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.
The country of 1000 islands, the total revenue of the tourism in the whole of the world amounts to 100 billion euros. Nowadays Croatia gets 6% slice of the tourism cake. Before the war, tourism in Croatia was the main economic drive which was filling in the coffers of the National Bank of ex- Yugoslavia. The war has put Croatia as destination on hold but now this beautiful country is in again and everyone is buzzing about Croatia as the top European destination.
Croatia has a great potential in this economical branch. However as in every business the key is in the strategy. To revert back to the first sentence of this article, “the country of 1000 islands”, it seems to me that the answer to question regarding the strategy is self explanatory. Croatia needs to follow the example of Montenegro and it needs to create positive investment climate for the construction of mega yacht marinas. We have asked Srdj Portolan, a member of Adriatic Yacht Services management bord his viewpoint. Srđ has told us that we should follow the model employed by France. Portolan was the part of the Adriatic Yacht Services incentive trip which took place in Cap d’Antibe in March 2013. Srđ told us that he was amazed by the scale of marinas and especially those reserved for megayachts. Srđ also explained to us that the quality of the infrastracture services was second to none. Srđ Portolan stressed that this French model is what Croatia lacks.
Here in Croatia, Dubrovnik if we are to examine only two of these factors, we have failed the exam. Naturally we have to follow the example of our neighbors, Montenegrins. Porto Montenegro in Tivat, a luxury marina complex, an Anglo-Russian investment project is a success story to the point that oil struck Azeri investors are investing a serious money for the development of a new luxury marina in Kumbor. Having been to Porto Montenegro I was amazed at the scale of infrastructure, restaurants, luxury shops, luxury travel agencies, yacht dealership representative offices, car dealership representative offices which to me only highlighted the seriousness of the whole story.
At the end of the day, the conclusion one can draw is a simple one, Dubrovnik as Croatia’s top destination must find asap a solution for the construction of a marina for mega yachts before is too late. So if you get on your yacht in Porto Montenegro in Tivat and it is logical that your next stop is Dubrovnik. However if you do not have marina for megayachts let alone accompanying infrastructure and services, it is highly unlikely that you as a country read destination, are to raise this slice in the cake to let us say 8% and speed up your economic recovery.