Split Tourism Picking Up: 5x More Guests in May than 2020, June Looking Even Better!

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It comes as no surprise that tourists are more eager to travel than ever, and after last year’s pandemic-plagued season, much better results are expected this year. 

Croatia and Dalmatia are hotspots for travelers around the world, and Split is always a top destination on travelers’ lists. We can see that now thanks to a considerable increase in arrivals in Split in May than in 2020! 

“We think there are enough guests and I think it will explode in six months, so we’re looking forward to it. We hope that this will bring us back to something new and normal because people are eager and waiting to start,” Bokeria restaurant owner Luka Bokavšek told RTL.

Private accommodation and hotel rooms are seeing an increase in bookings, too, and June is already solidly filled. Director of the hotel Nevena, Toma Čikeš, told RTL that they are already 66% full and expect many last-minute reservations, as was the case last year. 

Split Tourist Board director, Alijana Vukšić, also remains optimistic. 

“From the beginning of the month until today, we have achieved over 32,000 arrivals, and in the same period last year, there were only six thousand arrivals. All those reservations have been turned into real arrivals of our guests,” Vukšić said at the end of May. 

And as tourism picks up and COVID-19 measures ease, more and more events can find their place under the sun. Split Spring, for example, returns to Split’s famous Đardin park next month, from June 3 to 12. The third edition of the Split gourmet fair, sponsored by Staropramen, will host some of the most creative Split restaurants – Bokamorra, Artičok, Šug, Misto, Mazzgoon, Corto Maltese, Pandora, Maka Maka, Fabrique, Biberon and Uje. Last year, the event also showcased art, music, and humanitarian corners! 

Vaccination for Tourism Workers in Split-Dalmatia County on June 5

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In an effort to provide the safest tourist season ahead this summer, Split-Dalmatia County is taking no chances – and all tourism workers can receive their second vaccine dose on June 5! 

Thus, the Split-Dalmatia County Institute of Public Health invites all tourism workers who had their first dose of vaccine on May 8 and 15 to receive their second on June 5. 

It is required to wait three to six weeks between the two vaccine doses. 

All tourism workers who did not receive the first dose of vaccine can also come to Spaladium Arena in Split from 13:00 to 14:00 on June 5.

“Vaccinating tourism workers is of great importance for achieving the health security of the destination. This is the most challenging tourist year so far, and the responsibility for the achieved results is on each individual, so we invite all tourism workers to be part of the joint creation of the image of Split as a safe tourist destination,” said Split Tourist Board director Alijana Vuksic.

As of May 20th, 25.7% of Split-Dalmatia’s total population received the first vaccine dose, while 7.8% have received both doses. 

All citizens or residents of Croatia can be vaccinated against COVID-19. Vaccines are not intended for children under 16 or 18 years of age, and the vaccination age depends on the type of vaccine. However, due to the higher risk of developing more severe forms of COVID-19 disease, preference is given to people with chronic diseases and the elderly. These include people with respiratory, cardiovascular, malignant, kidney diseases, diabetes, and immunodeficiencies. 

You can apply for vaccination by reporting to your family doctor, via the website cijepise.zdravlje.hr, calling the toll-free number 0800 0011, and through county public health institutes.

61st Split Festival Returns to Prokurative in July

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Preparations are underway for the 61st edition of the Split Festival. 

In addition to selecting 20 renowned musicians who will perform at Split’s Prokurative, festival director Tomislav Mrduljaš said that the entire event would last nine days this year!

“The three main evenings at Prokurative (opening ceremony, retro evening, and evening of new compositions) will be on July 8, 9, and 10. From July 3 to 11, events will take place on the Riva; we will invite people to relax and show tourists our musical heritage. It will all be different, and I hope that the coronavirus will give way a little by then,” Mrduljaš said.

At the final evening of new compositions, on July 10, some of the biggest names in the music scene will perform, as usual, and successful young musicians and writers will feel the charm of one of the most beautiful stages.

Of the festival events that will be celebrated on the Riva, visitors can enjoy entertainment and evening concerts featuring the most famous names of the Croatian music scene.

Mrduljaš said that the city will be more alive than ever during the 9 festival days. 

After intensive and exhaustive days listening to over 300 compositions submitted to the competition, the Split Festival jury selected performers and songs that will be performed at the 61st Split Festival, today the most important festival in Croatia and this corner of Europe.

Young singers will have the opportunity to experience the legendary stage at Prokurative this year, while some have been building their successful careers with the help of the Split Festival for years.

