Ana Hrnic, Dubrovnik Tourist Board Director, on Nomads, Work. Place. Culture. Conference

Total Croatia News

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Back in October, 2020, Dubrovnik hosted the first-ever digital nomad conference in Croatia, Dubrovnik for Digital Nomads. This was followed in April 2021 with the award-winning Dubrovnik Nomads-in-Residence program, the first of its kind in the world where digital nomads and a destination co-created a strategy for the destination’s nomad offer. 

Croatia’s most famous tourist destination is continuing its push towards more sustainable tourism and building on its early digital nomad success with a range of new initiatives. Next up, the Work. Place. Culture. conference next month, a collaboration between the City of Dubrovnik, Dubrovnik Tourist Board, Saltwater Nomads, and Total Croatia News. Ahead of this latest conference, TCN catches up wth Dubrovnik Tourist Board director, Ana Hrnic.  


1. Dubrovnik is Croatia’s most famous tourist destination, attracting millions of visitors every year, but it is also emerging as a regional leader in the digital nomad/remote work revolution, which has surprised some. Tell us a little more about the background of that initiative. 

One of our strategic goals is certainly to extend the season. In this context, we have recognized the potential of positioning the city of Dubrovnik as a digital nomad-friendly destination, that digital nomads will choose for their stay, especially in periods outside the main tourist season. We can also say that the Covid crisis prompted us to turn to this fast-growing segment, which we recognized as a great potential.

2. You held the first digital nomad conference in Croatia back in October 2020, followed by the world’s first Digital Nomads-in-Residence program a year ago. What were the key takeaways for you, and how did it help you define your future planning?

Dubrovnik Tourist Board and the City of Dubrovnik have been successfully implementing a project aimed at diversifying the tourist offer and intended for digital nomads for two years now. Faced with pandemic challenges and the stagnation of tourism, we decided to focus on the fast-growing digital nomad market. The first event was held in October 2020, entitled “Dubrovnik for Digital Nomads” as part of the European Freelancers Week 2020 and was aimed at presenting Dubrovnik as a year-round destination for digital nomads, which helped the future positioning of our city in this modern world way of doing business. The positive echoes of the conference were the motive for an extremely successful project – a program called “The Dubrovnik digital nomad-in-residence”. Through a series of activities, workshops and excursions, the participants explored the city and its surroundings in detail, got familiar with the way of life of the local population, cultural events and other offers. With their experience, they helped create a better atmosphere for future nomads who will choose Dubrovnik as their place of work, but also contribute to the global promotion of the destination.


3. Rather than just tick a box – event completed – Dubrovnik has implemented, and is implementing an impressive set of initiatives based on recommendations. Give us an overview of those.

So far, we have launched a series of activities, inspired by all previous knowledge and experiences from the previous two years. Let’s mention just a few – we have organized a coworking space in Lazareti, we are finalizing a special website dedicated to digital nomads and all those who plan or have been staying for a long time in the area of the city of Dubrovnik. We are also launching special profiles on social media, where we will be available for all questions. We have created a special visual identity, as well as other materials and content. Our info office in Pile will be a special DN Checkpoint where all digital nomads will be able to get all the useful information they need. We are also working on a special DN card, which will include various benefits and offers. I also consider it important to emphasize that we have introduced the local community with the needs and expectations of digital nomads, because we can say that before these activities for most people this was a completely new and unexplored topic. There is still a lot of work ahead of us, but I think we are going in the right direction.

4. And so to 2022, and the Work. Place. Culture. conference from May 5-7. What is it, and why should people attend?

From 4 to 7 May, the second conference entitled “Work.Place.Culture” is organized by the Tourist Board of Dubrovnik and the City of Dubrovnik, created by Saltwater Nomads. The conference aims to strengthen the position of Dubrovnik as a globally recognized work environment. It is a conference that will bring together about 100 participants from around the world, with distinguished lecturers and workshop leaders, aimed at professionals working remotely and decision-makers.

5. You have obviously worked hard to position Dubrovnik in the remote work scene. Are you happy with progress so far, and what are the short to medium-term goals?

We are very pleased with what has been done so far, but as I have already mentioned, there is still a lot of work ahead of us. In the short term, the goal is to complete a new website, successfully complete the conference, launch the Dubrovnik DN card … We will continue to work on animating the stakeholders of the tourism sector to get involved in projects related to digital nomads – from private accommodation to restaurants and shops, and transportation…In the long run, I believe that we will position ourselves as one of the globally most desirable digital nomad destinations.


6. And finally, there is much more to your beautiful city than remote work conferences. What can people expect from Dubrovnik this year?

Every season in Dubrovnik brings something special. Dubrovnik is a magical city, which after two years of pandemics is finally returning to normal. Optimism is felt at every step, and all our visitors will surely have an unforgettable and unique experience when visiting Dubrovnik. Welcome!

Tickets are still available for Work. Place. Culture. – more information about the conference on the official website

Learn more about the Pearl of the Adriatic in the Total Croatia Dubrovnik in a Page guide.

For more news and features on digital nomads in Croatia, check out the dedicated TCN section


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