Wednesday, 20 March 2019

The volume of real estate transactions last year on the commercial real estate market in Croatia was €810 million, twice as much as in 2017, showed the latest analysis by the Croatian office of Colliers International, presented on Thursday, reports HINA.

The increase in real estate transactions is the result of a positive investor sentiment and attractive returns, and this year a similar investment volume is expected, mostly in the tourism sector and on the office space market, showed the analysis.

Colliers International, with headquarters in Canada, is a global real estate services and investment management organisation with offices in 69 countries.

This year, apart from expected investments in tourism and office space, new investments are also expected in the sector of commercial real estate, currently the least developed in the country – industrial and logistics real estate, said Colliers Croatia director, Vedrana Likan.

In 2018, demand was greatest in category A office space, as well as office space bigger than 500 square metres, while the average rent price for such a space ranged between €12 and €13 per square metre (not including VAT).

The tourism sector, specifically hotels and shopping centres, accounted for the largest portion of real estate transactions in 2018, of 42 percent and 47 percent (or €336 million and €378 million) respectively. As regards the origin of investment capital, in 2018 most of it came from South Africa, accounting for 39.7 percent of the total volume of investments.

2018 was a year to remember for the largest marina company in Croatia with recording breaking financial results. According to a statement from ACI, or Adriatic Croatia International, the huge financial gains last year were due to “a series of sales and investment activities meaning there was a significant increase in both total revenue and business revenue.”

Incredibly the company’s profits rose by a massive 54 percent in 2018 to a healthy 38.4 million Kuna. Total revenue increased by 7 percent when compared with 2017 and amounted to 216 million Kuna, whilst operating income increased by 11 percent to 210 million Kuna.

Almost of all the 22 marinas that ACI operates up and down the Croatian Adriatic coastline saw an increase in profits and an increase in interest from foreign sailors. The largest financial increase according to ACI were seen in Dubrovnik, Veljko Barbieri (Slano), Split and Korcula.

And ACI is looking to continue the rising interest for sailing in the Adriatic Sea and is set to invest in various projects this year. “In order to improve the quality of services, a number of smaller and larger investment investments will be carried out,” commented the company.

One half of the most musical duo in Croatia has been showing off his latest investment on social media. Stjepan Hauser, from the famous cello duo, took to Instagram to highlight his new luxury villa in his native Istria.

Hauser is clearly a fan of modern architecture as his new purpose-built home is far from being a traditional Istrian home.

With a swimming pool and beach volleyball court the three-storey villa is a well within walking distance on the Adriatic Sea. The 2Cellos are currently on a break from their US tour. 

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The expectations of hotel guests today are notably different from a decade ago. Concepts which would have seemed alien back in 2009/2010 are now considered as standard, with technological evolution adding an unprecedented level of personalisation to a guest’s stay. Everything from the colour of the room walls to the courses on offer on the menus can be adapted to a guest’s specifications and preferences. Indeed, some guests even forward suggested itineraries to hotels when making their booking, a level of customisation that would have seemed unthinkable not so long ago.

The value of customer reviews has grown enormously in recent years, with online feedback platforms providing future guests with unbiased opinions of a hotel’s best and worst features. Many hotels now offer instant feedback provision, so customers don’t even need to wait until they are checking out to make their feelings known. The delivery of ‘mood snaps’ to hotel management keeps them informed of guests’ morale and gives them the opportunity to respond to any aspects of the stay with which the guest is dissatisfied, therefore potentially turning a disappointing stay into a very worthwhile one.

Technologies such as these are still in their infancy, but over the next couple of years there is a strong chance that they will become commonplace in hotels. This infographic from Killarney Hotels in Ireland examines of the more contemporary features that guests will come to expect from hotels by 2020, with the quest for maximum customisation becoming even more advanced.

Who is the hotel guest of 2020 infographic

 

The access roads leading to the new Peljesac Bridge will be constructed by the Greek company J&P-Avax. The public company Croatia Roads announced today it had selected the Greek construction company to complete the roads in a deal worth around 470 million Kuna.

In total seven bids were received for the infrastructure project, which was then shortlisted to four. The access roads to connect the Peljesac Bridge to the existing road structure mean constructing around 13 kilometres of new roads. The terrain, across the Peljesac Peninsular, is particularly challenging and involves several tunnels and embankments, which is one of the reasons that the roads will cost just under 5 million Euro per kilometre.

