Tag Archives: croatia

Welcome to Bollywood, Welcome to Dubrovnik – Croatia

After the HBO’s cult series The Game of Thrones, hugely successful Indian film industry Bollywood which hails its name from its center Bollywood Empire studiosof Mumbai and makes the important piece of the Indian Hindi language based industry is coming to Dubrovnik. According to the article which has been written in today’s Croatian daily “Jutarnji list” one of India’s most popular actor Shah Mukr Khan is set to star in the movie titled “Fan” The shooting has already started in Mumbai and is set to continue in Dubrovnik in the year 2015. Indian outbound tourism industry is becoming increasingly popular and this move will boost Croatia as a destination onto the Indian Travel market. The sources from the Croatian daily “Jutarnji list” claims than on every one hundred employees from the movie industry comes another two to three hundred in the building, travel, tourism and hospitality sectors.The film segment of the tourism market itself is set to net 60 million HRK alone in the forthcoming year and this is without extra revenue generated from tourism and hospitality sectors.

Only HBO’s new production of the Game of Thrones with filming taking places in Dubrovnik, Split and Sibenik is set to bring 43 millionGame of Thrones film location HRK.

We at Dubrovnik Luxury Travel welcome the arrival of Bollywood glamor and look forward to service Bollywood film crews be it regarding their Dubrovnik accommodation, Dubrovnik transportation, Dubrovnik yacht charter needs or perhaps finding new exotic Dubrovnik film locations.

The author of this article is Srdj Portolan, a founding member of Intercon Group of Companies, a board director at Spes Real Estate and Dubrovnik Luxury Travel.

Advice on where to book your hotel in Dubrovnik: Old Town vs Lapad

Holidaymakers are starting to gather their ideas which destination to choose for the forthcoming 2015 holiday season. Croatia is continuing to rise in its popularity and Dubrovnik is a must see destination on holidaymakers’ lists. Looking at the hotel accommodation Dubrovnik is growing in its luxury accommodation segment offer. In my view in order to taste Dubrovnik in its most “organic” way then Adriatic Luxury Hotels is your best bet for the simple fact that both hotels Excelsior and GHV Argentina offers

Hotel Argentina
GHV Argentina

spectacular views over the Old City and the island of Lokrum. Many would go automatically for Excelsior,personally I would prefer Argentina because in my view it is more cosier. Both hotels are situated in Ploce area of Dubrovnik and are a pleasant walk to the Old City where all activity during the summer season takes place. You will not regret if you even pay a bit extra but then again if you are an early bird you are bound to find a really good bargain.

One thing you ought to bear in mind is that Dubrovnik is a small city and that the public bus service works well. On the other hand Dubrovnik Palace is situated in a very secluded spot of Lapad

Dubrovnik Palace
Dubrovnik Palace

peninsula. What is more bus no 4 will get you in less than 15 minutes to Pile Gate. Uvala Lapad promenade is just a 15 minutes stroll where all the restaurants and bars are situated. So if you book Dubrovnik Palace what you get are the best of the both worlds. You came to Dubrovnik to visit Old City, you are staying in a five star hotel that is positioned in the best part of Lapad peninsula. You will get a better bargain than at Excelsior or Argentina and you still profit from the spectacular views of St Andrews lighthouse and Elaphiti islands.

The author of this article is Srdj Portolan, a founding member of Intercon Group of Companies, a board director at Spes Real Estate and Dubrovnik Luxury Travel.

From the island of Lokrum Dubrovnik, Croatia via Canary islands to Mexico with love.

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 onLokrum3 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 maximilianMexico 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.

Croatian post war 1990’s baby boomers and how they shape Croatian outbound travel market?

 

Croatia is a country of approx. 4 million people, which generates a substantial part of its GDP through tourism. Croatian travel agencies are inundated with offers for business co-operation with destinations such as Maldives, India and Vietnam. In order toCroatian outbound travel understand Croatian outbound travel market one has to understand Croatian post war 1990’s baby boom generation. They are born during or straight after the war. Similar to millennials, they are digital generation and, as such, they have a huge influence on their parents and what is more they have a huge influence on their grandparents.

