June 13, 2020 — Pag’s tourism apparatus is trying to end its party and go for a hike instead.
The (in)famous island near Zadar is using the coronavirus slowdown and a government push for collaboration among tourist boards to rebrand itself from party central to an active outdoor tourism hub.
All the figureheads in the islands apparatus signed an agreement to switch the island to an outdoor tourism destination, hoping to bring more peaceful, considerate crowds to a place that has become known for clubbing and drunken debauchery.
The President of the Tourist Board of the City of Novalja Ante Dabo, the City of Pag’s Ante Fabijanić, the Municipality of Povljana Ivica Pogorilić and Kolana Marin Pernjak and the town of Stara Novalja’s Ante Peranić signed an Agreement on Association of Local Tourist Boards from the Island of Pag to develop and shape the island into a unique and harmonized destination for outdoor tourism.
This is a kind of historical moment in which all the island’s tourist boards have signed such a multi-year joint project for the first time. The signing of the agreement was approved by Croatia’s Tourism Ministry. The government provided the impetus for this year’s Fund for United Tourist Boards to push for more teamwork across tourism boards.
The agreement presents in detail the activities that should, with the financial support of the Ministry of Tourism of the Republic of Croatia, be implemented by the end of 2023.
“What is important to emphasize are these activities, which are the improvement of existing and development of new trails, organization and establishment of bike-sharing systems, service stations, rest areas, raising the level of accessibility of tourist attractions located next to and near bike trails, development of thematic and educational trails, design of unified bicycle and trail signalization and marking of trails with the same visual standard,” Pag’s Tourist Board director Vesna Karavanić told Zadarski List. “Then, there is the installation of information boards, making quality maps with trails and making a brochure of the outdoor offer of the island of Pag, promotional videos and photo galleries, raising the quality of accommodation and catering facilities for cyclists, joint promotional activities, and events.”
She added that the signing of this agreement is a logical continuation of previous cooperation across the island, since Pag’s tourist boards Pag set out on a joint path of cooperation under the motto “Pag Moon Island – A Common Vision.”
“After a joint appearance at several foreign fairs, we launched joint events such as rowing regatta ‘Osmerci on Pag’ and ‘Pag on the menu’ and started signing a joint agreement of all tourist boards of the island of Pag and branding the destination through outdoor tourism – trails, kayaking, cycling and climbing for a period of three years,” she said.
The Tourism Ministry’s for more coordination allows pushes like Pag’s to overcome administrative barriers and ignores the balkanized map of Croatia’s tourist apparatus. The ministry is co-financing Pag’s initiative.
“We have a long way to go, but we have no doubt that it is the only sustainable option,” said the director of the Tourist Board of the City of Novalja, Marina Šćiran Rizner.
This joint project is intended for the domestic and foreign markets. It aims to show the most attractive and most beautiful that the island of Pag, which is also called the island of the Moon, offers.
“t offers beautiful beaches, fantastic, untouched nature ideal for cycling, running, trail, Nordic walking, walking, rowing, surfing,” Karavanić said. “There is also the award-winning Adriatic camp Šimuni, an extraordinary world-famous gastronomic offer – Pag cheese, lamb, cottage cheese, honey, baškotini, wines, aromatic herbs…. There are also our cultural heritage, ornithological reserves, underwater amphora site near Šimun, the protected area of the Hanzina forest, Lunjski maslinici…”
The list goes on… well past clubs in Novalja.