Saturday, 10 July 2021

Total Croatia in Ukrainian: Word of Support by Former Ukrainian Diplomat and Writer Jurij Lisenko

July 12, 2021 - As the Total Croatia site offers translations on all things Croatian in various languages, former diplomat and a famous Ukrainian writer Jurij Lisenko gave his opinion on the Ukrainian translations of the articles. Check out the video, acquired by Ivor Kruljac and edited by Jose Alfonso Cussianovich.

The tourist season is underway, and the goal is to get tourists from all over the world while providing safety in challenging times of corona – both for locals and visitors. As TCN reported, despite the tourist season in 2021 already being 58% better than that of 2020, it also seems that even with predicted Croatian tourism growth for this year, 2019 levels are very far.

With these predictions, Croatian tourists boards should do as much as possible in informing and promoting Croatia to have the best possible outcome. But given that doesn't always work out for the best, TCN is here to help.

Total Croatia: TCN's Multilingual brother

Well, more precisely, not TCN but rather TC or Total Croatia, if you will, the sister site that explains Croatia in detail. TC offers you in-depth articles to explain Croatia from head to toe: What you need to know about Croatia, how to come and travel around the country, detailed views on Croatian destinations, and info on everything you can see and do during your stay.

In addition, articles are translated to various European and world languages!

Word of support from an established Ukrainian writer

One of these languages is Ukrainian and in an effort to see how we did, we reached out to a Ukrainian writer Jurij Lisenko.

„Regarding the text itself, it is really well written. It contains very significant specific business information on various aspects, such as finding apartments or finding jobs for foreigners. At the same time, it is written lively, objective, bit ironic, but with great love for Croatia“, said Lisenko commenting on the Ukrainian translation for the article „Living In Croatia“.  

Check out the video to see his verdict for yourselves. 

Jurij Lisenko sends a special greeting to Total Croatia News and Total Croatia from Ukraine.

Famous Ukrainian writer helping Croatian writers

In a pool of quality Ukrainian writers, Jurij Lisenko is particularly interesting, not just for his excellent writing, but also as he was a former diplomatic advisor at Ukrainian Embassy in Zagreb.

As Akademija Art wrote, Jurij Lisenko was born on May 9, 1958 in Kyiv. Educated in Slavic languages, he lectured the Ukrainian language as well Serbian-Croatian in the Journalist faculty in Kyiv from 1980 to 1997. He also published over 20 scientific papers on philology and is a known poet publishing under the name of Jurko Pozajak. In 1998 he moved to diplomacy and worked for the Ukrainian Embassy in two terms (1998-2002 and 2013-2017), and also in Embassy in Belgrade, Serbia, from 2004 to 2008. He was also a speechwriter for Ukrainian president Viktor Juščenko and continued to work for Ukrainian's Ministry of Foreign Affairs since 2017.  

Lisenko captured the attention of the Croatian public when along with his daughter Daria, he made new Croatian words, and the two co-authored a book of poetry for kids „Ide Svašta!“ (Everything coming).

As Večernji List reported back in 2016, their book was published back in 2002, and an expanded edition was printed in 2014.


Jurij Lisenko reading his poetry at the exhibition opening of Ukrainian folklore "Petrikivski Rospis" in Samobor screenshot / Gradska knjižnica Samobor 

Apart from that, the Lisenko family was very active and beloved on the Croatian poetry scene, and apart from presenting Ukrainian culture in Croatia, Jurij also introduced Croatian writers to Ukrainians.  

The best instance of that is the Ukrainian translation of Croatian slam poet and writer Žarko Jovanovski and his short story collection „Tales of Lenin and Stalin“.

In addition, the good cooperation of the Ukrainian and Croatian writers is evident in an international literary magazine, Alternator, published by Sisak's Association For Alternative Culture, where Lisenko is a member of the editorial staff.

And the relevance of Lisenko as a partner for promoting Croatian writers in Ukraine was perhaps best described by the head of Edicije Božičević publishing house, Josip Ivanović.

„For a number of years, I knew a poet, diplomat, and genius Jurij Lisenko who I deeply respect. He is known in Ukraine more or less as an Avant Gard poet. And he published his book a long time ago. We walked around Lviv, and when there is a Lviv Book Fair, there are quite a lot of people and the atmosphere is as on a festival. Students approached him asking him to sign a book that he, as a poet, published 20 or 30 years ago. I never saw anything like that in Zagreb“, recalled Ivanović for Podcast Sekstant.

This shows not only that Ukrainians in general respect literature more than Croatians, but it is evident Lisenko is quite the rock star on the scene.

„I was very happy to see on Total Croatia a text on possibilities of foreigners in Croatia and that it was translated to 16 or 15 languages, including Ukrainian. I was very pleased with that. This means that connections between Ukraine and Croatia are significantly stronger. Indeed, in the last 10-15 years, Croatia became a favorite holiday spot for Ukrainians“, commented Lisenko.

Ukraine and Croatia – similar and friendly

With some differences between the Soviet Union and Yugoslavian communist practices, both Croatia and Ukraine share the same history of denied independence under a multi-national regime.

Đuro vidmarović, Croatian writer and former diplomat, told Laudato TV how the first Croatian president Franjo Tuđman appointed him as a Croatian Ambassador to Ukraine and how he was afraid as he wasn't sure what will await him there. But in the end, Ukraine for Vidmarović became a great topic and a happy period of his life. đuro_vidmarović.jpg

Former Croatian ambassador in Ukraine and writer Đuro Vidmarović, screenshot / LaudatoTV

„After I very quickly learned Ukrainian, a big area of Ukrainian culture and heritage opened up to me“, said Vidmarović adding that he met a lot of good colleagues there, particularly writers. As it was his mission to present Croatia, he also learned a lot and remained fascinated with the country of his mission.

