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.

For more, check out our dedicated travel section.

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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For more about Croatia, CLICK HERE.

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.

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