Official Blog of Central Dalmatia Tourist Board


Monday, December 2, 2013

Split Cruise Tourism Breaks 200,000 Passengers for 2013

The 2013 tourist season in Central Dalmatia has been an unqualified success, with significant increases in flights, visiting tourists and overnight stays, and all the signs are that 2014 is going to be another great year.

One area where there has been a major increase is in cruise tourism, which has played its part in helping to prolong the season in Split.

The final large cruise ship off the season, the 1,000 passenger Splendour of the Seas, arrived in Split on November 17, and its passengers were among the more than 200,000 cruise passengers who visited the Dalmatian capital in 2013. This number is well below the million visitors to Dubrovnik, which shows the growth potential of cruise tourism, a growth in Split which will be further facilitated by work in the harbour of Split, which will allow for docking of ships up to 300 metres in length.

Picigin, the First Beach Sport to Become Cultural Heritage

Cental Dalmatia may be popular because of its excellent beaches, but it also has an astonishing amount of cultural heritage to be explored. But until now, beach and cultural heritage have not mixed.

Meet picigin, the world's first beach sport to achieve cultural heritage status. The Ministry of Culture has included picigin on its list of protected cultural goods, as a non-material heritage.

Tourists visiting Split will have seen the strange spectacle of fully grown adults throwing themselves full stretch in the shallow waters of Bacvice in desperate attempts to keep a small ball in the air. The game picigin started at Bacvice almost 100 years ago, and now has its own world championships, held each year in Split.

To get a flavour of the sport, check out the video below, and don't be afraid to ask to join in a game next time you are at Bacvice. 

Historic Trogir in 2014: Medieval Battle World Championship Comes to Trogir

Visitors to Trogir in June next year will have the opportunity to see the UNESCO town's heritage relived in all its glory, as the historic town welcomes the Historical Medieval "Battle of the Nations" World Championship from June 12-15. Trogir will be reverting to the past, as international teams of Medieval fighters descend on the Dalmatian coast to do battle to become world champions for the fifth year of the event. More info on the event from the official Facebook page below.

WORLD CHAMPIONSHIP on Historical Medieval Battle “Battle of the Nations”

The concept of “Battle of the Nations” differs from everything that existed earlier – there is nothing remotely the same in the world. On the championship you can see mass full-contact battles between national teams of fighters. They create a new history, a history of the new victories and heroic deeds!

Every year the quantity of teams taking part in the championship "Battle of the Nations" grows. These men practice medieval full-contact fights and gather every year in the medieval castles of the X-XVIII cent. Hundreds of medieval historical reenactment clubs are involved, and the teams challenge each other in fierce battles, pulling themselves into the times of armour, courage and heroes.

First two years the championship was held in Khotyn fortress (Chernivtsi region, Ukraine). In 2012, the "Battle of the Nations" was held in Warsaw (Poland) and brought together 12 national teams. In 2013, IVth WORLD CHAMPIONSHIP "Battle of the Nations" will be held on May 9-12 in a city Aigues Mortes, which is in the region of Languedoc-Roussillon in the south of France. This year, the championship will be attended by 22 national teams!

The memories of the olds live at Aigues Mortes fortress again – real martial encampments, customs and everyday life of the Middle Ages, authentic medieval arms and armour made by modern craftsmen, historical costumes and other medieval attributes. Real victories and defeats, no staged battles, no scripts and no theatre sketches! You can see only full contact – sparks of steel, crackle of shields and glittering swords – and the adrenaline will rush!

The atmosphere of the struggle, spirit of the Middle Ages and action on the battleground will leave no one indifferent. There will be various cultural and sport activities, original master classes of medieval arms and armor manufacturing, medieval martial arts, courses in medieval dancing, archery, competitions and concerts, as well as fire-shows and theatrical performances. The festival activities are intended to recall a lively interest in medieval martial art and to revive interest and excitement in a unique and new kind of sport.

See how the air sparkles with tension when armies clash on the battlefield. Feel the energy of medieval battles! Support your national team on the battlefield!

