Wednesday, 13 March 2019

Split-Dalmatia County Secures Four Million Kuna for 300 Families in Rural Areas

Split-Dalmatia County Prefect Blaženko Boban introduced a new stimulating demographic project on Wednesday titled ‘This is Your Home’, which aims to create the necessary conditions for young families in rural areas. The project hopes to increase the number of inhabitants and bring balanced economic development in these areas of Split-Dalmatia County, reports Dalmatinski Portal on March 13, 2019. 

“We are witnessing that in the rural part of our County people are migrating not only from Croatia but also to the urban centers within Croatia. Through a series of measures we have had so far, we present the top measure today. We divided the County into settlements where we dissected each settlement in our County based on the development index, based on demographic indicators, which was the basis for classifying the categories we included in this program. The public call for this program will be released tomorrow, and the interest for this program is already extremely high. At this point, we have secured 4 million kuna, and our ultimate goal is to bring back or keep 300 families in the areas covered by this incentive program throughout three years. Our wish is for this measure to be an incentive for all local communities in our County. Some of them have already expressed interest in participating in these programs through their own budgets,” Boban said.

Four million kuna has been secured for the construction and reconstruction of buildings for young families in rural areas. In the Split-Dalmatia County area, more than 200 settlements, 32 cities, and municipalities have been divided into five categories according to the development index and four categories according to the number of children covered by this co-financing program.

The project includes financing the purchase of land for construction, professional supervision costs, developing project and technical documentation, constructing or reconstructing uninhabitable buildings, and more. 

The value of individual grants is from 40,000 to 120,000 kuna for family grants. Applications are welcome from spouses or single parents up to 45 years of age and families that want to build their home in Split-Dalmatia County in areas within the development index.

You can see which areas are included in the project here

To read more about lifestyle in Croatia, follow TCN’s dedicated page

Tuesday, 12 March 2019

Tourism Development Strategy for Imotski Region Presented

On Monday, the Tourism Development Strategy of the Imotski region was presented until 2025, whose implementation should provide essential prerequisites to advance the region in tourism and open the entire area to even more segments of tourism demand, reports Dalmacija Danas on March 11, 2019. 

The presentation of this Strategy was attended by the Tourism Minister Gari Cappelli, Croatian National Tourist Board Director Kristjan Staničić, County Prefect Blaženko Boban and Mayor of Imotski and president of TZ Imota Ivan Budalić. The Strategy was developed by the Institute for Tourism for the Tourist Board of Imota, with the support of the Ministry of Tourism and the Croatian National Tourist Board. On this occasion, the fundamental guidelines and goals were presented by the Director of the Institute for Tourism Dr. Damir Krešić and the project leader Ivo Kunst.

“Over the past years, the Imotski region has made great strides in the development of tourism products and promoting the offer. To fully valorize the whole region, and strengthen the brand and its recognition, the first steps were made through merging all the municipalities and the city of Imotski into the Tourist Board of Imota. This Strategy represents a new chapter for the entire Imotski region and gives clear guidelines to valorize all the richness of natural and cultural heritage fully and, in addition to creating new offers, stimulates not only tourism development but also the overall economic development of this area. Sustainability, responsibility and human capital are crucial for our tourism, as well as systematic long-term management following destination management, which we provide with a new legal framework,” Minister Cappelli pointed out during the presentation.

“I am pleased that today, a year after the establishment of the Imota Tourist Board, we present the Tourism Development Strategy for this area, which created all the preconditions for the complete implementation of marketing and other activities that will aim to have an even stronger market positioning of the Imotski region. Namely, this is a true example of destination management that served as an example and additional confirmation of the importance of the unification and joint actions with other colleagues in the area. Such a model of cooperation provides even better promotional effects, greater visibility and more systematic development of tourist infrastructure, taking into account sustainable development,” said the director of the Croatian Tourist Board, Kristjan Staničić.

The prefect of Split-Dalmatia County, Blaženko Boban, pointed out that the Imotski region is a pioneer in merging the tourist boards and hopes that all stakeholders will actively work on implementing guidelines and measures emphasized as crucial for further development, and strengthen the recognition of the Imotski region as a destination, which will contribute to the overall economic and demographic growth of this area.

