Wednesday, 20 March 2019

Croatia's gross foreign debt at the end of November 2018 totalled EUR 39.1 billion, 1.9 billion or 4.5% less than the year before, analysts at Raiffiesenbank Austria (RBA) have said, noting that the foreign debt to GDP ratio is expected to continue to fall.

"The current dynamic of the annual foreign debt decline has been going on since December 2015," the analysts said in a comment on figures recently published by the Croatian National Bank (HNB).

The reduction of the foreign debt is due to an 11.7% drop in the debt of other monetary financial institutions, a 5.1% drop in the foreign debt of other domestic sectors and a decline in the general government foreign debt of 8.2%.

The gross foreign debt of other domestic sectors at the end of November was EUR 13.47 billion, continuing the trend of deleveraging that started in January 2016, the RBA analysts said in their analysis.

The general government gross foreign debt at the end of November was EUR 13.5 billion, 8.2% less than the year before.

"Negative annual growth rates were recorded for the third consecutive month. The annual gross foreign debt growth was reported only for the central bank, of EUR 275 million or 13.1%, and for direct investments," the analysts said.

They expect that data for December 2018 will indicate a continuation of similar trends and that at the end of 2018 the foreign debt to GDP ratio should be below 75%.

Owing to positive economic trends and further deleveraging in all key sectors, the RBA analysts expect the share of gross foreign debt in GDP to continue falling this year as well.

A strong earthquake in Hungary rumbled through the Croatian capital last night.

The epicentre of the earthquake was across the border in Hungary and was measured at a depth of 10 kilometres, the earthquake hit at exactly 19.08 on Thursday evening.

The Croatian Seismological Service reported that the quake measured 3.9 on the Richter Scale and was felt in a few cities in northern Croatia, including the capital, Zagreb.

The modern times almost require that businesses have websites, at least as a portfolio where potential customers and clients can refer to. Companies that have online presence are more likely to have inquiries and sales compared with competitors who don’t.

However, gaining traffic to sites and getting leads can be challenging with law firms. Nonetheless, there are various ways where lawyers from different specializations, such as personal injury and car accident, can get more leverage online. Listed on this article are ideas on how you can improve on your site traction to get more client leads.

1. Have a professional website

One of the most basic tips to get more leads as a lawyer or law firm is to have a professional website such as - Miami NYC Dallas. Your site will serve as your portfolio, and if it’s not designed or optimized to at least retain visitors, then there’s a slim chance that they would trust you for their legal needs. It’s crucial to have a website that speaks for what you can do because it can make or break the lead generation strategy you have. Some tips on how to achieve this are:

● Improve your website speed.
● Make navigation simple.
● Optimize your website for mobile.
● Use fonts that match the business culture and style.
● Utilize high-quality images and videos.
● Keep the design simple with coordinated colors and readable text.
● Don’t miss out on important details such as your phone number and location.

2. Optimize your site for conversions

Once you have a professional-looking website, the next step is to ensure that you have conversions. In marketing, this is a technique where you can get potential clients to take a specific action. Web visitors usually won’t do anything except browse, unless they are prompted to do something. Show that you’re a reliable driving with intoxication (DWI) lawyer or a good car accident lawyer by creating a conversions funnel that your potential clients can relate to. There are various ways on how you can optimize your site design for conversions, a few of which are:

● Incorporate live chat or chatbot options. This way, visitors who have questions can get answers promptly, and you can grasp that momentum of attention.
● Create contact forms that are simple to fill out, with auto-population options to make it more convenient.
● Include a pop-up box that prompts them to subscribe to your newsletter, schedule a consultation, or another call to action (CTA).
● Make sure that your contact details are visible and ideally consistently in place in almost all site pages.
● Have regular testing, like an A/B testing, if you’re redesigning your website or implementing new marketing strategies.

3. Track all your leads

Not many realize that tracking leads can be a way to get more conversions and improve website traffic. By tracking all the leads that you can get through online chats, website clicks, phone calls, campaign clicks, email subscriptions, contact forms, and more, you’re able to evaluate which methods are working for you and which areas you need to revamp. Examples of tools that you can use to track your leads are:

● Google Analytics
● Zoho
● Apptivo
● Hubspot
● MailMunch
● Sprout Social
● Pardot

Car Accident Lawyer Lead Generation How to Improve Web Traffic for Law Firm Websites

4. Don’t forget search engine optimization (SEO)

SEO is one of the best strategies to be found organically on the Internet, with no exceptions for lawyers and law firm sites. Your SEO techniques are vital for potential clients to find you, so you need to invest in time and effort on how to incorporate this on your website if you aren’t hiring someone to do it for you. Some practices that you can use are:

● Use the right keywords by being niche specific. For example, instead of using lawyers near me, lawyers, or law firms Dallas, have more precise ones like car accident lawyers NYC, auto accident law firm Miami, and so on.
● Don’t leave your title and meta description tags blank. Search engines use these pieces of information when displaying your site, and these are the first things users see.
● Create a Google My Business listing. Your site will show up in Google results when users look for businesses similar to yours, displaying information such as directions, location, website, phone number, reviews, and more.
● Ask your clients for honest reviews. More reviews can lead to more site visits, especially when there are highly positive reviews.

