Tuesday, 21 December 2021

Camino Krk Recognized at International Sustainable Tourism Awards

December 21, 2021 - As part of this year's International Award for Sustainable Tourism (Skål International Sustainable Tourism Awards), the project Camino Krk was awarded the International Prize for Sustainable Tourism.

The Camino Krk project, in competition with ten other initiatives from different parts of the world, in the category of Rural / Rural Areas and Biodiversity (Countryside and Biodiversity), as one of the nine set categories, is positioned in third place, reports HrTurizam.hr.

This year, the evaluation of projects received in the public call was conducted by three independent judges, giving them grades that are then added up, so the initiative with the highest score wins in its category. Although Camino Krk did not win, it was highly rated, which is a great success, according to the Tourist Board of the City of Krk, adding that they will be reminded of the certificate received in recognition of commitment to sustainable practices and implementation of environmentally friendly business model.

"First of all, I must point out that all island tourist boards have made a significant contribution to the development of the Camino Krk project in terms of a new and innovative tourist product. In uncertain pandemic circumstances, after we defined the project in cooperation with the Brotherhood of St. Jacob, we decided to invest significantly in its further development. Therefore, this year Camino Krk was the focus of all tourist boards, which means that significant funds were invested in marking the entire route, involving stakeholders, creating promotional materials, and strong digital promotion," said Ivana Kovačić, director of the Tourist Board of Krk.

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Photo: www.experiencekrk.com

The explanation of the evaluation states, among other things, that the activities related to Camino Krk have little impact on the environment and that the project itself encourages the dispersion of tourists to rural areas and the interior of the island, thus spreading economic benefits and moving away from established sun-sea concepts.

If the activities of tourists, as is the case with this project, do not adversely affect the environment, as a next step and a kind of upgrade, it is proposed that all its stakeholders, at all levels, accept the principles of sustainability in both environmental and economic terms.

"This year there was a significant interest of our guests for active holidays, staying in nature and getting to know the natural, cultural and historical heritage, and Camino Krk met their expectations by adding warmth and spiritual component to this potential-filled tourist story. In further efforts, we will certainly pay significant attention to the comments and suggestions of tourism experts received based on the application to the public call of Skål International and try to further strengthen the cooperation of all project partners," adds Kovačić.

Recall, the Camino de Santiago or the Way of St. Jacob's pilgrimage route is about 800 kilometers long and is walked by more than three hundred thousand pilgrims a year. In 1987, the Council of Europe awarded it the title of Main Street of Europe, and in 1993, UNESCO included the Spanish and French parts of the route to the Galician capital, Santiago de Compostela, on the World Heritage List. Road network of St. Jacob leading to one of the world's three leading pilgrimage centers that inherit the relics of St. James the Apostle is spread all over Europe and is most often marked with a stylized shell - James' cap, as the (primary) saint's attribute.

camino-krk-2.jpeg

Photo: www.experiencekrk.com

The celebration of the Krk part of the Croatian Camino route took place between 2019 and 2021. Camino Krk is defined as an (all) island circular route, with a total length of more than 150 kilometers, which follows the infrastructure of existing hiking trails. Its starting point is in the island center - the town of Krk, ie the Krk Cathedral, and the final one in the village of Kornić, in the parish church dedicated to the Apostle St. James.

The tour of the Krk route is divided into seven pilgrimage chapters, more precisely seven days needed to truly experience the island's historical, cultural, and especially sacred heritage immersed in impressive natural environments and unique urban units. For easier navigation on the island of Camino, Krk is marked with recognizable, blue-yellow signs, and in addition to signalization, there is also an interactive digital map that allows tracking the route using a smartphone.

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Photo: www.otok-krk.org

This project, since its launch, has attracted significant interest from both domestic and foreign pilgrims, walkers, and other recreationists, mostly Slovenes, Italians, and Austrians, which has intensified in periods affected by strict epidemiological measures.

The Skål International Sustainable Tourism Awards are presented each year to companies, institutions, agencies, and other private and public associations related to tourism.

It is a recognition that, evaluating the effects of sustainable and responsible tourism, contributes to the global visibility of applicants and registered initiatives. By entering the competition, the applicant presents its products and services to globally known experts in the tourism industry, while ensuring significant media visibility.

