Wednesday, 5 February 2020

Split-Dalmatia County A Hit at New York Times Travel Show

February 5, 2020 - The Split-Dalmatia County Tourist Board participated in the New York Times Travel Show from January 24 to 26, 2020, in New York City.

Judging by the interest in the Split-Dalmatia County Tourist Board booth at the recently concluded 17th New York Times Travel Show, an excellent number of guests from the US market could visit the region this year. This County, led by director Josko Stella, is more than pleased with the feedback, and the attendance and interest were excellent, said Stella, noting that numerous visitors, as well as colleagues from participating countries, were delighted with their presentation. Recall that from January 24 to 26, the Big Apple hosted a global tourism summit, a valued fair, which brought together 550 exhibitors from 170 countries.

With 30,000 professionals from the tourism industry, the New York Times Travel Show brought the best of the best from all over the world. Split-Dalmatia County had a lot to be proud of. 

“Split-Dalmatia County has been presented at the New York Fair for the third year now, with the recently completed fair bringing us great attendance. Dare I say, never better. We were presented with our best, most beautiful, natural wonders, cultural sights, but also what interests the American market most, like the Game of Thrones filming locations, and the movie mega-hit Mamma Mia, links to Meštrović… All this is more than a strong wind at our backs, given the fact that last year the Americans ranked seventh in the number of arrivals. They realized 473,000 overnights, which is 13 percent more than in the previous periods. And that is certainly one of the important reasons for our already traditional presence at this significant fair,” said Stella.

The Split-Dalmatia County delegation included representatives from the top of tourism, people from the private sector, Suncani Hvar, Split's Cornaro hotel, and people from the Tourist Board of Split and Kastela. The Split Tourist Board also participated in the prize competition. Also impressive was the presentation of the Kastela Tourist Board, which introduced the famous Kastela red Zinfandel wine, thought by Americans to be of their origin. However, this fair was also an excellent opportunity for visitors to get acquainted with the fact that this premium wine originates from Dalmatia by its genetic roots.

“At fairs of this kind, with this kind of attendance from a critical market, are places where we definitely need to appear in our tourism planning strategy. The number of American tourists coming to our area is increasing every year. In addition to Dubrovnik and Zagreb, they have become numerically important in their favorite locations in Split, Hvar, in many areas of our county. We have to brag about how our county has become one of America's most important holiday destinations. The excellent impressions we have collected present the data of the current tourist barometer. We are very pleased with our presentation and delighted with the feedback,” added Stella.

A well-designed presentation strategy included another important item - a sweepstake that garnered a lot of interest from visitors. The prize fund included a two-week free stay in the county - 14 nights total, seven at Suncani Hvar, and seven days at the Cornaro Split Hotel. 

“The prize game went beyond our expectations. The lucky winner was truly thrilled. She will be greeted with a paid holiday, top quality accommodation, flights sponsored by Croatia Airlines in partnership with the Split-Dalmatia County Tourist Board and the Split Tourist Board, while accommodation will be provided by Suncani Hvar Hotel and Cornaro Split Hotel. The five remaining lucky ones went home with a bottle of Kastela's prized wine sponsored by the Kastela Tourist Board. Summarizing our participation, we can say with pleasure that this fair helps us to position ourselves in the US market as best we can,” Josko Stella said.

There is no rest for tourist workers in Croatia, as these fairs are genuine opportunities for direct publicity. Thus, it is not surprising that the county delegation, with a lot of prepared material, does most of their logistic preparations in the early months of the year. After New York, Stella and his team, intensified by private sector representatives from Split-Dalmatia County, went to Atlanta for a workshop. Other Croatian counties will join them there. The task is clear - they are waiting to be presented, promoted, but also to make even better deals with US agencies. 

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Saturday, 25 January 2020

Split Dalmatia County Port Authority Investing Millions in New Ports

January 25, 2020 - The Split Dalmatia County Port Authority is investing hundreds of millions of kuna in landscaping and constructing new ports this year.

Namely, Vecernji List reports that work on the construction of the new ferry port in Sucuraj on Hvar, the most important project implemented by the Port Authority, began in October. According to Director Domagoj Maroevic, the port should be completed in the summer of 2021, and the investment is worth 30 million kuna.

