Wednesday, 25 January 2023

Croatian Regions Locals Love the Most and Where They go for Food

January 25, 2023 - A survey was carried out to gain insight into the extent to which specific Croatian regions spark curiosity and desire of the local population to visit, what images are associated with which region, and at what time of the year which region is the most attractive.

Dalmatia, Istria, Lika, and Gorski Kotar are the Croatian regions most attractive for domestic tourists, with Slavonia following in the fourth place, while Zagreb is the urban centre that offers the most opportunities for shopping, culture, and entertainment.

At the same time, writes Poslovni, Istria did the best when it came to gastronomy and a longer tourist season, which is where Dalmatia and other destinations have enormous room for improvement. This was found in a survey conducted at the end of last year by the Improve agency in cooperation with BlueRock Consulting.

In the recently adopted Croatian tourism strategy until 2030, year-round and more regionally balanced tourism is set as one of the strategic goals, and it is thought that the unique tourist identity of certain regions should be developed, that is, the umbrella brand that connects tourist destinations. Accordingly, target groups of guests should be clearly defined, explains BRC.

The leaders

"The results show that the key brands are the tourist regions themselves, and there is no dilemma about the name of a particular tourist region either. Short and clear names were adopted, and regions were recognized as such. This is great for these tourist destinations and their further communication and the development of tourist products. It is great that Lika and Gorski Kotar are already almost as attractive to domestic tourists as developed coastal regions. Preservation of natural beauty is essential, but how much the other reasons for coming are lagging shows how wide the room for improvement is," emphasizes Emanuel Tutek, a partner in BRC.

For Dalmatia, natural beauty is a far more important asset than cultural heritage and gastronomy. Admittedly, in comparison to Istria, entertainment facilities are somewhat more attractive in Dalmatia, while quality and attractive private accommodation is the slightly less attractive factor. In addition to peace and relaxation (79%), the most common associations of those who chose Dalmatia are fun and joy, more than other regions except Zagreb.

Istria is perfectly positioned as a gastronomic destination, rich in culture and natural beauty, and guests associate it with comfort and romance. The authors note that Istria most successfully promoted the breadth of its offer, as those who chose that region to cite relatively more different motivating factors.

The most common are natural beauties (80%), followed by gastronomy (62%) and culture (heritage or events, 56%). Quality and attractive private accommodation is the fourth most common factor. However, recreational or sports activities are rarely mentioned as the motivation for visiting Istria.

New discoveries

Among those who are attracted to this region, the top associations are peace and relaxation. More than other regions, it attracts people with higher household incomes and higher education as well. For Lika and Gorski Kotar, natural beauty and peace, and relaxation are the leading reasons for visiting, but the region stands out by associations with health and opportunities for recreational, sports, and adrenaline activities.

Associations that stand out more than in other regions are health, adventure, and adrenaline, but also peace and relaxation and "new discoveries." In Slavonia, besides natural beauty, there is a very strong motivation for choosing gastronomy (61%), and it is just as strong as in the most successful region of Istria. Cultural heritage holds the third place, while recreation and entertainment rank poorly, and quality accommodation is hardly mentioned. Slavonia attracts older people (over 55 years) more than average. Motivation for local guests to visit Zagreb includes shopping (32%), cultural heritage and events (27%), and entertainment (for adults, 24%, for children, 26%), and the top associations are entertainment and variety.

The longest season is guaranteed in Lika and Gorski Kotar, which attract guests almost all year round. The spring and less warm summer months are chosen the most for both Istria and Slavonia. For Dalmatia, the focus is on the summer months, from June to September, and very few consider the spring months to be the best time to visit Dalmatia.

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

Tuesday, 24 January 2023

CNN Showers Croatian Coast With (Well Deserved) Praise Once Again

January the 24th, 2023 - CNN is no stranger to Croatia or showering it with praise on a regular basis. This time, CNN has turn the spotlight onto parts of the Croatian coast which are not the gorgeous but rather predictable Dubrovnik and southern Dalmatian areas.

As Poslovni Dnevnik writes, despite the fact that the City of Dubrovnik and other parts of the extreme south of Dalmatia get more attention than the north of the Adriatic does, it is precisely up noth that you can find some of the most beautiful regions in all of Croatia. The Istrian peninsula, the Kvarner coastline and the surrounding islands reveal a different side of endlessly rich Croatian culture and history.

These parts of the Croatian coast offer visitors so much history - traces left behind by the ancient Greeks, the Romans, the Venetian and Austro-Hungarian Empires, and Italy. All of them influenced the architecture, language and gastronomy of this part of the Croatian coast, as reported by CNN.

