Sunday, 28 November 2021

Podgora Local Government to Charge for Beach Shower Use

November the 28th, 2021 - The Podgora local government has decided to charge people for using the local beach showers as a way to repay accumulated debts run up by the Podgora Municipality's former mayor.

As Morski writes, the Podgora local government has made a Decision on determining the price of the use of the showers located on the beaches which lie within the Municipality of Podgora. This is just one in a series of measures by which the Podgora local government is trying to repay the accumulated debts of the former mayor, who was pushed out of office by voters in the previous elections when they elected a new government headed by the young mayor Petra Radic.

The decision sets the price of two kuna for one shower on the showers on the beaches in the Municipality of Podgora if the shower is to last for 30 seconds, and this rule will be applied in the period from June the 1st to September the 30th each year, more precisely during the height of the summer tourist season.

This measure was taken to try to make some savings on water consumption because some beach showers had a consumption of almost 4,000 kuna, as has since been learned. The new showers will be solar powered and the mechanism will be such that there can be no failures that have so far led to leaks and excessive and unnecessary water consumption.

It's worth noting that around one month ago, the Municipality of Podgora was the first in all of the wider Split-Dalmatia County to show what they're actually spending public money on. By clicking here, people are offered a full insight into each and every payment made to a legal entity, as well as to a private person, the date of the payment, the account number, its description and the precise amount.

''In addition to all of this, we're only sorry that for months, and probably a couple of years, people will merely be following the payment of debts and old amounts. However, budget transparency prevents irresponsible actions as well as the misuse of public funds,'' said Podgora's Petra Radic.

The procedure of collecting money from the use of the local beach showers will be performed by the employees of Podgorski komunalc j.d.o.o. in cooperation with the employees of the municipal police of the Municipality of Podgora. The collected money will then be glassed as the Podgora local government's income, and the rights and obligations will be subsequently defined by a contract on the matter, as they explained from this Dalmatian municipality.

For more, check out our dedicated lifestyle section.

Sunday, 28 November 2021

Largest Works in 150 Years in Split City Port Finally Drawing to Close

November the 28th, 2021 - Not so long ago, the largest works in 150 years for the Split City Port began, in which a complete overhaul of some parts of it were undertaken. These works are now finally drawing to a close after much disruption.

As Morski writes, the very final phase of works are underway at the Split City Port. As part of this massive project, the coastal belt has been widened from four and a half metres to nine and a half metres, covering a total length of 260 metres, and it will have special moorings for catamarans and a section for pedestrians, which will reduce the usual crowds during the height of the typically extremely busy summer tourist season.

''It has been anticipated that the works in the Split City Port will finally be completed by the end of this year, ie after less than nine months since they began,'' the director of the Split Port Authority, Vice Mihanovic, told HRT.

An enormous 42.6 million kuna was invested in this large project, which was withdrawn from the European Union's cohesion funds as well as from the Croatian state budget.

''Thanks to the Croatian Government, the competent ministry and European Union (EU) funds, after 150 years, we will get a new waterfront that will fully meet the needs of both visitors and the citizens of Split. The operational part will be separated from the promenade, and I would especially like to point out that the coastal belt is being adapted for people with disabilities,'' Vice Mihanovic pointed out, adding that these works are of exceptional importance for the City of Split.

''This should be the direction in which the City of Split should continue to develop, with concrete projects and ideas,'' he said in an interview for "Good morning, Croatia/Dobro jutro, Hrvatska".

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

Sunday, 28 November 2021

Could Croatian Term Prosek Finally be Protected by European Commission?

November the 28th, 2021 - Could the Croatian term Prosek finally be protected by the European Commission (EC) and put an end to the dispute between Croatia and neighbouring Italy?

As Morski writes, On Friday, November the 26th, 2021, State Secretary Tugomir Majdak, in the presence of Member of the European Parliament Tonino Picula, participated in a panel entitled "Croatian quality on the European table - the protection of the traditional term Prosek".

