Tag Archives: croatia

Six Chinese policemen to patrol the streets of Croatia.

Yesterday morning, in front of St Blaise’s church in Dubrovnik and prior to the World Cup final where national teams of Croatia and France were to battle for the World Cup trophy, a ceremony took place whereby six Chinese policemen were incorporated into a project titled “Safe tourist season”

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This is the fist year that the Chinese policemen were to be shoulder to shoulder with their Croatian counterparts, making their presence known in three Croatian counties: Dubronik- Neretva, Zagreb and Lika-Senj, the last county being frequented by Chinese tourists because of Plitvice Lakes.

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The credit for the organization of this event goes to Intercon’s and DLT’s operation manager Kristian Vrbanić who acted in his capacity as a co – ordinator for the Chinese embassy. His excellency Hu Zhaoming, the ambassador of People’s Republic of China was present at the ceremony together with Dubrovnik’s mayor Mato Franković, Nikola Dobroslavić, Dubrovnik- Neretva Deputy Head and Frano Matušić, the secretary of state in the Ministry of Tourism

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The six Chinese policemen were welcomed by Dubrovnik’s police deputy commissioner Željko Prša who highlighted the fact that Croatia is the country with the rich tourist tradition and the tourism represents the pivotal part of the economic growth. Any country orientated towards its tourism industry sees safety as one of its important factors. As a result, Croatian police force took necessary steps to maintain a high degree of safety together with its foreign police forces representatives.

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It is also worth mentioning that the Chinese tourists’ visits to Croatia are following upward trends and the last year more than 100 000 Chinese tourists visited Croatia. With a prospect of a direct plane line to be established between Zagreb and Beijing and Dubrovnik and Beijing these figures are to grow considerably.

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Cook up experience starts from Croatia

Cook up is a new revolutionized cooking experience, a platform designed for the kitchen enthusiasts to share their experiences and equally aimed at those food lovers who want to indulge themselves in a gloriously prepared food. Based on the principles of cook, eat and share, the platform enables cook up chefs to prepare food, organize dining events or share knowledge thus making additional income. Equally, those interested in a quality prepared food are able to order food from cook up chefs, could eat at their place or could also hire a chef for special occasion. One can also make a social impact and help people affected by the world’s hunger problem by just using the app.

By using the blockchain, transparency , trust and inclusion are safeguarded enabling secure and automated transactions within the app through smart contract. Furthermore, chefs receive Chef tokens for their services which will be able to trade on exchanges or for that matter use within the app. All transactions of funds to charity organizations are carried out automatically through smart contract, making it fully transparent and free of banking fees. Almost two billion people without bank account can use the app. Also all user reviews will be written into the blockchain making them publicly available.

At the end of the day it is a very simple process for the world’s largest kitchen without the kitchen in a true sense of a world. By using your credit card, Ether ( ETH) or other crypto currencies you obtain a Chef token used for food ordering, video calls with Cook up chefs or for placing ads within application.

The team behind the Cook up project are the influencers from Mint Media Ltd, DLT’s long term partner.

Intercon proudly presents Mediterranean Yacht Agents

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Intercon, Dubrovnik’s travel and maritime agency has become the part of Mediterranean Yacht Agents’ network. Kristian Vrbanić, who represents Mediterranean Yacht Agents for Croatia has recently returned from the world famous Mediterranean & Adriatic Yachting Fair.

Q:Kristian, could you tell us your first impressions?

A:Well, I was surprised how little the area of the Adriatic is explored and therefore marketed among the yacht charter companies.

Q:Why do you think that is the case and do you believe that  this trend will change in the near future?

A:I believe that I can answer this second question. The world of the yacht charter is changing dramatically with the emergence of Porto Montenegro. May is the month of Cannes Film Festival and this is the time when Monaco shines. The mega yachts are emerging and after the festival are cruising towards Sicily. This is the crossroad, where they turn towards Turkey and Greece or they enter the Adriatic  at Porto Montenegro. Porto Montenegro is an appealing option as it offers tax free fuel and on the top of this Montenegro offers charter free contract if the passengers board then and there. This is where their Adriatic Yacht charter begins.

Q:And where does it take it from here?

A:From Porto Montenegro, they enter Croatia, Dubrovnik, Korcula, Vis, Hvar Split for a 10 day charter of they may continue all the way to Venice, for a fortnight charter exploring the beauty of Croatia’s 1000 islands.

Q:How about Turkey and Greece or Malta?

