Tuesday, 24 May 2022

Split Destinations You Can Visit Using Public Transport

May 24, 2022 - You can spend a large part of your itinerary in the city centre, but did you know that you can get to know many interesting Split destinations by bus? We're going to show you how.

Whether it is a short visit or for a week, the City of Split can fill your itinerary with activities of all kinds, sights, gastronomic spots, and much more. But what if you feel the need to explore your surroundings? Surely from the window of your plane, shortly before landing, you noticed that Split is much more than just its centre. In the high season, you may want a little respite from the crowds, so why not explore some of the nearby Split destinations? By using public transport, you can save yourself the fees of renting a car to visit these relatively local destinations, as well as the tedious search for parking in the city.

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Photo: Ivo Cagalj/PIXSELL

The public transport system in the City of Split is called Promet (Traffic) and its buses can take you beyond the centre. The bus network is divided into four zones, and that is how ticket prices are determined (based on proximity to the very centre). If you're very clear about where you're going, you can buy your tickets at the Tisak stands indicating the area you are going to, or you can also pay the bus driver himself, indicating the exact destination you are going to.

The prices of bus tickets by zone are as follows:

Zone 1: 9 kuna

Zone 2: 13 kuna

Zone 3: 17 kuna

Zone 4: 21 kuna

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Image: Promet Split

Now, the question is, where do you want to go? Generally, everything in the centre of Split is part of Zone 1. You can choose between beautiful and less crowded beaches, small and picturesque old settlements, or even historical places beyond that zone. The choice is yours. Here are some ideas for Split destinations you can visit in zones 2, 3 and 4 with the city's public transport system.

ZONE 2

Solin

Solin is located very close to the centre, just northeast of Split. Originally called Solana, it was a Greek colony founded in the 3rd century BC, and later a Roman colony. At that time, it ended up becoming the fourth largest city in the entire Roman Empire. For a zone 2 ticket to Solin, you can go ahead and visit its impressive ruins. You'll need to get on bus number 2 (Split - Poljička - K. Sućuraj (Strinje) - Split Airport), or bus number 38 (Split - K. Stari - Resnik).


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The ruins of Solin. (Photo: Mario Romulić)

Stobreč

On the southern loop of Split zone 2, Stobreč is the first destination you can get to. It's ideal if you are looking for somewhere nearby to relax and with a good number of bars and restaurants. Stobreč also has a golf course, if that's your thing. You'll need to get on bus number 60 (Split-Omiš) or number 25 (Split-Stobreč).

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Overview of Stobreč. (Photo: Mario Romulić)

Podstrana

Passing Stobreč, you'll reach Podstrana. Podstrana has a large number of beautiful beaches, with bars and restaurants on them. I always say, if you are looking to enjoy the sea in Split and away from the crowds, go to Podstrana. If you're looking for something other than the beaches, you can also go hiking in the surrounding hills or kayaking on the Žrnovnica river. Did you also know that legends say that Podstrana is where the famous King Arthur could have been buried? You'll need to get on bus number 60 (Split-Omiš) to get here.

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The sword of Artorus, in Podstrana. (Photo: Ivo Cagalj/PIXSELL)

ZONE 3

Kaštela

Please note that there is more than one Kaštela! It won't be something that will have much relevance when paying for your ticket, since they're all in the same area. Kaštela is located northwest of Split, on the way to the airport. No matter which Kaštela you decide to go to, be sure to enjoy its promenades, beaches, and marinas! You'll need to get on bus number 2 (Split - Poljička - K. Sućuraj (Strinje) - Split Airport), or bus number 38 (Split - K. Stari - Resnik).

Krilo

If you pass Podstrana, heading south, you will enter zone 3. There are many places that you can visit almost in succession: Mutogras, Jesenice, Sumpetar, Dugi Rat... Krilo has very nice beaches, as well. You'll need to get on bus number 60 (Split-Omiš).

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Krilo. (Photo: Tino Juric/PIXSELL)

ZONE 4

Duće

Duće is one of the last destinations in zone 3 to the south. Many continue on to Omiš, but Duće is a place that deserves all your attention for its beautiful beaches and camping sites. You'll need to get on bus number 60 (Split-Omiš).