„Ukraine is big, huge, contradictory, magical, unique, with a culture that makes it impossible for someone to stay indifferent. You come to Kyiv, and you see the Saint Sophia Cathedral from the 12th century with beautiful frescoes and architecture. My god, someone had to build it, had a sense for it. It was a civilization stronger from the majority of European countries at the time“, said Vidmarović for Laudato TV mesmerized with Ukraine he researches even to this day.  


Breath-taking view of Kyiv © Pixabay

As Lisenko acknowledged, Croatia is also very famous in Ukraine too.

„Ukrainians discovered Croatia for themselves. Croatia is a beautiful country. You know that for yourselves. But, for Ukrainians, it is particularly pleasant in Croatia that they don't feel like strangers. But, for Ukrainians is a particular joy that languages are similar and Ukrainians, after several days, start to orient themselves in the language, to understand a bit, and can communicate with Croatians in cafes, restaurants, shops, streets, anywhere“, explained Lisenko for TCN.

He added that a lot of Ukrainians also come to Croatia searching for a job. While this may not be the best thing from the perspective of the Ukrainian economy (same as Croatians leaving Croatia isn't great for Croatian economic interests), Lisenko recognizes that the trend „also brings our two nations close“.

 Discover Croatia in your native language

Apart from the article Lisenko commented on, Життя в Хорватії 2021: Витрати, дозволи, стиль життя та зустрічі з людьми, Ukrainians can also follow latest reports on COVID-19 in Croatia as well as 10 речей, які роблять Хорватію найкращою країною (or for English audience, 10 Things Croatia Does Better than Anywhere Else).


View of Total Croatia site and languages

So far, only these three articles are available in Ukrainian, but no doubt the future will bring more to make Croatia more accessible to beloved Ukrainian visitors.

Currently, TC counts 15 languages with the most translated content from English: Croatian, French, Spanish, German, Italian, Polish, Chinese (both traditional „zh-Hant“ and simplified "zh-Hans"), Slovenian, Czech, Romanian, Portuguese (Brazilian), Norwegian (Bokmål), and Russian.

If you want to learn more about diplomatic relations of Croatia, and everything regarding diplomacy and Croatia, check out TCN's series "Friends of Croatia" by Ivor Kruljac.

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

Tuesday, 1 June 2021

Journalist Clickbait Victim: The Curious Case of Mystery Fish on Korčula

June 2, 2021 -  When TC editor Iva Tatić caught the fish nobody could identify, TCN reporter Ivor Kruljac jumped to action in the hope he will find a marine life scoop. But after the dramatic realization that Atlantic lizardfish is nothing spectacular, he became a journalist clickbait victim. Meet the mystery fish on Korčula. 

It was early evening between 7 pm-8 pm on the eastern Korčula coastline on May 28. After a long week of handling the Total Croatia site, TC editor Iva Tatić decided to chill and went fishing. Instead of managing the multilingual site that brings you the best tips on how to travel and enjoy Croatia, she must've been happy with the idea she can enjoy in Croatia herself, as she was preparing two hooks – one with a squid and the other with the piece of bread. Marine life must be very humble cause instead of a squid (absolutely delicious, either fried or grilled and stuffed with swiss chard), the bread was the taken bait for the careless fish soul underneath the Adriatic surface.

Iva took the opportunity and caught its prey, but pretty soon, happiness for the catch was additionally spiced with curiosity.


the source of curiosity and happiness © Iva Tatić

„What the hell is this?“ Iva asked the local Korčula fishermen showing them her catch.

And „no idea“ was the consensus by other marine life hunters.

„Locals call it the spider“, said a local fisherman known as Pero to Iva. „It looks like Spiderman“.

Iva didn't feel that Spiderman is an accurate comparison, and as no one really knew the answer, the whole thing went online.

After Iva shared the photos of its catch on Facebook, the online jury narrowed the mystery to two possible suspects: Saurida and Atlantic lizardfish.

Still being new and wanting to gain recognition in the newsroom, I took on myself to investigate what exactly is this Aquaman-Spiderman-love-child. Perhaps it's something invasive, a threat to the lovely Adriatic, and a fantastic journalist story.


The case, the challenge, the scoop © Iva Tatić

Word on the expert street

A little bit of browsing through the pages of Rovinj Sea Research Centre (CIM), and a few calls, led me to the CIM Senior scientific associate, dr. Andrej Jaklin.

„It looks like Atlantic lizardfish, I saw that fish in person on Pelješac 15 years ago“, said Dr. Jaklin on the phone while looking at the images of the catch I sent him.

Jaklin's memory also seems fit with Pelješac being close to Korčula Island. Still, he said he can't really tell me too much about the fish and recommended it to me to contact dr. Marcelo Kovačić from the Natural History Museum Rijeka. However, dr. Kovačić, a curator for vertebrates, was on vacation, so the call was picked up by Milvana Arko-Pijevac, curator for marine invertebrates.

„I think this could be an Atlantic lizardfish, the head looks like it should, but I'm specialized for invertebrates, mollusks and shellfish“, said Silvana Arko-Pijevac.

So until that point, two experts for marine bio life are certain this is an Atlantic lizardfish (Synodus saurus). Fish, from Atlantic, I thought. Are we talking about an invasive species that manage to come to the northern dead-end of the Mediterranean all the way from the Atlantic? If so, is it hazardous to the domestic sea life of the Adriatic?