The event brought together Prosek producers, oenologists and legal experts to discuss the course of protection, Croatian and Italian arguments and the problems of producers, and a day later, on November the 27th, from 10:00 to 16:00 on Petar Preradovic Square, a public blind tasting of Prosek and Prosecco was planned, with the shooting of a promotional video about the important and undoubted differences between these two wines, all with the tasting and sale of Prosek made by Croatian producers.

Back in 2013, the Ministry of Agriculture submitted a request to the European Commission for the protection of the traditional Croatian term Prosek, and this year, the European Commission closed the application review process and approved it as well-founded and justified, with an expected objection from an Italian organisation.

In order to advocate for successful protection of the Croatian term Prosek at the European level and in order to promote this Croatian wine, a panel was organised at which State Secretary Tugomir Majdak stated:

''I'm satisfied with the development of events in the process of the protection of this wine, which is extremely important for all of us in historical, tourist and gastro-oenological terms. I'd like to remind you that relatively recently, we successfully resolved another wine dispute, which was both legally and technically extremely demanding, and then our producers from Istria were given the opportunity to continue marketing the wine "Teran".

In the same way, the Republic of Croatia now has an answer related to Prosek and that's the only way in which our approach can be based in this case because we really have all the professional, historical and legal arguments for its protection. Croatian producers certainly have a legitimate right and expectation to have their products protected, which have all been produced in the traditional way and with full access to the market as their European counterparts have.

Today, Croatia has 31 products with their names registered in the EU with protected designation of origin or protected geographical indication, and is proud of seventeen protected wine designations of origin, six geographical indications on strong alcoholic beverages and one geographical indication of aromatised wine products.

For more, check out Made in Croatia.

Sunday, 28 November 2021

Croatian Public Health Institute Publishes Coronavirus Booster Info

November the 28th, 2021 - The Croatian Institute of Public Health has published a recommendation for the coronavirus booster dose in immunocompromised persons.

As Poslovni Dnevnik writes, according to these new recommendations, the coronavirus booster dose is especially recommended for sensitive groups (such as the elderly and the immunocompromised), but also for all people six months after receiving their primary vaccination(s).

“Taking into account the specifics of their health condition(s) as well as their family and work environments that may be important in making a decision on vaccination, for all persons aged 18 and over, at least 6 months must have passed after the completion of their primary vaccination, and then they can receive their coronavirus booster after speaking to their doctor.

People who have had COVID-19 and who have started and completed their primary vaccination after recovering from the illness don't need a third/booster dose.

The coronavirus booster vaccination is therefore available and recommended to everyone, and is ESPECIALLY important for the following categories of the population:

1) People living in care homes and adults with disabilities

2) Workers employed by care homes and who work with adults with disabilities

3) Healthcare professionals who directly care for patients at any level of healthcare

4) All persons aged 65 and over,

5) All persons aged 18 and over who share a household with immunocompromised and highly sensitive people

6) All persons aged 18 and over suffering from chronic diseases that increase the risk for more severe clinical picture of COVID-19 is contracted

Vaccination with the coronavirus booster dose is especially strongly recommended for immunocompromised individuals.

A total of 150,715 people across Croatia had been vaccinated with a coronavirus booster dose by the 24th of November, 2021.

The proposal for the organisation/improvement of the coronavirus booster vaccination rollout:

Improving the implementation of the coronavirus booster vaccine certainly requires all healthcare institutions and health care providers to, if they aren't doing so already, organise for the vaccination of their employees on the spot with an additional dose.

In addition, it's necessary to insist that all care homes, if they're not doing so already, to organise the vaccination of their employees and users on the spot with the third/additional dose in the same way as they organised vaccination in the first phase back in January and February 2021 (with the use of mobile teams).

It is also necessary to remind all GPs by letter that it is necessary for all adults for whom six months have passed since the end of their primary vaccination to be reminded by phone or e-mail (the latter requires almost no effort if a generic message is placed in the email inviting the person to come for vaccination) to come to get their coronavirus booster vaccine. Furthermore, family physicians should actively invite their insured persons for their third dose (by calling them by phone or e-mail for their booster dose).

To date, numerous mass vaccination points have been organised that are sometimes mobile. It is to be expected that these locations will adapt to the weather in this colder period of the year, so it's recommended that a person interested in receiving their coronavirus booster vaccination contact the competent public health institution in their county and seek information on the exact location of vaccination when it suits them.