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At the beginning of Zone 4, just before Omiš, you'll find Duće. (Photo: Mario Romulić)

Trogir

Passing the Split Airport, you'll find the very ancient and picturesque town of Trogir. Often regarded as the miniature version of Split, its beautiful promenade and narrow streets will stick in your mind for a long time. A good idea is to find pristine beaches in the bridge-connected island of Čiovo. You'll need to get on bus number 37 (Split - Split Airport - Trogir).

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Trogir. (Photo: Mario Romulić)

Omiš

Omiš is one of the most popular and largest towns on the coastal road between Split and Dubrovnik. Just 40 minutes from the center, Omiš is a true jewel of the Dalmatian coast, with beautiful old streets, the Cetina canyon, and wonderful beaches. You'll need to get on bus number 60 (Split-Omiš).

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Omiš. (Photo: Mario Romulić)

For more information on Split's bus system, be sure to check the official website of Promet.

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

Friday, 13 May 2022

2022 Split April Tourism Figures Slightly Behind Record 2019

May 13, 2022 - If you're currently in Split, you know it's been busy - and quite frankly, it's felt like the season started in April. A look at the 2022 Split April tourism figures, which are slightly behind the record 2019!

The Split tourism figures in April this year are about five times better than the same month last year. Namely, in the previous month, Split counted 38,658 arrivals, including foreign and Croatian visitors, who achieved127 thousand overnight stays, while in April last year, which was still conditioned by numerous epidemiological measures, Split recorded only 8,231 arrivals and a total of 29,667 overnight stays, reports Slobodna Dalmacija

Although the visitor numbers for 2022 are excellent compared to the previous year, they still had not reached the record in 2019, when there were 59,495 arrivals and 150,735 overnight stays in April. But we are not that far behind. 

According to the Split Tourist Board data, Germans, Americans, English, French, Dutch, Irish, Spaniards, Swiss and Finns were among the most tourists in April. Ukrainians achieved 9,159 overnight stays in 715 arrivals in April, almost 12 times more than in April 2021, when only 61 arrivals and 283 overnight stays were recorded. The sudden jump, of course, is attributed to the current state of war in their country.

Foreign visitors make up the majority of tourist traffic in Split. Thus, in April this year, Split was visited by about 30 thousand foreign tourists and about seven thousand domestic tourists. 

In April 2021, domestic and foreign visitors were the same, or around four thousand, but a considerable difference is noticeable in the number of overnights spent. Although an equal number stayed in the city during that period, foreigners spent 20,000 nights, and locals spent about 9,000. In 2019 it was around 52 thousand foreigners and 7,000 domestic tourists. 

The Split Tourist Board also hopes for the tourist season to continue with positive numbers.

"From the beginning of the year until today, over 90,000 tourist arrivals and almost 300,000 overnight stays were realized in Split, which is three times higher tourist traffic than the previous year. Moreover, suppose reservations and announcements from target markets are achieved. In that case, we believe that the growth trend continues and that we have a successful July ahead of us and the rest of the tourist year," said Alijana Vukšić, director of the Split Tourist Board.

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

Wednesday, 20 April 2022

DalmatiaNFT: Split-Dalmatia County Officially Steps into Metaverse

April 20, 2022 - The Split-Dalmatia County Tourist Board has launched the Tourism 3.0 project, integrating the tourism sector into the Metaverse with DalmatiaNFT.

The Split-Dalmatia County Tourist Board will hold a ceremonial presentation on the project Tourism 3.0 - a revolution in applying augmented reality technologies in presenting the tourist offer of the destination. The presentation is scheduled for April 21, 2022, at 10:00 am at the President Hotel in Solin, and at the event itself, guests will step into new ways of social interactions of the future.

In a world that is constantly evolving and changing for all individuals and structures of society, there are changes in the preferences and interests of tourists. Knowledge and innovation are becoming a key source of sustainable competitive advantage. It is essential to keep up with technology and use all the power of today's communication channels.

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Only dynamic organizations which can assess the needs of their stakeholders and respond effectively to those needs will be able to outperform their competitors and maintain their long-term prosperity.

For this reason, the Split-Dalmatia County Tourist Board has launched the Tourism 3.0 project, whose name symbolically represents the integration of the tourism sector into the third phase of technology evolution and the virtual Metaverse world.

This project outcome will be achieved by implementing a hyper-relevant system for the distribution of NFTs (Non-fungible Tokens) in the tourist offer of Central Dalmatia within the concept of a virtual world called Metaverse.

Virtual reality is part of a new reality in tourism - an embodied internet in which you are the creators of experiences, not just observers.

