Interview with Paul Bradbury Ahead of Launch of Total Croatia Tourism Portal

Total Croatia News

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How and why did you decide to launch a new website about Croatian tourism?

It was an idea I had a couple of years ago, to produce a slicker, tourism information site, that was more accessible than Total Croatia News. TCN has more than 50,000 articles now, so we definitely have growing pains. But the pressures of running TCN meant that I put the new Total Croatia info site on hold until recently. 


The recent lawsuits from HTZ were an initial shock, but after that a reality check. Rather than try and work with the system and bring change from within, I realised that there was really no point. My wife suggested I finish the Total Croatia site, which was a genius idea, for which I will always be grateful. We refreshed the original 86 articles with 2021 information. The results were astonishing. Within a week we were on the first page of Google for 31 target keywords for – Bosnia to Croatia (1), Montenegro to Croatia (2), Currency in Croatia (2), Split to Dubrovnik (4) etc. More interestingly, we had one French article, a guide how to get from Split to Dubrovnik. It was still number 7 on Google France. We refreshed it, and now it is number 2. 


I then realised that without too much effort, I could create a fully commercial, excellent information website for Croatian tourism in multiple languages. One that would rank much high than HTZ (not hard). And if I had strategic partnerships with quality private tourism businesses, we could simply bypass the system and bring quality tourism back to Croatia. We launch on Monday at a press conference at Lazareti in Dubrovnik at 10:30. You are more than welcome to join. There will be beers after.

What will your new website offer to its readers?


It will offer the best and most current tourism and lifestyle information about Croatia, answering the questions tourists want to know, in their language #CroatiaInYourLanguage. How to cross the Slovenian border, can use euros in Croatia, can you take pets on the catamaran to Hvar, airport guides and a visit to all the national parks. 

There are comprehensive pages on topics such as Croatian wine, food, desserts, olive oil, rakija (actually my favourite article on the page – here is the Croatian version), buying property, flights, renting a car, lifestyle, as well as the most popular article on the site after the daily travel update – an expat’s honest view of living in Croatia after 18 years, the good, the bad and the ugly

By far the most popular article is our daily travel update, which has migrated from TCN. This was one of the cornerstones of the Total Croatia Travel INFO Viber community, which recently won the 2021 International Grand PRix for Crisis Management. The Viber community project brought an estimated 10 million euro of tourism spend to Croatia, with just 2000 kuna investment and a LOT of hard work from the teams of Mediacor, Manjgura, TCN and outstanding support from MUP.The TC portal will be great for tourists, but also for hotels and private accommodation owners, who can share these links with their guests (or put them on their accommodation websites), so that they can give great information to their German and Hungarian guests in their own languages. 


Do you see HTZ as your competition?

Not at all. To be competition, you have to be competitive. As I said on various television interviews, I see them as entirely irrelevant. Croatia has an INCREDIBLE private tourism sector, with absolutely no need of HTZ in its current format. I am hugely encouraged that some big names in the private sector have already committed to working with TC. These include exclusive destination partners such as Hilton in Zagreb, Suncani Hvar for Hvar Town, Falkensteiner Punta Skala for Zadar, Savills for Dubrovnik Real Estate, Algebra for Education, and Adriatic Weddings Croatia for weddings. If you are interested in work with us and you are not an uhljeb, contact us on [email protected] 

You’ve said that you’re open for cooperation with certain people who work in tourism. What can they expect from your new website?

The very best exposure to tourists both before they arrive and while they are here. In multiple languages. We will also do lots of promotion via TCN, our Google News site, which CNN sometimes links to for travel info as HTZ does such a poor job, and which brought ABC News to Dubrovnik last summer. This resulted in 6 feature stories about Croatia on ABC News, including Good Morning America, which was watched by 12.5 million people. 

But we also want to help the little guy offering quality, authentic tourism. Let me tell you a story of how I signed up the first TC partner 3 weeks ago.

I was on Hvar and got a call asking me to be in Zagreb the next day at 13:00 to interview Mark Viduka. The 06:35 catamaran and bus would get me into the office at 14:30, so too late.

I posted on Facebook to see if anyone was driving and could take me. Within 2 minutes, a message! I am not going to Zagreb, but I will drive you there, as it means I will have 4 hours of your time. I am in tourism in Split and Stari Grad for 10 years, and I followed Total Hvar from the start.


And what a journey it was. I fell in love with Nikola from Nostress Boats. I was impressed by his passion, local knowledge and approach to customer service. He was a skipper with his own boat and mooring in Stari Grad, and had started out on his own after working with a 5-star boutique hotel on Hvar. He was looking to promote his business and thought TCN/TC would be a good place. By the team we reached Zagreb, we had agreed a deal where he will be the only boat transfer option for Stari Grad in a Page. In 10 languages. 

We are still setting everything up, but if anyone is interested in being a destination partner or in advertising, please contact [email protected]  PLEASE write in the Subject – Index/Destination/Sector – eg Index/StariGrad/BoatTransfer. We will offer a discount on our rates for readers. This offer is valid until May 5, 2021. Please don’t expect an immediate answer but we will get back to you. 


One VERY cool feature of what we can offer is the fruits of an exciting partnership with augmented reality specialists, Equinox XR. The Equinox team has created a virtual tour guide in the shape of Dubrovnik’s beloved patron saint, St Blaise, who will be able to devise all sorts of virtual fun, tours and quests, if Dubrovnik tourism wants such a thing. 


What kind of summer season do expect this year in Croatia?
Personally I think it would be a very good one, certainly better than people are expecting. The pandemic is the great unknown of course. As is the Kingdom of Accidental Tourism’s vaccination strategy and message.  The Brits and Americans are vaccinated. Meanwhile in Croatia… Ah, Hrvatska. 


I would just like to finish by publicly thanking everyone who has been SO supportive of this assault on free speech. I can’t remember the last time an issue got 95% support on an Index poll. 


The site is not quite finished, but we have been feeding the Google god daily, so you can check it out here

Details of how to watch the live launch this morning at 10:30.


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