Saturday, 4 December 2021

Hoteliers Expect Advent Festivities To Contribute to Better Business Results

ZAGREB, 4 Dec, 2021 - Hotels in Zagreb as well as hotels open in December elsewhere in Croatia expect the Advent season and the Christmas and New Year festivities to contribute to hotel occupancy figures, however, the pandemic is likely to cut guest turnovers by 40% compared to 2019.

These figures were presented by the chairwoman of the hoteliers' cluster within the Croatian Chamber of Commerce (HGK), Josipa Jutt Ferlan, in her interview which Hina published on Saturday.

Jutt Ferlan says that the epidemiological developments make it difficult to forecast the results of this year's Advent season.

She projects that in December 2022 hotels could reach the volume of their business in December 2019.

Jutt Ferlan, who is also Cluster General Manager at Hilton hotels in Zagreb, tells Hina that inquiries about the Advent in Zagreb events and bookings of accommodations hint at good results notably during weekends this December.

Commenting on COVID certificates, she underscores that many business activities and many event organisers rely on the COVID certificate and on vaccination as a way out of the pandemic and return to the normal life.

In many European countries the COVID certificate mandate has already been introduced also for hotels, restaurants and cafes, she says adding that there are more and more foreign visitors who  ask why hotels or spa facilities in Croatia have not yet imposed the mandatory certificates.

If all other countries, our competition, introduce this requirement, then our "safe stay" designation will become meaningless, if we do not impose certificates, too, she explains.

Jutt Furlan added that the government's job-retention grants had made it possible for hotels to keep doing business and keep their workers during the lockdown.

She says that that during the last summer season, Zagreb hotels fared well, explaining that a good summer season along the coast also means a good summer season for Zagreb.

For more on lifestyle, follow TCN's dedicated page.

For more about Croatia, CLICK HERE.

Saturday, 4 December 2021

Croatia’s Coronavirus Update: 4,465 New Cases, 54 Deaths, 4,712 Recoveries

ZAGREB, 4 Dec, 2021 - In the last 24 hours, 11,717 coronavirus tests have been conducted in Croatia and of them, 38% (4,465) have returned positive, whereas another 54 COVID patients have died, bringing the COVID-related death toll to 11,150, the national COVID-19 crisis management team reported on Saturday.

Currently, there are 31,348 active cases, and of them 2,382 are receiving hospital treatment, including 317 patients on ventilators.

Since the first registered case of infection with the novel virus in Croatia on 25 February 2020, 628,241 persons have caught the virus and 585,743 of them have recovered from the infection, including 4,712 in the last 24 hours.

During the vaccine rollout, over 4.2 million doses against coronavirus have been administered. So far, 54.29 % of the total population have got at least a jab, or nearly 65% of adults.

Furthermore, 58.13% of adults have been fully vaccinated.

For more on COVID-19, follow TCN's dedicated page.

For more about Croatia, CLICK HERE.

Saturday, 4 December 2021

Two Men Reported by Police Over COVID Rally in Šibenik

ZAGREB, 4 Dec, 2021 - Two men, both aged 59, were reported by the police for having organised a COVID rally in Šibenik on 1 December in contravention with the law on public assembly.

The rally of opponents of COVID certificates and anti-vaccine advocates was held in the centre of this Croatian coastal city from 1700 to 2000 hours on 1 December contrary to the relevant law and no anti-epidemic rules had been taken during the gathering.

According to some media reports, the two organisers mobilised an estimated 100 protesters, including a column of several bikers, in Šibenik's central square.

Police investigating several persons suspected of inciting to terrorism

The Police Directorate in Zagreb said on Friday that the law enforcement and prosecutorial authorities were investigating a number of persons suspected of publicly inciting to terrorism.

The police are investigating "actions which incite to undermining Croatia's fundamental constitutional, political, economic or social structures by attacking the physical integrity of other persons and public buildings."

According to media reports, several persons have been arrested, including Marko Francišković and Natko Kovačević, members of an organisation called Pravednik (Righteous).

Francišković spoke at recent protests against COVID certificates in Zagreb and Šibenik.

The police said the investigation was being conducted in Zadar, Šibenik-Knin and Lika-Senj counties as well as in Zagreb and Bjelovar.

For more about Croatia, CLICK HERE.

