Thirty-six foreign tourism journalists from sixteen countries were presented top awards at a gala ceremony in Split's Villa Dalmatia May 12 by Minister for Sea, Tourism, Transport and Development, Mr. Božidar Kalmeta. With the aim of pointing out the value of a professional approach to writing about Croatia in foreign media, the Croatian National Tourist Board's Golden Pen Award is a way of thanking journalists for their contribution to the promotion of Croatian tourism on foreign markets.

Visits by 518 foreign journalists from 26 countries were organised entirely by the Croatian National Tourist Board in 2005, while the CNTB co-organised the visits of a further 122 foreign journalists to Croatia for a total of 640 foreign reporters. The direct result of the visits of these journalists is published or aired reports for print media, TV and radio. The estimated value of the published print material in 2005 comes out to 626,169,084 Kunas, and the aired TV and radio reports a further 388,257,337 Kunas, for a total of as much as 1,014,426,421 Kunas.

The Croatian National Tourist Board has awarded the Golden Pen Grand Prize to two recipients, for Best Print and Best TV and Radio piece on Croatia published or aired abroad. A further 27 reporters were granted Golden Pen awards for Best pieces on Croatia published on individual markets.

The Golden Pen Grand Prize for best print media text went to Ms. Patrizia Magi from Italy, for her report entitled "Croatia From Zadar to Dubrovnik" ("Croazia da Zara a Dubrovnik") which saw a 94,000-copy print run in the Panorama Travel monthly of Italy's best-known publisher Mondadori. The 27-page report describes in detail the Zadar, Šibenik, Split and Dubrovnik areas, providing information on gastronomy, culture and on their historical and natural heritage. She is among the first Italian reporters to give particular attention in her writing to the wealth of the Dalmatinska zagora hinterland.

The Golden Pen Grand Prize for Best TV Report went to Mr. Rudy Maxa of the USA for his 35-minute report entitled "Croatia's Dalmatian Coast". The report was aired on the PBS channel, Channel 13 and on local TV stations 197 times from June 2005 to today. Rudy Maxa is the recipient of numerous journalism prizes including the renowned Pulitzer Prize, while his TV show "Smart Travels with Rudy Maxa" that focuses predominantly on European destinations, has won an Emmy Award.