Šibenik inks investment project for Obonjan island, first tourists expected in 2016


Sibenik city authorities, the Suncani Hvar company and the Projekti Sibenik company on Monday signed an agreement that facilitates the immediate implementation of a tourism project to revitalise Obonjan island to be transformed into a vacation and music festival destination.

On that occasion, Sibenik Mayor Zeljko Buric held a joint press conference with representatives of the British investors, headed by Dan Blackledge and Hugo Baus, and presented the project which, according to their assessment, would develop Obonjan to offer an exceptional global tourism product.

Even though reporters asked, not one speaker could state the total amount of the investment because, as they said, there was a lot of work to do on the island and that the infrastructure was in such a state that it would probably 'break' the initial investment plan.

The first phase will be to reconstruct the water supply infrastructure and to construct accommodation facilities so that the first tourists can be expected next spring.

The project managers of the future Obonjan Riviera are a leading music promoter from Great Britain, "Sound Channel", the CMT national tourism operator and the Gratiosus operating company, which have a long tradition and experience in developing and implementing this type of tourism product.

The investors underscored that the Obonjan Riviera project was a separate and original project and would not be part of the Ultra, Unknown, and Hideout festivals even though they in fact were the investors of these festivals.

Everyone expects that this project will benefit Obonjan, Sibenik, the county and Croatian tourism overall and in 2016 already they expect 3,000 visitors a week to the island and around 120,000 overnight stays, which should bring in around HRK 70 million in tourism spending.

Mayor Buric underscored that the Projekti Sibenik company had taken over the obligation to repay a HRK 11 million loan which was being paid until now by the City of Sibenik and that the investors would construct the water infrastructure to the island, valued at HRK 25 million which the city was also responsible for.

"Sibenik will reduce its expenses by at least HRK 40 million and several domestic companies will benefit from the project," Buric said.