Saturday, 4 December 2021

60k HRK in Menstrual Products in Šibenik-Knin County, 400 Students in Need

December 4, 2021 - About HRK 60,000 has been secured for menstrual products in Šibenik-Knin County as 400 students are in need. 

Šibenik-Knin County will provide about 60 thousand kuna for menstrual products for high school students. This was confirmed at a lecture and panel discussion on 'Menstrual Poverty' at the Arsen House of Art in Šibenik, organized by the Šibenik Youth Association, with the support of Kolektiv 4B, Fotopoetika, and attended by Šibenik-Knin Deputy Prefect Iris Ukic Kotarac. At the very beginning, the Š.U.M initiative was supported by numerous other associations, organizations, and individuals from the City of Šibenik area reports Dalmatinski Portal

About 400 students in need

A lecture preceded the panel discussion by pedagogue, sociologist, and activist of the Šibenik Youth Association Maja Šintić on menstrual poverty, which presented the results of the Pariter research from Rijeka conducted at the national level and research conducted in Šibenik-Knin County.

"After surveying a sample of female students, we found that 8% of them often or sometimes cannot afford menstrual supplies. This is an estimate of about 400 students who often or sometimes do not have enough funds for menstrual needs, that is, to meet basic needs. That is why we have launched an initiative for schools to take on the role of protective factors, following the example of other environments and since female students spend significant time in school. Šibenik-Knin County reacted immediately by approving the purchase of free supplies for school toilets, and we hope that other founders will follow this example," summed up Šintić.

Tara Šolić of the Šibenik School of Tourism and Hospitality Management actively participated in the research.

"This, let’s call it a movement, I find necessary because, although maybe these percentages of girls who need menstrual supplies seem small, these are significant numbers because that’s a basic human need for us women. And I feel stigma when I tell a physical education teacher that I wouldn’t do physical activities because I have my period, and it hurts. And I feel injustice because I have to ask the doctor for an excuse because I didn’t do physical education. So I consider this topic important because in 2021, we have these problems, and I think it is high time to treat girls and women equally," said Tara at a panel discussion attended by Deputy Mayor Iris Ukić Kotarac and director of Elementary schools Meterize Margit Vrbičić.

First and foremost - lower taxes

The panel discussion raised the issue of civic education in schools, teaching in schools, and the culture of behavior, all to implement the introduction of hygiene / menstrual needs in educational institutions. But, of course, it was also about the 25 percent VAT that women pay to the state treasury by buying the basic things they need from month to month. The Croatian Parliament refused to reduce it, and the fight goes on.

Pariter has launched a petition to reduce VAT from 25% to 5% at the national level, which anyone can sign here.

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

Saturday, 4 December 2021

2022 Sunčani Hvar Season Preparations Underway, 500 Seasonal Workers Needed

December 4, 2021 - The 2022 Sunčani Hvar season preparations are already underway, as the famous hotel group launches their recruiting program for the next season.

Next season, Sunčani Hvar will employ 500 seasonal workers as waiters, receptionists, chefs, assistant chefs, bartenders, and maids. In addition to several various benefits, this year, they also guarantee each employee a minimum salary of HRK 5,500 net, and during the high season, HRK 6,500 net, reports HRTurizam.

In recent years, Sunčani Hvar has been investing heavily in raising workers' living standards. Special attention is paid to the quality of accommodation units and common rooms to have comfortable and pleasant living conditions while working. In addition, employees are provided with accommodation in double rooms in attractive locations by the sea, free Wi-Fi, hot meals, and various education and training programs with stimulating monthly bonuses, Christmas bonuses, and more, according to Sunčani Hvar.

Their human resources development strategy stems from its focus on sustainable long-term development. It continuously invests in human resources - improving conditions and ensuring stability for seasonal workers through permanent seasonal contracts and opening opportunities for permanent employment and career building. This year, Sunčani Hvar is hiring 20 workers permanently.

"Sunčani Hvar bases its success on highly motivated and productive human resources. Every year we work to improve material conditions, provide better accommodation and food, and financial stability for our seasonal workers. In principle, most seasonal workers return, recognizing Sunčani as a desirable employer. On the other hand, the possibility to advance and permanent employment are extremely motivating factors for those individuals who want to develop a career in tourism," said Director of Human Resources Blaženka Tomičić, adding that new programs and plans for recruiting seasonal workers are developed every year.

