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%.

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

For more about Croatia, CLICK HERE.

Saturday, 23 October 2021

About 420 Service Providers Included in Croatian Tourism Month

ZAGREB, 23 Oct, 2021 - About 420 enterprises in the tourist industry have taken part in the campaign "Croatian Tourism Month" in October, and so far a surge has been registered in visitors' arrivals and bed-nights compared to October 2020, the tourism ministry reported on Saturday.

The campaign was launched on 1 October by the ministry and the Croatian National Tourism Board (HTZ) with the aim of extending the tourist season by offering a range of services available at special benefits and discounts of at least 35 percent throughout October.

Considering the interest shown by both service providers and guests, the campaign will be extend to include the first seven days of November, too. In this way, the extended campaign will coincide with the school holidays around the All Saints' Day, a public holiday in Croatia.

A source from the ministry has told Hina that they are satisfied with the turnout of service providers and visitors.

Domestic guests are mainly users of these benefits, and there also foreign visitors during this month.

In the first 20 days of October, 484,000 guests were registered in Croatia, a surge of 208% compared to the corresponding period in 2020, and the number of their overnight stays skyrocketed by 121% to nearly two million.

Compared to the pre-pandemic 2019, this October's number of visits accounted for 56% of the statistics in the corresponding period two years ago, and overnight stay amounted to 66%.

The e-visitor system shows that in the first 20 days of October, 118,000 Croatians visited local destinations, or 57% more than in 2020 and 14% fewer than in 2019.

The top destinations have been Dubrovnik, Zagreb, Split, Zadar and Rovinj.

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

For more about Croatia, CLICK HERE.

Wednesday, 20 October 2021

Second Perspective: Building Smart and Affordable Tourism for Everyone

October 20, 2021 - The Tourist Board of the City of Zaprešić continues with training for tour guides as part of the Second Perspective project, promoting and educating on the importance of including people with disabilities.

Second Perspective is a project that, through various actions and educations, points out the importance of including people with disabilities in creating a tourist story, regardless of their physical limitations and disabilities, reports Turističke Priče. This autumn, the project continues with training for tourist guides and tour guides "Tourist guidance and people with disabilities - how to lead?".

''Tour guides create a successful and quality tourist offer with their work. Their stories, creating experiences, and caring for the guest are a measure of quality, and very often they find themselves in challenging situations and meeting different guests. People with disabilities are part of the tourist movement and our dear guests need to know how to approach well and with quality during the tourist guide'', points out the director of the Tourist Board of the city of Zaprešić Toni Ganjto.

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That is why this education will prepare tourist guides and tour guides in quality and focused manner to meet guests with disabilities. Top lecturers and experts from the Faculty of Education and Rehabilitation and the Center for Education and the Office of the Ombudsman for Persons with Disabilities will answer questions on how-to guide and care for a guest with a disability through a full day of education.

''We want to actively create and direct the development of "soft" values ​​of smart and sustainable tourism, as well as accessibility tourism at the level of our destination, but also the whole of Croatia. We need more involvement and development of targeted tourism products for people with disabilities. In addition to adapting the infrastructure, it is extremely important to raise awareness of the importance of good access and inclusive tourism, and this is best done by exchanging knowledge and good experiences and quality education of all tourism stakeholders'', concluded Toni Ganjto.

Join the training "Tourist guidance and people with disabilities - how-to guide?", on Saturday, November 13 in Zaprešić in the unique area of ​​Vršilnica in the New Palace of Ban Jelačić.

Details on education and application can be found at the LINK.

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

Wednesday, 15 September 2021

Tourism Ministry Grants €2.07m to 307 Travel Agencies Hit by Coronavirus Crisis

ZAGREB, 15 Sept, 2021 - The Tourism and Sports Ministry has approved HRK 15.55 million in aid to help 307 travel agencies across Croatia hit by the coronavirus crisis to normalise their current operations.

