What to say about Brela that hasn't already been said? This beautiful little town at the western edge of the Makarska Riviera is well known to everybody who wants to enjoy a relaxing vacation. About the last "corona summer" season and how she sees the success of the destination, we spoke with the director of the Brela Tourist Board, Valentina Medic Vitkovic.
"The shortest but most demanding tourist season is behind us."
The tourist season is behind us, how did you and your office deal with the new situation? Do you think that Makarska Riviera has responded well to new challenges and problems?
At the beginning of the coronavirus pandemic, this year's tourist season expectations were minimal, almost non-existent. However, at the beginning of July, when the Croatian borders opened for tourists, the situation changed significantly and fast. In the end, we can be satisfied. A total of 54% of tourists were registered in Brela compared to last year, hotel accommodation reached about 30% of overnight stays, while household facilities were 70% full compared to last year.
"Investing in the quality of accommodation and the overall offer and its diversity is the key to success."
We believe that the coronavirus is the only reason for the drastic drop in overnight stays and visits to all destinations. Do you think that, under normal circumstances, this would be a record season for Brela as well?
I'm not inclined to the term "record season." The season would certainly be as successful as any other in normal conditions. It's not just the numbers that measure the success of a season unless you want to go for a steady and continuous increase in accommodation capacity. And an uncontrolled increase in capacity "destroys" the price and quality of living. What should be important to every destination is that the guest feels satisfied and feels that he has received the expected value for his money. Investing in the quality of accommodation and the overall offer and its diversity is the key to success.
"Communication with guests is more frequent via social media than via e-mail."
How important is online promotion? Brela seems to be, along with Makarska, the most active on social media. Does activity on digital media contribute to the popularization of the destination?