Friday, 27 May 2022

Czech Media Warns Tourists Not to Travel Due to Jellyfish in Istria?

May 27, 2022 - Czech media recently warned Czech tourists about jellyfish in Istria, making them think twice before planning a summer holiday on the Croatian peninsula. 

The season could not officially start until foreign media had something, well, out of the ordinary to say, which is exactly what happened in the Czech media about tourists going to Istria. 

Namely, a Czech magazine recently published false news that the Croatian coast was flooded with jellyfish, which could ultimately jeopardize the tourist season. The Czechs allegedly called on their citizens not to spend their summers in Istria, to which the Istria County Tourist Board quickly responded, Glas Istre writes.

It is true that fishers had problems with jellyfish last winter, but the Czech media misinterpreted the news, said the Istria County Tourist Board. Guests from the Czech Republic and Slovakia also sent inquiries to the Istria County Tourist Board, and one Slovak who planned to go on holiday in early June asked if the story about the jellyfish invasion was true.

The director of the Istria County Tourist Board, Denis Ivošević, says that they sent a statement to the Czech and Slovak media this week "about the real situation in the Adriatic", which is why they asked for the opinion of experts. 

Ivošević assumes that someone from the Czech Republic read a story in Croatian media about fishers complaining about jellyfish over winter and transmitted the news with a delay, interpreting it completely wrong. He pointed out that there was no danger for swimmers and that the news about the mass appearance of jellyfish on the Istrian coast was fabricated. Istrian fishers have also confirmed that jellyfish have almost completely disappeared from their waters.

One Czech magazine, on the other hand, writes that the beaches in Piran, Savudrija, Umag, Poreč, Vrsar, and the entire Italian coast of the Friuli Venezia Giulia region are "covered with transparent slimy jelly".

How about that story to kick off the season?

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

Saturday, 9 October 2021

Istria Ecoxperience, All Eco From Istria in One Place

October 9, 2021 - With the aim of promoting sustainable tourism development, informing about existing eco-friendly facilities in Istria, and raising awareness of the importance of ecology and networking stakeholders in Istria, the county sent a public invitation for inclusion in the brochure Istria Ecoxperience.

Two years ago, the County of Istria started printing the first brochure on eco-friendly facilities in Istria, reports The desire is thus to contribute to the preservation of natural and cultural resources, raise awareness of the need for nature protection, improve the lives of local communities and encourage new business opportunities in Istria, respecting the principles of sustainable development. At the same time, this encourages the development of the local community, the consumption of domestic and indigenous products from ecological and organic farming.

Nature, culture, tradition, and people are important aspects of green tourism, and with the aim of promoting sustainable tourism development, informing about existing eco-friendly facilities in Istria, monitoring trends in the world, and raising awareness of the importance of ecology and networking stakeholders in Istria, Istria The county sent a public invitation for inclusion in the brochure "ISTRIA ECOXPERIENCE - All eco from Istria".

The brochure is multilingual (Croatian-English and Italian-German), printed on ecological paper, and designed by Judge Sonda, who also designed the title of the brochure. In addition to eco-friendly accommodation, ie private accommodation certified with the Eco Domus label, hotels bearing the international eco-label Travelife, and camps with the EU Ecolabel label, the brochure includes certified organic producers who sell their offer on the doorstep, beaches bearing the Blue and Green flags. , Eco beaches, e-charging stations for electric vehicles and bicycles, and eco events that present ecological and indigenous products or eco-friendly activities.

Furthermore, protected areas in Istria have been singled out, with special emphasis on the Natura 2000 Ecological Network and protected plant and animal species, the rules of conduct in these areas and facilities such as caves, pits, national parks, and nature parks, which are adapted for the reception of tourists.

The brochure includes eco-museums and theme parks that present indigenous products, traditions, and customs, then the Parenzana hiking and biking trail, and promotes eco-friendly activities while at the same time behaving responsibly towards the environment.

The brochure can be downloaded at the LINK, and is intended for the domicile population who want to raise environmental awareness and encourage environmental thinking, but also tourists to get information about all the eco-friendly content and offer in one place. At the beginning of this year, a website was created, which contains all the information as well as a brochure.