The grants range from HRK 6,460 to HRK 566,600 and the ministry has noted that the recipients will have to spend the funds for the purpose intended and submit a final report on the funds spent by 31 January 2022.

(€1 = HRK 7.474887)

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

Wednesday, 25 August 2021

YTD Financial Indicators Give Rise to Hope That Tourism Season Can Be Great

ZAGREB, 25 Aug, 2021 - Overnight stay numbers so far this year show that they have reached 74% of tourist nights in the corresponding period of 2019, whereas the value of the fiscalised receipts indicates even a better performance of the tourist sector, Minister Nikolina Brnjac has told Hina.

The year-to-date value of the fiscalised receipts in tourism-related economic activities has reached 79% of those receipts in 2019.

The minister admits that it is still too early to forecast the fiscal effects of this year's tourism season.

The comprehensive report on the revenues from the tourist trade can be expected upon the release of the relevant report by the Croatian National Bank on the spending of foreign holiday-makers in the third quarter of 2021, and the central bank provides the general public with those numbers at the end of the year.

The data collected by e-visitor system show that so far this year, there have been 9.8 million guests who have generated 61.3 million overnight stays, thus reaching 64% and 74% of the visitor numbers and tourist night numbers in 2019.

So far in August alone, there have been 3.4 million visitors and 24.1 million overnight stays, 87% and 92% of the results in the corresponding period in 2019.

Concerning the value of fiscalised receipts in the tourism-related activities, it stands at 14.9 billion kuna, or 79% of the value registered in the corresponding period of 2019 when Croatia's tourism sets new records.

In August, fiscalised receipts' value overtakes 2019

For instance, from 1 to 17 August  the value of fiscalised receipts reached nearly four billion kuna, or 20% more than in the same period of 2019, Brnjac said.

The value of the fiscalised receipts from 1 July to 17 August outperformed the corresponding period in 2019 by 9%, the minister said.

She said that the bookings for the remainder of the year also gave rise to optimism.

"We are striving for keeping Croatia's status of the Mediterranean country with the most favourable epidemiological situation," she said, among other things.

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

Saturday, 21 August 2021

Tourism Sector Faced With Labour Shortage, Says Minister

ZAGREB, 21 Aug, 2021 - Tourism Minister Nikolina Brnjac said in Poreč on Saturday the sector was faced with a labour shortage, notably workers with the required qualifications, as well as with declining interest among young people for tourism jobs.

She was visiting scholarship students whose scholarships are co-financed by the ministry as part of a programme encouraging the education of hospitality and tourism personnel. As part of the programme, almost 2,000 contracts have been signed to date and over HRK 14 million paid.

Brnjac said she wanted to hear the expectations and the problems faced by the generations who, she added, were the future of Croatia's tourism.

She said she wanted to hear their ideas in order to improve the scholarship programme as well as the whole system of education in tourism.

Brnjac said the ministry would organise an event as part of the Conference on the Future of Europe to discuss this topic in more detail and that "young people are our the most important interlocutors."

She said that in order to respond to some of the challenges of the tourism labout market, additional funds had been earmarked as part of the National Recovery and Resilience Plan to strengthen human resources for a resilient and sustainable tourism.

For more on lifestyle, follow our dedicated page.

For more about Croatia, CLICK HERE.

Thursday, 19 August 2021

Croatian Seaports Handle More Passengers and Cargo in Q2 2021

ZAGREB, 19 August, 2021 - The turnover of passengers at Croatian seaports in the second quarter of 2021 reaches 5.4 million, up 81.8% on the year and 41.9% more than in the same period in 2019, according to the national statistical office (DZS).

The port in Split recorded the highest number of passengers -- 739,970 -- which is 115.3% more than in the same period the year before.

The port in Zadar follows with 474,089 passengers or 63.8% more on the year.

Maritime freight increased by by 10.2% with Croatian ports handling 6.2 million tonnes of seaborne goods in the said period.

