Celebrating World’s Biggest Welcome, Croatia’s Finest Tourism Promo Project

Total Croatia News

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All photos by Luka Tambaca

 March 27, 2019 – It is 8 years since the incredible World’s Biggest Welcome adventure tourism promotion project took place in Croatia. Celebrating timeless positive innovation, day by day. 

 Time is a funny thing. 

It was just 8 years ago that I started my writing career for international Google News websites in Canada. At the time, my knowledge of Croatia was extremely limited beyond the shores of Hvar, the bars of Diocletian’s palace and the bus and train stations of Split and Zagreb. 

Soon after I started writing online, I heard about the coolest project of how one guy wanted to create the biggest welcome in the world to promote Croatia as a hospitable tourist destination, as well as showcasing Croatia’s incredible adventure tourism potential. 

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In order to do this, he drew the word ‘Welcome’ on the map of the Croatian coast, from Savudrija on the border with Slovenia to Dubrovnik in the south. He then proceeded to create a 2,500 km adventure tourism route and mark the route on GPS, to create the biggest welcome in the world.  

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But this was not just any route, but one which was undertaken with a great deal of planning and including kayaking, running, cycling, paragliding, canyoning, sailing and more disciplines. An unforgettable 52-day adventure, supported by the superb photography of Luka Tambaca, whose photos were uploaded to the Welcome Facebook page daily.

And Luka made Croatia shine.  

The Welcome project had high-profile support, according to the official website. 

“Project is realised with support of partners: Croatian National Tourist Board, T-Mobile, INA, ORYX Rent a car, Grawe Osiguranje,Lenovo, 24sata, Projektil, Imago advertising agency, iSTUDIO social media company.” 

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What was almost as impressive as the project itself was the level of detail which was invested into helping interested parties understand the project and learn more about Croatia and the places visited.  


A full detailed breakdown of each day and each letter, the activity performed, plus more detailed information on places of interest visited on that particular stage of the journey. 

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I only heard about the project as it was approaching Hvar toward the end of the journey. 

I was hooked and started writing for my Canadian website. 


Time is a funny thing. 

I remember back then that the Welcome project was the biggest thing in Croatia – they had more than 7,000 fans! – and when they shared one of my articles on that big Facebook page, I truly thought I had arrived. 


They were even kind enough to be the first to promote the first edition of my guidebook. 

I came across the project again last week while researching something for an article. The Welcome project – that was so cool. Whatever happened to it and all that positive momentum that was created?

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I asked several friends over the last couple of days what they knew about the World’s Biggest Welcome project. They looked at me blankly. When I explained in a little more detail, several recalled something about a big welcome and some tourism project, but they could not recall more than that. A few younger projects who work in the adventure tourism business had not heard of it at all. 

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I felt very sad at this. Firstly, because such an incredible project with SO much positive energy has all but been forgotten. But also because the World’s Biggest Welcome is such an incredible resource for tourism promotion today, and it is not being used at all. 

I found Daniel Lacko, the man behind the project, on Facebook and connected a couple of days ago, and we will catch up for a beer soon. A very positive energy still today, I asked if he would mind celebrating this incredible project, day by day, some 8 years later. 

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And celebrate it we intend to do! Starting this week, we will take an in-depth look at Daniel’s incredible journey, day by day, with the amazing Luka Tambaca photography to make Croatia truly Full of LIfe. 

You can still see the original website (although it seems to work best on desktop – I had trouble with the mobile version, which I guess was not such a priority 8 years ago).  The Facebook page has most of those awesome photos.

Who best to introduce the project than Daniel Lacko himself. From the official website, this is how he presented it all those years ago:

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Welcome to Welcome,an adventure that can be best summed up as a – travelogue. And this journey is made up of one single most important word travellers like to hear: Welcome!

I am planning on “writing” this kind word of welcome while travelling. Along this writer’s journey my team and I will tour through more than 2500 kilometres, including eight national parks, three nature parks, four protected landscapes, special geomorphologic reserves, six rivers, eleven mountain tops, and endless amounts of amazing experiences. 

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All observation from this adventure will come from my own personal lived through experience. Whether on foot or by bike, by rowing a boat, climbing on or descending from cliffs, by parachute or by other human powered means of transport, from Savudrija to Dubrovnik, I will form a big word of Welcome stretching all over Croatia.

And while our adventure, which we will use to „write down“ the biggest welcome sign in the world, will be recorded by the GPS device, and will be visible via Google Earth, we will record all parts of this amazing experience. 

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Apart from many already famous sights, we will be discovering some unseen areas, getting to know places that we have perhaps never even heard of, meeting interesting new people and dealing with unpredictable new situations.

All of this with an aim to promote our beautiful homeland of Croatia as a country with luscious nature, rich heritage and wonderful people…

…as a country with the biggest welcome in the world.

Daniel – project author 

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