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Croatian National Tourist Board to Pay 8 Million Kuna for New Portal
Izvor:  Total Croatia News
Srijeda, 22 Siječanj 2020 01:06

Omiš, Croatia

As Poslovni Dnevnik/Marija Crnjak writes on the 21st of January, 2020, the Croatian National Tourist Board (HTZ) expects the new portal to be positioned as a central place for the inspiration of its users in the decision-making process when it comes to choosing a holiday in Croatia.

The Croatian National Tourist Board has announced a tender for the creation of a new tourist information portal, Croatia.hr, as well as for the collection and management of databases necessary for the establishment of public e-services of the portal. The tender is being announced as part of the Croatian Digital Tourism (Hrvatski digitalni turizam) project, which is an EU project, managed by the Ministry of Tourism, and the total value of this procurement is 8 million kuna.

As the Croatian National Tourist Board explained, the project is funded by two European Union funds, namely the European Regional Development Fund and the European Social Fund, and they play the role of project partner.

The e-tourism project envisages the development and improvement of five public e-services, which will be completed by the end of this year, which will integrate the procedures of several public administration bodies into an integrated state information system. These are the Central tourist register, the e-Visitor guest check-in and check-out system, the Croatia.hr platform, and e-services for both administrative and non-administrative procedures.

''There are two components to the Croatian National Tourist Board, the upgrading of the eVisitor system and the creation of a new Croatia.hr web portal, which will integrate the complete Croatian tourist offer in the future. Accordingly, the procurement process was initiated, the subject of which is the procurement of website services for the tourist information system and the establishment of an IT system, the management of databases necessary for the establishment of public e-services, and the tourist information portal,'' the Croatian National Tourist Board explained.

The goal of the new portal is to connect all tourist boards into one system, so that each destination and tourist board will have its own promotion space on the national website, or on its subdomains. It is also expected to increase page traffic, have better SEO and page ranking and strengthen brand identity.

When it comes to technical features, the new portal needs to be supported through a user-friendly and efficient CMS with different administrative rights and responsibilities.

As explained in the tender documentation, the Croatia.hr pages must be made in accordance with all the latest technological solutions and requirements, responsive to display on all devices, multilingual, capable of commenting and sharing content on all platforms, and should be able to connect with different systems such as the Central tourist register and eVisitor.

Make sure to follow our dedicated lifestyle page for more.


Chinese Have Completed More Than Third of Works on Peljesac Bridge
Izvor:  Total Croatia News
Srijeda, 22 Siječanj 2020 01:04

Chinese Have Completed More Than Third of Works on Peljesac Bridge

As Morski writes on the 21st of January, 2020, the Chinese were introduced into the construction of the long awaited Peljesac bridge back at the end of July 2018, and the total value of the works carried out so far, according to Croatian Roads (Hrvatske ceste), stands at 619.9 million kuna.

This means that more than a third of the planned works have already been done on the future bridge in Dalmatia, since the total contracted price of its construction is 2.08 billion kuna, according to a report from Vecernji list.

China Road and Bridge Corporation (CRBC), the Chinese company contracted to build Peljesac bridge, has committed to construct the bridge within three years of the launch of the works, which means by the end of July 2021. The first contingent of segments of the steel span structure of Peljesac bridge will apparently start moving from two plants in China over to Croatia at the end of this week.

Croatian Roads says they have received confirmation from CRBC that the first 29 segments of the span structure will head to the construction site of the bridge on January the 25th, on Chinese New Year. It is foreseen that ships with construction material will travel to Croatia for a maximum of 35 days, but it is expected that they will arrive at the construction site as soon as possible. Thus, it is anticipated that the first segments of the span structure will be delivered during the second half of February.

There are currently 629 workers at the Peljesac bridge construction site, of which 132 are technical and support staff, and the rest are machinists and sailors on board ships, as well as machinery. Currently, 21 vessels are being used for the construction of the bridge, namely cranes, barges for the carriage of structural members, ferries, tugboats and of course personnel ships carrying staff members.