The following 23 compositions have been selected to be performed at Prokurative this year:

1. AKO OVO PREŽIVIM (Tonći Huljić-Vjekoslava Huljić) LORENA

2. AKO ŽIVOT OPET PRILIKU MI DA (Dražen Zečić) DRAŽEN ZEČIĆ

3. ARIJA (Dolores-Elvis Stanić) DOLORES

4. BAMBINA MIA (Josip Radić-Josip Radić/Aleksandar Antić/Ivica Ivanišević) CAMBI. & TBF feat. ST KOKE

5. BAŠ ME BRIGA (Goran Karan-Goran Karan) GORAN KARAN

6. DANAS (Raay-Nenad Ninčević) LUKA BASI & IVANA KOVAČ

7. GAF (Tonći Huljić-Vjekoslava Huljić) DOMENICA

8. KADA JEDNOM ODEM (Vinko Barčot) TOMISLAV BRALIĆ & KLAPA INTRADE

9. LJUDI (Marko Tomasović-Robert Pilepić) IBRICA

10. MOJA SI (Alen Nižetić) ALEN NIŽETIĆ

11. NA PALMIŽANU (Marija Mirković-Alka Vuica) ALKA VUICA

12. NEBO VIDI SVE (Branimir Mihaljević-Nenad Ninčević) GIULIANO

13. NEŠTO U NAMA (Ines Prajo-Arijana Kunštek) IVO PERKUŠIĆ

14. NETKO KAO TI (Antonija Šola) BORIS ROGOZNICA

15. OSTANI TU (Vinko Barčot) IVAN IVE ŽUPANOVIĆ

16. SHAKESPEARE (Ivan Huljić) JOLE

17. SRCE U KOROTI (Branimir Mihaljević-Željko Pavičić) TEDI SPALATO

18. SVAKE SUZE VRIJEDNA (Darko Bakić-Luca) BEST

19. TI SI TAJ (Vjeko Dimter/Mia Dimšić/Damir Bačić) MIA DIMŠIĆ

20. ZABORAVLJENI (Tomislav Marić/Andreas Bjorkman-Tomislav Marić) ToMa

21. ZBOG TEBE (Nikica Šarić) IVICA SIKIRIĆ IĆO

22. ZLATNE KIŠE LJUBAVI (Ante Pecotić) ANTONIA DORA PLEŠKO

23. ZVIJEZDE (Josip Radić-Neno Belan) NENO BELAN

Last year, the festival was also held in early July, across three evenings, and under strict epidemiological measures. Neno Belan and Zorana Kačić Čatipović won with Alka Vuica’s song “Čarobna stvar”.

Split Airport COVID-19 Testing Facilitating Your Travel Needs

Great news for all travelers to the Dalmatian capital – COVID-19 testing is available for passengers at Split Airport! 

Operated by the Split-Dalmatia County Public Health Teaching Institute, all travelers can be tested for SARS-CoV-2 near the Split Airport passenger terminal, next to the state road D409. The testing center can be accessed by foot or car. 

Two testing methods are used depending on the needs of the passengers and the type of test required to enter the country. 

A rapid antigen test for SARS-CoV-2 is ready within 30 minutes and costs HRK 200.00 or HRK 250.00 with an English translation. 

The SARS-CoV-2 PCR test result is delivered within 24 hours and costs HRK 400.00 or HRK 450.00 with an English translation. Tests taken on Sunday can take up to 36 hours.

All travelers are required to show a form of ID at the testing center. Payment is possible by cash, debit, or credit card, while pre-registration by phone or e-mail is not required.

The Split Airport testing center works from:

Monday to Friday from 08:00 to 16:00,

on Saturdays from 07:00 to 17:00,

on Sundays from 08:00 to 16:00.

Dalmatian Hiking Tourism Enhanced with Camino Imota Trail in Imotski

Luka Kolovrat

Did you know that about a million and a half people embark on pilgrimage routes every year? 

You’ll be hard-pressed to find someone that hasn’t heard of the Camino de Santiago pilgrimage, which has attracted hoards of hikers for a thousand years. St. James road, about 800 kilometers long, starting from France, is certainly the most famous, and Europe is intersected by a network of pilgrimage routes leading to St. James the Apostle in Santiago de Compostela. Now, the Imotski region will soon have its pilgrimage route – Camino Imota.

Camino Imota will come to life thanks to the cooperation of the Imotski Tourist Board and the Brotherhood of St. James, the official representative of Croatia in the Brotherhood of St. James, which operates in Santiago de Compostela. Imotski will thus become part of the most famous pilgrimage routes after Krk, which joined the Camino family in 2019. 

Camino Imota will be a section on the general Medjugorje – Sinj route within the Sv. Jacob Croatian road network. This section is also conceived as a separate tourist product to encourage longer stays in the Imotski region.

“We believe that the new trail will encourage new arrivals in the Imotski region, especially if we promote in the target markets, but we also count on a large number of Croatian visitors,” said Luka Kolovrat of the Imotski (Imota) Tourist Board. 

The Camino Imota route will be about 75 kilometers long and take around three days to cross. The course will pass interesting sacred buildings but also significant natural and cultural heritage sites. There will be commemorative stamps for pilgrimage passports as proof of travel for a total of 12 sites. Everyone with a completed pilgrimage passport can get a certificate of the pilgrimage – Compostela – from the Imotski Tourist Board office. 

“We are currently working on marking the trail, creating a mobile application and the web, and organizing a Camino weekend, which should be on June 18. In parallel, we will work on connecting caterers and family farms. About twenty days ago, we presented the project to all priests of the Imotski region and received exceptional support. Of course, we can hardly do everything in a few months, but this is truly a long-term project. The project has been recognized by the Croatian National Tourist Board and is co-financing the first phase of the project,” Kolovrat added.

Digital maps of daily sections will be made, with information on shops, restaurants and accommodation facilities. A design will also be made, and locations for stamps and visuals will be defined. There are also plans to create a website, a mobile application, and an offline interactive map with GPS route navigation.