The very first Croatian citizen to embrace the brandstory way was a much admired entrepreneur in Lovran, on the Adriatic Gulf of Kvarner. His name is Vjeko Martinko, owner of Croatia's "best boutique hideaway" (see The Times article).
We discovered that his boutique hotel, spa, apartments and retreat all shared a particular sense of place, each vividly illustrating the story of Lovran itself. For the town is named after its ubiquitous laurel tree, which Ovid immortalised as the symbol of Daphne, transformed when fleeing Apollo: “ever young...ever green”.
The “Tree of Transformation” story echoed around the hotel rooms at Villa Astra and took us to the “Source of Energy” at Vjeko’s Casa Oraj, high above the Gulf. From here brandstory went on to explore tourism interests throughout the country and advise Government departments and enterprises.
Just as Lovranske Vile offered transformation to guests, so it lit a torch for the transformation of tourism, in the Adriatic Gulf and beyond. Where Vjeko Martinko leads, others will follow, from the promise of his brand stories towards a new age.
So it was that a laurel tree begat an acorn, both for Croatia and for brandstory.