After the HBO’s cult series The Game of Thrones, hugely successful Indian film industry Bollywood which hails its name from its center of 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 million 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.
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.
Could you tell us more about Dubrovnik Luxury Travel and your role as Operations Manager?
Dubrovnik Luxury travel has been a market leader in the luxury segment for the past 15 years, here in Croatia and in the region. We are proud that we have served the world’s most powerful clients. Each year our base of luxury clients is growing.
If I were a VIP client, what would be your best recommendation to explore Dubrovnik and Croatia?
Croatia is a country of over 1300 islands. There are many National Parks like the world renown Plitivce Lakes, Krka waterfalls, National Park Brioni, president’s Tito ex-residence, National Park Kornati, an ideal destination to charter a yacht or perhaps do a spot of sailing. In one word, Croatia is a country of many beautiful spot. My recommendation to explore Croatia is the sea way from Dubrovnik to Split. I would charter a yacht from Dubrovnik, I must say that the both, Dubrovnik airport and Split airport are well connected with the rest of the world. En route from Dubrovnik to Split there are many beautiful towns like Cavtat, picturesque Mediterranean town close to Dubrovnik Konavle wine region. The next one is the medieval town of Korcula on the island of Korucla, a birthplace of Marco Polo. I must say that Korcula has excellent gastronomy and white wines, Posip. I like diving and the island of Vis is my favorite. There are so many wrecked ships from the Second World War and would you believe sunk airplanes. Sea next to the Blue Cave just like in Capri, has the best sea visibility in the whole of the Adriatic. There are no sharks.
What about this island of Hvar. Is this a must see island?
Oh, Hvar is simply amazing! This is a must visit destination for all those chartering yahct, sailboats, catamarans and this is also party island, it’s Croatian version of St Tropez. Carpe Diem, Croatian best known night club and lounge bar.
Tell me about this upcoming destination, Split?
Split is originally a Roman city, the remains of the Diocletian palace are still there. It is the second biggest town in Croatia. What I like about Split that its Old City is quite unique, good choice of restaurants, good shopping. Transportation wise, it’s a hub for islands, ferries run from Split port to the islands of Hvar and Brac. Split Airport is well connected to all European destinations. Krka National Park is nearby and the towns of Sibenik and Skradin.
Where do you see the development of Croatian luxury market ?
I see Adriatic as a destination not only Croatia, but Montenegro as well. Adriatic has a pristine clear sea, islands, it is only two hours away from London and Istanbul. Top investors have recognized this. Dubrovnik is building a golf course and luxury villas. At the moment there is a shortage of luxury villas in Dubrovnik and the whole of the Adriatic. I have clients contacting me on daily basis to enquire about the hire of luxury villas. Luckily I have few on the books. Continuing on this subject of investing, in Montenegro for instance, there was a British-Russian investment into marna project Porto Montenegro. There is even bigger marina being planned. Montenegro will be a starting point for the luxury yacht cruises and this would include Dubrovnik, Split, Sibenik, Zadar. I really see the future of the Croatian tourism on the whole and in particular the luxury market segment in the nautical tourism.
When I, Srdj Portolan and Darijan Portolan went for a business trip in France we saw a true example of nautical tourism model with a supportive infrastructure and this is what we lack.
Mr Kristian Vrbanic, thank you very much for taking your time to talk to us.
Dubrovnik airport is by far the most sophisticated airport in Croatia. The drive from the Dubrovnik airport to the Dubrovnik city is a half an hour transfer. Dubrovnik Luxury Travel Darijan explained to me why is it better to make a pre-advanced booking. Buses are out of question as they are old and not consistent. There is no uniformed company that looks after the transport from and to Dubrovnik airport. Then there are taxi drivers. Unlike in the other European cities where taxis are easily recognizable this is not the case with Dubrovnik and what is more sometimes they can charge you an arm and a leg.
With pre-booked transfer from Dubrovnik airport to your hotel destination you are met and greeted by your driver who follows Dubrovnik Luxury Travel philosophy of being always professional, speaking fluent English, discreet yet at your disposal. And there is a question of reliability because Dubrovnik Luxury Travel luxury transfer vehicles are reliable, safe so this 30 minutes transfer passes in no time. If you happen to visit Dubrovnik with a group of friends then there is no other solution but to book Dubrovnik Luxury mini van. However, Dubrovnik Luxury Travel flexibility comes at work especially when the top luxury clients are involved. On one occasion Darijan was supposed to meet a wealthy businessman from Macau and his wife. They were supposed to stay at one of Dubrovnik’s top boutique hotels. When they were met by Darijan the wife was not pleased at all. The husband explained to Darijan that she insisted to arrive to her hotel via the sea. Darijan was cool as a cucumber and said yes. He transferred the couple from Dubrovnik airport to Cavtat, took them to Cavtat’s top restaurant for a brunch and organized a sea transfer from Cavtat to this luxury hotel before you knew it.
