Event Competitivness in Heritage Tourism in Rural Croatia

Danijel Drpić, Elena Rudan


In recent few years, Croatia’s rural areas have been developing various forms of tourism, primarily focused on heritage. Sustainable management of the rich cultural and historical heritage of Croatian rural areas can stimulate the creation of market recognition and competitiveness. Among the critical elements of heritage tourism are the events stemming from the community and its traditions, andwhich represent that community on the tourism market. Heritage-based events enable the creation of a unique tourism product that, through heritage elements, enables the promotion of Croatian rural destinations, respecting their characteristics and uniqueness. Tourism events and programs provide a successful interpretation of heritage elements, strengthening local identity and creating positive interrelationships between visitors and hosts. This paper aims to explore and propose possibilities for innovation of heritage-based events in rural areas of Croatia, with analysis of an event held in Ðakovo: the Ðakovo Embroidery Festival. In order to facilitate the competitiveness of Croatian heritage- based cultural events, the paper proposes an event certification model: the Cro Ruralis Heritage Awards Certification Model. The paper also provides guidelines for the creation of heritage-based tourism events as a vital element in the realisation of innovative and sustainable tourism services to achieve the competitiveness of rural Croatian tourism.

Keywords: heritage, events, sustainable development, rural tourism, Croatia, Ðakovo Embroidery

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