Thursday, 24 October 2019

Split Tourist Board Looks to San Sebastian Model for 365 Tourism

October 24, 2019 - The Split Tourist Board is looking at the model of San Sebastian, Spain, to develop 365 tourism in the city. 

Organized by the Split Tourist Board, Dalmatinski Portal reports that representatives of private renters, hoteliers, travel agencies, camps and museums visited tourism representatives in the city of San Sebastian, Spain, where they exchanged their experiences of managing a tourist destination that successfully realized year-round tourism.

The Donostia - San Sebastian Tourism Organization prepared a series of presentations for the Split representatives for them to get acquainted with the products of the city and the wider region. This especially focused on congress tourism they are successfully developing, as well as ways to attract guests all year long. By the size and population, this Spanish city is most similar to Split, with its strategic commitment to year-round tourism based on the offer of culture and gastronomy, and according to Trip Advisor, next to Bilbao, San Sebastian was selected as the best European destination. 

Among the various topics in destination management, the development of musical events was particularly discussed. In addition to investing in destination development, San Sebastian has an average hotel occupancy of 300 days a year. Thus, as part of this visit, Split's tourism representatives had the opportunity to hear and see their experiences in managing the destination that led to such business results.

San Sebastian cooperates with the Tourism and Hospitality School in educational and tourism experiences, which presented an opportunity to exchange knowledge and skills, especially in light of the fact that in the first nine months of this year, the number of overnights by Spanish guests in Split increased by 20 percent compared to last year.

Recall, Alijana Vukšić, director of the Split Tourist Board, revealed that 837,125 guests visited Split in the first nine months of 2019, with almost 2.5 million tourist overnights achieved. Thus, 67,000 more guests chose Split for their holiday than last year. 

American tourists make up the biggest market for Split, followed by the United Kingdom. The U.S. and U.K. tourists are followed by the French, Germans, Australians, Spanish, and Italians.

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

Monday, 22 July 2019

Split Tourist Board Published Tourism Accommodation Statistics

July 22, 2019 - As access to tourism statistics is restricted at the national level, a very transparent overview of the season by the Split Tourist Board. 

In the first six months of 2019, Split Tourist Board records 237,865 arrivals (which is 12 percent more than in the same period in 2018) and 853,646 overnight stays (15 percent increase compared to 2018), which is in accord with the strategic goals of the increase of tourist traffic in the preseason. Bed occupancy has increased by 7 percent in the first six months of 2019.

In the first 15 days of July, 88,466 arrivals and 280,662 overnight stays were recorded, which are both 6 percent increases compared to the same period last year. The total numbers for July will be officially reported in early August.

In the week of the Ultra festival 49,591 arrivals and 166,542 overnight stays were recorded in the eVisitor system - 10 percent increase in arrivals and 12 percent in stays. The accommodations in Split were filled at a rate of 60 percent, which is 4 percent higher than in the week of the festival last year. The best results were seen in the objects with the higher categorisation (four- and five-stars).

The city of Split has 45 hotels open for this tourist season, including the seven new hotels that were recently open. That's the most newly opened hotels in a year in Split in a decade. So now Split has hotels Briig, Time, Vila Nepos, Boban Luxury Suites, Time, Pax and Ora to offer to the tourists - and that's in addition to hotels Cvita, Villa Split, Agava and aparthotel Posh which were opened late in 2018, so this is their first full summer season. That way, there are 10 additional four- and five-star hotels in Split!

That increased the number of hotel beds in Split by 10 percent, and there is a large demand for hotels - proven by the fact that they're all almost 100 percent full! Split has 3,641 beds in the hotels in 2019, and construction is almost finished on several new hotels which should be ready for the next season, bringing additional 1200 beds in four- and five-star hotels. Courtyard by Marriott is expected to open "Dalmatia Tower" until the end of 2020, with 190 rooms and four apartments. "Amphora Resort" on Žnjan, with 207 rooms, a congress hall, three swimming pools and a wellness centre is almost ready to be opened, as is the Ambassador Hotel on Matejuška, with 101 rooms and apartments, large restaurant for 240 people, spa, gym, nightclub and underground garage will. Villa Harmony with around 55 beds will also be open soon, proving the trend of growing investments in the highest quality hotels in Split in the last couple of years.

