Istria Receives Special Award from Lonely Planet for 2021

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Copyright Romulić and Stojčić
Istria receives special award from Lonely Planet / Rovinj
Istria receives special award from Lonely Planet / Rovinj

As Istria Tourist Board reports, Lonely Planet, a globally popular travel guide, first discovered the Croatian peninsula to its readers in 2011 in the Best in Travel edition, as one of the “Ten Most Interesting Regions in the World”. Istria then took a fantastic second place, along with the far more famous Scottish Shetland Islands, the American West Coast, and Australia’s Great Barrier Reef.

In a series of attractive titles that followed over the years, Istria was crowned with the title of “Ten best European destinations” in 2019. In 2021, Istria was greeted by a big surprise, receiving the Best in Travel award according to readers’ votes.

The prestigious awards that Lonely Planet has been awarding destinations worldwide for many years are the result of an editorial selection created based on the suggestions of numerous eminent authors of this guide. The Reader’s Choice Award is based solely on the votes of users on the Lonely Planet website.

Also, the awards chosen by the editors for 2021 were awarded in as many as 30 categories, while according to the audience’s choice, only three categories were announced: Toronto took the title as a destination of diversity, Japanese Wakayama sustainability, and Istria as a community destination.

Namely, at the end of last year, the editors sent an invitation to their audience, the Lonely Planet community, to nominate destinations that they believe successfully guide tourism as a driving force in the field of sustainability, community, and diversity. In a year marked by the coronavirus pandemic, which radically affected the travel domain, and tourism experienced its most significant decline, the Lonely Planet Awards also underwent a considerable transformation. And while Best in Travel usually celebrates countries, regions, and cities, some new awards have shone in this year’s edition.

“The people living here are genuine and welcoming,” one reader told Lonely Planet. “Istria offers authentic and unforgettable experiences, each of which gives back to the local communities,” added another reader in recommendations, pointing to numerous experiences, especially in the field of active tourism and gourmet offerings.

“This is another great award for Istria – it came from an eminent, globally known publishing house in tourism. I would say it came at the right time, at the very beginning of another certainly challenging tourist year,” said Istria Tourist Board director Denis Ivošević.

“Right now, when you can’t travel, people often browse key tourist portals. On the one hand, they travel mentally, because they can’t physically, and on the other hand, they prepare their travel plans for the moment when it will be possible. In the choice between the editors’ and journalists’ award or the award according to the reader’s choice, we prefer the latter. It reflects a much more complex way of selection, as well as many more decision-makers who have paid attention to us, whether they have already been to Istria or are motivated by texts and images of Istria,” says the director.

He added that, at the end of 2020, Istria was declared the best olive growing region in the world for the sixth time in a row, according to the guide Flos Olei for 2021.

“With this new award from Lonely Planet, I would say that Istria already at the very beginning of 2021 aroused great media interest and won two big titles. Also, this is the third award from Lonely Planet, which only speaks that Istria is an extremely creative and innovative tourist destination, ready to offer something new every year and to arouse interest and motivate guests to visit us again,” said the director.

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