Tuesday Column - Croatia Tourism 9: Marketing Policy?
As of this week, I’ve made it one of my immediate goals to find out what Croatian policy is on marketing its Tourism industry. It’s a big mistake, as a visitor in any foreign country, to think that your country automatically does it better. Certainly England hasn’t had to cope with all the upheavals and changes that Croatia has in the past decade or so, but “could do better” might go on the school report.
What struck me most, on my arrival at Gatwick on Saturday, was the feast of advertising and literature available as you walk through the airport. Even as a native of London, arriving at any of its International airports revitalises you. It’s a public show that says “you won’t be bored or disappointed here”. Contrast that with cosy Split Airport where there’s very little on display.
Zagreb has long since started to flaunt its wares but Dalmatia seems to be a little laid back. Yes the water is crystal clear and the islands are lovely but the tourism industry is so competitive that effective marketing and market research must be the key.
Time Out’s Magazine for Visitors to Croatia, in the newsagents worldwide in May, must surely be helping in many respects. We may be a little biased, having worked with Time Out over the last couple of months, but their approach and organisation are like a breath of fresh air. There were a few enlightened players that seized the Time Out opportunity very quickly and should do well with the new audience they will gain, but what about the rest of the industry and where is the government leading it? Who’s going to galvanise the troops in the right direction to ensure Croatia capitalises on its natural assets and moves with the times? We’re trying to find out!