This strategy will serve as a basic regulatory framework for the coordination and management of the activities of various economic entities, public sector institutions and all other stakeholders directly or indirectly involved in developing and improving the quality of the overall tourism product of this area until 2025. In this regard, and taking into account not only the need for enhancing the commercialization of the available natural heritage, ensuring its long-term sustainable use, but also the permanent preservation of material and non-material cultural heritage, the optimal use of available development space and strengthening the potential of this area for the development of sustainable and green tourism, the most important goal of this document is definitely the continuous increase in the quality of life of all inhabitants of the Imotski region.

Key objectives will thus include establishing a common vision, objectives, and concept of tourism development; creating a well-designed, market-recognized, diversified, but also complementary system of tourist experiences; identifying a number of priority development-investment and/or business-management projects in the private and public sector, through market (re) positioning of the entire project area on the tourism market in the function of strengthening its market recognition and desirability.

To read more about travel in Croatia, follow TCN’s dedicated page

Friday, 8 February 2019

'Rural Tourism 365 in Split-Dalmatia County' Presented at Adriatic Gastro Show

February 8, 2019 - "Split-Dalmatia County, as well as Croatia, has a significant natural and socio-cultural basis for the development of rural tourism. However, this foundation is not used in the right way, and despite the enormous potential, rural tourism in our county and Croatia, compared to that in the seaside, occupies a relatively small share and is still not sufficiently developed," said Nataša Bušić from the Croatian Chamber of Commerce Split at the panel "Rural Tourism 365 Split-Dalmatia County”.

The Panel, which was part of the Adriatic Gastro Show held on February 8th, was organized by HGK ŽK Split to look into the situation of rural tourism, and the potential of which we have the opportunity to vigorously develop this significant and insufficiently developed segment of tourism that can significantly enrich the tourism offer and extend the season.

The Croatian Association for Tourism and Rural Development "Village Club" is actively working on the development and promotion of rural tourism in Croatia. "We are carrying out numerous education for OPGs, projects - from cultural routes to branding, and actions, such as the organization of the Suncokret Rural Tourism in Croatia, to develop rural tourism," said the president of the Association Dijana Katica.


The Tourist Board of Imota is the only tourist community in the area of Split-Dalmatia County, and its director, Luka Kolovrat, said that the last few years achieved excellent results, i.e., an increase in the number of accommodation facilities and the number of overnight stays. 

"Several factors have led to this positive change and growth - the transport infrastructure and the tunnel of Sv. Illija is a great wind on our backs, and there is a prevailing trend for family homes, the pace of renters themselves, the emergence of several strong tourist agencies, media promotion and various incentives,” says Kolovrat.

The destination of Inland Dalmatia, which was declared the most successful destination of rural tourism in 2018, was presented by the director of the Sinj Tourist Board, Monika Vrgoč. 

“From year to year, we note the growth in the number of accommodation facilities. Between 2016 and 2017 the number of newly opened accommodation facilities increased by 60% and from 2017 - 2018, 40%,” Vrgoč said

The LAG Adrion, whose activities were presented by LAG manager, Ivanka Ribičić, is an aid to agricultural holdings when applying for projects. An excellent example of rural tourism development is Winery Matković, one of the LAG members. Domagoj Matković, the owner of the winery Matković, who has been operating since 1998, opened a wine tasting booth last year, which has already resulted in significant business results.

The first-hand experience in working with tourists, trends and demand was shared by Ivana Kapić from the Nova Sol Split Travel Agency. 

“Along with beds and a pool, today's guests in rural areas need to be offered additional facilities such as children's playgrounds, wine cellars and the like,” Kapić said.

Rural tourism in Split-Dalmatia County has shown growth in recent years, but overall, it is still at a low level. For its development, the critical cooperation of all institutions, the creation of a destination and a genuine tourist product, and the learning of those who have already done so, concluded the panel.

To read more about Inland Dalmatia, follow TCN’s dedicated page

Friday, 25 January 2019

Makarska and Imotski Route Featured in World's Biggest Road Cycling Magazine

In a global quest for new cycling destinations, the world-renowned road cycling magazine Cyclist was thrilled with the scenes of the Makarska Riviera and the climb to Sv. Jure, the highest point on Biokovo mountain. 

For this reason, Cyclist featured the experience of climbing Sv. Jure and the enchanting landscape of the Makarska Riviera in the prime section of their upcoming edition - and Croatia's stunning scenes even got a shot on the cover, reports Dalmacija Danas on January 25, 2019. 