Despite recognizing the fish, neither Jaklin nor Arko-Pijevac couldn't say more details, but it's worth noting that the scientific community can once again serve as a role model to everyone who thinks they are experts on everything (both in Croatia but a trend we see spawn worldwide). Instead, my interlocutors accepted and pointed out the limits of their knowledge and suggested me someone who knows more.

Clickbait: It's not just for journalists anymore!

It took me a while to reach Dr. Jakov Dulčić from the Laboratory of Ichthyology and Coastal Fishery at the Institute of Oceanography and Fisheries in Split. First, he was not in the office, and later, he was at a meeting. But, with Arko-Pijevac's claim that Dulčić is the best ichthyologist in all of Croatia, it was worth the wait.

Finally, my mobile phone impulses from Zagreb caught dr. Dulčić in Split, and I excitedly asked him for help. To identify and say a bit more about the mysterious fish fishermen in Korčula failed to recognize, but is suspected to be the Atlantic lizardfish.

„I have to see the photos to say for certain“, said Dulčić.

„I already sent them to your e-mail before this call. Can you please refresh your E-mail?“, I asked with hearable excitement in my voice and suspense in my gut.

The suspense only grew as Dulčić was opening the e-mail.

„Found it!“, he said and I almost screamed out of excitement,

„Yes, indeed, that is the Atlantic lizardfish“, confirmed Dulčić with a relaxed voice while I was ready to ask tons of questions about this weird and possibly invasive species.

„But that is neither exciting nor anything special to catch in the Adriatic“, continued Dulčić with the same chilled tone.

I listened to that sentence with a blank expression fortunately, nobody has seen it except the walls in my apartment.

„You might think it's unusual in Croatian waters because of its name, but it's the normal fish that lives in Adriatic“, added Dulčić.

I couldn't help but think what a sour poetic justice. Being a journalist, a member of the profession in which some of my colleagues try to catch views by clickbait, to be hooked (pun intended) on a clickbait in scientific terminology.

„They can be found across the Adriatic sea, everywhere in Croatia. Their population used to be smaller in the previous years, but it recently got larger. It seems they have certain cycles, but it's nothing spectacular“, he concluded.

„But how come none of the fishermen recognized it?“, I asked puzzled.

„Interestingly enough, it is often caught, but it can rarely be seen on the fish market, and that's a place thanks to which you can usually recognize fish“, explained Dulčić.

However, informing and educating fishers and the general public about marine life in the Adriatic is something dr Dulčić and the Oceanographic Institute are very dedicated to.


Presenting you the Atlantic lizardfish © Iva Tatić

This is evident by the LEKFishResCRO project.

„This project will address the need to improve knowledge on the trends in Adriatic fisheries with novel methods as well as to acknowledge recent changes in fish biodiversity in a complex Adriatic ecosystem. The central objective of the project will be to evaluate the potential use of the LEK in developing the knowledge base for fisheries management and conservation. The strategy employed for this evaluation will be a two-way discussion between fisherman and other stakeholders from one side and fisheries biologists from another side around the subject of what sorts of indicators of ecosystem health would make sense in light of both the LEK of the fishers and the research-based knowledge (RBK) of the fisheries biologists“, says LEKFishResCRO website, and with loads of materials, you can check yourself.

„We collaborate well with fishermen, we work on their education, and with their tips and images they sent from the field we quickly gather research data“, explained Dulčić.

The invasive species are legitimately a threat to Adriatic, and it comes from the Red Sea through Eastern Mediterranean, but these examples are excellent topics for some other articles.

In the meantime, the mystery fish is identified as a mainstream species in the Adriatic. Somewhat newsworthy (maybe?), but this time my ship returned without a scoop from the stormy cruise in the sea of information.

I sent a message to Iva explaining what she caught (which she already found out on her own, she is a good journalist after all), and I only confirmed that she can unfreeze it and eat it safely. Additionally, I found this recipe at least.


Korčula and Adriatic Sea, Pixabay

Enjoy the Adriatic, but respect marine life

In an attempt to conclude this investigative piece (let's pretend it is one, please) on a socially responsible and eco-friendly note, I asked dr Dulčić if there are any type of fish tourists and locals shouldn't fish because it's on the verge of extinction and if caught it should be returned to the sea immediately. „Such fish is living in areas and conditions where you can't catch it with hooks or nets. But Do not dive out noble pen shells (Pinna nobilis), or disturb mammals such as dolphins. And be careful around sharks and jellyfish“, concluded dr. Dulčić.

Learn more about Korčula on our TC page.

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

Tuesday, 4 May 2021

Total Croatia Tourism Portal Officially Launched in 15 Languages!

May 4, 2021 - The Total Croatia tourism portal has officially launched in 15 languages! 

The Total Croatia tourism portal (which you can visit HERE) was presented on Monday in Dubrovnik, with more than 130 subpages that bring together key information about Croatian destinations in 15 languages, including English, German, French, Spanish, Italian, Polish, Japanese, Chinese but also Croatian. Eminent tourist companies in the country have already recognized its value.

The portal was presented as a new web platform with various information about Croatia at a hybrid press conference (live and online) by its founder Paul Bradbury, a Briton who has lived in Croatia and has promoted Croatia for years, and communication experts Krešimir Macan and Nikolina Vicelić, who also called the portal a "national tourist portal."


According to Bradbury, the portal is part of the Total Croatia News (TCN) family, within which it has been publishing articles, news, and all things about Croatia for about 18 years. He pointed out that many want to visit Croatia, for which they need accurate and quality information.

Thanks to Total Croatia, everyone planning a holiday in Croatia will be able to easily and in one place find all the necessary and useful information - in their own language - on this new Croatian tourist portal which, together with the award-winning Viber community Total Croatia Travel Info, represents a kind of virtual reception of Croatia, said Paul Bradbury.

