Jelena Tabak, Croatia
At the beginning of the summer Jelena Tabak was elected as the president of the hospitality industry association of the Croatian Chamber of Commerce (HGK). Nothing new for the young woman from Split, who was previously the president of the National Association of Restaurateurs. Her experience as the owner of the small tavern “Dujkin dvor”, on Matejuška, helped her to understand the problems of her fellow restaurateurs, both during COVID and today in the era of excessive tourism. As a translator for English and Italian, Jelena Tabak also works as a permanent court interpreter for those two languages. But tourism is what interests her from the very beginning.
After working in a travel agency, Jelena became a tourist guide, and in 2012 she founded the seasonal juice bar “Kokolo” with the aim of reviving the sale of fruit on the Fruit Square in Split. Only a year later, she opened a small tavern Dujkin dvor, a place where she wanted and managed, according to her visitors, to revive the spirit of old Split and the Varoš cultural heritage, the old district of Split’s farmers and fishermen.
“I have been working all my life in tourism and I like to say that I am a tourist worker, more than a caterer. My goal was not only to open a restaurant but also to expand the story of Split’s culture. I love tourism. From experience, I can say that tourism also requires a full-time engagement, but catering is much harder, rougher” she recently told to the local paper Slobodna Dalmacija.