“This is investment is 100% funded by EU funds. Once completed, the port will be able to dock ferries that receive 100 vehicles, while it can now accommodate ferries with 30 vehicles. This will relieve the ports of Gradac and Sucuraj,” says Maroevic.

There are also plans to build a port in Drvenik, which would have started if the local authorities had not abandoned the previously agreed location. The documentation for a new location is now in the process. All this is an overture to the construction of the Drvenik - Ravča tunnel that will connect the Adriatic highway on that part with the A1.

The Port Authority also began work in Kaštel Stari. 

“In December, we started to build the elements, we could not start the external works due to the weather, but we are moving along now. The investment is worth 50 million kuna, about 9500 square meters of the coastal area of the current waterfront and 200 meters of the breakwater will be reconstructed and upgraded. Two hundred berths and about 50 meters of operational shore will be built for the locals,” Maroevic announced.

The breakwater in Kastel Stari is funded by the Ministry, the Port Authority, Split-Dalmatia County and the City of Kastela. It should be finished by the end of 2021.

“The city of Kastela is participating with about 15 million kuna, which is very commendable, and with Kastela, we are already working on documentation for the second phase, the extension of the waterfront by another 200 meters. This is a considerable investment that we haven't had so far,” says Maroevic.

Maroevic says this is the first time a local government unit has been involved in financing the construction of port infrastructure.

“Work is underway to reconstruct and upgrade the marina. We are talking about 170 meters of coast, which is an investment of 13 million kuna. We will upgrade the waterfront, one section that is constantly flooding, and build a seasonal mooring for seasonal residents and boaters. It should be finished by summer 2021.”

Postira is also working on reconstructing 70 meters of the communal part of the harbor and constructing a new 50-meter long pier for boaters. The investment begins at 9 million kuna, and about 40 percent of the works are completed, so it should be finished by summer.

This year, the Port Authority expects to sign a contract for financing the port in Omis, worth 75 million kuna. The works should start by summer, with the approval of the local government unit. The construction of the 330-meter coastal zone in Milna, Brac, will also begin, and a competition has just been announced. The investment is 13 million kuna. By the end of the year, the Port Authority plans to start work in Krilo and Bol, which together cost more than 100 million kuna. A new breakwater, more than 150 nautical berths, and a new catamaran berth are being built in Bol, east of the present port.

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Saturday, 21 December 2019

City of Split Spreading Christmas Spirit with 5,000 Servings of Bakalar at Prokurative

December 21, 2019 - Christmas Eve would be nothing without bakalar and fritule. Thus, the City of Split, Split-Dalmatia County, the Split Tourist Board, the Split-Dalmatia County Tourist Board, and Chefs of Mediterranean and European cuisine are ensuring that 5,000 of you (at least) won't miss it this holiday season. And all you have to do is show up to Prokurative.

Splitski Dnevnik writes that the City of Split, Split-Dalmatia County, and the Chefs of Mediterranean and European Regions are organizing the already traditional event "Split with Love" on Tuesday, December 24, 2019, at Prokurative where citizens will be greeted with 5,000 servings of Croatia’s Christmas cod, bakalar, from 11 am!

More than forty chefs will participate in preparing this famous Christmas fish, which will once again be cooked in a massive 2.2-meter-wide pot. The bakalar will be served by more than 100 volunteers in biodegradable bowls to add an environmental touch to the holiday season. 

This jumbo pot, which is already a traditional element of events in Split today, was created 14 years ago for this exact manifestation in Skver. The pot will contain 200 kilograms of cod, half a ton of potatoes, 200 kg of chickpeas, 250 kg of onion, 40 liters of olive oil, and five kilos of garlic and parsley.

Along with the free-flowing servings of cod at Prokurative, citizens will also be handed out sweet fried donuts, or fritule, which will be prepared and shared by Split hoteliers and caterers, according to their cherished recipes.

But that’s not all. 

This cod and fritule fest would be nothing without a commemorative holiday program, which will begin at 10:30 am with the Men’s, Women’s and Mixed Klapa KUD Filip Devic.

Along with the City of Split, Split-Dalmatia County, the Split Tourist Board and the Split-Dalmatia County Tourist Board, and the Chefs of Mediterranean and European regional cuisine, this year's event was organized thanks to the help of numerous sponsors and donors.