For all you need to know about coronavirus specific to Croatia, make sure to bookmark our dedicated COVID-19 section and select your preferred language if it isn't English.

Sunday, 28 November 2021

2021 Gastroadvent Opens at SidiBar to Honor Print Journalists, Digital Nomads, and Drniš Prosciutto

November 28, 2021 - The 2021 Gastroadvent opened on Sunday, November 28, to once again honor media and the Mediterranean diet. The opening was held at SidiBar on the West Coast in Split, this time to celebrate print journalists and dishes created with Drniš prosciutto. 

The first Gastroadvent candle was lit on Sunday by print media journalists, digital nomads, and representatives of Split-Dalmatia County and the tourist boards. The event is traditionally organized by famous dietician and nutritionist Olja Martinić.

Gastroadvent is a unique event that has promoted the Mediterranean diet for decades through a fusion of nutrition, gastronomy, and tourism. Thanks to the engagement and participation of dedicated journalists, who continue to bring light to Split, the event persistently shares scientific knowledge woven into gastronomic skills, the numerous health benefits of the Mediterranean diet, and the preparation of dishes from unique ingredients. 

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The theme of this year's Gastroadvent is "Mediterranean nutrition is sustainable, achievable, and responsible." In its original form, the stated principle is the basis of action and, as such, should remain the foundation of behavior. The Mediterranean Sea connects all the countries founded on the Mediterranean diet, and for the Mediterranean diet to be sustainable, we must responsibly dispose of our waste and use resources rationally.

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That the same is achievable is confirmed by the fact that the Mediterranean diet has been around for thousands of years, and on November 16, 2010, it was included in UNESCO's intangible protected heritage list.

Thus, in line with this year's theme, Drniški pršut d.o.o. is a special partner of Gastroadvent, specializing in the production of cured meat products from the Drniš region. Its production takes place traditionally - the meat is smoked over a hornbeam wood fire, with local oak, dried thorns, and aromatic herbs such as immortelle and spruce. Their main product is prosciutto produced during the Miljevci bura, which matures without artificial nitrite preservatives or additives.

Split-Dalmatia County and the Split-Dalmatia County Tourist Board are avid supporters of Gastroadvent in Split, thus promoting the Mediterranean diet and local producers, entrepreneurs, and tourism workers.

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The Split Tourist Board has worked hard to position the destination, harnessing a natural combination of history, gastronomy, and modernity, all to protect the components of the Mediterranean diet. The City of Split is determined to support projects that benefit its residents and demands guests after authentic experiencess and new technological opportunities.

The Croatian Chamber of Commerce has advocated for years to encourage the representation of domestic products, and since 1997 has implemented the national project "Let's Buy Croatian." The project aims to contribute to increasing the consumption of local products and thus support the economy. This project is of particular importance, emphasized by the director Joze Tomaš, and confirmed by the cooperation with Gastroadvent.

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JU RERA S.D., as part of the MD.net project for the needs of establishing innovative food products, has cooperated with primary and secondary schools in Split-Dalmatia County and stakeholders involved in producing or marketing Mediterranean food products and promoting the Mediterranean way of life. The MD.net project focuses on development opportunities and problem-solving related to popularizing the Mediterranean diet. The Mediterranean diet is a part of the Mediterranean identity inscribed in the UNESCO list of intangible cultural heritage. The project aims to strengthen research in this area following the UNESCO Convention on Mediterranean Nutrition, raise the quality of nutrition and life in 9 project partner countries, and promote the Mediterranean diet, which is recognized as the gold standard of proper nutrition with far-reaching health benefits.

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Apart from the desire to involve as many people as possible and bring them closer to the importance of the Mediterranean diet in everyday life, as well as its impact on their health, the additional goal of the project is to establish a standard in the Med Diet Declaration logo to classify Mediterranean areas. The ultimate goal of awarding the Declaration is to position Split-Dalmatia County as a desirable Mediterranean culinary region.

The delectable culinary table with dishes prepared and served according to epidemiological measures was thanks to SidiBar on the West Coast Riva in Split. 