The Cyclist magazine team visited Dalmatia in September 2018 and cycled 136 kilometers through Imotski – Kamenmost – Zmijavci – Runovići – Slivno – Zagvozd – Rašćane – Gornje Igrane – Biokovo Sveti Jure – Makarska. Editor-in-chief Peter Muir was part of the team to travel the extremely demanding route, which is best explained by the fact that the total altitude difference rises to 3100 meters.

The article in Cyclist magazine will be released in February this year and is perfectly timed to when cyclists begin to plan their travel for the upcoming spring season and summer of 2019. The spread comes out to a total of 16 pages in the most attractive part of the magazine. The headline reads “Flying High in Croatia", while the article itself is titled "Slaying the Beast".

In the editorial column at the beginning of the release, called "Ed's Letter," editor Peter Muir marks the rise to Sv. Jure as a "Must Do”, and the climb to Sv. Jure is considered one of the best articles ever published in the journal.

Cyclist magazine has a tremendous impact on the global cycling community. Its influence is undeniable, and it is said to be the world's largest cycling "decision maker" and "trendsetter". Many readers around the world call it the “Cycling Bible”.

Apart from the cycling route itself, the article will present Makarska and the Imotski region as a perennial of Croatian cycling tourism, along with its accommodation and gastronomic offer. There is no doubt that after this article is released, the area should expect an increase in the number of international cyclists. 

Hloverka Novak Srzic, director of the Tourist Board of the City of Makarska, commented on the excellent promotion for Dalmacija Danas

“We are very pleased to appear in this ‘Cycling Bible’ that has a global impact with great ratings of top bicyclists. I cannot say anything but that I'm glad. This is the right time to present our destination on a global scale,” Novak Srzić said. 

Makarska certainly has huge outdoor potential. 

“Absolutely. What makes Makarska unique is the blend of the sea, the beach, and the mountains. You can be in the snow on Sv. Jure or smell the fresh mountain air in the summer, and on the same day, enjoy the Mediterranean climate in the beauty of our beaches. This is a great advantage to Makarska.” 

In December, Makarska had many more visitors than a year ago.

“True, 1,500 guests more. Hotel Park was open, last year we invested in Advent. We never had concerts like Željko Bebek and Mladen Grdović before. All the investments have come back. The numbers are the ones that speak best. Next year, Valamar will have a hotel that will be open all winter, and this will be an additional trump card for Makarska and added value to winter tourism.”

To read more about travel in Croatia, follow TCN’s dedicated page

Friday, 11 January 2019

Imotski: A Winter Fairytale, A White Wonderland (VIDEO)

Snow looks good on you, Imotski.

Wednesday, 9 January 2019

Dalmatia Transforms into White Winter Wonderland (VIDEO)

Thanks to the winter cyclone that passed through the Adriatic last night, much of Dalmatia is covered in snow. 

Sunday, 6 January 2019

Imotski Region Expects Overnight Stays to Increase 25% in 2019

Is the exceptional development of tourism in the Imotski region really an important factor in the development of this area, or is it just a trend, which, in turn, has been triggered by the arrival of many guests and the improvement of living conditions, primarily holiday home rentals?

This is a doubt many people from Imotski encounter, especially after the latest results of last year's tourist season. And they are fascinating.

Let’s remember that not so long ago in 2006, over two thousand overnight stays were recorded in the entire Imotski region, of which 30 percent were by foreign guests - and only 12 years later, according to the data from e-Visitor, the Imotski region recorded 9,917 arrivals with 73,830 overnight stays. This is an increase of 22.6 percent in arrivals, and 27 percent in overnight stays compared to 2017, reports Slobodna Dalmacija on January 6, 2019. 

Last year, 260 accommodation facilities were registered in the area of Imotski, most of which were holiday homes. In the same period in 2017, there were 173, which means that 90 new objects appeared in just one year. The best news yet is that in 2019, the region expects to reach 300.

The Imotski region has only two hotels and several accommodations, while the rest is made up of private vacation homes, either old or newly built, with a very impressive infrastructure, including swimming pools, gyms, children's playgrounds and marked trails for recreation.

If you ask any of the local self-government leaders in the eight municipalities and the City of Imotski about their priority in the coming period, all of them will highlight the improvement of infrastructure for the development of tourism.

