Fri, 14 Sep 07
Dubrovnik as a destination and cultural ‘brand’ is almost more recognisable than Croatia itself...
Over the next 10 years, Croatia plans take hold of Dubrovnik to control the pace of development and to choose what is best for the culture, economy and growth of this stunning area.
The historical city has evolved from a timid and undervalued place of interest into one of the hottest tourist destinations to date.
When the first post-war cruisers harboured in the Old Town, the local communities were screaming for the attention. Now that you can sometimes find up to 6 cruise ships there in one day, the influx of visitors is something the government and local officials are trying to manage.
Land prices within the walls have dramatically risen from 700 DEM in the late nineties to as high as 5,000 Euros per square metre for renovated properties in the heart of the Old Town, just proving how in demand Dubrovnik really is. Specialist Croatian real estate agents such as Croatiansun however, are still able to locate good value properties which allow room for capital appreciation as Dubrovnik’s popularity continues to grow.
Bespoke tourism centre
Over the next 10 years, Croatia wants to take hold of Dubrovnik to control the pace of development somewhat, and to choose what is best for the culture, economy and growth of this stunning area.
There are two main aims for the future which have been outlined by the City Major, Dubravka Suica, firstly to become the elite destination of high-quality, non-mass tourism, and secondly to become the country's university centre.
To create the bespoke tourism centre targeted at high-end clientele, plans are in place to create golf courses, new exclusive hotels, to build new roads and improve the infrastructure and there is investment for a massive 25.2 million Euro conversion of the Gruz port into a state-of-the-art Mediterranean passenger port.
In the Old Town itself officials have reinstated the Dubrovnik fish-market to its original home in Peskarija. The Old Town walls will be illuminated at night time and the tourist board will offer night visits to offer a new experience for visitors. Alongside the walls the redundant areas mainly used as car parks will be transformed into underground parking areas with beautiful public space to visually improve some of the more 'tired' areas.
Attracting the best
To cater for the visitor numbers, Dubrovnik is trying to attract the sophisticated hotel chains such as the Hyatt to follow in the Hilton's footsteps, which last year renovated the Imperial Hotel in Pile.
The hotels are not the only form of accommodation to receive a makeover, in the current climate of popular holiday villa rentals, Dubrovnik is looking to improve the offerings in this sector also to provide a diverse choice for holiday accommodation.
There has been a great deal of foreign investment in this sector already, Paul Keppler, Managing Director of Croatiansun commented, Reacting to the high demand for holiday rentals, investors and second home purchasers alike have been seeking property opportunities in the Dubrovnik area. Dubrovnik is well serviced by the nearby airport, it has a rich cultural environment and the Old Town maintains its historic charm making it an incredibly popular destination for tourists.
There are talks of a new airport being built in the vicinity which would help cater for the Dubrovnik traffic as well as make several of the nearby islands, including well-known Korcula, airport destinations. There are already a number of low cost flight airlines operating in and out of Dubrovnik Airport including German Wings and ThomsonFly as well as regular and affordable flights with BA, all running throughout the year.
Preserving its heritage
The phrase the strength of the Dubrovnik walls is in the knowledge of the people residing within them, displays the Croatian attitude to education. Developing Dubrovnik as a cultural and educational centre is certainly in line with the tourism plans. The improvements in the facilities and infrastructure will open up the opportunity for business tourism in the form of conference and business education centres as well as benefiting the Croatian communities themselves.
The university will be based in the Old Hospital close to Pile and the Old Town with student residences to be built in nearby Montovjerna.
The Island of Knowledge Institution, a not-for-profit organisation, is looking to develop an educational and business centre on Kolocep, one of the Elafiti islands closest to Dubrovnik. It will initially be aimed at southeast Europe, offering programmes such as team building, with a view to expanding to a worldwide market within 15 years.
Together by developing these two main areas, Croatia hopes to preserve its heritage as well as lead Dubrovnik towards a successful future of culture and celebration.
However, Croatiansun says the only way to experience the changes in Dubrovnik is to take a trip yourself. Come and relax and dine in the local cafés, explore inside the old walls and certainly make the most out of the glorious Adriatic coast.
They firm also offers bespoke inspection trips to Dubrovnik allowing you to find your own Croatian property as well as soaking up the culture and natural environment that Dubrovnik offers in abundance.
They can be contacted on 00 385 1 4898 010 or visit them on the web at http://www.croatiansun.com
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