Tourist Boards in Zagreb County are uniting to develop Gourmet and Cultural Tourism

20. 01. 2021.

The new Law on Tourist Boards and the Promotion of Croatian Tourism encourages the association of tourist boards, both project-wise and formally. Local and regional tourist boards, as well as tourist boards and local self-government units that do not have an established tourist board for their area, may join a project (agreement) association. This opportunity was used by many tourist boards, as well as tourist boards in Zagreb County, which unite for the development of  cultural  and  gourmet  tourism.

– It is of great importance for us to project the Zagreb County Tourist Board for networking, intensive cooperation and joint action of Zagreb County Tourist Board and relevant stakeholders with the aim of intensive promotion of the Zagreb Green Ring region and existing tourism products and programs, which we planned in the Action Plan for quality management in tourism of Zagreb County for the first three years (2020 – 2022), points out Ivana Alilović, director of the Zagreb County Tourist Board and added that the goal is integrated quality management of the Zagreb County tourist destination product, which will reduce the gap between the level of quality that tourists expect and the level of quality that the destination is able to provide and deliver. satisfaction of tourists and tourist consumption in Zagreb County and benefits for entrepreneurship in catering and tourism.

Development of gourmet tourism in Zagreb County

The local tourist boards of the cities of Jastrebarsko, Samobor and Sveti Ivan Zelina have concluded an agreement on the association of local tourist boards in the Zagreb County The activities concluded by this agreement refer to the intensive promotion and advancement of the tourist product in order to jointly implement one or more activities aimed at developing the tourist product and promoting the destination, and determined by the gourmet tourism development program.

The subject of financing and investment of the said project is the development of a joint marketing plan and promotion with the aim of quality management in tourism and the digitalization of the project with the aim of developing quality promotional marketing materials. The project will establish the basis for integrated management of gourmet tourism with the aim of creating a recognizable tourist destination product that will be the main instrument for encouraging the competitiveness of tourism in Zagreb County.

Wine roads and cheese roads are one of the many tourist attractions of rural and eno and gastro tourism of Zagreb County

Namely, Zagreb County has vineyards and wine cellars on three wine roads –  Plešivica, Zelina and Samobor wine road , where you can find wines Purtugizec Plešivica and Kraljevina Zelina brand of Zagreb County and bermet, traditionally and widely recognized Samobor aromatized wine, as well as wines produced from indigenous varieties Plavec yellow, sweet zelenac and Šipelj, but also many other wines such as Chardonnay, Sauvignon, black, gray and white Pinot, Rhine Riesling, Traminer, Frankovka, Škrlet, yellow Muscat, Šipon. 

The main  goals of the association through the gourmet tourism project  are the smart specialization of Zagreb County and the development of a tourist destination for gourmet tourism, improving the value chain of gourmet tourism, digitalization and application of new technologies, multi-sector connectivity and development of local production systems (Agri-food) and positioning and promotion Zagreb County.

Development of cultural tourism in Zagreb County

Cultural tourism in Zagreb County is based on protected natural heritage and cultural and historical heritage. Namely, Zagreb County has a rich treasury of natural heritage and beauty, which is supported by, among other things, a large number of protected natural areas, which contribute to the development and success of cultural, hiking, picnic and sustainable tourism in Zagreb County, and other closely related forms of tourism.

The association project aims to establish a basis for integrated management of cultural tourism with the aim of creating a recognizable tourist destination product that will be the main instrument for encouraging the competitiveness of Zagreb County tourism, said Ivana Alilović,  what makes it different from the others is its intangible cultural heritage. 

– Heritage is the basic element by which the management of a tourist destination attracts tourists to the destination and also serves as an attractive basis for branding. Creativity based on traditional intangible heritage thus pushes the boundaries of the mere functionality of a product. Through the example of a cultural thematic route, the paper seeks to show how myth can become a potential attractive basis for the development of mythological tourism in Zagreb County. It is important to emphasize that the stories and locations from the thematic route offer a choice according to criteria of collective and personal importance. Therefore, the thematic route is an open system that can be toured individually or organized with expert tourist guidance. The motives that are treated in this route were chosen in a way that special attention was paid to the local identity, and the customs of St. George and St. John were highlighted, said Ivana Alilović.

The tourist offer of Zagreb County is rich in cultural and historical heritage, such as stories and legends, wooden architecture, sacral construction, indigenous architecture, archeological finds and monuments of its rich past, and boasts more than 200 sites of cultural and historical heritage. Only some of the examples of rich cultural and historical heritage are castles such as Novi dvori Jelačićevi which are a unique example of the preserved to this day complete manorial-
economic complex, then forts, mansions, rich wooden sacral heritage, of which the chapel of St. Barbara in Velika Mlaka, a beautiful example of the autochthonous secular architecture of the Modić-Bedeković manor in Donja Lomnica and a special landmark of the memorial room of Blessed Alojzije Stepinac in Krašić. Valuable are the archeological finds in Ščitarjevo, not far from Velika Gorica, where Andautonia, the seat of the Illyrian Andautonian tribe and the Roman municipality of Upper Pannonia, and the prehistoric site in Budinjak (10th – 6th century BC) have been located since the 1st century. , one of the most important archeological sites in Croatia, according to the Zagreb County Tourist Board.

The project area includes the areas of tourist boards of cities: Zaprešić, Velika Gorica, Vrbovec, and Dugo Selo, the tourist boards of the municipalities of Pisarovina and Krašić, and the tourist board of area of the Sava-Sutla valley and hills.

– Agreements of project association in the Zagreb County Tourist Board are an example of planned activities where it is evident that the destination, which through joint action has the opportunity to better position itself on the market and develop projects that will stimulate overall economic development, emphasizes Ivana Alilović . Zagreb Green Ring and existing tourist products and programs.

Finally, Alilović concludes that as a result of the merger, numerous synergy effects should result not only in the quality of market performance in this entire area, but also in the much-needed cost efficiency in the field of project promotion and implementation.


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