Sunday, 23 February 2020

Naftalan Hospital One of Key Drivers of Health Tourism in Zagreb County

ZAGREB, February 23, 2020 - Zagreb County has significantly developed its tourist trade and infrastructure, and Naftalan, a special hospital for medical rehabilitation in Ivanić Grad, plays a marked role in that.

Tourism Minister Gari Cappelli, who visited the hospital recently, praised the development of medical tourism and Naftalan for efforts to upgrade its business. Cappelli said that medical tourism was one of the three strategic goals of the further development of Croatia's tourist trade.

This hospital in Ivanic Grad, some 40 kilometres southeast of Zagreb, is expanding its facilities through an investment project worth HRK 63.5 million (€8.5m) which includes the upgrade of the existing swimming pools and other amenities.

Naftalan, founded in 1989, successfully performs "treatments with the help of thermal saltwater and healing naftalan oil – which makes the hospital unique globally," according to the information available on the hospital's website.

"This mineral oil is included among natural health factors, and our experts developed a system of its use in baths – that is, naftalan therapy."

Naftalan is the only hospital in Europe and one of the few in the world to provide treatment for skin and inflammatory rheumatic diseases using a unique natural resource - naftalan mineral oil. Naftalan is a therapeutic mineral oil that is commercially used in medicine only in Azerbaijan and Ivanić Grad.

Combined with other modern therapies, naftalan efficiently treats psoriasis and diseases of the human musculoskeletal system, says the hospital.

More tourism news can be found in the Travel section.

Wednesday, 8 January 2020

Double Digit Increase in 2019 Tourist Stats in Zagreb County

ZAGREB, January 8, 2020 - During 2019, as many as 140,000 tourists visited Zagreb County and made 230,000 overnight stays, which was a 14% and a 12% annual rise respectively, according to figures provided by the county authorities based on statistical figures collected by the eVisitor system.

These increases are a continuation of growth trends in tourist trade in the county over the last several years, the county authorities reported on Wednesday.

Last year, foreign visitors made up a majority of visitors - 108,000, and they made 170,000 overnight stays. Chinese and South Korean guests topped the ranking and were followed by tourists from Germany, Italy, the Netherlands, France and the USA.

Of the seven towns in the county, Velika Gorica welcomed the largest number of the visitors registered in the county. Samobor and Jastrebarsko finished second and third. The latter saw a 35% rise in overnight stays due to a newly opened hotel.

Broken down by type of arrangements, as many as 75% of guests visited the county on their own and others did so as part of organised tours.

County Prefect Stjepan Kožić said the county authorities worked constantly on promoting health tourism in Ivanić Grad, religious tourism in Krašić, shopping tourism in Rugvica, as well as cyclotourism and wine and culinary tourism.

The amount budgeted for tourist trade in the county in 2020 is 7.3 million kuna (approximately a million euros).

More tourism news can be found in the Travel section.

Sunday, 5 January 2020

Zagreb County Tourist Board Moving Towards Innovative Tourism Trends

January 5, 2019 - In 2019, Zagreb County recorded 139,720 tourist arrivals, which is 14 percent more than in the same period in 2018 (123,008). The number of overnights also increased by 12 percent, from 205,003 to 229,827.

Out of the total number of arrivals, 107,821 were foreign guests who achieved 69,732 overnights, while Croatian guests achieved 31,899 arrivals and 60,095 overnights.

In 2019, Zagreb County was mostly visited by tourists from China and South Korea, followed by guests from Germany, Italy, the Netherlands, France, and the USA.

The most visited cities were Velika Gorica, Samobor and Jastrebarsko, which recorded a 35 percent increase in tourist overnights thanks in large part to the newly opened hotels. Tourists mostly stayed in hotels, household facilities and campsites. As many as 75 percent came individually, while the other 25 percent used tourist agencies.

With these results in mind, HRTurizam discussed the plans for 2020 with the director of the Zagreb County Tourist Board, Ivana Alilovic.

This year, the Zagreb County Tourist Board will have a more competitive tourism management model, with an emphasis on positioning and promoting the Zagreb County destination based on an integrated area identity and experience portfolio with a foothold on territorial capital and regional specificities, cultural heritage and tradition, and the local production and service system. Alilovic added:

“This approach would not only promote Croatian tourism and expand its tourist offer to increase the number of tourist arrivals, as a year-round destination, but it would also target guests with higher spending power and link multiple sectors (primarily the tourism sector with the food processing sector), increase direct investment, preserve and promote the identity and tradition, enhance the quality of life, generally create the image of the destination, and bring smart specialization to the Zagreb County region," says Alilovic.

