They could have made a classic children’s playground, with no story and no added value, but they didn’t. On the contrary, they told a great new tourist story and showed how to match the story in tourist destinations.
Namely, Valamar Riviera has arranged four new entertainment and art attractions, which has further enriched the offer of entertainment content in Poreč and Rabac. But the real story is that artistic attractions are associated with the interpretation of Istrian legends.
New attractions of ideas are the work of designer and professor of fine arts Nedjeljko Mikc Cak, all inspired by elements from the rich Istrian history and interesting legends from the peninsula, while the contents were realized with the help of expert advisers of the Archaeological Museum of Istria and harmonized with the expert opinion .
Thus, as part of the newly opened Istra Premium Camping Resort 5 * in Funtana, the islet of Školjić was arranged, aptly named “Histri Island”. It is an archeological site from the Bronze Age that was neglected until recently, and as of this year it offers various entertainment programs. A themed playground for children has been built in the center of the island, where numerous animation programs are held every day from Monday to Saturday from 10 am to 15 pm. Toddlers, as well as all other visitors to the camp can participate in various activities and workshops, including making a birdhouse, hunting equipment and time capsules, quizzes, water games and other thematic activities. When arranging the islets, the specificity of the location was taken into account, and the materials, construction technique, layout and other elements of the arrangement are in accordance with the time period of the site.
On the island of Sveti Nikola, where the Valamar Collection Isabella Island Resort 4/5 * is located, a fairytale village for elves was built, called “Istrian Fantasy Forest". The magical installation consists of tree houses and those buried in the ground, reminiscent of houses inhabited by popular hobbits, and has become a favorite place for children on the island.
Cottages in the ground they are also located in Lanterna Premium Camping Resort 4 * where, in addition to entertainment for the youngest, families can rent the Kontići Dwarf Plots, which also have houses in the ground for a complete fairytale experience.
In Rabac, as part of the Valamar Collection Girandella Resort 4/5 *, a creative space has been designed for animation programs in the form of a stranded pirate ship. Pirate House located on the beach in Rabac, with its appearance and content it attracts not only the youngest but also the slightly older ones. Inside the boat there is a children's corner with animators from Valamar, so parents can leave their children to play and look after and carefree time for themselves.
Well done to Valamar, who understands that the motive for coming is not a hotel but a destination, and that it is necessary to offer more than just the sun and the sea. And this is where quality, authentic and diverse content in a tourist destination comes into force. Most people look at things like this as a cost, but they are very wrong. No, it is an investment that will pay off for Valamar and returns from year to year.
Who develops tourist destinations?
Also, this is a great example of how the tourist infrastructure can and must be different, to have some added value and story, and there is no better combination if the whole story is tied to an authentic location, as this one is tied through telling Istrian legends.
Valamar Riviera invests large funds in the promotion and development of tourist destinations, both through various entertainment content and organization of events, and through infrastructure. But the problem is that big travel companies are practically hauling the whole destination on their own, and it should be the other way around.
So the question arises: Who develops tourist destinations?
Our biggest problem in tourism is that our destinations are not developing strategically and sustainably, and it is with the primary infrastructure such as water, sewage, electricity, parking, garbage, beaches, etc.… we have the most problems. Which is insane, because we have to ask ourselves where the earnings from tourism have been invested all these decades, if not in infrastructure and development, so that cities can receive all these great guests and follow the growth we have been bragging about for years.
Ultimately, tourist destinations, ie the cities themselves, and not the Ministry of Tourism and the CNTB, develop tourism at the local level. The system or the State is certainly important, because they create certain frameworks for business and development, but the local self-government decides in which direction it will develop. So does tourism. You know those two "foreign" words in our dictionary - strategy and vision. Well, we need that, of course not on paper to collect dust somewhere in the drawer, but for everyone to know in which direction the city / destination is developing and where it wants to be in x years.
Then the development strategy of the city is followed by all other economic entities, including hotel companies, which follow this vision of the development of the city and through synergy together develop the destination. Also, if the city knows where and in which direction it is going, so it attracts future investments, and the whole story just builds on and grows. Unfortunately, Valamar is leading the development story, instead of continuing, which of course is not a problem at Valamar, in fact, every destination can be grateful to have such partners and investors. The problem is in the destinations. Also, no matter how big and strong a tourist company is with resources, it still cannot develop a destination on its own.
Valamar, like other hotel companies, does this because they have to, in order to deliver quality and added value, and in order to have that value for money. However, it would be natural and logical for the development to be led by the city / destination, and for everyone else to follow the development policy of the city. And having an investor like this is just a huge plus.
Well done to Valamar, but it would be much more efficient to have the right support in the development of tourist destinations. Synergy and win-win for everyone. Ultimately, the destination is not the hotel, but everyone in the destination.
Photo: Valamar Riviera