As Split prepares for another bumper tourist season, Split Tourist Board Director Alijana Vuksic talked to the Croatian media about tourism in the Dalmatian capital.
“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.”
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