Plitvice valleys! A million guests have stood in wonder at this national beauty. We made a step towards its validation counting not only its natural and cultural richness – from the water, forests and caves to their complex interactions with man through the traditional way of life and history, but also thinking about their presentation with the aid of routes, trails, paths and interpretation centres.

We also proposed both a method of coordination and management to the local community by the means of an eco-museum. This ultimately resulted in the brand of ‘Plitvice Valleys’ with its new visual identity, today one of the most impressive micro-destinations in Croatian continental tourism.

Within the ‘Implementacija 21’ programme of the development of cultural tourism in the Karlovac County region we created a master strategic study for the sustainable development of cultural tourism in Rakovica.

In the master strategic study we used the methodology of mapping the cultural and natural heritage of the wider region of Rakovica. On the basis of interactive work with key stakeholders from public, private and NGO sectors, we came up with the development of a cultural-tourist offer for Rakovica via the following media presentations: themed routes, trails and paths, visitor and interpretation centres. We focused the interpretation of the cultural landscape of the Rakovica region on five key themes of heritage: the caves, the water, the natural beauty and the historical and traditional way of life. We proposed an eco-museum to the local community as a tool in the systematic management of the heritage. By the analysis of previously successful examples, we delivered a thorough action plan to the target groups and stakeholders.

As a further step in the making of a development strategy of cultural tourism in the region of the Rakovica district, in collaboration with local stakeholders, we made an interpretive plan and branding strategy of the destination of ‘Plitvice Valleys’, with reference to the conceptual design of themed routes, interpretation and visitor centres of ‘Plitvice Valleys’ with accompanying suggestions of a visual identity.

With the thorough interpretive plan we recognised three main thematic bases on which the attractions of the destination develop and are presented: caves, water and forests. With a comparative analysis of the best examples of the development of related destinations in the wider European context, an analysis of the environment, and thorough field research, we created a basic strategy of branding this significant micro-destination of continental tourism in the surroundings of the Plitvice Lakes National Park.

On the basis of this strategy we gathered together and coordinated a creative team for the development of a new visual identity, the formation of a system of interpretation and signage, the formation of themed playgrounds and trail furniture and the visualisation of the design of permanent exhibitions in four visitor centres. An integral part of the documentation was the preliminary calculation of expenses which gave a financial framework for conducting the systematic and coordinated campaign for the co-financing of the implementation.

Client
Karlovac County Tourist Board
Rakovica Tourist Board

Client representatives
Franjo Franjković
Mira Špoljarić
Tihana Oštrina
Blanka Pavlić
Željka Hodak
Krešimir Čulinović

Strategy and interpretation plan
Dragana Lucija Ratković Aydemir
Zdenka Roša
Karla Bačić Jelinčić

Visual identity
Vanja Cuculić Studio Cuculić
Bojan Drezgić Studio Cuculić
Vedran Kasap Studio Clinica
Vladimir Končar Studio Revolucija

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