Why is the Ploče Fishermen’s Festival a lesson on synergy and tourism development?

first_imgAlthough I am a frequent visitor to various events and I respect and appreciate all human creations and organizations, this time I single out the Ploče Fishermen’s Festival, not because I am emotionally attached to this city, but because of details, facts and experiences worth sharing. Ploče has the hallmark of a strategically important cargo port and is just waking up as a tourist destination, but with the event it offers every summer, it can serve as an example of creating an authentic experience. Let’s start with the arguments, then. LESSON 1 – A MANIFESTATION AT WHICH ALL SENSES WERE SATISFIEDWalking along the long Ploce waterfront that evening was like passing through air curtains woven of summer, sea and seafood. The closer I got to the “crime scene”, the more intense the smells became and, most importantly, they completely evoked that we were in the Neretva Valley. Delicacy to delicacy, in different variants, forms and shapes. Just try for a moment to imagine what kind of gastronomic creations we are talking about when 960 kg of fish, 587 kg of other seafood were prepared that evening and 2024 liters of wine, 163 liters of olive oil, 344 kg of onions (garlic), 70 liters of vinegar were consumed. ) and 1478 hot peppers. Fennel, sea bass, mussels, squid, shrimp, octopus, sardines, cuttlefish, eels, frogs and other seafood are prepared as broths of different textures and textures, risottos of different variations, gregada, grilled and as various pâtés and salads. With 68 tables, there were 68 variations of scents that deserve to be described in only one way – as authentic Neretva and Dalmatia. The decorations accompanied the entire gastronomic pomp which was extra pleasing to the eye to see.  The pots rattled, the fire crackled, and the moment you embark on a marathon rehearsal of all that was offered to you, it was as if you were entering another time.In which you are on the throne of a feast prepared for you in part – because everyone wants you to try just theirs. No one offers you čevapčići and skewers, no one asks you to pay for something, no one sells you something that is not “fresh” and “homemade” – you are at a time when you are wholeheartedly offered the most delicious fish menus – just because you came . Source: www.ploče.hrLESSON 2 – MAN IS MAN TO MAN This folk festival of volunteer character is special in that in the competition without official evaluation, the participants bear the full cost of meals.  They say that the preparations last all year, and the idea was for people to somehow “return to the sea”.  It is conceived that “the waterfront that day will become a living room in which the hosts and guests are one” [1]. Nobody talks about earnings or expenses, the only thing that matters is socializing. This 9th Fishermen’s Night was attended by 53 teams that had their 815 members in the background.  In organizational terms, we are talking about 53 informal groups gathered around the same ideals guided by one desire; to be the best possible hosts. And most importantly, these teams are (albeit unknowingly) true ambassadors of the fish philosophy. Fish philosophy [2]). All elements of this organizational model were applied spontaneously; team members have fun and play, respect others, brighten the day for others, are present and fully committed to what they do. Teams that demonstrated their culinary skills on 2-3 cookers also met the principles of teamwork (engl. TORI theory [3]) for without mutual trust, openness, realization, and interdependence all this would not be possible. And it is worth mentioning the rulebook that is respected and contributes to an excellent organizational climate [4]:1. Weigh the fish,2. Take two liters of wine more than planned,3. Take three ridges and red onions more than planned.4. Ponit and other spices…5. Remember that you cook best and there is no one to think about.6. Insert another pinch of goodwill and a pound of letters,7. Wine is for cooking…The preparation, organization and realization of these teams, without education, procedures and strict hierarchies, teach us what is often forgotten in corporations – that everything is motivated! Source: www.rogotih.hrLESSON 3 – SYNERGY OF ALL STAKEHOLDERSThe motto of the whole story is; catch fish, get everything you need, prepare, share and honor. And not just to those you know – everyone is welcome. And because of that spirit, the fishing team has more and more guest teams every year, so this year the actors from Zagvozd, teams from Slavonski Brod, Split, Kaštela, Opuzen, Gradac, etc. cooked and prepared for someone who lives, works and loves tourism in a city that not tourist oriented and who has slept for years, it was a real pleasure to see enthusiastic tourists who could not help but wonder that everything is so delicious, rich and – free.Over 5000 people who were part of this event came there because of  good experience and recommendations.  WOMM is also in this case (engl. word of mouth marketing, hrv. oral tradition) proved to be the most effective promotional tool. Although budgets are limited, funds for logistical and organizational details have been raised in agreement between the City, the Tourist Board, the Local Board and local businesses. But for 2 + 2 to be 5, the most deserving are the citizens, ie the teams that volunteered to cook and finance all the gastronomic offer. It is clear that the most valuable currency of this stock market – goodwill. Source: https://www.facebook.com/ribarskanocploce/LESSON 4 – AUTHENTICITYThis event also passed the exam of authenticity with honors. First, it fully represents traditional Neretva dishes.To reiterate, čevapi, burgers and other popular variations are not welcome. Secondly, it is possible to play, sing and listen only to Dalmatian songs. Thirdly, every year the official opening of this gastronomic spectacle is left to the king of fish – toothpick (9-10kg) which falls into human hands from the church bell tower. And the autochthony was reflected in the aesthetics of the tables, which accompanied the whole story with non-Ratvan products, fishing motifs and arrangements. Source: Nada Digital StudioLESSON 5 – IT IS NOT THE FAULT OF THE SARDINE THAT THE FISH IS BLUE We live in a world of rapid change with a focus on financial interests, so the concept of “come and help yourself, today we cook for you” is something that really delights people. Especially because the locals set aside their money, time and energy so that we, as (non) random passers-by, could enjoy it. They say “well, it doesn’t pay off financially” but this gathering is important to us, it’s in our heads all year long. And then you remember that on some other fishing, along with the famous čavap-burger menus, you only had sardines to choose from, charged and served without a song and the most valuable thing that comes from a man – a sincere smile. These values, as well as the culture of courtesy at Ploče’s fishing, deserve admiration. In Lijepa Naša we certainly have a lot of such organizations and experiences. And from them we need to learn what synergy, generosity and hospitality are. What ideals are and what it means to respect your tradition. Napoleon Bonaparte concluded that “fear and interest are two forces that unite people.” Here we definitely confirm the latter – interest to be the best possible host!Of course, we are aware that the event should be financially self-sustainable, it can and should be discussed, but here we focus on authenticity, tradition and hospitality as important values ​​of the development of our tourism. Therefore, you have no choice but to come next year or in the role of a chef or taster and experience this harmony of the sea, man and good will. And when you are already there, don’t forget to go to the beautiful Baćina lakes and the Neretva estuary ☺ doc. dr. sc. Marinela Dropulic Ruzic, www.meraklis.hrSources:[1] Zoran Bule[2] More about fish philosophy at: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_AAQT6ifGys.[3] More about TORI theory at: http://www.oocities.org/toritrust/tori_theory_and_practice.htm[4] Retrieved from: www.ploce.com.hrlast_img

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