According to Bradbury, journalists and writers such as Marc Rowlands, a former journalist of the English Guardian and Time Out Croatia, Morana Zibar, stars of the HTV quiz Potjera and gastro blogger, Nikola Pezić, anthropologist, translator, and founder of Eat Istria and many others write for the portal. This unique project has already been recognized by eminent companies such as Sunčani Hvar, Hilton Hotels in Zagreb, Falkensteiner Hotels and Residences, Punta Skala, Savills Real Estate from Dubrovnik, Adriatic Weddings Croatia, Algebra, and talks are currently underway with other interested tourism companies and small businesses in some destinations.


The goal of the new portal is that by properly planning keywords and using other Google tools, information published on Total Croatia becomes the first choice for visitors planning a vacation in Croatia, as it is the best-ranked website about Croatian tourism on Google in foreign languages.

At Monday's press conference, Bradbury pointed out that the portal offers the best and timely tourist information about Croatia and answers questions that visitors coming to Croatia want to know more about in their own language.

"We create exciting content about Croatia that we observe through the eyes of visitors, using local knowledge and advice," Bradbury said.

"Many have wanted to come to Croatia for a long time as digital nomads and as tourists, and during a pandemic, but they lack real information in their languages. Now it is offered on a new portal in which we were guided by innovation and communication. The most important thing is to give tourists what they want. Among other things, it is certainly destination information in their languages, which we prepare in collaboration with the local population," Bradbury said.


Bradbury mentioned Romanian tourists, adding that he "does not know if the Croatian National Tourist Board has ever had information for them in Romanian." He also referred to the weak public-private cooperation in tourism in Croatia and mentioned some exceptions of good practice, such as those in Dubrovnik and Zagreb, where he encountered cooperation with tourist boards and city administrations.

He added that they do not need anything from the Croatian Tourist Board and cooperate with many hoteliers and destinations, noting that a "new wave of tourism" is expected in Croatia.

Krešimir Macan, the communication expert of Manjgura and Mediacor and this year's HUOJ International Grand Prix Crisis Communication Award winner, stressed the importance of using new digital communication tools in the tourism industry, especially during the current coronavirus crisis.


"Last year, the whole world faced the challenges of COVID-19 for the first time, but, regardless of the pandemic, the world did not stop, and all tourists who wanted to visit Croatia found a way to come. The Viber community Total Croatia Travel Info was an invaluable source of data for all guests who received all the necessary and accurate information and answers to questions in their own language and in real-time, regardless of whether they came from New York, Toronto, or Budapest. With exceptional experience working with the Viber community, Total Croatia is an additional step forward. We will meet everyone who is thinking of coming to Croatia using modern digital communication tools. Paul is creating the platform that 21st-century tourism needs!" Macan said.

Total Croatia offers a different view of Croatian beauties viewed from someone that loves Croatia, Paul Bradbury, who 18 years ago replaced cold Manchester with sunny Hvar. He has won numerous tourist awards such as the Marco Polo Fiet Award for International Promotion of Croatia for 2014, Marco Polo FIJET Award for the promotion of Advent in Zagreb in 2017, Medical Travel Media Awards for the best online article in Kuala Lumpur in 2019, and the International Medical Travel Journalist of the Year award from the Medical Travel Media Awards in Kuala Lumpur in 2020.

Bradbury also wrote two tourist guides, Hvar: An Insider’s Guide and Split: An Insider’s Guide. Paul often writes or is quoted in numerous English media and is an occasional columnist for the portal. He founded the news portal, which is often the starting point for many international media that have visited Croatia, such as The New York Times, Sunday Times, Travel & Leisure, and many others. Last year, the invaluable promotion of Croatia and Dubrovnik was brought by the American television channel ABC, whose reports on Croatia, as the only EU country to receive American tourists in the summer of 2020, were watched by millions of Americans. The first contact for the ABC team regarding their visit to Dubrovnik immediately after the first wave of the pandemic was the Viber community Total Croatia Travel Info. 


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

Monday, 3 May 2021 Interview with Paul Bradbury Ahead of Launch of Total Croatia Tourism Portal

 May 3, 2021 - The new Total Croatia tourism portal will be launched at 10:30 this morning (you can watch it live here). TC CEO Paul Bradbury was interviewed by ahead of the launch. A translation. 

How and why did you decide to launch a new website about Croatian tourism?

It was an idea I had a couple of years ago, to produce a slicker, tourism information site, that was more accessible than Total Croatia News. TCN has more than 50,000 articles now, so we definitely have growing pains. But the pressures of running TCN meant that I put the new Total Croatia info site on hold until recently. 


The recent lawsuits from HTZ were an initial shock, but after that a reality check. Rather than try and work with the system and bring change from within, I realised that there was really no point. My wife suggested I finish the Total Croatia site, which was a genius idea, for which I will always be grateful. We refreshed the original 86 articles with 2021 information. The results were astonishing. Within a week we were on the first page of Google for 31 target keywords for - Bosnia to Croatia (1), Montenegro to Croatia (2), Currency in Croatia (2), Split to Dubrovnik (4) etc. More interestingly, we had one French article, a guide how to get from Split to Dubrovnik. It was still number 7 on Google France. We refreshed it, and now it is number 2. 


I then realised that without too much effort, I could create a fully commercial, excellent information website for Croatian tourism in multiple languages. One that would rank much high than HTZ (not hard). And if I had strategic partnerships with quality private tourism businesses, we could simply bypass the system and bring quality tourism back to Croatia. We launch on Monday at a press conference at Lazareti in Dubrovnik at 10:30. You are more than welcome to join. There will be beers after.