Thus, the ‘Recommend a Friend’ Campaign, launched several years ago, is recognized by employees who actively participate in the selection process and offers everyone financial incentives for each recommended worker. More information about open positions and job applications in Sunčani Hvar can be found HERE.

Next year, another newly renovated hotel will grace the center of Hvar - boutique hotel Riva Marina, an exclusive 4-star hotel, also part of Sunčani Hvar.

Sunčani Hvar is the leading hotel company on the island of Hvar and also one of the largest hotel houses in Croatia. As a leader in quality and innovation in the hotel industry, it owns ten hotels and one campsite located in the most attractive locations in Hvar.

Hvar as a destination also won the title of the best island in Europe for the second time, according to the prestigious magazine Condé Nast Traveler, thus reaffirming its position as one of the most desirable destinations in the world.

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

Saturday, 4 December 2021

New Ryanair Summer Lines from Zagreb, Rijeka, and Zadar in 2022

December 4, 2021 - The latest flight news to Croatia as new Ryanair summer lines from Zagreb, Rijeka, and Zadar have been announced for next year, which are interesting for both tourists and Croatian travelers. 

Irish low-cost carrier Ryanair announces new routes for the 2022 summer flight schedule from three Croatian airports - Rijeka, Zagreb, and Zadar, reports Croatian Aviation and Ex Yu Aviation

From Zagreb to:

Bratislava, twice a week, from March 27, 2022, every Wednesday and Sunday, until October 26 next year. There have been no regular lines between the two cities so far.

Corfu, twice a week, from June 4, 2022, every Tuesday and Saturday, until September 27 next year.

So far, there has been no regular line from Zagreb to Corfu. This line will certainly be attractive in the summer, given that an increasing number of Croatian citizens go on summer vacation to Greece. Along with Thessaloniki, Corfu is Ryanair's second destination from Zagreb to Greece.

From Rijeka to:

Stockholm (Arlanda), twice a week, from March 27, 2022, Thursdays and Sundays, to October 27 next year.

Ryanair has operated between the two cities in previous years, but from Skvasta Airport, which is dislocated from Stockholm, so the change in operations in Arland is very positive news for all passengers on this line. This is the third announced Ryanair route for next year from Rijeka, with the addition of lines to Brussels and London.

From Zadar to:

Sofia twice a week, from March 27, 2022, Wednesdays and Sundays, to October 26 next year.

Helsinki, twice a week, from June 3, 2022, Mondays and Fridays, to September 30 next year.

The new additions bring Ryanair’s total number of destinations out of Zagreb to 26, far more than national carrier Croatia Airlines, reports Ex Yu Aviation.

“Ryanair has added 24 routes out of Zagreb, while Croatia Airlines has introduced three in the past three years and been the beneficiary of twelve million euros in state aid. We, on the other hand, receive no subsidies from the government. Croatia Airlines is a distinguished carrier, but it has lost touch with the development of air travel in Croatia, particularly from Zagreb. We do not see them as a competitor because even on the routes we both operate on, we fly to different airports. Ryanair will change travel habits in Zagreb and encourage locals to travel more by air," said Ryanair CEO Michael O’Leary on Croatia Airlines’ slow development out of Zagreb before these new lines were announced. 

For more on flights to Croatia and other travel announcements, make sure to check out our dedicated travel section.

Saturday, 4 December 2021

Rimac Bugatti Takeover is Historic for International Image of Croatia

December the 4th, 2021 - The Rimac Bugatti takeover is an absolutely historic event for the Republic of Croatia in terms of placing the country best known for tourism, football and little else on the global business map.

As Poslovni Dnevnik/Zoran Vitas writes, it goes without saying that the Rimac Bugatti takeover is an enormous deal for Croatian business and entrepreneurship. Until just a few years ago, Mate Rimac himself wasn't sure of the fate of his company, and look at him now.

“I'm honoured to be able to lead a new company that joins the forces of the two brands and begin what will be a successful, revolutionary and exciting new chapter for all involved. I'm very curious to see the impact that Bugatti Rimac will have on the industry and I'm looking forward to developing innovative new hypercars and technologies. It's difficult to find a better combination than Rimac and Bugatti. What each side brings in terms of technical expertise, knowledge and history of car development is a perfect recipe. The agility and innovation of Rimac Automobili is the perfect complement to Bugatti's history in designing and manufacturing hypercars that set new standards. We've already started developing new models that we can't wait to present to the public when the time is right,'' said Mate Rimac about the creation of the new company.

