Thursday, 22 September 2022

Emotheo: Very First Imotski Heritage Hotel to Open in December

September the 22nd, 2022 - The very first Imotski heritage hotel is set to open its doors at the end of December this year, on the site of a former inn just 50 metres from the famous Blue Lake (Modro jezero).

As Poslovni Dnevnik/Marija Crnjak writes, Hotel Emotheo, the very first boutique Imotski heritage hotel, will open in the very centre of Imotski, and it is project in which local entrepreneurs, the company J.P. Immobilien, have been heavily involved.

The investor comes from the construction and real estate business, and after participating in the development and construction of a number of hotel projects, four years ago they decided to open their own hotel, in their hometown, to which they wanted to pay respect. They also wanted to stay in line with and respect Imotski's cultural heritage that, in addition to modern approach, will be the main basis of design and service at Emotheo.

The very first Imotski heritage hotel will boast twenty beautiful designed rooms and two suites, a bar and a restaurant, and the plan is to be open all year round and attract guests with higher paying power from all over the world, but also to be a ''living room'' of sorts for the local population and a place to host gatherings and smaller events.

"Four years ago, we decided to buy the derelict building which stands here, where 100 years ago there was a lodging house with an inn, we hired experts to come in and help us develop the story and get things started. The purchase took time because there were several owners involved, we spent a year clearing the land, which is in a demanding zone, the conservators also had work to do, and now we're bringing those works to an end, and interiors are being arranged in order to have a soft opening sometime before Christmas.

The first goal was to reach three stars in terms of categorisation, but in cooperation with consultant Zoran Pejovic, we decided to raise the bar to four stars and develop a middle scale product that we'll then direct towards the upscale segment, primarily through the gastronomic offer and personalisation,'' explained Davor Pojatina, the co-founder of J.P. Immobilien.

Natural materials were used in the building itself and the facility was designed by Ante Niksa Bilic, who also hails from Imotski, and the hotel director Domagoj Nikolic is also from there, who is otherwise a tourism expert with extensive experience here in Croatia and abroad. He will come to Emotheo from his position as a lecturer at the American college RIT (Rochester Institute of Technology) down in Dubrovnik. Along with numerous interests in the tourism sector, Nikolic's passion is history and storytelling, which is why he was the right choice for the first Imotski heritage hotel, according to the investors.

The development of the wine-food concept will be headed by young award-winning chef Roko Nikolic, also from Imotski, who is moving there from Rovinj's Blu restaurant. After studying at the prestigious Italian Gastro Academy Alma near Parma, he started his hotel career at the Hilton Imperial Hotel in Dubrovnik.

The ultimate gastronomic experience will be the focus of this hotel, and it will combine the complex heritage of the wider region with the reinterpretation of traditional Dalmatian cuisine. This will be accompanied by a bar offering everything from local and international liquors and wines to signature cocktails, all in line with the story and concept.

A combination of tradition and technology

"Our guests will experience our authentic culture, but also feel the influence of all other cultures and influences that have merged there, and this is a story that will permeate all parts of the hotel. Our focus will primarily be placed on providing very good service and the presentation of a combination of tradition, knowledge and technology, and our plan is to attract guests who are looking for a unique product like this either through personalised tours or on an individual basis.

We're planning to cooperate with leading DMCs (destination management companies) that address the "upscale" audience, as well as with large booking agencies that also have these experiential offers. We also plan to introduce ourselves to people from here and the local population, honour them and invite them to come and hang out with us," stated Domagoj Nikolic.

Both the management and the investor point out that this is not exclusively a business investment, but rather an emotional dedication to their home.

For more, make sure to check out our dedicated business section.

Saturday, 19 February 2022

Imotski Tourism in 2022: Tourist Board Director Reveals Big Plans

February 19, 2022 - Luka Kolovrat, director of the Imotski Tourist Board, speaks about Imotski tourism in 2022 and what's in store for the region. 

