Gourmet Croatia: 35% Off Popcorn the Only Offer in Kingdom of Accidental Tourism

By 21 October 2021
Discount popcorn is the only thing on the menu for participating restaurants in much of the country
Discount popcorn is the only thing on the menu for participating restaurants in much of the country Screenshot of

October 31, 2021 - We are 3 weeks into Croatian Tourism Month, a shiny promotion to extend the season in the Kingdom of Accidental Tourism. Anyone hungry? We have 35% off popcorn at the cinema in Central Dalmatia, Slavonia, Zadar County. And nothing else.

There was a typically upbeat press release from the Croatian National Tourist Board on September 30, announcing something called Croatian Tourism Month. This is how it began:

The “Croatian Tourism Month” campaign starts tomorrow, a project of the Ministry of Tourism and Sports and the Croatian National Tourist Board, within which numerous tourist services and experiences will be available at 35 percent more favorable prices. Thus, all Croatian citizens, as well as foreign guests who will be staying in Croatia during October, will be able to tourist services in all parts of Croatia at attractive prices, and everything will be available on the “Croatian Tourism Month” portal.

And this is how it ended:

The project "Croatian Tourism Month" is a continuation of last year's extremely successful project “Vacation-Worthy Week” which was implemented in the period from October 16th to 25th, and which this year, due to the great interest of tourism entities and the public, will run throughout October. Let us add that the main goal of the project is to extend the tourist season by encouraging domestic and foreign tourist traffic in the post-season.

It sounded like a great idea, especially if it was building on the apparent success of last year.

It is a great idea.

But ideas and execution are two very different things, especially in this kingdom. As we explored in 'Croatian Tourism Month' Campaign: Hype and the Sad Reality' recently, it was something of a surprise that the press release claiming to be targeting foreign tourists, as well as domestic, was only in the Croatian language. But that was only the start of the story - a quite extraordinary journey ensued.

Croatian Tourism Month hosted the excellent Taste the Mediterranean festival in Split from October 6-9, just one of many gourmet events going on in the Dalmatian capital. I was curious what culinary beauties might be on offer in Central Dalmatia by way of comparison in this official promotion to extend the season. 


The answer? In the whole of Central Dalmatia, a region famed for its outstanding authentic cuisine, the only thing on offer in Central Dalmatia was popcorn at Cinestar in Split. With a 35% discount. 


Zadar County had the same story, just the popcorn option in the city of Zadar. 


Mighty Slavonia (at least that is what the regions of eastern Croatia are referred to on the official website) fared somewhat better, with no less than 3 popcorn options. 

Is is a decade since Anthony Bourdain told the world about Croatia's world-class food, world-class wine, and world-class cheese. It is just a few weeks since Gordon Ramsay's enthusiasm for Croatia cuisine was seen by millions around the globe. 

And yet, what do we have to offer - konkeretno - for those tourists who love the idea of October travel and a Croatian gourmet exprience?

Here is a translation of the entire offer for Central Dalmatia:

CineStar Split

In the period from 14 to 30 October 2021, as part of the Croatian Tourism Month campaign, Blitz-CineStar will offer all visitors a discount on salty popcorn TO GO, 35% discount, in all branches throughout Croatia in the food and beverage segment.

The regular price of KOKICA TO GO is 32,00kn, the price with a 35% discount is 20,50kn.

The discount will be valid for the entire duration of the promotion and will be valid for all dates and cinema days.

A reminder again of the last paragraph of the official press release - due to the great interest of tourism entities.

There are a total of 27 entries in the food and drink offer on the Croatian-language only Croatian Tourism Month website for the whole of Croatia, a country famed for its gastronomy. Of these, 11 are CineStar offering popcorn discounts, leaving just 16 establishments offering food or drink. This in the second year of an initiative, which has been expanded due to last year's success, according to the official press release.

If this is success, how do we define failure?

Did you know that before the Kings of Accidental Tourism took over the running of tourism in Croatia, that winter tourism was a big thing? Fascinating interview with a UK tour rep who was based in former Yugoslavia from 1986 - 1991. Croatian Winter Tourism in 1990: Full of Life! Tour Rep Interview