For the Croatian outbound luxury market, this means that if you have a luxury family villa in Costarica, in the terms of marketing content, you really ought to be targeting an affluent 25 years old young lady who is going to persuade her father, a successful businessman, to Croatian outbound travel costaricatake his family to Costarica. On the other hand if you want to sell senior cruises to Med, your marketing platform should definitely be mobile or tablet, since these young men and ladies were the ones who have persuaded their grandparents to purchase mobile phone and in particular tablets in the first place. They crave for adventure, but it must be safer adventure, as they have only heard of the war horrors but never experienced it. They strive for healthy lifestyle and align to brands with a purpose. They are interested in the term “different”, which could be culture, food, habits, societies, etc. Most of the time, these young people are extremely sophisticated, well affluent and educated. They are not burdened with the politics, so they cross Croatian outbound travel Costa mediterraneaborders easily. However, they are very patriotic as they show a great degree of respect towards their peers, especially as they have inherited moral obligation to represent their country in the best possible light wherever they go. Contrary to their parents who use e-mails and perhaps Facebook, Croatian boomers use heavily social media and are often different to their parents. This is where the element of “different” is highlighted. So, if parents use SMS, children use Viber. If parents use Viber, children will use What’s Up. For them, the image sharing and mobile platforms are essential tools when travelling, because when they come back home they want to show to their grandparents where they went and how people live elsewhere.

Understanding Croatian post war boomer will enable you to understand the patterns of Croatian outbound travel.

The author of this article is Srdj Portolan, a founding member of Intercon Group of Companies, a board director at Spes Real Estate and Dubrovnik Luxury Travel.

Say Yes I do in luxury style in Dubrovnik Croatia !!!

The September’s issue of the world’s most prestigious fashion magazine Vogue covered Dubrovnik wedding of the year, when American socialites Fabiola Beracasa and Jason Beckman said Yes I do in the luxurious settings of Sponza Palace. Thousand of brides to

wedding fabiola beracasa
Dubrovnik 2014 Wedding of the Year

be are thinking of this dream wedding that has taken place in Dubrovnik, Croatia and has given golden PR opportunity to the Old City of Dubrovnik as an ideal wedding location.

So how do I go about having similar type of wedding Fabiola Beracasa and Jason Beckam had is the question posed by the brides to be? Depending on the type of wedding and if we are talking medium size wedding of up to 100 guests and if you want to make it special then we at Dubrovnik Luxury Travel have a solution for you as we are co-operating with the best wedding agency in the town the name of which I will conceal ( trick of the trade ) and the best luxury chain of hotels: Adriatic Luxury Hotels ( you got to have a freebe tip ). However if you want your Dubrovnik luxury wedding locationwedding to be top private affair in the top private location overlooking the Old Town and the island of love: Lokrum, then we have something for you that will suit your needs and put a great smile on your partner’s face. So do not worry, if you want church wedding, civil partnership wedding, Jewish wedding, Indian wedding and in the style of Robbie Williams lyrics in his song Rock DJ instead of singing Can I kick it, Yes I Can, we at Dubrovnik Luxury Travel sing it, Can we kick it, Yes we Can!!!

Does Dubrovnik lack in high quality summer season event offer?

