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Saturday, 4 May 2013

Scandinavia Embraces Croatian Tourism: Finland Follows Norway











This is not a tourism post. Really it's not. I'm not trying to twist anyone's arm in Stockholm, Oslo or Helsinki to drop their things and vacation in Croatia this summer. It just happens to be a tourism themed article. My own personal addition about this article is just that that I think it's good news and nothing but a positive for a few reasons. Meaning, these are the kinds of people that Croatia should continue to focus on in visiting our country. Strive to develop more tourism and even more importantly non-tourism related relationships with. So after experiencing Croatia, having a relaxing and enjoyable vacation, trying the foods, beers, beaches and enjoying the scenery, they will then tell their people when they get home what a great time they had and what a progressive modern country it is. The kind of country they would like to invest in and visit more regularly if given the opportunity.

These are the kinds of countries that Croatia should orient towards in developing business relationships with also. Promote investment in each others countries.  I don't even need to get into Norway alone...(The country that brought you the Opera browser, a leader on UN lists in almost every field and all with a population that is similar to Croatia's) Croatia already has relationships with the above countries in regards to ongoing military purchases, as well as other enterprises, but much more can and must done that would be beneficial to all the parties involved. (The recent news of the plans for Rijeka will definitely be beneficial in this regard, and for the whole region actually.  About a decade late project, but better late than never as the saying goes.We all know the reason why some of these larger projects have been on the backburner for a while though, don't we?) 

Croatia and the above mentioned countries also have more in common than meets the eye as well.  Like what?....Well for starters, besides the fact that all of them have already ratified Croatia's European Union Accession (see previous post links below)...take also for instance that all of us are winter sports and skiing nations as well as hockey nations.(See Here)  The above nations like us are also known for their good cheeses, pastries, beers, they're also fans of and producers of seafood just like us...a whole bunch of stuff actually.  The Croatian noble House of Frankopan has ties with the Swedish King Erik of Pomerania extending back to 1420, and even up to now believe it or not. I'll bet you didn't know that. (See also Ingrid Detter de Frankopan)  I come across fairly often news of Scandanavian business leaders having meetings with their Croatian counterparts. Actually just recently, Croatian President Ivo Josipovic received the Swedish Royal family for a state visit. Full Royal visit story Here and Here (You can say I'm wrong, and I'll throw my Croatian citizenship and my personally autographed Nevena Dujmovic photo in the trash if I am, but I think this is the kind of royalty that's good for Croatian relations and it's overall image, probably this royalty is pretty beneficial too, I'm not quite sure about this or this kind of royalty).....If you're a real European history buff, and again various royalty, then you may even want to check out Here for even more amazing older connections that you probably never knew)

The Swedes make cool furniture, housewares and bric a brac (Probably half of my furnishings and housewares is Ikea stuff) They're currently finally finally building an Ikea in Zagreb even as I'm writing this, the first one of several planned in Croatia. (See Here)  List goes on and on....Croatia should be happy to have more vacationers arriving from the above mentioned countries also because...well, they dress hip, very fashionable and hip dressers, clean people (very important)  nice smelling, well traveled with good stories to share (that's always a plus in my books)..with a pleasant disposition and demeanor, demeanor goes a long way in my books. (As opposed to these people...Am I wrong?)  Also, (And I've discussed this point on my blog previously)... Look at this photo of a cafe in Finland Here.  Now look at this photo from Croatia Here. Do you notice something? (I came across numerous other similar scenes from Sweden and Norway)  Do you know what I'm talking about? Do you see it?  It's a nice day or evening and the people are actually....get this....they're sitting.....'outside', as opposed to cooping themselves up 'inside'. Just like in Croatia. (And again the rest of Europe actually, and I don't count sitting on the curb by the doors as sitting outside either.  Take a look at this scene taken in cooler autumn weather in the city of Rijeka even)  It's these little things that speak volumes. (There's other things that are missing in the pics, from my across the pond point of few, and it's a good thing. It partly explains the reason people sit inside, it's to get away from the downtown 'outside people'. but that's another topic. However, here's a personal pic I took of a downtown Calgary 'outside' cafe Here, very nice and all, but to me it's just not the same)

