award for Digital Nomad Visa Project!

July 30, 2021 - The Split-based public relations agency VAJT has received a new major professional recognition.

For the second time in three years, VAJT has been awarded the most significant professional award, the Golden World Award given by IPRA, the International Public Relations Association, the world’s umbrella organization in public relations.

VAJT was again awarded in the Public Affairs category, this time for the project "Introduction of a visa for digital nomads - how a Dutchman provided Croatia with the first official digital nomad", on which VAJT worked with Jan de Jong. There are many peculiarities of this communication campaign, including the fact that it's the first one done entirely on LinkedIn, and the end result is that Croatia was among the first countries in the world and the second after Estonia in Europe to adjust its legislation and respond to the new phenomenon. in the market - young people who want to work for employers in their country, but physically out of it and at the same time enjoy the benefits that such a lifestyle provides.

"In the time of Rimac and the Olympians, little can delight, but for us there is nothing further than this. We are lucky that we can repeat good projects, and the domestic and international professional public recognizes and rewards us. The IPRA Golden World Award is the pinnacle in professional terms and I never dreamed it could be repeated to us in such a short period of time. I am especially glad that this is the Public Affairs category because working in this segment is extremely demanding, especially because the domestic public does not yet understand the role of public relations in public policies in the best way. Of course, the key to success this time was Jan de Jong as the bearer of communication. With maximum trust in us, he invested exceptional effort, gathered a small number of international experiences, was maximally positive and open to the Croatian authorities and showed how laws can be changed through affirmative communication. We are going to continue to learn and grow, and with other colleagues from Croatia we regularly take the first places because they certainly belong to us in terms of knowledge and effort ", said the director of the VAJT agency Jerko Trogrlić.


In just four months, VAJT and Jan de Jong managed to initiate changes to the law and ensure that digital nomads have a regulated stay in Croatia for a year, instead of the three months they used to be able to stay with a tourist visa. The story started with Dutchman de Jong, who moved to Croatia 14 years ago as a 22-year-old and has been changing it for the better ever since. Launching an initiative to introduce a visa for digital nomads is just one of the projects that helps its new homeland and all those who recognize Croatia as a beautiful place to live and work.

From the moment I moved to Croatia, I fell in love with this country. But that doesn't mean that everything is perfect and great here. Over the past 10 – 15 years, nearly 500.000 mostly young and talented Croats have left the country in search of opportunities abroad. At the same time, Croatia's economy depends for over 20% of its GDP on tourism. When the world stopped traveling last year as a result of the global pandemic, Croatia's economy was severely hit by not being able to welcome tourist any longer. That was the moment we connected all the dots. By introducing a digital nomad visa we could turn Croatia into a year-round destination, while at the same time reverse the brain-drain by welcoming young and talented professionals – by granting them 12-month staying permits. With a strong believe that “digital nomad tourism” could turn into a new industry for Croatia as a whole, we started our campaign on LinkedIn. After winning the support from the LinkedIn community, we managed to get the support from Prime Minister Andrej Plenković and his cabinet which I thank very much. In a country known for its bureaucracy, we have shown that Croatia was able to pivot when its presented with opportunity. None of our efforts were done with the goal to win awards. We wanted to help prepare Croatia for the next generation. This award however is an amazing recognition for the efforts we have made and serves as a reminder of an amazing journey I feel proud to have been part of“, said Jan de Jong.

For this project, VAJT has already been awarded two professional awards this year - the Polaris International Award and the Grand Prix of the Croatian Public Relations Association. In total, this is the ninth professional award for VAJT and the fourth international. As a reminder, VAJT was awarded three years ago for the campaign "Do you want to switch places?" for the client Split parking with the IPRA Golden World Award, Polaris and the Grand Prix of HUOJ.

Among this year's IPRA laureates are the world's best public relations agencies and large companies such as T-Com, Nestle, numerous banking houses, foundations ...

The annual IPRA Golden World Awards (GWA) have been awarded since 1990 for excellence in public relations practice around the world in a variety of categories.

For more news and features on digital nomads in Croatia, follow the dedicated TCN section

Monday, 26 July 2021

Matea Jelić Wins Taekwondo Olympic Gold Medal!

July 26, 2021 - Taekwondo fighter Matea Jelić defeated Great Britain's Lauren Williams in the finals of the 67 kg category at the Olympic Games in Tokyo!

It was the duel of the last two European champions in this category - Jelić won gold in Sofia this year, and Williams won gold three years ago in Kazan.

