Thursday, 8 September 2022

Season 2022, Mission Year-Round Tourism: Vukovar Well on the Way

September 8, 2022 – While the Adriatic coast is still almost exclusively a summer destination, other parts of Croatia strive to fill the gap. Among them, Vukovar is indeed full of life, 365 days a year. The local tourist board shared some of their insight for season 2022 so far. Year-round tourism in Vukovar is the mission, and it seems that it’s been going well.

CNTB has been working to stregthen continental tourism, and Vukovar is a step ahead. As they put it in the local tourist board, this city is not a seasonal destination anyway, though its highlights are a higher number of tourist arrivals in spring and autumn. Statistically speaking, the number of overnight stays is an indicator of the success of a season, but in Vukovar, even one-day visitors should make the count, it's just that it is difficult to count them accurately.

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Significant sports events as well as manifestations and festivals generate an increased number of arrivals and overnight stays (Vukovar Film Festival, Svi zaJedno Hrvatsko NAJ).

In the period from 1st January until 31st August, 19.605 arrivals and 33.005 overnight stays were recorded in Vukovar. Out of the total number of overnight stays, 24.641 were domestic guests and 8.364 foreigners. The number of overnight stays compared to the same period last year is 113.93% higher in total. The number of overnight stays of foreign tourists increased by 63.26%, and of domestic tourists by 139.12%. Such a large overnight index of domestic tourists is the result of the return of students' visits for a two-day tour of Vukovar, while in 2021 they would only come for one-day visits, without overnight stays.

As for arrivals, the total amounts to 19.605, of which 2.744 were foreign guests, and 16.861 were domestic. Last year, there were 13.756 fewer arrivals, because in 2021 there were no student excursions that included overnight stays, so they are not recorded here. Looking at arrivals and overnight stays in 2022 without students, the total number of arrivals was 9.188, of which 2.725 were foreign guests and 6.463 domestic. This means that this year 10.398 students visited Vukovar. Comparing the indexes of arrivals and overnight stays, it is apparent that in the total amount, arrivals exceeded last years' by 57.9%, and overnight stays by 36.60%. The number of foreign tourist arrivals increased by 97.89% and domestic by 44.52%. In terms of overnight stays, the increase of foreign guests has been 61.59 %, and domestic guests 24.18 %.

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The people of Vukovar have always lived on and by their river, and they still spend a lot of time on its waves and banks. It is increasingly attractive to guests from other parts of Croatia, and numerous guests from all over the world on river cruises sail down the Danube.

In 2021, 125 river cruise ships docked in Vukovar with 11.349 passengers. For 2022, 339 cruisers were announced, at the level of 2019, when 351 cruisers docked.

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The Film Festival of the Danube countries - the Vukovar Film Festival, which is in many respects unique - has returned to the banks of the Danube in its full glory. It is the only film festival that literally takes place on the Danube and thus offers a unique experience. It was designed to promote and expand the creative rise of filmmakers from the Danube countries. The 16th edition of the Festival was held from June 29 to July 3, and it brought over 50 of the latest acclaimed and award-winning films from prestigious international film festivals.

Vukovar was an important destination for film festivals this summer. Another film festival premiered on July 29 and 30 - Klein Film Festival. Klein is a film and music festival, which is conceived as an international festival of short feature, documentary, and animated films up to 20 minutes long. The festival is a tribute to Hugo Klein, a theater professor, theoretician, and psychiatrist born in Vukovar.

Summer in Vukovar is unthinkable without swimming in the Danube on Vukovar Ada, a sandy island opposite the city that is ranked among the ten most beautiful and interesting beaches in Croatia on rivers and lakes. This year too, free transportation was provided for all those looking for refreshment and an escape from the heat and scorching city asphalt. The Vukovar Ada is a great place for camping and beach volleyball, and good fun in a pleasant company is guaranteed.

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An interesting program called Danube Garden Summer Nights has been designed for this year, with good music, delicious food, and refreshing drinks under the Danube stars. A total of four concerts during July and August were held on the summer stage by the Danube, which in its magical ambiance was a hit place this year for pleasant socialising, fun, and enjoying the beauty of Vukovar nights. There was also a cinema under the stars, a motorcycle party, and numerous other cultural and similar events. It is no small thing to live in a city through which the second largest European river flows! It should be emphasised, celebrated, and simply lived with the Danube, as the people of Vukovar show by example.

