Thursday, 15 October 2020

Zagreb County to Become a Leading Green County in Croatia

October 15, 2020 – To become a leading green county in Croatia, Zagreb County has devised strategic goals that include organic farming in all agricultural areas, organically grown food in public institutions, and eco-menus for all restaurants and rural tourism facilities.

As Lokalni.hr reports, Zagreb County leaders believe they have all conditions needed for achieving these goals. The goals are set in the action plan of the Program for the Development of Organic Agriculture in Zagreb County until 2030, which was presented last week.

With it, Zagreb County wants to become the leading green county, which bases its development on ecological and innovative food production, but also the development of smart villages.

 

An example to other counties

To achieve these goals, the development of organic food cultivation is prioritized, as well as the improvement of socio-economic conditions of villages and farmers, and the improvement of the population's environment and health.

"We want to enable producers to focus on organic production and provide our residents with healthy and quality food. I am sure that this plan can be an example to other counties of how to approach the development of organic agriculture in the Republic of Croatia," said Prefect Stjepan Kožić at the program presentation.

Head of Agriculture Josip Kraljičković said that this is the ‘bravest program’ of the Zagreb County in agriculture so far, and the program was presented by its authors Sonja Karoglan Todorović and Darko Znaor from the company Agro Eko.

 

Modern agriculture

"People have the perception that organic farming is a return to the 'old way', that it is our grandparents' agriculture. But they need to be reassured. Organic farming is modern agriculture, in which one does not dig with a hoe, but uses advanced, innovative technology. Today, organic agriculture is among the most innovative branches of agriculture," said Karoglan Todorović, adding that the program is in line with EU policies so that 25 percent of the area is under organic farming.

"This action plan is brave. For Croatia to have 25 percent of organic agriculture in the foreseeable future, someone has to pull more. And with this program, the Zagreb County has once again shown that it has a vision," added Karoglan Todorović.

On behalf of the Ministry of Agriculture, Assistant Minister Krunoslav Karalić attended the program presentation.

"Organic farming accounts for 7.2 percent of our agricultural production and is handled by 5,500 farms," ​ the Assistant Minister pointed out.

 

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Thursday, 10 September 2020

VIDEO: Zagreb and Zagreb County Developing Tourism with Destination Campaign

September 10, 2020 - Zagreb and Zagreb County are developing tourism with a new destination campaign and promotional video titled "Around Zagreb."

Two months ago, the Zagreb Tourist Board and the Zagreb County Tourist Board launched an excellent partnership, jointly promoting the capital and Zagreb's 'Green Ring' through a unique destination campaign under the slogan "Around Zagreb".

HRTurizam writes that as part of the destination campaign "Around Zagreb", a special promotional film was released that emphasizes greenery, staying in nature, recreation, and the rich cultural and gastronomic offer of the capital and Zagreb's green ring.

The producer of the film is Martina Milicevic, whose video "Zagreb Wine Story" / "Winetasting Path Home" won third place in the international video competition of the highest-circulation wine magazine Wine Spectator. It is a great step forward that the film was made in English with subtitles in Croatian, as well as that in the completed segments, the film's actors are foreign nationals, which cleverly and indirectly emphasizes that it is a modern and urban European city with more than interesting surroundings - and it wants to attract tourists from around the world. 

In the film, the narrator is again American Rob Reider, a five-time Emmy Award winner for his shows and music compositions, with whom TZGZ has already had a great collaboration in the film "Zagreb Loves You." 

"In the summer period of the campaign, notable results were achieved, so most visits to www.aroundzagreb.hr came from Croatia (40%), but also from the market where the campaign was conducted - from Slovenia (35%) and Austria, Germany, and BIH (25%). It is interesting to note that we are also recording the interest of Americans, although no special promotion has been done in this market. This certainly shows that the topics of nature and outdoor activities and active tourism are obviously of interest to the US market and represent a kind of guideline for future activities," says the Zagreb Tourist Board.

The joint campaign "Close to the city, Close to the heart" was created to create a year-round platform to promote the rich offer of the capital and its surroundings. In this sense, it is planned to address important markets throughout the year, and now represents an attractive autumn offer of Zagreb and its ring.