So next time when you “meet me at the airport” do request to arrive to your hotel from Dubrovnik airport by a helicopter, Dubrovnik Luxury Travel team will ensure that your wish comes true.
Rixos brand of luxury hotels is one of the fastest growing luxury accommodation brands in the world with plans to open 20 luxury hotels and villas worldwide by the year 2020. It already has 12 luxury hotels and villas in Turkey and it has recently opened premium luxury concept in its flagship hotels, Rixos premium Belek and Rixos premium Bodrum.
Rixos Libertas Dubrovnik is one of the pioneering hotels of Dubrovnik tourism. One of the first hotels in five star category built in the late 60’s it was pride and joy of Dubrovnik luxury accommodation and it was a well known congress centre, in fact it was the favourite conference centre together with five star luxury hotel Croatia in Cavtat. Both luxury hotels are specific in its own right.
Cavtat is a picturesque village in Konavli region of Dubrovnik and it is worth a visit for its authentic Croatian mode of living whilst Rixos Libertas Dubrovnik is ideally located, only 15 minutes walking distance from the Old city centre. However, Dubrovnik at war period reduced this pride of Dubrovnik luxury tourism to rubble and Libertas Dubrovnik was acquired by the Rixos group headed by charismatic and well respected Turkish businessman Fettah Tamince. Rixos group was loyal to the previous architectural concept which was in place and they implemented this concept having previously updated the hotel’s look to modern retro luxury accommodation.
It was indeed Mr.Tamince who turned to Dubrovnik Luxury Travel to secure his stay in Dubrovnik as he was hosting a formal opening ceremony for the hotel with more than 500 top VIP attendees.
So, when it comes to organizing logistics for top businessman, world leaders and actors, you mention the name of Kristian Vrbanic, even the president of Croatia will recognize this name. Who would not as this Dubrovnik Luxury Travel operations manager is a king in the Dubrovnik luxury market organisation world. Top Turkish politicians, businessmen, diplomats together with Saudi, Russian and European elite attended the official opening ceremony back in 2007. Kristian organized their smooth passage through the Dubrovnik airport. It was the first time that a fleet of luxury premium cars was allowed on the tarmac of Dubrovnik airport runaway thanks to Kristian’s organisation skills. He coordinated their arrival with Dubrovnik Luxury travel security team and Mr Tamince was more than happy. Job well done Mr Vrbanic.
Dubrovnik luxury hotels have caught up with the modern age and time. The classic term of a concierge has disappeared from Dubrovnik luxury accommodation and it has been replaced by guest relation services. The world of luxury travel demands high standards, no hotel on Dubrovnik Riviera has concierge service that would fetch you a bottle of your favorite eau de toilette if your hotel does not stock it. Dubrovnik luxury travel market attracts many wealthy and sophisticated clients.
The demand for a conventional shopping mall has not been met yet and wealthy clients are forced to take private tours from Dubrovnik to Split in premium luxury vehicles or for that matter private trips from Dubrovnik to Mostar. Some Russian clients are known to have taken a private shopping tour from Dubrovnik to Zagreb.
Dubrovnik Luxury travel has this unique concierge service which is open 24/7, in other words if you are after a bottle of Lagavulin at 2 o’ clock in the morning or if your wife wants that dress from top Croatian designer Xenia design but the shop does not have the size, concierge services from Dubrovnik luxury travel will fix it.
It is comprehensive service as you will have private luxury car at your disposal or private speed boat, access to top Dubrovnik boutiques and Dubrovnik top restaurants. Finally Dubrovnik is catching up with the likes of Cannes, Puerto Benus and other top luxury world destinations. So next time when I see a dog walker in Dubrovnik Lapad peninsula, I won’t be surprised, that would be confirmation that concierge services in Dubrovnik have taken off. Recently, a client of Dubrovnik luxury travel had an early flight to a European capital destination. On the previous night he went out for a meal in Dubrovnik restaurant and he enjoyed his red wine, but funnily enough, the restaurant run out of his favorite Golden Plavac, a wine from the island of Hvar.
It was an early start in the season, and the client could not purchase it from the wine shop so he googled Dubrovnik luxury travel concierge services and guess what Darijan sorted it out before the client’s flight departure from Dubrovnik airport at 5 o’clock in the morning. The clients are recognizing the advantages of Dubrovnik concierge service convenience and we are certain that this unique service has a future. However, the concierge services offered by Dubrovnik Luxury travel are not only restricted to Dubrovnik but they are 24/7 available in other Croatian cities like Split, Zadar, Zagreb.So next time when you think of your favorite thingy which you miss on your holiday, think of Dubrovnik luxury travel concierge services.