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As autumn approaches, preparations begin for the 15th Vukovar ethno fair, which will be held from September 23 to 25 at Republic Square. Craftsmen from all over Croatia will join the fair again this year at the 6th Flavours of Croatia fair, organised by the Vukovar Artisans Association, where they will prepare and present their autochthonous dishes. Brewers and representatives of the German and Austrian minority communities as part of the 5th Vukovar OktoBierFest will also showcase their products. There is no better place to promote beer and brewers than Vukovar and its fair - after all, the first beer was produced in Vučedol.

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During the fair, the Association of Tourist Guides of the City of Vukovar is organising a free guided tour of the city for the local population and visitors for the fifth year in a row, on the occasion of World Tourism Day, which is September 27. This year, costumed guides will take us back to the old times in the city.

All photos by Vukovar Tourist Board.

For more, make sure to check out our dedicated Travel section.

Thursday, 11 August 2022

€40 Million Revitalisation of Tourist Resort Zelena Punta

August 11, 2022 – Planned tourism is only starting to take shape in Croatia, and foreign investment, it seems, plays a significant role. One of such projects found its home under the Adriatic sun on the island of Ugljan, near Zadar, where Adriatic Tourist Resorts will undertake a revitalisation of the Zelena Punta resort.

As Poslovni reports, after almost four years that it took to complete the process of taking over the Resort Zelena Punta in Kukljica on the island of Ugljan from the bankrupt Coning, Adriatic Tourist Resorts (ATR) finally embarked on an ambitious investment in the largest tourist resort on Ugljan.

An investment in the complex worth at least €40 million will raise Zelena Punta to 4 stars, but also the entire destination, which has been stagnant for years, and the plan is to build capacities for a total of 780 beds in different objects, with additional facilities and the complete infrastructure.

The first major works will start after this season, Poslovni learned from Dino Manestar, director of Adriatic Tourist Resorts and Premium Star Hotels (PSH), owned by Prime Tourist Resorts from Bratislava.

“With the implementation of this project, we intend to put Ugljan, Kukljica, and Zelena Punta on the map of the world's best destinations. In June, we submitted an initiative to the Municipality of Kukljica to amend the spatial planning documentation, which was preceded by a presentation to the Municipality and interested persons.

After we received the full support of the local administration and residents for the implementation of the Master Plan for the development of Zelena Punta, we are now expecting changes to the spatial plan to obtain permits and start investing in new facilities. The investment will happen in stages, and we think that everything will be finished by the end of 2025, which also depends on numerous circumstances in the market", Dino Manestar confirmed.

From the initiation of Coning's bankruptcy until the takeover, Zelena Punta was open to guests every season, but the village, which has a long-standing tradition, has been neglected, with unused accommodation capacities, unkempt sports fields, and dilapidated infrastructure. The resort extends over the entire peninsula separated from the old core of the island, in a dense pine forest. Manestar claims that this natural heritage will be preserved as much as possible in the future project because the goal is to “make Zelena Punta green again”.

The design for the new Zelena Punta is signed by Slovak architects from the design company GFI in cooperation with the Croatian company I2D. The design was thought out in such a way as to preserve as many pines as possible, which will be an important element of the settlement. “We will only remove diseased trees and what is necessary for fire protection. We intend to fit all units into the natural environment as much as possible, with the use of natural materials in the interior design”, says Manestar.

Planika is an example

The only buildings that will not be demolished will be those where the apartments are located – the Master Plan envisages a thorough renovation of the existing 138 apartments, the number of which will be slightly reduced because some will be joined, but most of them will remain in the current floor plan. That process has already started, the Planika building has been renovated, and serves as an example of the future project.

Renovation of four other buildings with 40 apartments is underway, and investors are announcing the continuation of further investments in apartment buildings right after this tourist season. All apartments should be ready by 2024.

All 80 bungalows that last served as staff accommodation, but were completely dilapidated, will be demolished, and 52 new bungalows, mostly with two accommodation units, will be built in their place. The plan is to start construction at the end of 2023.

The most luxurious will buildings include the villas to be built on the top of the peninsula. These 12 buildings will have private swimming pools, with a total area of ​​7,000 square meters. Finally, more accommodation capacity will be provided in a 4-star hotel with around 60 rooms (120 beds), which should be ready by 2025 according to current plans.