Guests indulged in canapes, crackers, and snacks with Drniš prosciutto in focus, ranging from tortilla rolls to mushroom caps stuffed with prosciutto, salmon pesto, and parmesan cream, fuži pasta with truffles and prosciutto, gnocchi with prosciutto and shrimp, raw foods, mixed prosciutto skewers, and prosciutto rolls, among many other delicious creations. A unique partner of this year's Gastroadvent in Split is Kairos Winery, and Katich wines were served at today's event. 

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The designer of this year's Gastroadvent wreath is artist Tonka Alujević, who depicted the Advent wreath from a lifebuoy as "a maritime object that serves to save a man who, for various reasons, is helpless in the sea and is in mortal danger." 

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Split Gastroadvent is held every Advent Sunday at a new location, honoring a different group of journalists with new culinary creations at at each event. 

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

Sunday, 28 November 2021

2023 Basketball World Cup Qualifiers: Finland Tops Croatia 77:71 in Espoo

November 28, 2021 - Finland tops Croatia 77-71 in the 2nd round of Group C in Espoo, giving Croatia its second defeat in the 2023 Basketball World Cup qualifiers.

After losing to Slovenia 74-76 in a dramatic finish at the opening of the World Cup qualifiers in Zagreb, Croatia was unable to defeat Finland in Espoo. 

Three-pointers played in Finland's favor on Sunday, with 14 scored by the hosts and only four for Croatia. 

Croatia struggled in the first quarter, scoring just seven points in the first seven minutes. Fortunately, Finland wasn't much better, scoring only 5 points more. Coach Veljko Mršić changed 11 players in the first eight minutes! 

At the end of the first quarter, Croatia turned the result in their favor with an 8-0 series (15-12), and at the end of the first quarter, they were up +1. 

The second quarter was even, and the teams went into halftime at 34-34.

The third quarter saw Finland score a 6-0 series for 40-34, then went up +7 (50-43). 3:50 minutes before the end of the third quarter Finland was up by 10 points (53-43 ). By the end of the quarter, Croatia still managed to reduce the score to 59-55.

Six minutes before the end of the game, Croatia was just one basket behind (64-63), which they kept with five minutes to go (67-66). 

With three minutes to go, Croatia still managed to keep the score tight (68-69), and with two minutes left, Croatia led 70-69. That was their first lead in the second half.

Edon Maxhuni returned the home team to a 72-70 advantage with a three-pointer, and Filip Bundović realized one free throw for 72-71 with just over a minute left.

Sasu Salin brought Finland to +4 (75-71) with a new three-pointer 40 seconds before the end. Croatia shot two three-pointers in the next attack, but Rogić and Marčinković did not score. Salin then scored two free throws for 77-71, which was the final score. 

Finland was led to victory by Maxhuni with 15 points and five assists, Shawn Huff scored 14 points and nine rebounds, and Elias Valtonen scored 12 points and eight rebounds.

All 12 Croatia players were among the scorers. Bundović scored 16 points, and Perković and Danko Branković scored 10 points each.

Slovenia and Sweden, which both achieved victories in the first round, will meet tonight in Koper.

Qualifications continue in February when Croatia will play two games against Sweden. The first is scheduled for February 25, and the return in Sweden is three days later.

Europe will send 12 national teams to Asia for the World Cup, which will be held in Japan, the Philippines, and Indonesia in 2023.

There are eight groups of four teams in the first round of European qualifiers, and the three best from each group will advance to the second round. It is important to note that all points from the first part of the competition are transferred.

In the second round, four new groups of six national teams will be formed, and the three best teams from each group will qualify for the World Cup.

Source: HRT

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

Sunday, 28 November 2021

Croatia Tennis Team Tops Hungary for Spot in Davis Cup Quarters

November 28, 2021 - The Croatia tennis team is in the Davis Cup quarters and will meet Italy in Turin on Monday!

On Sunday, Croatia advanced to the Davis Cup quarterfinals after Nino Serdarušić defeated Hungary's Fabian Maroszan 6-4, 6-4 in the first match against Hungary.

