Agro-Tourism in Croatia: Local Entrepreneur Workshop on Hvar
Hvar's celebrity attractions and stunning beaches are only part of the story. Lonely Planet's number 5 for 2012 has plenty to offer in agro-tourism.
Hvar's celebrity summer and recommendation by Lonely Planet as its top five destination for 2012 will have many tourists planning a trip to Croatia's premier island, but away from the bright lights, there is a growing movement to develop agro-tourism on the island, a fact endorsed by the announcement on the Stari Grad Tourist Board website of a free workshop on agro-tourism on November 5, 2011.
The workshop, organised by the local Faros College, is an attempt to engage interested parties in agro-tourism and local entrepreneurship, and is intended to take place on Hvar and the neighbouring islands of Brac, Korcula and Vis.
The main objective of the project is to empower the entrepreneurial sector and to promote employment on the islands in the sectors of tourism, hospitality and agricultural activities. The project is divided into four main sections:
Training for the Heads of Agro-Tourism Businesses
The training, verified by the Ministry of Education and Sports, covers the principles of tourism and marketing, fundamentals of the soil, principles of organic agriculture, the importance of herbs in tourism, viticulture, the basics of running a farm, development of indigenous souvenirs, and the characteristics of rural tourism on the Adriatic coast, in addition to more general training on computer basics and safety at work.
Project of "Croatian Island Production"
The concept of developing labelling of high quality island products was launched by the Ministry of Sea, Transport and Infrastructure in 2007, with the aim of promoting the island's original and quality products. The course will look at the research and development of such products, including innovations to determine a product's quality.
Local Business and Rural Tourism
This section of the training covers a range of practical areas, from tax, applying for and using local and government funds, and Pre-Accession issues. Legal, sanitary and veterinary regulations are explored in detail, as well as development individual strategies in line with the development plans of local and central government.
Energy Efficiency and Cooperative Production
The project offers a series of lectures on responsible and environmentally friendly energy management and resources, exploring the economic factors which can bring about sustainable development.
In addition, there will be help in preparing the advertising and presentation of products, protection of indigenous products, the role of tradition in making deals, and training on cooking and serving food and wine in the rural economy.
Although no date has been set for the course, it will be free and more information can be obtained by emailing uciliste.faros @ gmail.com
Revival of Inland Villages on Hvar
The proposed training is in line with several initiatives to expand agro-tourism on Hvar, and to revive older traditions. Some of the island's inland villages are undergoing something of a renaissance, and there are fascinating festivals to attend throughout the year, such as the annual Lavender Festival in Velo Grablje and the eclectic Dormouse Festival in Dol. Hvar also boasts the largest cultivated field in the Adriatic, the Stari Grad Plain, 80 hectares of agricultural tradition, preserved over 24 centuries from the time of the Ancient Greeks, and now open to be explored by guided tours from a new agency existing for that very purpose.
From partying with Prince Harry to learning the secrets of Dalmatia's olives, lavender and grapes, there is a very diverse tourism offer on Hvar.