Alilovic emphasized the important role of the Zagreb County Tourist Board, together with the organization of local tourist boards, the private sector and other interest groups in target markets, especially new ones, to communicate changes, new products and motives for arrivals, and to position Zagreb County as a desirable tourist destination.

“To stay competitive, we need to keep up with innovative trends such as the digital revolution, rising environmental standards and sustainable development of local communities. It is necessary to emphasize the development of eno-gastronomy, which is being promoted as one of the motives for visiting the destination. Therefore, I see Zagreb County in 2020 as one of the more desirable tourist destinations, whose offer is based on the eno-gastronomic experience, in line with the innovative, but again with the traditional and sustainable and responsible development of tourism,” concludes Alilovic.

The goals of the identified activities for 2020 are further intensive promotion of existing tourism products and programs with defined target markets, intensive cooperation of tourist boards and tourist entities, development and improvement of selective forms of tourism by creating new tourism products based on cultural, eno and gastro, natural and historical tourist resources of Zagreb County.

To read more about travel in Croatia, follow TCN’s dedicated page.

Thursday, 12 December 2019

Visit Zagreb County: New Promo Video Shows Capital's Outskirts Attractive Year-round

December 12, 2019 - The Zagreb County Tourist Board introduced a new promotional video on December 10, 2019, that shows the natural, cultural and historical landmarks of the County, as well as the important events, traditions, and crafts of the Croatian region, reports HRTurizam.

Tourism is predominantly a service industry and tourism is often referred to as an "industry of experience," which poses many challenges for tourism professionals, said Ivana Alilović, director of the Zagreb County Tourist Board, when presenting the promotional film. "Our goal is to become a competitive tourist destination by 2020, but also to harness the potential that tourism has as a platform for the development of other industries," Alilović added.

The promotional film featured the cooperation of the Zagreb County Tourist Board and Croata in developing promotional scarves with an emphasis on folklore style that bears elements of folk costumes that are closely intertwined with the ethno-style.

"Design is something that repeatedly attracts and overwhelms us with its capabilities - whether its visually or technically, and once this is all harmonized, we become the creators of a beautiful whole. We are proud of the scarf designs created for the Zagreb County Tourist Board. Namely, inspired by folk embroidery, we blended the traditional and the modern, and by composing the motifs of flower petals and leaves, we received an unusual texture that adds to the dynamic of the pattern. A good selection of fashion details has always been crucial and represents the point of every outfit, however classic or modern. We believe that these scarves will be worn with pride,” said Mihaela Grnović Novakovic, Art Director of the Croata fashion brand.

The director of the Zagreb County Tourist Board added that folklore style is not only a unique trend in fashion in general, uniting a wide range of shapes, colors, textures and different variations, but that today they have the opportunity to promote a new fashion accessory from Zagreb County, which was relevant yesterday and will be tomorrow through the further promotion of the Zagreb County tradition.

The promotional film was made in collaboration with Ashley Colburn. 

To read more about travel in Croatia, follow TCN’s dedicated page

Tuesday, 17 September 2019

VIDEO: Zagreb Wine Story Wins 3rd Place at Wine Spectator International Competition

September 17, 2019 - Winetastic Path Home, a story about Zagreb's wine country, wins 3rd place in Wine Spectator's 2019 Video Contest.

HRTurizam writes that Wine Spectator is the most circulated wine magazine in the world, and a feature in it is imperative of every wine destination and winemaker. 

Thus, Wine Spectator held a Video Contest for the 13th year in a row to promote wine destinations - and one Croatian destination’s wine story received the first international video production award for wine in Croatia.

Specifically, the video Winetastic Path Home, produced by Sekunde Digital, a specialized marketing agency in wine and tourism, won 3rd place for their Zagreb wine story, and more importantly, much attention in the US market. This is the first time in the 13 years of the Video Contest that Croatia was awarded.

The short video, which takes the viewer through the dynamic wine scene of Zagreb and the nearby vineyards, was shot in collaboration with the Zagreb Tourist Board. That this is a significant promotion is evidenced by the fact that the digital edition of this reputable magazine focusing on wines & lifestyle is visited by 1.1 million readers a month, and interestingly, just advertising in such a publication is much higher than investing in video production. 

