Split is not a party destination. If we look at the list of events, Split is certainly a cultural destination

4. August 2023.

When we mention Split, one of the first associations is the Ultra festival. But Split is not just Ultra nor is it Split beforehand "party destination". 

Ultra is a global phenomenon and wherever it is organized it has a global reach and attracts a special target group of tourists. If we exclude the mentioned Ultra, we can hardly talk about Split as a party destination. 

Split was a transitional city for a long time, but over the past several years, things have changed significantly. Split has become a destination. 

Of course, the mega-popular Ultra has made great strides in its positioning on the global map, both positive and negative, which is followed not only by the Ultra festival, but by any similar global event that hosts hundreds of thousands of tourists (this year's Ultra was visited by about 150.000 fans from 143 countries).

Ultra is Ultra, wherever you are, and especially on our beautiful coast. After all, it is no coincidence that the organizers chose Croatia and Split. But let's turn away from Ultra itself.

If we look at the calendar of events on the TZG Split website, as well as the announcements on the Facebook page, it is clear that the city of Split actually offers a large number of cultural events.

During the summer, a large number of outdoor festivals and concert programs are held, such as Split Summer, Split Summer Nights, San Sustipanska Noći, Croatia Handpan Festival, Split Summer Nights, Festival "With the taste of salt...", Imaginarium Summer Nights, Šotobraco Split, etc...

So, Split is not only Ultra, in fact it is difficult to find events with a similar theme. 

For a comment on this topic, I spoke with the director of the Tourist Board of the city of Split, Alijan Vukšić which points out that a considerable number of events are organized in Split during the year, and their number varies depending on the month and season.

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"The tourist board of the city of Split cooperates with various organizers in the development of events and manifestations and participates in the promotion of all events in the area of ​​the city of Split. Based on the calendar of events on the website of the TZG Split, during the summer, in particular, a large number of outdoor festivals and concert programs are organized These include the Split summer, Theater by the sea, Spli's litnje kolure, Summer charms of classical music, Dream of Sustipanska Noći, Croatia Handpan festival, Theater under the stars, Festival "With the taste of salt...", Imaginarium Summer Nights, Šotobraco Split, Piano Loop Festival, Split Park Festival, Kolur Zvončac, Split at Night Jazz Festival, Fibra Festival and many other smaller and larger events. KUD songs (eg "Šotobraco gradom"), klapa songs (eg "Piva klapa spodo volta"), etc., points out Vukšić. 

It is quite clear that Split is not only Ultra. If we look outside the context of Ultra, in terms of the content organized in Split, the conclusion is totally different?

"That's right, Split is not just the Ultra Festival. Although the Ultra Music Festival also attracts tourists from all over the world, the city of Split has a rich cultural scene with a diverse range of events. Many cultural manifestations and events are held throughout the year, from small to large, on various locations, including city squares, markets, fish markets and parks. This rich cultural program makes Split an attractive destination for culture-motivated tourists, i.e. tourists who want to experience the authentic local culture and art of our city." pointed out Vukšić.

Of course, when we talk about Ultra, which is a global phenomenon and the top world festival, it is difficult to "break away" from the positioning it brings to the destination because it simply positions the destination globally with its enormous media influence. The influence of Ultra, or we can call it the "Ultra effect", in any destination where it takes place, is unquestionably huge, which is clearly seen by the number of visitors, top performers, media positioning, tourist spending... but as always, everything has its positives and negatives. cons. That is why it is extremely important that the destination has a development strategy that defines the direction of development. But the impact of Ultra on the destination is another broader discussion and topic. 

In relation to Split, cultural events are highly represented, which is clearly visible from the announcements of all events. And this is one of the directions that is communicated the most and in which Split as a destination wants and needs to be positioned. Like Hvar, so is Split - these are destinations for which cultural tourism should be the first association. 

"Cultural events are highly represented in Split and form an important, if not the most important, part of our tourist offer", emphasizes Vukšić and adds that precisely because of the diverse cultural events, the destination Split attracts travelers who are interested in art, tradition and local culture. 

