Šibenik: A New Star of the Croatian Coast

Total Croatia News

Whisper it quietly, but there is a new rising star on the Dalmatian coast – Šibenik.

At the end of the 1980s, Šibenik was one of the industrially most developed cities in the country. Large factories like TEF, TLM and Poliplast have employed workers from the majority of families in the town. Unfortunately, these factories were also polluting the air, so serious tourism was impossible. Tourists would visit Šibenik only to admire the sights in the city, but would spend nights somewhere else. After the large factories went bankrupt in the mid-1990s, Šibenik began its turn towards tourism, and the results are clearly visible, reports Vecernji List on August 27, 2015.

“Šibenik has been completely changed in the last few years. These changes are the result of targeted activities, not only in tourism but also in other areas as well”, says the mayor of Šibenik Željko Burić. Although there are no more large factories, Šibenik has not abandoned economic development. At the same time, conditions are being created for the young people to stay in the town. This fall, Šibenik will get its own university. “In addition to tourism based on historical and cultural sites, we will create a university centre as well. Tourism should not be the sole source of income”, says Burić.

“Five years ago, in the city there were 56 rentals with 186 beds. This year, there are almost five times as many – 260 rentals with 1000 beds”, says Dino Karađole, director of the Šibenik Tourist Board. Just this year, two luxury hotels have been opened in Šibenik – the Palace on the Medulić Square, and D-Resort, which has been built by the Turkish Dogus Group in Mandalina. In the very centre of the town, five new hostels have been opened. With the existing hotel Jadran, Šibenik now has 1500 beds. “In the last five years, we have increased the number of overnight stays by 300,000. People have simply started living from tourism”, says Karađole.

In addition to apartments, the people of Šibenik have started investing in restaurants as well. The real hit this summer is the Bounty restaurant in ​​Dolac, just off the sea. It has been opened by father and son Guberina. Dad Dean is at the bar, while the son Allan is the chef. And not just any chef. He was born and raised in London, where he graduated from the academy of the famous Naked Chef Jamie Oliver. “Coming here over the summers, I have noticed that there are a lot of restaurants with boring menus. I have therefore decided to offer a mix of Mediterranean cuisine with a British touch”, explains Allan. It seems that he made a good decision, because the restaurant has in a short time become a favorite among tourists and local people.

It is interesting that in recent years the number of Spaniards who come to Šibenik has increased mainly due to the Game of Thrones series, which was filmed last year in Šibenik. That is another reason for the arrival of tourists. “During the last two years, Šibenik was discovered by both foreign and domestic filmmakers. In the last year, at least ten films were shot here. Everything started with the Games of Thrones. An important segment are the four forts which we are renovating, and which will become a real tourist attraction”, says deputy mayor Danijel Mileta, who was himself an extra in the Game of Thrones last year.

“Next year, we will go even further, because we have solved the problem of the island Obonjan. We expect to have about 140,000 overnight stays there during the season, mostly by younger guests, since the Obonjan will be the place for festivals and concerts. We will also extend the Banj beach”, concluded mayor Željko Burić.


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