Croatia National Tourist Board Gets Lost in Marco Polo Land, Dalmatia

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Questions are being asked about who is in charge of social media for the Croatia National Tourist Board on February 16 2016, after the third quite extraordinary faux pas in 8 days.

There are some dream jobs in the world, but they surely don’t get better than this. The mission – to promote one of the most beautiful countries on the planet by video, Croatia. The task in hand – to show off this spectacular UNESCO World Heritage Site of Dubrovnik in under a minute with a nice budget. 

AND the sun is shining.

This is no private contractor, but the Croatian National Tourist Board, with all the official prestige and authority that this brings. 

A dream job and one hard to mess up, one would think? Judge for yourselves. After just 34 seconds, the official national promotion of Dubrovnik moves the camera to a totally different location, without informing anyone!

For the next 25 seconds, including those crucial closing shots and lasting impressions, the 59 second video is focused on Korcula Town on the island of the same name. 

The video, posted on the official Facebook page, has the following introduction:

“Dalmatia, Dubrovnik – Where words are not enough

“George Bernard Shaw claimed that “If you want to see heaven on earth, come to Dubrovnik”

There are no words, as we are all utterly speechless! HOW is it possible to do a promotional video of the City of Dubrovnik and have 40% of it for another destination with no word of explanation?

The latest video release follows two other controversial uploads in recent days. The national tourist board firstly managed to alienate the region of Slavonia by depicting it as a lifeless place, with not one person at all in its promotional video. This was followed by the quite spectacular claim that ‘Croatia will waste your time’, as a promotional slogan, one so bizarre that it made the headlines of the influential Lonely Planet News headlines today

The sad thing is that both Slavonia and Dubrovnik have excellent promotional material prepared by their local and regional offices, but this national ‘promotion’ has the greater reach. 

But while the residents and Dubrovnik and Slavonia may be angry, the rest of Croatia is nervous tonight – where will the Croatia National Tourist Board strike next?

In an attempt to make sense of the current policy, TCN this morning contacted the Ministry of Tourism for an email interview. Questions has been forwarded to the PA of the national tourist board director, and we hope to shed light on this innovative new marketing approach when we receive the answers. 

View Dubrovnik and Korcula in the ‘Dubrovnik, where words are not enough’ below.


Dalmatia, Dubrovnik – Where words are not enough

Dalmatia, Dubrovnik – Where words are not enoughGeorge Bernard Shaw claimed that “If you want to see heaven on earth, come to Dubrovnik”

Posted by Croatia Full of life on Tuesday, 16 February 2016


I don’t usually read the comments on FB, as I don’t have as much time as most of the people who make them, much less comment, but I see our piece on the HTZ Dubrovnik caused plenty of comment, and some rather interesting accusations.

Some points I hope we can agree on:

1. Dubrovnik is a city in a county called Dubrovnik-Neretva County

2. Dubrovnik the city has a much bigger brand recognition that Dubrovnik-Neretva County

3. The accompanying text to the video was:
Dalmatia, Dubrovnik – Where words are not enough
George Bernard Shaw claimed that “If you want to see heaven on earth, come to Dubrovnik”

4. GBS visited Dubrovnik City: Upon his visit to Dubrovnik in 1929, George Bernard Shaw said: “If you want to see Heaven on Earth, come to Dubrovnik!”

5. GBS visited Korcula: George Bernard Shaw described Korčula in these words; “All beauties, all scents, all flavors have flown into that small place bathed by sea foam in the shadow of olive trees, pine-trees and warm stone.”

6. This video and makes no mention of Dubrovnik-Neretva County, or Bernard Shaw’s impressions of Dubrovnik-Neretva County (ie Korcula), mentioning only his comment on Dubrovnik City.

7. Given that fact, and the greater brand recognition of Dubrovnik City, it is therefore misleading and confusing if indeed it was a proomotional video for Dubrovnik-Neretva County.
I have no problem with the video in general, although it would be nice to see a least one living person in Croatia in an official video before the summer is over, but if it is a promotion of Dubrovnik-Neretva County:

1. Why not say so, rather than labelling it just Dubrovnik?

2. Why not show Dubrovnik-Neretva County, rather than just Dubrovnik City and Korcula Town?

3. If you are showing Korcula Town, why not have a little text in the video – Korcula Town, Birthplace of Marco Polo, so that people know what they are looking at? Apart from educating, that might arouse some curiosity and encourage potential tourists to explore further.


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