As for the construction of access roads, more specifically the Duboka - Sparagovici/Zaradeze section, the contractor of which is Austria's Strabag, things finally got moving on the 13th of November 2019. According to Croatian Roads, the project documentation, location and building permit have all been formally submitted to the contractor, and they have submitted the timetable for the work under review for approval. By the end of December 2019, Strabag had begun organising construction sites, clearing the routes and will begin with more serious construction work this month.

Greece's Avax, however, got the green light for the construction of the Ston bypass, the Sparagovici/Zaradeze - Prapratno and Prapratno - Doli subdivisions, and it was put into operation on the 5th of December last year. Avax has also officially submitted project documentation, location and building permits, and the company has submitted a timetable for the works, which is currently under review by representatives of engineers and Croatian Roads. Avax started organising the construction site by the end of December 2019, and this month they'll also begin with preparatory work.

Make sure to follow our dedicated lifestyle page for more on Peljesac bridge.


Vincekovo celebration in Croatia on 22 Jan
Izvor:  Croatia Week
Utorak, 21 Siječanj 2020 23:44

Vincekovo (Photo credit: Daruvar Tourist Board)

ZAGREB, 21 January 2020 – Along with the famous Martinje in November which is a symbol of the end of the wine making year, Vincekovo, traditionally celebrated in northern Croatia, is the biggest folk custom that commemorates the opening of the new year of winegrowing and celebrates the blessing of the vineyards.

January 22nd is Saint Vincent’s day, and this Saint has long been celebrated as a patron of wine growers, wine makers, and wine tradesmen from Portugal and Spain to Croatia.

“Regardless of the weather, the vineyard owner comes to the vine, cuts three twigs with three buds, which are then put into the house in a pot of water by the window. When the buds start to open, guesses are made about what kind of wine year might be. The vines from which the twigs were cut off are then sprinkled with rite – “baptized” with old wine and decorated with smoked sausages, bacon and dried ribs, symbolizing the desire for fertility and good yield. According to folk tradition, everything is accompanied by song and gig, tasting old and young wine and delicious home-made snacks,” Sve o svemu writes.

(Photo credit: Sve o svemu)

“Having recently visited Medjimurje, I am particularly interested in the Vincekovo customs taking place in the Croatian Uplands,� said Mirena Bagur, co-founder of Croatian Premium Wine Imports, Inc., Boston, US. “I love the symbolism of decorating the vines with dried meat and sausages as a way to empower the grape clusters to grow to that size in the new wine year. These may be simply folk tales, but they are certainly fun. Particularly when accompanied with veselica.� (party with music).

For those in the US interested in holding a St. Vincent celebration, you’ll need to get some wine twigs as well as preferably Croatian wine to bless the vineyards. Visit Croatian Premium Wine Imports with a current inventory of wines from Dalmatia, and with the process in motion to bring in new wines in the coming year. Živjeli!


Croatia Bus Split to Zagreb Gets Lost: Takes Four Hour Detour
Izvor:  Total Croatia News
Utorak, 21 Siječanj 2020 22:40

Croatia Bus Split to Zagreb Gets Lost

We’ll never get there! Due to a detour, an early morning Croatia Bus from Split to Zagreb went astray yesterday, and passengers were on the edge of their nerves. “We've gotten lost ten times, and I'm afraid we will end up in the sea!� one passenger reported from the lost vehicle.

“It is 9:40, and we should have arrived at our destination by now, but we are 300 kilometers from Zagreb. Your drivers demonstrate an inadequate, irresponsible and disinterested approach to their jobs. Worst of all, they don't even help each other solve problems. We’ve gotten lost at least ten times so far!â€� 

croatia_bus_split_zagreb_02.jpg

Tell us where and who you want to travel with! | Croatia Bus

Angry Croatia Bus Passenger Gave Location Updates

The angry passenger, one of many who was extremely late to his destination, wrote to the management of Croatia Bus. He left yesterday morning at 4:30am on the bus from Split to Zagreb, and as things stood at 9:40am, they would not arrive until 1pm, according to Slobodna Dalmacija on January 20, 2020.