Skål International unites all branches of the tourism industry and operates through more than 340 clubs with almost 14,000 members in more than 100 countries, while its mission is to promote the development of responsible, sustainable, and universally accessible tourism.

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

Monday, 20 December 2021

Could Sustainable Croatian Tourism Branding Result in More Luxury?

December the 20th, 2021 - Could sustainable Croatian tourism branding be the key to encouraging more luxury tourism? As all things renewable become more and more mainstream, it seems that new opportunities lie in way for the country so well known for damaging mass tourism and counting overnight stays.

As Poslovni Dnevnik/Marija Crnjak writes, renewable energy sources, energy and water savings, green procurement, local food, food waste reduction, sorting and recycling, hazardous chemicals-free business operations… There are many criteria that are entering the fast-growing trend of sustainable tourism, and they're more or less applied worldwide.

Along with national governments and public institutions, sustainability has become the goal of every serious company that plans to increase its competitiveness in the coming period. In parallel with the introduction of sustainable solutions, more and more attention is being paid to branding sustainable products and services, which will bring them better recognition and market positioning, and many Croatian players have woken up and are very much involved in this race in addition to global enterprises.

Sustainable Croatian tourism branding could finally result in year-round work and less seasonal influences on the domestic economy.

''Eco green hotels'' is the name of a new brand launched back in November by the National Association of Family and Small Hotels, with the aim of responding to the growing needs of modern travellers for environmentally friendly accommodation. This is a hotel segment that already meets sustainability goals in part because most facilities decide to work all year round.

Depending on the level of implementation of green and sustainable solutions, hotels will receive a silver, gold or platinum label, and the first step in this ambitious task is to educate more than 200 members of the association that has already started.

''After the training session, there will be a cycle of investments that will last at least two years, so Croatia could have the first eco-green family and small hotels as early as 2023. Green business has become a necessity not only because of our conscious guests' demands for environmentally friendly accommodation, but for savings for hoteliers themselves. What is also extremely important is that in this way, we'll be able to give our contribution to the decarbonisation of the planet,'' pointed out Sime Klaric, President of the National Association of Family and Small Hotels.

Among large Croatian hotel companies, Valamar Riviera was the first to make a more serious investment in its first eco resort in beautiful Stari Grad on the Central Dalmatian island of Hvar, with the creation of a totally new brand - Nature resort. Nature resort is the new Valamar concept of a fully sustainable eco-resort positioned primarily for family holidays. The construction of the resort will be achieved by respecting the highest standards of green building, which includes using only environmentally friendly materials with minimal impact on the environment, the use of renewable energy sources and a high level of energy efficiency.

The Valamar Nature resort on the island of Hvar is the first tourist project that will use prefabricated buildings and modular construction designed according to Valamar accommodation quality standards. The concept is inspired by nature and sustainable design, meaning that the architecture of the resort will fit well into the natural environment of the island in terms of the the design of the buildings, while the interior design is being dealt with by signed by local designers and artists using local traditions, looks and materials.

Construction will be carried out in in two phases

Felled trees will be used in landscaping, and each felled tree will be replaced with newly planted ones. Great emphasis will be placed on the offer of local food and groceries produced right there on the island, while digitalisation will eliminate the use of paper throughout the hotel. The project is planned to be built in two phases throughout 2022 and 2023, and in order to realise all of these green initiatives to their absolute full potential and realise all aspects of sustainable resort development, there is a plan in place to apply for green EU funds for the project.

Helios Faros' business development plan assumes investments in the total amount of around 800 million kuna in sustainable high value-added tourism that will have a positive impact on the economic growth of the island. By the year 2025, the reconstruction and construction of three hotels and resorts of categories 4 * and 5 * with a total capacity of 700 accommodation units is planned.

Quartz Inn Hotels, a new European hotel brand for independent sustainable hotels that recently presented itself at the WTM fair in London, is also seriously counting on Croatian facilities in its future portfolio, and their plan is to expand to at least 100 hotels across Europe. Quartz Inn Hotels Ltd was founded by Spaniard Ignacio Merino and Dutchman Alexander Zawadzki, who both have extensive experience in the hotel industry as well as in online travel agencies and travel startups under their belts. Sustainable Croatian tourism branding could be very possible with such an initiative taking hold in the country.