Truffles, olive oil, wonderful juicy clams and mussels in Istria, lobsters in Kvarner, lamb from the island of Cres which is full of flavour... All of these delights pair fantastically with Istrian wine, as well as wine from the island of Krk.

If you aren't planning to explore ancient Roman ruins, Venetian villages or Habsburg cities, you can enjoy hundreds of parts of the long Istrian coast, the Opatija Riviera or Kvarner. After that, you can visit the islands of Krk, Cres, Losinj and Rab by ferry, CNN recommends to its loyal readers.

Istria

Tourists who visit the heart-shaped coast of the Istrian peninsula might wonder if they accidentally wandered into neighbouring Italy. Throughout its long history, Istria was part of the Roman, Venetian and Habsburg empires, and their legacy is visible absolutely everywhere.

In Pula, visitors can admire one of the best-preserved Roman amphitheatres in the entire world, and on the west coast sits the impossibly beautiful Rovinj. If you move away from the coastline, you'll find medieval villages, vineyards and forests full of hidden truffles. Above the vineyards rises the medieval town of Motovun, from where you can quickly reach Groznjan, where tourists can visit many open-air summer concerts. One of the most attractive ways to explore Istria is by hiking or cycling in Parenzana.

Opatija

When the Habsburgs discovered the mild climate of Opatija back during the 19th century, they turned that previously small fishing village into the cradle of Croatian tourism. Pastel Belle Epoque-style houses were soon built, and many of them became large hotels.

This elegant town can be seen from Angiolina Park, where the Croatian Museum of Tourism is located today. A walk along Lungomare - a promenade over eight kilometres long, is a great pleasure.

Rijeka

The largest Croatian port is not only a point for ferries to reach the surrounding islands. This cosmopolitan city – the European Capital of Culture back in 2020 – is worth a more honest visit. Korzo is the main part of the city, intended only for pedestrians, where you can walk past the Habsburg houses and drink coffee on one of the cafe's terraces.

If you want to travel even further back into history, climb the 528 steps to Trsat, a fortress from the 13th century with a view over the entire city and islands.

Krk

Along with the island of Cres, Krk is the largest Croatian island, connected to the mainland by a long bridge. Many tourists visit Baska in the south of the island, but Krk is full of beaches. The village of Vrbnik is a place where you can taste Zlahtina, white wine from Krk.

The City of Krk, which is also the largest settlement on the island, reveals the complex history of the region with its old town, which is home to a medieval fortress, a Roman monastery and Venetian houses with narrow alleys winding through it all. Look for the paths that can lead you to some hidden beaches.

Cres

The long and thin island of Cres winds around the western coast of Krk. It is a relatively untouched part of the Adriatic where sheep roam freely through the pastures. Here you can taste one of the most delicious cuts of lamb in all of Croatia. There are only a handful of settlements on Cres, including the small Venetian town of Cres or the much smaller Roman town of Osor.

This is a sleepy place, full of quiet pebbly coves, a small lake and, surprisingly, a vulture reserve. When you get tired of relaxing on the beaches in Valun or Lubenice, you can explore the almost 80 kilometres of hiking trails that will allow you to discover the wilderness of the interior of the island, as well as the enchanting beauty of the coast.

Losinj

Connected to the southwestern part of Cres by a suspension bridge, Losinj may not be that easy to get to, but it's definitely worth going. Full of wild plants, Losinj is a soothing and fragrant place, which you will discover by walking along the paths hidden among the pine trees.

Rab

The second royal dynasty made the island of Rab famous. Back in 1936, the unsuspecting British King Edward VIII and his lover at the time, and later wife Wallis Simpson, bathed naked in the waters of the Frknja peninsula and thus started a tradition of nudist beaches that has never disappeared.

There are at least twenty sandy beaches on this small island - which is quite a lot when you consider that you're in a country dominated by rocky and pebble bays. You can go hiking in Lopar and right there you will find some of the most beautiful beaches of all. It isn't only the crystal clear waters of Rab that delight blue-blooded tourists. The beautiful and fantastically preserved medieval architecture of the city of Rab is equally enchanting.

For more international coverage of the glorious and rich Croatian coast, make sure to check out our news section.

Sunday, 13 November 2022

South Korean Tourists Coming Back, Croatia Marketed as Safe and Desirable

November 13, 2022 - Before the pandemic in 2019, South Korean tourists were responsible for over 511,000 overnight stays in Croatia, which they consider a safe and desirable destination.