Despite the pandemic, the past tourist year in the Imotski region was truly memorable. This was confirmed by more than 100 thousand overnight stays, an increase in the number of luxury accommodation facilities, and a record number of visits to the natural beauties of Imotski and its surroundings. All this additionally motivated the tourist workers in the area to prepare as well as possible for the upcoming season, even though the coronavirus could dictate it.

Luka Kolovrat, director of the Imotski Tourist Board, and his associates are currently preparing projects that will further strengthen the good marketing of local values presented to guests. Slobodna Dalmacija reports: 

"The Tourist Board is only a small segment in the promotion of tourism in Imotski and the Imotski region because in the first place there are our renters. Last year we finished with 384 of them, and this season that number will be higher because in this part of the year, according to our data, the number of 400 hosts has already been exceeded.

I am optimistic, and if the pandemic subsides, I think we will exceed last year's record for overnight stays, and in that number, it was over 90 percent of foreign guests. In October last year, all renters received inquiries and booked part of their capacity, and then we had a lull of almost three months. Still, in the previous few weeks, we have seen an increase in inquiries from potential guests and reservations," says Kolovrat and adds:

"However, we must have a slight hesitation, although accommodation in the Imotski region is among the safest in Croatia due to the location of houses, separation from the center, and regular vaccinations of owners and members of their families. Thus, in 2020, at the national level, we had between 50 and 60 percent occupancy of tourist capacities, and in our country, up to 80 percent.

They are preparing several vital projects, too. 

"We have started several multi-year projects, so we received almost 800 thousand kuna from the funds for the united tourist boards and from Split-Dalmatia County through a tender. That’s 60 percent of all our revenue. We expect a similar result this year as well.

Last year we arranged the first phase of the Camino Imota pilgrimage route, marked it, organized the first Camino weekend during which more than 150 pilgrims from various countries came. We also received an award from the Association of Croatian Travel Agencies for this part of the project. This year we are starting with the second phase, and we will organize the target weekend earlier, at the beginning of May, due to the expected excellent summer heat.

In parallel, we begin the third phase with which we close this story: the connection of our Camino Property to the pilgrimage route of Our Lady of Sinj. The Sinj Tourist Board worked on that route from Rama in BiH through Sinj to Solin, and we would now connect to Trin via Trilj.

We also have a long-term destination quality management project called "IQM Imota." Last year we had 30 partners who could educate themselves; they signed a book of standards and a commitment to stick to that level. In addition, more than 1,500 reviews of our guests were collected, and each stakeholder received a written report on how guests see it.

In 2021, we measured quality according to reviews of 95 percent, which is an exceptional result. Our goal is to increase the number of participants and the number of observed reviews.

We are also planning a big bike race that will combine sports, sightseeing of the Imotski region, meetings with our famous winemakers, then a chess game at the entrance to Blue Lake with one of our grandmasters. In addition, we will have a new brochure in collaboration with HGSS.

We are also impatient about entering the Geopark "Biokovo - Imotski Lakes" into the UNESCO system because it is our great asset. We got as many as 885 points from the evaluators out of a possible 1000, which is truly impressive.

We are waiting for the decisions of the UNESCO Council and the Assembly, whose indications are that we still need to finish some small things. There is still hope that we will enter it soon, but if it is prolonged for a short time, our entry is still safe," concludes the head of the Imotski Tourist Board.

For more on travel in Croatia, follow TCN's dedicated page.

Tuesday, 19 October 2021

Imotski Apartments Prove Hit, Reservations for Next Summer Already Coming

October the 19th, 2021 - When most of us who live in Croatia think of Imotski, we tend not to think of tourism and foreign tourists arriving en masse. The image of this inland Dalmatian destination, however, is gradually altering as foreign visitors discover the hinterland and all of its wonder a stone's throw away from the coast. Imotski apartments have done exceptionally well, prices have increased and reservations for summer 2022 are already coming in.

As Poslovni Dnevnik writes, yet another tourist season marked by the coronavirus pandemic has passed us by, and for the Imotski region it was especially lucrative, because their 2.5 thousand beds were more or less all filled.