A:Unfortunately, it seems to me that due to the political situation, there will  be less traffic in these waters.

Please visit interon.hr for more info on your Adriatic yacht agent.

Star Wars Episode VIII film crew invades Dubrovnik

Star Wars Episode VIII film crew and actors have invaded the Old City of Dubrovnik. After successfully appearing in the Game of Thrones, Dubrovnik Old City’s main street Stradun has been transformed for the Star Wars Episode VIII movie set. This will significantly boost the city’s tourism industry which may  become new rising star of the film tourism industry. Great news for local businesses too so it was a great pleasure for my part that Intercon got involved with Disney production of the movie, catering for the transportation needs of film crew and actors alike.

Dubrovnik Old City’s unprecedented beauty and that of its surroundings are rather attracting for movie location hunters and this has even prompted the major of Dubrovnik to build a film studio. Does this mean that Dubrovnik is moving in the direction of Hollywood ? Could we possibly witness the sign resembling that of Hollywood seeing the day of light on Srdj Hill above Dubrovnik? Why not say I. Film industry is great for the luxury real estate business and perhaps this is just what Dubrovnik needs to improve further its status as the most luxury destination on the Adriatic coast.

And with the projects such as Gruz Marina, currently being undertaken and that of Golf Srdj Hill about to start, Dubrovnik is starting to resemble the European luxury destinations. What would be the icing on the cake for Dubrovnik’s  prosperity is the establishment of tax haven in the city itself. This in itself would bring the investments and would open a whole range of new opportunities.

How to improve the development of medical tourism in Dubrovnik, Croatia by Srđ Portolan

Srđ Portolan in his capacity as Intercon Dubrovnik Travel & Maritime Agency managing director has taken an example of Singapore as world’s most desired medical travel destination. The success of Singapore story lies in clinics’ investment into modern day medical equipment, highly skilled labor force and readiness of Singapore National Tourist Board to invest into this segment of tourism in the sense that it has recognized its added values as means of attracting health care clients.

Srđ Portolan continues to highlight the fact that it is the added value which counts in promoting a destination. Cultural heritage of Dubrovnik Old City coupled with the areas natural beauty represents the biggest value added asset that Croatia has to offer. On the other side, Srđ Portolan adds, Dubrovnik has a fair share of clinics and one stands out in particular. Marin Med clinic and Dubrovnik private hospital not only that it has the ultra modern technology but it has the world renown doctors especially in the field of plastic surgery, orthopedics, spine minimal invasive procedures as well as yet to be introduced bariatric surgery.

Marin Med Private hospital is a unique of its kind as it offers the luxury of seven specially designed apartments, two of which are equipped to cater for seriously ill patients.

Another issue which can facilitate the development of medical tourism as far as Croatia is concerned as an EU member country is more transparent and if somewhat encouraged implementation of the EU directive on cross border health care. Portolan sees this directive as more of a political rather than economical issue. The political party in power in the countries like UK cannot admit the fact that their national health care systems are over burdened and that sending patients to other EU countries private clinics could be potentially viable solution for the UK tax payers.

The coming into effective functioning of EU directive on cross border health care can significantly improve the figures of Dubrovnik and Croatia’s post and pre season revenues.

The impact of the refugee crisis on the state of Croatian Tourism industry sector by Srđ Portolan

Srđ Portolan gives us his account on the current Syrian refugee crisis and the plight of refugees from Irak and Afganistan. Srđ has twofold opinion on the current crisis. In Portolan’s view current recovery of the Croatian economy can hardly sustain the financial help which Croatia has offered to the passing refugees. Furthermore, Srđ Portolan stresses out that the Croats have a big heart and have shown an impressive deal of empathy towards the refugees. Srđ has also expressed his concern about the final destination of the river of refugees: Germany. Portolan has posed an interesting question; Would the arrival of refugees put a burden on the German economy and would Germans keep returning to Croatia for their holidays or would they opt out for cheaper destinations within Spain?

Srđ Portolan believes it, all be it well, that the strongest market of them all is not in the slightest affected by the refugee crisis, that of the UK and he has shared a great deal of optimism that the current redevelopment of both Zagreb and Dubrovnik airports will contribute to the higher influx of American tourists. What Srđ sees as a potential crisis are not Syrian refugees but the potential competition war between Istria and Dubrovnik region. Istria does have 18 hole golf course which is imperative attraction for American tourists while Dubrovnik is impatiently waiting for the realization of Dubrovnik Srđ golf project. Rovinj, a picturesque Istrian town has branded itself like a must visit snapshot destination within Croatia while Dubrovnik had a great strike of luck thanks to the HBO’s The Game of Thrones serial.