The Zagreb-based agency says:

“We have encountered a number of difficulties in trying to convey to the winemakers the potential of video collaboration and the importance of consultation throughout the process. We decided to show them what they could do. No winemaker from Croatia has ever entered this international competition. There was no one to advise them, and we are working to help them and to change that together. It is very easy to record a promo video that you will only post once. It is very difficult to find a production partner who will suggest that you use video footage, use it for different purposes and think outside the box. We are very grateful for the cooperation with the Zagreb Tourist Board, which recognized the potential of such video collaborations,” points out Martina Milicevic of Sekunde Digital.

Otherwise, Zagreb is the hometown of this sommelier with a WSET L3 degree and the founder of Sekunde Digital agency, but also probably a lesser-known wine destination for wine lovers coming to Croatia.

As Milicevic points out, the idea behind the project was to show how little we need to escape from the metropolis to a world of wine. Even if you aren’t a wine enthusiast, every wine road in Zagreb County offers many facilities and truly enchanting nature.

The idea to promote Zagreb at Wine Spectator is the result of a collaboration between the tourism board and Sekunde Digital, an agency that specializes in the two domains, tourism and wine-gastronomy. The competition for winemakers is demanding, many US wineries use video in their strategies, but few destinations use wine stories for this type of promotion.

If we add that the average American tourist in Croatia spends twice as much, almost 160 euros a day, this is a great way to communicate with the target market. And there is hardly any competition, as most of the stories are focused on the wineries and stories of their founders

“The highlight of this competition and many other promotions is always the story. Solo, nice shots are often lost in the sea of promotional videos we look at daily. The story remains. If we include a strong message in the video production that we want to send, find credible people who can convey it, and find a channel on which it can be transmitted, there is a great chance of success. And communication is the basis of any good promotion. If you start with people, then you're a good promoter,” concludes Milicevic.

You can see the award-winning video below. 


To read more about travel in Croatia, follow TCN's dedicated page

Wednesday, 21 August 2019

Let's Go to the Countryside: New Project Aims to Promote Rural Tourism in Zagreb County

August 21, 2019 - A new tourism project hopes to bring life to the Zagreb County countryside. 

“Visit farms around Zagreb and enjoy fine wines, local produce, and culinary workshops. Book an overnight stay in the countryside and take a break from the bustle of the city,” reads the message of the Croatian Rural Tourism Association, which, in cooperation with the Zagreb County Tourist Board and other partners, organizes the Zagreb County Rural Tourism Week with the slogan“ Let's go to the Countryside", writes Goran Rihelj of HRTurizam.

The project aims to popularize rural tourism in Zagreb County, promote overnights in the countryside, and exhibit local products.

“Since the founding of the Association, we have been committed to promoting and popularizing rural tourism and going to the countryside as an excellent motive for spending free time. With a homemade gastronomic offer, healthy living, nature and fresh air and other active tourism offers throughout the destination, Zagreb County is a great break from the city bustle, just a few kilometers from Zagreb,” said Aleksandra Kuratko, Head of the Croatian Rural Tourism Association.



As part of the project, which runs from September 2 to 8, 2019, in Zagreb County, a 30% discount on products and services will be offered to members of the Association of Rural Tourism of Croatia, such as overnights, wine tastings, sales of local products and culinary workshops of traditional Žumberak cuisine. For a list of partners involved in this great project, check out the website here.


“Rural tourism is a synergy of agriculture and tourism, which, through its multiplier effect, directly promotes stable and lasting economic growth as farmers introduce tourists to the local gastronomy, culture, and customs through the placement of their products,” said Ivana Alilović, director of the Zagreb County Tourist Board, adding: "Tourism trends are changing at a high speed. Experiences are more important than ever, and people are looking for experiences that will change them and enrich their lives. I see great potential precisely in the popularization of products in rural areas and the idea of ​​staying in the countryside. Therefore, I am very proud of the project "Rural Tourism Week of Zagreb County", because in the surroundings of Zagreb, away from the daily hustle and bustle, in the peace of the greenery, our hosts of rural estates await their guests. I am sure that with the familiar hospitality and a full table of delicious specialties of the indigenous, local cuisine of Zagreb County, the expectations of both young and old will be fulfilled. Not only during the "Rural Tourism Week of Zagreb County" but throughout the year,” said Alilović.

