An awards and recognitions ceremony was once again organised by the Croatian National Tourist Board in order to award accomplished and renowned foreign journalists and bloggers with a prize for the best media coverage of Croatia as a tourist destination. In organising the 15th Golden Pen Grand Prix Awards, the Croatian National Tourist Board partnered with the Zadar Region Tourist Board and the Zadar Tourist Board, which have hosted 24 journalists and professionals from 16 countries over the past years.
The awards ceremony was attended by the Managing Director of the Croatian National Tourist Board and the directors of the foreign representative offices, as well as Tonči Glavina, State Secretary of the Ministry of Tourism, Božidar Longin, Zadar County Prefect, Branko Dukić, Mayor of Zadar, Mihaela Kadija, Managing Director of the Zadar Region Tourist Board, Mario Paleka, Managing Director of the Zadar Tourist Board, and many others.
“The Golden Pen is a commendable project of the Croatian National Tourist Board aimed at rewarding foreign reporters for their work as some of the best Croatian tourism ambassadors. They certainly deserve it since Croatia achieves 90% of its tourism turnover thanks to them,” says State Secretary Tonči Glavina, adding that he is certain that the journalists will enjoy their stay at the Zadar County.
The most prestigious Golden Pen award is the Grand Prix awarded in three categories: Best Written Material (magazines, papers, online), Best TV Material (TV, radio) and Best Blog Material (blogs, social media). The 2018 nominees came from the UK, the Netherlands, Russia, Italy, USA, Germany, Austria, Belgium, the Czech Republic, France, Hungary, Ukraine, Sweden, Denmark, Spain and Slovenia.
This year’s Grand Prix winner for best written material is David Farley from the USA. David Farley is a journalist published in print publications such as AFAR, The New York Times, The Washington Post, The Wall Street Journal etc. He writes about travel and gastronomy, and he has won the Croatian National Tourist Board award for his article on Dubrovnik, titled ‘Sun Sea Savor’, published in the National Geographic Traveler magazine. The magazine featured a 14-page article on Dubrovnik and its main street Stradun made it to the cover page.
This year’s Grand Prix award winner in the category Best Written Material was Vasily Andreev from Russia. He is a renowned television producer for channel Rossiya 1. Andreev received the award for his 20-minute-long story on Zagreb and Croatia titled ‘Advent in Croatia’. Apart from Zagreb landmarks, his story also featured Slunj and its tradition of flour production, as well as fritula and kroštula pastry making. The episode was hosted by the famous Russian actress Olga Kuzmina, who helped Russian viewers experience the wonderful Christmas spirit which takes over Zagreb and Croatia during the famous Advent.
The award for the best blog material went to Chiara Marchi from Italy. Chiara Marchi from Trieste has been writing her widely read and well-accepted blog ‘Missclaire’ since 2015. In her winning blog post ‘Cherso: le 7 cose da sapere’ she lists seven reasons to visit the island of Cres, and she writes about its pristine nature, secluded beaches and how to enjoy a relaxing vacation at the seaside.
The Museum of Ancient Glass made unique statuettes for the laureates for this occasion. The awards ceremony took place in Petrčani, Zadar. The programme included a three-day field trip (April 4 – 7) for journalists and bloggers during which they visited Zadar, Starigrad Paklenica, Nin, islands of Ugljan and Kali and other beautiful sites.
The Golden Pen Award enables Croatian National Tourist Board to highlight the importance and value of professional journalistic coverage of Croatia on an international scene. The awards ceremony was previously hosted in Zagreb, Split, Rovinj, Opatija, Dubrovnik, Čakovec, Osijek, Otočac, Zadar, Šibenik, Split, Opatija, Mali Lošinj and Osijek.