According to Croatian Roads the new access roads will be completed by January 2022, at the same time as the new bridge is expected to be finished

The red palm weevil, an insect from Indonesia, unfortunately changed the coastline in Mlini last year when they ate and destroyed the palms that once lined the seafront promenade. These very palms had been iconic for this small village on the sea and almost overnight they were destroyed.

However, in place of the once iconic pal trees new ones have now been planted yesterday and brought a fresh look back to Mlini. The planting of the new trees was made possible with funds from the Župa Tourist Board and the installation of the new palms has begun. In fact, the palms are just one piece in the jigsaw as new public lighting will also be installed.

"The works include removing the old palms, extracting the roots and excavating new holes in order to accommodate a new palm-type that is not susceptible to the red palm weevil,” commented the head of the Župa Borough Council, Silvio Nardelli. The cost of the works is 300,000 Kuna.

The Director-General of CERN, Fabiola Gianotti, and the Minister of Science and Education of the Republic of Croatia, Blazenka Divjak, in the presence of Croatian Prime Minister Andrej Plenkovic, signed an Agreement admitting Croatia as an Associate Member of CERN. The status will come into effect on the date the Director-General receives Croatia’s notification that it has completed its internal approval procedures in respect of the Agreement – it’s published on the official CERN website.

-It is a great pleasure to welcome Croatia into the CERN family as an Associate Member. Croatian scientists have made important contributions to a large variety of experiments at CERN for almost four decades and as an Associate Member, new opportunities open up for Croatia in scientific collaboration, technological development, education and training - said Fabiola Gianotti.

-Croatian participation in CERN as an Associate Member is also a way to retain young and capable people in the country because they can participate in important competitive international projects, working and studying in the Croatian educational and scientific institutions that collaborate with CERN - said Blazenka Divjak.

Croatian scientists have been engaged in scientific work at CERN for close to 40 years. Already in the late 1970s, researchers from Croatian institutes worked on the SPS heavy-ion programme. In 1994, research groups from Split officially joined the CMS collaboration and one year later a research group from Zagreb joined the ALICE collaboration, working with Croatian industry partners to contribute to the construction of the experiments’ detectors. Scientists from Croatia have also been involved in other CERN experiments such as CAST, NA61, ISOLDE, nTOF and OPERA.

CERN and Croatia signed a Cooperation Agreement in 2001, setting priorities for scientific and technical cooperation. This resulted in an increased number of scientists and students from Croatia participating in CERN’s programmes, including the CERN Summer Student Programme. In May 2014, Croatia applied for Associate Membership.

As an Associate Member, Croatia will be entitled to participate in the CERN Council, Finance Committee and Scientific Policy Committee. Nationals of Croatia will be eligible for staff positions and Croatia’s industry will be able to bid for CERN contracts, opening up opportunities for industrial collaboration in advanced technologies.

Frommer's, one of the most popular travel websites, has recently published an article titled ''The best European cities with day trips for kids'' and it included Dubrovnik! If you are planning to visit Dubrovnik with the youngest members of your family, this might be useful to you.

-Dubrovnik, a picture-perfect fortress city on the Adriatic Sea, is among Croatia's most popular tourist destinations. If any of your kids are Game of Thrones fans, then make a pilgrimage to some of the 19 city sites used as sets. Old Town provides easy access to several, including the Pile Gate and Fort Bokar, part of the city's medieval walls. Walking atop the walls – a path goes all the way around – rewards you with spectacular sea views and closer looks at the town's distinctive concave red roof tiles, some of which date to the medieval period and were shaped by molding them around worker's thighs – Frommer's writes, advicing the readers to climb early in the morning or in late afternoon to avoid the blazing sun and crowds, since Dubrovnik can be pretty crowded because of the cruise ships, but mostly in the morning.

-Kids also like strolling Old Town in search of street performers, souvenirs, and such local sweets as torta od makarona (a macaroni cake) and arancini (orange grinds with sugar). From mid-July to the third week in August, Dubrovnik hosts a lively Summer Festival of music, dance and theater. Like most Dubrovnik's beaches, Copacabana Beach, at Babin Kuk peninsula, is pebbly but ideal for kayaking or beaching. Lopud Island's Šunj beach has better sand (a rarity here) and also a stretch of shallow water. Reach Lopud by a 50-minute boat ride – Frommer's conclude.

