Strengthening the network of local providers leads to new tourist products
The co-operative Treasures of Istria and the tourism agency IstraTerra have a new challenge: develop a tourist product which will bring together tourist products and Istria as a destination. The idea has been cooking for a long time, but participation in the Global Green Destinations Day tourist conference gave it new momentum. (We wrote about our participation at the event in the article The vivid stories of Istria strengthen the presence of IstraTerra on foreign markets)
The starting point for preparing our joint tourist product for Istria was a meeting of various local tourist service providers: accommodation providers, tourist guides, farms, producers of handicraft products and organisations that promote various physical activities such as cycling. 19 participants gathered at Rotunda in Koper to develop a fresh and different, whilst sustaining a traditional feel, tourist product that reflects the unique culinary offer of the area. During the brainstorming session, led by Andrej Šumer, UTRP, we were looking for answers to the following questions what can each of us included in the discussion contribute to the product? Who is our buyer? How to plan the financing of the product development and how to clearly define its role in Slovenian Istria tourism?
Mateja Hrvatin Kozlovič from Treasures of Istria also highlighted the role of individual actors in tourism: “To be successful, we need to follow the tourism rules of play; the role of the guide is different to that of agents, culinary providers, apartments and other service providers, who together fill the tourist offer of Istria. If we make a plan and stick to it, it will be easier; each of us involved has to comprehensively perform their task. In football each member of the team plays their role. If they play that role as they should then the team can be successful.”
“Through debate, we also found that we want to address specific audiences, who swear by active and green tourism and are looking for authentic local stories. Focussing on a smaller target group in comparison to the general and wider public does not only mean more manageable investments in marketing activities, but also less risk,” is one of the conclusions reached by director of tourism agency IstraTerra Urška Križman Vižintin.
When discussing financial resources for developing the new tourist product, the debate weighed up the positives and negatives of the various means of financing and opportunities which are currently available. We found the best option and planned our path for product development.
The development of our business model and preparation of the application for the chosen tender has only just begun, but soon we will be able to say more about our new joint tourist product.