Vese Huljic, AndAdventure: Will Travel Industry Be Changed When All is Said and Done?

Total Croatia News

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April 15, 2020 – Reflections from one of Croatia’s longest-serving adventure tourism professionals, Vese Huljic from AndAdventure in Split. 

A few weeks ago, before the world changed several times, I contacted one of my favourite people in the Croatian tourism industry – Vese Huljic, from And Adventure in Split. A Jelsa girl, I have known Vese for years, from the start of Total Hvar back in 2011. Her story is very impressive, one of the founding members of a new adventure tourism business back in 2005 – an era when many people in Croatian tourism had no idea what adventure tourism was. 

Years passed, and I realised that not only had adventure tourism in Croatia come on leaps and bounds, but Vese had been at the forefront of that change and progress for 15 years now. I messaged her to see if she would be interested in an interview. 

She replied that things were getting crazy with corona and cancellations and she would get back to me. 

And get back to me she did, this morning, several weeks and several lifetimes later, with THIS, posted on her website.

About a month ago, a dear friend of mine who manages a popular Croatia news blog asked me for my insight, as he was working on a story about AndAdventure. The request came just as the global impacts of COVID-19 began to change our lives–personally and professionally–as we know it. In the travel and tourism industry, no one is being spared from disruption. 

To buy some time, I told him that I need to rethink my career. But realistically, there is not much to rethink, because when you love what you do–when you deeply care about your team, and the suppliers that depend on your business–the only thing to do is focus on preserving what we have, reimagining what we can, adopting to the constant changes, and getting ready to move forward on the other side of this. Every day, new questions arise and in most cases, we don’t have answers; the moment we think we have figured something out, another development resets our course. 

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When will this end? We don’t know. Will the travel industry be changed when all is said and done? Probably, but we don’t know for certain how, though there are many ideas and perspectives circulating that we can consider as we find a path forward. Still, there’s an opportunity in the meantime to take stock of what we do know and what we can observe of Covid-19’s impact on the planet, and adjust accordingly. If anything good is to come out of this, perhaps it’s our chance to do things better.

Nature is healing 

Being an adventure-oriented company, the great outdoors is our sanctuary; respecting and immersing ourselves in all of nature’s glory is where we find our joy. I enjoy seeing positive news stories and social media posts about wildlife reclaiming their territory and reports on less pollution due to a slow down of industrial production and traffic, etc. We can’t wait to get outside again.


Not so long ago, this was one of the biggest challenges of Croatia’s most popular destinations, and there was no clear solution (or, maybe fair to say the associated revenue was a deterrent to consider our options). In today’s climate, “overtourism” has become a long-lost concept; hopefully, gone but not forgotten. Our lessons learned and the negative impacts of overtourism well-documented, we are in a better position than ever to integrate and enforce green, sustainable practices to all we do. As an active and adventure travel business, this is core to our existing ethos; small group tours leaving minimal impact and few traces of our presence in the areas we operate while supporting locally-owned businesses to strengthen community success. Now, we’re looking at how we can innovate further. Let’s hope that with this reset, more key industry players take-up–and follow through with–a better way of doing things so overtourism will be nothing more than a thing of the past.

We were given time 

It’s a precious commodity that most of us missed desperately when business was in full swing; we always needed more of it–time to enjoy with our families, kids; time to finally read that book or finish that online course that’s been on file for years; or even to pair all the Tupperware boxes with matching lids. Now, we have that time. It’s an opportunity to rethink our lives, careers and goals. To reimagine our businesses to be more sustainable and nature-oriented. Indeed, we also have time to be sad; to feel the uncertainty about the future and for stress to numb our creative power. But when you can, choose motivation, optimism and hope–because even the darkest patch can be a beautiful turning point.

I still owe my friend answers to the long set of questions he sent me, not because I feel that timing might be wrong to publish our story – but because I believe this is the time we all need to reinvent ourselves, assess our businesses and our goals, and redirect our creative energy so we could deliver better, greener and more sustainable experiences when we’re finally able to welcome our clients to beautiful Croatia once again. When that time comes, I will be happy to share the journey of AndAdventure, which will be made richer for the experience of overcoming challenges and adapting to a new reality.

In the meantime– to my team and of our suppliers with whom we’ve created so many amazing AndAdvenure experiences, to our partners who are facing the same struggles, and to our precious clients who are supporting us in so many different ways, thank you. We will sail through this storm together. 

You can connect with Vese Huljic and the AndAdventure team through their official website.

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