As Poslovni writes, the Korean delegation from the Jeju Tourism Association (JTA) was visiting Istria. On Thursday, they held a meeting with the leaders of the leading destination management company in Croatia and the region, Uniline, who presented Croatia as a safe country in every respect. Great efforts and experience of Uniline in the Asian markets ensured a great interest in Croatia from the guests from South Korea.

"We can state that, after the pandemic, Croatia has returned to the Asian market as a desirable and safe destination. Since the outbreak of the coronavirus pandemic, guests from this part of the world have not visited Croatia, but this summer, the first tourists have already started coming to our country, and interest is growing. At today's talks, it was announced that a significant number of groups of Korean tourists would arrive in Croatia in the coming period. Guests from South Korea highly appreciate the lifestyle and culture of the destination where they spend their vacation, and they visit Zagreb the most on their tours," said Boris Žgomba, president of Uniline's board.

Uniline opened an office in Seoul in 2017, the company's second office in East Asia after the office in Shanghai, and the long-term goal is for every tenth Korean to get to know the beauty of Croatia.

Data from the period before the pandemic showed how important the emission market of South Korea is. When choosing a holiday destination, tourists from that country especially look at safety and the price-quality ratio and that the destination is suitable for family tourism.

Before the pandemic, in 2019, more than 400,000 tourists from South Korea came to Croatia, which accounted for over 511,000 overnight stays. Before the pandemic, guests from South Korea were the second largest group of foreign guests for the City of Zagreb.

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

Sunday, 13 November 2022

Aminess Already Recruiting in Croatia for Tourist Season 2023

November 13, 2022 - In addition to the standard conditions offered by most hotel chains, Aminess proudly points out that they have a seasonal bonus for employees of HRK 8,000, a Christmas bonus, holiday pay, children bonuses, as well as jubilee awards, and unique employee reward programs.

As Poslovni writes, Aminess hotels and camps are the first tourist company to start the search for seasonal workers next year. The campaign with the appropriate name 'Where colleagues become friends", as they say from this company, should enable them to be the first to pick the best workers looking for a job in tourism. Their hotels and camps from Istria, Krk, to the south of Dalmatia will be looking for more than a thousand workers for next season. In addition to the domestic market, the campaign is also aimed at countries in the region.

"As for employment trends, we expect them to be similar to last year. One thousand employees, with emphasis on cooks, waiters, bartenders, maids, and receptionists. This year, we are starting the recruitment campaign earlier. In January, we plan to participate in various fairs, which is a great opportunity for us to get to know our employees and for them to get to know us. We will communicate all details, positions, and conditions on our social networks", said Marina Jurić, director of human resources

In addition to the standard conditions offered by most hotel chains, Aminess proudly points out that they also have a seasonal bonus for employees of HRK 8,000, a Christmas bonus, holiday pay, children bonuses, compensation for the birth of a child, as well as jubilee awards and special employee reward programs - for the employee of the year, the employee of the month, and a prize of HRK 10,000.

"We are investing HRK 1.5 million in employee education and development in the coming period. The challenge of finding workers has been present for years; we bridge it by offering them benefits and a friendly environment. By fostering such a culture, we want to reach the best and highest quality people who want to work in tourism. With the new campaign, we are looking for people who share our values ​​and are ready to learn. We are looking for thousands of new friends open to learning, and we have several professionals to teach them. We are a company that seasonal workers are happy to return to; salary and benefits are the best reason for that, followed by the importance of learning and training that we organise and learning at the workplace from experienced colleagues. It is the Aminess atmosphere, where employees consider their colleagues to be their friends, help each other in challenges, and celebrate all successes together", Jurić pointed out.

Dalibor Matovina, director of operations, points out that they are particularly proud of that education segment, for which this company is already well known and recognised.
"We are already established for education in the food and beverage segment, but we do that in all the aspects - from reception to wellness, and we find educators on the domestic market, but we do not hesitate to reach out to foreign partners, and now we have a new partner in this for the department of housekeeping and reception which works for world-famous hotels. You can move up with us from seasonal employment to, say, the director of an object; we have several such examples," said Matovina.

Damir Čekić, director of the food and beverage department, referred to Aminess Gourmet and Aminess Lab, where top chefs and experts share their knowledge and raise the quality of the offer and the employees' skills.

