How can Croatia succeed economically without losing its culture and charm?
Croatia's islands are stunning. But as the country shares its natural wonders with the world, it faces a challenge: how to take advantage of the tourism boom without losing its charm.
With a long coastline and more than a thousand islands, Croatia has long played a vital role in the history of Mediterranean trade. After the breakup of Yugoslavia and a shift from socialism, new opportunities appeared at the micro and macro levels. Today, the country has traded its mercantile past for a growing reputation as Europe’s favorite summer vacation spot. As Croatia becomes one of the world’s most-coveted travel destinations, it must confront changing economic realities. On this trip we explore how the country can plan a strong future and how local businesses can succeed.
Croatia’s capital, Zagreb anchors the trip with a high profile introduction to the country and its history. In Zagreb we’ll meet with experts in economic development and visit local startup hubs. We’ll also try some amazing foods from local bakeries and a delicious Bosnian restaurant.
In Zagreb we’ll take some time to unravel the country’s recent history and the break-up of Yugoslavia while exploring the historic sights of this “mini-Vienna.” We’ll then encounter a different sort of innovation with a visit to the Museum of Broken Relationships. After a couple of days, we’ll depart from Zagreb and drive to the coast with a stop at the stunning Plitvice National Park.
Split is the second largest city in Croatia and the economic center of Dalmatia, the southern coastal region of the country. The city is home to the famous Diocletian palace, an active part of the city and a living Roman city. In Split we will immerse ourselves in ancient Roman and post-war history while we tackle specific design and development challenges in the old palace neighborhood.
Korcula town is a small island town just off the coast, midway between Split and Dubrovnik. The island of Korcula is one of Croatia’s most diverse with many small towns and farms, and a very local energy. The old town is believed to be Marco Polo’s home and is a stunning walled village on the water’s edge. Some possible activities in Korcula include:
Researching and working with local small business owners on the island
Becoming part of the Korcula community through local friends and projects
Taking part in a development of marketing project for a local client
Kayaking to nearby Badija island for lunch, and visiting the monastery
A pizza dinner at sunset in nearby Lumbarda town
Heading out on a day trip to the Island of Hvar to see the extremes of tourist driven growth
Walks and dinners with local farmers to understand the agricultural opportunity and diversity in Korcula
An incredible Croatian Peka dinner -- meat cooked under a bell -- prepared by one of Croatia's Masterchef winners.
Dubrovnik is the pearl of the Adriatic: a spectacular walled city with narrow stone streets set on the sea. Our trip will end in Dubrovnik for one last stop to understand the changes taking place in the country. This city is the can’t-miss destination for Croatia and makes a perfect end to a trip and celebration of a successful project.
We have spent lots of time in Croatia and traveled extensively throughout the Balkan peninsula. While this trip is great for students with an interest in economics or business, we can explore Croatia and neighboring countries to focus more directly on national identity and history in the region as well. For example, by adding a stop in Sarajevo we have been able to focus the program more on post war development challenges in the region.
From a deep dive into the tourism sector, food and wine, start-ups, or political and structural challenges in modern Croatia, we can adapt this trip for groups of all ages. From a specific high school or university course to a business venture with key topical questions, let’s brainstorm how we can help you travel to Croatia with a unique perspective.