All interested stakeholders who are directly or indirectly involved in tourism in Istrian County and who operate in an eco-friendly way, are invited to join the Istria Ecoxperience. It is enough to fill in the appropriate application form and submit it with the accompanying documentation to the address of the Administrative Department for Tourism of Istrian County.

The public call for inclusion on the website is permanently open, while applications for inclusion in the printed brochure close on 31 October. Ordinance on the conditions for inclusion and application forms are available HERE.

For more information and travel tips on the Istrian region, be sure to visit our newly launched Total Croatia portal. Now in your language!

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


Monday, 27 September 2021

Croatian 2021 Tourist Season Leaves Producers With Empty Shelves

September the 27th, 2021 - The excellent Croatian 2021 tourist season which few could have possibly expected to have gone so well back at the beginning of this year has left some producers wondering how they're going to prepare for next year already. Many Istrian cheese, oil and wine producers have been left with empty shelves and much fuller pockets at last.

As Barbara Ban/Novac writes, this summer in Istria went like a dream, with the sort of numbers you'd expect to be recorded in global capitals. Reservations for the best restaurants were waited on for periods of ten days, and every night a line of tourists could be seen standing in front of Istria's many bars. There was no such crowding to be seen in this part of Croatia even during the best pre-pandemic seasons, and all this shows that the consumption was very good and that visitors, tired of their lives being controlled by various tests and measures, simply wanted to enjoy themselves a bit and relax.

Fiscalised receipts/invoices

Croatian wine on the Adriatic flowed into the glasses of visitors in streams, cheesemakers were left without their cheeses, olive growers without oil. Stocks were depleted, even those from the first year of the coronavirus back in 2020, which initially threw everything to its knees on a global scale and in a way we've never experienced before. However, it is not yet known precisely how high consumption in Istria has actually been in the Croatian 2021 tourist season, which was visited by the largest number of guests this summer.

It should, of course, be significant, because the prices in restaurants and bars were quite a bit higher than they were back in 2019. According to the director of the Istrian Tourist Board, Denis Ivosevic, he will soon request information on the fiscalised receipts issued on the Istrian peninsula, which, he believes, will confirm the fact that a lot was spent locally during the Croatian 2021 tourist season.

Record prices

''Hotels achieved record prices, in restaurants where you had to book a table, guests waited for a reservation for seven or even ten days. In ordinary restaurants you could see a line of ten to twenty people and they certainly consumed some of the absolute best products from Istria, such as wine, oil, expensive local truffles and everything else you might imagine. We’ll know that on a much deeper level when we get fiscalised data on spending. It’s never been this way, and it all happened because two things happened at the same time. First of all, Istria raised its quality, and the competition helped us because it was weaker than us due to bad epidemiological conditions. That's why we're the winners of the Mediterranean in tourism this season,'' Ivosevic thinks.

The producers of oil, cheese, wine and prosciutto confirmed that they had a more than good season in Istria. For example, the company Oio Vivo from Vodnjan was left without a complete supply of its extra virgin olive oil which has won international awards for its sheer quality.

''We worked very hard and we're out of stock. Everything worked brilliantly - from the sale to the olive grove, where we arranged a new space, to the wholesale, restaurant and webshop. There was a great demand everywhere. Last year we produced about 22,000 litres, and from the year before we may have had about 1,000 litres left. Now we have almost nothing left and we can't wait for the new harvest to come,'' said Velimir Juric from Oio Vivo, which will have a good harvest and expects at least 45,000 litres of oil and an even better year. Although the harvest of the others will be much worse due to the winter and snowy conditions, they will have a full better harvest and say they will not raise their prices.

Production never stopped...

The famous cheesemaker Sandi Orbanic from Zminj and the prosciutto factory Bursic from Vodnjan weren't left without cheese and prosciutto, but only because they work constantly. Orbanic is more troubled by how preparations for next year might go.

''We worked really well and that was unexpected for us. We just didn’t know how to prepare for the Croatian 2021 tourist season. In the end it ended up being great. We haven't been left without cheese, but only because we're constantly producing it. Sales to hotels, shops, restaurants and on the doorstep were also excellent,'' pointed out Orbanic, who annually produces about 120 tonnes of products in his cheese factory.

