Velvet Nelson* - Sam Houston State University
Croatia's long Adriatic coast has an extensive history of tourism, from the development of fashionable seaside resorts in the mid-nineteenth century to the rise of mass 3S tourism in the mid-twentieth. The industry was devastated by the outbreak of war following Croatia's declaration of independence in 1991. Much attention has been focused on the country's strategic, aggressive, and largely successful post-war promotional campaign to re-create their international image and promote the destination as "The Mediterranean as it once was" with particular focus on Dalmatia. Although located on the Adriatic, the city of Rijeka has largely been excluded from these efforts. In tourism information sources at the national scale, Rijeka is noted for its transportation connections and access to other destinations around the Kvarner Gulf and Istrian Peninsula but is not discussed as a tourism destination in its own right. Internally-produced information sources, such as the official tourism website of the Croatian National Tourist Board, and externally-produced sources, such as tourism guidebooks, exert a tremendous amount of power over which places tourists choose to visit within the destination and what they expect from those places they visit. Yet, despite a lack of representations - and even negative representations – of the city in these information sources, Rijeka saw a 142% increase in foreign tourist visits between 2000 and 2010.