All of this contributed to Inland Dalmatia’s prestigious award last year. It is no surprise that the Croatian Tourist Board recognized that the Imotski area plays a significant role in the development of rural tourism and, most importantly, collects excellent guest reviews on accommodation conditions, the ecology of the environment, and hospitality. 

The strategic document "Tourism Development Strategy of Imotski Region by 2025" was completed, which was developed by the Institute for Tourism at the Ministry of Tourism. Tourist deputies forecast this year to increase the number of overnight stays by 25 percent compared to 2018. And when all of this is added up, then it can be said that the Imotski region and people of Imotski have embarked on a new step in global top-level development, which is tourism.

“Of course we are satisfied with these results, and the approaches of people who provide services. But next year we will show where we are because every year there are new trends in this form of tourism, which we now offer. Will the guests be satisfied enough with the peace, pools, and walks or will new clients seek new content?

Therefore, we also have to keep up with the trends in the offer, so we have emphasized implementing cycling paths. Cycling tourism is now at the top of the tourist offer in the world, and we have beautiful destinations where these trails can be arranged.

We plan to create about 400 kilometers of cycling paths this year and have our renters certified as cycling friendly, which will surely be a delight to our guests.

Then the construction of themed trails in archaeological tourism, because the Imotski region has a lot of these sites, and a string of signals to OPGs, winemakers, and healthy food producers, so that tourists can feel the charm of the Imotski region,” said Luka Kolovrat, director of the Imotksi Tourist Board. 

All in all, what is currently happening in the Imotski region when it comes to tourism goes along with the assumption that tourism should be one of the main determinants of development.

But tourism, without the improvement of the traffic infrastructure (the fast road Imotski - Zagvozd motorway), without a systematic approach to the development of agriculture and the production of healthy food, for which the fields of Imotski has some capacities, will not be enough for the development of this region.

To read more about Inland Dalmatia, follow TCN's dedicated page

Saturday, 1 December 2018

Mercedes Benz Celebrates Imotski, the 'Star-Studded Village'

December 1, 2018 - A celebration by leading car manufacturer Mercedes Benz on a love affair between the celebrated car brand and a small Dalmatian town away from the coast - welcome to Imotski, Mercedes-style. 

The longer I live in Croatia, the more I get to understand its quirks. Did you know, for example, that there are only three places in Croatia where the dormouse is eaten (grilled on Hvar and Brac, served in a stew in Gorski Kotar), that there is a consulate of Kazakhstan in Umag, or that there are real camels living close to the country's only living desert, known as the Croatian Sahara? Or that the undisputed capital of the Mercedes Benz is the inland Dalmatian town of Imotski?

Some secrets are getting out, and Mercedes Benz has officially discovered the Imotski love affair, with this great piece on their official website: 

"To explore the magic of the Mercedes-Benz village, it’s best to fly into Split. Upon landing in this Croatian town on the Adriatic, we pick up a rental car. One with a star, of course. That will make things much easier later on. We drive around 80 kilometres through the Dalmatian highlands in a south-easterly direction. Not far from our final destination, we start encountering an unusually high number of Mercedes-Benz vehicles. New cars, used cars – and a noteworthy number of classics, young and old. And the closer we get to Imotski, the more stars of bygone eras we see. And not just on the tarmac, either. They’re in the fields, the meadows and even in the vineyards. Did we miss a classic car rally, or is there perhaps a period drama being filmed here? No, this is just a day like any other. A Friday. Everything is just like it always is. And that’s exactly the point: it’s Imotski’s little secret."

Read the full story of the Imotski love affair with Mercedes on the official Mercedes Benz website

To learn more about Imotski, follow the TCN dedicated page.

Sunday, 28 October 2018

Inland Dalmatia, Showcasing Croatian Tourism Excellence Away from the Coast

October 28, 2018 - The incredible inland Dalmatia tourism success story continues, as Dalmatinska Zagora is named as the best destination for rural tourism at Days of Croatian Tourism 2018.

I am often asked where my favourite destination is, a question I find impossible to answer. There are so many great places to visit and live in this country, as well as such a variety of experiences that no one place would be a clear winner. Hvar, of course, will always be my first love, but other islands such as Korcula are fighting hard for my affections, while life in Varazdin Country with access to fabulous Zagreb has been a revelation. But there is one region in Croatia for which I have a real soft spot. 

Inland Dalmatia. 


