July 30, 2019 – As Hvar moves its tourism story away from the party, is a new service from Carpe Diem the biggest symbol of change in the new direction? Meet Taste Croatia, Carpe Diem style.
A few months ago, I met and interviewed Petar Razovic, the new Hvar Town Tourist Board director, who had been in the position just over a year. I had assumed it would be just another standard interview listening to the same old stories, but there was something different about Razovic and his vision for Hvar. You can read the interview here.
He seemed determined to reset Hvar’s tourism strategy away from the cheapening party destination it had become and more towards the elite destination it had been until fairly recently. With party boats jumping on the bandwagon of the infamous Yacht Week, it was sad to see the change that was occurring. Symbolic of that for many were the after beach parties at Carpe Diem, where up to 500 drunk ‘sailors’ would cram in for a party from 17:00 to 20:00, before being sent out to ‘explore’ the town, before heading out to Carpe Diem Beach at midnight to party until dawn.
Razovic, the town authorities and Carpe Diem have been in discussions as to how better manage the situation, so that the party can exist side by side with the rest of Hvar tourism, as it had done before. The Yacht Week was moved to the Pakleni Islands and reduced to just five times a month, and security guards would oversee the orderly departure to Carpe Diem Beach at Stipanska by night, and an orderly arrival early in the morning. When I stayed in late June (admittedly not the peak season), the system was working well, as you can see from my experience of a night in Hvar Town: Hvar Town, a Changing Destination: A View from Hotel Adriana Terraces.
The oldest public theatre in Europe reopened after 20 years, the first luxury 5-star hotel on the island is due to open in a few weeks, it seemed that Hvar was really taking concrete steps to change. Rome was not built in a day, but the wheels were certainly in motion.
And then THIS!
A new concept from Carpe Diem during the day, promoting the quality wines of the island (and, I think, also the rest of Croatia) – Taste Croatia.
Less on the daytime party, more on the gourmet quality, and a chance to learn more about the fine wines of the island and beyond. The wines will also be available for purchase – an ideal Hvar souvenir.
Come on Thursdays and Sundays from 16:00 to 18:00 teach week for a special wine tasting event. Details for reservations in the flyer above.
So there we are, one more step in the right direction, and an excellent platform for Hvar’s excellent winemakers to impress visitors to Hvar Town.
Perhaps now is the time to say thanks for the memories, Ultra Europe, but we need to keep working on our brand?
To learn more about the potential of Hvar as a food and wine destination, Creating Quality Gourmet Tourism in Croatia: Case Study Hvar.