Possible beach concession

By the end of this year, the construction of a new beach club with a swimming pool on the site of the former Kokos disco, as well as sports fields and other recreational facilities, is expected to begin. Last year, the Skakaona beach restaurant was renovated. A change of the entire infrastructure is planned, including a new substation, as well as new installations.

As the settlement will be without traffic, a large parking lot will be built next to the reception. As for the beach, we are waiting for the cadastral survey and mapping of the maritime property, and the idea is to apply for a concession on the beach.

As Poslovni learned from Dino Manestar, since the Slovak private investment fund Across is behind the entire investment, ATR and PSH have developed a management model according to which private investors will be able to invest in apartments, partly through issued bonds and partly through acquisition of ownership, and PSH will manage the complete facilities including accommodation facilities.

For more, make sure to check out our dedicated Business section.

Thursday, 7 April 2022

Commercial Accommodation In First Two Months Generates 581,000 More Overnights Y-O-Y

ZAGREB, 7 April 2022 - Croatia's commercial accommodation facilities saw 398,000 tourist arrivals and 1.1 million overnight stays in the first two months, which is 206,000 more arrivals and 581,000 more overnights compared with the same period of 2021, the national statistical office (DZS) said on Thursday.

In the first two months of 2022, domestic tourists generated 209,000 arrivals, or 54,000 more than in 2021, as well as 481,000 overnight stays, or 141,000 more year-on-year.

Foreign tourists generated 189,000 arrivals and 595,000 overnights stays in the first two months of 2022, which is an increase of 152,000 and 440,000 respectively.

The highest number of overnights was generated by tourists from Slovenia (17.7%), Germany (11.6%), Austria (10.7%), Italy (6.6%), the US (6.4%) and Bosnia and Herzegovina (6.4%).

The number of foreign tourists in commercial accommodation facilities surges by 468% in February

Compared to February 2021, this February alone 116.7% more tourists opted for commercial accommodation facilities or 225,500 of them, and they generated nearly 570,000 overnights or 132.5% more. Compared with February 2019, tourist arrivals dropped by 14.7%, while overnight stays went up by 3.7%.

There were 115,700 foreign tourists, or as many as 468.4% more than in February last year. They also generated 323.7% more overnights stays, or 334,400. Compared with February 2019, there were 32.1% fewer foreign tourist arrivals and 6.1% fewer overnights.

The most numerous were foreign guests from Slovenia, Austria, Germany, Italy, the US and Bosnia and Herzegovina.

For more, check out our business section.

 

 

Monday, 4 April 2022

Tourism Ministry Earmarks €200K to Co-Fund More Medical Teams on Adriatic coast

4 April 2022 - Croatia's ministry of tourism and sport will earmark HRK 1.5 million to co-fund the hiring of additional medical teams in tourist destinations in the seven Adriatic counties to raise the level of healthcare services during the summer season.

Tourism Minister Nikolina Brnjac was quoted as saying in a press release that the ministry co-finances medial teams, as well as the Croatian Mountain Rescue Service and the Red Cross, and also cooperates with the interior ministry in the "Safe Tourist Destination" project.

The project of making financial contributions to the hiring of additional medical teams was launched in 2008 and since then HRK 23.4 million (€3.12 million) has been earmarked for that purpose.

Monday, 7 March 2022

Croatia on a Shoestring: 10 Money Saving Tips for Travelers

7 March 2022 - Have rising costs from inflation put a slight dampener on your travel plans to Croatia? Fret not! We look at various ways you can enjoy a trip of a lifetime without breaking the bank featuring 10 money saving tips for travelers.

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Enjoy the best of Croatia without financial strain. (Image: Pexels)

1. Let’s start with an obvious one if you can: try to visit Croatia during the shoulder seasons, April - June for Spring and September to November for Fall. Not only do you avoid the shoulder-to-shoulder crowds, if you’re on the coast, but the sea is also still warm enough for a dip and you can still get away with a light jacket in the evenings.

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Fall is one of the best times of the year to visit. Image: (Zagreb leaves in Fall/Pexels)

On top of this, accommodation, attractions and activities are significantly cheaper. For instance, entry to Plitvice National Park is almost 50% less during shoulder seasons (300 kuna to 180 kuna). Imagine staying in a beachfront hotel with breakfast for only €55/night in November!