The Croatia Bus drivers were forced to take a detour due to the bora (extremely high Adriatic coastal wind), which closed the section of the A1 motorway between Posedarje and Sveti Rok for all vehicles except passenger cars. All others, including buses, were diverted to state roads via Gra�ac, Obrovac and Karin.

Maslenica Bridge Closed 10 Cumulative Months Since 2008

TCN has written about the frequent closures of this section of the A1 motorway due to high winds, which frequently make crossing the Maslenica Bridge unsafe for most, if not all vehicles. This section of motorway, which includes the Maslenica Bridge, has been closed for 10 cumulative months since 2008 due to unsafe winds.

“As Sveti Rok tunnel was closed, we exited the motorway and the drivers veered onto the Adriatic highway towards Karlobag. We almost reached Sveta Marija Magdalena! There, the drivers turned back after they were informed that the road was closed. We've turned around, and what do you think happened next?� wrote the dumbfounded passenger.

croatia_bus_split_zagreb_03.jpg

Posedarije - Crvka Sveta Marija Magdelena - Skradin - Karin - Gra�ac | Four Hour Detour Route

After Heading Toward Karlobag, Croatia Bus Goes to Skradin

“To Skradin, yes, you heard right - Skradin just above Šibenik, and 90 kilometers from Split, our departure station. Now we're finally driving to Zagreb, and we're around Karin. There is a lot more I could write, but I'm afraid we’ll get lost again, I don't know which way we could go next time, maybe we’ll end up overseas,� seethed the furious passenger.

His story was confirmed to at the traffic office of Croatia Bus later that morning. At that time, they verified that the bus was somewhere around GraÄ�ac, which was 250 kilometers away from Zagreb. The Croatia Bus official acknowledged to that the drivers couldn’t find their bearings after being sent off on a detour before Sveti Rok tunnel, so they went the wrong direction (several times).

Croatia Bus was asked if passengers, many of whom certainly had to be in Zagreb yesterday morning due to urgent obligations, would be compensated. Who else would take a bus at 4:30 in the morning? An employee of Croatia Bus recommended contacting their legal team. 

Follow our Travel page to keep track of lost buses and road closures. 


Digital Laboratory Opened at National and University Library
Izvor:  Total Croatia News
Utorak, 21 Siječanj 2020 20:39

Digital Laboratory Opened at National and University Library

January 21, 2020 - National and University Library in Zagreb is often found in the news these days: in addition to it being the headquarters of the Croatian EU Presidency, today a new Digital Laboratory was opened there.

The idea is for it to be the centre of the digital revolution in the Croatian libraries, and during the opening ceremony, a new mobile application called Smart Library was presented, which serves as a smart guide through the library area. The Digital Laboratory is located in a part of the library dedicated exclusively to it, and it was originally founded in 2019 to help the citizens find the creative use of the digital technologies and digital content of the library. Tatijana Petrić, the Director-General of the Library said that they've been working on the projects of the digitalisation for a while and that the establishment of the Digital Laboratory is just another of the steps towards further opening of the Library to the needs of the modern user. The libraries remain the important cell of the development of the modern society of the 21st century if they manage to bridge the digital void. This project is based on the numerous examples of the library laboratories from Europe and the world, including the Library of Congress in Washington, British National Library, Harvard University Library and many others. Petrić highlighted the experiences of the first Digital Laboratory in Croatia, founded by the Rijeka Library, tportal writes.

Dragana Koljenik, the manager of the Digital Laboratory said that its opening is the culmination of the enthusiasm of mostly young people who work at the Library, who invested their skill, energy and time into the idea for a year. Koljenik added that they wanted to develop in various directions while showing that their capital is different than what can be bought and sold on the market, but equally important in a balanced society. The Laboratory operates on three basic levels: as a service, educational and developmental. That means that it offers services such as 3D printing to its users, education, workshops and lectures, using the computer equipment to study or create something.

The Smart Library project is the mobile application for the library's users, which serves as a prototype of the application of the IoT technologies within a library. The idea of the project is to create the basis for the development of a smart library. The application contextualises the 36.5 thousand square meters of space within the Library and makes sense connecting the 22 locations with 22 services offered to their users.