In the uncertain final, the result was 13-13 entering the final minute, but then Williams with two kicks to the body reached an advantage of 17-13. It was 21-15 for Williams until 15 seconds before the end when Jelić managed to reach colossal success with three kicks to the head.

This is the fourth medal for Croatia in the women's taekwondo competition. Before Jelić, bronze medals were won by Sandra Šarić and Martina Zubčić in Beijing in 2008, Lucija Zaninović in London in 2012, and Toni Kanaet earlier on Monday in Tokyo.

TK Marjan Split thus achieved incredible success today in Tokyo! Jelić's gold is the greatest success for Croatian taekwondo at the Olympic Games.

In her first appearance in Tokyo, Jelić defeated Haitian Lauren Lee 22-2, in the quarterfinals Brazilian Milena Titonelli 30-9, and secured a medal with a 15-4 victory against American Paige McPherson in the semis. 

More soon...

To follow the latest sports news in Croatia, follow TCN's dedicated page.

To learn more about sport in Croatia, CLICK HERE

Saturday, 24 July 2021

Faithful Czech, German, and Polish Tourists Saving the 2021 Tourist Season in Split

July 24, 2021 - The 2021 tourist season in Split is in full swing, with 14,000 tourists currently in the Dalmatian capital. 

"Currently, more than 14,000 tourists stay in Split, and according to the eVisitor system, 67,600 tourist arrivals and 254,000 tourist overnight stays have been realized in the Split area since the beginning of July, which is an increase of 94 percent in arrivals and 80 percent in overnight stays compared to 2020. The largest number of tourist overnights was realized from these main markets: Poland, Germany, France, and the USA, and from Croatia itself," said Tina Ćurković from the Split Tourist Board and explained that the number of tourists in Split is actually higher because of the midnight registration deadline for currently registered tourists in the eVisitor system, reports Slobodna Dalmacija.

"Our statistics do not include guests from cruise ships or visitors who do not spend the night," says Tina Ćurković.

When looking at Split-Dalmatia County, things are also going better than expected in the most optimistic forecasts from the beginning of the year. However, it has become increasingly difficult to find free accommodation in Split and its surroundings in recent days, especially with private renters.

"The acceleration of the season is noticeable. Statistics also show this. The most numerous guests are Poles. From the beginning of the year to July 22, as many as 935,000 Polish tourists arrived in Croatia," reports Joško Stella, director of the Split-Dalmatia County Tourist Board.

He confirms that the Czechs are behind them, and there are also Germans and Slovenes. There are also a lot of local guests - about half a million.

"Tourists who come by car predominate, and this has been the case for the last ten years, and the only thing that has changed is their order, so sometimes we get the most Germans or Czechs, and this time its Poles. So we can say that Poles, Czechs, Germans, Slovenes are among our most loyal guests and that our season, at least for now, is going very well," Stella says satisfied.

Between 65 and 70 percent of traffic from the record and most prosperous 2019 has already been recorded. 

"Which, hand on heart, should not be a reference because it was exceptional by all criteria. Honestly, we all shot at the seams that year because of the overcrowding and could hardly wait for that season to end. So I would rather say that our measure is tourism that happened to us in 2016 or 2018, and if we compare ourselves with those seasons, then today's numbers of guests and overnight stays are close to the results achieved then," says Stella.

Americans and Brits have not arrived in large numbers yet. However, in recent years, they dominated when Ultra came to town. 

"The numbers have always been on the side of Poles, Czechs, Germans, Slovenes ... The Americans and the British prefer Split because they come by plane, and there is also Hvar, Dubrovnik, Zagreb, and Plitvice. There are indeed fewer guests from Asia. From South Korea, for example. Americans often came to us as cruise guests, and today there is much less of that," Stella adds.

Luckily, we are very well connected by motorways with the richest countries in Europe, which are practically our neighborhood, and our airports are great.

"Especially Split, which can be seen by the number of flights and guests, and that is our great advantage. In fact, if they managed to finish the season at this pace, they would calmly welcome autumn because the state, based on such tourist results, would still have the strength to encourage those whose business was threatened by the coronavirus pandemic," says Stella.

He also commented on the announced arrival of British tourists, whose government has lifted all epidemiological measures.

"The biggest problem for us is testing guests on their way home and prescribing mandatory quarantine. So, naturally, that discourages people from going on vacation. However, in the case of Britain, which has almost completely abolished epidemiological measures, logically things should not be asked of their tourists, which means that they could easily come to Croatia on holiday," Stella is optimistic.