2. Start planning your vacation now! Early bookings ensure that you can lock in not only the best prices but also accommodations in prime locations.

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Sign up for newsletters, free memberships to access the best online deals. (Image: Pexels)

Don’t forget to use a Virtual Private Network (VPN) since prices can vary depending on where you are booking from. Using a VPN can make it look like you’re booking from another location, reducing prices further. Worth it to try and get the best online deals.

3. Be willing to mix and match flights If you’re traveling within the EU, rather than booking return tickets on the same airline, try looking for 2 one-way flights instead. I’ve scored a weekend flight for €9 one way from Lyon, France on one airline, and a return for another airline for €19.

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Tuesdays are often the cheapest days to fly. (Image: Volotea/Facebook)

If you’re visiting from outside the EU, scoring a cheap flight to Europe and then booking a secondary flight within the continent on a budget carrier is often the best way to go. Some of the airlines that frequently fly to Croatia within the EU include Volotea, Easyjet, Ryanair, TUI, Vueling, Wizzair, Eurowings, and Jet2.

4. When it comes to booking accommodation, see this article for how to get the absolute best deals. Alternatively, to lower costs further, maybe try your hand at camping at one of the many scenic spots around the country.

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Enjoy the beautiful outdoors. (Image: Pexels)

5. Instead of renting a car, use private bus transfers or if you’re feeling more adventurous and less pressed for time, trains, to get around the country.

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Zagreb's tram system is a fun way to get around. (Image: Pexels)

Companies such as Flixbus and Arriva run frequently over Summer, connecting you to major cities and attractions. Public transport within cities is also highly reliable and most Croatian cities are very walkable.

6. Keep an eye out for City Cards such as Splitcard or Zagreb card. These initiatives are run by most big cities in Croatia and are available for purchase at Tourist Information Centers or at the airport. They offer fantastic deals such as free entry to certain attractions, or huge discounts on tours, activities, shops, and even restaurants! Depending on the validity of your cards (24/48/72 hours), costs range between €10-20, which often includes free use of public transport within the city.

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Image: Visitsplit/Facebook

7. Take a ‘free’ walking tour to get a feel of local life and get to know the intricacies of the city. Often these tours are led by highly experienced locals who are able to share the rich history and culture of your chosen city.

As a bonus, they also have a wealth of insider information and will be able to advise you on the best local spots for you to keep exploring on your own. Here’s a tip for summer, always ask them where their favorite ice cream place is!

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Walking tours are also a quick way to get your bearings when in a new city. (Image: Pexels)

8. Eat like a local. Although Croatia does not offer “street food” per se, the local markets are a reasonable and equally delicious alternative. In addition to fresh produce, there are often bakeries (pekara) and small food stalls offering cold cuts, cheese, and fixings (e.g. marinated olives, peppers, pickles) to make any gastronomer a delish picnic.

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Products at the Green Market of Split. (Image: Visitsplit/Facebook)

 

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Grab fresh pastries and bread at any Pekara and pair it with a beverage for a quick and tasty meal. (Image: Pekara Dubravica/Facebook)

9. If you do head out for a meal, favor lunch over dinner. During lunch, restaurants are likely to offer specials or throw in a free drink or appetizer on occasion.

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Try to pair this meal with the local wine (stolno vino), beer (pivo), or spirits (rakija). Not only are they dangerously good, but imported brands are also 15-20% more expensive on average which can add up over time if you’re keeping an eye on your budget. Also, the tap water in Croatia is potable, which may further reduce your food spending.

10. If you don’t already have one, get a multi-currency bank account with an online bank such as Revolut or Wise. This way you’ll save on enormous ATM fees (10% in some cases) as most either offer free or lower fees up to a certain amount withdrawn. Croatia is a cash dominant country with few places, especially when off the main streets, equipped to handle credit card purchases.

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Croatia is a cash dominant country. The local currency is currently the kuna but will be adopting the euro in January 2023. (Image: Pexels)

When at a local ATM, always select the option to be billed in the destination’s local currency. This means in Croatia, you’ll be asked, “Would you like to be billed in HRK or in your card’s home currency?”, always choose HRK.