Namely, after a successful tourist season, most of the 384 owners of luxury holiday homes with swimming pools in Imotski are satisfied. Imotski will, this year for the first time in history, record as many as 100 thousand overnight stays, four thousand more than back in pre-pandemic in 2019 when staying in private Imotski apartments with pools and amazing views was nowhere near as popular as simply heading straight for the coast.

"We had a great peak of the season and we also did well in September, but the pre-season was a non-starter and that's why we're still behind that year. This year in the Dalmatian hinterland was marked mainly by guests from Germany, Poland, Scandinavia, the Netherlands and Austria.

Reservations came in at the last minute, and 2022 already shows that it will be different and the competition will end up being much stronger. That's why marketing will be very important to us, which will be done during the winter, because the market needs to be reached with quality messages,'' said Ana Marija Paleka, head of the Novasol office for Slobodna Dalmacija.

Everyone involved in the home and private apartment rental business agrees that there has been a lot of thoughts being put into and around pricing formation this year, so some have significantly lowered their prices in fear of vacant properties, while others have increased them significantly as demand has visibly and in some cases quite rapidly grown.

"All this is logical because we went through the night from despair to euphoria, or from 50 euros to 300 euros per night in the same building. No one expected such interest at once and not everyone coped equally in it. It's really important that we keep the quality up. People should be prudent and careful in thinking about business for 2022, because there can be surprises. We're entering a normal year with strong competition and not everything will be like this year was,'' warned Boris Zgomba, President of the Association of Agencies at the Croatian Chamber of Commerce (HGK).

For more, make sure to follow our dedicated travel section.

Monday, 26 August 2019

From Mercedes to Tourism, Imotski Goes From Strength to Strength

When one thinks of a holiday in Dalmatia, images of the sparkling Adriatic sea, palm trees and a summer breeze making the shadows dance along the old facades of stone buildings likely come to mind. Oh, and Ožujsko of course. Imotski, a town located in rugged inland Dalmatia, probably isn't a place that crosses your mind. It should.

While coastal Dalmatia offers glamorous yachts, a gorgeous sea, beautiful views and some of the most incredible sunsets in the world, inland Dalmatia, or the Dalmatian hinterland, is often forgotten about. Having lived for centuries in the shadow of its coastal cousin, the Dalmatian hinterland was all but bypassed, unless you were lost, that is.

Things are beginning to change, and now, the Dalmatian hinterland has a variety of specialised tourism offers ready and waiting for foreign tourists. Imotski, a Dalmatian town once best known for having the most Mercedes', is now taking a turn away from German engineering, and aiming towards tourists. Many of whom will likely be German, too, of course.

As Poslovni Dnevnik writes on the 26th of August, 2019, Imotski's tourist board is hoping to achieve about 100,000 overnight stays this year, a figure which has so far never been reached.

''The season is good. We've had a sure July and August. The guests are mostly from Germany, Great Britain, and France,'' said Marko Mendeš, the owner of a holiday home in Imotski. They invested a lot of effort and money into it, and it appears to be paying off, writes

''This was an coincidence, actually. I used to work in the islands as a waiter and always said that something could be applied here [in Imotski]. People were narrow-minded, and they thought: Yeah, right, who would come to you, Imotski isn't on people's maps, we're like this, we're like that,'' Meneš said, explaining people's dislike for the idea.

But Imotski has already exceeded its number of overnight stays in the last year, and the town now has about 250 holiday homes. With a special ''recipe'', too.

''At the end of 2017, we launched an initiative to create a new Imotski (Imota) Tourist Board, which is responsible for all nine local government units. This has facilitated many projects from the development strategy of the entire Imotski region, to the development of the tourism strategy development by 2025, we're much more serious,'' said Luka Kolovrat from TZ Imota.

Guests admire the area, especially the lakes. Imotski is becoming an increasingly popular tourist destination. Last year alone, over 70,000 overnight stays were realised.

''It's amazing, it's beautiful. I've never seen a lake so blue. Magical,'' said a visitor from New Zealand.

''This is one of the best lakes in the world. And we can swim in it,'' said a visitor from much closer to home in Poland.

Imotski is now hoping to achieve about 100,000 overnight stays this year, and surpass tourism figures it has ever seen before.

