The island of Krk, our largest island (of around 410 square kilometers) has, thanks to its desirable geographical and transport position and good natural conditions, been noted as an interesting tourist area even as far back as the end of the last century.
The beginnings of tourism date back to the end of nineteenth century on the island of Krk, our largest island, when the first larger groups of national tourists together with tourists coming mainly from Austria, the Czech Republic and the Republic of Slovakia, arrived on the island. Before the First World War, the first hotels, guest-houses and beaches had already been built on the island, from which the technical conditions and building foundations assured future tourism development.
Between the two world wars, the construction of a large number of catering facilities continued, when more hotels, guest-houses, villas and other tourist facilities were built. A few parks were also built and equipped, as were beaches by the sea. Shortly after the end of the Second World War, tourism on the island of Krk began to develop again, and after 1964 it suddenly began to grow.
The Main reasons for the dynamic development of the tourist flow on the island of Krk are represented by:
- the desirable geographical position of the island,
- the suitable natural conditions, mild climate, clean sea, good isolation and rich vegetation, particularly on the north-western part of the island,
- having a large enough quantity of water provided from the “Ponikve” and the “Jezero”,
- the start of the airport operation in Omišalj (1970),
- the opening of the land-island of Krk bridge and
- the recognition of tourist sites on the island, within the domestic and world tourist market.
Social tourist organization development
Thanks to the greater tourist flow at the beginning of the twentieth century, the islanders felt the need for founding the tourist association, with the aim of increasing profit and adapting tourist sites. In this way “The societies for embellishment” were founded in Baška in 1904, in Omišalj in 1906, in Punat in 1908, in Malinska in 1909 and in Vrbnik in 1911 etc.
It should certainly be mentioned that these societies have played the most important role in tourism development both in certain areas of the island and on the island of Krk as a whole. Over the decades, these societies have changed their form, but have continued to remain functioning as tourist boards within a number of states and within a number of different systems.
The Municipality of Krk Tourist Association foundation
At the beginning of the 1960s, the island of Krk experienced a sudden development in tourism. We will just mention that the first ferry connection on the Adriatic was established in 1959 onthe Šilo-Crikvenica route. Shortly after that, in 1963 the ferry connection between Voz and Črišnjevo, close to today’s Krk’s bridge was established.
On the initiative of all of the island’s tourist societies’ (Omišalj, Njivice, Malinska, Krk, Punat, Baška, Vrbnik, Šilo), the Municipality of Krk Tourist Foundation Assembly was held on 7th February 1962. In that period, The Municipality of Krk Tourist Association was mainly occupied in its search for a solution to the problem of massive infrastructure, and in the publication of marketing materials needed for tourism development.
However, with the passing of the Law on tourist boards together with the Law on local autonomies, the problem on operating and financing this institution arose.
According to the Law on local autonomy within the island of Krk six municipalities (Omišalj, Malinska, Punat, Baška, Vrbnik i Dobrinj) and the city of Krk were founded.
By adopting the Law on tourist boards, the contemporary Municipality of Krk Tourist Association was transformed into the Island of Krk Tourist Board in accordance with article 3 of the Law on tourist boards which stipulates that islands having more than two local autonomies should form an island tourist board.
However, within that same Law, the legislator did not solve the problem of financing the island’s tourist board, which is most probably the principal reason why the island of Krk Tourist Board has, until today, remained the only island tourist board in Croatia.
Tourist operatives working on the island have correctly understood the fact that the island of Krk is a tourist product and should be treated on a world tourist market. They have been searching for a means to finance the Board for more than a decade, as is required by the modification of the Law on tourist boards whilst at the same time have continued to operate the island of Krk Tourist Board thanks to financing by tourist boards members. Given that the problem of financing the Island of Krk Tourist Board has not yet been solved, in spite of several years of trying, tourist operatives have tried to find a solution within the island of Krk. Since tourist boards were not strong enough to finance this kind of project on their own, they included the island’s local autonomies as well.
Since the islanders live exclusively from tourism and for tourism, it is normal that all municipalities (Omišalj, Malinska-Dubašnica, Punat, Baška i Vrbnik) and the island of Krk itself, note the importance and meaning of this institution, which is supported by the initiative for a final solution for financing the personnel of the Island of Krk Tourist Board.
Tourist boards and municipalities, in a ratio of 60:40, finance the costs of tourist office and common programmes and as a key solution, accept participation in the total profits resulting from the tourist tax and membership fees achieved on the island of Krk in the previous year to the one in which the plan pertains.
President: Neven Komadina
Vice President: Anton Bolonić
Director: Mr. sc. Majda Šale