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Wednesday, 23 October 2019

Split-Dalmatia County Port Authority Plans for New 10 Ports in Four Years

October 23, 2019 - In four years, ten ports worth over HRK 300 million are in the ambitious plan of the Split-Dalmatia County Port Authority.

To illustrate, from 1999 to 2009, a total of HRK 90 million was invested in port infrastructure. In the last ten years, HRK 250 million has been invested, and at the moment, HRK 200 million of tenders have been opened. At the same time, this county-owned company recorded revenue growth of HRK 45 million. Split-Dalmatia County Port Authority Director, Domagoj Maroevic, revealed more to Splitski Dnevnik

What are the projects that the Split-Dalmatia County Port Authority plans to implement or start implementing this year?

“By the end of the year we are starting construction on five ports, at present, tenders are open for HRK 200 million of port infrastructure. One of them is a port in Kastel Stari worth almost HRK 50 million, and they should get over 200 new berths and 9.5 thousand square meters of coastal area, as well as construction of a new port in Omis with over 250 meters of coastline, and a new coast that is 12 thousand square meters, where 80 new nautical berths will be used exclusively in the season.

The plan is to build 70 meters of coastline and waterfront in Postira on the island of Brac, the tender is already finished, and the contract is signed - and there is also Bol. In addition, we are planning to upgrade 180 meters of the marina in Marina, where we should get 30 new nautical berths that would be used only in the season, and one of the biggest projects is the construction of a new port in Sucuraj for which we received European funds.

The competition ends next week and in the autumn, we plan to start the construction of a new ferry port worth HRK 30 million. It would also get a new ferry berth, as well as the possibility of a much larger ferry that would sail between Drvenik and Sucuraj. Today's ferry can accommodate 30 vehicles, and with the introduction of a new one, about 100 vehicles can be loaded in a single ride."

Maroevic continued:

“By the end of the year, we should also get a permit to build a port in Stomorska, Krilo and Bol on Brac. We applied for a location permit for Krilo Jesenice two months ago and we expect it by the end of this month. We have a main project contracted and they would immediately go to the main project and should have a building permit by the end of the year. During 2020, the reconstruction of Vis would begin, and at the end of 2020, a new ferry port in Stari Grad. One year after that, the Križna luka Harbor in Hvar.

We are working with the Society of Architects to develop an architectural design for the entire coast of ​​the port in Hvar. We plan to start the project mid-September, then, through DAS, announce the conceptual design and by mid-December, the commission would select the best offer, after which they would start designing. It would take about two years and these are some projects for the future, and the value of this project should be more than EUR 50 million. It will be a combination of nautical berths, a new catamaran dock, as well as a new operational shoreline and landscaping. One of the bigger plans that should start to be realized in 7 years is the construction of a new port in Vis in the bay of Stonca, as the spatial plan is changing.”

There are also smaller projects that are no less important.

“In Stobrec we await a building permit, which is for a project worth HRK 1.5 million, we have the reconstruction of the waterfront in Vinisce worth HRK 2.5 million, and we still have the second phase of reconstruction in Kut on Vis, where there should be room for another 30 nautical berths."

How successful is the Port Authority in raising money from European funds?

"We have now received HRK 22 million for Sucuraj and we plan to withdraw HRK 45 million for Omis. They should finance Stomorska with about HRK 20 million, and Stari Grad worth HRK 75 million. During this period, they could withdraw funds for Bol, a catamaran port worth HRK 15 million. We have prepared far more projects and we have done it on time, that is the only difference between us and other port authorities."

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Thursday, 29 August 2019

Split-Dalmatia County Among Few in Croatia with High Migration Rate

August 29, 2019 - In addition to the counties of Istria and Dubrovnik-Neretva, Split-Dalmatia County last year had more immigrants than emigrants. At a time when there is a continuous increase in population going beyond the borders of the country, it is commendable to single out a county that offers something more to not only retain, but also bring in new residents.

Dalmacija Danas presents a list of measures and programs drawing people to the coast. 

Tourism, as the most promising branch, attracts many to the coastal county. Apart from the cities, many people are opting for a life on the islands, and for which the state has already adopted several measures to make life easier for families on the islands. In addition, through the EU's rural development program, many on the islands and other rural areas of the County have used grants to invest in non-agricultural activities, most notably tourism and the construction of holiday homes, which bring them secure income.

