Croatia’s Coolest Boat Show and Tourist Attractions Fair Opens near Split

Total Croatia News

The marina at Hotel Le Meridien Lav is the place to be for the next few days, as one of Croatia’s most relaxed trade fairs takes place. 

The 8th Days of Croatian Small Boat Builders and Tourist Attractions Fair opened on April 28, 2016, one of the most enjoyable family events on the Croatian annual calendar, and this year’s event had strong media interest, as well as strong support from local and national authorities. Among the welcoming speeches were Deputy Minister of Tourism Robert Pauletic, Central Dalmatia Tourist Board director Josko Stella and – representing the Croatian president – Split Dalmatia County chief Zlatko Zevrnja. 

The four-day event opened with an impressive display from some young ladies from Kastela before the welcoming speeches.

Central Dalmatia Tourist Board director Josko Stella stressed the importance of nautical tourism in his county’s tourism strategy. 

He was followed by the recently appointed Deputy Tourism Minister Robert Pauletic. Minister Kliman is expected to visit the fair later today after speaking at the big Croatian tourism conference in Makarska. From humble beginnings, the boat show is growing in size and stature, and it has become a popular family event where serious business has been done over the years. 

An excellent addition to the event promoting the boats of the unique small boat building industry in Croatia has been the addition of a tourism attractions fair, which first took place last year.

An expanded presence this year will allow visitors to not only see some of the latest innovations in the adventure tourism scene, but also to get involved and try them out, as the event organisers have arranged a number of great events over the four days.

If you are sporty and would love to show off your volleyball, SUP and kayaking skills, then you cannot miss this year’s Croatian Boat Building days since Surfmania is organizing a SUP Surfer’s Challenge on Saturday, April 30, which will include three events – SUP (stand up paddle) race, kayak race and a trampoline volleyball game. If that’s not enough, they are organising the first ever kayak polo event too!

The heart of the event, of course, is the focus on the small boat builders. Despite having a proud shipbuilding tradition and government subsidies for shipbuilding, the life of the small boat builder is somewhat different, an industry of dedicated individuals who survive with no government help, and yet who produce a staggering range of vessels, many of which are sold all over the world.

One of the most successful stories revolves around Croatia’s only female small boat builder, Zorana Nevescanin, who I first met at the fair two years ago, when she was aged just 17 (you can read the interview here). On that occasion, she sold her first boat of the day just 15 minutes after the fair opened. Fast forward two years and she is now selling an impressive 100 boats a year.

According to Branimir Matijaca, president of the Association of Croatian Boat Building Days, this year’s edition will bring the highest number of premiere models ever, including Arba 555, Sampa 6 by Brodomehanika Brnabić, Vento 670, Pakleni otoci are coming with two brand new models, a cool catamaran 40wcat and a Colnago 260 dinghy, Faraon brodovi will present their Faraon 700, PearlSea Yachts selected this event for the world premiere of their PearlSea 33 yacht, Remia Plast is coming with Nautika 690k which can be tested in the sea for the first time, while Fortis Nautika will finally unveil their Fortis 590 open model.

Part of the success of the fair is down to the organisation, and TCN was proud to watch poetry in motion, as our senior writer Danni Matijaca – who doubles up as one of the event organisers, as well as running the PR – moved effortlessly through the media pack. Here she is giving a live television interview to N1 station.

The expo will open on Thursday, April 28 at 1 PM and working hours are from 10 AM until 7 PM until Sunday, May 01. Last but not least, test rides and entry is free so put it in your itinerary for next weekend, support Croatian boat builders and we guarantee your entire family will have a fun-filled day. You can follow the event on Facebook


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