Friday Column - Croatia, The Week In Review 2
Today is the end of the second week of structured content on this site. On Monday we looked at one of our favourite destinations, Trogir. Tuesday’s tourism column focused on nautical tourism. On Wednesday, the Business Column gave a picture of foreign investment in Croatia and yesterday, in the Lifestyle column, we had a look at how Croatia accommodates dog and other pet owners. Nautical Tourism and Foreign Investment are big subjects that we’ll be expanding upon in future postings.
Next week we’ll be covering the following areas:
Monday – Destinations 3: The Island of Brac Part One
One of the most popular of the larger Croatian islands.
Tuesday – Tourism 3: Croatian Beaches
An overview of the variety of beaches and those that cater for special interests.
Wednesday - Business 3: The Shipbuilding Industry Part One
Thursday – Lifestyle 3: Media Entertainment
A look at television, radio, cinema, publications, etc
Friday – The Week in Review 3:
News, sport, comment and links of the week
1. Air Travel
We mentioned Wizzair in a previous posting and said they were now flying from Luton to Zagreb. From 1st May to 29th October they will be flying between Luton and Split three days a week.
2. EU Progress
The European Commission have recommended that Turkey and Croatia should start detailed accession discussions in the area of Science and Research. This is the least complex of all the possible chapters and the one with the least amount of common legislation. Education and culture is likely to be next. Croatia may not be too pleased to be linked so closely with Turkey in the talks, nor may it like the suggestion, from some quarters, that accession talks are likely to take a decade or more.
3. Superyachts in Croatia
A yachting tourism conference was held in Opatija, north Croatia, between 3rd and 5th February, consisting of around 50 delegates from the relevant government departments, and International Yachting Associations and Marinas. The main topic was Croatia’s new laws on chartering which effectively require all charter boats operating in Croatian waters to be registered under the Croatian Flag. The president of the European Commission for Professional Yachting, Thierry Voisin, felt that this expressly prevented Superyachts from visiting Croatia, even though the desire to do so was strong. Mario Babic, Assistant Minister for the Department of Sea, Transport, Tourism and Development said that the Croatian Government was considering the possibility of an amendment for Superyachts but a proposal would first have to come from the Croatian Chamber of Commerce.
4. Foreign Trade Deficit
Text of report in English by Croatian news agency HINA Zagreb, 5 February:
With imports outpacing exports, Croatia ended last year with a foreign trade deficit of USD 9.7 billion, and an import-export ratio of 47.5 per cent, according to preliminary figures supplied by the National Bureau of Statistics. Last year's exports totalled USD 8.8 billion, a 9.8 per cent increase from 2004, while imports rose by 11.8 per cent to USD 1.9 billion. As a result, the foreign trade deficit increased by USD 1.1 billion or 13.7 per cent from 2004. The overall foreign trade deficit of USD 9.7 billion thus exceeded the overall value of exports by USD 929 million. In 2004, exports calculated in US dollars rose by 29.7 per cent and imports by 16.7, and the import-export ratio was 48.4 per cent. Calculated in the domestic currency, the kuna, imports increased by 10.4 per cent to KN 110.4 billion, and last year's trade deficit reached KN 57.9 billion. The end of last year, however, saw more favourable trends in foreign trade, with an import-export ratio of 54.1 per cent in December.
Ivan Ljubicic won the Zagreb Indoor tournament and Croatia play Austria in the first round of the Davis Cup, starting on Saturday.
Websites Of The Week
The websites in our Links section are reviewed every week, as we find new sites of interest. My personal blogspot remains as the first link this week, so that those that want to, can find out a little more about me. The second link, the Croatian tourist board, stays for another week. The third and new link of the week, is a little tongue in cheek – a Eurovision Song Contest Site - specifically an article that suggests it’s more a forum for the Croatian National Tourist Board to get its message out than a musical contest! By the way, did you know that Croatia won the first ever Junior Eurovision Song Contest in 2003 with the song "Ti si moja prva ljubav" (you are my first love), sung by Dino Jelusic, with a total of 134 points.
I hope you have enjoyed this week’s content and thanks to those who have left their comments or contacted me directly. We’ll be launching the site properly in a few weeks time so any early comment will help to get the format right and ensure a balanced and informative site. Have a good weekend.