The celebration to mark this jubilee anniversary was held on 15th May, the date on which the Health Society was formed and its well-known Programme of the Society's aims published, a document which represents a manifesto of Hvar's modern tourism. The Patron of the celebration was the President of the Croatian Parliament, Mr Luka Bebic, and the organizers were Hvar Town's Tourist Agency together with the hotel firm "Suncani Hvar". Guests at the celebration included the State Secretary for Tourism, Mr Branko Circic and the Director of the Croatian Tourist Association Mr Niko Bulic, along with representatives from public life and tourism in Hvar, and many of Hvar's citizens.
Proceedings began with the ceremonial raising of a special commemorative anniversary flag, which was hoisted on to Hvar's flagpole through the combined efforts of the President of Hvar's Tourist Association, Vinkica Karkovic Colombo, Hvar's Mayor, Pjerino Bebic, and the President of the directorate for "Suncani Hvar" Jacques M. Burgeois. After that came the opening of the exhibition about the history of tourism on Hvar, created by Marino Petric, senior custodian of the Museum of Hvar's Cultural Heritage. On 12 large panels (with the texts given in both Croatian and English) the illustrated history of Hvar's tourism was presented, from the tradition of hospitality dating back to ancient past times, through the beginnings of modern tourism in the second half of the 19th century and the beginning of the 20th, then covering the inter-war years, the trade-union-based tourism of the 1850s, the industrial tourism from the 1970s to the 1990s, right up to the contemporary post-industrial situation. Through superb illustrative material, and in a light manner, highlighting especially the bright and romantic sides, the exhibition showed how Hvar's tourist image was established and developed. It reminded us of those who who took part in these accomplishments, and pointed out the successes, failures and hard work which went to form the current picture of Hvar's tourism.
The exhibition was mounted by Hvar Town's Tourist Association in conjunction with Hvar's Cultural Heritage Museum, where most of the older documents relating to Hvar's tourism are held, and it will be open throughout the whole summer. The festivities continued into the evening on the main square with a concert by Oliver Dragojevic.
The next day there was a round table meeting in the town Loggia, on the theme of "The Past, Present and Future of Tourism in Hvar and Croatia". The speakers were Hvar's Mayor, Pjerino Bebic, Professor of Tourist Theory, Dr. Boris Vukonic, author and gastronomic expert Veljko Barbieri, art historian Professor Marinko Petric, literary historian Professor Slobodan Prosperov Novak, expert from the Institute for Tourism Dr. Zvjezdana Hendija, promoter of Croatian ethno-gastronomic culture Ingrid Badurina Danielsson, Director of Tourism for the County of Split and Dalmatia Dr. Mili Razovic, and the expert on theoretical and practical tourism Darko Vlahovic.
Many topics were covered, and almost all the speakers emphasized the significant role Hvar plays in Croatia's tourist image. However, they also highlighted problems, mistaken directions and limitations which affect Hvar's modern-day tourism, at the same time as indicating possible ways forward and new vistas. Unfortunately, as Hvar's Mayor Pjerino Bebic pointed out, the meeting was not attended by those who could and should have responded to many of the questions, suggestions and dilemmas, that is representatives from the State Office and Ministry for Tourism. After the round table meeting a Declaration was adopted, calling for a more serious, systematic and energetic modelling of Hvar's present-day tourism, and which could certainly also be of use to other tourist destinations in Croatia. The celebrations continued in the Park Hotel, with a culinary banquet offering a menu of traditional dishes created by Veljko Barbieri, and ended with a cultural-historical walk around Hvar Town for invited guests, led by Slobodan Prosperov Novak.
The festive celebration of the 140th anniversary of modern tourism in Hvar was an opportunity for the people of Hvar to look back at their brilliant, rich tradition of tourism, so that they can put fresh inspiration into the everyday needs of today's tourism, safe in the confidence that a better future for Hvar's tourism can be achieved.
SOURCE: Tourist board of City of Hvar- TURISTIČKA ZAJEDNICA GRADA HVARA