At the same time, the growth of the number of newly opened family-owned apartments has been reduced to just 5 percent, after several years when the growth was in the double digits. This year there are 1,271 new beds in private accommodation in Split, most of them belonging to the higher categories. The investments into the increase of the quality of accommodation in private apartments is obvious, as there are around 4 thousand beds in the four or five-star category. The total number of beds in private accommodation in Split this year is 24,614.

The total number of beds offered to tourists in Split is 34,374.

Sunday, 24 March 2019

Director of TZ Split: If Quality of Life is Good for Citizens, It will be Good for Guests

Last week, a meeting of the Tourist Board directors of Split-Dalmatia County was held, which saw the director of the Split Tourist Board, Alijana Vukšić, also take part. Vukšić commented on the hot topic of weaker bookings for the upcoming tourist season, and what we should expect this year, reports Dalmacija Danas on March 24, 2019. 

“If judged by the results of the Split Tourist Board, in the first two months we recorded a 25 percent increase in arrivals and overnights. The reason for this may be the many events in the city during the winter months because we must not forget that behind us is the Split Half Marathon, numerous congresses, and fairs that are a good motivator for arrivals to the destination, but good results are also recorded in the surrounding cities. It's a great introduction to, hopefully, a successful tourist year, and judging by all presentations and programs that will be developed by individual tourist communities, we should not doubt it. On the contrary, we need to work intensely, the year will be demanding, no one disagrees, but that's why we create a lot of activities so our guests can experience the destination, to motivate them to come. So far, the city and county have had excellent results, and we hope we will have them this year too.”

Behind us is the ITB Fair in Berlin. What makes Split more interesting for Germans than some other destinations?

“I personally see the fair in Berlin as one of the best, and I have been in the tourist board system for the last 20 years. The presentation was exceptionally good because we presented it as the Split Riviera. We even made a brochure on the Split Riviera. Thus, in one booklet, there are all cities in the surroundings, as guests staying in Split for more than three days are looking for additional content. On this occasion, we offered other material in the surrounding destinations, which proved to be a good move. The interest was great. There were not only many business contacts and meetings but in the two days that were open to the public, the excitement was high. 

Of course, the reason for this was that you could taste our specialties such as pršut, cheese, and soparnik, but we also had a klapa that attracted many guests with beautiful singing to our booth and gave an additional Dalmatian tone. Even colleagues said that for the first time we surpassed the Italians because they give out ice cream free of charge and are always full. This time, the stand of Split-Dalmatia County, which included the Split Riviera, Makarska Riviera, and Zagora, was visited by more guests. Next year we have plans to develop altogether. We're trying to keep up with the international trends. All tourist workers know that we have been advertising in such a way for a long time - we would always bring klapas and food with us. When we cooperated with the Croatian National Tourist Board at a joint stand, we no longer had those opportunities because we had small spaces. By coming out of this great story, which we are still part of, we are not running away, but we have the opportunity to advertise individually both by product and by destination.”

The world trend is the idea of sustainable tourism. 

“Not only sustainable but also responsible. That is why our county last year implemented a capacity study to get information about the load we have and how we need to develop further; where it is necessary to disperse large crowds so that the guests in the destination get more pleasure for the money they spend, but it was primarily for our citizens. We must not forget if the citizens of one town live well, and in this case, we are talking about Split, then the guests will feel satisfied. First of all, we have to think about our citizens and if our quality of life is good, it will be good for our guests as well.”

How much is the country resisting our coast being apartmentized? 

“Tourism workers are aware that there are limits and that there are studies that show how many hotels and apartments there can be. If we follow the guidance from the strategy brought by the experts, we will surely have no problems in the destination. Still, we must be aware of the fact that in Split there are crowds even when there is no pressure from tourists. When we solve the tourist infrastructure, and we all work - from the city to the county, we are certain that the guests will be more satisfied.”

