Croatian Tourism: The World's Biggest Welcome Arrives on Hvar
An innovative project to highlight the diverse nature of Croatian tourism while creating a Welcome sign visible on Google Earth reaches Hvar on Day 50.
The innovative Croatian tourism project Welcome reached the island of Hvar on May 24 2011, after a 25km kayak ride from Makarska to the pretty resort of Jelsa on the island's northern coast.
The arrival on Croatia's premier island marked the 50th day of the project, a 2,500km journey through seven counties of Croatia from Istria in the north to Dubrovnik in the south, using all means of adventure sports to accomplish the trip.
Creating the World's Biggest Welcome for Google Earth
The route, carefully planned to take in the many diverse highlights of Croatian tourism, has been designed in such a way that the GPS tracking of the 62-day journey spells out the word 'Welcome', which will be visible from Google Earth, thereby promoting Croatia as the country with "the biggest welcome in the world," in the words of the project's informative website.
The project is led by Daniel Lacko, President of Adventure Tourism in the Croatian Chamber of Commerce, and ably assisted by Luka Tumbaca, Marko Rukavina and Cedo Josipovic. A carefully planned route taking in the highlights of Croatian tourism, which include 7 UNESCO world heritage sites and 8 national parks, has been winding its way down the coast using a variety of transport – kayak, bicycle, hiking, wind-surfing and many others – since it began the first leg from Savudrija to Porec by kayak on April 5 down the Istrian coast.
Promoting Croatian Tourism
While one of the aims of the project is to have fun, there are more serious aims for the Welcome project with regard to Croatian tourism. These include promoting Croatia's stunning natural beauty and heritage, discovering, learning about and promoting some of the country's lesser-known regions along the winding "Welcome" route, and introducing Croatia to a wider audience as an ideal activity and adventure tourism destination.
Adventure Sports on Hvar
"It is a fantastic project to promote all aspects of Croatian tourism," said Vese Huljic, of local activity specialists, Hvar Adventure, "a really innovative approach that shows people that Croatia has so much more to offer than just our beautiful coastline and islands."
Huljic herself has never been busier, working hard to satisfy the increasing demand from tourists looking for adventure sports on Croatia's premier island. Away from the party atmosphere of Hvar Town, Huljic and her local partners offer an impressive range of options all over the island, including sailing, sea kayaking, hiking, rock climbing and scuba diving.
From Hvar to Dubrovnik
The Welcome project, currently touring southern Dalmatia while forming the letter "M" for Google Earth, moves from Jelsa to Hvar Town courtesy of a hilly 25km bike ride, before continuing south and concluding with 35km by kayak from Saplunara on the island of Mljet to Dubrovnik on June 3.