Srđ Portolan believes that Dubrovnik has a solid combination of cultural and entertainment activities during the summer season. Srđ continues to state that Dubrovnik Summer Festival, in itself is an srđ portolanestablished cultural brand which enables visitors to taste the unique experiences of the Old City summer open scene theatre combining Shakespeare and Držić ( Dubrovnik born renaissance writer of  black comedies ) or it is a chance to hear the echoing of Ivo Vojnovich’s famous Dubrovnik Trilogy ( pre-second war established writer ) who has so well described the fall of  the 19th century Dubrovnik Republic. Srđ Portolan believes that staging Dubrovnik born and bred writers and classical composers, Srđ gives an example of Luka Sorkočević, is one of the best way to promote local heritage in particular that of the Old City. However Srđ Portolan admits that perhaps Dubrovnik Summer Festival lacks modern day cutting edge touch and in this recession hit times visitors to Dubrovnik and the natives need a beauty to their eyes. Srđ Portolan elaborates that perhaps Miss Dubrovnik Summer Festival ought to be a regular feature. I laughed at first but then when I googled Miss America srđ portolan dubrovnik summer festival2014 I realized that Srđ was right and that his idea was not at all loony. Miss America is USA  and even world’s biggest non-profit organization sponsoring the education of women between the age of 17 and 24. Miss America 2014 winner Kira Kazantsev will opt out to become a law graduate. Srđ Portolan suggested that perhaps with the existing ACMT or the prestigious Rochester Institute of Technology already in Dubrovnik and perhaps if the winner of such manifestation can get scholarship for ACMT that would be an excellent way of demonstrating where a cultural manifestation with the elements of beauty can have entertainment factors and be beneficial for the local community. The biggest sponsor of Dubrovnik  Summer Festival is VIP, Croatian telecoms company. Srđ Portolan believes that perhaps Dubrovnik Summer Festival ought to incorporate fashion show elements. Srđ believes that perhaps summer edition of CRO A PORTER could be an excellent opportunity to launch young Croatian fashion designers that would have an excellent channel of marketing, direct one where the visitors, the tourists can purchase their garments directly. Such manifestation would draw a larger number of competing sponsors and would raise not only the profile of Dubrovnik but Croatia on the whole. Srđ Portolan is of the opinion manifestations that bear the local character such as Dubrovnik’s famous “ each part of the town has its street party” type are important not only as the entertainment to the visiting tourists but also to the locals as well as they are integral way of maintaining local tradition. So next time when you are in Dubrovnik and you see posters advertising “Gruška Noć” or “Noć Uvale” rest assured that it is a party night ( noć ) to be remembered for.

As Scotland decides on the referendum about its fate, we have asked Srđ Portolan what impact this may have on the tourism industry in Croatia ?

 

Srđ Portolan answers that there is no place for politics in any business and that the referendum on the Scottish independence is no exemption. Srđ Portolan, privately has a degree of sympathy towards those Scots who are in favour of the yes vote because he himself is a patriot and he has been involved in the creation of the Croatian state.srđ portolan scotland New countries such as Scotland believes Srđ Portolan if it happens should maintain neutrality. Dubrovnik had excellent charter and regular flights with Edinburgh and Glasgow. However, Portolan believes that new Scottish State if it happens could trigger a new wave of referendums across Europe. First on the map may be Catalonia and South Tyrol whose independences could possibly have dual consequences. New Scottish state must apply to join the European Union although Portolan sees no reason why they should do so as they hold large reserves of British oil and gas. However, the disappearance of the Great Britain as it once were, would mean possible uncertain political power future of that country which might turn the rest of the British economy towards the recession in which case people would travel less. The European travel sector becomes more competitive than ever Srđ Portolan continues as Spain are Greece have recorded substantial increases in the revenues generated according to Croatian daily newspapers Slobodna Dalmacija whereas Croatia’s growth has been minor, that of 1.9%. Srđ Portolan sees this twofold opportunity because if Scotland goes its own way and Catalonia follows, this may shift the attention of investors towards Catalonia itself and elsewhere, Croatia included. Independent Catalonia may stand the srđ portolan croatialittle chance of entering EU because of the Spanish vetto. In a strange way if one takes this angle of analysis the Scottish vote of independence is important for the future of Europe, possible new economic crisis would make citizens of Europe more cautious when it comes to travelling abroad on holidays which might have serious effect on the recovery of the Croatian economy as it is closely linked to the tourism industry. Although Srđ Portolan is very optimistic when it comes to Dubrovnik and its Old City. Srđ states that crisis or not this would not stop rich clients from travelling and as Dubrovnik is orientated towards the luxury segment of the market, it is safe for now. Furthermore, Portolan concludes that Dubrovnik as an international tourist destination brand should be looking more in the direction of the Far East and both Americas,as new markets, especially the Latin one which is reinstated by the fact that his companies had a 50% increase of enquiries from countries such as Mexico and Brazil.

 

We have asked Srđ Portolan what is so special about Split as Croatia’s emerging new destination?