Croatia in top 3 European destinations, say Guardian readers

After a lull in visits due to regional conflict in the 1990s, it would seem that British tourist interest in Croatia is back, with the results of the Guardian and Observer Readers Travel Awards 2013 - published online on November 11, 2013 - the latest confirmation of the increased travel from the UK.
Prior to the war in former Yugoslavia, British tourists came to the Yugoslav - primarily Croatian - coast in their droves, some 440,000 of them annually, making it the second most popular destination after Spain.
War in the region, coupled with the emergence of other affordable sun destinations, such as Egypt, Turkey and Greece, made it harder for Croatia to regain its market share, but the progress the country's tourism chiefs has made in recent years has been commendable, with the latest endorsement from Guardian readers yesterday.
In the awards, Croatia was named third favourite country behind Austria and Sweden, and ahead of Turkey and Switzerland.
The vote is mirrored by a marked increase in British visitors to the Adriatic coast. As Digital Journal has previously reported, there was a 24% increase in British visitors in the first 8 months of the year, compared to the corresponding period in 2012.
More than 500,000 British visitors are expected in 2014, up from the peak numbers in the 1980s.

The Vrlika Tourist Board gets active on Facebook

A world away from the sparkling Dalmatian coast and just an hour away by car, the historic town of Vrlika is one of the lesser discovered destinations in Central Dalmatia.

Combined with the timeless beauty of its stunning nature, including the pearl of Lake Peruca, it is also one of the region's most enchanting places, a chance to escape the crowds and experience the raw natural beauty of inland Dalmatia at its finest. 

The Vrlika Tourist Board recently embraced social media and has become very active on Facebook - follow the latest events here. And if you are not familiar with the joys of Vrlika, check out the official promotional video below.

A Good Night for Split and Central Dalmatia at Days of Croatian Tourism Awards

The 2013 season has been an encouraging one for statistics, both in the number of visitors and overnight stays, as well as strong growth in established markets such as Scandinavia and the UK, and emerging markets such as South Korea and Brazil. That feel good factor was reflected in the recent 'Days of Croatian Tourism' annual awards.

Split won the category of best medium-sized destination in Croatia, with the 'medium' being a reflection on the number of beds in the destination rather its physical size. Split was also named by the Croatian National Tourist Board as the cultural destination of the year, and there was individual recognition for the ACI Marina in Split (3rd best medium-sized marina), Strobrec (best medium-size campsite), Split Radisson Blu Resort (3rd in best four-star hotels), and Hotel Vestibul (2nd best small hotel on the Adriatic coast).

Even more encouragingly, a survey by the national tourist board of some 10,000 people found that Split has passed Istria as a name that resonates with people when mentioning Croatia. One final piece of good news for the region was that rural tourism in inland Dalmatia was declared better bait than for visitors in Istria, which is generally accepted to have a better offer.

Exciting times for tourism in Central Dalmatia, and 2014 promises to be a great season ahead.

Flights, Flights, Flights - More Choice Than Ever for Central Dalmatia in 2014

While the magnificent 2013 tourist season continues on, with tourists still swimming in the glistening Adriatic with this fabulous October weather, thoughts are already turning to plans for the 2014 season in some quarters. 

And if the early flight announcements are anything to go by, it will be busy indeed...

Split was served by more than 80 destinations and 43 airlines in 2013, and the early news is that many of those destinations are now strengthening their routes for next season. 

Perhaps the most interesting regional news is the lengthening of the flying season from Belgrade to Split by both Croatia Airlines and new successor to JAT, Air Serbia. With the investment coming from the 49% share from Etihad, there are also some interesting routes to Split via Belgrade, including three cities in Australia, the Seychelles and Dubai.

The news from the important UK market is good as well, with easyJet introducing the first direct connection from Scotland, from Glasgow, while Norwegian Air must have been pleased with their first year's flying from London to Split, as they have increased the service from Gatwick.

The news from the rest of Europe is good as well, with new routes announced for next season to Split from Lyon (easyJet), Athens (Croatia Airlines) and Brussels (Thomas Cook), while other important routes have increased their frequency, including Barcelona (Vueling) and Munich (Croatia Airlines).

All good news - Central Dalmatia awaits your visit!