Kvarner newsletter / no 33

Croatian Museum of Tourism in Opatija
Historical overview of the development of the wellness offer in Croatia

Until the end of January 2011, Opatija's Croatian Museum of Tourism will host the exhibition entitled "From mud baths to wellness – The development of health tourism in Croatia", giving an interesting and comprehensive overview of the development of Croatia's wellness and health tourism in general. There is definitely no better place to host this exhibition than Opatija – Croatia's most famous health resort.

Until the end of January 2011, visitors to the Croatian Museum of Tourism, located in Opatija's Villa Angiolina, will have the opportunity to learn more about the development of health tourism and the modern wellness services and facilities in Croatia. The exhibition entitled "From mud baths to wellness – The development of health tourism in Croatia" gives a comprehensive overview of the development of health tourism in Croatia through a series of photographs, documents and items. The exhibition focuses on differences in the offer by various Croatia's health destinations, giving an account of the historical and modern trends.
The more intense development of tourism in Croatia began in mid-19th century thanks to the tradition of the previously known thermal sources in the continental part of the country. It was only later, at the end of the 19th century, that new, modern health and bathing resorts started emerging along the coast. In addition to the classic offer of that time, these coastal centres offered their visitors a wide range of therapeutic and balneological healing treatments based on the beneficial effects of some natural factors: mild climate, sea, sun, air, sand, and Mediterranean plants.
As a result, the resorts along the Adriatic coast attracted the first organised groups of tourists. One of the prerequisites for this and the development of tourism in general, both then and today, are good traffic connections with some large towns on the continent.
The growing number of visitors along the Adriatic coast, primarily on Kvarner, resulted in the establishment of various associations for embellishing the towns, and the beginning of the era of the construction of hotels and spas, additional services and facilities, and communal infrastructure. Thanks to a carefully elaborated development plan, Opatija got its first hotel in 1884 – the Hotel Kvarner, which is today the oldest hotel on the Croatian Adriatic. In 1889, Opatija was declared a climatic health resort. After Opatija, similar development followed in some other destinations on Kvarner – Lovran, Crikvenica, and Lošinj, as well as in some further destinations such as Rovinj, Brijuni islands, Hvar etc.