5. Use pay-per-click (PPC) advertising

PPC is seen to be effective for lawyers because the top 3 or 4 searches on Google are usually from paid ads. Paid ads work because many users find the information they need quicker. When using PPC, make sure that you have the right keywords that answer a common query your target audience would have.

Final Thoughts

Lead generation and web traffic improvement are doable for car accident lawyers and law firms. With the help of the tips listed above, you’ll have the key components in attorney sites. Once you apply them, you’ll see better traction on your site and gain more clients for your law firm business.

After more than a decade of ring the crest of wave of the tourism industry Croatia could well nit the beaches this year. Croatia, and especially Dubrovnik which is the jewel in the tourism crown, is facing a challenging year in the tourism industry. Bookings are slowly down, and the predictions are for a minimal increase in tourist arrivals. It may not be a case of from boom to bust, more a case of from boom to balance.

Indicators form the most important tourism exhibition in Europe, the ITB in Berlin, show that Croatia will face stiff competition this summer season. With the rise of Turkey and Greece back to the levels they were some years ago, as well as destinations in North Africa, which until now have been “off limits” for tourists slowly coming back the new/old competition will mean challenging times.

In its 53rd edition, the ITB began on Wednesday, gathering more than 10,000 exhibitors from more than 180 countries, including Croatia, whose tourist offer traditionally is represented by the Croatian Tourist Board (HTZ) at a stand with 20 more tourists companies and communities.

Already on the first day of the ITB, they all talked to partners, mostly tour operators and air carriers from Germany, as well as to the chief secretary of the European Association of Travel Agencies - ECTA Michele de Blusti, who told reporters that he was very optimistic for Croatia this year, however also had warnings.

"South Europe, where Croatia is, this year, is affected by a change in the demand trend due to the return of Turkey, which records the current increase of the German book by more than 50 percent compared to the same period last year, but Croatia, Montenegro and Slovenia are well on track because of the group tours of Chinese and other tourists from distant markets,” De Blust said.


Among the partners that Croatian tourism representatives talked with at the ITB on Wednesday, was the German giant TUI, who clearly hinted that their customers are concerned about the prices in Croatia.

"We are seeing that in May and September Croatian hoteliers should need to think about lowering their prices by between 10 and 15 percent if they want to be competitive and fill the rooms," commented the TUI. Adding that these discounts and special actions should be announced by Croatia as soon as possible, at least for the week or two, in order to be in front of Spain.

Throw the unstable Brexit situation into the mix and Croatia, and especially Dubrovnik which is a magnet for British tourists, is looking at an uncertain year. Although British tourists who have already booked their fortnight in the Dubrovnik sunshine through an agency will certainly arrive, in fact hotels in the city are reporting that agency UK bookings are around the same as last year, there has certainly been a slowdown with individual British tourists. Many private villas and apartments are reporting a drop in bookings when compared with 2018 with some 30 percent down on last year. One apartment owner commented to the Dubrovnik Times that “We’re seeing interesting booking numbers this year. Tiny numbers from England, usual Irish and lots of US bookings filling the gaps. As Dubrovnik normally has such a large percentage of UK visitors, is this a result of Brexit?” Another owner of a villa just outside the city said that “Bookings are at least 20 percent down on last year, the competition is bigger than ever before and prices are being dumped everywhere.”

A construction permit for the first phase of the reconstruction of the tennis court and the supporting structures of Tennis Club Dubrovnik is issued by the Administrative Department for Issuance and Implementation of Physical Planning and Construction Documents of the City of Dubrovnik.

The project was developed by Alfaplan d.o.o., and in phase I brings the covering of two tennis courts on the Setaliste kralja Zvonimira by building a modern shaped hall of 10 meters high and 38.45 meters wide.

The future tennis hall is integrated into the space and the existing ambience with a distinctive architectural sensibility and satisfying all the functional requirements, and will, if necessary, be used as a polyvalent space. The total covered area is 1377 square meters, with an important fact that the ground floor dimensions of tennis courts and the surrounding useful play area are determined by the International Tennis Federation (ITF) standard for recreation, and the project envisages areas that include a "double" game.


The second phase, for which the building permit is in the process of making, relates to the arrangement of a 850-seat capacity grandstand with a fitness center, changing rooms, warehouses and administration offices.

The overall design of the complex with the construction of the cover increases the quality, the better functionality and the aesthetic value of the tennis center environment. The Dubrovnik Tennis Club will enable the organization of various international competitions and preparations throughout the year, and thus the continuity of the work.