Two breaks were enough to win, one in each set, for Serdarušić, who is 233rd in the ATP ranking. The match lasted an hour and 11 minutes.

The Croatian tennis player was safe from the beginning; he served seven aces and won two of three break points. Maroszan, the 359th tennis player in the world, made 15 unforced errors in the match.

Marin Čilić suffered the shock defeat of the day against the 282nd tennis player in the world, Zsombor Piros.

Čilić and Piros played the second match (Hungary's best Márton Fucsovics withdrew due to injury). Still, the 282nd tennis player in the world proved to be an insurmountable obstacle for the great Croatian tennis player. But it wasn't that way at the start of the match. Marin led 5:2 and served for the set, but Piros returned at 5:5 to win the first set.

The second set was equal until the 11th game when Piros broke Čilić and easily served for 7:5.

Čilić started the third set well, served for 3:1 after which he increased it to 4:1, but Piros came back at 4:3 and for the second time broke Čilić for the 5:4 lead. Finally, in the last game, Čilić managed to save five match points, but Piros won in the end.

Nikola Mektić and Mate Pavić played Fábián Marozsán and Péter Nagy in the doubles clash. The best doubles team in the world won both sets (7:6, 6:2) to confirm Croatia's spot in the quarterfinals.

Croatia finished at the top of the group and will play against Italy in Turin on Monday.

Source: Sportske Novosti

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

Sunday, 28 November 2021

World Women's Handball Championship Final Prep: 'Queens of Shock' Top Slovenia 29-21

November 28, 2021 - The 'Queens of Shock' are back in action this winter, completing their final preparations for the World Women's Handball Championship in Spain this December by winning 29-21 in a friendly match against Slovenia on Saturday in Poreč. 

The Croatia women's handball team defeated Slovenia with a convincing 29-21 (15-10) in the last preparatory match on Saturday at Žatika hall in Poreč, before the team heads to the IH World Women's Handball Championship in Spain. 

Nenad Šoštarić's team played well and held their own until the end of the game when they had less time to relax. Overall, they were solid in defense. This resulted in a constant increase in their advantage throughout the match.

It was already 6-2 in the 11th minute after Croatia had a 4-0 series, and at halftime, Slovenia was five goals behind (15-10).

Croatia was up +7 (17-10) in the 34th minute, and Slovenia managed to stay five goals behind (20-15) until the 44th minute. The "queens of shock" scored seven in the next eight minutes and received only two goals. In the 52nd minute, they were up +10 (27-17).

In the end, Slovenia managed to mitigate the defeat slightly (29-21).

Paula Posavec, Ćamila Mičijević, and Ana Turk scored four goals each for the Croatia national team, and Katarina Ježić, Lara Burić, and Ivana Dežić shook the net three times each.

Former Podravka player Tjaša Stanko led Slovenia, who was the most efficient in the game with eight goals.

"Today, they played one nice game. Most of the shortcomings, which we noticed in the first game and through joint training, we corrected. Each player gave a damn, and it was nice to watch," said coach Nenad Šoštarić, who is waiting on the leaders of the Croatian Handball Federation to decide on the number of players who will travel to Spain so he can define his list.

They may lead all 18 players who took part in the final preparations, but they may have to leave two handball players in Croatia if the HRS leadership decides that an expedition of 16 of them will go to Spain.

Croatia will open its appearance at the World Champs against Brazil, scheduled for Thursday, December 2, in Ciutat de Castell, starting at 6 pm. Two days later, Croatia will play against Paraguay (18:00) and on December 6 against Japan (20:30).

The best three national teams will continue the competition in the second phase, in which they will be merged with the group in which Spain, Austria, Argentina, and China will play. The two best national teams from the second phase will qualify for the quarterfinals.

Source: HRT

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

Sunday, 28 November 2021

Why Does Split Have So Few Winter Flights? Gojko Mavrinac, Croatian Aviation Interview

November 28, 2021 - Ahead of the Split winter tourism round table on December 13, TCN catches up with Gojko Mavrinac of Croatian Aviation to get his perspective on what needs to happen to get winter flights to Split. 