Before I round this off, here’s a bonus tip! Rather than paying enormous roaming costs or going through the hassle of contacting your service provider to ask about special rates, just purchase a local SIM card when you get to Croatia.

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Image: Pexels

For 85 hrk (€11), Hrvatski Telekom offers a 1-week unlimited mobile data plan so you don’t have to worry about accessing the internet during your vacation.

I hope you manage to put some of these tips into practice on your next Croatian vacation. For more advice and Croatian insights, check out our travel and lifestyle section.

Monday, 14 February 2022

Stunning Croatian Film Locations Beyond Game of Thrones

14 February 2022 - With its breathtaking architecture and a variety of natural wonders, ranging from the turquoise waters of the coast to lush natural parks, it is no surprise that Croatia is one of the most popular film settings in the global entertainment scene. A look at Croatian film locations around the country. 

Naturally, we simply cannot discuss filming sites in Croatia without bringing up Game of Thrones. For almost a decade, the series captivated international audiences with its depiction of dragons, kingdom politics, and white walkers, with later seasons drawing almost 32.8 million viewers per episode worldwide.

Yet beyond Cersei Lannister’s walk of atonement down the Jesuit Stairs or the Tyrells counseling Sansa Stark in the Trsteno Arboretum, lie other stunning locations that you may not have known were filmed in Croatia.

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Trsteno Arboretum. Dubrovnik Tourism Board/Facebook

This Valentine’s Day, if you’re looking for inspiration for your next vacation, we highlight 7 additional international movies and television series set in Croatia to add to your list of “must-sees”.

1. The Weekend Away (2022)

Starting with the upcoming Netflix thriller set to premiere March 3rd, The Weekend Away, starring Leighton Meester of “Gossip Girl” fame.

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Diocletian's Palace, Split. Netflix/Screenshot

The trailer heavily features scenes in Split’s Diocletian's Palace, showcasing the UNESCO World Heritage Site. The palace was built with local limestone and marble from nearby island Brač for Roman emperor Diocletian in the fourth century AD.

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Downtown, Split. Netflix/Screenshot

Several scenes were also filmed in downtown Split and along Firule beach.

The film is adapted from the best-selling novel of the same name by Sarah Alderson. It follows Beth and Kate, best friends who plan a weekend getaway to Croatia. In a twist of fate, Kate ends up dead while Beth becomes the prime suspect. Whilst Beth fights to prove her innocence, painful secrets are uncovered along the way.

2. The Hitman’s Wife’s Bodyguard (2021)

As a sequel to The Hitman’s Bodyguard (2017), bodyguard Michael Bryce and hitman Darius Kincaid team up again for another life-threatening mission in The Hitman’s Wife’s Bodyguard.

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Backdrop, city of Rovinj. Lionsgate/Screenshot

The charming town of Rovinj, on the Istrian Coast of Croatia, doubled for various Italian settings along the Amalfi Coast.

There was also an impressively planned stunt scene staged where a van, pursued by an SUV, drives down steps in the port city of Rijeka.

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Steps of Rijeka. Lionsgate/Screenshot.

According to imdb.com, stunt coordinator Greg Powell explained that they “were often under a lot of restrictions because of the narrow streets and shiny cobbled surfaces, which are slippery as hell, especially when damp”. He added that “we'd have scenes that called for us to be speeding around corners, but we literally couldn't”

3. Bliss (2021)

Protagonist Greg, while down on his luck, meets a mysterious woman, Isabel. Is she real or just a fantasy? As he struggles to make a distinction, we are left to question whether he is caught in a complex computer simulation, or merely experiencing a drug-induced hallucination.

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Galerija Meštrović, Split. Amazon studios/Screenshot.

To portray this fantasy world, several locations were filmed in Split and on the island of Lopud, Croatia

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Marjan stairs, Split. Amazon Studios/Screenshot.

4. Succession (2018 - present)

This 7-time Emmy award-winning HBO series centers on the Roys, a highly dysfunctional family that owns global entertainment conglomerate Waystar RoyCo. The declining health of the family's patriarch, Logan Roy, ignites an endless fight for power and control.

In the Season 2 finale, scenes portrayed the Roys on vacation along the Croatian coast aboard a luxury yacht.

