Increasing the accommodation capacity with another 600 beds, increasing the average daily consumption of domestic tourists by 1/5, increasing the number of day visitors by 1.2, and utilization of the accommodation capacity by 12 percent are just some of the goals set out in the Master Plan of Tourism Development for Međimurje County by 2020, which were made by the experts of the Institute for Tourism, Zagreb.
The plan is to launch as many as 160 large and small projects that should turn Međimurje into a recognizable tourist brand. The largest projects in the future are the spa at Draškovec, and the recreational spa complex ‘Garden Croatia’ (Vrt Hrvatske), reports EMedimurje on 19 December 2016.
“The top five projects are the restoration of the Old Town in Čakovec as well as Ecomuseum Međimurja, which would include all of the smaller parts of the ethnographic collection and old crafts such as blacksmiths, Košarac, potters, millers, ferryman and jewelers,” says Rudi Grula, tourism expert and director of the Tourist Board of Međimurje county. The Ecomuseum would also be part of a “Međimursko village”, a traditional space which will most likely be in Dekanovec. This area would also include the “Međimurska” UNESCO ethno-heritage, an additional lure for tourists.
In the Međimurje region guests have access to 22 accommodation facilities with 544 rooms and suites and a total of 1,392 beds. Utilization of beds in hotels last year was only 31.5 percent, provided that the maximum occupancy was Sv. Martin with more than 40 percent, while Čakovec occupied only 17.6 percent, less than Prelog and Nedelišće.
Last year, the county recorded 127,000 overnight stays, an increase of 14.4 percent. In the period from 2001 to 2015, the number of overnight stays increased by as much as 6.4 times. Domestic guests last year realized 51 percent of the overnights, and from foreign guests a third were Slovenian, followed by Austrian, German and Italian. This offer will continue to develop, especially with the construction of a large number of small hotels, with a focus on Čakovec.
Grula also mentions that another one of the major projects is the theme amusement park at the old border crossing in Goričan, one of which will be the largest built.
This master plan also envisages encouragement of construction of several smaller camps along the rivers, lakes, and main roads. Međimurje, as it exists today, does not have a single camp. The plan is also to develop river transport excursion boats.
Despite the fact that according to European standards the waterway river Drava and Mura in Međimurje is not categorized, the potential is huge, and with these two rivers, Međimurje has the largest artificial lake in Croatia which is eleven kilometers long and is ideal for watersports such as water skiing and sailing.
For the Čakovec castle there have been a number of projects initiated including expanding museum exhibitions and restoration of the palace, the walls and the park. In the first phase, with an estimated five million euros, there are plans to establish a museum of intangible heritage with themes from the Turks and legends.
The list of plans also include a Wine center with a Museum of wine, as a crown to the Wine roads.