As one can well perceive, Srđ Portolan, concludes it is not the impact of the refugee crisis that will influence the state of Croatian tourism, but the actual offer of the destinations within Croatia where Dubrovnik is showing sluggish improvements in the terms of the quality what it has to offer.

Luxury villas vs Luxury yachts

 

For some the world of luxury often gives out a sense of snottiness. It need not be. Google trends is this amazing mechanism showing the importance of certain key words popularity which is the most useful tool when you set out to choose your blog post topic. In a way, it does help out your website page optimization.

To the extent, I was amazed to learn that luxury villas are trending as Villa Sheherezadehigh as three times better than luxury yachts. This phenomenon known already to countries such as Portugal, Spain and France is spearheading faster than expected in Croatia as well. An exceptional few can call themselves villas in a true sense of a word and they are mainly constructed in the last century. However, the remaining summer residence houses have views to die for and a large number of them are ever so close to the sea. Price wise these summer residence houses represent a true value for money as during the peak season they go at tops Eur 1500 for a day for a five double bedroom, en suite bathroom house.

The yachts remain a true part of the luxury world. For instance, Sunseeker Camargue 50, cosy array of luxury to cruise the Adriatic, Sunseeker Camargue 50sleeps 6 people and has a early bird booking price of Eur 1600 per day, depending on the availability and time of the year. The fuel is never included in the price of the charter but then again if you are to have this amazing exploration cruise of the Adriatic, then you are not going to look after your pennies because simply it is priceless. You have to live this experience to believe it. For more info on early bird yacht charters e-mail our team Kristian or Darijan to get more information.

Hopes for 2015 for Dubrovnik tourism industry

The new sunny day is here, the boreas wind is gone and great hopes for the luxury segment of Dubrovnik tourism industry are ahead of us. What Dubrovnik needs is to enter the new era of investments in this sector. The great news is that Sheraton chain is entering the market but in order to attract the guests with the deeper pockets, more needs to be done to improve Dubrovnik’s tourism offer. Yacht moored near DubrovnikProject Golf Dubrovnik promises to do so as we have discussed it in our earlier posts. However, the much anticipated change needs to happen in the nautical sector where mega yachts need to be offered the adequate facilities for mooring in the Gruz marina. This part of the Mediterranean is not frequented by mega yachts for the lack of information captains receive but then again for the lack of facilities. We do not have Porto Montenegro here in Dubrovnik, such project would be the next yachting stop for all those yachts whose first port of call is Montenegro.

But what would happen in the longer run is that the building of a marina for mega yachts would keep the former moored there during Dubrovnik from birds eyethe winter time, this would create jobs for the local industries at the time when Croatian economy performance indicators are gloom for the year 2015.

When I spoke to a owner of a Turkish luxury chain of hotels, he could not believe it the sluggish reaction of the Croatian government when it came to attracting new investments in the tourism sector. He told me that Turkish government would do almost everything to grant building permissions to serious investors, in certain cases the land is offered free in exchange for employment quotas. I wonder would this be the case here in Croatia. Having read that the Croatian ministry of employment urgently needs more than 300,00 workforce to sustain the pension system, perhaps the answer lies in the government measures of this kind that is of course if they are approved by Bruxselles.

The author of this article is Srdj Portolan, a founding member of Intercon Group of Companies, a board director at Spes Real Estate and Dubrovnik Luxury Travel.

The luxury round up of 2014 in Dubrovnik and Croatia

2014 has been yet another successful year in the Croatian tourism industry and once again the Croatian tourism has been a shining star of the Croatian economy. Dubrovnik has performed rather well thanks to the influx of tourists from Great Britain and the Far East, in particular from South Korea. Apart from the fact that Dubrovnik is on everyone’s must see list because of its astounding beauty, it is amazing to learn the fact that the filming of Game of Thrones in the city is also to”blame” for the increase in popularity of this unique city.Game of Thrones film location

As for the luxury segment of the market the new trends contributed to this sector’s good performance, particularly villa rentals. I am extremely glad that this trend is rising and more and more quality villas both in design and decor are being built. This trend has complemented the increase in yacht charters and exclusive private excursions.

