Maslow’s hierarchy of needs / Wikipedia I like to explore and go on trips minimally prepared because I enjoy the spontaneity of experiences, observations, observations, connections, surprises. This was my first encounter with the island of Rab, and the “bucket / forest” is the first impression related to that island. And it is important to emphasize that this is not about criticizing an island, nor about the need to judge from the ego, nor about snobbery that everything should be deluxe or about the pettiness that nothing is worth it, it’s just about the sad fact that people are in the ferry port it is normal to offer guests buckets or woods instead of a decent toilet. It’s about the locals commenting on it; “It’s been like that for years, we can’t do anything about it!”Without labeling ParadiseWho loves surprises, gets them! But it is important to know that the researcher in me has learned not to evaluate “at first” because he is aware that this leads to labeling and prejudice, so I just memorized this incident in a folder of my mind without giving it any name. And joyfully continued her mission; experience the greenest Kvarner island in all its magic. And in the end the mission was successful! Because when you find yourself in such a harmony of nature and the creation of the sea, the only thing that can arouse in you is – absolute delight! And his own presence in that majesty of nature that abundantly bestowed on Our Lady. In beautiful forests and beautiful beaches, everything is perfect in its simplicity, as it should be. Just go and experience!But…… That famous but… as soon as you move away from that heavenly creation you enter into discord on several levels; aesthetic, signaling, service, utility, content. Created mainly by the human factor.”We’re still asleep” were the comments of the hosts, locals and some catering staff I spoke to. “Nothing is happening to you here”, “this island offers nothing, it is falling behind” is their understanding of tourism on Rab. Although statistics indicate positively growing trends.And indeed, no matter what the end of April is, what the weather is ideal, and the nature beautiful and awakened, no matter what guests arrive after all, the island is really asleep! Containers empty, backyards untidy, driveways overgrown without any horticultural aesthetics, all public toilets closed, you don’t have much choice to rent a bike. The family we were instructed to rent bikes to and from which we came did not show proactivity to prepare our bikes “because they have to see if they are tuned in”, so they reluctantly and remotely concluded only briefly; “Call us later.” The locals mostly complained that they were stagnant, and when asked about some taverns for which I received recommendations, they did not know how to refer us (they had never heard of them!) Even though they are in the same place. We were not offered any content, let alone experiences. They were not put in front of our noses, we were not instructed in anything, we were not “flooded” with anything. “We’re still asleep,” “It’s not the season yet,” is a mantra we’ve heard many times. On the island, which makes up about 14% of the Kvarner overnight stays, one sleeps at the end of April. And the (mild) noise on the street, the filled terraces of cafes and restaurants, the full square on the Asparagus Days clearly show that he should have already woken up from his winter sleep. Because the guests are there. Present. They do something, they ask, they want, they need.Photo: Private albumYes, they should! And a real demonstration of a state full of life. Not just in season. And not just in popular destinations. They need a “full life” in both April and November. And it’s a homework assignment we haven’t done. And that’s why we keep falling for the seasonality test.We need our guests and a little better signaling. Especially the one related to beautiful sandy beaches. If you are an adventurer, hiking for miles and exploring the beaches is part of your need and experience, but it should be just a base, to which the facilities can be upgraded, of course in accordance with natural laws.We need our guests and ambassadors of their island, people who will talk about the island best, who will call around to organize something for you, who will occupy you in ordinary and unusual ways. Both in April and in November.They also need ambassadors of authenticity, locals and organizers who defend the uniqueness of the island in all ways. And in such a way that, for example, the Asparagus Days event organized in the place avoids the syndrome of most gastronomic events that asparagus is a light motif, and the focus is actually on the sale of čevap and skewers.And most importantly, our guests and citizens need the synergy of all stakeholders of the island in action in our tourism. Not theoretical, in words, in welcome speeches and in some studies. Rather practical, action, as a modus operandi, to be achieved as my colleague Pinezić says that “the whole destination should be one hotel”, that our islands function as a hotel mechanism. To cooperate sectoral, local, county, however necessary! That everyone knows their role and that they perform it conscientiously and responsibly. Because then we will certainly not ask ourselves why in the 21st century Stinica cannot offer its guests a toilet. Which should be neither gilded, nor luxurious, nor innovative!Author: Dr.sc. Marinela Dropulic Ruzic, Meraklis* The views expressed in the columns are the personal views of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the views of the editorial staff of the HrTurizam.hr portal,Author: Dr.sc. Marinela Dropulic Ruzic, Meraklis* The views expressed in the columns are the personal views of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the views of the editorial staff of the HrTurizam.hr portal “If you want, I can give you our bucket,” the young waitress told me when I asked for a toilet in Stinica, the secret port for the island of Rab.- “Kantu? What do you mean? ”I ask in disbelief, thinking I didn’t hear well.- “Well, bucket, that’s how we do it. We have a toilet, but we don’t use it because it costs us too much to empty the septic tank, ”explained this young lady with a smile.”Are you saying you don’t have a toilet for your guests?” I keep asking, still amazed?- “Yes, we don’t have guests and no one has a toilet for you, unfortunately you have to wait for the ferry” – she finished shrugging.- “And what about the public that stands there”, I persistently continue, pointing to the white toilet containers a few meters away from the building where we sat down for a drink.- “They haven’t worked for a long time, they are locked, I tell you you need to go to the forest!”, This dear young creature smiled at me as if it were the most normal thing in the 21st century.- “Let’s go again”, “you mean that nowhere in the district, there is no toilet now or during the season?” so how did you get a work permit? ”I persistently continue this interesting conversation.”I’m telling you we have a toilet, but it’s not worth using because it’s too expensive to flush,” the sympathetic waitress repeated on the way back to the bar, leaving me in shock, disbelief and amazement as her older colleague in the background assured the guest he didn’t need a glass of beer – that they ran out of glass, and that he can drink from a bottle?Oh yeah! That’s it! That moment of total presence and awareness that I am in Stinica, the ferry port for the island of Rab and that in the 21st century in the country where I live and which is recognized as a tourist destination, instead of a toilet you will be offered a bucket or a forest ?! The moment in which, as a tourist in my own country, I experience the bizarreness of tourism that we write about, discuss and that we want to improve. Emotions lined up in layers; first shock, then anger, then sadness. The grief of someone who loves, lives, appreciates and does tourism. Sadness over the illusion we live in. We brag about the glitter, slogans, campaigns, investments, and we are not able in the pre-season for a minimum of 150 people (approx. 75 cars x a minimum of 2 people) who were waiting for the ferry at that time to provide the most basic; public or catering toilet! The ferry runs to Rab 14 times in the same day, so calculate the number of people. And it’s best not to even think about the chaos in the peak season.At that moment of the 21st century, in a country full of life in which we are not able to guarantee our guests and citizens the conditions for basic physiological needs, all conferences, panels, discussions, strategies (….) Really become meaningless and missed. Let’s just remember Maslow’s pyramids of need which confirms this exactly;only when basic physiological needs are met can we talk about other needs and motivations. Dear reader, I will honestly say that I am a little ashamed to write about this topic!