June 24, 2020 – Tourist journalists never rest. And when shocking coronavirus headlines shake the world, they try to appeal to responsible tourism by promoting high standards of professionalism without borders. Members of the Croatian branch of the world’s largest and most famous association of tourism journalists and writers, FIJET – re-elected Tina Eterović Čubrilo for a new four-year term at the election assembly, who immediately announced new projects.
“In addition to Marco Polo, the award given every December to the best tourist journalist or travel writer of the year that promotes Croatia, we have established a new award – FIJET Tolerance for those who contribute to international understanding and tolerance, which is actually the mission of tourism,” says Eterović Čubrilo, vice president and member of the Executive Board of the international FIJET, emphasizing that given the events in the world, now is the best time to appeal to tourism journalists for more tolerance in all spheres of life.
The vice president was unanimously elected by Mislav Togonal, HRT journalist, secretary and liquidator Marijana Rebić, and members of the Executive Board Mario Plenković, Tomislav Radić, Paulina Peko Šalja, Ivan Dodig, Anita Žuvela Hitrec, Marija Dejanović, Mislav Veselica, and Slobodan Kadić, journalist of TCN and Glas Slavonije. Karin Mimica is the coordinator for Fijet Croatia FB, HND, Marko Polo project and Gastronaut, Amelia Tomašević is an advisor to the president, and the new face in the association is Slavica Šipicki, external associate for PR and marketing. The Supervisory Board consists of Nikola Serdar as president, Abi Shalabi and Siniša Križanec, and the jury honors President Vlasta Kučić and members Edo Kišić and Meri Šilović.
FIJET is the oldest association of tourist journalists formed as a response of journalists to the then ideological and physical walls and wires of East-West, specifically the wall in Berlin. It was a message in 1954 by tourist journalists from France, Italy and Belgium that travel without borders and walls would bring peace, tolerance and economic recovery. It was this association that encouraged the development of tourism in Mediterranean countries impoverished by the war. Tourism has opened the door to economic prosperity. Yugoslav journalists were among the first to recognize this, so in 1964 they joined FIJET and, with tourism professionals and the Government, launched the May Meetings on the Makarska Riviera (1965-1990). In addition to travel promotion, specialist journalism was also encouraged, so many tourism journalists were well-known names respected and quoted by the profession. In 2006, FIJET Croatia launched the Marco Polo Award for travelogues of domestic journalists about Croatian destinations, especially less commercialized ones.
Like any gathering of the people of FIJET, the most recent was held in Sveti Ivan Zelina to promote the area in which they gathered. The host city was revealed by the Tourist Board of Sveti Ivan Zelina and the director Marija Zubčić. The journalists were guests of the Equestrian Club Zelingrad and the local mini brewery Angeluš from the heart of Prigorje, which was founded in 2016 by Filip Devčić. The small brewery creates large beers using only premium raw materials.
“Angels are beings of light and purity, just like our beers that are not pasteurized, filtered and chemically treated. We pay great attention to natural processes in production, creating craft beers with a character that contains a nutritious precipitate, which gives them a strong character,” said Devčić. The socializing continued at the Hrupec picnic area with local specialties prepared especially for the select palates of tourist journalists.
The president of the World Association of Tourism Journalists and Writers in Tourism (FIJET), Tijana Hadad, presented Vukovar with the “Golden Apple” award in 2011, which awarded the Vukovar Association for researching Vučedol culture and its promotion in Croatia and the world. On that occasion, Hadad pointed out that Vukovar, after Dubrovnik in 1996 and Split in 2002, was the third Croatian city to receive this prestigious award, which is a kind of tourist Oscar.
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