He thinks that it would be more correct to measure the number of hospitalized and thus determine completely safe or less safe zones than to look at the total number of infected.

Follow the latest on flights to Croatia HERE and the latest travel updates and COVID-19 news from Croatia HERE.

For more on travel in Croatia, follow TCN's dedicated page.

Saturday, 24 July 2021

Split Students Want to Map Marjan Paths, Organise Kids' Zoo Workshop

July the 24th, 2021 - A group of Split students have a praiseworthy project in mind which would see the paths of the Marjan Forest Park properly mapped out and a kids' workshop designed and created at the zoo.

As Poslovni Dnevnik/Lucija Spiljak writes, ''For a better Marjan/Za bolji Marjan'' is the name of the project that Split students Nikolina Musa, Mia Rosic and Ariana Kecic applied for a UPSHIFT three-day workshop within a unique UNICEF programme (ZABUM/Za buducnost mladih/For the future of young people), from which they returned as one of the winning teams/projects.

As the name suggests, this group of Split students focused on arranging unmaintained existing areas and creating new recreational facilities in the Marjan Forest Park in the heart of Split.

Nikolina, Mia and Ariana explained how they heard from their school psychologist Hana Paver about the three-day workshop for UPSHIFT, which is jointly conducted by the UNICEF Office for Croatia and the Croatian Office for Creativity and Innovation (HUKI).

It was, as these Split students say, a great opportunity for them to try something new, something different and get out of their comfort zones. Before the beginning of the workshop, they conducted a survey with 200 respondents for the reported topic of PS Marjan in order to determine what is bothering Split's citizens about the area the most.

"Based on that, we devised a plan that we first presented to the school psychologist because she was our biggest support in the beginning. We prepared the project for realisation at the workshop with the guidance of our mentor Nikola Jamicic,'' explained Nikolina.

For the first project, the Split students chose a photo competition with the main theme of natural beauty and cultural heritage of Marjan in order to take small steps to bring young people closer to the beloved forest park.

"We've noticed that people neglect it and don't appreciate it as much as they should. As individuals, we couldn't organise the photo contest on our own, so we turned to HPD Mosor for help, and at the meeting we presented our finished idea to the President, Ivana and the head of the photo section, Zana. They were delighted with our plan and we immediately started cooperating. The competition was open from June the 1st to July the 4th, and the awards ceremony was held on July the 12th at the First Viewpoint on Marjan, followed by the opening of the exhibition in the HPD Mosor, where the photos will be exhibited until the end of September,'' explained Mia.

As part of the initiative, they say, they want to raise awareness, as well as educate and motivate young people and initiate volunteer actions.

"Our next plan is to complete the project from Upshift and we're preparing leaflets with QR codes that lead to the All trails programme where Marjan's thematic trails will be mapped out with bilingual descriptions and photos. In addition, we've established cooperation with the zoo on Marjan and together we will organise fun and educational workshops for children,'' announced Nikolina.

Despite this truly commendable idea, the Split students say it wasn't at all easy for them at first because the environment was uninspiring and their peers underestimated their project and the effort and work they'd put in. However, Nikolina, Mia and Adriana say that this was just an additional incentive for them to prove that with perseverance, everything can be achieved.

"As we worked, so many doors began to open for us and we just caught the opportunities that came our way. Of course, our biggest support lay with our parents, the school psychologist and our class teacher. We've cooperated with: HPD Mosor, the Marjan Association, the Public Institution for the Management of PS Marjan, and Zoo Split,'' stated Nikolina.

Given that they tried something new in a somewhat uninspiring environment, just how do these promising high school students view the Croatian education system, and what are their plans are in the future? Do they want to stay here in Croatia or would they prefer to build a career abroad.

"The Croatian education system, despite the reforms, is a bit behind. Not all parts of Croatia are equally equipped for normal operation, and defective parts can often be found. But the biggest problem is the professors' attitudes, which hasn't changed to keep up with the reforms.

In my opinion, more educational programmes should be introduced in which, in addition to students, professors will also be educated. In addition, the material should be reduced by eliminating excess unnecessary information. Special attention should be paid to making presentations, and especially to the way these works are presented,'' said Ariana.

Although it was not easy for the Split students back at the beginning of the coronavirus pandemic due to online classes and having to keep a distance from their classmates and friends, they believe that the schools did well.

For more, follow our dedicated lifestyle section.