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

Thursday, 12 August 2021

Croatian Author Igor Pavela on Hospitality and His Scientific Book

August 12, 2021 - Croatian author Igor Pavela who wrote the first Croatian scientific book on hospitality, is currently waiting for the book to be translated into English. TCN reporter Ivor Kruljac met up with Pavela to discuss both the book, but also the current situation in the Croatian hospitality sector.

April 2021 saw the release of ''Excellence as a Standard in Hospitality Business'' (Izvrsnost kao standard u ugostiteljskom poslovanju), the first Croatian scientific book on hospitality in which author Igor Pavela explored what it takes to successfully run a business and ensure both an excellent offer and enjoyable atmosphere for the guests.

The book's author, Igor Pavela, has been in the hospitality business for the past 16 years. He has gained invaluable experience in various aspects and from multiple positions. Back in April, he was a manager in one of the largest American cruise ship companies and today works for the Maslina Resort in Stari Grad on Hvar island.

He has closely worked with top managers and CEOs of various big international tourism and hospitality companies in his rich career, and he also found time to train management and other employees with his educational material helping them to increase the quality of their overall standard. The educational materials Pavela has written for his training sessions eventually pushed him to write this book, now reviewed and praised by the academic community both in Croatia and in the wider region.

The book boasts a combination of his personal work experience and extensive scientific research encompassing marketing, communication and even ethics (to name just a few), and how one can go about applying it to hospitality sector success.

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Maslina Resort management team. From left to right: Mario Kolumbic Maitre'D , Chris Edwardes as consultant, Igor Pavela Bar Manager © Maslina Resort

Ground rules in one place

With academic opinion being relevant for knowledge when it comes to scientific literature, Pavela, at the very start of the interview, also said that the first version of the book, which was constructed as his personal business manual, was reviewed by his close friends, colleagues, and ex-partners, all those who have been established in the hospitality business for decades.

''The first information I got as their feedback was that they'd never seen such valuable information presented in a way which is both easy to read and easy to implement. It combined the scientific research that provides the facts and my personal experience which I tried to pass on in the book like a tutor would in order to say what works and what doesn't,'' recalled Pavela.

Pavela pointed out that the hospitality sector encompasses a very broad range of occupations, and there are differences between cruise ships, fine dining restaurants, nightclubs, hotels, and other types of hospitality businesses. With that being said, there are also basic ground rules that are the same for every type of function. His colleagues who learned what works in business the usual way, by experimenting and seeing how things work out before changing and adapting things, rated the book in such a positive way, and Pavela looked more than happy with the impression his writing had had on others in his field so far.

With support from University College Aspira that both published and also held a book presentation for their former student, significant developments are happening for the book as it is currently being translated into English. With the global market not really having a scientific book of this kind under its belt yet, the options seem endless once the translation is complete. Ambitious but realistic, Pavela revealed further plans for the book.

''The book just recently came out in April (it could've come out earlier, but we waited for the unprecedented and catastrophic period for hospitality as a result of the pandemic to calm down). The translation will take around a month and a half to be completed by a professional agency that we hired, and after that, it will be reviewed. As the Croatian version was given to three doctors of science to be reviewed, it will also be reviewed by three very well-known and established names before going out onto the European market. They will, upon agreement, get an example of the book to review it and score it objectively,'' explains Pavela.

He continued by explaining that the book is now the subject of negotiations with a very known high-level sponsor in the hospitality sector. While not being able to reveal the name of the sponsor, Pavela says this sponsor plans to open an academy and to educate their staff based on Pavela's book, which is making its way to hospitality-related education in Croatia, from those in high school to those in higher levels of education. In addition, there is a plan to distribute the English version as an electronic book. The plan is to connect with big e-book distributors such as Amazon to make the book accessible globally, for students, professionals, those who want to start their business and those who are just curious readers with a desire to learn more.

