Croatian Tourist Board organized the Golden Pen for the 14th year in the row, where they gave awards and recognition to foreign journalists and bloggers. This year's award ceremony was held in Osijek, and the entire program, including a three-day study tour of 32 foreign journalists and bloggers, from 12th to 15th of June, includes a tour of Osijek, Dalj, Erdut, Kopacki rit, Dakovo and numerous other tourist attractive Slavonian localities. In addition to the Croatian Tourist Board as the holder and the main organizer, this year is partner and host is the Tourist Board of Osijek-Baranja County.
-Croatia is nowadays positioned as a very attractive tourist destination where everyone can find content for themselves. Our goal is to keep the position of the popular destination, helping us to provide quality, professional and objective articles and reviews from foreign journalists and bloggers. With these awards, we want to acknowledge their work and emphasize the importance of media releases that for many are a significant source of information when choosing their destinations. We have been targeting Osijek and Slavonia this year because we want to give special emphasis to promoting the Croatian continental tourist offer, which has great potential in realizing all-year tourism – said Croatian Tourist Board director Kristjan Staničić.
The nominations by category for Golden Pen, for materials from 2017, were received from the Croatian Tourist Board's offices abroad, and that are the entries in the category for best publication in the press, online edition, TV publication, radio announcement and blog post. Nominations have come from a number of European markets such as Germany, Slovenia, Austria, the Czech Republic, Poland, Italy, France, the United Kingdom, Belgium, the Netherlands, Hungary, Slovakia, Sweden, Estonia, Russia and Ukraine and from the United States. This year, 29 nominations were received, 11 in the category for publication in the press, 3 for online publication, 7 for blog posting, 7 for TV publishing and 1 for radio announcement nominations. 32 delegates from foreign media participated in the ceremony and on the study trip around Slavonia and Baranja.
However, as every year, the most important award is the Grand Prix, which is awarded in three categories: the best media reportage (magazines, newspapers), the best electronic media report (TV, radio or online material) and the best blog post (bloggers). This year's winners of the Grand Prix Prize for best media reportage are Christine Hinkofer and Beate Winterer of Germany's Münchner Merkur, who last year participated in a study trip through Slavonia, which resulted in three reports on Slavonia, which is presented to German readers in as "The Most Beautiful Croatian Secret." The series continued with a reportage called "Slawonien und die Glücksformel" (Slavonia and the Prescription of Happiness), which came out in April 2017 and the reportage "Kroatien für Entdecker" (Croatia for Researchers), published in October 2017.
The Grand Prix for the best electronic media report goes to Slovenia. Mojca Mavec and Jan Vasiljevic from the national Slovenian television RTV SLO won the award with five-sequel series presented in the "Good morning" show, which featured the destinations of Vukovar-Vinkovci-Ilok-Zupanija and Bjelovar-Bilogora, Medimurje, Krapina-Zagorje and Karlovac County.
The winner of the award for the best blog post was Nina Ragusa from Great Britain, who visited Croatia in June 2017. The result of the trip is the publication of a detailed seven-day guide through Croatia covering the areas of Pula and Plitvice Lakes to Split, Omis and Makarska. In addition to the guide, she also published an article focusing on proposals for the adventurers in Split and Omis. She also made quality photographs that had very positive reactions of her followers. Nina won the award for a blog called Architecture to Adventure, or for the release of "An Epic One-Week Road Trip Croatia Itinerary".