It was an important part of Prime Minister Andrej Plenkovic's presentation to French President Emmanuel Macron during his visit to Zagreb last week and today, Rimac is a Croatian model for the rest of the world. As he should be. His personal philosophy is - if you can't be the best at something, then don't do it. Working with Porsche is multi-layered and demanding, as well as very ambitious, as well as dynamic. 

The Rimac Bugatti takeover is something for the history books, and it is high time Croatia had something to add to those which lies outside of the bounds of sportsmanship and tourism.

For more on Croatian entrepreneurs and Croatian companies, check out our dedicated business section.

Saturday, 4 December 2021

Huawei Technologies Donates 100 Tablets to Croatian School Children

December the 4th, 2021 - Huawei Technologies, in cooperation with the Ministry of Science and Education and the Croatian Academic and Research Network - CARNET, has donated 100 tablets to Croatian school children. More specifically, the devices have gone to five primary schools located around Vukovar.

As Poslovni Dnevnik/Lucija Spiljak writes, this donation is part of the global donation project "1000 Dreams", which Huawei is implementing across Croatia for the third year in a row. It was launched here in Croatia on the basis of signed Memoranda of Understanding between this gigantic tech company and the Central State Office of the Government of the Republic of Croatia for the Development of the Digital Society from 2019.

As part of the “1000 Dreams” project back in 2019, 200 books, picture books and 200 educational toys of various kinds were donated to the users of the Zamisli (Imagine) association, while at the beginning of this year, 320 STEM books and 80 tablets were provided for primary schools in Glina, Petrinja and the surrounding areas.

"CARNET has been working for many years on the digital transformation of the educational system and the equipment of Croatian schools with modern technology through numerous projects. Therefore, we're very happy to respond to Huawei's invitation to participate in the ''1000 Dreams'' project, which will enable students and teachers to take advantage of the benefits of information and communication technology and gain new knowledge and skills,'' said Hrvoje Puljiz, Director of CARNET.

Representatives of Huawei visited schools and Croatian school children and handed over the tablets to the principals of the schools.

"Children and young people are the most important social group that we at Huawei are particularly focused on. We believe that in today's world, access to digital technology is a prerequisite for their development and we're extremely pleased that through such donations we can contribute to building a better future. In addition to raising the quality of teaching, we hope that our tablets will have a positive impact on directing young people towards the further discovery of modern digital technologies and opportunities that open up to us,'' added Kevin Zhang Qiming, the CEO of Huawei Technologies Croatia.

The "1000 Dreams" project is otherwise a five-year cooperation programme during which Huawei will continuously work to improve the digital skills of young people in Central and Eastern Europe and encourage them to find a passion for science and engage in research.

For more, check out our lifestyle section.

Saturday, 4 December 2021

Solin Company Include Begins Another Funderbeam Campaign

December the 4th, 2021 - The Solin company Include, headed by Ivan Mrvos, is turning towards the current global shortage of chips. In pursuing that goal, it has started another Funderbeam campaign.

As Poslovni Dnevnik/Ana Blaskovic writes, the Solin company Include, which is very well known for its smart benches, is launching a new Funderbeam campaign. With a more modest amount when compared to some of the previous ones, this time it aims at between 400,000 and 1 million euros of capital, but with a great ambition - to overcome the shortage of chips.

"Over the last two years, we've been working on developing new solutions so that the company can move away from the bench story in the direction of new products for cities to solve specific problems, from waste to air quality measurement," said Include's founder Ivan Mrvos, who at just 26 years of age has done more than most.

''With this round of funding, we aim to overcome the global challenges that everyone has, including that of chips. We'd ensure that we can make whole chip boards within our own production, which would allow us to buy from several sources, which would significantly speed up our production process,'' he said.

The Solin company Include currently has a “full order book until March” that includes more than a hundred products, smart benches and air quality metres. "It's about 300,000 euros worth of sold good, but they've not been delivered yet. Until then, the situation should stabilise so that we can create a stock of products, so that when customers order, we can deliver them in a few days,'' he explains. The latest Funderbeam campaign is their third in a row through that platform, and back in 2017 they became the first Croatian company on that platform.

