Another month, another award for Croatia's premier island, as Hvar Town mayor Pjerino Bebic posted news on his Facebook page
on October 18, 2012 that Hvar had received a coveted 'Blue Flower' for tourism excellence at the annual Days of Croatian Tourism conference, which opened today at the Valamar Lacroma Dubrovnik Hotel.
Bebic, himself the recipient of Best Tourism Mayor in Croatia
at last year's conference, was on hand to collect the award from Tourism Minister Ostojic, which was awarded in the category of 3,000 to 10,000 inhabitants.
It is the latest recognition of the quality of tourism on offer on Hvar, which started the year with the international endorsement as Lonely Planet's number five destination for 2012, and has seen high profile celebrity visitors, including Tom Cruise mixing with fans on Hvar Town's exclusive waterfront, and the appearance of the world's largest private yacht, owned by Roman Abramovich.
While the island is famous for its beaches, celebrities and night life, its tourism professionals have been working hard to promote the rich diversity of the island's offer, with considerable success. This year saw the introduction of several new festivals and events to the tourism calendar, including the first ever honey festival, and a late season gastronomic festival, Peskafondo Gariful 2012
The island's gastronomic scene has made huge strides this year, with four of its chefs narrowly missing out on Olympic bronze at the recent culinary Olympics
in Erfurt, Germany, and its wine-makers have won a variety of gold medals in international competitions. The Blue Flower award is recognition for overall tourism excellence, and will give the island heart as it enters the long winter period, with olive harvesting now the main pre-occupation.
Mayor Bebic himself has spend time in the news this year, making world headlines by bestowing honorary citizenship
on the daughter of Beyonce and Jay-Z after she revealed that the naming of Blue Ivy was inspired by a plant on Hvar, which led to an increase in tourism.