In order to ensure balanced development, the County is working hard on measures to keep the population or bring them back to rural areas. Certainly, the 'Your Home is Here’ measure is the most important in this regard, which, under favorable conditions, allows young families to build or renovate homes. It was launched this year, when 200 applications were received, and the contract was recently concluded with the first 33 families with 80 children. Another 60 new contracts are expected to be signed soon.

Last year, County prefect Blaženko Boban also introduced a series of measures for entrepreneurs. Thus, a small business start-up support program has been prepared for beginner entrepreneurs, for which a loan of HRK 20 to 50 thousand can be obtained. Entrepreneurs can also be granted loans for strengthening entrepreneurial competencies up to HRK 100,000, and economic zones are encouraged for equal entrepreneurial opportunities. With subsidized interest, it is only one percent for the end-user.

“I expect that young people will not only be left with the option to take their identification and go across the border, but that they will be interested in these measures and through them recognize the future of Split-Dalmatia County, and above all the rural part of the County,” said Boban last year.

That proved to be correct. Through lending to small and medium-sized enterprises, interest subsidy generated 1,925 loans worth HRK 2 billion. A total of 445 grants worth 7 million kuna were given to start small businesses.

Particularly significant is the measure for women entrepreneurs, who also received co-financing through applications for these competitions. According to this analysis, Split-Dalmatia County is the second among Croatian counties in terms of budget allocations for entrepreneurs and craftspeople in 2018.

ICT Counties is about to get a new headquarters, and the plan is to find a place for established businesses, as well as young people with start-ups. This profession precisely attracts a new population to the County.

“The IT industry is, in addition to demographic renewal and infrastructure projects, I will not say the third, but perhaps also the first pillar of the development of Split-Dalmatia County,” said Boban recently, explaining that the IT sector is a fine upgrade to demographics, transport and infrastructure efforts to keep young professionals, but that it also attract the best IT experts from around the world, given that there are no business headquarters restrictions.

The County also pays generous benefits for newborns. Based on the demographic analysis in each municipality and city, there are five groups within the counties, and depending on them, the amount of compensation varies. Thus, in the least developed cities and municipalities within groups 1 and 2, benefits are highest and are paid by the age of three. In the other groups in the first year, the amount is lower.

Split-Dalmatia County has allocated the highest number of all counties for kindergartens, and last year was ranked fourth. A large number of kindergartens are currently under construction, renovation, and upgrading. There is a lot of investment in education, and the most significant project in this area is the Center of Excellence. In the two years since the first Center of Excellence was established, the number of students has grown to nearly 400, who, along with their mentors, are refining their knowledge. Such an investment in gifted students has also brought in many national champions in various subjects. This year, Split-Dalmatia County is the second county with the most Oscars of knowledge. 

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Wednesday, 28 August 2019

8.5 Million Kuna Granted to Develop Coast in Omiš, Trogir, Kaštela and Tučepi

HRTurizam reports on August 27, 2019, that based on the Decision on the allocation of funds from the Co-financing Program for Capital Projects on the Maritime Property in Split-Dalmatia County for 2019, the County Prefect Blaženko Boban signed contracts worth HRK 8.5 million with the mayor of Omiš Ivo Tomasović, Deputy Mayor of Trogir Ruža Kovačević Bilić, Deputy Mayor of Kaštela Grgica Benutic and Ante Čobrnić of Tučepi.

The city of Omiš received HRK 1.5 million for landscaping Brzet beach, the city of Trogir HRK 3 million for the construction of the breakwater of Brigi Lokvice sports harbor, and HRK 2 million to Kaštela for landscaping the Glavica bay in Kaštel Lukšić. The Municipality of Tučepi also received HRK 2 million to improve the coastal zone from the marina to Gospin creek, all with the aim of strengthening the competitiveness of Split-Dalmatia County through the development of coastal and marine infrastructure, as well as strengthening the tourist and economic resource base.

“It is well known that our County manages one-third of the total maritime domain of the Republic of Croatia. It was not easy to do all the preparatory work because only projects that have been awarded a 

building permit were financed, and the projects were co-financed in the ratio of half of Split-Dalmatia County, half of the units of local self-government. In this way, together with the local self-government units, we will change the overall view of our coastal towns. Therefore, let the contracts signed today be an incentive for other local communities to participate in such county competitions,” said Blaženko Boban.