Developing winter tourism in Split is going to be a complex - but achievable - process, and I am really looking forward to the TCN Split Winter Tourism Round Table at CHOPS Grill on December 13, with almost all of the key stakeholders (including Mayor Puljak) already confirmed. You can read more about the story so far here. TCN will b organising a drinks event in early December for those of you who would like to air your views and give suggestions for the round table. Details coming soon. 

The key element in developing winter tourism is the availability of flights,of course. I am very grateful to Gojko Mavrinac of the Croatian Aviation portal for giving us some of his time to give us plenty to chew on in this email interview on questions surrounding flights and winter tourism to Split.   

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1. The subject of winter tourism and lack of flights to the coast is being discussed again. You have as intimate a knowledge of the airline industry as anyone. I am sure the topic is very complicated, but can you explain why there are almost no flights in winter to Split and Dubrovnik, when places such as Thessaloniki, Bari, Venice, and Alicante are so well served? And even ex-Yu destinations such as Tuzla, Banja Luka, and Nis connect to far more countries and routes.

Thank you Paul for the opportunity to talk about this extremely important topic of winter tourism in Croatia! First of all, I must say that many airlines have tried to connect Croatian coastal airports with destinations in Europe during the winter season before the outbreak of COVID-19, but, so far no luck. Demand was poor which resulted in route termination during the winter months. For example, Eurowings tried route from Dusseldorf to Pula during winter, a year later from Dusseldorf to Rijeka, LOT Polish Airlines tried with Warsaw - Dubrovnik route, Iberia with Madrid - Dubrovnik, but so far demand was not sufficient and routes are not operating during the winter season. There are many reasons why let me try to explain:

First of all, demand for Croatia during the winter is, of course, significantly lower than during the summer, I'm not sure if we have created enough programs to do in Dubrovnik or some other cities on the coast in January. Croatia is well-known as a summer destination, and I’m not sure that we are even trying to change that picture about our country and promote year-round tourism. A few weeks ago one charter airline asked me to help them to find a hotel in Dubrovnik. I was really surprised by how many hotels are closed! I mean, if there is no option for accommodation, when nothing is happening in the city, how we can expect that people will fly and stay in Croatia in January?

Second, airlines are sending aircraft somewhere where there is demand. As you mentioned, destinations such as Bari, Athens, Thessaloniki, still offer much more to the visitors even during the winter months which is not the case in Croatia. I believe that is the reason why airlines fly there, if there is no demand, there would be no flights for sure. 

Thirdly, incentives and subsidiaries. Airports can make incentive programs (as Zagreb did and Ryanair came and opened a base) and offer discounts for landing and handling charges. Do Croatian airports do that? Yes, they do, but that is not enough! Discounts should be higher and more flexible and some airlines will definitely at least try to serve destinations for one year, to check demand.  The Croatian Tourist Board offers subsidiaries that airlines use to fly to Croatia. In my opinion, it is ridiculous that we pay some low-cost airlines to fly to Croatia during the summer season since they will fly to Croatia even without subsidiaries due to heavy demand. But, on the other hand, we are not requesting from them to fly to Croatia during the winter! That's crazy! I mean, if easyJet flies more than 40 times per week from London to Croatia during the summer, there should be at least 2 flights per week during the winter! The Croatian National Tourist Board should add that in the tender, and I'm quite sure that airlines will fly with minimum frequency to Croatia during the winter to earn crazy money during the summer months.

Don’t look at Banja Luka, Nis, and Tuzla projects, that’s directly financed by local authorities and will work until there is money. Once when there are no direct subsidiaries, airlines will stop flying and switch to another airport. Some of those routes to these cities are probably even profitable without subsidiaries, but only because of diaspora, not because of tourists. 

2. If there was a concerted effort to improve the winter tourism scene, who would be the key stakeholders in that initiative, and which destination would you start with?

Airports, local tourist offices, hotels, restaurants, airlines, national tourist boards, ministry of tourism, and sports, I mean, all those mentioned stakeholders must sit and work on unique strategy and implement it. Right now there is no clear and unique vision and that’s problem number one. 

3. Dalmatia had a vibrant winter tourism scene with lots of flights back in the 1980s (see this UK tour rep interview). Things have changed, but if we had winter tourism back then, do we have the potential to have it again? 