''We do manage to place everything. But given the decline in 2020 and consumption this year, we don't know what quantities to plan for 2022,'' he added.

Robert Lisjak from Vodnjan prosciutto also said that this year has been truly fantastic compared to last year.

''We always have everything because we're constantly producing sausages, bacon, and even prosciutto. We worked a lot throughout the pandemic with the domestic market and we sell a lot on the doorstep, and this year we noticed a greater demand for the restaurants themselves,'' stated Lisjak.

For more on the Croatian 2021 tourist season, check out our dedicated travel section.

Tuesday, 31 August 2021

750,000 Tourists Currently in Croatia, Istrian Cities Proving Hit

August the 31st, 2021 - The Croatian tourist season just keeps on going despite the predictions we had earlier on in the year. With numbers rising to almost pre-pandemic levels and foreign arrivals having a much easier time entering Croatia than before, September is looking great and several Istrian cities are a particular hit at the moment.

While the vaccination rollout in Croatia might still leave quite a bit to be desired for, the tourist season has been excellent so far, with the announcements as we head into September also looking more than promising. The favourable epidemiological situation is likely to continue as long as all of the measures that remain in place are properly adhered to.

As Poslovni Dnevnik writes, according to the latest data from Croatia's eVisitor system, there are about 750,000 tourists currently holidaying in the country, of which about 650,000 are non-resident foreign nationals. Most of them are Germans, followed by other Croatian tourists visiting different places across the country, as reported by HRT.

The most visited cities are the Istrian cities of Rovinj, Porec and Umag. After that, most tourists can be found in the Split-Dalmatia, Primorje-Gorski Kotar and Zadar counties.

These figures represent encouraging growth of as much as 67 percent when compared to last year and the current state is only 15 percent less than the record year of 2019. As long as nothing changes drastically in regard to the currently very favourable Croatian epidemiological situation, the post-season could be above all expectations, bringing a very welcome sigh of relief for all those in the hospitality and tourism sector who more than likely believed such success would never come.

For more on travel to and around Croatia, make sure to check out our dedicated travel section.

For all you need to know about coronavirus specific to Croatia, including travel and border rules, as well as the locations of vaccination points and testing centres, make sure to bookmark our dedicated section and select your preferred language.

Tuesday, 10 August 2021

Istrian Kastelir-Labinci Boasts 15000 Residents and 150 OPGs

August the 10th, 2021 - When you think of Istria, you probably think of Motovun, Vrsar, Porec, Novigrad, Pula, Rovinj... I could go on. There are very many hidden little places all over Istria which most people don't even know about, much less visit. The Istrian Kastelir-Labinci, with its 1500 residents, is just one of them. This little place, however, is climbing the ladder when it comes to tourism.

As Poslovni Dnevnik/Marta Duic writes, right in the very heart of Istria lies this little municipality which boasts an impressively rich of offer of local products despite having only 1500 inhabitants.

The Istrian Kastelir-Labinci Municipality proudly points out that half of its 1500 inhabitants are engaged in domestic production and as many as 150 family farms are registered there. One of them is owned by the Kocijancic family, who recently enriched the area's growing local offer Robinson accommodation with a capacity for 50 people.

According to the owners, Antonija and Valter Kocijancic, Natura Camp Karli is an oasis in a natural environment with a combination of forest and olive groves in decorated wooden houses and tents.

The 10,000-square-foot green area is located on the edge of the village surrounded by vineyards, orchards and cultivated areas, and offers five high-quality accommodation units in Robinson-style accommodation - a camping resort, wooden tree houses, glamping tents in tree canopies, covered tents and free places on the grass for tents.

"Our household has a long family tradition when it comes to winemaking and olive growing, and recently we've even started producing honey. All of the family members are employed on the family farm. This year is specific in that our household, after five years, managed to open a camp with Robinson accommodation,'' explained Antonia Kocijancic.

Foreign guests are noticing the Istrian Kastelir-Labinci more and more...