See the full list here.

The world renowned and acclaimed Croatian young musicians, cello player Luka Sulic (from 2CELLOS) and pianist Aljosa Jurinic will perform as part of the music program of the jubilee 70th Dubrovnik Summer Festival on August 22nd in the atrium of the Rector's Palace, with the works of Schuman, Brahms, Barber and Piazzolla.

Cellist Luka Sulic has been performing around the world during the recent years, combining solo performances and appearances as a member of the world famous duo 2CELLOS with which he is currently on the US tour by the end of March. As a classical musician, Luka Sulic performed for the first time in the Dubrovnik Summer Festival in 2009, and for the last time appeared in 2011 in the crowded atrium of the Rector's Palace with Stjepan Hauser and the Zagreb Soloists. During the same year he performed in front of the church of St. Blaise as part of the 2CELLOS ensemble on their first concert in Croatia.

Luka was fifteen years old when he became one of the youngest students in the history of the Academy of Music in Zagreb where he studied in Valter Despalja's class and graduated when eighteen years old. Education continued in Vienna with Reinhard Latzko, and he got his master's degree with excellent grades at the Royal Academy of Music in London. As a soloist and chamber musician he performed throughout Europe, in South America and Japan, in concerts such as London Wigmore Hall, Amsterdam Concertgebouw, Viennese Musikverein and Konzerthaus.

In 2016, Aljosa Jurinic presented himself to the Festival's audience, as part of the "Meet the future" program, which featured young laureates of prestigious international music competitions. The young pianist on this occasion delighted the audience and critics – they wrote about "the magic created by Aljosa Jurinic", stating that "behind the performance he stands entirely with his musical personality."

His greatest international success was achieved in 2012, winning a prominent piano competition Robert Schumann in composer's birthplace Zwickau. In 2015 he was the finalist of the 17th International Pianist Competition Fryderyk Chopin in Warsaw and Queen Elizabeth's Competition in 2016. He is also the winner of all the leading awards for young musicians in Croatia, including the Young Musician of the Year of the Zagreb Philharmonic Orchestra (2012) and the Ivo Vuljevic Award (2010). He is also winner of the International Competition of Young Musicians Ferdo Livadic in Samobor (2013) and Tribunes Darko Lukic (2015). The annual award "Vladimir Nazor" was presented to him in 2015 and the award "Milka Trnina" in 2017.

According to the Euro Health Consumer Index (EHCI) for 2018, when it comes to healthcare in Croatia – there is room for improvement. Out of 35 countries that have been analysed, Croatia is placed 24th, having 644 points (1000 is max), which is better than 2017 when it was placed 26th. 

-In spite of a GDP/capita, which is still modest by Western European standards, Croatian healthcare does excel also at advanced and costly procedures such a kidney transplants: the Croatian number of 45 transplants per million population is among the top countries of Europe – it’s explained in the study.

The EHCI analyses national healthcare on 46 indicators grouped in areas such as Patient Rights and Information, Accessibility, Treatment Outcomes, Range and Reach of Services, Prevention and use of Pharmaceuticals.

In Croatia, there is still a problem with direct access to specialized doctors, since the patients have to wait for a long time, as well as the availability of CT scan and waiting for operational procedures. Croatia continues to have high mortality from cancer and cardiovascular diseases and strokse, infant mortality, and does not achieve enough good results in the prevention of high blood pressure, smoking and alcohol.

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According to the research, on European healthcare is steadily improving: infant mortality and survival rates of heart disease, stroke and cancer are all moving in the right direction. Patient choice and involvement are developing. Small countries with limited funding, such as the Baltic states, do well on child access to psychiatric care and reducing the suicide rate. But still too many countries stick to inefficient ways to fund and deliver care services.

-Learning from not only established success such as the Netherlands and Switzerland but also small countries doing the right thing can be a general improvement strategy: Finland, Montenegro, North Macedonia and Serbia. Large countries often argue that running a minor healthcare system is much simpler. The Montenegrin success on Infant Mortality – today the lowest in Europe (the world?) – by having every risk pregnancy referred to the Clinical Centre of Podgorica could be repeated regionally in larger countries! - it’s said in the research. 

If you want to know all the details, click here.

The Voice of Dubrovnik

THE VOICE OF DUBROVNIK


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