Public forum held at Krka National Park – the synergy of nature conservation, cultural heritage, and tourism in destination development; the development of the northern part of the Park will bring direct benefits to the local community

“We are exceptionally pleased by the synergy of included stakeholders, as in the future this will result in even better solutions for the development of the northern part of the Park, secure a future for young people, attract numerous visitors, and bring direct benefits to the local community,” stated Nella Slavica, director of the Public Institute of Krka National Park at the public forum.



On Thursday, a public forum entitled “Krka National Park – the synergy of nature conservation, cultural heritage and tourism in destination development” was held. The forum was organised by the Public Institute of Krka National Park as part of the project “Unknown Krka: hidden treasures of the upper and middle course of the Krka River”, co-financed by the European Regional Development Fund. The project also involved the construction of the Krka Eco Campus and creation of Park content.


“The aim of the project was to achieve a validation of the entire region, new investments in infrastructure and the creation of new content. Numerous thematic workshops and training sessions were held, we are continually investing in cooperation with the local community, and the number of visitors at upstream locations is growing. The project enables the insufficiently appreciated natural heritage resources of this part of the Park to finally obtain their function. The attractive content has resulted in increasing numbers of visitors and has created indirect economic effects for the local population,”said director of the Public Institute of Krka National Park, Nella Slavica. She added,“The new management plan envisages a series of activities for cooperation with the local population, stimulating traditional agriculture and livestock raising, the preservation of meadows and pastures, and improving the sale of organic products”.


The public forum was organised to inform the public about the development of sustainable tourism in the area of the upper and middle course of the Krka River, and on the opportunities for the local population to get involved in creating complementary products and services, based on the principles of a destination cluster.“A cluster is an organisational form that leads to cooperation among different stakeholders that all have the same goal. The key word is ‘cooperation’, while for planning projects, a turning point is needed, infrastructure that stimulates the development of the area, and that is certainly the Krka Eco Campus. With a network of walking and cycling trails, in the ambiance of the rich natural and cultural heritage, the upper course of the Krka River provides an excellent base for outdoor activities,” outdoor aktivnosti, stated Krešimir Šakić, director of the Šibenik-Knin Tourist Board.


Šibenik Polytechnic College is intensively working on the project “Strengthening creative circular entrepreneurs” aimed at increasing the skills of creative people and those who train them to accept the principles of a circular economy as a key tool in adapting their business towards a more sustainable model that reduces both costs and waste, while protecting jobs and opening new jobs.“This is a project that we implemented with partners from several European countries, with the aim of improving the knowledge of our creative entrepreneurs who most often work in culture, art and tourism. Starting next year, an online learning platform will also be available to bring together all interested creative people, and those wanting to learn more,” online platforma za učenje koja će umrežiti sve zainteresirane kreativce i one koji to žele postatisaid Dr. Dijana Mečev, a lecturer at the Šibenik Polytechnic.


A circular economy is a process that, alongside digital transformation, will change society, and it is not possible to have sustainable development of tourism without a circular economy. Tourists are more aware and they want an experience.“The needs of society have changed, the opportunities improved. Togetherness and cooperation are key words that connect young people like digital nomads, and the Krka Eco-Campus is the ideal place where they can connect the opportunities of an urban area with protected nature,”stated Diana Mudrinić, director of the Trokut Šibenik Centre for new technologies and enterprise.


There are two local action groups (LAG) operating in Šibenik-Knin County: LAG More 249, which covers the coastal area, and LAG Krka, which covers the inland areas of the country.“The LAG has an advisory role but is also direct support to local entrepreneurs when establishing and developing their activities. In our county, agriculture is still an additional activity, and therefore there are great opportunities for young farmers to have a bright future. Agriculture is a demanding job, but one can make a living and advance by being recognisable, connecting with others, and properly placing their products,” said Meri Krnić, head of LAG More 249. “In the new programme period, the town of Knin and the municipalities of Kistanje, Ervenik, Kijevo and Biskupija are joining the LAG Krka,”said Meri Krnić, head of LAG More 249.“In the new programme period, the town of Knin and the municipalities of Kistanje, Ervenik, Kijevo and Biskupija are joining the LAG Krka,”said Romana Radmanović Kovačić, head of LAG Krka, adding,“Our competition that is most interesting to applicants is Measure 6.1, popularly called the “EUR 15,000 competition”. It will again be held in the middle of next year, so I invite all those interested to take advantage of the time and prepare their projects.”


The walking trails of Krka National Park are a special experience for visitors.“Our county has two national parks, one nature park and Natura 2000 protected area. Our guests are thrilled when they visit these areas, and impressed to learn that 38% of Croatian territory is under some form of protection,”said Antonija Viljac, owner of the adventure tourism company Šibenik Outdoor Adventure, and concluded,“The focus of adventure tourism is on small groups, time spent outdoors and away from the crowds. Hiking tourism has great potential and can fully come to life in the upper course of the Krka River, with the Eco Campus and the walking trails through pristine nature.”