"Our main idea was that people do not leave but stay part of the team; we started with dinners with Skoko, Hrvoje Zirojević also joined, as well as Matija Bogdan, and a new face is coming this year - Melkior Bašić. Our employees learn from the best. They work on themselves and gain knowledge. In addition to chefs, we also have education for bartenders and baristas. Next year, in addition to new associates who will bring new knowledge, we have the idea to raise this whole story to a higher level and to make our fine dining even more recognisable. We set the standards in our 5-star hotel, which was the last to enter our portfolio, we talked, worked, and learned every day, and most importantly, we created our own; we never copied others", said Čekić.

Martina Labinjan has been a member of the Aminess team for seven years. She emphasizes that the main advantage of working for this company is that everything is easy with them. As she says, it is simple to agree with them, the conditions are excellent, and progression is possible.

"I started as a seasonal worker; at the beginning, I was an assistant confectioner, and today I am the manager of the confectionary department. In those seven years, I met top experts. They enabled me to grow and develop," said Labinjanin.

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

Wednesday, 2 November 2022

Strong Tourist Season in Baranja, More in Store for the Winter

November 2, 2022 - As early as in mid-September, the number of overnight stays in Baranja was equal to the total number of overnight stays achieved in 2019, which means that the record has already been exceeded.

Glas Slavonije reported on the positive trend which this eastern Croatian region has been enjoying. "Judging by the inquiries and planned events, we are expecting a great tourist year", said Matej Perkušić, director of the Baranja Tourist Board, stressing that it is obvious that, above all, domestic guests have acquired a new habit, "to travel and spend nights within Croatia, including Baranja."

He reminds that there is no season or postseason on the "continent", which is confirmed by the numerous visitors to several events in Slavonia-Baranja during the past months. Željka Bagarić-Dumančić from the Baranja Tourist Board claims that guests will have a reason to come to Baranja (but also a bit more).

"Let's start with the events included in the celebration of the Day of Beli Manastir, Martinje. Among the whole series of different and interesting month-long events organised by the City, Beli Manastir associations and institutions, I single out the preparation of traditional Baranja fish dishes, which will be held on November 5 in the Hungarian House of MKU Pelmonostor. On the very Day of Beli Manastir, a concert by the tambura group Fijaker is planned, and the day after a fair of local products with a rich gastronomic offer", said Bagarić-Dumančić.

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Steve Tsentserensky

Many guests will also be attracted by the traditional Karanac Winter Fair and Čvarak Fest on November 26 at the Karanac Field, organised by the Association of Keepers of Old Crafts (Udruga čuvara starih zanata), with the help of Baranjska Kuća and Baranja Tourist Board. This year too, visitors will be welcomed by numerous stands, a rich gastronomic offer and interesting content. This year's novelty is the winter Wine & Walk. So far, only the summer one has been held, and due to numerous inquiries from the participants, the local tourist board, in cooperation with the Baranja Winegrowers Association, decided to organise one during the colder part of the year as well. It will be held on December 10.

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Steve Tsentserensky

"We expect between 200 and 300 participants. On the nine-kilometer-long trail through Suza and Zmajevac, the famous wine meccas of Baranja, participants will be welcomed at numerous locations by Baranja winemakers and restaurants with top-quality wines and snacks. We will provide the walkers with a map, a wine glass and a winter hat, and the participants will need to make sure they wear comfortable clothes and shoes and a good mood", explains Bagarić-Dumančić, adding that the wineries Pinkert, Kovač, Kolar, Horvat, Gerštmajer, Svijetli dvori, Zlatno brdo, Kalazić, Josić, Szabo and Kusić will be waiting for the walkers. The energy will be taken care of (also) by the Kovač Čarda restaurant, the Oaza Mira vacation house, the "Tako je to nekad bilo" (As It Once Was) association, the Borarium Vinarium, and the Kusić cellars. The registration fee is HRK 300. The afterparty is in Katolički Surduk. Finally, let us not forget the Baranja Advent (Christmas markets) in Kneževi Vinogradi and Beli Manastir.

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

Friday, 7 October 2022

Large Sums of Cash for Croatian Schools Which Promote Tourism Careers

October the 7th, 2022 - There are considerable sums of cash on offer to those Croatian schools which choose to incorporate education and training for careers in tourism for their students.

As Poslovni Dnevnik writes, until November the 2nd this year, the Ministry of Tourism and Sport (MINTS) will be conducting a competition for the projects of secondary vocational and art schools that promote and strengthen their competencies for professions in the field of tourism, for which one million kuna has been earmarked.