(Here's a related personal experience that perhaps sheds more light:  In 2011 when I was doing my Croatian coast tour, (my stop in the city of Split to be specific)...I recall one early evening bumping into a 20 something Swedish traveler at a patio within the old historic part of the city. I forget her name and no, she wasn't blonde this one. She had been staying at one of the nearby hostels for a couple days, which was also literally just steps from Diocletian's palace. (Hostels galore in Europe btw, some of the ones in Croatia are quite new and liik almost like modern hip hotels. (For instance)  My Croatia tour in '09 was mostly hostels on purpose because they're super cheap and practical. I was doing the Jack Kerouac thing. [You're going to be out most of the time anyway, trust me. You basically just want a place to sleep/shower/change]...great place to meet other travelers, get tips and inside info, share stories, they're located in the best parts of the cities too, lots of friendly hot female travelers, [I wasn't in my first one in Zagreb for 10 minutes and I had hot European chicks walking around in their panties straight out of the shower, you don't get that kind of free complimentary service in the hotels. It sure helped me forget pretty quick about the ghetto goon fuckos and some of the things that crawl around downtown Hamilton pretty quick, that's for sure. There was also no bellhop or other staff that you had to tip for no reason] ...central air, clean all the way, internet, comfy beds, clean sheets, washer/dryers, full kitchens, free coffee, satellite tv, secure with lockers, oh and cheap. One even had their own big refrigerator like in a convenience store where you can buy cheap large bottles of beer) Anyway, long story short, we chatted, I bought her a few drinks, we chatted some more, it was her 2nd time in Croatia... bla bla bla.  She was waiting for her train which was leaving in a couple of hours. I think she was heading to Rijeka then Italy or Slovenia next, I forget which one. She was going back to school after doing her summer Euro tour thing which is common in Europe like Taco Bell's and Dollar Stores in the malls over here. It ends up that it was just her traveling alone.....as in just her..... her and her rucksack....(It was beside her on another chair so at first I thought someone was in the washroom).....But nope, it was just her and her rucksack.....traveling....across Europe on her own.....just her and her rucksack.....across Europe. (I know some people that are afraid to walk to the corner store alone)  That wasn't too related to this post, but it was interesting to me anyway. (I'll have to tell the story someday of the French woman I met at the ST.Riva Cafe Bar and then her yacht friends from the next day. (It wouldn't happen around here in a million years)...I also remember that there were tons of people and things going on,  and that it was super hot that week along the coast. (Ask David, he knows what I'm talking about)

Yep, can't go wrong with vacationers from the above countries coming to Croatia I say. (I actually have some acquaintances in Croatia who all head up to Sweden every summer for the Hulstred Festival, who then also meet up again with their Swede and other friends for the INmusic Festival in Zagreb...that's the way Europe rolls. Gotta love it)  I should also mention, that if visitors from these countries do by chance arrive to Croatia for a vacation, and if they decide to wear football jerseys from their countries, I can assure them that there would be no instances of any kinds of shenanigans, instigating remarks or drama at all. (Trust me, I know these things. Probably seeing various European bumper stickers on cars from different countries has a bit to do with that. )  There are some countries that I think should be put on a list of countries to avoid vacationers from (or at least be put on a a 100 year waiting list which sounds very fair to me)...Just for starters take this one for instance (for self-evident and obvious reasons, maybe even put them on a list of people not allowed into Ikea's as well, along with this and this guy. lol)  This Japanese story is good news, Croatia can always use more hot Japanese girls, the Japanese actually have invested a lot in Croatia over the years, especially along the coast.  During my travel over the years I could make a list of people that should not even be allowed on the European continent...ever. (Please, you have no business in Europe, just hang around the mall all summer shoving gravied potato wedges down you cakehole. It's best for everyone involved. hehehe) But seriously,  that's another topic for another day with lots of images and stats and even quite a few personal experience stories. Like I said, Croatia will be an official member of the European Union on July 1st, so according to the below article, I see it strictly as nothing but a positive and hopefully a regular growing trend.......


*Update May 18th  - Here is an updated photo of some Swedish female vacationers in the city of Split. Like I said...Ask David, he knows what I'm talking about)



Related: bulgaria-italy-hungary-ratify-croatian

slovakia-becomes-1st-eu-country-to

finland-ratifies-croatia-eu-accession

croatians-back-eu-membership-in

serb-government-shuns-europe

croatian-to-become-24th-official-language

wikipedia.org/Accession_of_Croatia_to_the_European_Union









Source: digitaljournal.com

Images: travel.nationalgeographic.com



Split - In the latest in a trend of Scandinavians discovering Croatia, Finnish travel agents embark on a tour of the Dalmatian coast.

There has been a marked increase in tourists from Scandinavia to the Croatian coast, a trend which is set to increase as the Central Dalmatian Tourist Board hosted a three-day trip for a large group of travel agents according to local media reports on April 29, 2013 in a trip announced last month.








The three-day trip for a large number of travel agents from Finland, included familiarisation trips to Zagreb, Split and parts of the Adriatic coast, as well as some of the islands, with some 120 Finnish travel agents visiting the resort town of Bol on the island of Brac, as well as Hvar Town.








According to radio reports, there has been a marked increase in direct flights from Finland to the Dalmatian coast, with Finnair flying direct to Dubrovnik among 17 weekly connections during the season.

The Finnish interest in Croatia mirrors that of Norway and Sweden, who have been visiting the Dalmatia coast in increasing numbers since the arrival of Norwegian Air on the low-cost airline scene. The rise of Norwegian has been rapid, and it is now regarded as one of the most important carriers to Croatia, with its 2013 route map offering plenty of choice to its customers flying to Split, Dubrovnik and the northern city of Pula.








The Dalmatian coast is an ideal destination for Scandinavian tourists as Croatia enters the EU on July 1st. With its warm climate, heritage, beaches, nature and gastronomy all less than three hours by plane, it makes for an attractive choice for late season sun to escape the Scandinavian winter, while Dalmatia's gastronomic scene, with initiatives such as Hvar Wine Time Traveller, are sure to add to the region's attractiveness as a foodies' destination.




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