Croatia Winter Finished According to Latest Weather Forecasts
Izvor:  Total Croatia News
Utorak, 21 Siječanj 2020 20:25

Croatia Winter Finished According to Latest Weather Forecasts

According to the most recent forecasts, Winter in Croatia is finished. In the current part of the climatological winter, which began on December 1, we have not yet had a single winter cyclone, and no significant snowfall, even in most of the higher elevations.

According to a report by DHMZ, measurable snow cover has been only recorded at 5 locations in Croatia as of this morning, the most of which was 5 centimeters in Zavižan, which will quickly melt, Istramet reports.

The lowlands of the interior of Croatia have recorded only a brief snowfall this winter, and central Istria has not even had any snow.

Croatia Temperatures Noticeably Above Average

In terms of temperature, we are well above average, especially in the highlands and the Adriatic. The plains of the interior of Croatia have been spared from temperature extremes by a prolonged inversion, but due to the more intense sun and wind, they will be even less frequent in the coming weeks.

Weekly Forecasts Indicate That Winter is Over

According to the ECMWF monthly forecast published on the EFFIS website today, winter in Europe is over.

Specifically, a positive temperature deviation is expected every week until March 1, which is the beginning of the climatological spring. The anticipated temperature deviations have been noticeable and the most evident in Russia, where the real winter breakthroughs are anticipated.

This is not to say that there won’t be any short-lived fronts or maybe cyclones which bring snow, but regarding big winter events, it seems that nothing significant will occur. This is further supported by the fact that less than average rainfall is predicted, which suggests the continued dominance of warm anticyclones, Istramet reports.

croatia_winter_finished_02.jpg

Darko Pribeg | Unsplash

What do long term forecasts say?

The Severe Weather Europe Service also announced yesterday what it expects to happen in February. They also predicted what spring might be like.

Given that high air pressure will remain over much of Europe and Asia, temperatures are expected to be above average for the season during February. This means that there is a greater likelihood that there won’t be any real winter weather over continental Europe. As Severe Weather Europe Service notes, there is always the possibility of a transitional cold pattern as a cold front could cross over Europe, but according to current forecast models there is very little likelihood of this. As we move into February, the polar vortex slowly loses its effect and any major change in dynamics, in terms of the arrival of cold fronts, would be too late to create a sustainable pattern of cold weather.

What kind of Spring is ahead of us?

According to ECMWF's Severe Weather Europe model; it has provided insight regarding what this year's spring in Europe might look like.

The ECMWF model suggests a spring pattern, which is like winter. High air pressure systems are evident in the North Pacific, Western Atlantic and Europe.

Taking the high air pressure into account for March, April and May; air temperatures are expected to be higher than average for this time of year in Europe and Asia.

As for precipitation, drier weather is expected in southern Europe, which correlates with higher air pressure. Continental Europe should experience average rainfall, which means that no long droughts are expected. Lower pressure over the Atlantic could lead to higher rainfall in Central and Northern Europe.

Zoran Vakula’s Long Term Weather Forecast

In an interview with Zoran Vakula of Slobodna Bosna, he revealed what to expect in the upcoming months.

"The data from DHMZ meteorological stations confirms that this winter so far is among the warmest, in many places on the Adriatic and in the highlands and among the 10 warmest in since the beginning of recorded weather measurements.�

“Even in long-term forecast calculations of most meteorological centers - there are no expected changes for the remainder of winter. For our part of Europe, it is still very likely that anticyclones - high-pressure fields with relatively frequent temperature inversions will be accompanied by the retention of relatively warm air in higher layers of the atmosphere, which will continue to be noticeable.�

“Therefore, it seems almost certain that the mean air temperature in the highlands and Adriatic will continue to be higher than the average, in many places considerably higher, while long-term fog and low retention clouds could ‘save’ lowlands from those above average highs. If this is the case, we will still have very little rainfall in the winter, but pollution in the lowlands could still be high. But I hope that we will still have some wind, which will make that impossible in the lowlands."

