Open Invitation to Croatian Tourism Board and Tourism Ministry: Set up Your Office in Slavonia for a Week

Total Croatia News

Lots has been said lately on the development of continental tourism – lots of form, but no content

One of the thesis going around for years is that continental tourism cannot attract millions of visitors. A thesis that has no foundation or arguments, in fact, the reality is quite the opposite – continental tourism can and must attract millions of tourists.

Continental tourism can have a tourism season of at least 10 months with an income equal to three months of seaside tourism. In fact, I am certain we can make even more. The only problem is that we only have stories, without any content or infrastructure – we have tone, but no image.

Yes, it cannot be today, it cannot be tomorrow, nor in three years, but certainly the potential of continental tourism can be turned into a rich resource in five or more years. It all begins with a passionate idea and vision. Naturally, only if we want it.

Proof of this thesis are Bavaria, Switzerland, Tuscany, Austria… who don’t have the sea, but live off tourism better than us.

Our greatest tourism advantage that makes us unique in the world is the diversity in tradition, way and culture of living, rich history, gastronomy, customs etc. and most importantly authenticity. And these are the motives and triggers of tourism, meeting new ways and cultures of living.

Why don’t we respect or appreciate our own culture, history and heritage, as if we are shamed of it? Paradoxically, it is our greatest trump card. Let us be what we are as this is what tourists want to see, experience and taste. We don’t need a new great idea of our tourism, but only to finally be and sell what we are – people from Istria, Dalmatia, Slavonia, Međimurje, Zagorje, Lika… Croats. This is the story we have to tell.

On the other hand, continental tourism in Croatia has been completely neglected by the main institution in all our independent years, but it is interesting how the continent also pays a tourism fee. The lack of care from the entire system is seen in the official visits of tourism ministers and directors of the Croatian Tourism Board (HTZ) in all those years. How many times have they been to Slavonia? How many hours did they spend here? Have they spoken to tourism entrepreneurs?

Slavonia is full of life, it just needs discovering and experiencing.

Slavonia is on its own and despite the system, not with the help of it, it still has individual successes. People fight and act, but regardless of excellent tourism stories, it is not enough as the main ingredient is missing – tourists. As the entire system is not functioning, tourism entrepreneurs cannot be the tourism agency, tourism board, ministry and HTZ. They have to be what they are, and the system needs to support them. Seaside destinations have a secure base of tourists each year, whether they work on development or not, while this is not the case in the continent.

Then we can rightfully ask who they represent and if they care?

Slavonia as a region, and I personally feel we must brand regions, is full of incredible stories and motives for visiting. We have the most important resource – incredible true and credible stories. On the other hand, the greatest weakness is that these stories are untold, as we don’t have a rounded tourism product, weak infrastructure and a secure tourism base that generates consumption, and with it a return of investment. But we have what is most important – authentic, true and incredible stories which are the reason for visiting.

I personally feel the salvation of Slavonia is in tourism, not large industries and agriculture.

This is why I am now sending a public invite to the Tourism Ministry and Croatian Tourism Board to relocate their office for a week to Slavonia.

To get to know it in all directions (there is tourism here as well), experience customs and tradition, be convinced of potential, but also learn of problems and how to start year-round tourism in Slavonia.

Talk to the people in the field (those on the frontlines), be tourists in Slavonia, meet the people and destination you present to the world.

Only with joint cooperation and synergy we can get things moving. To understand what you are presenting and how to help, first and foremost you must meet the problems and potentials – meet the matter.

Leave your comfort zones, i.e. the Zagreb office and move it to Slavonia for seven days.

Besides, this is your duty and commitment as you represent the people in the field, and we all know people are the key to success in tourism. Ministry and HTZ are not a purpose of their own, but a lever and support to the development of tourism destinations.

You should care and meet Slavonia and the fighters who live tourism every day.

Therefore this public invite to the Tourism Ministry and Croatian Tourism Board to relocate their office for a week to Slavonia.

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