What will your new website offer to its readers?


It will offer the best and most current tourism and lifestyle information about Croatia, answering the questions tourists want to know, in their language #CroatiaInYourLanguage. How to cross the Slovenian border, can use euros in Croatia, can you take pets on the catamaran to Hvar, airport guides and a visit to all the national parks. 

There are comprehensive pages on topics such as Croatian wine, food, desserts, olive oil, rakija (actually my favourite article on the page - here is the Croatian version), buying property, flights, renting a car, lifestyle, as well as the most popular article on the site after the daily travel update - an expat's honest view of living in Croatia after 18 years, the good, the bad and the ugly

By far the most popular article is our daily travel update, which has migrated from TCN. This was one of the cornerstones of the Total Croatia Travel INFO Viber community, which recently won the 2021 International Grand PRix for Crisis Management. The Viber community project brought an estimated 10 million euro of tourism spend to Croatia, with just 2000 kuna investment and a LOT of hard work from the teams of Mediacor, Manjgura, TCN and outstanding support from MUP.The TC portal will be great for tourists, but also for hotels and private accommodation owners, who can share these links with their guests (or put them on their accommodation websites), so that they can give great information to their German and Hungarian guests in their own languages. 


Do you see HTZ as your competition?

Not at all. To be competition, you have to be competitive. As I said on various television interviews, I see them as entirely irrelevant. Croatia has an INCREDIBLE private tourism sector, with absolutely no need of HTZ in its current format. I am hugely encouraged that some big names in the private sector have already committed to working with TC. These include exclusive destination partners such as Hilton in Zagreb, Suncani Hvar for Hvar Town, Falkensteiner Punta Skala for Zadar, Savills for Dubrovnik Real Estate, Algebra for Education, and Adriatic Weddings Croatia for weddings. If you are interested in work with us and you are not an uhljeb, contact us on This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. 

You’ve said that you’re open for cooperation with certain people who work in tourism. What can they expect from your new website?

The very best exposure to tourists both before they arrive and while they are here. In multiple languages. We will also do lots of promotion via TCN, our Google News site, which CNN sometimes links to for travel info as HTZ does such a poor job, and which brought ABC News to Dubrovnik last summer. This resulted in 6 feature stories about Croatia on ABC News, including Good Morning America, which was watched by 12.5 million people. 

But we also want to help the little guy offering quality, authentic tourism. Let me tell you a story of how I signed up the first TC partner 3 weeks ago.

I was on Hvar and got a call asking me to be in Zagreb the next day at 13:00 to interview Mark Viduka. The 06:35 catamaran and bus would get me into the office at 14:30, so too late.

I posted on Facebook to see if anyone was driving and could take me. Within 2 minutes, a message! I am not going to Zagreb, but I will drive you there, as it means I will have 4 hours of your time. I am in tourism in Split and Stari Grad for 10 years, and I followed Total Hvar from the start.


And what a journey it was. I fell in love with Nikola from Nostress Boats. I was impressed by his passion, local knowledge and approach to customer service. He was a skipper with his own boat and mooring in Stari Grad, and had started out on his own after working with a 5-star boutique hotel on Hvar. He was looking to promote his business and thought TCN/TC would be a good place. By the team we reached Zagreb, we had agreed a deal where he will be the only boat transfer option for Stari Grad in a Page. In 10 languages. 

We are still setting everything up, but if anyone is interested in being a destination partner or in advertising, please contact This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.  PLEASE write in the Subject - Index/Destination/Sector - eg Index/StariGrad/BoatTransfer. We will offer a discount on our rates for readers. This offer is valid until May 5, 2021. Please don't expect an immediate answer but we will get back to you. 


One VERY cool feature of what we can offer is the fruits of an exciting partnership with augmented reality specialists, Equinox XR. The Equinox team has created a virtual tour guide in the shape of Dubrovnik's beloved patron saint, St Blaise, who will be able to devise all sorts of virtual fun, tours and quests, if Dubrovnik tourism wants such a thing. 


What kind of summer season do expect this year in Croatia?
Personally I think it would be a very good one, certainly better than people are expecting. The pandemic is the great unknown of course. As is the Kingdom of Accidental Tourism's vaccination strategy and message.  The Brits and Americans are vaccinated. Meanwhile in Croatia... Ah, Hrvatska. 


I would just like to finish by publicly thanking everyone who has been SO supportive of this assault on free speech. I can't remember the last time an issue got 95% support on an Index poll. 


The site is not quite finished, but we have been feeding the Google god daily, so you can check it out here

Details of how to watch the live launch this morning at 10:30.

Tuesday, 27 April 2021

HRTurizam Interviews Paul Bradbury Ahead of Total Croatia Tourism Portal Launch

April 27, 2021. Very grateful to Goran Rihelj from Croatia's leading B2B portal, HRTurizam, for this opportunity to talk about the new Total Croatia tourism portal, which is being finalised and will be presented at a press conference in Dubrovnik on May 3.  

1. The lawsuit of the Croatian Tourist Board prompted you to launch a new portal parallel to the national tourist board?

Haha, yes, the Kings of Accidental Tourism strike again. I don't really want to talk about the lawsuits anymore, as tourism is much more interesting, but here are the links to the two lawsuits, with the replies of my excellent lawyer, Vanja Juric, for anyone interested.

/ / / Croatian National Tourist Board Sues TCN: Lawsuit 1 (50,000 Kuna)

/ / / Croatian National Tourist Board Sues TCN: Lawsuit 2 (50,000 Kuna) 

The lawsuits made me realise that there is just no point trying to work with the current broken system. Rather than try and work with CNTB, it would be quicker and a lot more fun to produce a better product myself. Totally independent and working with people I chose, while making some money. 


