Recently a client of ours insisted on booking Villa Victoria for the end of May 2015. As it may have been expected it was fully booked. My guess was that the views and the value for money price were determinants when it came for opting out to rent Villa Victoria. And there is one view in particular that intrigues the visitors of Dubrovnik, that of island of Lokrum. So you may wonder what on heck has this island to do with Canary islands and Mexico. Well the story starts in 1203 when the island of Lokrum became official domicile of Benedictine monks who cared for it until 1808 when they were forced off the island. As they were leaving Lokrum, they circled it and the curse on any future owner of the island. The Latin saying inscribed over the entrance to the abbey says: Small things create harmony, big things disharmony and this was the case for archduke Maximilian, the brother of the Austrian and Hungarian king Franz Joseph who acquired the island in 1859 and built himself a residence as an extension to the abbey with immaculately designed gardens. He brought on the island a family of peacocks from Canary islands. As he was declared the Emperor of Mexico he met a tragic end being shot by Zapatta revolutionaries. In the meantime the island was inherited by his wife Charlotte who in the meantime was declared insane. Her brother Belgian king Leopold II ensured that Austrian princess Elizabeth gets the island after his nephew committed suicide.
In 1959 the island became natural reserve with a rare species of cactus trees, eucalyptuses, magnolias, agaves being plated there from Australia and South America.
What is interesting to note that no visitor is allowed to sleep on the island during the visiting season which lasts from April to November. The island is reachable in the 15 minutes ferry ride from Dubrovnik Old city port.
In this post Srđ Portolan will examine the success of the eco-tourism in the region of Konavle and what are other potential areas on Dubrovnik region where this model of tourism can be improved.
Srdj Portolan has told us that the so called farm household tourism which offers their guest the unique taste of the local way of life is on the rise. Srđ tells us that the guests are eating organically grown food . Portolan further adds that when the season permitts they get involved in local farm works like picking up the olives or grapes.Srdj Portolan continues that this trend of relaxation is well known among the European countries and in particular those in the Scandinavia. Srdj also says that this type of holiday has an educational connotation as parents teach and offer to their children first hand experience about the food making process, for instance olive oil production. Srđ Portolan believes that Dubrovacko primorje apart from capitalising on the cultural aspects, the village of Ljubac is a typical example of seeing a traditional celebration of Easter, natural remedies routes ought to be established. Like that of Konavle region Srđ adds and following example of Peljesac region where the wine road has been routed and posted, Srđ Portolan belives that the same ought to be done for the so called “Natural Herbes” routes. Srđ states that in modern age of living more and more people turn to alternative methods for treatment especially when it comes to headaches and lighter form of aches. Srdj Portolan suggests that the tourists would love the opportunity to pick up their own St John’s Worth plant, dry it and make their own tea out of it.
Srđ Portolan believes that cultural aspects always need to be taken into account. It is true that for Scandinavian tourists the sun is the central piece of their holiday combining with the cultural visits to places like Mostar. However the same cannot be said for the guests from Middle Eastern oil rich countries. Portolan adds that a small luxury hotel in the rural countryside Konavle will do well for the fact that it close to river Ljuta. It is precisely water that they are fascinated about for the simple shortage of it in the Middle East. Srdj Portolan states that it is a common misconception that a guest from Middle East is interested in visiting Mostar, architecturally it is a Turkish legacy a story seen millions times over in Istanbul.
Srđ Portolan believes that the scope for eco-tourism growth is large and it is there to be explored with the right marketing tools in your hands.