As one of the answers to the crisis, digitalization in tourism means introducing new technologies such as virtual reality (VR). Virtual reality will be necessary as a promoter and in the preparation of travel, the conservation of resources, and the protection of cultural and natural assets.

"We recognize the portrait of the future traveler who seeks safety and untouchable access and feels a responsibility to destinations. However, we are all aware that a huge effort is still ahead of us, that tourism relies on trust and a reliable relationship between people. Therefore, we strive for a new tourism vision, responsible, transformative and sustainable, fully dedicated to our new tourists. Tourism 3.0 and the DalmatiaNFT system build a relationship between tourists and hosts at the destination based on the inclusion of guests and the creation of tourist facilities," said director Joško Stella.

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"The project will be implemented through 4 phases. In the project's first phase, a media conference will be organized to acquaint the public with the project and demonstrate its capacity and scope. After that, we will launch a prize NFT fund, including all destinations and attractions in the county; we will also organize workshops for local tourist boards and tourism staff. Expanding the scope of the system is an imperative of the project. With this project, Split-Dalmatia County could, in a very short time, position itself as a leader in technological innovations in tourism, educating new experts, innovative interpretation of cultural heritage, and augmented reality technologies that allow guests a more intense experience of tangible and intangible heritage.

Our identity is becoming more and more online every day. So it was logical to think about how these trends are introduced into tourism, how tourists move into this digital identity, how we create a space around us that we take with us in this Metaverse," Joško Stella added.

In recent months, large technology companies have been buzzing about the possibilities that Metaverse and NFT technology can provide.

Everyone is talking about the Metaverse, there are many theories, and one thing everyone agrees on is that the Metaverse is coming and will revolutionize the internet.

Facebook founder Zuckerberg claims that this technology will rule the world in five years. Although we will use 2D applications in this world as they now dominate the market, significant efforts will be focused on developing ideas of augmented and virtual reality - everything from digital entertainment to virtual travel.

"With this project, we will show what is possible with this technology in tourism. NFTs are laying the groundwork for a real, verifiable, virtual world," Stella added.

Sustainable interest has shown that NFTs are not a phase or a whim. Just as crypto and blockchain are becoming the core technology shaping the unwritten future, so are NFTs. Users can use NFTs for art, travel, clothing, and even attend live events with friends online.

For more on travel to Croatia, check out our dedicated travel section.

 

Saturday, 16 April 2022

2022 Split Tourism Figures: 4,000 Tourists Expected over Easter Weekend

April 16, 2022 - The 2022 Split tourism figures are already higher than the record in 2019, and around 4,000 tourists are expected during Easter weekend.

Tourists are quickly beginning to fill all Split cafes and restaurants, which is an excellent introduction to the upcoming tourist season. After two pandemic years, a return to the 'old normal' is expected, reports Dalmacija Danas

In the peak season, in July and August, it is impossible to pass through the city center due to thousands of guests, though they are increasing numbers in the pre-season.

Tourism workers in the city center are full of optimism, hoping that this tourist season will be better than the record 2019, a time before the coronavirus and epidemiological measures that have restricted tourism for two years. 

Split Tourist Board director Alijana Vukšić spoke about what we can expect this pre-season on Friday:

"Currently, there are over three thousand guests in the city, and we expect over four thousand for the holidays. We have cruisers in the city, today - there are two, and tomorrow there will be two. These are all projections; we will know the exact numbers when all this is over. That number is certainly much higher because there are many excursionists," Vukšić said. 

Split is already recording good tourist results.

"We can compare the numbers with the most successful year, i.e., 2019. The city of Split in the first three months and the first 15 days of April recorded better results than in 2019. In the first three months of this year, we have 30,000 more nights than then. We hope that this tourist year will be successful, and the facts and figures in these first three months speak in favor of that," says Alijana Vukšić.

Apart from foreign guests, there are also many from Croatia.

"There are many guests from Croatia, and the USA, Germany, France, and Ukraine are represented in large numbers, which has recently recorded an increased number of arrivals and overnight stays," Vukšić adds.

Easter events have been happening in the city for ten days now, and there is something for everyone.

"The Association of Veterans painted large Easter eggs on the Riva together with children; the Juraj Bonači Center also painted Easter eggs. They are exhibited in Đardin, which we declared an Easter park this year. We also have several music and stage programs," Alijana Vukšić concluded and congratulated her fellow citizens on Easter.