Their camp offers accommodation in wooden houses, covered tents and glamping tents. ''These facilities provide the special pleasures of peace and relaxation because they have no electricity, only flashlights. Motorhome parking with eight plots is specially arranged with all water and electricity connections, and the accompanying facilities such as toilets and kitchen are fully furnished and used by all guests in the camp.

The toilets have a bathroom for the disabled, as well as for children, men, women and even pets. There's also a gathering place by the fire in the camp. The kitchen has a fireplace and a bread oven, a refrigerator, an oven and a freezer, and guests can use vegetables, olive oil, coffee, ice cream, homemade jams and honey,'' Kocijancic pointed out.

In order to make the specialty of this little Istrian destination even more accessible to visitors, the municipal government, the local tourist board and the Vitis Association have all come together and designed a special offer. Every Friday, during the months of July and August, tourists can visit local family farms and restaurants and taste products and order items at promotional prices.

For now, the response from foreign tourists is more than fantastic, of which there are over two thousand a day in the Istrian Kastelir-Labinici area.

"Our most frequent guests are foreign guests, but we were among the first to have a nice group of young people from Zagreb with their pets. Among the more numerous visitors from Europe, the most frequent guests are those from the Netherlands, Belgium, Germany, Slovenia and Italy, but there are also guests from Switzerland, France and Poland,'' the Kocijancic family pointed out.

A praiseworthy EU project

In addition to Robinson tourism, which they started engaging in only this year, this family also offers wine, olive oil and honey, all from their own production. This family farm cultivates as many as four hectares of vineyards and 3,000 olive groves, and they also have 40 bee hives. As they say, they don't have any subcontractors, and everything they process and offer to guests is from their very own production. The products can only be bought from them, and the most sought after is, in true Istrian style, olive oil.

This is a project funded by the European Union with a grant of 50,000 euros from the rural development measure 6.2.1. While that figure is already high, the owners point out that the value of the investment is many times higher than that, as their camp opened in July and they aren't lacking when it comes to making plans and coming up with new ideas.

“Our most significant investment was this camp that opened four weeks ago. For now, we're still getting used to it and seeing what the reactions of the first guests are like, so we will eventually think about some further plans at the end of this season,'' concluded the Kocijancic family who are placing the Istrian Kastelir-Labinci area on the tourism map.

For more, follow Made in Croatia and our travel section.

Saturday, 31 July 2021

Central Istria Tourist Board Appoints New President

July 31, 2021 - Goran Hrvatin, who has been the mayor of Tinjan for four years, has been appointed as the new mayor of the Central Istria Tourist Board.

HrTurizam reports that the Mayor of Tinjan, Goran Hrvatin, was unanimously appointed the new President at yesterday's meeting of the founders of the Tourist Board of Central Istria (TZSI) and will hold this position until the end of his current term. Until now, the duty of the president of the Central Istria Tourist Board was performed by Renato Krulčić, the mayor of the City of Pazin, and with the termination of the duty of the mayor, his duty as the president of the Tourist Board ceased.

The biography of the new president shows that from 2005 to 2008 he actively participated in the work of the Municipality of Tinjan as a councilor in the municipal council. Since May 2015, he has been volunteering as the Mayor of Tinjan. In his biography, he states that "during his tenure, he found a model for overcoming the crisis of the Municipality of Tinjan and laid the Municipality of Tinjan on a solid foundation." He has actively participated in IPARD projects for unclassified roads, tourist facilities, and in projects related to public lighting. Through four years of work on projects of the Municipality of Tinjan, he states that he has the necessary experience to manage projects co-financed by state and county aid and aid from EU funds.

The Central Istria Tourist Board was established, as one of the first in Croatia, for the area of ​​several local self-government units. It includes the City of Pazin and the municipalities of Cerovlje, Gračišće, Karojba, Lupoglav, Pićan, Sveti Lovreč, Sveti Petar u Šumii Tinjan.

It is important to mention that the Municipality of Tinjan has for many years recorded the largest number of overnight stays in the Central Istria Tourist Board, and has the largest accommodation capacity with more than a thousand beds.

Also, one of the positive things that are happening in Istria, and thanks to more and more luxury holiday homes is the opening of a new market for family farms. Thus, local Istrian family farms are organized and offer guests in holiday homes the delivery of their products to the doorstep. A new market has opened up, which we also wrote about in an article last year.

