After the Autumn season, we are reporting to underline this very interesting 2020. – a year that in the history of tourism will be remembered as cataclysmic. But first and foremost, we would like to express our compassion to all people who have suffered the loss of their beloved ones; people who have lost their jobs or have suffered in any other way related to this pandemic. We hope that humankind will find a way to depreciate it in the shortest time possible.
On the other hand, some people and societies view it as a year of challenges and learning. What can all humankind learn from the smallest thing like a virus? How little did our systems turn out to be in front of this, and why? From the perspective of humankind’s technological progress, we testified that this pandemic has pointed to the two inversely proportional things – both foundations of human nature, constructive and the less constructive ones. Constructive in terms of rapid vaccine discovery and the use of technology to facilitate pandemic control; and the less constructive in terms of the ease of spreading panic and conspiracy theories, which have with the help of technology also taken on pandemic proportions. Of course, there is a chance that we might be wrong, but one thing is sure, this remains a year that will be continuously studied and about which much more shall be written – a year that will remain etched in the collective consciousness of humanity.
Ventula – synopsis of 2020
Ventula Travel together with business partners and all clients dealt with this setback very constructively. Eagerly awaiting their travels, most of our clients have chosen to postpone the arrangement until the first possible opportunity, thus showing their perseverance to travel and at the same time solidarity towards entrepreneurs in tourism. All our partners and suppliers displayed great flexibility, meeting both our and our clients’ needs, without which we would find it much harder to navigate through this situation.
After the normalization of the situation in May, in June we completed the scanning of all our service providers who adopted the Croatian Institute of Public Health measures, so being fully prepared to receive the first guests. However, although some of our groups wanted to travel, it eventually proved impossible due to national restrictions during their transit to Croatia. Still, in September we had our guests on our standard Salona archaeological research package which you can read more about here. Also, in the first part of the year, we completed another round of Travelife Partner certification, in which you can read more at this link. It is worth mentioning that as part of the International Congress of Ancient Cities in Solin, for the third year in a row, we received their award “Plautila” for the best cultural and tourist itinerary with our package-arrangement of the Archaeological Excavations of Salona. Due to pandemic, congress was held in an online form (2020 congress video archive on this link).
In September, Ventula Travel has made a significant step towards the community by signing a contract for “Social Entrepreneurship in Tourism – Innovative Volunteer Product”. The project holder is Ventula Travel d.o.o., while the project partners are the Association “MI” – Split, Aspira College – Split and the Association of Croatian Travel Agencies. More info you can find here.
Plans for 2021
Following the news of the vaccine discovery, it is logical that interest in travel has increased, and therefore we also follow an increase in demand. Nevertheless, before starting any billing processes, we want to be sure that the trip will be realized, which we are not yet ready to confirm, neither in an international or national context. It is therefore that we have decided to offer our clients free reservations for all trips in 2021. Hence, to book all arrangements in 2021, a written confirmation by email with name and surname is sufficient.
Colleagues – Clients – travelers
Amid this not-so-harmless situation, it is interesting to see the steadfastness of the human spirit in the form of creativity in cracking jokes at the expense of travel during a pandemic. We were very entertained by a safety dance video from Alaska Airlines, which you can see on their YouTube channel under this link. For our partners and clients from the US & Canada market, comedian Julie Nolka’s work in 4 episodes is also entertaining. You can watch all four episodes on her YouTube channel here. Let’s hope Julie doesn’t get to the sixth or maximum seventh episode 😉 with this topic. There are also numerous memes and jokes we could list here, but we understand that this situation might not be funny for everyone, so we shall stop here, hoping our balance was appropriate.
The best books and guides about Croatia
In this time of stagnation in the travel industry, and at the same time a holiday season, at least no one can take away our journey in spirit. Indeed, it doesn’t take much for a man to feel like being somewhere else, in someone else’s shoes. Therefore, we’d like to recommend literature which will take you on a journey by words instead of by plane, introducing you a little better to the destinations and the people you are travelling to.
The books and guides we recommend are:
Bradt Travel Guide (6th edition): Croatia (link here) –one of the best guides in English. It provides very broad but simultaneously detailed information about all regions in all aspects of travel, spiced with a few insider tips from the author, intertwined with a small dose of humour.
Lonely Planet (10th edition): Croatia (link here) – another of the best guides in English. This 2019 edition is more solo-oriented, but it can also provide enough information on spending free time during our travel arrangement. For those who prefer orientation when exploring, over 40 maps include the coastal and continental part of Croatia.
Marco Polo Pocket Guide: Dubrovnik and the Dalmatian Coast (link na Amazon.com here) – an overview of the most of the coastal region of Croatia. Very handy to have during your trip.
Books on history
A Traveller’s History of Croatia Benjamin Curtis (link to Amazon.com here) – Highly accessible and well-written, this little book provides a perfect and very useful aid in unravelling Croatia’s notoriously complex history.
Dubrovnik: A History Robin Harris (link to Amazon.com here) – a comprehensive, but readable history of the city, from its ancient origins via the commercial and cultural heyday of the Republic of Ragusa to its demise. If there is one in-depth history book to consider bringing on your Croatian trip, it should be this one!
Croatia: A Nation forged in War Marcus Tanner (link to Amazon.com here) – a compelling account of Croatia’s turbulent history from brief overview of medieval days onwards, with a particular focus on the creation of the modern Croatian identity.
Novels and literature
An Anthology of Croatian Literature by Henry Cooper (link to Amazon.com here) – unique in English: a cross-section of Croatian writing through the ages.
Girl at War by Sara Nović (link to Amazon.com here) – one of the US literary sensations of 2015, this debut novel is a compelling story of a girl’s life, from a carefree Zagreb childhood through the fateful events of the 1990s war to a bittersweet return over a decade later. According to the New York Times:” Girl at War” performs the miracle of making the stories of broken lives in a distant country feel as large and universal as myth”.
Chasing a Croatian Girl: a Survivor’s Tale by Cody McClain Brown (link to Amazon.com here) – a humourous but very affectionate account of an American trying to make a new home in Croatia.