For more, check out our lifestyle section.

Thursday, 3 March 2022

War in Ukraine Slows Down Travel Bookings in Split-Dalmatia County by 50%

March 3, 2022 - Travel bookings in Split-Dalmatia County have slowed down by almost 50% so far due to the war in Ukraine. 

After the tourist market began to recover from the corona crisis, some six hundred kilometers from Croatia, Russia invaded Ukraine. 

This will certainly affect guests coming from the Ukrainian and Russian markets. After all, Russian planes can no longer fly in most European countries, including Croatia. But what about the others? For now, it’s hard to say, but Dalmaciija Danas reveals that there could be a reduction in tourist arrivals from distant markets.

The Minister of Tourism and Sports, Nikolina Brnjac, held a coordination meeting with representatives of the largest hotel groups in Croatia. In addition, the possibilities of accommodating refugees from war-torn Ukraine were discussed.

The impact of this crisis on current bookings from the most important markets was also discussed at the meeting. A statement from the Ministry states that bookings are in a slight decline, but it is still good, and it is difficult to talk about estimates in this situation.

"We had already started the preparatory activities for this tourist year before these unpleasant events, and we will adjust them following the further development of this difficult situation, which we all hope will be completed as soon as possible," Brnjac concluded and added that promotional activities on the Russian market have been completely suspended.

Ukrainian tourists recorded 145,568 arrivals, and 857,482 overnight stays in Croatia last year, while Russian tourists achieved 145,592 arrivals and 800,979 overnight stays in 2021. 

The Split-Dalmatia County Tourist Board explained that the war in Ukraine slowed down tourist reservations by almost 50 percent, adding that only six days had passed since the war began, so it was too early to say from which markets the decline was most significant.

“During the pandemic, people learned how to behave in emergencies, so 'last-minute bookings' have become a common way of doing business in tourism. This means that if the war ends and the situation stabilizes, reservations will return very soon; that is, tourism will return to normal," the Tourist Board said. 

Alijana Vukšić, director of the Split Tourist Board, said that the events in Ukraine would undoubtedly have consequences for the tourism sector.

"Especially when it comes to tourist traffic from distant markets in which travelers view Europe as a whole. How much impact it will leave on tourist traffic between European countries depends on the further course of events," she told Slobodna Dalmacija and added:

"Last year, more than ten thousand tourist arrivals were made by Russians in Split and more than six thousand tourist arrivals from Ukraine. However, it is difficult at this moment to predict the return of tourists from the mentioned markets because it will depend exclusively on the geopolitical situation, which we hope will stabilize as soon as possible," the director concluded. 

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

Tuesday, 22 February 2022

2022 Cruise Ship Season in Split Begins with Arrival of 'Bolette'

February 22, 2022 - On Monday morning, the Bolette cruise ship, carrying around 600 passengers, officially launched the 2022 cruise ship season in Split. 

On the morning of February 21, the 283-meter-long "Bolette," which sails under the flag of the Bahamas, sailed into the city port of Split, thus officially beginning the 2022 cruise ship season in Split. The cruise ship arrived carrying around 600 passengers and sailed to Split after the port of Valletta in Malta, reports Slobodna Dalmacija

This is the first announcement of a good cruise ship season ahead. 

"Yes, this is the first arrival this year. The ship is moored at an external berth. As far as I know, these are older travelers on classic cruises around the Mediterranean. They stay in the city until 5 pm, and until then, they have organized walking tours of the Palace. For this year, we have a total of 323 announcements of cruise ships, and we will see if all of them come true. It all depends, of course, on the pandemic, but the situation is still improving, and we are all optimistic. Guests on cruise ships have strict epidemiological measures and constant testing, as well as those before leaving the ports," said Vicko Vrgoč, head of operations at the Split Port. 

Vrgoč reminds us that the cruises suffered during the strongest wave of the pandemic. While the situation is slowly calming down, everyone knows that the pandemic can bring complications again.

"Of course, we wish for record years like 2016, when we recorded as many as 286 cruise ships entering the city port of Split. The next three cruisers for this year will arrive in mid-March, after which they will become more frequent, according to the announcements," Vrgoč added.

Over 310,000 vessels arrived in Croatian seaports in 2021, 25% more than 2020. According to the national statistical office, there were 27.3 million passengers, up 45.4% on 2020 but down 23% on 2019.