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

Monday, 30 April 2018

Split to Celebrate Labor Day with 2,500 Portions of Beans on Marjan!

Check out how the Dalmatian capital will be celebrating the 1st of May.

Wednesday, 12 April 2017

3P Split: The Conference Bringing Together Aspiring Creative Entrepreneurs

The 3P Split conference will be held from April 28-29, 2017 at the Faculty of Economics in Split.

Tuesday, 3 May 2016

Events for Sudamja - Feast Of Sveti Duje, Patron Of Split City

Split Tourist Board, Split City Council and many associations, libraries, museums, theatres, and sport clubs have prepared a number of events for this year’s celebrations of City of Split’s Day - Sveti Duje.

Sunday, 17 January 2016

David Bowie Tribute or Tourist Promo: What Makes a Good Video?

One of the more interesting regular occurrences when writing blogs about tourism in Croatia is the release of the latest official promotional video. As I cover large parts of Croatia with my writing, I have got to see lots of newly promoted videos, the good the bad and the truly terrible. Unless it is truly excellent, I never pass personal comment, rather inviting others to give their opinions. It is always a great spectacle.

If the video is terrible, there are always the diehard patriots who post insightful social media comments such as 'Bravo!' or 'I (Love emoticon) Destination name'. And those who object to the video are VERY vocal.

If the video is great, the same diehard patriots post the same inane comments, but in greater numbers, and the haters still find aspects to object to. The whole culture of how an official tourist video is received is one I find mildly fascinating, and one which I have wanted to blog about for years, but never quite found the opportunity. Until now.

Everyone has their favourite shocking video of course, and I think you would have to try REALLY hard to beat the Space Odyssey video from the Split Tourist Board a couple of years ago. Just what were they smoking? 'I have been waiting for you' is an extra-special extra-terrestrial special that would have been fitting as a David Bowie tribute. View it below.

We asked a professional for his opinion:

"Tacky, the message completely misses the mark resulting in an awkward atmosphere. It contains info on how to get to Split – that's so 80s, which is followed by catastrophic transition effects from one scene to the other – 90s technology. You have no idea whether the space man is marrying a Split woman or the other way around. No style whatsoever technically speaking, and the quality is disastrous."

From those intergalactic heights, in the words of Yazz, the only way is up, and TZ Split released their most recent promo video last month under the catchy title, It's Joy, It's Split. Minutes after its release, the private messages with opinions started flying. 30,000 kuna was the alleged cost, and you can view it here.

Our professional contact again:

"The clip of the first scenes is good, the rest is horrible, although it has better technical execution than the space one. You cannot even see the city – that is the biggest problem. The music and editing not good – music a bit depressing but it is technically correct Too much focus on the actors (obviously amateurs), and there is no mention of Ultra (maybe because the only 3 good scenes are a blatant copy of the Ultra after movie). Horrible, cheesy and pathetic – awkward to watch."

Over the years, I have noticed something interesting when reacting to a bad or average video - nobody wants to be the first to say it is crap. Messages invariably would start with 'what did you think'? 

It was the latest It's Joy, It's Split video that inspired this post. It is not that there was anything terribly wrong with the video (at least to the untrained amateur that I am), it just left me with a fairly neutral feeling about the destination, and in the words of one commentator "Where was Split in the video?" As much as I love Hajduk, seeing a group of football fans walking down the street and taking a tourist to a football match seemed a strange thing in a tourist video. 

I also asked a PR professonal to comment on the two Split videos, as well as to ask them to provide links to successful videos, either in Croatia or internationally. We are all here to learn, and any advice they gave me I publish here in the hope that it may be taken on board by the various powers that be. 

The PR expert explained to me in the first sentence why the Split video had not impressed me. 

"It all revolves around evoking emotions and creating a desire to experience a destination. No goosebumps means you failed. Don't understand the message - failed again. Like the Split one.