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The Roys on vacation. HBO Max/Screenshot

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Season 2 finale. HBO Max/Screenshot

Filming took place in July 2019 and lasted 12 days as the crew traveled around Cavtat, a picturesque region south of Dubrovnik, and the islands of Korčula, Mljet, and Šipan.

Shooting also took place at locations around Zagreb and Rijeka.

5. Mamma Mia: Here we go again (2018)

Returning to where it all began, Donna looks back on her fun and adventure-filled young life as we rediscover the moments where she meets Sophie’s three possible dads.

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One of Sophie’s possible dads, played by Colin Firth, arriving in the port of Vis. Universal Pictures/Screenshot

Although the movie was supposed to be set in Greece (fictional island of Kalokairi), filming almost exclusively took place in several locations on the exquisite Croatian island of Vis including Vis harbor, St. Jeronim (St. Jerome) Church, Stiniva, Srebrna, and Barjoška bays.

Fun fact from imdb.com, actors Hugh Skinner, Jeremy Irvine, and Josh Dylan, who played Harry, Sam, and Bill's younger counterparts, lived together in a Croatian villa while filming for 6 weeks. Josh Dylan also arrived in the country 2 weeks earlier to learn how to sail.

6. Robin Hood (2018)

Actors Taron Egerton and Jamie Foxx take on the roles of Robin Hood and Little John in a movie remake of the classic tale that combines historical accuracy, contemporary and futuristic elements to achieve its unique take.

Filming began in February 2017 and lasted over 4 months between different primary locations in Dubrovnik, Croatia, and Raincy, France.

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Enhanced aerial shot of Dubrovnik. Lionsgate/Screenshot

Incident alert! While filming in Dubrovnik, Jamie Foxx was harassed by two drunk locals while having dinner at a restaurant. The men were immediately thrown out by the manager, and police subsequently pursued misdemeanor charges. They were later fined and jailed. Despite this negative isolated incident, Jamie Foxx went on to say that the beauty of the country continued to “blow his mind” and is a “dream come true”.

7. Star Wars: The Last Jedi (2017)

This might be a hard one for fans to spot, but several scenes of Dubrovnik, Croatia make a cameo in the landscape of Star Wars: The Last Jedi.

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Stradun, downtown Dubrovnik. Dubrovnik tourism board/Facebook

Without the special effects and digital rendering, you might be able to recognize downtown Dubrovnik as the fictional city of Canto Bight. Portrayed as an interstellar entertainment and nightlife hotspot, the design of Canto Bight was inspired by the city of Monaco.

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Star Wars The Last Jedi, Canto Bight chase scene. Disney/Screenshot

The explosive chase scene where Finn and Rose escape from Canto Bight prison while riding a Fathier, was also filmed on the main street of Dubrovnik.

For everything you need to know about filming in Croatia, in your language, be sure to check Total Croatia's page.

For more, check out our lifestyle section.

Thursday, 3 February 2022

Minister Says Bookings in Tourism Sector Good, Vaccination Rate Must Be Higher

ZAGREB, 3 Feb 2022 - Minister Nikolina Brnjac and tourism sector representatives warned on Thursday about the need to have a higher rate of vaccination against COVID-19 in the country, calling on the sector and other stakeholders to be responsible so as to maintain the current good situation with bookings.

The tourism minister and officials said this after this year's first session of the Council for Tourism Development and Recovery, at which Brnjac informed sector representatives about work on a new tourism strategy and new developments regarding labor.

Brnjac said a new online system for the registration and import of workers would be put into operation on 1 March, which would expedite the process.

Speaking of the new rules of the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC), on which a country's color now also depends on the vaccination rate, Brnjac said that the vaccination rate in the Mediterranean is already much higher than in Croatia.

"Even though the vaccination rate in the tourism sector is around 70% and the sector was among the first to respond to the vaccination campaign, we call for maintaining a responsible approach because it is vital to avoid ending up as a dark red zone," she said.

Croatian Public Health Institute (HZJZ) assistant director Marija Bubaš said that all EU countries were now dark red on the ECDC map but that most that had a higher vaccination rate were expected to see a larger drop in infections than Croatia.

Hoteliers worried despite good booking

Even though the situation with bookings for this year's tourist season, notably summer, is good, the head of the Hoteliers Association at the Croatian Chamber of Commerce (HGK), Josipa Jutt Ferlan, said hoteliers were worried about the increase in infections as well as the rising energy and other prices.