Most of the passenger turnover was recorded from April through September, and it was highest in August and September, in keeping with the peak tourist season.

In Q4 2021, 60,000 vessels arrived in Croatian seaports (+9.5%), and there were 3.6 million passengers (+37%).

As for passenger turnover in Q4, it was highest in Split with 580,600 passengers (+42%), followed by Zadar with 366,000 (+21%) and Preko on Ugljan island with 326,000 (+18%). On the other hand, the highest passenger turnover increase in Q4 was recorded in Dubrovnik with just under 147,000 (+122.6%), followed by Rabac and Hvar, which saw increases of about 90%.

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

Sunday, 20 February 2022

Split Marathon to Take Place on 27 February

ZAGREB, 20 Feb 2022 - The 22nd edition of Split marathon will take place on 27 February, and about 2,750 runners from 40 countries are expected to participate, organisers said last Wednesday.

"Preparation for the 22nd Split marathon are nearing completion," the president of the marathon's organising committee, Kristijan Sidik, told a press conference.

He said that he was proud that the continuity of the Split marathon hadn't been lost even during these challenging times, which was a rarity in the world.

Split Mayor Ivica Puljak said that the marathon had become an event of strategic importance for the development of the city of Split, calling it a unique sporting and tourism event that promotes all those values which they are known for and which they are proud of.

He said that the City of Split, its services and utility companies would provide their maximum support to make the organisation flawless and to make the competitors coming to the city feel welcome.

"The marketing and tourist potential of the marathon is exceptional, the athletes are also our guests, and in the future we will strengthen the brand of Split as a city of sport and sportspeople even more," said Puljak.

For more, check out our lifestyle section.

Saturday, 29 January 2022

Palace of Life, City of Changes Visual Identity Presented: Old Split. New Story.

January 29, 2022 - "The project's visual identity is inspired by lines that represent somewhat chaotic directions of movement, roads, and shortcuts inside Diocletian's Palace, while the slogan highlights a whole new story within the old town." A look at the Palace of Life, City of Changes visual identity. 

Palace of Life, City of Changes, is a project in which the Old Town Hall on Split's Pjaca (Narodni trg) was renovated, followed by the renovation of the courtyard and ground floor of the Split City Museum (MGS), which will become accessible to people with disabilities by installing an elevator. Through this project, the southeastern tower of Diocletian's Palace with the Lukačićeva 5 building will be reconstructed and presented to the public, reports the City of Split.

"The project co-financed the renovation and equipping of five buildings, which will provide a unique insight into the invaluable cultural heritage of the historic center of Split and the introduction of new content and presentations of space that have been neglected for years. In addition, the old town hall has been renovated following the latest needs of modern exhibition space. Project documentation is being prepared by Office Vojnović d.o.o. based on which work will soon begin on the above facilities," said Radojka Tomašević, Head of the Service for International and EU Projects, who heads the project implementation team by the City of Split in cooperation with partners - Split Tourist Board and Split City Museum.

Split studio Kazinoti & Komenda designed and created the project's visual identity. Karlo Kazinoti and Mišo Komenda have already been recognized for their quality and memorable design solutions to numerous cultural projects, but this is undoubtedly the most significant Split project they have worked on. The set task resulted in a dynamic identity of pronounced color in which they summed up the directions of movement through the countless streets of Split's historic core:

“The design was created as a reduction of the palace to four squares, i.e., towers, while the walls were completely erased to suggest openness and metaphorically depict life spreading outside the palace. The lines as a formative element are inspired by the somewhat chaotic directions of movement, roads, shortcuts inside the palace created by life within the walls. In the end, we see a similar network of intertwined directions when looking at the sky because of the clothesline (tiramola)," explained Kazinoti & Komenda.

The extended function of this design allows the grid of lines to be applied as a graphic pattern or framed within a given format as needed. The font Spalat by prof. Nikola Đurek and the project's name were accompanied by the slogan "Old Split. New Story."

“The goal was to communicate the novelties in the palace, i..e., the old part of the city, but the specificity is that these 'novelties' are centuries-old heritage, so we drew a parallel between the old and the new. We are erasing the border between them because part of the unknown heritage, which, together with many visitors, will be revived only now and become - new," explained Karlo Kazinoti.