Explore the entire tourist story of Zagreb and Zagreb County at www.aroundzagreb.hr.

This is an interesting web presentation of the tourist offer, which consists of a simple and modern web solution, with ideas for excursions, calendar of events, gastronomy, ideas for excursions, and stories about what to do for three days… and all, of course, in several languages. There is also the Around Zagreb video series, which brings various stories about tourist facilities in Zagreb and Zagreb County and gives a personal note and extra motive for experiencing Zagreb County. 

This is a win-win, both for Zagreb and for Zagreb County. After all, tourists, like tourism, do not know our invisible borders of municipalities, cities, and counties.

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Monday, 24 August 2020

Zagreb Earthquake: Poorer Will Not Pay For Home Reconstruction

August 24, 2020 – Government proposes all reconstruction costs be borne by the state and city for the poorest homeowners in society.

In new government proposals, poorer residents of Zagreb and the two neighbouring counties most affected by this year's earthquake will pay nothing towards the cost of home reconstruction. The new proposals contained in the Law on Reconstruction of Zagreb will be officially presented in a government session on Thursday 27 August and then to parliament on September 2 or 3.

Homeowners in the City of Zagreb, Krapina-Zagorje, and Zagreb County whose residencies were damaged are those affected by the new proposals. If a homeowner or cohabiting couple earns HRK 8,000 a month or less and does not have assets of more than HRK 200,000, the state and the city will finance the entirety of their home renovations.

In the law's first reading, it was proposed that structural renovation costs be borne 60% by the state, 20% by city or regional government, and 20% by property owners and co-owners. Property owners whose income did not exceed HRK 4,000 per month in the previous year (or cohabiting couples earning less than HRK 8,000 per month), will now be exempt from any contributions towards reconstruction, provided they did not hold assets exceeding HRK 200,000 on the day of the earthquake, 22 March 2020. Assets refer to real estate, motor vehicles, and vessels, savings and shares.

For people meeting the criteria, apartment and house renovation costs will be borne 80% by the state, and 20% by city or regional government (City of Zagreb, Krapina-Zagorje, or Zagreb County). Reconstruction costs of the homes belonging to those left disabled of the Homeland War or beneficiaries of social care who receive maintenance assistance will also be fully financed.

1442px-Oštećena_zgrada_Ilica.jpg
Damage to a dwelling on Ilica in central Zagreb © Franjo Tahy

The proposals are aimed at assisting the poorest homeowners affected, although the implications stretch much further

People who do not meet the low income/low asset criteria, who do not have a home insurance policy, must pay for 20% of their home renovation. Those who do have an insurance policy can request payment or partial payment of that 20% by their insurers.

It is possible that some unmarried couples who are living together, but not officially co-habiting, and whose income and assets exceed the set amount, could benefit before other couples who are married and legally co-habiting.

There are also potentially serious implications for those who are on a very low income, but who have inherited a property worth more than HRK 200,000 (approx €26,500).

In the final bill, there remains a provision for mortgaging real estate if the owners and co-owners cannot secure 20% of building renovation costs.

The new proposals also include the possibility of obtaining financial assistance for the repair of staircases in buildings, in addition to previously announced assistance for the repair of gable walls, elevators, chimneys, and the replacement of gas boilers.

Damage from the earthquake in Zagreb and surroundings was estimated at 86.4 billion kuna (approx €11.5 billion). The new proposals mean that a larger amount than this previous estimation will now be needed.

Sunday, 28 June 2020

Holidays Have Never Been Closer: Zagreb County Tempts Domestic Tourists in New Campaign

June 28, 2020 - With an exciting new campaign, Zagreb County wants to position itself as the destination for domestic tourists in continental Croatia. 

"A Holiday Has Never Been Closer!" is the new slogan of the promotional campaign of the Zagreb County Tourist Board focused on domestic guests, which lasts until August 1, reports HRTurizam. The focus of the campaign is on accommodation facilities, namely holiday homes with swimming pools, eno-gastro tourist facilities and attractions in Zagreb County.

