Croatia Tourist Board Releases New Promotional Video for 2012
Croatian cellist Ana Rucner plays Beethoven's Ode to Joy, as Croatia promotes inland tourism and brands itself 'the new star of the European Union'.
Preparations for the 2012 tourist season in Croatia continued on November 22, 2011, with the release of a new promotional video by the Croatian National Tourist Board on its Facebook page, in what appears to be a major departure from the traditional marketing of the country's Adriatic coastline and 1185 islands.
Promoting Inland Tourism in Croatia
The video, a stunning four and a half minute film centred on famous Croatian cellist Ana Rucner playing Beethoven's Ode to Joy in various locations all over the country, is superbly produced and captures the essence of the country, but it is clear that there has been a shift in tourism marketing emphasis by the tourism ministry, which has stated its intentions to work to improve inland tourism.
Croatia's traditional tourism offer has focused on its long and picturesque coastline, crystal clear water and magnificent walled towns, of which Dubrovnik is the jewel, and islands such as Hvar, which has been named as Lonely Planet's number five destination for 2012.
Croatia: The Mediterranean as it Once Was
After the devastation of Croatia's tourist industry due to the war in former Yugoslavia, an extremely effective marketing campaign - under the slogan The Mediterranean as it Once Was - highlighted the delights of an unspoilt Adriatic coastline, which has avoided the overbuilding in holiday spots such as Spain.
The slick advertising worked, and tourists - both new and old - arrived in their droves, and tourism in Croatia is now one of the biggest contributors to the national economy.
Croatia: The New Tourism Star of the EU?
The slogan for the 2012 campaign has a new slogan - Croatia, The New Tourism Star of the European Union - which reflects perhaps the priorities and direction of the country, even though it is not yet a member (entry has been set for 2013).
Far from focusing on the coastline, apart form a few early shots, it is a full two minutes before the viewer sees the Adriatic, and islands such as Hvar do not feature at all. Instead, Rucner plays her way through the fields of northern Croatia and the trams of Zagreb, as a more continental Croatia is portrayed.
The focus appears to be on the traditional way of life in various parts of Croatia and for the interested party familiar only with the coast, it is an effective portrayal of the castles, nature and heritage which exists away from the sea.
Initial reaction has been mixed, with many positive comments on the tourist board's Facebook page contrasting with less enthusiastic reactions on the comments page of national daily Dnevnik, with initial complaints that the video is not targeting younger tourists, who arrive en masse, encouraged by Croatia's hip reputation.