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Saturday, May 17, 2008

One traveller's 'latest discovery' is another's old favorite

Around five years ago the glossy travel mags started talking up Croatia as the next hot destination and travel journos were writing about the country as if it had only just been discovered. The Croatian National Tourism Board saturated the global media with their 'Mediterranean As It Once Was' campaign and everyone bought it. And bought tickets to Zagreb. We spent the summer there in 2003, travelling the length and breadth of the country. What we discovered was something very different to what was being marketed. Dubrovnik was one of the most divine cities we'd ever seen, the islands were beautiful, the myriad walled towns were atmospheric, and the nightlife was wild. However, Croatia was far from untouched. It was easily as crowded with tourists as Paris, Rome or Venice for that matter. Indeed, the Italians had been vacationing in Croatia for many years before it was 'discovered' by the English-speaking travel media. In 2005, Croatia had 10 million visitors. Still, in 2006 National Geographic Adventure magazine voted it destination of the year. It just goes to show that one person's latest, hottest destination is another person's old favorite. Nothing is new to anyone, it's just new again.

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