The reconstruction project for tennis courts in Lapad is worth 9.5 million kuna and is one of the 11 strategic goals defined by the Sports Development Strategy and Sports Infrastructure of the City of Dubrovnik. In addition to this project, the following sports facilities are expected to be realized in 2019: construction of a hangar for sailors in Orsan (investment with 45 percent of funds co-financed by the City of Dubrovnik), construction of the Neptun rowing club hangar, construction of a football field with its facilities in Gospino Polje, the construction of the Judo Hall in Mokosica and the reconstruction of the former Stadion hotel with the first water polo museum in the world.

With this investment, the City of Dubrovnik starts strong changes in the construction of sports infrastructure.






On this day, March 7th, 1970 there was a horrible traffic accident by the Dubrovnik tram due to cancellation of the brakes, which made the tram number 5 to jump off the rails – HRT Gradoplov reports. On that occasion, one passenger was killed, while fourteen were injured. Two days after the accident, traffic on the Pile – Hospital route was suspended, and on March 20th of the same year the tram traffic in Dubrovnik was completely suspended, putting the tram traffic in Dubrovnik in history books.

The Dubrovnik tram (Dubrovnik's electric railway), was released in public on Thursday, December 22nd, 1910. The first tram arrived on that day from Gruz on Pile at 11.30 am. It was welcomed by numerous citizens and greeted by music. Right at noon the tram started its first and regular ride to Gruz.

The start of the tram traffic in the Dubrovnik area was a great event for a small Dubrovnik. It was a great event for many other and even larger cities from Dubrovnik, which until then did not have such a modern means of transport in their public traffic. The Dubrovnik tram was not only the first but the only tram in Dalmatia.

One set of motorcars (No. 7) with open trailer (No. 23) from 1912 is today exhibited at the Technical Museum in Zagreb.


The Dubrovnik-Neretva County Tourist Board attends this the most important tourism fair in the world – ITB in Berlin, held from 6th to 10th of March.

At the stand of the Croatian Tourist Board they rented an info desk where they will present all clusters of the Dubrovnik-Neretva County.

The new promotional movie "Dubrovnik Riviera" is nominated for one of the awards at the "Golden City Gate" multimedia festival, held within the ITB fair, and the award ceremony will be held today.

Approximately 7,500 exhibitors from almost 200 countries around the world participate in the fair on 160,000 square meters and more than 120,000 business visitors are expected to attend.

The emphasis of the ITB Berlin tourist fair is on business meetings and certainly represents an important source of information on tourism trends.

New cruise ship Costa Venezia, the largest in the Mediterranean, arrived to Dubrovnik yesterday morning and can still be seen anchored in the Port of Gruz.

The Costa Venezia cruise ship Costa Crociere can accommodate 4232 passengers and has 1278 crew members. Boat size is 135 500 BRT and it’s 323 meters long.

It brought approximately 4,000 passengers to Dubrovnik. Its route includes Trieste, Bari, Corfu, Dubrovnik, Zadar and then it returns to Trieste. From March 8th, the ship from Trieste goes on a 20 day trip, and will return to Dubrovnik on Saturday, while its last destination is Dubai.

-Originality, innovation and the warmth of Italian hospitality to see the world from a different perspective, that of the sea. The sophisticated and sensual atmosphere that makes Venice unique in the world, travels with you aboard Costa Venezia, our new ship dedicated to the City of Marco Polo and Casanova. Bathe in the multisensorial emotions of a cruise between Europe and the Orientalong an itinerary full of history and charm, the ancient routes of merchants and privateers – it’s stated at the official page of Costa.

costa venezia 1

Bozo Radic/Cropix

The Croatian capital’s airport has picked up a prestigious international award. Zagreb Airport has been recognised by Airports Council International as one of the best mid-sized airports in Europe.

Zagreb was placed into the group of airports with between 2 and 5 million passengers a year and along with London City Airport, Tallinn Airport and Southampton in southern England, and were all awarded with the Airport Service Quality prize. This isn’t the first time that Zagreb has picked up a ASQ award as last year it won the Best Improved Airport in Europe title.

The survey, introduced in 2006, is administered at 390 airports in 90 countries around the world, and involves polling some 650,000 passengers every year before they board their flights. The results are touted by the AIC as the most reliable measure of passenger satisfaction. Airports' scores are then ranked for the Airport Service Quality (ASQ) excellence awards, which are handed out in six size categories, ordered by volume of passenger traffic handled by a given airport, and announced early next year.

The City of Dubrovnik started today removing and repairing the tiles in the Old City centre, that were damaged by the recent gale force winds, to prevent the possibility of falling on public surfaces and the threat to passers-by and property.

The hurricane force 12 winds that blasted through Dubrovnik at the end of February caused significant damage all over the city, with trees uprooted and many roofs damaged. In the Old City the roofs on the Stradun and many of the main streets were damaged and now work has started on repairing the wind damage.


The Voice of Dubrovnik


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