This public call was announced by MINTS at the beginning of this week, and it is in the wider scope of the ministry's long-term participation in financing the costs of creating projects for Croatian schools which work to better connect the education system and employers in the field of tourism, as well as to improve accessibility for tourists with disabilities.

Projects that lead to mitigating the impact of tourism on the climate and environment and vice versa are also being considered. All secondary vocational and art schools across the Republic of Croatia can apply for the public call, either independently or in partnership with one or more other Croatian schools. One school can request a maximum of 25,000 kuna, or 50,000 kuna if there are more than one.

This year, MINTS wants to promote tourism professions and high school education for the field of hospitality and tourism, and encourage Croatian schools and their students to strengthen their education for these professions. The topic of sustainable business and employment will also very much be in focus over this year's Days of Croatian Tourism in Sibenik.

"There can be no competitive tourism without high-quality and professional personnel, that's why we gave the opportunity to young high school students who will present their own projects and solutions as to how tourism can combine tradition and new technologies in a very innovative way, as well as address also challenges and solutions," said the Minister of Tourism and Sport, Nikolina Brnjac.

During the Days of Croatian Tourism for the year 2022, an event taking place now, prizes and awards will be given to all those who raise the bar for the quality of Croatian tourism.

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

Wednesday, 5 October 2022

Croatia Presented at SITEV International Tourism and Travel Fair in Algeria

October 5, 2022 - For the first time, Croatia participated at the International Tourism and Travel Fair SITEV in Algeria. The Croatian stand was extremely popular and additional tourist brochures were requested. Many questions were asked about Croatia, which showed that there is great interest for our coast, as well as continental destinations. It's no secret that Algerians consider Croatia a friendly country, they admire its coast and warm sea, they know a lot about Dubrovnik, Luka Modrić and Croatian football.

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"Nothing comes by chance. At the end of last year, our Minister of Foreign Affairs Gordan Grlić Radman visited Algeria. The reception was exceptional and they opened the door for cooperation wide. They decided to develop their tourism, and Croatia can help them in every way, from nautical tourism to hotel industry. We consider our participation in the fair to be the opening of Croatia to their market
which could be a "win-win" situation. I am grateful to the Minister of Tourism who supported the idea of ​​going to the fair, as well as the Croatian Tourist Board", highlighted Ilija Želalić, the ambassador of the Republic of Croatia in Algeria.

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Photo: Slobodan Kadić

He is especially pleased that Croatian tourists are also visiting Algeria, specifically, recently about fifteen people visited the Sahara via Croatian agencies, and it is precisely this area that they want to promote as a tourist destination. Two years ago Croatia and Algeria exchanged the text of an agreement in the tourism segment that could be signed quickly, and after that many things will happen faster.  Višnja Letica, the advisor of our ministry and the delegation from the Croatian Tourist Board all travelled to Algeria for the 21st SITEV. They made sure that our stand looked beautiful and handed out traditional Licitar hearts.

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Photo: Slobodan Kadić

"Algeria has opened the doors of cooperation for us, and through Algeria we can also go to the west coast of Africa. They will build a high-speed railway to the border of Niger, Mali and Senegal... Our products could be exported there, and there is always the possibility of a free trade market among African countries, just as we, in addition to the EU, also have agreements with some countries from before. This is an advantage that many do not know about or show no interest in. Regarding obtaining Croatian visas, not every traveller is a potential migrant. Many Algerians travel around the world, have Schengen visas, and we would very much welcome such clientele. This is how they promote our tourism, which encourages others to come and enjoy our sea and its beauty", concluded Želalić, stressing that in the future it will be possible for investors from Algeria to invest money in tourist facilities and marinas.

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Photo: Slobodan Kadić

This year's SITEV was the 21st in a row and lasted from September 29 to October 2, 2022, and is considered the largest international tourism fair in the Maghreb countries. Alongside with several neighboring countries, Turkey participated. We are witnessing excellent growth of tourism after the coronavirus epidemic, and Croatia's participation in fairs of this type is a step forward in the additional promotion of our ever-improving tourist offer.

Croatia is in fashion

"Wherever I went, Algerians would say that Croatia is in fashion. They watch a lot of French television, and there are countless travel series about Croatia. They know a lot about Plitvice, Dubrovnik, Split and our football. A friendly soccer match between Algeria and Croatia had also been arranged, but since they were eliminated by Cameroon and are not at the World Cup, instead of playing against them, we will play against Saudi Arabia. Algeria is a promising country and I am convinced that we can achieve a lot in cooperation", said Ambassador Želalić.

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

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.

 

 

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