Stipe Čogelja, Head of the Maritime and Tourism Managing Board, emphasized that the County has already prepared all the relevant strategic documents for beach management, from the Tourism Capacity Plan to the Beach Management Plan, and announced the development of the Integrated Coastal Zone Management Plan foreseen by European Directives which only Šibenik-Knin County has so far. 

"We are ready for a new EU financial perspective from 2021, to apply for even more funding for sustainable coastal zone management," said Čogelja.

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Thursday, 22 August 2019

Split-Dalmatia County Joins Movement to Keep Coastline Free of Cigarette Butts

August 22, 2019 - Split-Dalmatia County has joined the campaign "Coastline without cigarettes", vowing to keep Croatia's beaches clean.

Thus, in a letter sent to all concessionaires, Split-Dalamatia County invites them to join the movement to ensure their customers are informed about the need to keep the environment clean. To this end, Split-Dalmatia County has created an informational poster that will be distributed to all assigned concessionaires, writes Goran Rihelj of HRTurizam.

Split-Dalmatia County is also calling for the installation of paper ashtrays or cans that can be used for ashtrays, while installing plastic cups and dishes for collecting cigarette butts is not permitted.

According to the memo, Split-Dalmatia County will provide the funds to make the campaign as successful as possible through brochures, paper ashtrays, posters, and media visibility. For now, it is not yet known who is involved in the campaign, apart from the Kaštela area who have publicly announced their support.

The obligation of the concessionaire, if they show interest, would be a drink reward for each delivered full ashtray. Rihelj writes that it is enough for the County to provide posters, brochures, as well as paper ashtrays to each concessionaire, and condition some environmental standards when awarding concessions.

Croatia is thus catching on to a story that originated in the south of Spain where free drinks are exchanged for a cup full of cigarette butts. Among the first was Beach bar Mocca on the island of Krk, which set up cans for cigarette butts, and Camp Slanica on the island of Murter, which awarded a free drink for every full ashtray turned in. 

In addition, the Tourist Board of Murter-Kornati installed ashtrays on all beaches in Murter at the beginning of summer. Now, this excellent story and initiative are joined by Split-Dalmatia County.

In addition to contributing to a cleaner environment, this also helps in the prevention of fires, since lit cigarette butts are one of its leading causes.

Paper ashtrays were first introduced in Croatia by the Volim Vlašići association from the island of Pag, and this year, the project has expanded to the town of Hvar.

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Saturday, 30 March 2019

Split-Dalmatia County Signs Large Infrastructure Projects, Including Water Purification for Jadro

In Split-Dalmatia County, two agreements and three contracts for the realization of significant infrastructure projects were signed on Friday, including a water purification system at the source of the Jadro river, reports T.portal on March 29, 2019. 

These are important agreements signed by the General Director of Croatian Water Zoran Đureković, Split-Dalmatia County Prefect Blaženko Boban and Director of the Split Water Supply and Drainage Ltd., Tomislav Šut, as well as representatives of the four water supply companies in Split-Dalmatia County. It is a project that involves analyzing several solutions for water supply to the Split area from alternative routes. The project value is 850,000 kuna.

The other signed agreement, worth 10 million kuna, is for the co-financing, study, and tender documentation to upgrade the regional water supply system Omis-Brač-Hvar-Šolta-Vis, which is required to apply for EU funds.

In addition to these two agreements, three contracts were signed, the first worth 823,000 kuna, which provides for the co-financing of the tender documentation for the design and construction of Stupe wastewater treatment, expert supervision services, and drafting the preliminary and main project of the secondary sewage and water supply network of Korešnica and Žrnovnica. Also, the study and technical documentation, and the documentation for the public procurement of drinking water conditioning equipment will be produced.

A contract worth more than 18 million kuna was provided for the water-communal infrastructure of the Split-Solin agglomeration, with the agglomeration of Podstrana and Kaštela-Trogir for co-financing from EU funds. The third contract, which is the study and project documentation for the water supply system Omiš-Brač-Hvar-Šolta-Vis, is financed with 59,000 kuna. 