“Regarding summer, I do not have any long-term prognostic calculations, but according to what is available up to July – it is unlikely that there will be any long-term cool periods over the upcoming months in our part of Europe. Unless one arrives at the end of one month and lasts until the beginning of the following month, this isn’t evident in the calculations of the mean monthly air temperature, since periods with above average temperatures will likely prevail.�

“In contrast to this positive temperature deviation, precipitation forecasts are showing an increased likelihood of negative deviations, which are somewhat less than the perennial average. In short, it will be relatively warm and arid in the first part of 2020! But of course, this is what is most likely now, and is not certain. The prognosis is not the diagnosis.�

“With forecasts, it's important not to overlook the probabilities. Sometimes there is an occurrence for which the forecast probability had been low, or even minimal, such as May 2019, which was one of the coldest in known history, although at the end of that April it was only considered a low probability. As it turned out, last May was among the ten, or even four, coldest in most of Croatia,� Vakula points out.

Follow our Lifestyle page for updates on weather forecasts for 2020.


Croatian Startup DotMetrics to Provide Web Analytics for British Websites
Izvor:  Total Croatia News
Utorak, 21 Siječanj 2020 17:54

Croatian Startup DotMetrics to Provide Web Analytics for British Websites

ZAGREB, January 21, 2020 - DotMetrics, a Croatian startup, has become the official web analytics system for British websites, winning the tender advertised by UK Online Measurement Ltd. (UKOM), a company established by Britain's leading publishers and advertisers, announced the startup on Tuesday.

DotMetrics won the tender in cooperation with Ipsos, one of the leading providers of advanced market research expertise in the world, leaving behind some of the top players on the global market of data collection, such as the US company comScore, announced the startup. DotMetrics added that it is officially taking over on 1 January 2021, and that it has signed a 5-year contract.

The startup did not reveal the value of the contract but according to unofficial sources, the job will bring in €40 million in 5 years.

DotMetrics said that so far it had provided web analytics services for neighbouring countries and that this was their first job in the West European market, with the UK being a special challenge to Croatian analysts as it was the largest advertising market in Europe and the third largest advertising market in the world.

"The Internet is by far the most important advertising channel in the UK, and budget allocation depends on the high-quality data. Furthermore, Great Britain is the 'Champion's League' of Internet advertising," DotMetrics CEO Jan Jilek said, adding that winning the tender for such a contract was a matter of prestige and an excellent reference for the future.

On that note, the startup has already begun negotiations on entering other European markets. Jilek points out that Croatia will remain the DotMetrics' hub, and that it will perform the analytics from Zagreb, meaning that the number of employees will rise more than three-fold. The number of employees is expected to continue growing in the coming years.

DotMetrics is an originally Croatian methodology developed by the FistNet company and Ipsos Adria, and it gathers website traffic data by marking and storing the whole traffic of a particular website and connecting it to demographic data from surveys and basic research.

More IT industry news can be found in the Business section.


Plenković: Focus of Croatian EU Presidency to Be on SE Europe
Izvor:  Total Croatia News
Utorak, 21 Siječanj 2020 17:53

Plenković: Focus of Croatian EU Presidency to Be on SE Europe

ZAGREB, January 21, 2020 - Prime Minister Andrej Plenković said on Tuesday it was good that the focus of the Croatian EU presidency was on the countries of South-eastern Europe because the process of integration of these countries into the European Union was not a priority for the Union.

Plenković was speaking to Croatian reporters covering his attendance at the annual summit of the World Economic Forum in the Swiss ski resort of Davos. Together with leaders from Central and Eastern Europe, he participated in panels on diplomatic dialogue on the Western Balkans and on generating growth in Central and Eastern Europe, and held a number of bilateral meetings.

"I'm trying to calibrate the expectations of all our neighbours from the Croatian presidency of the EU this year because, realistically speaking, it is good that Croatia is putting the focus on the countries of South-eastern Europe given so many other important topics," Plenković said.