Make sure to follow our dedicated travel page for more information on Imotski and much, much more. If you're interested in inland Dalmatia/the Dalmatian hinterland, give Total Inland Dalmatia a follow.

Friday, 14 June 2019

Dalmatian Hinterland: Tourism Ideas in Imotski Reach New Heights

As Braco Cosic/Novac writes on the 13th of June, 2019, Imotski locals are definitely entering the core of tourism with their hearts and souls. They've combined their traditional hospitality with a beautiful setting and well-equipped holiday homes, as well as a range of more excellent offers and adaptations for guests visiting this part of the Dalmatian hinterland.

Therefore, it should come as no surprise that the reviews made by international guests are so good for Imotski, nor is it odd that Imotski locals who rent out properties to tourists already have many, many weeks reserved.

Not even Istria can boast of what Imotski can at the moment. This twenty percent higher number of overnight stays achieved in the first five months of 2019 compared to the same period last year finally confirms that the Imotski region has become a recognisable tourist destination in this part of Croatia, Slobodna Dalmacija writes.

And now, the owners of about three hundred or so holiday homes in the Imotski area, most of them located in very quiet, more rural areas, are finding all possible ways of combining all they can in terms of tourism, surprising their international guests. They feel that within what Imotski already offers, which is peace and a quiet environment, beautiful scenery and landscapes, cycling and hiking trails, kids' playgrounds... there must be something else to add into the mix, too.

And that's exactly what's been being talked about for a long time now, and that's the offer of local Imotski cuisine. Collaboration with small family farms is one of the most serious and obvious options to take this idea to the next level in terms of tourism, but Imotski locals have found yet another solution.

A great example was found in Runovići. In September last year, Marijan Puljiz decided to join the respectable group of private renters in Imotski. Activating all of his hard-earned savings in decorating his new home, and this summer, he's begun to rent out his four star star "Đikano" to tourists for the first time. But he didn't just stop there, Marijan went a step further.

"I wanted to offer  sport and recreation and healthy homemade food to guests, and all of that is within reach. Simply said, about thirty meters from the house is a sort of ''self-service''. The house has finely decorated rooms, fireplaces, and kitchens. There's no imported material. The stone and wood is from Imotski, and the environment around the house is full of greenery. The swimming pool is also lined with domestic material. There's a gym, and all of the most important content that you'd see on the Azur coast. The tennis court is Olympic sized, and its quality is such that the state championship could be held on it.

And what's special is what I offer them [guests] for free, without any charge. Around the house, they have a whole green ''self-service''. In the gardens I own, there are orchards, I give vineyards, homemade, clean food and fruit and vegetables without any artificial fertilisers or pesticides,''

This Imotski local who is taking his tourism game up a notch also has other gardens boasting peppers, cucumbers, beets, potatoes, carrots, salads, rocula, blitva, spinach and more. Not to mention grapes.

''Practically since mid-June to the end of October they have a self-service full of home grown products. The guests are free to take as much as they like, and thank God, the gardens are full,'' noted Marijan.

If a guest wants some homemade cheese, prosciutto, bread with homemade flour, or domestic chicken meat or some other meat in cooperation with my friends who are healthy food producers, I'm ready to bring them all of that,'' added Marijan.

"I want all of my offer to be domestic from Imotski, because we have that and we can do it,'' is Marijan's main message.

Follow our dedicated travel page for much more.

Sunday, 26 August 2018

Imotski Records 65k Increase in Overnight Stays Over Last 10 Years

Ten years ago, or more precisely at the end of 2008, data from the Tourist Board of Imotski about the number of overnight stays, especially those of foreign guests in the city and the region, were astonishing. 

Tuesday, 1 August 2017

2nd August: Imotski Celebrates 300 Years

On the 2nd of August, 2017, Imotski will mark 300 years of liberating the town from the Ottoman Empire.

Friday, 16 September 2016

2016: The Tourist Season in Imotski That Broke Records

This tourist season in Imotski, and in the entire Imotski region, recorded significant statistical indicators in favor of record tourist season.