Srđ Portolan smiled at me as I posed  this question to him but Srđ did not hide the fact that there is a great friendship between the natives of Dubrovnik and Split. Portolan adds that the element of friendly srđ portolan splitrivalry brings actually people together. They both live in what is known as Croatian province of Dalmatia, Dubrovnik celebrates its patron saint; St Blaise, Split on the other hand celebrates St Domnius. Both cities have churches devoted to their patron saints. Split’s Old City is not as stunning as that of Dubrovnik but in a sense it is much cosier and it does have this element of Roman past as Diocletianus palace is a well preserved monument. Srđ Portolan continues to add that in a same way as Dubrovnik has its Srđ hill, after which he and many Dubrovnik natives were named, Split does have its Marjan hill, which is covered in dense pine tree forest and it is ideal for running and cycling activities. Srđ Portolan tells me that names like his and that of Blaise which in Croatian translates as Vlaho are unique to Dubrovnik in a same way as the name of St Domnius or Duje in Croatian and that of Lovro are typical Split males names. Unfortunately this falls short of the EU Commission policy on gender equality,Srdj Portolan says jokingly, but it is a reminder of Croatia’s patrimony legacy.
Srdj Portolan says that the reason why is Split becoming more appealing to tourists is  because of its cultural, natural beauties and the entertainment factors. We have explained the cultural factors, Split’s Old City Peristil and Diocletianus Palace. Split is also known srđ portolan old city splitas a hub city for visiting Croatian islands of Ciovo, Brac, Hvar and Vis. In our previous blogs we have sung praises to Hvar’s beauty and rich night life and Vis’ Blue Cave phenomenon, undoubtedly the best diving spot in the whole of the Adriatic. Srđ Portolan further adds that Split is in within easy reach of the natural parks of Krka and Plitvice and if you are after adrenaline rush you can always raft down river Cetina.Split has also hosted a second year in a row Urban House music festival. For the lovers of luxury accommodation and all those yachting tourism enthusiasts Split does have two luxury five star hotels Le Meridien Lav and  Marjansrđ portolan marjan hill with their own small marinas where you can moor your “pet”. Last but not the least if you want your son to become the next Marin Cilic, the winner of the US Open 2014, just send him to Split. It is here that he moved from his home town of Medjugorje and Split is a home town to almost all Croatian world recognised tennis stars, Goran Ivanisevic, Mario Ancic,Iva Majoli,Mirjana Lucic just to name the few concludes Srđ Portolan.

Marin Čilić vs Kei Nishikori or Međugorje vs Japan

We have indeed written a lot about different clusters of tourism industry in Croatia, about scopes and future directions of their development. Srđ Portolan, in particular has commented on the opportunities that Dubrovnik as a destination has to use Croatian, internationally recognized sportsmen for the PR of its tourism industry.

One rather important aspect that Srđ Portolan admittedly forgot to mention is religious tourism.

Srdj Portolan, for his part is confident that the US Open 2014 final will change that score forever. If you ask why, Srdj Portolan who is an avid tennis player, answers that for the sheer fact Marin Čilić waSrđ Portolan tennis Marin Čilićs born and raised in Međugorje. Although it is yet to be recognized by Vatican as a sacred place where the Virgin Mary appeared in front of a group of children back in 1981, the rivers of pilgrims flock every year to this pious place to pray for their beloved ones. And you really need to visit Medjugorje to truly understand the meaning of the words written in this text. Srdj Portolan tells me that he was surprised by the harsh scenery that dominates Herzegovina region where Medjugorje is situated, yet Srđ Portolan and MedjugorjeKravice waterfalls which are situated not far from Medjugorje are simply oasis of beauty, this hidden spot, Srdj Portolan believes is there for a purpose. With all due respect to Kei Nishikori who is the best Japanese player of all times, a dream of young Marin from Medjugorje to win the US Open 2014 is closer than ever. The whole Croatia will be watching Marin Čilić and his Srđ Portolancoach Goran Ivanišević and cheering for them. No doubt Japan will be watching Kei Nishikori and his coach Michael Chang. May the best samurai wins commented at the end Srdj Portolan. In any case this is going to be a huge publicity for Croatia, on the par with the 2014 World Cup opening game with  Brazil.

The future of eco-tourism in Dubrovnik region as viewed by Srđ Portolan

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.srđ portolan

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 aboutSrđ Portolan  water 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.