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"The tourist board of the city of Split strongly communicates cultural content in its campaigns and promotional activities in order to highlight Split as a city of culture, i.e. a destination with a rich cultural heritage and offer. By promoting cultural events and cultural heritage, we have attracted tourists who are looking for an authentic experience and want to explore cultural contents that Split offers", points out Vukšić.

It is a big challenge in the forest of information, communication and a large mass of tourists, to communicate what and when is happening in the destination. After all, it is through the content that we brand and position ourselves, and with the same we target certain profiles of tourists. 

When asked how TZG Split communicates all events, Vukšić states that marketing all events and other tourist content in Split is a challenge, if you take into account that Split abounds in a large number of cultural and traditional events throughout the year and the fact that it attracts a significant number of broadcasting markets . 

"In order to effectively communicate our attributes and contents, we use different channels and platforms. This includes the website of the Tourist Board of the City of Split, social networks, campaigns and fairs on broadcasting markets, the organization of study stays by foreign journalists and travel organizers, tourist guides and printed materials, local media, as well as cooperation with tourism partners, domestic and foreign, and event organizers. Along with regularly updating information on our channels, we strive to use visually attractive content in order to convey to tourists the richness of the cultural program in Split.", added Vukšić.

"In accordance with our vision of the further development of Split's tourist offer, we are exploring opportunities for the improvement of cultural and other events in our city. Our goal is the touristic valorization and presentation of cultural and natural heritage, as well as the development of sports, recreation and gastronomic offer", stresses Vukšić and points out that they plan to launch, in addition to the already existing general Public Call, a special Public Call for applying for manifestations with the aim of awarding grants from the program "Subsidies for tourist events". 

Precisely targeted support, i.e. co-financing of events, is one of the tools that destinations have to define development and positioning through the thematization of events in which direction the destination will develop.

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"This program will be specifically aimed at supporting cultural, sports and gastronomic events and programs as well as business events, such as congresses and conferences. We will carefully develop detailed criteria for each type of event in order to ensure a transparent, efficient and fair selection process and encourage organizers to develop and present high-quality and innovative manifestations and events that will enrich the tourist offer of our city and attract targeted guests. In addition, we will continuously strengthen cooperation with local organizers to ensure the diversity and quality of events throughout the year. We will also focus on digital promotion in order to better reach the target groups of tourists and attract them to visit Split and experience everything that our destination offers in a cultural, sports and gastronomic context. experiences. Interpretation of cultural contents and resources through tourism is an additional challenge, therefore we want to present our heritage through augmented and virtual reality (Self-guided walking tour, audio guides, Dalmatia AI application, etc.)". added Vukušić.

Study of tourist carrying capacity of Split

Recently, the Tourist Board of the city of Split presented the results of the Study of the tourist carrying capacity of the city of Split, which they conducted in cooperation with the Institute for Tourism. 

The study brought important guidelines that will help the City of Split and other important institutions in making decisions, which are in line with the concept of sustainable development. 

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The study of the tourist carrying capacities of Split showed that Split has quality guests, mostly young people under 35 years old, who want to explore the cultural contents and hospitality offer, highly educated with good paying power. Therefore, culture is precisely one of the directions in which Split should continue to develop?

"On the basis of the Study of tourist carrying capacities of Split, but also of earlier market research, especially those during and after the creation of the Strategic Marketing Plan of the destination Split, we recognized the importance of the cultural segment (offer and demand) in our tourism marketing strategy. Given the profile of tourists who visit Split, who are interested in cultural content and high standards of service, we focus on the further development and improvement of cultural events and offers. We plan to cooperate with cultural institutions, artists and the local community to ensure quality and diverse cultural programs that will satisfy the interests of our guests ", adds Vukšić and concludes that this approach will make it possible further development of Split as an attractive cultural destination and encourage sustainable tourism growth.

Photo: TZG Split

The content was created in cooperation with the TZ of the City of Split in accordance with the highest professional standards

4. August 2023.