2. What will the page consist of? How is the whole project conceived? 

I actually started it back in late 2018 but put it on hold until about two months ago. The lawsuits arrived in October, but it was only in February when I switched Google Adsense suppliers to a new system with AI from California that my life changed. My revenues tripled, but it was the data that the new system had which blew me away. Among the many things the system gave me, it made me realise that running TCN was a labour of love and never going to make me money, but this new TC site would. 


Basically, for every 1000 visits from Croatia, I would make $1.20. If those visits came from the USA, the amount was $9.50. So how to get people from America to read my articles?

"Why don't you just finish the Total Croatia website? It is a great project, will be less work in the long run, and it sounds like it will make some nice money," suggested my wife Miranda over lunch.

Why not indeed?


I diverted resources from TCN to refresh the 86 pages we did back in 2018. The results were astonishing. Within days, we were in the top 3 spots on Google search for target keywords such as Bosnia to Croatia, Montenegro to Croatia, Zagreb Airport, Health Tourism in Croatia, Currency in Croatia. Even more interestingly, there was one 2018 article in French - How to Get from Split to Dubrovnik, which was still number 7 on Google search in France. We refreshed that and it is now number 2. Unbelievable.  

I realised I now had the tool not only to make CNTB totally irrelevant, but to take control of quality tourism information for Croatia and do it properly. I also figured out that I could copy all the articles into a French directory and translate over them. We currently have translators working in 14 languages. The English site will have 170 high-quality articles, and we will be ready to launch on Monday. And we are ranking superbly in so many languages already, including Croatian! Od Splita do Dubrovnika has us at number 4.


We will not translate everything into every language, but translate gradually to meet the specific needs. Dubrovnik will be in Ukrainian, Russian, Chinese, Japanese, Korean and about 15 other languages, for example, but Karlovac will not need that much. We aim to make each destination page the best and most comprehensive to hit the Internet. And we have some great writers working on the project, including Marc Rowlands (ex Guardian and Time Out Croatia), Morana Zibar and Nikola Pezic.


3. How can the private sector be involved through promotion or collaboration?

This is the fun part of the project. As the project is 100% mine and I am completely independent, I can work with anyone I want. And I love to celebrate the little guy. If you are an uhljeb, you are not welcome. But if you are a high-quality local provider, then we can discuss partnership. Basically, I am looking for one main sponsor for each destination, who will get great promo, as well as editorial input and the ability to post their offers on a daily basis in all languages if they want. We have already agreed partnership deals with Suncani Hvar in Hvar Town, Hilton Hotels in Zagreb, Savills real estate in Dubrovnik and the fabulous Adriatic Weddings Croatia on Murter, for example. And there is SO much more we can do with these partners, including some coworking projects with Tanja from Saltwater Nomads.

For the small private businesses, there will be lots of opportunity. It is time to take tourism back and put it in the hands of the quality, authentic providers. Let me tell you a story of how I signed up the first TC partner 10 days ago.


I was on Hvar and got a call asking me to be in Zagreb the next day at 13:00 to interview Mark Viduka. The 06:35 catamaran and bus would get me into the office at 14:30, so too late.

I posted on Facebook to see if anyone was driving and could take me. Within 2 minutes, a message! I am not going to Zagreb, but I will drive you there, as it means I will have 4 hours of your time. I am in tourism in Split and Stari Grad for 10 years, and I followed Total Hvar from the start.


And what a journey it was. I fell in love with Nikola from Nostress Boats. I was impressed by his passion, local knowledge and approach to customer service. He was a skipper with his own boat and mooring in Stari Grad, and had started out on his own after working with a 5-star boutique hotel on Hvar. He was looking to promote his business and thought TCN/TC would be a good place. By the team we reached Zagreb, we had agreed a deal where he will be the only boat transfer option for Stari Grad in a Page. In 10 languages. 

We are still setting everything up, but if anyone is interested in being a destination partner or in advertising, please contact This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. . PLEASE write in the Subject - HRTurizam/Destination/Sector - eg HRTurizam/StariGrad/BoatTransfer. We will offer a discount on our rates for HRTurizam readers. This offer is valid until May 5, 2021. Please don't expect an immediate answer but we will get back to you. 


4. When does the project officially start?  Although the whole project is not out yet, but the site is excellently ranked on Google, the goal is to be the first choice on Google and a source of information on Croatian tourism for tourists?

We will launch with a press conference at Lazareti at 10:30 on  May 3 in Dubrovnik. I am delighted that Kresimir Macan, the brains and dynamo behind the Total Croatia Travel INFO Viber community (which last week won the 2021 International PR Grand PRix for Crisis Communication) will also be speaking at the press conference.

Yes that is correct. We want to be the premier (and best) source of information for tourists in not only English but also in their language - #CroatiaInYourLanguage. Everything I am doing is 100% organic. I read that the Croatian National Tourist Board had a tender for a new website for 9 million kuna. My total investment in this project will be less than 5,000 euro - the project will generate the rest of the money needed. And I have already got that money back from early bird advertisers. Thanks to the wonderful PR from the Kings with their lawsuits, we have already generated more sales than the value of the lawsuits. So huge thanks!


Although the site is not yet complete, the site is made for search, and we have been sharing various articles over the last two months. The biggest early interest has come from Poland, with more than 15,000 unique visits to the 6 articles the fabulous Sabina has translated so far. The Polish version of my expat overview of living in Croatia has had over 8,000 visits already. The English version of this article has also been very popular

We plan to be on the first page of Google for every page in English by the summer, as well as for many foreign language pages. That is what I mean by taking control of quality tourism information for Croatia. And we will thereby show just how irrelevant the Croatian National Tourist Board really is. And if you are not an uhljeb, you are welcome to join us.


