Tourism in Croatia: Hotel Amfora in Hvar as Full as a Pomegranate
Suncani Hvar's Amfora Hotel has an excellent season of high-spending guests, some of whom were prepared to pay 1000 euro a night for a luxury suite.
Further evidence of Hvar Town's successful tourist season appeared in Croatian national daily Vecernji List on September 19 2011, as Ivan Safundzic, General Manager of the Amfora, Hvar Grand Beach Resort, reported excellent occupancy rates for the season, claiming the hotel was 'as full as a pomegranate.'
Impressive Hotel Occupancy Rates
The resort hotel, one of several which has been stylishly renovated by owners Suncani Hvar, following significant investment from ORCO Group who bought a majority share in 2005, boasted an impressive 98% occupancy for its 325 rooms over the summer season, according to Safundzic.
"Hvar has been a hit destination for years," said Safundzic, "and the hotels of Suncani Hvar have made a major contribution to that fact, especially the four-star Amfora Hotel, which offers high-quality accommodation with special amenities."
High-Spending Domestic and International Guests
Tourism numbers are one indicator, but more important is the net spend, and the general manager was pleased to report that many guests were from high-spending countries, such as America, Britain, Italy, Brazil and Scandinavia, while there was also strong domestic demand, with Croatian guests among the top five in 2011. Such was the demand and popularity that some guests arriving without a reservation were prepared to pay a thousand euros for a suite.
The hotel, impressively renovated from its tired Communist-era shell four years ago, boasts a cascading pool, as well as the upmarket Bonj les Bains beach resort, which was named as one of Europe's top twenty beaches by The Times in 2010.
Extending the Season Through Congress Tourism
While the hotel has enjoyed a successful season, Safundzic is not restless on his laurels, but is keen to work to extend the season both ends, principally through congress tourism. Amfora boasts the only meaningful conference facilities on Hvar, and the town already hosts several team-building programmes, something he is keen to build on.
One of the main constraints, however, is the lack of airport on the island, thereby making transport heavily dependent on the state ferry company, Jadrolinija. Rumours of an airport for Hvar have been surfacing for years and would certainly be a boost for to tourism. A recent report in Slobodna Dalmacija indicated that Hvar Mayor, Pjerino Bebic, thought an airport could be built on the island within five years, while German company, European Coastal Airlines continue to press with their plans for an island hopping service.
Even without an airport, however, Hvar continues to attract substantial tourists, and its celebrity image was boosted this year by the sight of Prince Harry partying at top nightclub Veneranda, as well as Beyonce choosing the Hula Hula Beach Club to show off her emerging baby bump.