"It has to evoke emotions, convey a clear message, show which target audience it's supposed to attract and be centered about the city, country or main subject. Visually compelling of course so fast moving images are now a must and no longer than 4-5 minutes. It has to convey sounds, aromas and the feel of the destination. And it's always better to make a series of promo films dedicated to different messages than to try and can everything into one because it loses focus becomes confusing messy and boring."

According to my PR expert, 66% of travellers watch online videos when they’re thinking of taking a trip and 65% watch videos when they’re choosing which destination to visit (source 2015 Google Travel Study). That's the reason why they're important. Something for the five Hvar tourists boards to consider, where no promo video exists at all. Just thing about the concept of sharing the costs and doing one video for the whole island... 

The suggestions for great promo videos elsewhere were really interesting. We start in Sweden.

Stockholm - not a tourism promotion per se, more about the city, but what a clever and innovative concept. 

And perhaps my favourite. With all the chaos in Greece in the last couple of years, how about this one for using the backdrop of the crisis to contrast it with the famous Greek hospitality to entice people to Crete? A really fabulous concept. 

A Letter to the New Year - Portugal. A country which is creeping into my tourism awareness with my time online.  

But coming back to Split, it is such a photogenic city and with such a great tourism story to tell, that it can't be that hard to produce a great video, can it? The New York Times gave a great snapshot in its '36 Hours in Split' video last year.

Presumably the New York Times had a high budget, but here is a video produced by a small Split business. The topic is activity tourism in Split and surroundings, but it gives - to me at least - a more dynamic feeling to the destination. I was not surprised to learn it was made by those timelapse masters, Romulic and Stojcic

The other reference point which has won international acclaim and an international gold medal is the Heart of Adriatic from the Central Dalmatia Tourist Board. Not only does the video (at least in my opinion) cover the region well, it has also been viewed more than 2 million times after effective marketing from the regional tourist board. There is little point making the best video in the world if nobody is going to see it.

Tourism promotion videos are an essential tool in the age of modern tourism. There is plenty of (Croatian) expertise ready to deliver world class concepts and final products. The knowledge is out there. It would be great if we started to get those goosebumps with the release of new official tourist board videos. One doesn't have to start in Space to make a dramatic point, especially in a country as stunning as Croatia.  

Friday, 15 January 2016

Constructive Suggestions for Local Tourist Boards: Trains and TZ Split

It is more than four years since we started the Total project with a first blog on Total Hvar on October 13, 2011. Since then, we have spammed you with some 15,000 articles - most of them postive - on our expanding network of sites: Total Hvar, Total Split, Total Inland Dalmatia, Total Munich and Total Croatia News. The sites have been generally well received, and we have been humbled by the literally thousands of emails, as well as a truly global reach promoting Split and Hvar via internationally media, culminating in the 2014 Marco Polo award for best international promotion of Croatian tourism at the National Society of Journalists in Zagreb for Totals Hvar, Split and Inland Dalmatia.

With the admirable exceptions of Central Dalmatia and the tourist boards of inland Dalmatia (despite their tiny budgets), one of the constant themes of our work over the last four years and more has been the total indifference of the tourist boards of Hvar (all FIVE of them!) and Split. A little discouraged, we decided to proceed with our humanitarian mission to provide what was missing on Hvar and in Split - quality tourist information.  

Having been a humanitarian aid worker after the genocide in Rwanda, the aftermath after the collapse of the Soviet Union and the challenges of the warzone of eastern Somalia, I can with confidence state that the Total humanitarian tourism information mission in Dalmatia has been the most inspiring and exhilarating mission of all. So much so that we have decided to continue. 