Prefect Blaženko Boban agreed that an alternative is needed given that about half a million people drink water from the Jadro. He said that all public and transport infrastructure should be available and that the Constitution guarantees water supply to citizens.

General Director of Croatian Water, Zoran Đuroković, pointed out that these are strategic projects that provide security for water supply and sewage disposal. He added that 5 billion kuna was secured for works in the largest Dalmatian county and "to expect the announcement of public tenders" for Split, Solin, Kaštela, and Trogir, and for Sinj, Imotski, Trilj and Hvar, whose value will be around 4 billion kuna.

"The City of Split and its surroundings, with more than 400,000 consumers, requires an alternative water pipeline, that is the Cetina river, and the potential of the Ruda. We will analyze the variant solutions, and when we have the optimal solution, we will apply for European Funds,” says Đureković.

When this is realized, we do not know, though Đureković adds that since just Split, Solin, Kaštela, and Trogir must build 550 km of sewage and water supply networks, two water purification systems, with about 100 building permits, the issue won’t be resolved overnight. 

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Tuesday, 26 March 2019

Local Politicians Talk Tourism and What Needs to Change in Split-Dalmatia County

The local politicians (county councilors) of Split-Dalmatia County have analyzed the past tourist season and discussed preparations for the season ahead. All in all, they are happy with the number of arrivals and overnight stays, but warn against the negative side of sudden tourist development, reports Dalmacija Danas on March 26, 2019. 

“In Dalmatia, we have a growth in tourism, increasing demand for local food, and people are leaving us from Zagora, Slavonia. Sinj is the center of Dalmatia, connecting it to the highway would be important, and therefore Split-Dalmatia County must insist on traffic verticals. We have to make sure that at our restaurants, ethnic cuisine is not ordered, but local cuisine. Fields have to be irrigated. We no longer have lambs; now we only have them in the elections. We have to encourage livestock farming and be cautious, as my colleague Bačić said. We import frozen lamb from Romania and New Zealand. Let's not fool around with the shepherds. The meadows are empty. Weeds are growing in the Sinj field. We will applaud it when it is resolved. It is good to grow tourism, but we produce very little. To produce only for tourism purposes, Zagora would be full of flocks and cultivated fields. We produce food, encourage shepherds and cattle. At that point, the cry will be heard in the birthplaces in Zagora, not at the bus stations,” said MOST’s Miro Bulj.

Danica Baričević from HDZ said that there are more and more flights in Dalmatia every year. 

“At the fair, the county presented the coast, the islands, and Zagora. They presented Dalmatian flavors, from cheese to prosciutto. We are the only county in the Republic of Croatia that recognizes all the efforts of private renters and co-finances it, especially in Zagora. It is my pleasure to return to the roots in this tourist story. The maritime department and tourism department is planning well, and we are doing projects like Hidden Habits which recognizes our natural heritage in Dugopolje, Split, Mosor and Kaštela. We need sustainable tourism. It is located in the tourist infrastructure, especially Zagora. More and more guests are returning from Western countries. In 2019, our Zagora became a place for pleasant and safe living. The analysis is excellent and the results are to be praised. We want this season to be even more successful.” 

SDP’s Damir Krstinić said that tourism is holding up the state, but there are also negatives.

“It's aggressive towards resources, especially nature. It burdens the infrastructure. Almost all our places along the coast and on the islands have an unresolved issue of fecal water. Tourism changes the structure of society; in particular, it means that somebody may be chasing you off of your "own" beach because you will not rent a lounger. Due to all this, the price of subsistence is very high and the students are begging to leave their apartments by June 1. Short-term rent is promoted which brings much less revenue. Tourism is a good servant, but it can become a bad master. We have to be careful not to lose control over tourism.”

Milija Baldić-Lukšić (MOST) emphasized that Kaštela celebrated 110 years of tourism.

“The first hotel in Kaštela, the Palace, is still fresh. It is photographed by tourists who send photos on their mobile phones. How to improve our county's offer and turn it into the best destination? I want the consumption of tourists in the county to be bigger than it is now. It is imperative that we use our own products, cultural and historical goods more. As for the number of tourist overnights - in Seget, the number is growing, in Solin this number is low. We have the offer, but it should be coupled with the preservation of the environment so that tourists can recognize us by ecology, sea, and gastronomy. It's not good that everything goes by figures, it should also be about quality. The number of apartments is increasing, and the prices are falling.”

