The “Marco Polo – famous travel writer” – awards ceremony was held at the Esplanade Hotel in Zagreb, in the presence of many guests from Croatia and abroad. Slobodan Kadić was awarded the plaque this year, displaying the image of Marco Polo for a lasting and quality contribution to tourist attractions and unknown gems of Croatian tourism through publications and reports.
“The most valuable and sweetest are the awards given to you by the experts. They remain forever written and are also a new incentive for further work. It is a great honor to stand alongside top travel writers, directors, writers, and journalists from the entire region, from Ante Gavranović to Goran Milić, Šime Strikoman, Željko Žutelija, Tina Eterović Čubrilo, Željko Marušić, Darijo Novalić, and Đorđe Mihajlović,” said Kadić, who is diligently working on his book Putničke Svaštarije which will contain most of the columns he has published in Glas Slavonije over the years.
The grand prize, the Marco Polo statue, was received by Željko Žutelija for the book My Zagreb, the most beautiful city in the world, and a personal contribution to the high standards of tourism journalism. The FIJET Tolerance Award was given to Hasan Haidar Diab, a journalist from Večernji list, who, through his long-standing publications, contributes to understanding diversity and breaking down prejudices about other peoples and cultures.
Plaques were also awarded to Petra Somek and the magazine Meridijani for educational reports and travelogues from all over Croatia, top authorial publications and photographs, but also Paula and Đelo Jusić for the series Fairytale Croatia, Željko Marušić for the long-lived show Željko Marušić and guests, Denis Mahmutović for a series of reports published in 24 Sata and Vladimir Kumbrija for his contribution to shows on tourism on the first program of Croatian Radio.
Special awards for reports and new trends were presented to Radio Sljeme, Mario Pušić (KA portal), and the Radio Student Association. Letters of thanks from FIJET Croatia were awarded to Vojko Pleština (Split), director of the International Tourist Film Festival in Solin, for the partnership in implementing the “Marco Polo” project, and Ivica Krizmanić Max, director of the Esplanade Hotel. Special thanks went to President Tina Eterović Čubrila, Vice President of the FIJET World Association – on the 15th anniversary of FIJET Croatia. The FIJET grant was presented to the City of Korčula, and it is an original statue of Marco Polo, the work of sculptor Luja Lozica, which will be placed in the City Museum. The members of the Jury of this year’s FIJET awards were President Ante Gavranović and members Jadranka Rilović (Croatian Radio, 2nd program) and Hrvoje Zovko, President of the Croatian Journalists’ Association.
Croatian FIJET was founded in 1964 in Makarska and renewed in 1990 when Croatia became independent.
“There were ten of us, then seven with President Drago Ferenčić, who retired in 1996. I was the only one left, and I was persistent. Finally, I turned to Marijana Rebić, with whom I successfully collaborated as a journalist at the Atlas agency and later at Croatia Airlines. With the hope that she would agree to become a secretary, she said “yes.” We have grown, been persistent, and encouraged other national associations with our activities, of which there are now about fifty, and there are more and more young people among us,” said Tina Eterović Čubrilo, recalling the unforgettable moments of FIJET Croatia.
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