Tajana Rogulja, TZG Osijek: The inclusion of the local community in all spheres of tourism is sustainable tourism

We continue to record various loud thoughts about sustainable tourism throughout Croatia - hrtourism espresso. The first goal is to reach 100 HR tourism express...

Author  Goran Rihelj

11. June 2024.

We continue to record various thinking aloud about sustainable tourism all over Croatia - hrturism espresso.

The first goal is to reach 100 hr tourism express and thus focus on the broader concept of sustainable tourism, from different perspectives and stakeholders of the tourism sector. Because live tourism is much more than one definition.

This time we bring the story and narrative about sustainable tourism from Osijek.

HR tourism espresso: Tajana Rogulja, TZG Osijek

For us, sustainable tourism means the inclusion of the local community in all spheres of tourism, and this event - Urban Walk&Wine is a true example of that, he says. Tajana Rogulja, director of the Tourist Board of the city of Osijek.

Imagine a walk through the historic parts of the city, with a wine tasting from local winemakers and snacks from local producers of cheese, cured meats and a complex prepared from the slow-roasted shoulder of a black Slavonian pig. All this with a dose of historical and cultural heritage that comes to life at every step and the interpretation of the local tourist guide and local actors. Five points, 10 different wines, three stops with food and music and at the end of the walk the Urban Wine Party on Trg sv. Trinity with the band Urban&4 and local winemakers. This is exactly the best description of the Urban Wine&Walk, which gathered over 150 participants in its 2nd edition.

"The inclusion of the local population, local winemakers, local restaurateurs, cheese producers, producers of dried meat products and the revival of the historical and cultural heritage of the City of Osijek, all in one through a city break tourism product such as the Urban Wine&Walk in Osijek is a truly good example of sustainable tourism." emphasizes Rogulja. 

Sustainable tourism is becoming increasingly important in the development of the tourism industry, and Osijek has established itself as an example of how the local community can be successfully integrated into tourism activities. Urban Wine & Walk and Urban Wine Party, events that bring together local winemakers, restaurateurs and producers, represent a unique combination of historical and cultural heritage with modern tourist trends. These manifestations not only contribute to the preservation of local culture and tradition, but also encourage economic development and create authentic experiences for visitors.

The involvement of the local population is crucial for the sustainability of such projects. Local winemakers, cheese and cured meat producers get the opportunity to present their products to a wider audience, which increases their visibility and sales. In addition, local restaurateurs have the opportunity to demonstrate their culinary skills, which further enriches the offer of the event. In this way, the benefits of tourism remain within the community, thereby strengthening the local economy and raising the quality of life of the residents.

Through events like Urban Wine & Walk, Osijek revives its historical and cultural heritage in an innovative way. Walks through the historical parts of the city offer visitors a unique experience that connects the past and the present. This approach not only educates tourists about the city's rich history, but also encourages the preservation of cultural heritage through increasing interest and investment in the restoration of historical buildings.

The city break concept, which is offered through these events, represents a new and attractive way of promoting lesser-known cities. Visitors are increasingly turning to shorter, more intensive trips that offer authentic experiences or City break trips.

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Urban Wine & Walk, as an urban variant of the well-known Wine & Walk concept, perfectly responds to this trend, offering visitors a unique combination of culture, gastronomy and oenology. By the way, this is the first urban Wine&Walk in Croatia, which turned out to be a complete hit.

The combination of all these elements makes Urban Wine & Walk an excellent example of sustainable tourism because this event shows how with the creativity and cooperation of the local community, an attractive tourist product can be created that respects and promotes local values.

This year, the event attracted participants from Zagreb, Virovitica, Slavonski Brod, Požega, Koprivnica, Županja, Vukovar, Novska, Đakovo, Belgrade, Novi Sad, Vinkovci, Petrinja, and some of the participants were from Osijek itself, which is a great added value. the whole story. 

Such projects not only contribute to economic development, but also strengthen the community's identity, making it proud of its wealth and diversity. Urban Wine & Walk therefore represents a roadmap for the future development of sustainable tourism, not only in Osijek, but also throughout Croatia. Osijek has found its niche in the Wine&Walk concept, find yours too. 

See how it was at the 2nd Urban Osijek Wine and Walk in the video.

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Author  Goran Rihelj

11. June 2024.