“Central Istria strives to position itself as an ideal combination of uniqueness, but also of untouched nature, ideal for outdoor activities. Thus, the beauty of the natural landscape and the richness of cultural heritage are key elements of the tourist offer", said then director of the Central Istria Tourist Board, Sanja Kantaruti, adding that the principles of slow, green, and healthy tourism have been adopted.

The main problem of central Istria is still the fact that it is not united as one tourist product, the North-Western cluster is missing, which creates additional problems in positioning, branding, and development. It is the north-western part of Istria that is developing and positioning the fastest and it is absurd that Motovun belongs to Central Istria and Grožnjan to North-Western Istria. Tourists really do not know or are interested in various municipal, city, county, and other imaginary borders, but they see first Croatia as a destination, and only then Istria.

And this is proof of how it is necessary to brand the regions, and then descend to logical and natural wholes, as well as niche rounded tourist products. And that is why central Istria must be one brand because it is one story and practically one destination. I emphasize that this is the interior of Istria, that is, only one area where visitors do not see the borders, here is the idea for a new President of the Central Istria Tourist Board.

For more information and travel tips on the Istrian region, be sure to visit our newly launched Total Croatia portal.

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

Thursday, 1 July 2021

House of Istrian Olive Oil Has Been Reopened in Pula With New Address

July 1, 2021 - The House of Istrian Olive Oil now has a new address in Pula and its doors are once again open to all lovers of not only olive oil but, in particular, Istrian oil, which is considered one of the best in the world.

After a challenging year, the House of Istrian Olive Oil moved and continued to work in a new space in Istarska 30, only fifty meters from the Pula amphitheater, reports All fans of the history of olive growing and top Istrian olive oils, both domestic and foreign guests, will be able to continue to enjoy a unique cultural and tourist product.


As the initiator of the project and the owner of the House of Istrian Olive Oil Lorena Boljunčić explained, the concept of the House of Oil remains the same, but the new space gives it greater opportunities and new dynamics.

“The museum part has been expanded to include a number of interesting facts from the history of Istrian olive growing from the Roman period to the present day: how the Romans produced olive oil, where it was exported, how oil refining has changed over the centuries and a number of important facts about modern olive oil production. Through educational guided tastings, visitors can learn how to recognize quality extra virgin olive oils, to which aromas and flavors you should pay attention and taste different varietal oils from various Istrian producers. The entire space covers 560 square meters," said Boljuncic.

Let us remind you, the House of Istrian Olive Oil was opened in 2017 in Pula. Through many years of work, an innovative cultural and tourist product has been created to promote a part of the Istrian culture: top Istrian oils with international awards as well as other valuable and Istrian products. Wanting to be a responsible member of the local community, the Oil House has participated in many events in the Istrian County, and more than 25,000 foreign guests from all continents and over 50 countries have passed through the museum and education/tasting.

The House of Istrian Olive Oil has entered the renowned tourist guides and has won awards and recognitions. Thus, in 2017, it received the Golden Goat Award of the Istria County Tourist Board, and a year later the Council of Europe received the House of Oil in the European organization of Cultural Routes with an emphasis on the route "Olive Routes".

Also in 2019, the House received the international BIG SEE award for interior design for public use and was nominated for the best Slavic museum Živa award.

For more information about the museum and guiding packages prices, be sure to check their website.

When it comes to olive oil, Croatia is one of the leading countries in the industry. From Istria to Dalmatia, you can find all the information you need to know about the origins, processes, and where to buy Croatian olive oil on the Total Croatia page, now in your language!

Friday, 21 May 2021

Donald Tusk in Rovinj: "Croatia is Ready to Restart Tourism''

May 21, 2021 - As the season approaches and tourists start to arrive, a message comes from the European People's Party's Donald Tusk in Rovinj, Istria.

As reported by, Donald Tusk, who served as President of the European Council from 2014 to 2019 and as the 14th Prime Minister of Poland from 2007 to 2014, is currently enjoying the early days of sun in Croatia with his family. Through his Twitter profile, the most famous Polish politician internationally announced his visit to the popular Istrian destination of Rovinj. The sight of Donald Tusk in Rovinj is likely to give this destination hope for the summer ahead.