The Russian political crisis has partly this season affected Dubrovnik and Istria’s luxury markets but not to the extent of 2013 when some of the Istrian top luxury hotels were half empty during the peak season. Also, Croatia’s joining the EU has to my disappointment shut its door to the Turkish market due to the visa regime. Well, I have also heard this silly unbelievable story that if you are from Dubai and you are willing to come to this beautiful country of ours that you need to apply for your visa in Cairo, Egypt as Croatia does not have a consulate in Dubai.

However, I would like to end this post on the positive note and as I write these sentences, boreas is blowing the sunny streets of Dubrovnik and I am getting warmed up for the celebration of the stradun dubrovniknew 2015 in the most stunning open stage in the whole of the world; Stradun.

Forget Times Square, Trafalgar Square,Red Square, come to Stradun and shout Celebrations after all Let’s celebrate and have a good time!!!

The author of this article is Srđ Portolan, a founding member of Intercon Group of Companies, a board director at Spes Real Estate and Dubrovnik Luxury Travel.

Dubrovnik and its future perspective in tourism industry.

Before I embark on writing these lines I would to point out that by no means am I an expert in the field that is to say that I hold no masters degree in tourism management. What I do have is first class information, gathered through association with people who work in Dubrovnik tourism industry, present and those who have done so for the past 30 years.

The so called new economy has developed at the speed of light, accompanied with the new technologies and the internet has made the planet Earth a rather small globe.

As the author of these lines, throughout my life, I have lived in London, Barcelona, Aix en Provence and Moscow at the end of the last century. Every time when I was asked where did I come from and when I answered Croatia what would follow would be that famous question which would resonate for me in the annoying way : “where was that?”. On the contrary, when the answer was Dubrovnik what would follow were the nods of approval and smiles on people’s faces with that famous sentence.” Oh I was there”, “Beautiful city”. Say noDubrovnik Old City Carmen more I thought to myself as I was admiring the power of panel advertising on London Underground tube stations. Only these days at the beginning of the 21 century there are millions of Dubrovnik panels on the internet and with direct channels of selling planes, hotels, villas for holidays, the scopes are enormous up to the point that the people as far as Brazil jump on their planes and come holidaying to Croatia and Dubrovnik.

The opinion of the locals regarding the future of their city is divided. While some recognize the need for progress and see imminent the construction of new five star hotels, real estate villas and apartments others strongly oppose it. A typical example was a golf project on Srdj Hill overlooking Dubrovnik when the calls were being made that this was an eco genocide which had the makings of a luxury villa real estate project. For all I know the owners of the “pastures” were paid promptly, in other words someone invested their time and money and personal reputation not only to earn money but to bring money to Dubrovnik. Golfers are people with huge disposable income and they choose to stay in modern urban accommodation. Now when I think that there are only six golf courses in the whole of Croatia and four of them are in Istria my maths is telling me that we are lagging behind. Golfers are also highly educated business people and they more often than not choose to host their incentives and business conferences in places where they can play golf. I am not a member of golf lobby but I just follow the logic that arrival of rich clients would make space for quality content in the Old City. Think of all high quality restaurants, Dubrovnik Old City St Mary'sart galleries, clothes boutiques, jobs in the construction industry, jobs in the service industry. And let me get this straight to you. If anything we need high quality real estate projects if we are to sustain the development of our tourism industry in the future. As I have outlined above, times have changed. With the arrival of globalization and new technologies the competition has increased and people with high disposable income got used to being “pampered” around the globe. So even if they are to fall in love with views over the island of Lokrum and the Old city while they are staying in the hotels such as Excelsior, Argentina or villas such as Victoria, Agave, Glavic,Dubrovnik and Sheherezade these rich clients cannot purchase a modern urban villa so that they can repeatedly return to Dubrovnik and Croatia.

Dubrovnik Luxury Travel  has teamed up with Spes Estate, Dubrovnik’s most reputable real estate agency.

Srđ Portolan, DLT’s member of the management board has signed business co-operation agreement with Mr Frano Bezić of Spes Estate Dubrovnik. Mr Bezić stressed out that luxury travel and real estate go hand in hand as they complement each other. Clients arriving to view houses on sale and apartments on sale in Dubrovnik are serviced by the likes of Dubrovnik Luxury Travel and vice versa. Currently there is a huge land development in Dubrovnik’s most favourite quarter Ploce on sale, 52 000 m2 with planned construction of modern day villas. Mr Bezic stressed out that among luxury travel holidaymakers there are always successful businesspeople, potential real estate buyers and investors alike.