Tvrtka Intercon Dubrovnik prošla je dugačak put razvoja od svojih skromnih početaka kao rent a car agencija davne 1995. do današnje renomirane turističke i pomorske agencije. Pitali smo Srđa Portolana, člana uprave Intercona Dubrovnik, koliko se toga promijenilo u razvoju turizma otkada je njegov otac također Srđ Portolan hrabro odlučio krenuti u rent-a-car poslovanje, netom nakon završetka
Domovinskoga rata. Srđ nam je objasnio da je njegov otac znanje i iskustvo stečeno kroz dvadesetogodišnji rad na raznim razinama poslovanja u turizmu jednostavno primjenio u njihovoj tvrtci. Portolan mlađi nam nadalje naglašava da je u svakoj vrsti poslovanja imperativ imati viziju. Srdj je tu viziju imao za luksuzni korporativni segment turizma.
Srđ Portolan dalje elaborira da je u vrijeme odmah nakon završetka rata veliki broj stranih državnika posjećivao Dubrovnik i Hrvatsku te je njihov dolazak predstavljao zlatnu priliku za oblikovanje cjelokupne usluge servisiranja njihovoga dolaska. Srdj nam je rekao da je u to vrijeme imao ono što se u svijetu „biznisa“ zove “zlatna koka” u djelatnosti rent-a-car-a te da se mogao usredotočiti na razvijanje luksuznoga korporativnoga segmenta. Srđ Portolan nam je priznao da se dubrovački turizam, po njegovom mišljenju, razvija u smjeru omasovljenja, odnosno kvantitete a ne kvalitete, te da nije siguran u njegov krajni ishod. Srđ nam dalje objašnjava da su male agencije prepoznale mogućnosti u segmentu rent a cara i krenuli kopirati jedni druge. U toj konkurentskoj borbi „malih“ veliki igrači namirisali su priliku te su svojom jačinom u količinskoj sposobnosti da ispostave auto bilo gdje poklopili male konkurente i to s najpresudnijim čimbenikom: cijenom.
Iznenada Srđ je bio suočen s gašenjem jednoga segmenta turističkoga tržišta koji mu je omogućavao da se usredotoči na razvijanje svoje tvrtke u drugim smjerovima tj. da pronađe najprofitabilniji segment. Srdj nam kaže da se u danome momentu, poučen uspjehom servisiranja korporativnoga diplomatskoga segmenta, odlučio razvijati u smjeru kvalitete i luksuza. Srđ nam dalje predočitava kako je dolaskom diplomata i političara nastupio i dolazak slavnih i „jet seta“. Srdj se nadovezuje te nam govori kako se naglo javila potreba za pomorskim agentima budući da su se slavni vozili morskim putem. Srđ nam dalje objašnjava kako je Intercon Dubrovnik od rent-a-car agencije postao pomorska agencija. Srđ je također uvido da je pojava branda u luksuznom turizmu presudna za daljnji razvoj njegovog poslovanja. Tako su i nastala dva branda: “Dubrovnik Luxury Travel” za putnički dio te “Adriatic Yacht Services” za pomorski dio agencije.
No Srđ Portolan se tu ne zaustavlja. Srdj obožava sport, tenis, trčanje, ronjenje i sve adrenalinske sportove. Srđ je veliki motivator te rado osobno provjerava usluge koje plasira na svojim web stranicama. Na nedavno održanome incentivu kojemu su prisustvovali svi djelatnici “DLT-a” i “AYS” Srdj je bio oduševljen slobodnim padom niz kanjon rijeke Cetine dok je priključen na sajlu pod adrenalinskim naponom izbacivao svu nakupljenu negativnu energiju smišljajući pritom kako bi bilo idealno uvrstiti ovaj pad kao dio incentiva za nadolazeće grupe. Prema nekim slobodnim procjenama sve je veći broj mladih profesionalaca koji žele obići pojedinu zemlju i upoznati njene prirodne ljepote i kulturnu baštinu kroz ovaj oblik turizma.
Srđu poželimo sreću u njegovim nadolazećim poslovnim aktivnostima u nadi da će i ovaj segment turizma doživiti svoje luksuzno izdanje u novim podvizima Srđa Portolana
In the previous blogs we have written a lot about Srđ Portolan and his viewpoint on the development of the nautical tourism in Croatia. Srdj for his part was fascinated by the so called “French” model who were among the first who have recognized the need for the construction of mega yacht marinas like the example of “Billionaire Dock” in St Tropez which Portolan Srđ in his capacity as a member of Dubrovnik Luxury Travel management board visited
back in March 2013 on the incentive trip Srđ took part in together with Portolan’s colleagues from DLT and its sister company Adriatic Yacht Services. Talking to some of the yachts’ captains Srdj was perplexed by the lack of the knowledge captains had about the Albanian, Montenegrin and Croatian side of the Adriatic and marina facilities that were available to them on their trajectory to Venice.