Tourism in the Istrian peninsula has proven that it can defy the obstacles caused by the pandemic, not only at its worst during the past year but also in recent months, prior to the start of the rapidly approaching summer season. Istria saw, with surprise, local and foreign tourists arrive not only during Easter but also during the first weekend of May, thus exceeding their expectations in the face of the complicated situation that tourism has been going through in the country in the last year.

All this highlights the advantages of the peninsula of being better connected with the European continent, providing the opportunity for all those tourists to travel by car. It also sends out a powerful message about the willingness of many tourists to enjoy the sea and the beaches before they get crowded, and especially in the present context of social distancing. As the vaccination process in Croatia continues its course and the numbers of infections continue to decline, it seems that the results are beginning to appear.

Given this hopeful precedent, there is reason enough in Istria to believe that the approaching summer season may bring life back to hotels, restaurants, private accommodation, and more. And one of the people who believes that it is time to face the coming months with optimism is nothing less than the Polish representative in the European People's Party (EPP), Donald Tusk.

"Croatia is ready to restart tourism and to receive guests. We are all in love with Istria ", reads the announcement of Donald Tusk in Rovinj on Twitter, accompanied by a photo of him enjoying an Istrian sunset with his family.

For more information on what the City of Rovinj can offer you on your next visit, such as sights, hotels, beaches, food, or drink, be sure to check out Total Croatia's Rovinj in a Page 2021, HERE.

Follow the latest on flights to Croatia HERE and the latest travel updates and COVID-19 news from Croatia HERE.

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

Saturday, 19 December 2020

Six Istrian Tourist Boards Team Up in a New Association South Istria

December 19, 2020 – The Tourist Boards of Vodnjan, Medulin, Fažana, Ližnjan, Marčana, and Pula are joining a new association called South Istria to develop tourism in Southern Istria.

As HRturizam reports, the tourist boards mentioned above signed the agreement, and Pula Tourist Board will be the main coordinator. The newly-formed association's goal is the joint implementation of activities aimed at developing a tourist product and promoting the destination through the cluster program of Southern Istria.

Namely, the new Law on Tourist Boards and the Promotion of Croatian Tourism encourages their association and the establishment for the area of several units of local or regional self-government. In addition to the allocation of financial resources from the Fund for Associated Tourist Boards established for this purpose, into which funds from paid tourist taxes and membership fees are issued, tourist boards have at their disposal a project (agreement) or formal association.

By the end of the year, all proposed and validated programs for the association of tourist boards must be signed in the Ministry of Tourism and Sports. According to unofficial estimates, there will be about twenty of them.

South Istria - Five Friendly destinations among the first joint projects

Among the first joint projects, the South Istria tourist boards prepare a project called South Istria – Pet Friendly.

"Given the trends and high demand for pet-friendly accommodation, we want to cover this service on a wider scale. We will highlight and promote information about places where pets are welcome, and thus make it easier for both guests and hosts," points out South Istria – Pet Friendly.

One of the conditions for inclusion in the Pet-Friendly project is that a pet's accommodation must be allowed in the accommodation unit with the owner. Also, the unit must not contain objects and substances harmful to pets (various poisons for disinfection, disinsection, poisonous plants, unprotected electrical installation, unprotected garden with free access to the road, etc.).

Besides, the accommodation owner must prominently display house rules for pet owners and, at the request of the guest, it is necessary to provide a container for food, water, a mat, and a towel for the pet. For facilities that meet the required criteria, the landlord will sign a contract with the local tourist board and be specially promoted.

For the latest travel info, bookmark our main travel info article, which is updated daily

Read the Croatian Travel Update in your language - now available in 24 languages.

Join the Total Croatia Travel INFO Viber community.

Saturday, 15 February 2020

New Novigrad: Little Pearl of Adriatic Turns to Gourmet Tourism

February 15, 2020 - Vesna Ferenac, director of the Novigrad Tourist Board, emphasizes that their ultimate goal is more efficient promotion, that is, visibility of the destination and raising the quality of the offer in the city. 