To be honest, I was born in 1992. so I have not done any research about winter tourism on the coast in the 80s, and I’m not an expert in tourism. But what I do know is that airlines are here to monitor the market and to react on demand. If there is no demand, there are no flights, at least not without subsidiaries. In my opinion, the aforementioned stakeholders should create a winter program on the coast, invest money in marketing and pay airlines to fly to Croatia during the winter season. You know, for me it's not important if the airport is not profitable, the main reason why airports exist is to enable passengers to travel to/from some destination. If the passenger arrives here, in our city, and leaves 100 euros per day at a local grocery store, market, museum, hotel, restaurant, etc., we did something good for the local community. That is way more important than her/his airline ticket which was cheap because we pay that airline to fly to Croatia. In my opinion, if we do something good regarding the winter program and we decide to give subsidiaries to airlines, I believe we can move from the zero point where we are standing right now.  

4. Does Dalmatia have a credible winter tourism offer? If yes, what is it, and what are the quick wins to improve the current offer?

In my opinion, as I said, I’m not an expert on this topic, I don’t see too many reasons why someone should come and visit our coast during the winter season. The program is poor, hotels are closed, restaurants are as well. Go to Rovinj now, two restaurants are open, as well as two hotels. During the summer you can eat on every corner and you will not be able to find a bed week in advance. People from tourism would say that’s because tourists don’t have direct flights to Croatia, while airlines will say that’s because there is no demand to fly to Croatia during the winter, since there is no open restaurants, hotels, so we are just going round in circles. 

5. Split is a much bigger city than most in former Yugoslavia and yet the Tuzlas and Banja Lukas are attracting the flights. Is it a question of price, concessions, or something else?

As I mentioned before, Tuzla and Banja Luka are paying huge amounts of money (millions) to airlines to fly there and that is something which will at some point end. Split does not do that and I'm glad they don’t. Split Airport is well connected with Frankfurt (daily), Munich (daily), Rome (daily) with Croatia Airlines, which tries to connect Split with the biggest European hubs to enable passengers to travel to Split during the winter season. Frankfurt and Munich are great for transfers since you can reach almost any city in the world via those two airports. In my opinion, for Split, it would be great to have a connection with London, at least two times per week, as well as with some Scandinavian destinations, for example, Copenhagen. They should also stimulate KLM to fly the whole winter to Split, not just during Christmas. I am hoping this will change soon. There are also routes to other cities in Germany by Eurowings. Split is the best-connected city on our coast during the winter (and summer) and I believe that incentive program would attract more airlines during the winter. I am not sure why they don’t offer additional discounts to airlines in the winter months, I tried to get an answer from airport management, but so far no luck. 

6. While we have you, some other aviation questions if I may. Seaplanes are back in the news, with ACI Air planning to operate from ACI Marinas from May. What are your thoughts on the chances of this launching?

In my opinion, that can work. The question is how the business model is set up. So far I did not have the opportunity to see and read more in detail. But I hope they will materialize this project and start with operations from the next summer season, which, I have to say, sounds a bit optimistic but fingers crossed! I'm quite sure that during the summer months there is a huge demand for this kind of service. The last project (European Coastal Airlines) which failed had completely the wrong setup, but demand was there. II hope the guys in this project will do it now in the proper way. 

7. Ryanair has shaken up the market in Zagreb. Do you see them expanding on the coast into Dalmatia beyond Zadar?

In my opinion, no. We can expect more in Zadar. They already announced 10 new routes for the S22 season, and I can tell you that they will announce almost 10 more by the spring. That is a crazy expansion that will bring Zadar back, numbers will go up, even above 2019. Ryanair will go to Split and Dubrovnik only if they have better terms which both these airports refused to offer before, I believe nothing has changed so far. Split has huge volume and enough traffic, and there is no need for an additional low-yield low-cost airline, while Dubrovnik is also well- connected with Europe (and the USA). Ryanair did open some routes to those two cities, but under the same terms and conditions as other airlines. I would say that new routes are always possible, but not a base like in Zadar or now in Zagreb. I would say that new routes are possible for Pula as well, but the local tourist board there is more focused on easyJet. Ryanair is coming back to Rijeka next summer season with two routes, from Charleroi and Stansted, as far as I know, they should announce one more until the end of the year if negotiations go well. 