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© Maslina Resort

Switzerland is the place for experimental physicists thanks to CERN, Japan is doing wonders in robotics, and American and British scientists are making significant historical contributions to the fields of sociology and anthropology. Maybe this book would position Croatia as a leader in scientific observations of hospitality. When asked about this, Pavela said that it is a wonderful idea, and his greatest desire.

"My first intention when I started writing this book was to collect all global experience, which is different, if not more advanced than what is garnered in Croatia alone. I wanted to bring it home because at the end of the day, this is my home and where my heart belongs. Croatia has natural resources that need to be used more, and that also means not just promoting them, but we should be on the level required to be the high-level destination to attract high-level clients from all over the world.

I think Croatia, unfortunately for years now, hasn't been at the required level, and there has been a sea of negative comments from guests as a result. There were good sides too (tourism has been growing more and more since the Homeland War), but from the side of science, we have to see the negative sides because that's something we need to look at in our analysis and research to see what is wrong and why something is wrong so that we can work on it,'' explained Pavela.

The up-to-date research needed to scientifically and successfully explore what works and doesn't work truly needs to be constant, and the spirit of that mentality is reflected in the fact the book already has references and findings in regard to COVID-19.

Hospitality isn't just business but a purpose, too.

When it comes to things that need to be worked on, Pavela pointed out that many people in Croatia who work in hospitality are students and people who don't really take much interest and aren't really educated in the sector, thus bringing down the level of the country's hospitality services in general.

Within twenty minutes of interviewing Pavela, it became clear that he talks about hospitality with the kind of passion that isn't unusual to see among journalists or maybe even lawyers and doctors for their fields, professions who are generally quite romanticised in pop culture and where workers in the field don't view it as a job to put food on the table, but rather a call to contribute to better future. However, it is very unusual to recognise such passion for hospitality among people. How does one find such a spark in an field most people only view as a side job to achieve some higher goal? I asked.

''In one specific moment, I saw hospitality from a completely different level. I was still involved in the operational part of the industry, the back of the counter, serving and having conversations with hundreds of people every day. At one point, I had this click in my mind where I realised that just as food and water are a necessity for the body, these places of socialising are food for the soul that will not disappear even as the world changes with all this technology,'' Pavela said, recalling how he first fell deeply in love with hospitality.

He looked around the beach bar where we sat with delight, which, if more people could recognise it, would no doubt make your morning coffee in a cafe be taken in with a completely different view.

In recognising the energy which takes place when socialising after a hard day at work or school, he saw all members of the hospitality sector, from the highest decision-making managers to the waiters, as actors all involved in the collective task of making socialising as good as it can be.

''Hospitality isn't just an economic transaction of buying a product, here we offer so much more. Our service can make someone's day,'' said Pavela proudly, reminding me of how business deals, relationships, friendship and so much more is formed in a great atmosphere of hospitality service, thus really making a difference to the world.
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Maslina Resort's Mediterranean John Dory © Nikola Radovani

As you read through the book, Pavela stays true to his words, pointing out good examples but also bad ones from which other employees and owners can learn what to avoid. Despite positioning some of the aforementioned negative practices to his hometown of Split and the wider Dalmatia area, Pavela at no point mentioned a specific name or a venue that fitted any negative practices. Pavela is sure this doesn't damage scientific data and gathered knowledge, and his scientific objectives are evident in him not name dropping people or places that have good practices either. In this way, he avoided the potential accusations that his book is either paid trash talk or a paid word of praise for some business, which would put a serious strain on Pavela both as a scientific observer and as a hospitality professional.

''When you're writing something like this, it's a very sensitive thing. The purpose of the book isn't to call anyone out for doing bad things, and I don't think that should be in the book. If somebody does something bad and it ends up in the news or with them being sued, then there are other ways to learn about that. The book is about focusing on changing bad practices to positive ones, and even though I had specific places and names in my head, I didn't want to bring them out and sound unprofessional,'' explained Pavela.