"We are actually again back to square one and we hope that all our efforts to fight the pandemic will not go to waste. One should really work on raising the awareness that the vaccination rate is insufficient and needs to be higher. That is why it is still too early to say if the start of the tourist season will be good or not," she said.

The head of the UHPA association of travel agencies, Tomislav Fain, said that the booking for this season was good and even better than for 2019, but he, too, warned that agency and other bookings in tourism and travel, in general, depend much on rules restricting travel, calling for making those rules uniform.

H​​​e also thanked the government for continuing its job-keeping support for travel agencies.

For more, check out our politics section.

For all you need to know about coronavirus specific to Croatia, make sure to bookmark our dedicated section and select your preferred language if it isn't English.

Monday, 3 January 2022

Croatian Tourism in 2021: 14 Million Tourists Who Spent 84 Million Nights

January 3, 2022 - Last year was a great one for Croatian tourism: there were 13.8 million arrivals and 84.1 million overnight stays in Croatia, that is 77 percent more arrivals and 55 percent more overnight stays than in the same period in 2020.

At the same time, foreign tourists realized 71.9 million overnight stays, while domestic tourists realized 12.3 million overnight stays, reports HrTurizam.hr. These are the first data from the eVisitor system, which contains tourist traffic generated in commercial and non-commercial facilities and nautical charter.

Most tourist overnight stays were realized in Istria (23.5 million), Split-Dalmatia (15.5 million), and Primorje-Gorski Kotar County (15.3 million). It is followed by Zadar County (12.7 million overnight stays), Šibenik-Knin County (5.9 million), and Dubrovnik-Neretva County (5.4 million).

The destinations that attracted the most visitors were Zagreb (638,000 arrivals), Rovinj (549,000), Dubrovnik (543,000), Split (529,000) and Poreč (431,000 arrivals).

According to the type of accommodation, most overnight stays were realized in households (32.1 million), camps (17.4 million), and hotels (15.7 million). In the nautical, the charter segment of nautical, 3.1 million overnight stays were realized. Compared to 2020, the highest growth in traffic was achieved in hotels (+124 percent), camps (+92 percent), nautical (+87 percent), and household facilities (+45 percent). 

In the end, the comparison with the 2019 results speaks best of how successful we have been. Thus, in 2021, 67 percent of arrivals and 77 percent of overnight stays from 2019 were realized. 

In terms of markets, in 2021 most arrivals were made by Germans (2.9 million, 84 percent growth compared to 2020), domestic tourists (2.3 million, growth of 41 percent compared to 2020), Slovenes (1.2 million, an increase of 18 percent compared to 2020), Austrians (1.1 million, an increase of 180 percent compared to 2020), Poles (1 million, an increase of 50 percent compared to 2020) and the Czech Republic (775,000, up 50 percent from 2020).

Also, compared to 2020, there were 78 percent more Italians, 100 percent more Hungarians, 168 percent more French, and as many as 324 percent more Dutch. Let us add that, compared to 2019, Poles achieved 8 percent more overnight stays, Germans equaled overnight stays from a record 2019, Czechs achieved 97 percent of overnight stays, while Slovenes and Austrians achieved about 82 percent of 2019 overnight stays. 

"Congratulations to all tourism stakeholders on a great tourist year. During 2021, Croatian tourism built the image of a safe and responsible destination, which was recognized by our tourists. In addition to the importance of safety, modern tourists, especially in this pandemic era, are increasingly recognizing the importance of the sustainability of the destination, which is becoming an additional motivation for them to travel. In order to further highlight the new strategic direction of Croatian tourism, the Ministry is launching a comprehensive web portal for sustainable tourism in Croatian and English, which will provide information on important documents, funding sources, projects, sustainable practices, and eco-certification, as well as training, seminars, conferences, and events and stakeholder actions in the field of sustainable tourism. We will also have a publicly available display of Sustainable Tourism Indicators on the platform", Said the Minister of Tourism and Sport Nikolina Brnjac and added that in the framework of this project created and mark the sustainability of Croatian tourism, Croatia your natural or Croatia Naturally Yours, which will be recognizable to tourists, as well as stakeholders in the sector. 