8. Will Croatia Airlines survive?

I'm quite sure it will. Next summer, we can expect some positive moves from their side as well, but negotiations are still ongoing. CTN/OU will soon go through huge changes, the new post-covid strategy should be approved by the Government soon, and the airline will change its entire fleet, work on the routes, etc. I mean, that’s the process of a few years and I hope we will have a national carrier after that process in much better shape. CTN/OU should and can be a game-changer for projects like winter tourism in this country, Croatia Airlines has bases in Dubrovnik, Split, technical support at Zadar and Pula, and can easily operate regular flights to/from our airports.

About Gojko Mavrinac: 

Goran is a 29-year-old aviation geek who has been in love with this industry since childhood so I chose appropriate study and got a mag. ing. traffic title. After University, just a week later started working. For a few years, I worked for Korean Air Lines as Station Manager at Zagreb Airport, working directly with passengers and airport staff at Zagreb Airport on our route between Zagreb and Seoul Incheon which operated three times per week with wide-body aircraft. That was, btw, the longest non-stop route to/from Zagreb, with a flight time sometimes (depending on weather) of more than 11 hours! Due to the COVID-19 route being suspended and me losing my job, I founded the Croatian Aviation web portal which brings daily news from the aviation industry in Croatia. I was lucky so for over a year I now work for one private airline in Croatia, that’s possible because Croatian Aviation portal is not run only by me anymore, we are a nice team of people in love with aviation, but also with proper education and work experience which is, I believe, even more, important and give us additional credibility. You can follow Gojko Mavrinac on LinkedIn

Are you a Split business with a winter tourism programme? TCN is offering a free promotional video, as well as an interview on your thoughts on how to develop Split winter tourism. Please contact This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. Subject Split Winter Tourism if you would like to be featured. Interviews in th series so far:

Split Winter Tourism: The Daltonist Presents Chef Takeovers, Live Music, Art Exhibits

Split Winter Tourism at Chops Grill: Chopsylicious Menu, Weekend Music, Christmas Flair

Split Winter Tourism: New Menu at B7, Nomad Table at Zinfandel, Charlie's Advent at Zvončac

Saturday, 27 November 2021

Advent in Zagreb Begins, Mayor Lights Candle of Hope

ZAGREB, 27 Nov, 2021 - Zagreb Mayor Tomislav Tomašević on Saturday lit the first Advent candle on the Advent wreath around Manduševac Fountain in the city's main square, symbolically marking the beginning of the Advent in Zagreb event, which lasts until 7 January.

Tomašević said he was glad to light the first candle, the candle of hope, claiming that people needed hope now, especially for the pandemic to end and for the city to be reconstructed after last year's earthquake.

Speaking to the press, he said it was difficult to organise this year's Advent in Zagreb due to the pandemic, but added that in cooperation with the Zagreb Tourist Board and other partners, "we came up with a rich programme with over 120 concerts at some 15 locations."

He said the eventual realisation would depend on the pandemic and that all concerts and programmes would be held in compliance with COVID rules. He added that COVID certificates would not be required for outdoor programmes.

"We are confident that despite these difficult circumstances, Advent will be good and that people will be satisfied, that they will socialise and finally feel some joy amidst all these hardships and problems," the mayor said.

Zagreb Tourist Board director Martina Bienenfeld said that this year "the pandemic dictates all Advent events as well as all others around the New Year," adding that if COVID rules were to be tightened, organisers would adapt their programmes.

She said there were many foreign tourists in the city already and that more had announced their arrival. She recalled that The New York Times recently ran a "beautiful" piece on Zagreb, saying it was great for promotion.

The motives of this year's Advent in Zagreb are traditional Croatian toys as well as music, culture and light.

There are a little under 70 booths at this year's event, as against 220 in 2019, selling food, drinks and souvenirs as well as 50 specially decorated terraces of hospitality establishments offering special food and drinks.

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