''What I want is for those people behind positive and negative examples to recognise themselves,'' he said.

Solidarity should trump competition when building a destination.

In the end, this book of science and practice has an aim of helping others improve their own business. That wouldn't be weird if Pavela had already retired from the business, but with his active employment for Maslina Resort, an outsider's point of view might leave you thinking whether or not it is wise to ''spill the beans'' and all the tricks of the trade as direct competitors could out beat the master as the students of his findings and knowledge. That's a very logical question from outside, but Pavela only smiled with confidence as he assured me that this book's release would neither sabotage himself nor his colleagues.

''The beautiful thing about hospitality is there is something for everyone. The more types of hospitality we have present in our destinations, the better, because opening a new bar doesn't mean stealing guests from another bar. It means offering something different. Everyone can find something for themselves. Somebody will want to hit a brew bar. Someone will want a clubbing experience, and so on. Passing on knowledge is not damaging any of the places. The point is that we all grow together in terms of quality and the commitment to what we do,'' elaborated Pavela, revealing solidarity in hospitality which is hard to deduce from the guest's point of view.

As his book clearly elaborates on, it is wrong for a hospitality owner to try to catch everything and everyone with his offer. Specialising and targeting a particular audience (e.g. those who love quality food and wine, leaving out those who want cocktail bars as you focus on improving your gastronomic offer), along with investing in quality ingredients and keeping your workers happy are the key to success, as Pavela mentioned himself. These are just a few of the points you can find in the book, but in the end, it's best you read it for yourself here. Either in Croatian or you can wait a little longer for the English version.

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Maslina Resort's Chocolate Cherry Sphere © Nikola Radovani 

It's worth remembering that science never sleeps, and with Pavela himself warning of this - the situation is changing constantly. Today's top formula for happy guests may be completely outdated tomorrow. Researching and learning are always welcome in order to show all those involved in this industry the way to providing the best service possible.

Learn more about Stari Grad on Hvar on our TC page.

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

Wednesday, 11 August 2021

Croatian Beach vs Pool Dilemma: Arguments For Both Sides Overview

August 11, 2021 - Looking at the broad offer of swimming options on Adriatic, you may find yourself in the middle of a Croatian beach vs pool dilemma. TCN reporter Ivor Kruljac found pros for both sides.

With exciting history, heritage, and interesting experiences to be had, coastal Croatia and the Croatian islands known how to sell what they've got. The clear, refreshing, and clean sea has been the most valuable arsenal in Croatia's tourist offer from the very start.

In that spirit, it may seem unusual to see many hotels with glorious sea views and short walks to beaches that have pools, both indoors and outdoors. Sure, the indoor pools are great if you have the misfortunate of some bad weather when you're dying for a swim, but do outdoor pools really make sense next to the lovely Adriatic?

Well, both sides of this argument have valid points. Here is a shortlist of the cases when one dominates over the other in this epic Croatian beach vs pool debate.

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Looking for safe fun? Then the pool wins

With Croats enjoying the reputation of being ready to help and watching over others, and even with some of the beaches having lifeguards, pools are definitely the safer option if swimming isn't your strong side. The majority of pools have a shallow and deeper end, and while the sea can suddenly become deeper than you what you've bargained for, the transition is much easier in the pool.

If you do get cramp or get in some sort of trouble, even if other swimmers don't respond, you can be sure that hotel staff will pull you out just in time. The rules of conduct (which you have to oblige to) ensure your safety and that of the other guests. The limits of a pool can make it easier for you to watch over your kids while they have safe aquatic fun. In addition, sea urchins or painful rocks on which you can hit yourself while entering the Adriatic, as well as small pebbles that can be annoying on the soles of your feet, aren't an issue in a controlled pool environment. sea_vic_1.jpg

Looking for space? Then a Croatian beach will win

If you feel claustrophobic in the small and typically confined limits of the pool, then a Croatian beach is the best place to go for a longer swim. With experienced swimmers being able to swim from one side of the pool over the other, the sea provides a better challenge in terms of routes and directions you can take. Additionally, pools can be quite crowded, and if you want to take a refreshing dip as some ''zen'' time for yourself, then chilling in the Adriatic can be done at a more considerable distance from others that came to enjoy the day.