“We're the first sustainable hotel brand for stand-alone hotels in Europe, and our goal is to connect sustainable accommodation from across all European countries, while preserving the authenticity of each facility. We focus on sustainability, we help hotels become more ''green'' and in that way we're working to create a more sustainable tourism industry. By joining our brand, hotels gain more visibility internationally, which leads to higher revenue and more direct bookings,'' said Ignacio Merino when explaining the basic principles of the business idea created in the midst of the coronavirus pandemic, which came about partly as a result of the crisis itself.

"Independent hotels have been the hardest hit by the pandemic and they simply don't have the same means as larger chains have at their disposal to try to overcome the situation. We talked to many of them and decided to form a community that will support them. Through our partners, we provide them with the latest technology to manage things for them, covering all commercial areas, such as OTA distribution, connectivity, marketing, online reputation, online signups, resales, booking and revenue management, to optimise their hotel prices and maximise their benefits,'' he explained. In addition, they offer their members a free hotel academy for hoteliers and staff. In addition to hotels, guesthouses and holiday villas are also welcome.

They currently have dozens of contracts signed across Europe, and plan to conclude next year with at least 100 facilities within the chain. Their main goals are to reduce energy and water consumption and eliminate disposable plastic in rooms, while encouraging sustainable eating habits and contributing to the preservation of the local culture and economy.

Sustainable Croatian tourism branding could lead to a far better situation each and every year when it comes to arrivals from across the globe. Currently trapped by the ''sunshine and sea'' label which expires after about three months annually despite multiple attempts to extend the tourist season and expand what the country can offer. The coronavirus pandemic might just be the reset button for sustainable Croatian tourism branding and lead to a far better way of doing things than simply sitting back, counting the overnight stays on the eVisitor platform and rubbing our hands.

For more, check out our travel section.

Sunday, 5 December 2021

Sustainable Croatian Tourism: Valamar Announces New Investment Cycle

December the 5th, 2021 - Sustainable Croatian tourism is a goal that the vast majority of actors in this most important economic branch are busy aiming for as mass tourism continues to bring as many issues as it does kuna into the country. Valamar is making concrete moves in this direction.

As Poslovni Dnevnik writes, following on from the finalisation of the second phase of the capital increase in Imperial Riviera worth a massive 690 million kuna, the Supervisory Boards of the Valamar Group companies approved the transfer of three hotels down in Dubrovnik from Valamar Riviera to Imperial Riviera, a joint venture for Valamar and Allianz ZB for the management of mandatory and voluntary pension funds.

This capital increase and the transfer of the hotel to Imperial aims to accelerate significant investments in the reconstruction and further construction of resorts in the destinations of Dubrovnik, Makarska and Rab, for which Imperial has planned 2.1 billion kuna over a five-year period. Soon enough, the Valamar Group will launch investments totaling 500 million kuna in hotel and tourist facilities and facilities managed by Valamar.

Sustainable Croatian tourism, more precisely ''green'' tourism, and digital transformation, as well as investments in the premium segment, will form the backbone of the development of Valamar's portfolio in the coming period. In order to implement investments and transform their business, the management of the Valamar Group will be reorganised, for which the top management was given a mandate until 2026.

President of the Management Board Zeljko Kukurin and member of the Management Board Marko Cizmek have been reappointed for a new five-year term, while former Vice President Ivana Budin Arhanic has been appointed to the Valamar Riviera Management Board with a focus on further internationalisation, sustainable Croatian tourism and business digitalisation.

Alen Benkovic has been appointed President of the Management Board of Imperial, and is set to become Senior Vice President of the Valamar Investment Group. Davor Brenko has been appointed Senior Vice President of the Valamar Sales and Marketing Group with a focus on product development and increasing direct sales. David Poropat will take over the position of Senior Vice President of Operations with a focus on strategic partnerships and service management.

Sebastian Palma has been appointed to a new term as a member of the Board of Finance for Imperial Riviera and becomes Vice President of the Strategic Controlling Group. Ines Damjanic Sturman has been appointed Vice President for Human Resources Development as a strategic function in Valamar's business, and Tomislav Dumancic is becoming Vice President for Dubrovnik and Dalmatia, where significant investments are planned in the coming period. Vlado Mis, the current President of the Management Board of Imperial Riviera, will become an Advisor to the Management Board and Director of the destination of Rab.

