Founded by the Creative Tourism Network®, the Creative Tourism Awards select every year the initiatives, companies, and destinations worldwide that are betting on creative tourism to create a virtuous circle around their authentic heritage, creativity, and human values.
The World Championship in Olive Picking organized each fall by the Municipality of Postira ( Brač Island, Croatia), was rewarded among hundreds of proposals, as BestCreativeExperience2019 (ex.aequo), for its originality, authenticity, and sustainability.
We have met Ivana Jelinčić, from Postira Tourist Board, to know further about this creative experience!

Through this event, we promote olive oil tradition through tourism, and tourism through olive oil tradition. In Postira, it goes hand in hand.

– What does your creative tourism offer consist of?

This is an event with the aim of promoting olive growing and everything linked to it. Mediterranean countries having a tradition of producing olive oil will participate in this competition.

The teams representing the participating countries consist of four members (two women and two men) and the categories in which they test their strength are traditional hand picking technique. Besides the competition part, educational workshopstastingstours and entertaining evenings are organised throughout the duration of the championship, so that visitors can experience Postira, the eco-ethno village of Dol and also the island of Brač itself, in the best possible way. It is a way of enriching the postseason.

This event’s objective is to promote Postira as an olive destination where is produced a completely natural, healthy and high-quality olive oil, in accordance with centennial tradition and high quality standards, thus providing the visitor with an authentic experience and a healthy and pleasant life for the locals.

– In which way do your project benefit to the locals?

In our destination we are trying to represent our way of life, our everyday life. We think that tourism really has to be sustainable, and regarding this we don’t want our destination to be a massive tourism destination. There are around 1.500 people living in Postira (and Dol eco-ethno village) and there are around 1.800 tourist beds. We want to improve the quality of services, offer, and quality of destination. During tourist season, and even in pre-season and post-season, we live our traditional life and all the tourists are welcome to experience it.

If you are asking how we involve the local comunity in the World championship in olive picking, the answer is that during this event everybody in Postira knows it is on. It is also a season when everyone who has olives (almost every family in Postira and Dol) is picking them, so they come and watch our participants while the contest is on. They cheer, they meet in local pubs and mingle. Local people also come when there is a weighing of picked olives in our local Agro-cooperative (in the same time locals are also processing their own olives). We give official t-shirts of WCOP to locals, who wear it during the event on their regular jobs, so participants can feel they are really welcome. Also, locals can participate in the Award ceremony dinner if they want.

– What is the added-value of your project in terms of innovation and authenticity ?

Our World championship in olive picking is unique because nowhere else in Croatia and in the world is happening something like this, or even similar. That makes us really proud to be the first in the whole world to invent something like this, thanks to Ivo and Eti Ljubetić Šteka. Very quickly the news about this championship has spread all around the world and everybody have positive feelings about this, because at the same time it is fun, enjoyable, educational and unique.

– Who are your participants?

In the begining our targets were countries that had tradition in producing olive oil, but very soon other countries wanted to participate, even though some of the participants never picked olives before or even had not seen an olive tree before. We think it is a great opportunity to promote olive oil, olive oil from the island Brač which is the biggest olive region in Croatia with more that 1 milion olive trees. Those ”non olives” countries can include olive oil in their cuisine, their meals, which is – what we all know – very healthy, like all Mediterranean cuisine. Through this event, we promote olive oil tradition through tourism, and tourism through olive oil tradition. In Postira, it goes hand in hand.

– What is your definition of creative tourism?

I would say that creative tourism is emotion. Positive emotion and positive impact on people who take that home with them. That is the best souvenir. Everything they experience during their stay, what they taste, see, try, together with locals, it is creative tourism. And the most important thing – it is not only how tourists feel, it is also how locals feel. Because only if both of them feel satisfied, then we can say that something is valuable and worthy.

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