It was with immense pride and almost a tear in my eye that I watched the fantastic inland Dalmatia team pick up a much-deserved award as the best destination for rural tourism at the 2018 Days of Croatian Tourism awards. It has been a real pleasure to watch tourism in inland Dalmatia blossom since my first visit there at the invitation of the Sinj Tourist Board, back in February 2013. 


I loved the energy of the young tourist board directors in this gorgeous region just behind the mountains near Split. One thing led to another and before long, I found myself doing a presentation (see above) to the tourist board directors of inland Dalmatia about a partnership for a new website called Total Inland Dalmatia. It would have been nice of Google not to choose that particular moment to show a Google Ad for Thai brides, but you can't have everything. There was support from the Central Dalmatia Tourist Board and even - ah, those were the days - a small grant from the Ministry of Tourism. Everyone agreed there was a need to better promote the richness of Klis, Sinj, Trilj, Dugopolje, Imotski, Vrgorac and Vrlika as one. 

And while Total Inland Dalmatia played a small part in the rise of inland Dalmatia as a destination, the local stakeholders have played a major role in developing the destination as one brand, and with an increasingly enticing tourism offer. And the progress is extraordinary.


Inland Dalmatia Destinations - the Rise of Imotski

Few destinations in all Croatia have experienced growth like Imotski in the last five years. Certain infrastructure projects such as the opening of a tunnel to the Makarska Riviera have helped immensely, but so too has the innovative tourism promotion, such as Austrians slacklining over the Red Lake. The increase in tourism overnights and the accompanying number of new villas with swimming pools has transformed Imotski into a very attractive destination - a chance to enjoy traditional Dalmatian hospitality and accommodation while being a short drive from the beach.  


Inland Dalmatia Destinations - the Rise of Sinj

The driving force for inland Dalmatia in the last few years has been the historic town of Sinj, most famous for its Alka knights' tournament, which has taken place each year to commemorate the victory against the Ottomans in 1715. 2015 saw the historic 300th Alka, and the Sinj Tourist Board took the Alka story as far away as New York, while the outstanding new Alka museum is the latest attraction in this fascinating historic town just 30 minutes by car from Split. 

Inland Dalmatia Destinations - the Emergence of Vrlika

I am a little embarrassed to admit I had never heard of Vrlika before I started getting involved with the region, but it did not take me long to realise what I had been missing. Check out the latest promotional video from Vrlika above, to see why you too should be heading to Vrlika next summer. For now you can stay - although the numbers are small, the first tourist accommodation rentals have become available in Vrlika in the last two years,a process of patience and encouragement from the Vrlika Tourist Board.  


Inland Dalmatia Destinations - the Roman Heritage of Dugopolje

Some imaginative diversification from Dugopolje, known by many as the motorway exit for Split, but also home to some great Roman heritage. Dugopolje was the first destination in Central Dalmatia to take part in the Roman roads initiative by Central Tourist Board Director, Josko Stella (pictured above).


Inland Dalmatia Destinations - From Roman Heritage to Trilj Blues

One of the things I quickly learned about inland Dalmatia is that the unexpected is always around the corner. A great addition to the Trilj calendar these past two years - the Thrill Blues Festival.  


Inland Dalmatia Destinations - Klis and the Game of Thrones Factor

If you are trying to develop a tourist destination, it always helps with the promotion is Game of Thrones decides to film there. And while the hit HBO series put Klis Fortress on the map, local authorities have done much in recent years to turn it into a fantastic tourist attraction. And one you can get to easily by bus. Here's how.


Inland Dalmatia Destinations - Vrgorac and a Unique Wine Festival

Thought you had experienced every type of wine festival possible? How about one which celebrates a distinctly Dalmatian beverage - red wine and goat milk, or bikla. You can top up your glass straight from the goat at the annual biklijada in Vrgorac. 

An amazing region with great energy. And where else would TCN choose for a teambuilding session? Here is what you can get up to on a day out in the region they call Dalmatinska  Zagora. . 

Congratulations to all the inland Dalmatia team both on the award and the progress you have made. I, for one, am looking forward to the next chapter.  

Want to learn a little more about inland Dalmatia? Here are 25 things to know about Dalmatinska Zagora.

Monday, 8 October 2018

Intangible Heritage of Croatia – Ćupter – Traditional Wine Jelly Candy

Learn how to make the candy of Croatia's past!

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