The importance of branding was another issue Srđ Portolan stressed about when Srdj talked about the development of luxury tourism in Dubrovnik as Croatia’s top destination within the destination itself. As Portolan Srdj junior learned from Portolan Srđ senior the recognition of the moment like in any business cycle curve prove to have been the secret ingredient in the winning formula of success in the story of Dubrovnik and for that matter in the wider context of Croatia’s tourism as well. Portolan Srđ prompted that the saturation of the rent-a-car market simply strengthen his belief that the servicing of luxury clients within the destination, providing that this service is of the highest possible quality, is the future of his brands positioning within the luxury segment of the market.
Even within this particular segment, Srđ sees the future in the close co-operation of the owners of luxury villa accommodation and the providers of the luxury services. For instance as far as Dubrovnik is concerned, the Old City will always attract visitors for its preserved beauty. However, for the luxury guests who are accustomed for the high level of service facilities Dubrovnik is not in the league of the top French Riviera destinations. On the other hand many would argue that it is not cost effective to invest in the so called additional value determinants. Portolan Srđ understands why entrepreneurs are discouraged to invest in the high class luxury villa accommodation
because it is difficult to achieve ROI let alone its reasonable rate. Portolan Srđ believes that this is due to short length of the season. That is why Srdj states many opt out to restoring residence houses and present them on the market as villas. We support Srđ’s theory as generally speaking everyone works in its full capacity in the tourism sector in Dubrovnik for the period of 60 days which is not enough to make it till the end of the year. Srđ is a firm believer that the short duration of the season is off putting the investors in general as for starters the opportunity cost is high. We understand Srdj’s statement as it does not make sense to open a luxury restaurant which is going to remain empty for the rest of the year.
Portolan sees strong MICE sector in Dubrovnik as Croatia’s top destination as something that might save the day. Furthermore, Portolan Srdj sees marketing issues as many travel agencies lack the adequate marketing funds to promote themselves on the exhibitions around the world. Srđ for his part realizes that the support of the airline industry plays a pivotal role in making the MICE story a success.
Watch out this space for Portolan Srđ views on the current developments in Dubrovnik and Croatia luxury travel market news.
Everyone talks about Croatia as this beautiful country with 1000 islands. Srđ Portolan, a member of Dubrovnik Luxury Travel
management board tells us that you do not have to be rich and travel in style. Srđ has recently worked with four Brazilian clients who wanted to have fun in the sun and to enjoy Croatian food and wine. Srđ has managed to include visits to Elaphiti islands, Korcula ( this is where Portolan surname originally comes from ) Hvar and Vis.
Interestingly enough Srdj who is a keen diver, managed to squeeze a diving session for the Brazilians off the island of Vis,
near the world famous Blue Cave. It was a lovely day out with a speedboat from the island of Hvar. Portolan explained to us that a common mistake that people sometimes make is to try to link their journey from starting point, Dubrovnik to Split via the ferry. Srdj Portolan continues to tell us that a journey from Dubrovnik to Korcula in a luxurious mini van is equally pleasant one and that on the way to Hvar you can
always go via Trpanj and then Drvenik to Starigrad on Hvar and continue your journey to Hvar Old City on the island of Hvar. We asked Srdj could this be a bit tiresome. He answered back that we should not forget the fact that the Brazilians had two days out with a speedboat, one on the Elaphiti islands and the second one on the island of Vis which proved a true winner because it was a unique opportunity to dive in the Blue Cave. Srđan told us that this itinerary included a visit to Krka National
Park, the town of Split and for the true lovers of oysters on the way back from Split, they stopped in the medieval town of Ston.
So we agreed this was the true luxury tour for a 7 days tour for a price of EUR 9980 for four people and considering that the accommodation was a five star one ( except Korcula and Hvar, an excellent four star one ) this is indeed a true winner.
Dubrovnik is Croatia’ s the best known destination and as such it has a scope to achieve great potential in the luxury market segment. The appearance of added value determinants would have a huge impact on Croatia’s tourism industry at large. First we need to clarify what do we mean by added value and how does it translate in the terminology of the luxury market language.
Firstly by basic definition this is a free bit that adds to the value of the actual service. To illustrate by example in the luxury market if we book a room with a five star luxury hotel, their courtesy car free airport pick up would be a classic example of something which has further justified the value, in other words the price of our booking. If each five star hotel in Dubrovnik is to employ such a service measure how would this affect the transportation companies in Dubrovnik ?
Srđ Portolan, a member of Dubrovnik Luxury Travel management board states that five star hotels cannot offer such a service alone. Furthermore, Portolan believes that if hotels are to decide to subcontract those services to the transportation companies, this sector would be segmented accordingly. Srđ says that now there are transfer companies and agencies which do everything, luxury transfers and ordinary transfers in the same car but different price. Srđ continues to state that if luxury five star hotels are to offer a free excursion as a added value to the booking of their accommodation, the same applies and would lead to segmentation of travel agencies sector. Srđ Portolan states that in the luxury sector travel agencies must offer by default value added service. Srđ has devised DLT’s concierge service to the hire of luxury villas. Portolan has explained to us that free incentives are a must have service in the luxury market sector.
It appears to us that the introduction of added value determinants is a must when it came to the prosperity of Dubrovnik luxury travel sector.
Srđ Portolan is a winner of the Best Entrepreneur award for the year 2003, 2006 and 2013 according to Croatian Institute of Business Intelligence.