Thanks to investments through the Palace of Life project, the citizens of Split will get a new perspective, the opportunity to enjoy the view of the city from the eastern wall of Diocletian's Palace and from the terrace of the Southeast Tower, which will house the interpretation center and exhibition space. Since its opening, the old town hall has attracted visitors of all generations with an excellent exhibition "Judita 500". At the same time, the Split City Museum on the ground floor and renovated courtyard of the Papalić Palace will receive a new, modernized exhibition that will provide visitors with a completely new experience of old stories.

Palace of Life, City of Changes, is one of the most significant investment projects in the restoration and revitalization of the cultural heritage of Split in more than 60 years, more precisely since the opening of Diocletian's cellars. The project also includes the development of the Old Town Management Plan and the Visitor Management Action Plan. The total estimated value of the project is HRK 25.4 million, of which HRK 18.2 million is a grant from the European Union from the European Regional Development Fund.

For more, check out our dedicated lifestyle section.

Monday, 24 January 2022

Split County Supporting Several Cultural Heritage Preservation Projects

ZAGREB, 24 Jan 2022 - Culture Minister Nina Obuljen Koržinek on Monday held talks with Split-Dalmatia County Prefect Blaženko Boban on cultural projects that the county has prepared for the next multiannual period including the construction of a museum within the fortress on the island of Vis.

Addressing the press after the meeting, which was held in Split, Minister Obuljen Koržinek underscored the construction of a new museum in the fortress on Vis Island, the Salona archaeological site, the Archaeological Museum in Split with its focus being on Salona - and the further exploration and presentation of that ancient locality.

We also discussed the ancient Stećak tombstones and I would like to mention something we discussed ten days ago in cooperation with the Ministry of Agriculture and a new project to finance agriculture on archaeological and protected historical sites, she said.

Split-Dalmatia County has three sites listed on the UNESCO list, the minister said. She added that it is the only county that have as many as three conservation departments, which bears witness to the intensity and wealth of its cultural heritage.

The ministry is aware that no matter how much is invested in preserving this rich heritage, that will not be sufficient. Hence it is necessary to identify priorities and in that regard to further invest in cultural heritage because of its value, the importance for the community and huge potential to attract tourists, the minister said.

Sunday, 23 January 2022

Split Census Reveals Reality of Life Under Marjan: Unused Apartments, High Prices

January 23, 2022 - The Split census results revealed that almost every fourth apartment is empty while the prices continue to rise. A closer look at the realities in the city.

According to the new census, Split has 59,947 households and 77,309 apartments, which means that there are 17,362 empty housing units in its area, reports Slobodna Dalmacija.

That is, almost every fourth apartment is empty. If we look at the city without the settlements that administratively belong to it: Žrnovnica, Slatine, Donje Sitno, Gornje Sitno, Kamen, Stobreč, and Srinjine, then Split has 16,069 empty apartments.

This does not mean that all empty flats are also tourist apartments - some owners use them occasionally, and some do not use them at all. But a good flat today is undoubtedly intended for tourism. Several apartments are empty and used only during the season, and prices are multiplying. According to the Central Bureau of Statistics, in the last quarter of 2021, the prices of apartments on the Adriatic were on average 38 percent higher than in 2015.

In parallel with the rise in prices, the number of inhabitants is declining, but empty flats are growing. There were 4,500 in the 2001 census, and only a few years later, at the time of the Split GUP, 6,000 apartments did not have electric meters. Since the last census in 2011, Split has lost more than 16,800 inhabitants and has 17,300 vacant flats. In the meantime, the number of accommodation capacities has increased tremendously.

According to the data of the Split Tourist Board, in 2019, 23,657 beds were registered in households in the city. However, due to COVID, the number of registered accommodation capacities is decreasing, so in 2021 and 2022, the number is the same, and 20,547 of them are registered as household beds.

Housing, on the other hand, is growing. For example, in Mejaši, more precisely around the "Mall of Split" shopping center to the junction with Vukovarska Street, building permits have been issued, or applications for their issuance have been submitted for more than 450 apartments in the last two years. 

Although the location and the associated housing conditions could by no means be called elite, this is not an obstacle to the rage in prices. On the contrary, the public was amused and shocked by the ad in which about 4,000 euros per square meter were demanded for a 14-square-meter studio apartment in that neighborhood.

However, children attend the overcrowded Mejaši Elementary School in three shifts. The head of the Split Social Services Department, Mate Omazić, told Slobodna that the City has problems finding a suitable plot of 10,000 square meters to construct a school with a hall in Kila, in the Mejaši district where POS apartments were built.

