Study visit 1: Authentic experiences v. tourist expectations – Rural Dalmatia

Tourists want authentic, 'real' experiences. But the idea of 'real' can be very diverse at different places.

One half of our group will visit a 'typical' Dalmatian village that has been constructed in the mass-tourism context of Solaris beach resort. Its builders used traditional materials and styles and in the eyes of tourists their buildings might look even more authentic than original ones.

The other half of the group will visit Primošten's unspoilt countryside. There are still many structures visible that bear witness to agriculture in the past. Among them are the Babić vineyards which are rarely visited by heritage tourists despite their nomination as a World Heritage Site. There is a photo of it in the UN centre in New York.

Both groups will then meet at the Jurlinovi Dvori ethno-museum farmstead in the hills above Primošten. It is run by a priest who invites guests to the house where he was born and we will enjoy his interpretation of the original site which has been altered over many generations. This will be an ideal place to discuss how professional interpretation might help to develop sustainable tourism, based on heritage, but away from the crowds, and how to develop interpretation for mass tourism without compromising authentic heritage.

 

14:30 – 21:30 including coffee break and dinner


Study visit 2: Birds of Prey as a medium for strong modern conservation messages – Sokolarski Centre

Visitors of all ages are fascinated by birds of prey. Here is a remarkable attraction where the birds are the medium through which visitors are helped to understand present day conservation issues. Starting out as a hospital for injured birds the centre now focusses on environmental education. Not dressing itself as a medieval falconry Centre the emphasis is very much 21st century, with the staff delivering first person interpretation of a high standard. Actively involving all visitors has been an important part of the Centre’s success and the revenue generated helps to fund their research and protection work. The staff at the Centre is committed to raising awareness about these magnificent hunters of the skies.

 

We will end the day with delicious Croatian food in a typical 'Dvor', an authentic restaurant in the rural countryside. Past is still alive in these well preserved stone buildings from the 16 century and you can discover already forgotten tastes of food - simple but extremely interesting ethno gastronomic secrets!

 

14:30 – 21:30 including coffee break and dinner

 

Study visit 3: Trogir - about the challenges of being a successful World Heritage Site

The old city of Trogir is one of the most-visited historic places in Croatia. The whole town centre is listed as a World Heritage Site and it attracts millions of visitors every year. Its marvellous cathedral, old palaces and narrow streets create a strong atmosphere. But the aesthetic experience is only a part of this place.

Trogir faces the challenge of how to interpret the stories of the centuries in its city centre, often crowded with tourists. What does it mean to be such a ‘hot spot’ and how is it possible to retain its authentic character?

 

14:30 – 21:30 including coffee break and dinner

With the support of the Culture programme of the European Union