Mailshots, SPAM & Sucuraj Shows Tourist Board Reform IS Possible.

Total Croatia News


May 17, 2020 – As TCN’s Virtual Croatia mailshot initiative becomes a national news story, a little update and a prototype for tourist board reform: Sucuraj on Hvar.

A little bit of TCN history yesterday, as not one but two Index articles featuring TCN articles made the list of top 10 most read on Croatia’s largest portal, 


Apart from the obvious boost in traffic and raising of TCN’s profile to Croatian readers, one thing almost always happens when Index takes one of my stories.

Positive change. And often rather quickly. 


Take last week, for example. An article calling for official bodies to stop embarrassing the country and themselves met with no response when I wrote about it. When Index did the story, however, things changed within hours. The Croatian National Tourist Board wisely decided that quoting obscure references to the Official Gazette on the corona advice page for tourists was arguably not the first thing potential visitors wanted to read, and they updated the page into what is now one of the most useful and updated pages in English. Great stuff and well done.  

The Ministry of Tourism’s response was even more impressive. Their English homepage started the day (the year is 2020, remember) with contact details which were phone and fax only – not even an email. 


By the time had come for marenda, the fax machine had been removed from both the homepage and the main contact page, to be replaced by 4 useful emails.  


So when someone sent me a link to their story on the Virtual Croatia mailshot initiative, What Happens When 319 Croatian Tourist Boards Get a Free Offer in a Pandemic?, I was curious to see what impact there would be.

Even though the story went out on a Saturday night, and now it is early on Sunday morning, the early results have been really interesting. This is how we started with the mailshot and my offer (which you can see here in English and Croatian)

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Because I wanted my free offer to get the widest reach and visibility, I engaged a PR company to spread the press release throughout the Croatian media, which resulted in considerable coverage, such as Vecernji List, above. 

I finally figured out the mailshot technology and tracking systems a few days later and sent the mailshot. 

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These were the results after more than two weeks. 


And from late evening on Saturday to early morning on Sunday after the Index article, these are the results below.

A 25% increase in clicks from the offer already. Proof that Index have a slightly better reach than me. 

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 The Index story was their lead story last night, and it caused plenty of comments, polarised as usual. There were several saying that the emails would have gone to spam, so they wouldn’t have seen them. I checked with 5 tourist boards who did not open (they were already working on the offer due to our longstanding communicaitons) and they all saw the email. The official stats I got back was that 16 were not delivered of the 319. Of these 16, 4 had mailboxes full, 7 were blocked (assume the SPAM filter), 2 were undeliverable, 2 had accounts which were suspended, and one was on vacation with an auto-reply. 

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But even if they all went to SPAM, let’s focus on the 78 who managed to open the email. Of those, only 24 managed to click on the link to see what I was offering. Which meant that 54 were either too busy or not interested. They were at least more interested than the two who unsubscribed. 

Another theme in the comments was ‘who the hell is this Bradbury anyway – they have probably never heard of him.’ 

One of the nicest emails I got was from the Rogoznica Tourist Board (as well as the most organised information and links of all – thank you!). The email started like this:

Dear Paul,

I appreciate very much your work and all effort you give for the promotion of Croatian tourism.

Virtual Croatia is a great initiative, and we would really like to be a part of it.


It was lots of fun to discover Rogoznica, and I learned a lot, thanks to the tourist board efforts. You can read Tourism in the Corona Era: Virtual Tools to Discover Rogoznica

And all the destinations done so far and in the future will be on our Virtual Croatia page.

I am grateful to Index for the exposure, and while I assumed that I and TCN were well-known – if not by lots of people in Croatia – then at least by the people working in tourism, allow me to present my tourism promotion credentials to any tourist board who would like to be part of the Virtual Croatia initiative, even those who unsubscribed. Simply follow the submission guidelines in the offer.

You may remember my article 25 Reasons You Should Never Visit Croatia a few years ago, which got 1 million hits in 24 hours and was all over the Croatian media.  

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I won the FIJET Marco Polo Grand Prix award for best international promotion of Croatia in 2014 at the Croatian Association of Journalists

I did a big interview with Index last summer on the challenges and suggested directions of Croatian tourism last summer, which was read over 100,000 times. Perhaps you were one of the readers?

My website, Total Croatia News is the current recommended source of travel info to Croatia on CNN.

Last week, I was honoured to be on the first Business Cafe Online international meeting with Dutch legend Jan de Jong, talking about the simple steps to transform Croatia and its tourism without spending too much. 

And here I am with the biggest legend of all, Romano Bolkovic. 

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I got a LOT of messages from media and private people wanting to check if their tourist board opened, clicked or unsubscribed. I have not revealed any information to anyone, for now is not the time. The time is to focus on the issue and what I, and every other decent person in this country, wants – change and reform.

And the reform of this outdated system IS possible. If the ministry can abolish the fax machine in 2 hours, it shows that change can come if we have the right conditions. And this is why the town of Sucuraj on the east of Hvar should be celebrated and copied, for the mayor DID abolish the position of tourist board director. You can read Sucuraj Mayor Removes Director Position: Tourist Board Reform IS Possible to find out how it was done. 

“The need for a year-round office is questionable, just for someone to have a salary in a small Tourism Board doing a job that amounts to two hours of administrative work per month, all while there are insufficient funds for any major project which needs to be done and monitored.”

Enough from me. I hope we can make some change before my army of trolls uncover the truth about me. Firstly, they uncovered my clandestine mission to monitor olives for 13 years in Jelsa for MI6, CIA, FSB, Mossad and those chaps from Greater Serbia. And now I feel totally exposed, as Dear Dragi has uncovered the truth about me – I am actually an uhljeb prototype. It is only a matter of time before the link between Bradders, corona and Wuhan comes out. Keep taking the medicine, Dragi.

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