Croatian sustainable tourism is something that will allow the country to escape from the binds of the classic ''three months of sea and sunshine'' that it has been embedded in ever since tourism took off here following independence. Given that this little country has so much to offer and diversity like few others, making this move could place it firmly on the year-round tourism map and allow for a far more stable economy.

For more, check out our dedicated business section.

Tuesday, 23 November 2021

Croatia is Key Market for New Sustainable Quartz Inn Hotel Chain

November the 23rd, 2021 - The Republic of Croatia is a key market for the new Quartz Inn hotel chain, and the move could finally kickstart Croatia's more sustainable ambitions as a tourist destination, as this chain places an emphasis precisely on that.

As Poslovni Dnevnik/Marija Crnjak writes, after the recent official presentation at the London Tourism Fair WTM, a new European hotel brand will be launched in around one month, the new Quartz Inn Hotel chain for independent sustainable hotels, and one of the main markets they plan to expand to is Croatia, where they're already negotiating with facility owners.

The was confirmed to the above-linked publication by Ignacio Merino, the co-founder and director of the Quartz Inn Hotel chain, revealing details of the expansion to at least 100 hotels across Europe. Quartz Inn Hotels Ltd. was founded by Spaniard Merino and Dutchman Alexander Zawadzki, both of the men have extensive experience in the hotel industry, as well as with online travel agencies and travel startups.

“We're the first sustainable hotel brand for independent hotels in Europe, our goal is to connect sustainable accommodation from all European countries, while preserving the authenticity of each facility. We're helping hotels become ''green'' and creating a more sustainable tourism industry. By joining our brand, hotels gain greater international visibility, which leads to higher revenue and more direct bookings,'' explained Ignacio Merino of the business idea that came to him in the midst of a global pandemic, partly as a result of the crisis it caused.

"Independent hotels have been hit hardest and don't have the same resources as larger chains do in order to properly overcome this situation. We talked to many people and decided to form a community that will support them. Through our partners, we provide them with the latest technology to manage things for them, covering all commercial areas, such as OTA distribution, connectivity, marketing, online reputation, online sign-up, additional sales, reservations and revenue management, to optimise hotel prices and maximise benefits,'' he explained.

They also offer members a free academy for hotel owners and their staff. It will focus in particular on direct bookings to bypass online platforms and expensive commissions, ensuring more revenue for hotels and a better deal for guests. Hotel owners aren't charged a fee to enter the Quartz Inn Hotel brand and they promise the lowest commission on the market, depending on the services the hotel wants to provide. In addition, the goal is for each property they're associated with to become a brand shareholder.

“Hotels make up our brand, so they deserve to own part of the Quartz Inn Hotel chain itself. Depending on the number of shares and the length of the cooperation agreement, we will determine the amount of shares that we'll assign to each owner,'' said the co-owner of the brand whose name is inspired by the mineral quartz, which has is very hard and is claimed to purify energy.

In addition to hotels, guesthouses and holiday villas are also welcome to join the chain. So far, they have dozens of contracts signed across Europe, and in 2022 they plan to conclude with at least 100 facilities in the Quartz Inn Hotel chain. Although they say their focus is primarily on sustainability, the propositions for members don't seem too strict, the main goals sound rather generic - to reduce energy and water consumption and eliminate the use of disposable plastic in rooms, all while encouraging sustainable healthier eating habits and contributing to local culture and economy.

That said, if a certain facility doesn’t meet the criteria, they can still work with them, and they'll be helped and provided with technology to grow and aid them in becoming much more sustainable. Once they reach the sustainability standards of the Quartz Inn Hotel chain, they incorporate them into their portfolio. Chain members get keep their names, but are free to add a brand name to it should they so wish. They're completely focused on Europe, and Croatia is one of their main markets, they consider it an attractive coastal destination and a paradise for nature lovers.

“I visited Zagreb for the first time back in 2009, and learned more about Croatia while working in a hotel in Munich with several Croatian colleagues who were proud of their country and recommended many places to me. Since then, I've visited not only places on the coast, but also many national and nature parks. We want to offer our guests a wide selection of conscious and sustainable accommodation. We're currently in talks with several hotels from Istria and Dalmatia and I sincerely hope that Croatia will soon become part of our hotel family,'' concluded Ignacio Merino.

