Nenad Velenik: Poreč has established itself as a leader in sports tourism

At the beginning of September, Poreč achieved its three millionth tourist overnight stay, and on that occasion, the Tourist Board of the City of Poreč expressed their satisfaction with this year's...

27. September 2022.

At the beginning of September Poreč achieved its three millionth tourist overnight stay, and on that occasion the Tourist Board of the City of Poreč expressed their satisfaction with this year's tourism results, which are more optimistic than the work plan and program for 2022.

Director of the TZ of the City of Poreč Nenad Velenik in the conversation he revealed to us what has been done so far, but also what is planned for the future development of Poreč as one of the most desirable destinations on the Croatian coast.  

Poreč records a very successful season in 2022, and in some segments the results of the record year 2019 were exceeded. In what way and with which tools did you achieve them?

This will definitely not be a record-breaking tourist season, but it is certainly one of the more successful after two corona years. Poreč will realize around 3,3 million tourist overnight stays, which is 98% compared to 2019, and we have to be more than satisfied with that. In our projections, we predicted up to 10% less revenue than in 2019.

There are many reasons for such results, I would like to mention a few of the most important ones: the synergy of the private and public sectors, which is the key to the success of destination tourism. There is almost no significant tourism project in the destination that was not realized through this kind of cooperation. There is also an investment in improving the conditions of guests' stay in the destination. Poreč is a top tourist destination not only because of investment in hotels, but also because of investment in everything that makes guests come to us and enjoy staying in our destination: beach, promenade, bike paths, excellent children's playgrounds, pump track polygon. We have invested considerable resources in the entertainment of guests in the destination, so throughout the season we have organized programs as part of the Poreč summer, which were well attended.

We pay great attention to the health and safety of our guests, and we are an extended hand to our craftsmen. Namely, this year we are also financially supporting the second emergency medical aid team, financing the stay of a doctor at the tourist clinic, co-financing the stay of 16 additional police officers in the destination, and financing the stay of 2 additional employees to issue work permits. 

Neno 2014

You have recognized the need for the association of tourist boards as a way to increase tourist traffic and strengthen the position on the tourist market. How did you come to join the Poreč Riviera Cluster, how demanding was it?
On the basis of the Law on Tourist Boards and the Promotion of Croatian Tourism, and with the prior consent of the Ministry of Tourism and Sports, the local tourist boards of the City of Poreč, the Municipality of Tar – Vabriga, the Municipality of Funtana, the Municipality of Kaštelir – Labinci, and the Municipality of Vižinada concluded an Association Agreement in December 2020 of the local tourist boards of the Poreština area. The goal of the association is the joint implementation of activities aimed at developing the tourist product and promoting the destination. The basic idea is that - with a clear product distinction - each stakeholder takes his position, while not jeopardizing the position of other stakeholders. With this, the foundation for the synergy of forces and resources was created, and the platform for further activities at the cluster level was set. The purpose is to position the cluster with its specificities and commercialize it on the market as such. 
The Poreštine cluster is a leading Croatian destination for family vacations, active lifestyles and exciting moments where every guest can experience a mosaic of unforgettable experiences through a combination of nature, culture, history, delicacies, hospitality and events.

From this level, the project The best of Poreč riviera was recently launched - how is the project progressing, and what are the Cluster's further ambitions and plans?
The Poreč Riviera cluster is active again, and will realize several important projects this year: Free mountain bike tours Poreč Riviera - free bike tours in the cluster, Best of Poreč Riviera - a brochure of the cluster's most important wine and gastronomy points, for which the cluster received HRK 100.000 in support from HTZ, snorkeling mapping of the seabed with the creation of visual materials, a promotional campaign to sensitize the public towards bicycle drivers on the road "I will go to metro 2", respectively "Don't risk it - leave a space", To conceptual study of the development of bike paths from Mirna to the Lim channel, which includes the preparation of tender documentation for the application to the MINT and sports tender for state aid in the tourism sector within the framework of NPOO - development of sustainable, innovative and resilient tourism.

Morning 20 1

You work intensively on the offer of Poreč, which extends the pre- and post-season, which includes sports and cultural events, health tourism and more. Which segment of the off-season offer has proven to be the most successful, and can you tell us in which direction that offer will go next?

The positioning of quality facilities that can be the reason for the arrival of a large number of guests, especially in the pre- and post-season, is outlined in the Poreč destination development strategy. In this regard, Poreč achieved a great pre-season this year and established itself as a leader in the preparation and holding of tournaments in various sports.

We do not hide our ambition to become the leading destination in the region in the preparation of athletes of various profiles - from recreational to professional athletes. For this, we have an excellent infrastructure that, together with the proximity of the hotel, makes a unique offer and a difference compared to other destinations in the area.

Furthermore, Poreč is increasingly present on the MAIS market, but what it lacks is a more serious congress hall with approximately 1 seats. In this regard, we hope to continue the investment started in the Pinea Valamar Collection Resort hotel, which would certainly raise Poreč on the demand scale of this segment of guests.

You did a great job presenting Poreč on broadcast markets - as this season's results show. In this sense, what do you have planned for the next season, which markets will you focus on and in what way?

This year, we successfully implemented promotional activities in cooperation with the regional tourist association (TZIŽ) through a strategic marketing plan. We concentrated the promotional campaign on the markets of Germany and Austria, which realized approx. 50% of the total traffic in the destination Poreč.

Through the marketing plan, the PR campaign of Istria is realized on broadcast markets, visits by specialized journalists and opinion makers, co-financing of airlines and the like. We consider it a key segment of successful regional management, and we will support this model in the future as well. 

What are the other activities and plans of TZ Poreč for the next season?

Our next activities for 2023 are stronger support for cluster projects: branding, new website portal and management of social networks, event management and development outdoor products.

Furthermore, we continue to actively invest in improving the conditions of guests' stay in the destination, as well as active planning of events for 2023. The slogan of our visual identity You complete us speaks in favor of the great enthusiasm of all involved in the tourist process to provide our guests with unforgettable moments in Poreč. 

Photo: Tourist Board of the City of Poreč

27. September 2022.