During the time when the 3rd biggest international carnival was happening in Rijeka, Croatia, and the whole city and its suburbs were out of control, in a small city further north, called Kastav, 16 extraordinary women were preparing their final exam to become IE Certified Interpretative Guides (CIG).

With huge support from Ivana Karanikić, owner of the tourist agency, Prolingua Travel, licensed tourist guide and Certified Interpretative Guide, and guided by Iva Silla, an IE Certified Interpretive Trainer, a not-so-ordinary five-day course was held, sponsored by Kastav city.

This unusual course for tour guides, curators, national park guides etc. taught us all about this small Croatian city, took us to its most secret places and overall showed us what touristic potential this place has.

I live near Kastav and was surprised to realise that we don’t notice the beauty and potential of well-known roads on a daily basis due to our everyday busy lives and problems. To me, this course was a big life teacher not only because of the heritage interpretation theme, but I also received positive critique from colleague guides, learned how to work in a team, and how to activate my imagination again.

With different methods and tools, this course taught us exactly how to transfer love for the heritage in your city, how to bring history to life and how to give the feeling of local to the travellers and tourists.

As ambassadors of Croatian tourism, we tourist guides are often the first contact that tourists have with our country, and our job is to be good hosts and to represent our town, region and county.

What tourists seek is genuine experiences. The ‘sea and sun’ concept came to an end a long time ago and we are here to help them discover something deeper about our country.

In the end, we weren’t just part of the course, we were deeply involved with great experiences, new friendships, and definitely fell in love with this extraordinary town, and its small curvy streets, myths and legends and museums.

I would like to thank Grad Kastav for recognising the potential in this course, Hotel Kukuriku for tolerating us, the pizzeria Rustika and restaurant Fortica for fantastic meals, and definitely Interpret Europe for carrying out this fantastic concept.

Sonja is a geographer, licensed tourist guide in Croatia and owner of the travel agency Tailormade Travel (www.tailor-travels.com). She is also part of the Fashion Revolution Croatia team, and involved in the organisation of lots of events in green fashion. You can contact her at: sonja@tailor-travels.com.

To cite this article:
Tudor, Sonja (2019) ‘CIG in the small Croatian city of Kastav’. In Interpret Europe Newsletter 1-2019,14.
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