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Do you fancy a space reserved just for you? Head to the pool

We all know that moment of frustration when a beach is crowded like hell, and you just can't find a place to leave your towel for the life of you. As pools are limited to the guests of the hotel, you can rest assured that when you arrive poolside, you'll manage to be able to find a place to soak up the sun and get a nice tan after you're done with swimming as the hotel calculates the maximum number of people that they can accommodate at any one time (at least the good hotels do).

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 Broadening your circle of friendship? Then a Croatian beach wins

With the Croatian hotel scene being more and more frequently branded to attract certain clientele, those who are interested in meeting new people on holiday, can expect that other guests in the hotel are similar to them in terms of interest and lifestyle. That's great, but keep in mind that other guests may just be interested in chilling, eating, and sleeping in the hotel, and not really socialising. On the other hand, the world of the Croatian beach is much more dynamic and with long history of interesting real and fictional stories (in books and movies) about awesome friendships and passionate relationships which started with an exchanged glance at the beach; the beach is the place to meet new people.

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Want to be content with the water? The pool wins

When it comes to the Croatian beach offer, there are many types to choose from. Some beaches don't only offer unhindered access to the beautiful Adriatic as their lure but also much more, such as flotation devices to waterslides, sunbeds, and more. That said, certain pools also have more content than another. But, as a guest of the hotel, you can use everything that has been included in the price of your stay, while beaches (in the majority of cases at least) charge extra for these additional features. croatian-beach-683035_1280.jpg

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Do you want to experience nature at its finest? Then the beach wins

With pools being man-made, they lack the joy of coming across unexpected discoveries which is what the sea offers. From pebbles to seaweed or sand underneath you to fish and other marine life sharing the swim with you, your experience in the Adriatic isn't just an opportunity to relax and freshen up but also to connect closely with nature. When a wave comes, those who are more in the market for excitement will surely have their blood pumping that bit harders as they are carried by the waves. You can also lie on the beach and enjoy the zen the sound of calm waves brings free of charge.

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If proximity is what you're after, then the pool wins

When you're searching for a hotel, you probably want the one which is as close as possible to a beautiful Croatian beach. However, if you're a bit of out shape (with no desire to really improve that), and you learn that the promised three-minute walk to the beach lasts up to seven minutes or more at your pace and you just don't feel like walking that much as the heat is draining the life out of you, then the pools are right there inside the hotel complex. The only way to dive in for some aquatic refreshment faster is to take a shower in the hotel room, but really, where is the fun in that?

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Viva la anarchia! – The beach wins

As mentioned above, pools are safer, not just because of their size and safe terrain, but also because of the rules they have. That said, if you've arrived at your destination listening to the greatest Sex Pistols hits and that little anarchist in you ready to get wild, head over to the beach to learn a whole new meaning of freedom. Swim where you want, jump from wherever you want (at your own risk, of course), and as long as you don't pollute the sea, pose a threat to other people or endanger the native marine life, where your sense of creativity ends is your only limit. Swim any time you want. You don't have to take a shower before diving in, and as many Croats will whisper to you in a clandestine manner when nobody is listening: you're free to pee in the sea if you need to.

The Croatian coast has you covered - the choice is yours

These are some of the arguments to help you decide would you prefer to be by the pool or next to a Croatian beach. Since the Croatian coast can offer both salty and freshwater options for your enjoyable holiday, it's best to try out both.

Learn more about beaches in Croatia on our TC page.

For more about the Croatian Adriatic Sea, follow TCN's dedicated page.