Rihelj writes that when it comes to continental and rural tourism, there is a chronic lack of promotions and tourist offers. In this segment, although it is only the first year of the project, this is an extremely important step forward, solely because of the positioning and promotion of rural tourism in Croatia. The primary prerequisite is precisely communication and focusing on the target group. Because if we do not invite tourists to visit Croatia through promotion, they will not come. Rihelj adds that the Ministry of Tourism and the Croatian National Tourism Board should be more actively involved in the development of continental tourism, as well as its promotion, since it is a totally different type of tourism than the sea, and it requires a different approach.

Zagreb County is a great weekend destination for all Zagreb residents, especially since it is just a short drive away and offers the great outdoors. And as it is the largest domestic market, this campaign and project have hit the right motive - a move away from the bustle of the city, only a few kilometers from the Croatian capital.

A list of all partners in this action, which includes 30 percent discounts, is available at

To read more about travel in Croatia, follow TCN’s dedicated page

Wednesday, 14 August 2019

Zagreb County Companies Enjoy 61 Percent Rise in Earnings

As many as 8,589 companies with 60,182 employees have their seats in Zagreb County. Last year, they enjoyed revenues of 54 billion kuna, and profits of 1.9 billion kuna.

As Poslovni Dnevnik/Darko Bicak writes on the 13th of August, 2019, the Lidl retail chain, the PIK Vrbovec meat industry and the retailer of medical equipment, Medical Intertrade, were the largest revenue generating companies in Zagreb County last year.

Namely, according to the data taken from the Financial Agency (Fina) in 2018, according to the number of processed annual financial statements, 8,589 companies employing 60,182 workers had their seats in Zagreb County, which is a 6.3 percent increase when compared with the previous year.

Zagreb County's companies generated total revenues of 54 billion kuna last year, marking a 10.6 percent increase when compared to 2017, and net profits of slightly less than 1.9 billion kuna, marking an impressive 61.3 percent increase.

Gross investment in new fixed assets increased by 13.1 percent when compared to the previous year. Imports increased by 8.6 percent, and exports increased by 9.3 percent, with a trade deficit of 5.4 billion kuna. The average monthly net earning was 5,646 kuna, which marked a welcome increase of 4.2 percent.

In comparison with other counties across the country, Zagreb County ranks an impressive second in total ''entrepreneurial'' income and third in net income, according to the labour productivity indicator measured by the ratio of net income to the number of employees, and by the labour productivity indicator measured by the ratio of total income to the number of employees.

According to the number of employees it is in fourth place, and according to the number of companies, it takes fifth place. Velika Gorica, Samobor, Sveta Nedelja and Stupnik are among the top twenty Croatian cities and municipalities at the national level in terms of total income and net profit of companies.

Lidl Croatia (Lidl Hrvatska), with its headquarters in Velika Gorica close to the City of Zagreb, generated 5.2 billion kuna in the largest revenue, numbers which saw it take first place in terms of the generation of both profit and revenue among the companies with their headquarters in Zagreb County. Lidl is the leader in terms of profits, boasting 281 million kuna and 2,060 employees.

PIK Vrbovec, with 1,757 employees and a profit of 86 million kuna, came in second place by the number of employees and third place in terms of profit. Medical Intertrade enjoyed 1.7 billion kuna in revenue, while it remained outside of the top ten in terms of profits and number of employees.

Major players among the companies in Zagreb County include Fliba, Santa Domenica, Zubak Group, Ikea, DIV Group, Hospira, Fero-Term, HKZP, KMG, KIK, Production MK and Oso, MZLZ Land Services.

Make sure to follow our dedicated business page for much more. If it's just Zagreb and Zagreb County you're interested in, give Total Zagreb a follow or check out Zagreb in a Page for all you need to know about the capital and the surrounding areas.

Wednesday, 3 July 2019

Jakovlje Castle and Sculpture Park Organizes Welcoming Event

Jakovlje Castle is located in Jakovlje, a village north of Zagreb, on the other side of the Medvednica mountain, 30 km by road from Zagreb.

One of the most prominent structures in the village is the Jakovlje Castle, originally built in the 16th century, and destroyed and then rebuilt numerous times during the past four centuries. There were fires, there were earthquakes, there was neglect, but finally in the 2000s, the castle was somewhat completely restored.

Since the 1970s, the castle and the park around it have been owned by the Croatian Association of Artists and the Croatian Association of Artists of Applied Arts, and many artists have their studios in the castle. The art colony that was organised there for years produces numerous sculptures, and many of them found their permanent home in the castle's park, where they were originally created. Over sixty sculptures by Croatian and international artists are exhibited there, and the Croatian Association of Artists is organising an event this week to present the project that has been being carried out at the sculpture park and Jakovlje Castle since 2013, as well as to present their plan of activities until 2021.