Natalija Rajčić from the Pametno party spoke about the issue of waste generated during the season.

“Marketing is good, but there are no words about problems like semi-permeable septic tanks, etc. Let's take more account of what the guests are not content with.”

Mate Rebić (MOST) said that tourism is the strongest branch of the county. 

“I think tourism is the most important in economic terms. While it increases, there is an increasing pressure on space and the problem of sustainable tourism development comes to the fore and it is increasingly in the public's focus. Last year, the Institute of Tourism developed a Study of Capacity. Recall, there are several major constraints on tourism development. There is the problem of waste disposal, drainage, roads, parking places, and overburdening the electrical network. If we want the growth rates of tourism to be bigger, we will need to be serious about it. In parts of the county where there is a higher pressure of tourism, there is a greater degree of irritation on the local population.”

The director of the Split-Dalmatia County Tourist Board, Joško Stella, said that the capacity study is significant because the county has received this analysis, whereas, for example, Dubrovnik or Barcelona do not have it. 

“It is not a goal to raise capacities so that we have no one to work. This is an analysis of the tourist season, not tourism. As far as measures are the same every year, the result is that the season is constantly extended. Flights are now operating until November. I am not saying that we have to have an entire tourist year, but that the season is sustainable. The beauties must be preserved for the generations to come.”

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Monday, 25 March 2019

Split Will be a Hit Again this Year, though Experts Warn of One Serious Problem

Preparations for the upcoming season are already nearing completion, and despite the media insights and announcements of a worse season due to last-minute bookings and Brexit, but also the new boom of Spain and Greece who are daring to offer competitive prices, Split tourist workers are optimistic, reports Splitski Dnevnik on March 25, 2019. 

Anyone who has already placed their apartments in the queue can breathe a sigh of relief, for yet another fruitful summer awaits us. This optimism is certainly given by the Split Tourist Board data, which shows that in the first two months of 2019, the city recorded an increase of 25 percent in arrivals and overnight stays.

There was considerable interest at this year's ITB Berlin, which showcased the surrounding areas of Split to tourists, resulting in better-equipped apartments outside the city on offer this year. At the same time, the season was extended and now we can freely say that the only break in the year is from November 1 to March 1.

However, the trend of last-minute reservations this year clearly shows that we need to keep an eye on manipulating prices and quality, but also that a significant price increase in the heart of the season is not the best choice if we want sustainable and long-lasting tourism.

"More and more guests prefer booking last minute. Realizing that they can choose accommodation and that the offer, especially in our country, is substantial, they do not rush with reservations, so I am confident that all private renters will reach capacity more or less by the summer,” says the president of the Family Tourism Community Section Martina Nimac Kalcin.

The competition is increasing year after year, though this has not affected the prices of apartments thus far. What it changes is the quality for the price. This is the most common problem for renters with three-star apartments, who do not have any added value, such as a swimming pool. Such apartments are located mostly in the outermost parts of the city and beyond.

"Guests would rather choose the center of Split than a suburb, but this does not apply, for example, to Podstrana, because it is already a kind of Riviera. There, guests holiday for seven or more days, because they are not the city break guests in Split who stay however many days. But there are differences as well. One is being the first row of houses to the sea, where tourists have the beach at their fingertips, and there are quite a few other places above the Adriatic highway,” said Nimac Kalcina.

It is these landlords who have to pay attention to every detail of their offer, and the increase in lump sums, some of which could be discouraging. Because when all the costs and earnings are counted, it may be more worthwhile to rent to the tenants monthly.

Such an option should be in the tourist offer because the number of apartments is at the maximum. In recent years, the capacity of apartments has risen by 20 percent, though the number of guests remained relatively the same.

"There is a problem that will be even more pronounced this year because more apartments will be on the market, I am sure, at least 10 percent. Then the nerves grow, prices fall, they start talking about the bad season, and so on. It's not a bad season, but the supply has grown on the demand,” says Tomislav Fain, in his third year as the president of the National Association of Croatian Travel Agencies.

To cope with a similar situation, Barcelona has banned the opening of new apartments, though such rigorous moves will not happen in Croatia.

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