Thursday, 22 July 2021

12 Arrested in Split Under Investigation Over Corruption

ZAGREB, 22 July 2021 - The Office for Suppression of Corruption and Organised Crime (USKOK) on Wednesday launched an investigation against 12 persons who were arrested by the police in Split on Tuesday on the graft charges.

The police directorate confirmed on Tuesday that 12 people were apprehended after early morning raids were conducted, including in the city's administration offices in that biggest Croatian coastal city.

The police said that the evidence was being collected and once the criminal investigation was over, the public would be informed of the details.

The anti-corruption raid led to the arrest of businessmen Mario Jukić and Zvonko Kotarac, his brother Ivan Kotarac, architects Emil Šverko and Neno Kezić, a former councilor from the HGS party, Danijela Špalj, a former head of the physical planning and construction department in the city administration, Lada Pocrnić Mladinić, her husband Neven Mladinić and assistant Ljiljana Poletti Kopešić.

The suspects are believed to have conspired to enable the investors of the Amphora Hotel and buildings at the suburbs of Meje to illegally gain €3.2 million.

USKOK also demanded detention for five of the 12 arrested persons.

For more news about Croatia, click here.

Wednesday, 21 July 2021

5-6 Positive Cases at Split Airport Every Day, Says Željka Karin

July 21, 2021 -There are 5-6 positive cases at Split Airport every day, the director of the Split-Dalmatia County Teaching Institute for Public Health, Željka Karin, said on the TV program "Good Morning, Croatia" Wednesday morning. 

Split-Dalmatia County was happy to open its doors to guests, but this also led to an increase in the number of infected people. The director of the County Teaching Institute for Public Health commented on the current situation in Split-Dalmatia County, reports HRT.

"We were looking forward to the tourists, but the situation needs to be controlled, so they need to come with COVID certificates. There are also suggestions that they have tests when entering the country, given that the Delta variant predominates not only in England but also Croatia," said Željka Karin as a guest on the show. 

She also pointed out that they have a checkpoint at the airport to control the situation very well both when tourists enter and leave Croatia. 

"At that point, we discover 5-6 tourists a day who have a positive rapid test. So we immediately put them in self-isolation, and we confirm this result with a PCR test. Then, after 10 days, we retake the swab, and the tourist can continue their journey," said Karin.

She referred to the current situation in Split-Dalmatia County.

"The situation is not worrying, but it is not satisfactory either. Our numbers are growing, and the number of hospitalized has increased. Therefore, epidemiological measures should be strengthened because until we get vaccinated, and the vaccine starts to work, the infection will spread," she said, emphasizing the importance of adhering to epidemiological measures and reducing gatherings.

Mate Melvan from Split Airport also spoke about the Delta Variant and the arrival of British tourists for Slobodna Dalmacija.

"The fact is that the British market at Split Airport has always been the strongest, but this year during the spring, many lines that have been operating for years were removed from the flight schedule until July 19. So far, only Croatia Airlines and British Airways have flown several times a week.

After the measures were lifted in Britain, airlines have started to return some of those canceled routes. However, there can be no question of any mass arrivals, because by the end of July we will have only 40 flights from Britain to Split, and in the pre-pandemic years there were more than 100 per week. So, everyone who is now heading to Croatia again still has a bunch of canceled flights, and that is not even close to normal traffic to Split," said Mate Melvan.

As the British can only arrive in Croatia by plane, we should not believe they will spread the Delta variant in Croatia, says Melvan.

"Everything that is now in the flight schedule was agreed and announced three or four weeks ago, and we now have five airlines from Britain and another in August. Some of them have only one flight, and some are just starting to operate in August. That is why there is no panic about it, because about 60 planes land in Split every day, and three or four of them are from Britain, with an occupancy of about 60-65 percent of the passenger cabin," Melvan explained on the fear that the Brits will increase cases. 

The testing center at Split Airport worked from:

Monday to Friday from 08:00 to 16:00,

on Saturdays from 07:00 to 17:00,

on Sundays from 08:00 to 16:00.

For all you need to know about coronavirus specific to Croatia, including vaccination points and testing sites, make sure to bookmark our dedicated COVID-19 section and select your preferred language.

Tuesday, 20 July 2021

2022 World Cup Qualifiers: Croatia and Russia to Meet at Poljud in November

July 20, 2021 - Croatia and Russia will meet at Poljud Stadium in Split to close out the 2022 World Cup qualifiers in Group H. 