"If someone else was the president now, I doubt that this would be a topic, given Brexit and a new contractual relationship with the United Kingdom, a seven-year budget that is yet to be adopted, a conference on the future of Europe and the Green Deal package," he added.

Plenković said that the World Economic Forum was an excellent opportunity to talk to heads of state and government and leaders of international organisations, financial institutions and large companies that are interested in cooperation.

He said that during the EU presidency it was important to "dynamise relations between our neighbours and the European Union," expressing hope that the EU-Western Balkans Summit in Zagreb in May would be a success.

"There are quite great expectations from the Zagreb summit in May. It will be an opportunity, I hope, to unblock this situation with North Macedonia and Albania, take a step further and define the future relationship with all the countries in our neighbourhood in the next decade," the Croatian PM said.

More news about Croatia and the EU can be found in the Politics section.


Croatia Women's Water Polo Team Ends Euro 2020 with Best-Ever Placement
Izvor:  Total Croatia News
Utorak, 21 Siječanj 2020 17:33

Croatia Women's Water Polo Team Ends Euro 2020 with Best-Ever Placement

January 21, 2020 - The Croatia women’s water polo team ended their European Championship campaign in Budapest in 10th place. 

Namely, our women's side lost in the match for 9th place to Israel. 

This is the highest-ranking of the Croatia women’s team in competitions so far. Recall, in the previous two competitions (Belgrade 2016 and Barcelona 2018), they finished 11th place, and in Zagreb 2010, they finished 8th place, though there were only that many teams in the competition. 

Israel has made more progress in the last 3-4 years and proved it in the pool on Tuesday. Croatia even led the opening 10-12 minutes of the match, though to a minimum (1:0, 2:1, 3:2), which was followed by a series of Israel goals. By the end of the second quarter, Israel was up 3:7, and ended the game at 7:11.

The second quarter was decisive as Croatia allowed six goals and scored just two. The other quarters ended in a tie 11-7(1-1, 6-2, 2-2, 2-2).

Dina Lordan was the best for Croatia with two goals, while Emma Miljkovic, Ema Carevic, Matea Skelin, Domina Butic and Petra Bukic scored one each.

Croatian goalkeeper Aleksandra Ratkovic defended seven of 16 shots against Croatia's goal and Natasha Trojan Jimenez registered four defenses. Avelet Perese defended nine of 16 shots against Israel's door.

“At the end of the whole tournament for us, I can be relatively pleased. Six or seven national teams are substantially better than us in quality, Slovakia ran through us and we were not good there. We had a good start against Israel, and then we fell terribly,� water polo coach Marijo Ćaleta said.

“What we are missing is a larger number of players, a more modest choice purely quantitatively and this difference is visible,� he added.

The women’s team traveled back to Croatia after the match against Israel. 

Source: HVS

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


Australian Open: Karlovic becomes the oldest player to win a Slam match in 42 years
Izvor:  Croatia Week
Utorak, 21 Siječanj 2020 15:44

Ivo Karlovic (Photo: si.robi/CC)

MELBOURNE, 21 January 2020 – Veteran Croatian tennis player Ivo Karlovic continues to break records. 

Karlovic, who turns 41 next month, became the oldest player to win a match at a Grand Slam in 42 years. The 6 ft 11 in Croatian hit 14 aces on his way to defeating Canada’s Vasek Pospisil 7:6 (4), 6:4, 7:5 in the first round on Tuesday at the Australian Open. 

The last time a player over the age of 40 won a match at the Australian Open was Ken Rosewall back in 1978. Karlovic surpassed his own record as he was the last player over the age of 40 to win a match at a Grand Slam when he beat Thomas Fabbiano in the first round at Wimbledon last year. 

Karlovic will face France’s Gael Monfils in the second round on Thursday. 

The Croatian has broken a number of records during his lengthy career. He officially held the record for the fastest serve recorded in professional tennis, measured at 251 km/h (156 mph), before being surpassed by Samuel Groth in 2012. 

He also holds the all-time record for career aces and is one of only four players in history to surpass 10,000 aces and is the oldest ATP Challenger title winner in history. 


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