For more, check out our business section.

Tuesday, 12 October 2021

Historic Chance to Abandon Old Croatian Mass Tourism Model

October the 12th, 2021 - The Croatian mass tourism model (if you can even call it a model) could finally be sent to the history books as the country has a historic chance before it to bin this method and become more sustainable than simply counting the number of arrivals.

As Poslovni Dnevnik/Marija Crnjak writes, no matter how successful they considered this tourist season to be due to the sheer volume of overnight stays and income, it was incidental. Many things which occur in Croatia end up being totally accidental, and this season we had a favourable epidemiological picture to thank more than pretty much anything else. While this summer was fantastic for the domestic economy, finally pumping what it desperately needed back into it after a lean 2020, we actually ended up with what we were declaratively running away from, Croatian mass tourism, which is far from sustainable.

Therefore, in 2022, but also every following year, Croatian tourism should build itself on everything that has been learned throughout the coronavirus pandemic, and that is that guests are looking for quality, premium product and are willing to pay more for it, and that the primary interest is sustainability. Getting excited over rising numbers on the eVisitor system is dying of death, and Croatian mass tourism has done far more harm than good if one dares to glance outside of the state budget's purse strings.

More cooperation in the EU

In addition to the above, this country's tourism sector needs to communicate more and set some proper models for building common strategies, and the European Union and its member states all need to work more together to maximise passenger mobility and strengthen people's confidence in travel safety following this unprecedented public health crisis in which faith in airlines and travel companies was lost.

Some of this was pointed out by the participants in the conference on year-round tourism "Tourism 365" held on Friday in Tuheljske toplice in continental Croatia, with the participation of various ministers and state secretaries in charge of the tourism sector from four European Union countries, and the Prime Ministers of Croatia and Slovenia Andrej Plenkovic and Janez Jansa.

"Our goal is not to stick to counting tourists and arrivals and thinking about how to break records. The goal is sustainable tourism, to have a distributed number of tourists throughout the year. Therefore, the Month of Croatian Tourism project, which is ongoing, is also important to us,'' Croatian Tourism Minister Nikola Brnjac stated.

Slovenian Minister of Economy and Technology Development Zdravko Pocivalsek pointed out that even before the coronavirus crisis, Slovenia had begun developing its own model for sustainable tourism, and during the pandemic, they invested more than a billion euros in aid to the tourism sector, including vouchers for residents of Slovenia, which strengthened domestic tourism.

Fernando Valdes Verelst, Spanish Secretary of State for Tourism, stressed the importance of strengthening co-operation between EU countries in the future, in order to stabilise tourist flows.

"There was cooperation this year as well, but it could have been stronger. We also need cooperation in terms of marketing, and the stronger advertising of Europe as a destination towards distant markets, whose opening is expected,'' said Verelst. The extention of the tourist season is part of the policy of sustainable tourism, and in the pandemic, Croatia got a historic chance to develop a sustainable product,'' said Ivana Budin Arhanic from Valamar, adding that this year tourists showed great interest in quality and premium products.

Kristian Sustar from the Uniline agency warned that we shouldn't brag too much about this year's season, so that it doesn't somehow end up becoming an example of good practice. "We had a fantastic result, but it must be seen for what it was, incidental. In reality, we had three months of work and Croatian mass tourism, and that isn't what we say we want,'' concluded Sustar.

For more on sustainable tourism, check out our travel section.

Wednesday, 17 March 2021

Mali Losinj and Lika Among Top 100 Global Green Destinations

March the 17th, 2021 - The beautiful green heart of Croatia, Lika, and charming Mali Losinj have both been listed among the top 100 global green destinations for the year 2020.

As Morski writes, the Green Destinations Story Awards jury commission divided the top 100 green destinations in 2020 into a total of six categories and, according to the submitted material, selected the most innovative and sustainable, and one of the important criteria was the possibility of applying examples of good practice in other destinations across the world.

The Lika Destination Cluster won third prize in the category Islands & Seaside with the story Local products in the function of destination development, and Mali Losinj was included among the top six finalists in the category Communities & Culture, with the story Integrated quality management in the destination.