Tuesday, 10 August 2021

Pharos Bayhill Hotel on Hvar Full: Amazing 2021 Success Story

August 10, 2021 - With the Pharos Bayhill Hotel on Hvar full at the moment, TCN looks back at how the hotel started out back in 2016 and the newest adaptation in 2021. 

The tourist season is going well for Croatia in 2021, and if the crowded streets of coastal Croatia are not enough proof, the guest count of Pharos Bayhill Hotel in Hvar Town, one of Croatia's top island destinations, says it all. Every room is filled as a fantastic season continues for one of the swankiest accommodations on the island.

Dating back to the 60s, Hvar's Pharos Hotel, a member of the Sunčani Hvar hotel chain, received a makeover in 2016. As TCN reported on the opening party five years ago, not only did the event see Hvar's VIP and locals attending the main event, but the hotel was already filled with guests who had started arriving two weeks before the official opening. And from the very start, it targeted young people.

After a decade of no investments, Pharos was the first hotel to stand out for Sunčani Hvar. From the start, its concept was adjusted to the younger crowd, those we'd now call millennials (both those who fit the group age-wise and for anyone who feels like one).

These adjustments to the younger market were casual, informal, and evident in every single detail – from the room design (with pop art comic strip decorations) to the uniforms and the attitudes of the employees.

The hotel's target markets were the UK and US, and the effort was rewarded with success back in 2018 when the Times magazine praised Pharos for being affordable and it made it to the list of top 30 best holidays to be had in Croatia that year.

Still, one could say the price is a relative term.

Affordable for an average UK citizen, it may not really be the case for the same target groups from Croatia, Slovenia, Austria, and Germany. Pharos provides quality accommodation, but for people who don't look for four or five stars hotels, but want a quality three-star accommodation. Of course you have to be ready to pay for it.

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Inviting pool at Pharos © Pharos Hvar Bayhill Hotel

With a quality reputation building for Pharos, the dramatic plot twist in 2020 tourism required them to adapt the hotel to achieve the success it currently enjoys.

With a brief look around the terrace and lobby, one can see staff wearing masks and watching over the guests who, in return, can feel relaxed and safe and truly take a break from the virus. These adaptations aren't evident only in Pharos which managed to keep its relaxed and casual atmosphere, but in the other members of the Sunčani Hvar hotel group as well, as modelled by the best standards from the world's top hotel companies and chains.

New procedures and standards were defined in regards to COVID-19 itself. Every employee who enters the Sunčani Hvar system is either vaccinated or tested before entering, and special room cleaning procedures were introduced. Each room has a clean seal that guarantees that the room hygiene was checked and everything is good.

In addition, the unprecedented situation which dominated 2020 saw the hotel adapt in terms of pricing too and become more accessible to Croatian tourists. In 2021, the hotel also opened its doors a little further to being more family oriented, too.

As the summer season continues, every room is filled, and while that will depend on measures and other things, current announcements are good and could push Pharos as far as September. 

Croatian epidemiological measures also suspend events and gatherings, and regular DJ nights that used to entertain the guests at Pharos are for the moment a nostalgic memory.

However, with the aforementioned changes, the terrace is still alive, with more ambient music and the intimate socialisation of guests at the other tables.

With DJ nights not being appropriate to the current situation, Pharos experience is now switched to the Mediterranian ambient, to the Mediterranian garden. 

The offer of Pharos, which always attracted younger people, people hungry for adventure and recreation, also offers activities such as kayaking and surfing.

With sports and boat renting on offer, other activities Sunčani Hvar hotels offers include options known as ''Sun & Sea'' (where you can visit and cruise the islands, explore caves, and more) and ''Dine & Wine'' (which takes you on an impeccable journey of wine tasting accompanied by traditional Dalmatian Peka feasts), proving Hvar and its surroundings will never let you down when you want a holiday to remember.

Learn more about Hvar on our TC page.

For more about Suncani Hvar, follow TCN's dedicated page.

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