The Croatian Football Federation Executive Board has registered Poljud Stadium as the host of the Croatia and Russia match as part of the European qualifiers for the FIFA World Cup, which will be held in Qatar in 2022, reports HNS.

Croatia and Russia have played four times so far, with Croatia recording two wins and two draws. Recall, Croatia and Russia most recently met in the quarterfinals of the 2018 World Cup at Fisht Stadium in Sochi. The match finished 1:1 thanks to a goal by Kramarić before going into extra time when Vida scored for the 2:1 lead. Fernandes equalized in the final minutes, forcing to game to penalties. Rakitić scored the winning penalty, advancing Croatia to the semifinal match against England. 

Split will host two Croatia national team matches this fall - on September 7, Croatia will host Slovenia on Poljud (20:45), and the competition in Group H will end on November 14 at 15:00 against Russia. In other news, the 2018 World Cup finalists will host Slovakia on October 11 at City Garden Stadium in Osijek.

After the introductory three rounds in March, the Croatia national team leads in Group H with six points, the same number of points as Russia, while Slovakia is one point behind. Croatia is expected to play against Russia (September 1) and Slovakia (September 4) in September, and the three-match program will end in Split against Slovenia.

The 10 first-placed national teams in their groups will qualify directly for the World Cup, while the second-placed national teams will compete in the playoffs in March 2022. The 2022 World Cup will be held in an untraditional term, from 21 November – 18 December 2022. 

To follow the latest sports news in Croatia, follow TCN's dedicated page.

To learn more about sport in Croatia, CLICK HERE

Monday, 19 July 2021

Fountain of Youth May Come from Split-based Biotech Company: Meet Cell Culture Lab

July 19, 2021 - French scientist Dr. François-Xavier Pellay and Belgian businessman Ronny Haesen are behind Split-based Cell Culture Lab, providing science's top anti-aging therapies to local clinics!

Split is very well known for its historical palace and its beautiful Riva, and its economy is mostly centered around tourism. But tourism itself is evolving as more and more people are coming to Croatia to benefit from its very competitive pricing and high-quality medicine, particularly dentistry and aesthetic medicine.


Dr. François-Xavier Pellay


Ronny Haesen

Last year, in the middle of the Covid crisis, a new biotech startup was created to broaden even more this new wave of medical tourism. Cell Culture Lab d.o.o. (CCL), a company co-founded by a French scientist, Dr. François-Xavier Pellay, and Belgian businessman, Ronny Haesen, is now working with local clinics to provide anti-aging therapies at the top of what science has to offer today.


The company is based on the original research of Dr. Pellay, who is an expert in aging biology and particularly in anti-aging and rejuvenation medicine. His research, mostly done in Croatia, has led to the discovery of ways to rejuvenate human cells. Such research is to be applied in aesthetic medicine for skin rejuvenation and long-term anti-wrinkle treatment.

As we are all well aware, skin quality decreases with age, with the most obvious sign being the apparition of wrinkles and the loss of skin elasticity. These signs of skin aging are mostly due to the loss of fibroblasts, the main cells of the dermis, which are like skin factories for the production of collagen, elastin, and hyaluronic acid.


Shutterstock / Cell Culture Lab

Dr. Pellay’s skin rejuvenation treatment is based on the possibility to reinject your own rejuvenated fibroblasts to replace the ones lost with age. This kind of anti-aging therapy for the skin is quite different from the usual fillers and mesotherapy available today. Botox and Hyaluronic acid treatment, which are the most popular and most efficient ways to reduce wrinkles almost instantly, have the main disadvantage that they only last for a few months, in the case of botox, and are not free of possible side-effects. Most importantly, they don’t make the skin younger; they make it look younger.


Shutterstock / Cell Culture Lab

On the other hand, this biotechnological approach for skin rejuvenation is completely natural since it uses people's own cells and is based on bringing the skin back to where it was 10 to 15 years ago.

A year after its creation, this Split based company is now on the verge of becoming a multi-national company with developments in the USA, UAE, Singapore, Hong Kong, and Japan.

CCL is also actively working on the next step of what could be brought by their cellular rejuvenation technology. The possibilities are enormous, but their next product will probably be stem cells, in particular mesenchymal stem cells, for which a lot of applications are already on the market for regenerative medicine. Rejuvenating these cells before using them could have tremendous potential and bring us one step closer to the fountain of youth.

More info can be found on their website

For more on lifestyle, follow TCN's dedicated page.

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