Medjimurje: Small Croatian Municipality Beating Tourist Records

Lauren Simmonds



As Poslovni Dnevnik writes on the 20th of July, 2020, in the heart of upper Medjimurje lies picturesque Sveti Martin. Over the years, Sveti Martin has become a well known tourism generator for that particular inland county. Today, private renters, family farms and numerous attractions such as walks with deer take place there, according to

They’re all calling Medjimurje ”coronavirus free” and so far in July, when the rest of Croatia is typically recording just 50 percent of last year’s results, they recorded 12 percent more arrivals and the same number of overnight stays. Of that, 58 percent are Croatian guests who are encouraged to holiday here at home. Foreigners on the other hand, are increasingly choosing luxury holiday villas.

“I’m extremely glad, they’re very dear guests. They decided essentially to be here given the fact that Spain had such a situation as it did, as did Italy. As far as coronavirus is concerned, we’ve done really well here, we have practically not had a single infected person for months,” said Antonija Nesik from Sveti Martin, who rents out private accommodation to tourists.

In order to make more money from tourism, the county shares a coupon for every 250 kuna spent, which can be used for 100 different tourist experiences or services. For example for a wine tasting experience or a lunch discount.

“What is typical in Medjimurje is our meat from Tiblica for which we’re well known, it’s our traditional dish. There’s a dessert that I think everyone knows about, which is Medjimurje gibanica, it’s a dessert people come to Međimurje to eat,” said restaurant owner, Branimir Jakopic.

So far, more than 15,000 coupons have been distributed, and as such, in the last month alone, tourism in the area has generated about four million kuna. “It just shows that it’s the right decision and the strengthening of our tourism in enogastronomy, the identity of Medjimurje, the cultural heritage, active and sustainable tourism, is the right thing to do,” said Medjimurje County Prefect, Matija Posavec.

They hope that this formula will not only save 2020’s coronavirus-dominated tourist season, but also persuade guests to return.

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