The truly beautiful and emerald green area of Lika is unique in many ways because it combines a beautiful continental part of the country, the Velebit mountain massif as a unique biosphere park and the coastal part that leaves nobody feeling indifferent. It is an area that includes three gorgeous national parks, a nature park, a cave park and a number of other natural phenomena. Most of this area is a unique example of rich biodiversity, which is an excellent prerequisite for the production of premium food that is placed under the unique brand Lika Quality and it is thanks to this project that the destination Lika won this highly commendable award.

¨At the recent selection for the global top 100 green destinations across the world, Lika won for the first time, but the recognition doesn´t stop there, within that same list, it was selected among the top fifteen," said a proud Petra Kovacevic, the leader of the Lika Destination Cluster.

The island of Losinj, known as the island of vitality, is a brand that has been striving for sustainable and responsible tourism since way back in 2006, and is considered one of the leaders in sustainable development in the Republic of Croatia.

¨Were glad that Losinj has once again been recognised as one of the best green destinations. Sustainability is the key advantage of the island of vitality. Through many years of measuring things up and comparing data, we´ve detected strengths, weaknesses, threats and opportunities in order to constantly improve the destination's sustainability strategy. With integrated cooperation with its residents and visitors, we have come to a solution on how to develop, but at the same time preserve a permanent quality destination for coexistence and the pleasant stay of our guests,¨ said the director of the Tourist Board of Mali Losinj, Dalibor Cvitkovic.

The competition for 100 sustainable destinations is organised to highlight relevant and true stories of sustainable and responsible tourism across the globe, which serve as inspiration for other destinations, tour operators and of course travellers and tourists.

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Thursday, 28 November 2019

Dubrovnik Begins Second Phase of Sustainability Measurement Project

November 28, 2019 - The City of Dubrovnik has actively begun the second phase of the Destination Sustainability Measurement Project, which is being implemented by the Global Council for Sustainable Tourism (GSTC) for the city government. 

HRTurizam writes that this body is implementing the report based on the criteria for sustainable tourism and destination management established by the United Nations and it is estimated to be completed in January 2020. In addition to the plan for managing the protected city of Dubrovnik, which is also under construction, it is a crucial document that will define the current degree of sustainability and which will define further steps in managing the destination to achieve sustainable tourism.

Yesterday in Lazareti, an initial meeting of GSTC council member and Mediterranean director Ioannis Pappas met with Dubrovnik Mayor Mato Frankovic, his associates and a wide range of stakeholders in Dubrovnik tourism: city councilors, utility companies directors, representatives of travel agencies, police, associations and organizations related to tourism and others.

Mayor Frankovic gave the opening address and emphasized the importance of tourism sustainability in the context of the city's ‘Let's Respect the City’ project that the city administration has been implementing since 2017. As a critical element of the city and Dubrovnik tourism management, he emphasized cooperation with the Dubrovnik Port Authority by regulating the number of cruisers and at the same time, managing the number of day-trips to the old city center by using online vouchers for buses and informing stationary guests with smart city tools. In addition to presenting the existing measures, he announced future moves that would be introduced gradually, to make Dubrovnik an even better place to live and, consequently, for tourists.

Pappas presented the methodology of measuring sustainability, emphasizing that active cooperation of all actors involved in Dubrovnik tourism is of paramount importance for this phase. Numerous workshops, focus groups and one-on-one interviews are scheduled over the next seven days, and Pappas invited anyone interested to submit their comments, ideas, suggestions, and ask questions, discuss issues and opportunities. Based on these consultations and policy analysis, GSTC will evaluate the current performance of the destination using the prescribed criteria and indicators.

Upon the completion of the analysis, an evaluation of the activities to date will be presented to the Dubrovnik public and the city government will receive concrete, practical guidance for improving results in the most essential areas of destination sustainability: destination management, benefits to the local economy, life and cultural wellbeing, and protection of nature and natural resources. The sponsor of the project is the Cruise Lines International Association (CLIA), a partner of the City of Dubrovnik and a signatory to the Cooperation Agreement for the Preservation and Protection of the Cultural Heritage of Dubrovnik. The City of Dubrovnik is one of the 30 world destinations for which GSTC will conduct a Destination Assessment and the only destination measured by CLIA.