"Last year we achieved record results: three percent increase in arrivals and a two percent increase in overnights, exceeding 1.3 million overnights. This is a great result considering that the beginning of the preseason did not start well due to terrible and cold weather. The period before and after the season is very important for us, so this year we are focused on activities during this period to increase the number of guests,” said Vesna Ferenac, director of the Novigrad Tourist Board, speaking about the preparations for the new tourist season.

Glas Istre writes that behind the scenes, they are preparing for the reception and provision of even better service and hospitality of the guests. And as Novigrad, colloquially called the "little pearl of the Adriatic", is becoming an excellent place for an increasing number of tourists.

“We continue with activities related to defining the tourist offer of Novigrad that started in 2018, one of the priority goals of which is branding the destination of Novigrad, according to the guidelines of a document we presented in May last year. So last year, we realized some of the activities that have emerged from this document, such as the summer entertainment program, with which we are continuing with some new content that will fill the week-long program in the city at several checkpoints," Ferenac says.

Based on these guidelines and a printed document, they collected offers to brand the destination and selected designer Marko Baus & associates from a Zagreb agency. For the realization of this vital branding project, they continued to hold workshops with stakeholders of tourism and other offers in the town, i.e., caterers, owners of accommodation facilities, travel agencies, institutions, associations and institutions that organize and conduct various events, but this time, the topic defined the strategic position of the brand for profiling future tourism products and creating experiences for guests staying in Novigrad.

“We also used the latest tools for analyzing guest posts on social networks, analyzing data collected from platforms for reviewing accommodation and analyzing posts on news portals, that is, a digital media image survey of Novigrad was carried out, with about 120,000 posts. By analyzing these announcements through platforms and social networks, we will have a clearer landmark for branding the destination. A pervasive analysis has been made because we believe that guest feedback is essential, as they see and perceive us as a destination, in order to address some of the shortcomings and targeted development. To us, from the perspective of a local, some of the appearances and things in the town may seem different than it would for guests, because we are here every day, and therefore their wishes should be heard and self-critical changes and improvements can be made,” explains Ferenac.

As she points out further, in this project, it was very important to take into account the local observations that were analyzed at the workshops. The result of the work in last year's workshops will compare with the opinions of the guests and define the attributes of Novigrad that need to be more actively promoted and branded to become even more visible in the highly competitive tourism market. Ferenac explains that this complex research and strategic document for destination branding implies a change of the city's visuals, its implementation (unification), that is, connecting all carriers in all fields of the city's tourism offer.

“The ultimate goal is more efficient promotion, i.e., visibility of the destination and raising the quality of the offer in the city. Also, with unique content networking, guests should be additionally stimulated to visit and stay, and spend more throughout the year,” Ferenac points out.

In addition, a number of events have been expanded as the Tourist Board moves ahead with new tourism products.

“We have judged that there is a lack of content related to marine activities. So, in cooperation with an Austrian swim club, we are organizing an international swimming marathon on May 16 and according to the announcements so far, we expect between 200 and 300 swimmers. We will organize a new sailing regatta, but we are still in negotiations,” announced Ferenac and added that they are thinking about new gourmet products. 

Namely, for the development of gourmet products, two editions of the new Park Food Fest gourmet event are planned this year, in the pre and postseason, while the traditional gourmet events united under the name Gnam-gnam fest will be realized this year at the Novigrad Captains Evening at the beginning June, and Sardelafest in early September.

“In mid-July, at the increasingly popular event "Che gusto", numerous local and foreign producers of wine, craft beer and food products will present their offer. Also, we continue with events that started last year, like: "Movie nights" with screenings of films in the park under the stars, "Jazz Corner" at Bosko Petrovic Passage, tribute band concerts at the Piazza Grande in Novigrad, "Kids' day” with a program of street entertainers, then music programs on every corner, and debut music nights in the romantic setting of the restored Belvedere Lodge.

There will also be traditional events such as the Painting Ex tempore Contest, Magical Novigrad, Slovenian nights and all sorts of surprises, Ferenac says, adding that every guest is equally good and that there is something for everyone.

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