This example clearly shows why young people are leaving. Namely, affordable apartments are not built, while they are costly in favorable locations and are constructed primarily for tourism or for the temporary stay of those with deeper pockets.

Apartments in poorer locations, which are bought mainly by people in Split today, are too expensive considering what the location offers. Moreover, the environment in which such new buildings are located is poor in infrastructure, greenery, and public facilities. Therefore, the overall impression of such ambiance seems relatively poor compared to the money required to buy real estate, especially when compared to Split in the second half of the 20th century when the city's development was meaningfully planned.

An expert in spatial planning and a member of the Spatial Development Council in the competent ministry, architect, and urban planner Gojko Berlengi predicted in an interview with Slobodna that there would be more than 10,000 vacant apartments in Split in the census. As one of the reasons why apartments under Marjan are expensive and empty, he points out the tax policy, which is not fair to the owners of hotels and other forms of accommodation.

"How many times bigger is New York than Split? And there are only four times as many apartments in private accommodation? They are taking measures to limit the number of flats and require apartment owners to be domicile residents. In our country, the privileged tax on apartments was introduced as a reasonable social measure to help households with a surplus of space and a lack of income. In the end, it turned out that a man came, for example, from Varaždin, and invested in five apartments in Žnjan. He uses a privileged tax, competes with hotel owners, and has a very short season that produces huge peak loads, which the City needs to deal with, from traffic, water, sewage, waste disposal... When entering into a thorough calculation of all negative externalities, cities, and municipalities are thus de facto at a loss," explains Berlengi.

"I am interested in the extent to which the Split Development Strategy and the Agglomeration Strategy, as well as the County Development Plan, will answer such questions. For example, what does one zone with apartments on Žnjan mean to Split? How much tax revenue does the City carry per hectare, and how much does it cost in utility equipment and maintenance? We have vacant apartments and people who have not resolved the housing issue, and at the same time, the city space is being spent on building overpriced real estate. There are public policies that can address this, resulting in these apartments being used for housing and being offered on the market at normal prices, especially if there are more than households. Tax measures and other public policies from the existing fund should activate apartments in the function of housing," Berlengi believes.

Berlengi adds that it is logical that the tax for this activity should be low, but only for people who live on the islands and the coast, where they have one or two apartments. But it is not logical, he says, that as a consequence, it starts to turn into the construction of apartment houses on Žnjan, which are empty for most of the year.

"Half of them are summer apartments, some of a higher standard. When you come, you find the key. You leave it in the mailbox, everything is anonymous, and at the same time, it goes under the lower tax of accommodation in a family household, which should be an incentive for local residents. It is not logical to reward rich people who are not domiciled. Numerous cities worldwide handle things like this, so you can’t rent if you’re not domiciled. In addition, they limit the number of rental days per year and thus stimulate year-round rental. We want to equalize these forms of renting so that the owner does not have the advantage of renting an apartment to tourists compared to year-round rent to families," says Berlengi.

As a result, the number of apartments has doubled since 2012, although the Tourism Strategy foresaw that apartments in Croatia would remain in that number. The infrastructural load in the summer is vast because from Trogir to Omiš, there are 80,000 beds in apartments.

Will the real estate bubble burst? Berlengi believes that valuable real estate is always on price. However, at the other end of the spectrum are numerous lower-quality properties on the city's outskirts that could be a problem.

"Anyone who has invested money in them at one point may have difficulty cashing in if, of course, there is not as much demand for housing due to fewer residents and households. Dwellings have become a commodity that preserves the value of the property. However, it is like a financial pyramid, and any such pyramid eventually collapses. I don't see how this could survive in the long run if you don't live in those apartments and if a normal real estate tax is introduced, so unused real estate becomes an expense. But our state is slow, and perhaps the problem is that those who decide on it have too much real estate themselves. For now, the state de facto supports the rentier mentality. It sterilizes financial capital for productive investments by buying unnecessary real estate; for example, we have thousands of hectares of uncultivated land, and we import billions of euros of food," adds Berlengi.

"Split has increased the number of apartments by five to six times. There are almost 10,000 apartments in Split, about 8,000 in Vienna, about 50,000 in Paris, and about 40,000 in New York. I see this as the primary form of pressure on coastal settlements and space, but also on the affordability of housing because apartments are becoming too expensive, which with already negative demographic trends is driving local people out of cities," concludes Gojko Berlengi.

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