Event description and key objectives
From March 15th till March 18th, the capital of Croatia hosted for the second time the Festival of Lights Zagreb. With the support of the City of Zagreb and HEP, and in organization by the Zagreb Tourist Board, the historic center was illuminated with the cutting-edge lighting solutions based on very recent lighting technologies.
The first Festival of Lights Zagreb was held last year on 7 locations and this year the attractive audio-visual installations and projections came to life at 19 locations. The theme of the festival is the spring that symbolizes the awakening, growth and renaissance, therefore each of the locations tried to evoke the springtime through light performances in the evening.
After successful launching of the overall project of Festival of lights in 2017, our main goal in 2018 was to further position the Croatian capital as the all year-round city break destination with Festival of lights Zagreb as one of its most recognizable events.
Enlarging the festival from 7 to 19 locations was the biggest challenge, but it was successfully overcome because of the great support from local community and the City of Zagreb. Also, the interesting content at the 4 day long event on the open space, create a unique image of the capital during , therefore Zagreb Tourist Board had the assignment of uniting the overall offer and present it to the international tourist market. A great challenge was to transform Zagreb into the only year-round destination in Croatia which is mostly perceived as a traditional destination for summer vacation, manly on the coast.
A festival of good emotions and beautiful scenes where light artists use the city and its landmarks as a painting canvas announces the arrival of spring. It also unofficially marks the begging of tourist season in Zagreb, showing once again that Croatian capital is interesting to visit in every part of the year and only for summer holiday.
Light art is a new discipline that has escaped the confines of museum walls, its artists using as their canvas the city, its buildings, its monuments, the night sky itself. Part art, part design, architecture and entertainment spectacle, the festival both brings you something beautiful to look at and something to make you see your world differently.
Festival of Lights Zagreb is bringing an exciting new dimension to Croatian capital, enrobing its famous historic center in vivid hues or using it as an integral part of creative works.
In 2017 Zagreb’s very first Festival of Lights was a four-day celebration of spring that included experiencing a light harp and challenged visitors to win a prize in a unique laser maze.
With the four-day festival, Zagreb joined the other world cities that have a tradition of holding such festivals, like Lyon, Amsterdam, Helsinki, Prague, St. Petersburg or Berlin. Zagreb Festival of Light is also included in the International Festival of Lights Association. All the 19 locations were successfully presented and the social networks had enormous reach and shares during the Festival
During the Festival of Lights Zagreb and according to the Zagreb Tourist Board data, in the Croatian capital was marked the increase of 28% in tourist arrivals and 44% in overnight stays. In comparison to the last year, when Zagreb Tourist Board was organizing this festival for the very first time, this year in only four days there were 10,652 tourist arrivals and 21,592 overnight stays.
In this period Zagreb had 3,032 domestic (increase of 32%), 7,620 international tourists (increase of 26%) and the most numerous guests were from the South Korea, Italy, Bosnia and Herzegovina, USA and Germany. Out of overall overnights, 5,094 overnight stays were made by domestic guests (increase of 30%) and 16,498 international (increase of 48%)
After successful launching of the overall project of Festival of lights in 2017, our main goal in 2018 was to further position the Croatian capital as the all year-round city break destination with Festival of lights Zagreb as one of its most recognizable events. To make this happen, we focused on the countries that have tradition of visiting Croatia for summer vacations because we wanted to increase the number of our traditional guests by giving them more of the content and context, creating new user experience during other months. Having that in mind, we chose as our main markets for the offline campaign the surrounding countries: Bosnia and Herzegovina, Serbia, Slovenia, Hungary, Austria and Germany. Also, we created a completely new website dedicated to Festival of lights Zagreb and conducted the online campaign. The main campaign goal was to promote and communicate the Festival of lights Zagreb in selected markets. The campaign was designed to build up destination awareness within the target group, strengthen the presence of Zagreb within European destinations with the ultimate goal of inspiring people to visit the Festival.
The use of sustainable practices
Festival of lights uses electric power and as such is one the “greenest” events in Zagreb.