25 years of success of Croatian Association for Tourism and Rural Development “The Village Membership Club” – 10th Suncokret – Sunflower Awards in Opatija
- by croatiaweek
- in Travel
On Tuesday, February 28, 2023, at 7 p.m., the lights will shine in the beautiful hall of the Royal Hotel in Opatija, host of this year’s national Suncokret – Sunflower Award.
This award is given for the tenth time, and it already adorns several hundred holiday homes, family farms (OPG), tourist boards, as well as locations of representatives of all other categories.
The organiser of this traditional award is the Croatian Association for Tourism and Rural Development “The Village Membership Club”, headed by the president, Dijana Katica, and who will celebrate their important 25th anniversary.
Great interest in this traditional competition, which is being held for the tenth year, is also shown by the number of around 160 registered projects from all over Croatia, members of the Iter Vitis European Cultural Route, and for the first time, under the auspices of the Central State Office for Croats Abroad, applicants from Bosnia and Herzegovina also join, participating with as many as 18 candidates in different categories.
25 years ago rural tourism was quite unknown and only a few were involved in it. But even then, Dijana Katica recognised the still dormant potential of rural tourism and began to deal with its promotion.
She herself says that her most beautiful moments are when she sees the results of her work in the great rural offer of employees in rural tourism, which is getting bigger, more diverse and of extremely high quality from year to year. During these years, the association organised more than 300 professional and educational seminars, several international and national conferences and professional gatherings, and four international scientific and professional congresses on rural tourism.
Association members also very often act as advisors to tourist destinations in rural areas, with the aim of increasing the quality of products and services. Of the many projects behind them, they are happy to highlight the work on labelling and branding of rural tourism in some Croatian counties, as well as the creation of programs for the empowerment and education of rural women, for which they received the “Community Award”.
The Suncokret – Sunflower Award of rural tourism in Croatia is a project that annually evaluates tourist farms, traditional homesteads, traditional gastronomy, wine and craft tourism, active tourist facilities in rural areas, rural tourism projects, as well as those dealing with protected and marketing labels.
This action is a unique evaluation of the best programs, projects or activities in order to preserve Croatian authenticity and enable the creation of rural tourism products and services with the promotion and development of rural areas.
“Our candidates are lovers of their region, lovers of tradition and heritage, kind of visionaries and ready for all challenges, because they believe in what they live and do. Thanks to them, the Croatian countryside continues to live, and the beautiful rural area is no longer just an unused potential. The Suncokret – Sunflower Award is just a small sign of gratitude for all that they do, but also an opportunity to hear about them and to achieve as many visits as possible, because they really deserve it,” pointed out Dijana Katica, president of the Croatian Association for Tourism and Rural Development “The Village Membership Club”.
The winners of the Suncokret – Sunflower Award will be announced on February 28, and before the committee of the Association there are still many tours and the selection of the best ones.