It’s always nice when training participants are thrilled, but when the local community joins in … we can move mountains!

Recreating tourism through interpretation was the main idea when Interpret Europe co-organised the course for Certified Interpretive Guides (CIG) in Žminj, Croatia, with the local tourist board. Although a new approach for the local community, Lenka Šajina from the tourist board immediately accepted the idea and fully seized all the advantages of this cooperation. It was a real honor and pleasure to work with such an enthusiastic person, who saw this course as a possibility for the development of tourism in their local community.

The CIG course was held over two weekends in October and was attended by a dozen participants, of course, all within the measures introduced due to Covid-19.

The whole idea was totally supported by the local authorities, especially the Mayor of Žminj, Mr. Željko Plavčić, who also recognised the potential in raising the quality of human resources of the Žminj region´s guides. Also, what a change in the tourist offer, significant for the recreation of tourism and turning to guests from the region, it will bring.

In addition, in the training, we included the local community, people who still live that heritage. Thus, among other phenomena that we discovered together, one of the most interesting was a local cake, known as the Crown of Christ, with the wholehearted help of a local expert in preparing this cake – Grandma Melija. Other local people were also happy to get involved in all the activities, feeling that their heritage was becoming relevant in the way we want to actually preserve it. That way, the synergy of proactive local stakeholders and the Interpret Europe method of heritage interpretation brought added value. Fortunately, this potential value was recognised even at the very beginning, and especially during the course itself, in which the director of the Žminj Tourist Board also participated. In this way, Ms. Šajina was able to personally participate very actively in the training. In fact, she was in a dual role: both participant and organiser – which always proves to be a great foundation for successful collaboration. This shows how the local partner is truly future-oriented.

This recognition of the importance and benefits of such lifelong learning resulted in the exceptional coverage of the entire event by local and national media. Thus, we can confirm over 20 articles in newspapers, on web portals, as well as an exceptional report that was broadcast on the national central news. What great coverage! What a great cooperation!

Max Dubravko Fijačko is an IE Certified Interpretive Trainer and is the IE Gastronomic Heritage Coordinator. You can get in touch with him at:

To cite this article:
Dubravko Fijačko, Max (2020): Fruitful cooperation with local stakeholders in Žminj. In Interpret Europe Newsletter 4-2020, 13.

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