It’s not news to any of my regular readers that I have fallen under the spell of Croatia; for Eighty-Eight days between November 2014 and February 2015 I essentially had the country and its amazing citizens to myself. I discovered a place of my heart and wrote extensively about the nuances of her culture, her history, the tastes experienced, things learned, the kindness and hospitality of her people and her future – hopefully with me placed squarely in its midst. Amongst those writings, a post that went viral (reaching over 54,000 people in a single day, and presently over 121,000 people have read it). Even if you have never read my blog, or been to Croatia, at some point in the last couple of years this ascending star of holiday destinations has beguiled you.
I am certain you have lusted over images of her crystalline waters, medieval towns, selfies taken at her music festivals, picturesque harbors, and bright white stone buildings, piers and walkways. Istrian wines have been celebrated since Roman times, but her most famous export of late is cellist Stjepan Hauser, one half of 2Cellos with Luka Šulić, who was born in Pula. Yes, their video is from the jaw-dropping Roman, 27 BC – 68 AD, amphitheatre there which is among the six largest surviving Roman arenas in the World. And so, having already fallen in love with Croatia, but not yet having set foot near Motovun and its truffles, when I discovered the #ShareIstria campaign by the Istra Tourism Board to expand tourism to its breathtaking vistas I called my friend Ken Herron to see if he wanted to apply with me – our combined knowledge of, and influence on, social media has realised some substantial impact over the last couple of years. Ken and I share a common marketing and communications background, we’ve both spent considerable time in the verticals of hospitality and tourism, food and beverage, heck, we’ve even held the CMO role for the same tech company. Oh yes, and we are both hedonists (he probably a bit more than I)!
Red Bull recognises the value of Croatia as a backdrop for its various extreme sports – and Istria’s postcard perfect #Rovinj once again will host their Air Races 30/31 May and in the past its Cliff Diving has been hosted in Dubrovnik. Sadly, should Ken and I be chosen, we won’t be able to witness the air races as he has a key note speech to give on social media in Singapore at the same time. Sniff. Istria has pulled out all the stops on this campaign, every week three teams of two will be brought to Istria to compete in raising her awareness within the social media sphere of influence, the top team advances to a sort of semi-final where ranking is earned based upon votes from across various platforms and in the end, the team that creates the largest social media impact wins 10,000 Euros. So each of you reading this are important, CRITICALLY IMPORTANT, to our participation – we need you to cast your votes on the http://www.shareistria.com/ website from 27 April to 29 April to elect us to the next level of evaluation – it’s kind of like Dancing With The Stars meets The Amazing Race. What do you get in return if we’re selected? Bragging rights, we’ll Tweet your name out with a “wish you were here”, the five lucky social media peeps that get us the most RT, FT, Like, and #ShareIstria love we’ll actually send you refrigerator art in the form of a postcard from our adventures.
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