Meet the True Heroes of Croatia 365: Martin and Ante Modric from

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Continuing TCN’s look at the real heroes of Croatia 365 on March 16, 2016 – the private initiative versus the official inertia in Sucuraj on Hvar. 

Welcome to Sucuraj, a pretty coastal resort on the eastern tip of Croatia’s premier island of Hvar. It is sadly most famous for its ferry connection to the mainland, which many tourists use in transit to other parts of Hvar, which is a shame, as there is pleny on offer in Sucuraj, and it is ideal as a family holiday destination. Great beaches and activities, history and heritage, delicious local food and wine, and an excellent campsite. Nikki Beach Hotels are planning an exclusive resort nearby, which would transform the tourism fortunes of this poor part of Hvar.

So where to go for your Sucuraj tourist information? With its own dedicated tourist board office in the town, run by a very nice director who has been in the job for years, the smart money would be on the official tourist board website.

You would be wrong. 

Above is how the welcoming official Sucuraj Tourist Board website welcomes its guests. Sorry, this website is only available in Croatian…

Things don’t look much better on the desktop.

Fortunately help is at hand from two men from Sucuraj, Martin and Ante Modric. As they posted on their excellent private website –  (note the URL dot com address for the town is in private ownership – just as Carpe Diem owns

About us
Authors of Sućuraj homepage are brothers Martin and Ante Modrić. Martin Modrić was born on 12th of May 1965 in Henderson (New Zeland). He has a degree in economics and is a teacher in Tourist-catering School in Split. Ante Modrić was born on 31st of March 1983 in Sućuraj. He has a degree in public administration from the Law faculty of Split.

In December of 2000 we got our first computer and that was the first time we connected to the internet. At that time there was far less internet content than today, and basically nothing about Sućuraj. That is why we decided to make a website which will present basic information about our small town with a lot of photos. So on 29th of January 2001 Sućuraj homepage was born. Our knowledge of website design was little but we learn as we go.

The appearance of the website changed a few times, and the current look was decided on after the redesign in 2014, when all of the text and most of the photos were changed. In attached screenshots you can see how the site once looked. From the beginning the guest book was a component of the site. The guestbook was popular for a long time and had a large number of entries. With the development of social networks the guestbook gradually lost its significance, so we decided in 2014 to close it and instead integrate a Facebook page in Sućuraj homepage. Entries in our guestbook in txt format can be seen here.

So good is their website (and so non-existent is the official one) that I contacted them to ask permission to use some of their content in my forthcoming 2016 edition of Hvar: An Insider’s Guide, to which they readily agreed. They also have another website for the entire island of Hvar.

Everything you ever needed to know about Sucuraj in many languages, all translated by professionals. A private website with the dot com address of the destination. It looks like the official website but it isn’t. That is hard to tell, because local tourist boards have no guidelines, and this is one of the biggest problems with the local tourist board structure in my opinion. Rather than being under the auspices of the Croatia National Tourist Board, the president of each local tourist board is the local mayor. With variable results. With so many political and other pressures, tourism is not always at the top of the mayor’s agenda. It shows…

One of Croatia’s hottest destinations – Hvar Town. All your questions answered in bright telepathy white. 

A darker shade of white in Pakrac. I defy you telepathy specialists to make sense of this website… 

And the comprehensive, lazy option (remember our heroes from had real translators for each language?) – Google Translate in Vrbnik. If that is how much you value tourists that you cannot be bothered to translate the site into at least comprehensible English….

As we wrote a few days ago in our last editorial, Croatia could benefit from a Ministry of Excellence. If we have official websites, let’s tell the world and have the Croatia tourism logo on the site. In fact, let’s go further and have a template for local tourist board websites, so there is brand recognition. Build in flexibility for things like languages (Italian and German in Istria, Hungarian in Slavonia) and activities. 

Take pride in your product. Local tourist boards are the front line of tourism in Croatia. In many cases, they are failing. 

With thanks to Martin and Ante Modric (and others like them), who are delivering by private initiative, where the system is failing.


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