The event has a very artistic name, Na zemlji od oblaka, loosely translated as Down to Earth, Made of Clouds.

They want as many people to come so that the general public would see what they've been doing and what their plans are. They also want more people to see the amazing park and the castle that appears to be a ramshackle, which adds to the romantic feel of the place.

The 63 sculptures located in the historic park should be visited by lovers of art, and some of the sculptures were given a new look recently, as they were (re)painted. The park is a perfect place to spend a day surrounded by greenery, and it's probably going to be more pleasant than the asphalt of Zagreb on yet another hot early-summer's day. So, make a picnic basket, get your family or friends together, your pets, and spend a day in the art park of Jakovlje Castle this Saturday, July 6th. 

In the evening, at 6 pm, you will be able to enjoy a concert by Darija Zlokić, a flute player, and Mirjana Krišković, a harp player, both members of the Croatian Radiotelevision Symphony Orchestra.

Monday, 27 May 2019

South Korea Ready to Cooperate with Zagreb County

ZAGREB, May 27, 2019 - A delegation of the South Korean province of Chungcheongnam-do on Monday visited the Zagreb County to discuss cooperation in areas of common interest, and the two sides signed an agreement on cooperation.

Zagreb County head Stjepan Kožić said that the meeting was organised to explore possibilities for joint projects in the economic sector, including tourism.

The two regions have already been cooperating, Kožić said and in that context noted that the number of overnight stays and arrivals of South Korean tourists in Zagreb County in 2018 was 113% higher than in 2017.

South Koreans recognise Zagreb County as a tourist destination, Kožić said, adding that he hoped the number of visits would continue to grow.

He recalled that some ten days ago an 80 million euro agreement was signed between the South Korean car maker Hyundai and Croatia's Rimac Automobili.

The president of the assembly of Chungcheongnam-do province, Yoo Byung Kook, said that South Koreans loved Croatia and were interested in cooperation in culture, economy, tourism, medicine and other areas.

During their stay in Croatia, the South Korean delegation will also visit a special hospital for rehabilitation in Ivanić Grad.

More news about relations between Croatia and South Korea can be found in the Politics section.

Saturday, 25 May 2019

Zagreb County a Hit with Tourists

After the record tourist results in 2018, Zagreb County continues with positive trends in the tourist sector, as the number of tourists continues to increase. Thus, in the first four months of this year, Zagreb County recorded as much as 15 per cent more overnight stays and 14 per cent more arrivals than in the same period last year, reports on May 25, 2019.

Out of a total of 43,115 overnights, foreign guests realized almost 27,000. Zagreb County seems to have become a hit destination for tourists from Asian countries. There is a noticeable increase in the number of tourists from all parts of Asia, especially from China. Data for Italy, Bulgaria and Germany follows a similar trend.

The number of tourist arrivals increased to more than 24,000, with foreign guests realising more than 15,000 of them. The most visited towns in the first four months were Velika Gorica, Samobor, Ivanić-Grad, Sveta Nedelja and Zaprešić.

“The reasons for the positive results are the new programmes for tourists that have been developed in the Zagreb County tourism sector. The main projects are city breaks, cultural tourism, wine and dine, health tourism, cyclo-tourism and adventure tourism,” said Ivana Alilović, director of the Zagreb County Tourist Board.

250519Zagreb County1

“More and more guests want to live in a healthier and more dynamic style. They want to have new authentic and traditional experiences, try local wines and food, spend a lot more time in nature, and this can be very much done in the green ring surrounding Zagreb,” added Alilović.

Zagreb County continues to invest in the development of tourism in its area. The authorities financially support different tourism projects. Currently underway is a competition to award a million kuna grant for events that are significant for the tourism industry, as well as a 1.5 million kuna public call for co-financing of the development of public tourist infrastructure, such as congress centres, playgrounds, ice rinks, amusement parks, promenades, and cycling trails.

250519Zagreb County2

Another tender for entrepreneurs in tourism is expected soon. It will award a million kuna of non-refundable funds to increase the quality standards of hotels, camps and other establishments offering accommodation services.

In 2018, Zagreb County recorded nearly 129,000 tourist arrivals, which was 41 per cent more than in the same period of 2017, when the number was slightly higher than 87,000. The number of overnight stays increased by 33 per cent, from 154,000 to nearly 205,000.

Translated from (reported by Jelena Pišonić Babić).

More Zagreb County news can be found in the Lifestyle section.

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