If you would like to partner with the new TC project with your Croatian tourism business, please contact us on This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. 

The site is still being finalised, but you can check out progress here.

Sunday, 10 March 2019

Total Croatia News Launches New Info Site: Croatia in 100 Pages

March 11, 2019 - Total Croatia News is delighted to announce the launch of the latest addition to its rapidly expanding news, tourism and information portfolio, All your Croatian info, in just 100 pages.

Not a lot of people, including many TCN writers, are aware that the first website of the Total Croatia Project was not actually Total Hvar, which I started way back in October, 2011. A year before that, I had come across the concept of niche websites, and I decided to try and make a living online. After a little research, I decided on my niche. It was big enough but without too much competition, and there was money in the niche for sure. Croatian tourism information. 

And so Total Croatia 1.0 was born.


It was a total failure.

Apart from the fact that my knowledge of Croatia did not extend much beyond the shores of the island of Hvar and the bars of Diocletian's Palace back then, Croatia also far too big a niche for one person to do alone. 

So I became a little more humble with my second vision, deciding on a portal for Hvar instead. Total Hvar was born, and with almost 10,000 articles over the years, it has been a big success and bound me emotionally to that gorgeous island forever. 

Total Hvar became Total Split, then Total Inland Dalmatia, Total Croatia Cycling, Total Croatia News, Total Zagreb, Total Dubrovnik, Total Croatia Wine, Total Croatia Sailing, Total Slovenia News, Total Montenegro News, Total Korcula, Total Croatia Dental and Total Medjugorje. 

As the team expanded all over the country, so too did my knowledge of Croatia, its people, regions and way of life. 

And the thought of that original niche came back.



(Big thanks to Romulic and Stojcic for this paprika photo, one of my favourite in Croatia)

The Total Croatia project is now the biggest English-language media project in the country, with more than 120 contributors for Total Croatia News alone. We have won international awards for our tourism promotion, managed to bring both the New York Times and The Sunday Times to Hvar, and Jutarnji List were even kind enough to call us "the world's most reliable information for Croatian destinations."

The thought of that original Total Croatia niche returned. With so much TCN content, it was becoming harder to find information on our main website. What if we could take the best of that information, the information people were searching for on Google, and place it on a new website, small and easily navigable, consisting of just four sections and 100 pages? 

Total Croatia 2.0 was born.



Rather than having dozens of articles about a destination, how about just one comprehensive overview, with links to all the relevant information. Croatia in a Page is our destination guide section, and one which we will be adding to and updating on a regular basis. 



Lots of practical information for the traveller, from the most detailed Croatian airport guides online to useful tips on border crossings and travel between key destinations. 


A look at the things to see and do, with the most comprehensive lists of things such as Croatian museums online. 



Insights into the joys of living and working in this beautiful country. Rather than just giving the boring information, I have also tried to add some personal humour, experience and anecdotes to give a little more flavour to the essential information. 

A key aspect of our new Total Croatia site is that it will be fully updated as changes occur. As we are also running the biggest English-language news service, it is a little easier to keep up to date with things. 

Our Croatia in 100 Pages site will also be in other languages, as resources allow, with French next on the list. 

And while our target audience is tourists and foreigners with an interest in Croatia, Total Croatia is also an excellent resource for the Croatian hospitality industry. Rather than having to write (and worse, update) content about how to reach your apartment or things to do, a simple link to Total Croatia will remove that headache forever.

Learn more about the new 100-page Total Croatia information website.

If you would like to work with us in promoting your business, we would, of course, be delighted to hear from you on This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. 

I hope you like Total Croatia 2.0 and find it useful - constructive criticism is always welcome. 

Prefer to keep you with the latest TCN news?

Sunday, 10 March 2019

After 17 Years in Croatia, 10 New Things I Learned in 2019

March 11, 2019 - TCN launched its new "Croatia in 100 Pages" information website earlier today, the culmination of weeks of research for this foreigner, who has still plenty to learn about Croatia after all these years. 

Ever since I bought a house on a Dalmatian island I still can't pronounce properly and had never heard of 48 hours before the purchase, Croatia has been a voyage of discovery for me. It is almost 17 years since I bought that first house on Hvar, and yet the journey of learning new things never ends. 

I had no idea, for example, that my adopted island was the sunniest in Europe, had the oldest public theatre in Europe, had more UNESCO heritage than any island in the world, and was also the birthplace of organised tourism in Europea way back in 1868. And as with Hvar, so too Croatia. It was quite a discovery to learn that the oldest continuously inhabited town in Europe is in eastern Croatia, and that the famous American Zinfandel grape actually comes from just outside Split. The list of incredible things I have learned over the years goes on. 

But, after 17 years here, researching our new Total Croatia site has been a real education. The aim of the site is to answer the questions people are Googling, providing the best and updated tourist advice in a small and easily navigable way. 


And there were many discoveries along the way - none perhaps as spectacular as those early discoveries of the country which gave the world Nikola Tesla, the tie and the pen, for example. But more than enough for an article looking into the top 10 things I learned so many years after I arrived. 

1. There is a Croatian island connected to the mainland by train

Croatia has more than 1,000 islands - from 1,185 to 1,244, depending on who you speak to - but did you know what one of them is connected to the mainland by train? 

Which one? The answer is a little below. 

2. Laminate flooring was invented by a Croat

Ask any local about the famous inventions which had Croatian origins, and you will hear about the genius of Tesla, the tie, the pen and the parachute, to name but a few. But did you know that laminate flooring was also on the list?