Over the years, when we have had a minute, we have - in the humanitarian spirit with which the Total project exists - found the occasional minute to provide a little free consultancy to local tourist boards on Hvar, so that they could improve their information servive to tourists. Who can forget, for example, the decision of the Stari Grad Tourist Board to embrace the recommendations of our blog Stari Grad Working Hard to Attract Croatian-Speaking Foreign Tourists? Or the Jelsa Tourist Board implementing their pre-season strategy to update the 2014 bus and ferry timetables in mid-May 2015? Or perhaps my favourite, the Hvar Town Tourist Board realising from our blog that there were more recent breaking news stories than snow falling in a destination which had nothing to do with Hvar Town 14 months previously? 


The season of giving has just been with us, but the Total Family has decided to extend it to benefit local tourist boards, who have plenty to do enjoying long coffee breaks and ensuring their sizable salaries are paid on time. In the spirit of the humanitarian principles on which the Total Project operates, we are today launching Total Local Tourist Board Watchdog, a new (free) service to local tourist boards, where we point out areas where their tourist information could improve a little with a little tweaking. 

We start with one of my favourite tourist board website pages of all - the Split Tourist Board 'How to Get There by Train' section. I have been looking at it longingly every time I get depressed for more than a year. You can view it here

The new expensive Split Tourist Board website was launched over a year in an impressive six languages, but one has the feeling that the official translators were not sweating too much on the translations of the page's contents, for here on the page one can find the names of every main train station in Croatia. Useful. The names are accompanied by a phone number and, for the lucky few, a fax number (come on, hands up, how many of you have ever sent a fax to a train station?). Email addresses? No chance. Websites? No chance. So if you actually wanted to find out when a train might arrive or depart, good luck with that phone number (all of which omit the international dialling code of course - THAT would indicate there was interest in promoting information to international tourists). Of course, you could always try that lucky fax number... 

But this is not the reason I have been gazing at this page during my darker hours over the past 12 months. Naively, I assumed that an official Split Tourist Board information page on called 'Arrival by Train' would have something to do with arriving in Split by train. How naive I am!

Above is the rail map of Croatia. The only line which operates from Split is to Zagreb. I think it is twice a day at the moment, three in the season, including an overnight train. Two of the train stations on the comprehensive list of Croatian train stations on the Split Tourist Board website are Metkovic and Ploce (which even has its own dedicated fax number). The only problem regarding arriving in Split is that the rail network in Ploce only connects to Metkovic, and the rail network in Metkovic only connects to Ploce (you can get fax confirmation of this if they respond to your fax). Quite what it is doing on the Split Tourist Board website it a little unclear, just as the phone numbers of other train stations apart from Split and Zagreb make little sense.

At least to us humanitarians.

Much more sensible, we would suggest, is (now with an English version). Simply insert Split and where you want to go (that would be Zagreb...) and, as they say in Manchester, Bob's your uncle.

And if you are stuck in Ploce and nobody is responding to your fax, you can maybe find the bus station, a key stop on the Dubrovnik to Split route, a guide to which have updated this very morning.  

Thus ends the first in the series of the Total Local Tourist Board Watchdog. We hope the Split Tourist Board finds it useful, and perhaps some changes may occur, which might lead to a reduction in fax traffic to Ploce, but hopefully this will be offset by an increase in useful information for the people who are supposed to matter - tourists. 

Next week we will be looking at flight information, as one of the strange things we noticed on the Split Tourist Board flights page was that although the city (one would have thought) proudly boasts the first scheduled seaplane operation in modern European history, there is not a mention of the European Coastal Airlines seaplane service (which connects Split all year to Italy, Pula, Dubrovnik and several islands and other mainland destinations). 

Perhaps ECA does not have a fax number. 

Wednesday, 16 December 2015

New Split Tourist Board Teaser Promo Video

A new promotional tourist promotion video for Split is imminent.

The Split Tourist Board have released a short trailer, with what appears to be a new slogan.

It's Joy, It's Split!

Watch the trailer here and tell us what you think.

It's Joy, It's Split! - teaser

Get ready for new official video of the Tourist Board Split! Coming soon!#visitsplit #365croatia Croatia Full of life

Posted by Tourist Board Split on Tuesday, 15 December 2015
Page 4 of 5