TOTAL CROATIA LAUNCH PRESS CONFERENCE @ Dubrovnik
Nikolina: Hello, welcome to our press conference, and thank you for coming. We will present the new Croatian national tourist portal, www.total-croatia.com. The new Total Croatia portal is a digital web platform, consolidating the key information on Croatian destinations in 15 languages, including Croatian. Everybody planning their vacation in Croatia will be able to find all the useful information easily and in one place, and in their language from now on. The new website will be presented by its founder, Paul Bradbury. Paul is the most famous British person in Croatia,
who has been promoting Croatian tourism for the last 18 years, persistently and tirelessly. Also with us we have Krešimir Macan, a communication expert and the winner of this year’s Grand Prix Award presented by HUOJ, for crisis communication, for the project “The vacation you deserve is closer than you think - you just need to cross the border”, by the Majgura agency and Mediacor company, for their client Total Croatia News, Paul Bradbury. To get us started, let’s see a brief video introduction about the portal itself. Here, after this interesting video, follows an interesting presentation by Paul Bradbury, who will introduce us to the details of the project, through his presentation. Paul, here you go! Paul: Thank you very much.
I'll continue in English, if you don't mind. Nikolina: Thank you very much. Thank you, Paul, for the very comprehensive overview. Krešo Macan will tell us more details about the communication tools used in this project. Additionally, what does this project mean to the tourists planning to come to Croatia at all, and what type of new value does it bring to the Croatian tourism? Krešo, the floor is yours! Krešimir: Thanks Nikolina. Well before this technology and before these details, a few things… Paul thinks that after all these great years he learned something about Croatia.
Then Nika had to give him this t-shirt this morning, these Duvenirs, and we all know the motto of Dubrovnik diplomacy was: “nice to everyone, honest with no one.” Well then, no one sued the Republic of Dubrovnik! Because… You know, when you tell the truth, then it’s the worst, then everyone sues you and you didn't say anything wrong. So he learned one lesson today, thanks Nika for the t-shirts she gave us for the press conference. I must also first of all thank Nikolina Vicelić who hosted ABC News last year and everyone here from the city. Both Mayor Franković and deputy mayor Jelka Tepšić, who were really at our service and got, I think, an incredible story for America, which is… I will say it immodestly, but I think that is why these flights are coming. So for the first time we have direct flights from America to Dubrovnik. If it hadn’t been for last year, I don’t think we would have thought about it at all.
Nikolina: It certainly had some effect, yes! Krešimir: One thing that happened last year was, so COVID happened to us, here, we are conveniently here in this space where there is an exhibition about COVID and the plague. Suddenly we somehow found ourselves in a situation, we had the impression that some people somehow didn’t get along, that they didn’t know how to react to it. But that did not mean that tourism would stop. So Croatia was among the first to open and Paul was also skeptical, he said “there will be no season, no one will come”. I said “we’re opening up, that’s great!”, he lost his bet there, but that was at this time last year.
He didn’t even know what Viber was, he didn’t use Viber, he just wasn’t that much into technology. And then we started with that Viber community. Why? Because you have to understand, whether we worked or not, whoever, who needs it, who is organized, who is not, life will go on regardless of COVID. And then people started coming to Croatia. And then people started asking: “how to come to Croatia?”,
and this year when we were on the jury for this award, because we did all this voluntarily, you know, Paul usually calls me when there is no money, like let’s do something and we do it then together, precisely because the point is to create. What we made, we made because we care. At one point the jury asked us “why did you do that when no one paid you?” and I said “how are you going to leave a man boarding a plane in Los Angeles and authorities say “you can’t go to Croatia” when we know he can! At that point, we send him the documents, we send the links and they are coming to Croatia! To us, no one, not a single man was stuck at the airport last year.
And that’s what somehow makes you proud. I don’t know, here, I’ve just talked a couple of times, it’s never been hard to get up at a certain time, with time difference, when you realize that a man has flown in and says “thank you”, I don’t know, someone got married in two days because you put them together somewhere. Because we did practically impossible things, for example, thanks primarily to the Croatian police.
Because MUP said “Everything is possible! Just explain to us what and how”, and we connected those couples, put people in quarantine and pulled them out, all according to the rules! The police can’t do anything outside the set rules. But when there is will, anything is possible! So last year, let’s say we hunted people who decided, intended, to come to Croatia, then we helped them enter and provided them with all the information they needed in 25 languages, as many as we translated. Back then we were using mostly all Google tools because there was simply no budget so we worked with what we could.
But even then it was in 25 languages. So then we were hunting people who were at the border. Well, what Paul understood was that we needed to go a step further, and this is a step further. So he now hunts people who think about where to travel, when they think about it. When they first type “where is Croatia”, you won’t believe it, when we were in the World Cup final, the most sought after term was “where is Croatia?”.
We all think everyone knows where Croatia is; maybe they know where Dubrovnik is, right Željko? But I’m not sure they know where Croatia is and that was seen in the World Cup final. So we think that our guests will come by themselves. No, we have to bring them in a very tough competition and we have to be there with them, the moment he types “where am I going to take the kids?”, “can I bring my dog on the boat?” or whatever. So there are a lot of practical questions. The one, which hotel is pet-friendly, where can I go on a day trip, how to try Drniš prosciutto; we will all brag that our Drniš prosciutto is the best in the world but no one will know where to go and try it.
And we’ve seen that when they write those little things, when they translate, when they are on a good platform, then they get to people. So, the most important thing was that this platform is a new version, not yet widespread in Google Search, meaning a search on Google, which gives you the opportunity to get to the top of all searchers very quickly, if you have quality content. The first condition is that the content is of good quality and accurate. When Google realizes that it’s content that people read and refer to,
that the content is shared, then you become number one. So, the most important thing is that the content is important to people, that it is significant and shareable. This is the KISS in the modern age of social media: significant - it must mean to people, it must give them information and it must be shareable, easy to share. And you’ve seen, on every page, that there are a lot of “shares”. People share! Plus translations into all languages. So, in principle, since that virtual reception last year, the virtual reception of Croatia, with this project Paul has the ambition to become a virtual Croatian National Tourist Board.
And I believe he will succeed in that! Thank you. Nikolina: Thank you, Krešo. At the end of our presentation, we have another video, which de facto presents a new web platform that is being presented for the first time in Croatia. Here, I hope you liked the presentation of the new Croatian national tourist portal. We have now come to the part relating to your questions. If you have any questions, we will be happy to answer all those questions. Here you go.
All clear! So it was a successful press conference! Congratulations, Paul, congratulations, Krešo! We have reached the end of our press conference, I would like to thank you all very much for coming and for the time, and I cordially greet you on another occasion. Thank you, Paul, thank you, Krešo.