Sweden is the European king of home furnishings thanks to IKEA. So it is perhaps no surprise that the invention of laminate flooring came from Sweden back in the 1970s. But the man who invented it was Swedish Croat, Darko Pervan. Want to know more about famous Croatian inventions?

3. The last legal Roman Emperor (and it wasn't Diocletian) was killed in Split

If you put Split and Roman Emperor in one sentence, the obvious association is Diocletian. However, he wasn't the only one. On April 25, 480 the last legal Emperor of the Western Roman Empire Julius Nepos was killed on the streets of Diocletian's Palace. There is even a street bearing his name and a mural with his biography, as an example of citizens' taking a step ahead of authorities in preserving the city's heritage. Julius Nepos ruled from 474 to 475 when he was overthrown and 12-year old Romulus Augustulus appointed. Nepos fled to Dalmatia. However, Romulus was never recognised by the Emperor at Constantinople who never stopped to consider Nepos only legal ruler of the west. Julius Nepos continued to rule in Dalmatia as Emperor, until he was killed by his own soldiers. 

Read more of Ivica's Profaca's excellent 25 things to know about Split

4. Two of Croatia's most visited museums are in a region which attracts very few tourists - eastern Croatia

Croatia has some incredible museums, and you would think that the most popular ones are in the tourist hot spots of Zagreb and the coast. While that is true, I was surprised to learn that two of the top 10 include two off the main tourist trail in eastern Croatia - the Vukovar Hospital 1991 Memorial Site and the Vucedol Culture Museum. The explanation, certainly for the former, is that all 8th-graders visit the Hero City as part of their education. Check out which museums made the top ten

5. The practice of quarantine began in Dubrovnik


Quarantine was first introduced in 1377 in Dubrovnik on Croatia’s Dalmatian Coast, and the first permanent plague hospital (lazaretto) was opened by the Republic of Venice in 1423 on the small island of Santa Maria di Nazareth. Learn more.

6. Slavoljub Penkala did a lot more than invent the pen

Born in Hungary in 1871, Eduard Penkala moved to Zagreb in the kingdom of Croatia-Slavonia at the turn of the century. He decided to become a naturalised Croat out of loyalty to his new homeland. He also took the name Slavoljub (slavophile).

Penkala was prolific, and among the Croatian inventions he gave the world, he is most famous for the first mechanical pencil in 1906, as well as the first solid-ink fountain pen in 1907. He was a partner in the Penkala-Moster Company, which was one of the biggest pen and pencil factories in the world.

Penkala’s genius extended far beyond pens. He built the first Croatian aircraft in 1910, which was the first to take off from Zagreb’s first ever airport. Among the 80 patents he held, other inventions included the hot water bottle.

7. Croatia has an international airport with a website which is not even in English

Followers of TCN will know that one of my pet hates are the terrible official websites of so many businesses and official bodies. Because I spend so much time online researching, they take up a larger part of my life than the average person. 

My expectations have become a lot lower in recent years, but surely one has the right to expect an international airport to have its website at least in English? No bother, help is at hand with the Total Croatia guide to Osijek Airport

Although, on reflection, perhaps it is not such a bad thing that the website is in Croatian only. We could be treated to more specials like the Hvar Tourism Board, whose shiny new website promises genuine hedonism and a mundane, tourist present. Whatever that means. 


8. Croatia will soon have the third-longest pedestrian suspension bridge in the world


New for 2019 and only for those with a head for heights! The new suspension bridge linking the two fortresses of Necven and Trosenj will be the third longest in the world and the second longest in Europe. The 462m-long bridge will be 140m above the river below. Construction is expected to start towards the end of 2019. Learn more about that and the fabulous Krka National Park.

9. No wonder Croatia is so relaxed - the man who discovered Diazepam was from Opatija

There is no doubt that life is pretty chilled on the Adriatic coast. But while conventional wisdom puts that down to the climate and relaxed local mindset, could it be rather because the locals have the right drugs...

Opatija is also a magnet for health tourism, and so it is perhaps no surprise that Opatija also plays an important role in drug development. For Opatija was the birthplace of one Leo Sternbach in 1908.

Sternback would go on to earn global recognition as the man who discovered benzodiazepines. These include Diazepam, Benzodiazepine, Chlordiazepoxide, Flurazepam, Nitrazepam, Clonazepam, Flunitrazepam, and Trimetaphan camsilate. He died in 2005. 

10. Croatians talk about the weather more than Brits, and look at these extremes

They really do. So let's give them more to talk about - here are the weather extremes of Croatia:

The highest temperature ever recorded in Croatia

Ploce, 4 August 1981 42,8 C

Karlovac, 1950, 42.2 C

Knin, 22 August 2000, 41.4 C

What is the lowest temperature ever recorded in Croatia?

Gracac 13 January 2003 -34.6 C

Gospic 17 February 1956 -33.5 C

Zalesina 6 January 1985 -33-4 C

The strongest wind ever in Croatia


23 December 2003 Bozici viaduct, A1 motorway, near Velebit, 307 km/h


Maslenica Bridge, 21 December 1998, 248 km/h

The highest snow cover in Croatia

Zavizan (1594 m – highest meteorological station) 320 cm, 6 March 1984

in Zagreb, 28 February 1895, 84 cm

Where is the wettest place in Croatia?

Risnjak, around 3600 mm of rain a year.

And there is still so much more to discover. Find out more about this beautiful country with our new Total Croatia info site - Croatia in 100 pages.

And that island with the train connection? Uljanik and its shipyard, in the bay of Pula.