"Behind us is the second pandemic year in which Croatia, despite all the challenges, achieved the best tourist result in the Mediterranean. This is a consequence of the dedicated and quality work of all tourism workers who, through their togetherness, quick reactions, and coordinated action, have ensured the status of a quality, safe and well-prepared destination for our country. We are entering this year with great optimism, but also with plans that include the realization of 90 percent of traffic from the record 2019 and further positioning of our country as a sustainable and safe destination. We plan to realize this through the implementation of targeted and innovative marketing and information campaigns, which will be carried out throughout the year, taking into account the epidemiological situation in each market," said the Director of the Croatian Tourist Board Kristjan Staničić, emphasizing that good trends in tourist traffic are confirmed by financial indicators, such as revenues from tourism.

Let us remind you that in terms of tourist revenue, Croatia achieved the best summer so far.

According to the Croatian National Bank, in the first nine months of 2021, revenues from foreign tourists amounted to 8 billion and 268 million euros, which is a growth of 90% compared to the same period in 2020, with revenues of 3 billion and 929 million euros more. Compared to the first nine months of 2019, 88% of the revenues at that time were generated.

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Saturday, 18 December 2021

HTZ Aims To Make 2022 Turnover Amount to 90% of 2019 Tourism Turnover

ZAGREB, 18 Dec, 2021- The Croatian Tourism Board's (HTZ) revenue in 2022 is expected to amount to HRK 311 million, 9% more than in 2021, and it will focus all its activities to further enhance Croatia's status as the most desirable and safest Mediterranean destination and ensure 90% of the tourism turnover of 2019. 

This was said by HTZ director Kristjan Staničić, who also noted that these goals are to be achieved by intensive marketing activities and PR campaigns, designed to suit individual markets.

Promotional campaigns will focus on boating and cycling tourism, gastronomy and wine tourism, natural attractions and active and medical tourism, he stressed in an interview with Hina.

In 2022 the HTZ's activities will focus, apart from the national market, on the traditionally close, neighbouring markets like Germany, Slovenia, Austria, Poland, the Czech Republic, Slovakia, Italy and others. As for remote markets, emphasis will be put on the US market.

Next year the HTZ plans to open new offices, including in Ukraine and Spain. Also planned for next year is a new strategic marketing and operational plan as a long-term framework defining communication strategies and guidelines for affirming Croatia as a high-quality destination, Staničić said.

Epidemiological situation, clear protocols, quality products

Asked about the coronavirus pandemic and the related restrictions, which also affect the travel sector, and about plans for 2022 in that regard, Staničić said that all goals set can be achieved, on the condition the epidemiological situation is favourable and there are clear protocols for cross-border travel and a high level of health protection in destinations, with a sufficient number of testing centres, as well as quality and attractive tourism products.

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Monday, 8 November 2021

September 2021 Sees Most Visiting Cruise Ships Since Start of Pandemic

ZAGREB, 8 Nov, 2021 - In September 2021 there were 49 foreign cruises in the Croatian part of the Adriatic, almost ten times more than in September 2020 and the most in a single month since the start of the coronavirus pandemic, show data from the national statistical office.

The visiting cruise ships stayed 135 days as against 41 days in September 2020, and the number of passengers was 51,600 as against 155 in September 2020.

Compared to August 2021, the increase in the number of cruises continued in September, with 13 more visits. The trend started in June, when there were 15 visits by foreign cruise ships, followed by July, with 34 registered visits, and August with 36.

These results, however, are still far from the 2019 results. In September 2019 there were 101 visits by foreign cruise ships, with more than 152,500 passengers.

The visiting vessels sailed mostly under the flags of Panama, the Bahamas, Malta, Belgium, France and Norway.

In the first nine months of 2021, 24 visiting cruise ships realised 134 cruises in the Adriatic, bringing 137,500 passengers who stayed a total of 372 days in Croatia.

By comparison, in the first nine months of 2020, there were only ten visiting cruise ships, 26 cruises and slightly more than 4,000 passengers.

The number of foreign cruise tours in the first nine months of this year is still far below their number in the first nine months of 2019, with the first nine months this year seeing 76.4% fewer cruises and 84.5% fewer passengers.

Dubrovnik-Neretva County saw the largest number of visiting cruise ships in the first nine months of this year, accounting for 69.4% of all visits, followed by Split-Dalmatia County with a share of 24.6%.

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