The campaign lasts from June 26 to August 1, 2020, and was launched to encourage the inhabitants of Croatia to explore continental destinations in Zagreb County in the coming period after a long period of isolation.

"An important part of the campaign is accommodation facilities, rural refuges and a top eno-gastronomic offer, and through these facilities, we see an opportunity to position our county as an ideal weekend destination primarily for residents of the capital, but also for all those who truly enjoy peace and beauty without mass tourism. The Green Zagreb Ring offers a lot of quality content - half an hour from the center of Zagreb, so it is a great opportunity to escape from stress and city crowds," says Ivana Alilović, director of the Zagreb County Tourist Board.

The campaign places additional emphasis on connecting wine roads, local food producers, attractions in the area that enable an authentic, safe and sustainable stay for all guests.

"The rich tourist offer of our county is the result of intensive cooperation between producers and those who offer guests finished products. The emphasis is on multisectoral connections, and in addition to the promotion of wine roads, quality local products of our family farms, as well as rural refuges, we want to show how it is possible to create a value chain in these challenging times," concludes Alilović.

A special platform and an interesting collaboration with Designer Outlet Croatia

In fact, this is the culmination of the campaign, which began with a wine video postcard #NazdraviZaBoljeSutra (Cheers to a better tomorrow) in which several winemakers from the area of ​​Plešivica, Zelina and Moslavina wine roads were presented.

For the needs of the project, a special web portal was launched - in which the entire offer is completed and all information about all partners is available.

The campaign promotes a sustainable and safe stay, but at the same time, quality experience in a sustainable destination.

Particularly interesting is the part of the campaign where each visitor, when booking one of the 30 rural holiday homes in the first weekend of July (smart connection with accommodation), receives a coupon for 350 kuna to use at Designer Outlet Croatia.

With online and offline promotion, special web platforms, various articles and visuals, and cooperation with Designer Outlet Croatia, which generates a large daily frequency of visitors, but also through the coupon gives an additional motive for positioning potential domestic tourists, primarily from Zagreb.

The green Zagreb ring is certainly ideal as an escape from the city crowds and stress, which offers a lot of quality content, all half an hour from the center of the Croatian capital.

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

Wednesday, 1 April 2020

Experience Zagreb County Virtually at Home with Online Tour

April 1, 2020 - Don't let your four walls keep you from experiencing the beauty in Croatia all around you. Take a virtual tour of Zagreb County!

At a time when self-isolation is needed, most of us have resorted to our trusty screens - and virtual walks have become a real hit.

While we’ve already told you all about virtual Croatian museums, did you know you could visit destinations virtually, too? In addition to panoramic cameras, some destinations, such as Zagreb County, also offer a virtual walk through the destination via social networks, reports HRTurizam.

In order to stay in touch with what awaits us and what we can look forward to after self-isolation comes to an end, the Zagreb County Tourist Board is promoting a virtual “experience” of its destinations and museums with the hashtag #TravelVirtually, #ostanidoma and #ExploreZagrebCountyOnline.

Thus, you can virtually walk through the municipalities and all nine cities in the county, as well as virtually visit all the museums in the Zagreb County area.

"Virtual walks have been around for a long time, and in these moments, they give us the safest path out of the isolation that has plagued us. Through a virtual walk, guests can see the attractions of Zagreb County through natural, historical, cultural and gastronomic sights from the comfort of their own home,” points out Ivana Alilović, director of the Zagreb County Tourist Board. Alilović added that this is an opportunity for those who may have never seen the beauties of the green Zagreb ring and, therefore, suggests that guests visit it all virtually.

You can see the virtual walkthrough Zagreb County here, while you can visit the virtual museums here.

Furthermore, it is great content for all accommodation and service providers in Zagreb County.

While it is not the best time to talk about tourism, it does not mean that you do not need to communicate. Under the mantra "Don't cancel your trip but postpone it”, or but telling travelers to explore their future trip, all tourism professionals can use this content to communicate on their social networks.

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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.

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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. 

 

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