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

Friday, 20 September 2019

Croatian Destinations in European Sustainable Tourism Competition Final

If you know anything that lies beneath the surface-level of the tourism industry and you think of sustainable tourism, Croatia is likely not positioned very high on your list. The Croatian tourism ''strategy'' is questionable at best, and so is its old and incapable infrastructure when it comes to trying to cope with damaging, mass tourism.

The likes of Dubrovnik, its incredible overcrowding, traffic, poorly prepared infrastructure and cruise ship hell are notorious examples of just how not to do things, and Croatia's UNESCO protected southernmost city is also the country's most famous tourist destination.

Thankfully, there are several much less famous Croatian destinations that could work to balance out beautiful Dubrovnik's semi-disastrous reputation in terms of sustainable tourism, and two of those destinations are far from the extreme south of Dalmatia, in the rolling green hills of Istria, in the north of the country.

As Poslovni Dnevnik/Marta Duic writes on the 20th of September, 2019, Motovun, Krk and Rovinj's popular Batana Eco-museum are among the finalists for the best European Destinations for Sustainable Cultural Tourism.

Motovun and the aforementioned Rovinj museum are both located in Istria, while Krk is a large island in Kvarner, belonging to Primorje-Gorski Kotar County.

The finalists of the European Travel Commission selection for the best European destinations for sustainable cultural tourism have now been announced. Motovun is a finalist in the wine tourism category, along with two other renowned European winep-oriented destinations, namely the French destinations of Pays d´Armagnac and of course, the Loire Valley.

In a competition of 55 destinations from 19 European countries, the above-mentioned little Istrian town is not the only finalist from Croatia. In the category of intangible heritage, among the finalsites, is the amazing Batana Eco-museum in Rovinj, and in the category of innovation and digitisation, the island of Krk is a finalist with its digital presentation of the rich cultural heritage of the island of Krk.

The winners by category will be announced at the grand ceremony, which will take place on October the 24th in Granada, Spain.

Make sure to follow our dedicated travel page for much more.

Sunday, 13 January 2019

Lastovo Development Project Goes Ahead Thanks to French SMILO Program

Good news for the southern Dalmatian island of Lastovo as no less than a French organisation is set to help the islanders with their management of their resources and further their sustainable development.

As Morski writes on the 12th of January, 2019, SMILO (The small islands organisation) is a French association that has launched an international program to help islands less than 150 km2 in size who want to improve their management of resources, according to Vjeran Filippi, President of local action group LAG 5, which belongs to the Dubrovnik-Neretva County and consists of five parts: Korčula, Mljet and Lastovo, the Pelješac peninsula and Dubrovnik primorje.

LAG 5 includes twelve local self-government units: Blato, Dubrovnik primorje, Janjina, Korčula, Lastovo, Lumbarda, Mljet, Orebić, Smokvica, Ston, Trpanj and Vela Luka. Island councils have also been formed for the sole purpose of implementing the program on Lastovo and other islands.

In cooperation with the nature park of the archipelago of Lastovo, and as part of the aforementioned LAG 5 work plan for Lastovo, the island council was formed, and a basic analysis of the needs for sustainable development of the island of Lastovo, as well as strategic project proposals in the field of economic development was elaborated for the implementation of the SMILO Program, added Vjeran Filippi. The project included the local county and the board for the islands as operational support in proper communication with various national bodies.

Katarina Slejko, LAG 5's manager, added that for the island of Lastovo, the SMILO program will facilitate the realisation of projects that local stakeholders regard as crucial phases of the transition to sustainable economic development based on eco tourism, with the promotion of olive oil production and a local market, as well as a supporting project for storing the product.

The islands which choose to establish their cooperation with France's SMILO association can count on a set of experts to help launch their respective sustainable development projects, as well as receive a special label (the SMILO label) that will enable them to communicate with other islands involved in the program and increase their chances of getting their hands on numerous development funds, said Maja Rešić.

Make sure to stay up to date with our dedicated lifestyle page for more information. If it's just Dubrovnik and the extreme south of Dalmatia you're interested in, give Total Dubrovnik a follow.

 

Click here for the original article by Niko Peric for Korcula online

Wednesday, 24 October 2018

Is Sustainable Tourism Development Possible in Split's Historic Core?

The most famous figures in Split-Dalmatia County gathered to discuss sustainable tourism development in cities with a historic core on Tuesday in Split. 

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