Friday, April 07, 2006

Croatia On Line Comment - Exhibitions and Boat Shows

Croatia Online's week has been dominated by the Croatia Boat Show in Split and distracted by the failed "first ever" Croatia Exclusive Exhibition in Earls Court (see earlier postings).

The hot news at the Boat Show, according to the front page of the Dalmatian Daily, Slobodna Dalmacija, was the scandal caused by two Slovenian hostesses on one of the stands, who agreed to be photographed topless for 600 kunas each (about £60). The cynic in me can't help wondering whether this was a publicity stunt for the exhibitors (no pun intended), the organisors, or both. Anecdotal evidence suggests that turnout is down, either in spite of, or because of, the marathon length of the show - 9 days.

As for the embarassment of the Croatia Exclusive Exhibition in Earls Court, we've still to get right to the bottom of that too (again, no pun intended) but the more I hear, the more it sounds like an enthusiastic or misguided entrepreneur forgetting to do a business plan but attracting a number of "big names" along the way. I trust that the Croatian Tourist Board and other government backed institutions will do their research more carefully in the future, before they lend their names or are used to add credibility to an unproved, newly formed company putting on an event that only hopefully presumed to represent the whole of what is good about Croatia? Perhaps the government should have put Croatia Exclusive Ltd through the same rigorous tendering process that they insist on when they spend their money elsewhere? Or is this a selective/subjective process?


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