In the year before the global coronavirus pandemic struck, they set a record for the largest Croatian campaign on that platform to date, with 1.5 million euros raised. The current round, a kind of ''pre-series B round'', is an overture to the large 5.5 million euro campaign planned for the end of 2022, about which they're already in contact with venture capital funds.

The condition for this is to scale production and revenue up to the desired 200,000 euros per month (from the current around 110,000), which opens the door for talks with larger funds, and potentially in the future is a step towards opening the doors of the United States. The Solin company Include entered the entrepreneurial scene with Steora smart benches, and at the end of 2020, it set out in the direction of solving some of the biggest global challenges we currently face.

In addition to the recently introduced Aerys air quality measurement stations, this includes Terra bins that reduce waste collection by 80 percent. Today, Include exports to 59 countries and more than 500 cities around the world.

“Since Funderbeam started, Ivan Mrvos was the first person that Ivana Gazic and I identified as a good young person for Funderbeam. This is our third campaign in just four years, and the company's valuation today stands at 17 million euros,'' said leading investor Ivana Soljan.

"Ivan has exceeded all my expectations these years. I think that Include is one of the future large companies in this area that will become a global company ", she added, and so far she has invested almost 200,000 euros in the company.

For more, check out Made in Croatia.

Saturday, 4 December 2021

OPG Kalic Goes Big with Croaticanna Bio Oil, Product Now on Shelves

December the 4th, 2021 - OPG Kalic could have easily remained just like any of the other very many family farms scattered across this country. Instead, he has gone big and its Croaticanna bio oil has become very popular indeed.

As Poslovni Dnevnik/Marta Duic writes, Zvonimir Kalic, a young farmer from Djakovo, took over his family farm a few years ago, and today it produces about 30 products based on hemp, which is grown across 20 hectares of land. After entering the Start Croatia project and following orders having come in from the Spar Croatia retail chain, 2,000 pieces of his Croaticanna bio oil, which is based on hemp, arrived to the shelves of Spar stores.

This entrepreneurial story started when the Kalic family, due to the illness of one of their family members, started the planned cultivation of hemp and seed production, and today four family members are involved in the business. Zvonimir later inherited the family farm, further educated himself and created Croaticanna bio oil, which is created by cold pressing hemp seeds.

From the start, they decided to head in the direction of organic production, and the quality of Croaticanna bio oil is confirmed by three certificates and a guarantee stamp - Living Healthy as an indicator of low salt and saturated fatty acids and Bio and Vegan labels.

''Although the yields in organic production are slightly lower, in the first year we had ten tonnes of seeds on only eight hectares of land and we were awarded for the highest ecological yield as a small family farm, which put a spring in our step and provided an incentive,'' Zvonimir explained.

Croaticanna products are obtained mainly by hand, and the mission of this young farmer is to keep the path "from the field to the table" as short as possible, guaranteeing a quality product that is not harmful to the environment.

As Kalic revealed, the processing plant is located in Vrpolje, on the property of his late grandfather, and their last investment was in equipping the plant. Their investments do not stop there either, and the next step is the purchase of tea processing machines, for which they plan to withdraw funds from EU funds. In addition to their popular Croaticanna bio oil, their range includes about 30 products, from flour, protein and seeds to tea and honey with hemp and cosmetics.

''This is the first major step out onto the market for us and we believe that our other products will be on the shelves of Spar Croatia in the near future. So far, we've had sales on the doorstep and we've also sold our products at events and fairs. In the first year of business, we visited a hundred Croatian cities and events, and thanks to the cooperation with the Croatian Chamber of Commerce we had the opportunity to present our business and products at fairs in foreign markets such as Germany and Hungary,'' says Kalic.

Kalic recognised the opportunity to improve his products through the “Start Croatia” project, launched by Spar Croatia and Nova TV to help innovative entrepreneurs and startups place their products on the shelves of large retail chains. In addition to the expert team of Spar Croatia, Kalic collected documentation and certificates for the environmental supervisory body and harmonised his OPG's production process with the very strict requirements to make such placement possible. As part of the project, Zvonimir is also fighting for the title of Hit Product in 2022, along with seven other candidates.

For more, check out Made in Croatia.

Page 2 of 3322