Before I embark on writing these lines I would to point out that by no means am I an expert in the field that is to say that I hold no masters degree in tourism management. What I do have is first class information, gathered through association with people who work in Dubrovnik tourism industry, present and those who have done so for the past 30 years.
The so called new economy has developed at the speed of light, accompanied with the new technologies and the internet has made the planet Earth a rather small globe.
As the author of these lines, throughout my life, I have lived in London, Barcelona, Aix en Provence and Moscow at the end of the last century. Every time when I was asked where did I come from and when I answered Croatia what would follow would be that famous question which would resonate for me in the annoying way : “where was that?”. On the contrary, when the answer was Dubrovnik what would follow were the nods of approval and smiles on people’s faces with that famous sentence.” Oh I was there”, “Beautiful city”. Say no more I thought to myself as I was admiring the power of panel advertising on London Underground tube stations. Only these days at the beginning of the 21 century there are millions of Dubrovnik panels on the internet and with direct channels of selling planes, hotels, villas for holidays, the scopes are enormous up to the point that the people as far as Brazil jump on their planes and come holidaying to Croatia and Dubrovnik.
The opinion of the locals regarding the future of their city is divided. While some recognize the need for progress and see imminent the construction of new five star hotels, real estate villas and apartments others strongly oppose it. A typical example was a golf project on Srdj Hill overlooking Dubrovnik when the calls were being made that this was an eco genocide which had the makings of a luxury villa real estate project. For all I know the owners of the “pastures” were paid promptly, in other words someone invested their time and money and personal reputation not only to earn money but to bring money to Dubrovnik. Golfers are people with huge disposable income and they choose to stay in modern urban accommodation. Now when I think that there are only six golf courses in the whole of Croatia and four of them are in Istria my maths is telling me that we are lagging behind. Golfers are also highly educated business people and they more often than not choose to host their incentives and business conferences in places where they can play golf. I am not a member of golf lobby but I just follow the logic that arrival of rich clients would make space for quality content in the Old City. Think of all high quality restaurants, art galleries, clothes boutiques, jobs in the construction industry, jobs in the service industry. And let me get this straight to you. If anything we need high quality real estate projects if we are to sustain the development of our tourism industry in the future. As I have outlined above, times have changed. With the arrival of globalization and new technologies the competition has increased and people with high disposable income got used to being “pampered” around the globe. So even if they are to fall in love with views over the island of Lokrum and the Old city while they are staying in the hotels such as Excelsior, Argentina or villas such as Victoria, Agave, Glavic,Dubrovnik and Sheherezade these rich clients cannot purchase a modern urban villa so that they can repeatedly return to Dubrovnik and Croatia.
Intercon Dubrovnik has teamed up with Spes Estate, Dubrovnik’s most reputable real estate agency.
Srđ Portolan, Intercon’s member of the management board has signed business co-operation agreement with Mr Frano Bezić of Spes Estate Dubrovnik. Mr Bezić stressed out that luxury travel and real estate go hand in hand as they complement each other. Clients arriving to view houses on sale and apartments on sale in Dubrovnik are serviced by the likes of Intercon and vice versa. Currently there is a huge land development in Dubrovnik’s most favourite quarter Ploce on sale, 52 000 m2 with planned construction of modern day villas. Mr Bezic stressed out that among luxury travel holidaymakers there are always successful businesspeople, potential real estate buyers and investors alike.