Gordana Piteša is a true sustainability champion and has been an integral part of the Ecobnb community of sustainable hosts for several years. And today it is impossible to imagine sustainable tourism in Split-Dalmatia County without her. Organic food and an awareness of nature have accompanied Gordana since childhood.

Gordana Piteša, Sustainability Champion, and Villa Vinea in Dalmatia
Gordana Piteša – Sustainability Champion

More than 8 years ago, Gordana turned the Villa Vinea into sustainable accommodation. Pioneering thinking, passion and rethinking things have always been at the forefront for the Piteša family. The consistent striving for the good, the genuine and the authentic is part of the hoteliers’ family philosophy. Today, Gordana is running Villa Vinea and the hotel Rotondo in 2nd generation.  Being active and doing things differently has always been something Gordana has experienced and been shaped by.

Villa Vinea, inland Dalmatia
Villa Vinea, inland Dalmatia

In her free time, Gordana is a passionate nature lover and loves to relax on nearby walking trails overlooking Trogir Bay. She knows where to find hidden gems like nature wells; how valuable home-grown food is and how to prepare it so that the taste is particularly good. Great and priceless – having Gordana at the Ecobnb.

Hiking trails in inland Dalmatia
Hiking trails in inland Dalmatia

Mission-driven focus

Gordana is a successful eco-entrepreneur. Her mindset blends a mission-driven approach with innovative problem-solving skills and a deep commitment to sustainability and her community’s well-being. By prioritizing collaboration, and cultural sensitivity, Gordana creates tourism experiences that are not only enjoyable for her guests staying at Villa Vinea or Hotel Rotondo, but also beneficial and empowering for the local community in the Prapatnica area.

Villa Vinea grapes

Gordana is deeply motivated by her mission to create positive environmental and social change. One of her main goals is to address cultural preservation and environmental conservation through her accommodation Villa Vinea, where she is growing native species of grapes, garlic (called Šarac),  and chickpeas.

Villa Vinea organic wine, Traditional grape varieties
Traditional grape varieties

Sustainability as Gordana’s Core Value

Gordana is working closely with community members, employs local people at Hotel Rotondo and supports local artisan businesses by placing their products as gifts for her guests. Sustainability is at the heart of her operations. She strives to minimize negative environmental impacts by waste separation, water and energy-saving solutions and promotes conservation practices by supporting eco-tourism initiatives, such as Dalmatia Green Certification Program and Ambassador of Tourism in Split-Dalmatia County.

Villa Vinea Eco Certificate

She is innovative in providing authentic and sustainable alternatives to mainstream tourism by promoting cultural immersion experiences such as visiting eco ethno village Škopljanci Radošić.

Adaptability, resilience and empowering employees

The tourism industry is dynamic and quite unpredictable. Gordana Piteša is adaptable and resilient, capable of navigating challenges such as economic downturns and changing market trends. She continuously learns and adapts her strategy to stay relevant and effective.

Eco-travelers staying at Villa Vinea

During the COVID times, when mass layouts were a common practice of most hotel managers, Gordana decided to stay with all of her team members. She finds it very important to respect employees, to treat them as family, and to stay together also when times get hard. They have a long-term vision for their impact. While immediate results are important, they focus on creating sustainable change that will benefit future generations, which is proven by a prestigious EU Ecolabel certificate.

Hotel Rotondo team
Hotel Rotondo team

Empathy, Cultural Sensitivity and Partnerships

Empathy and cultural sensitivity are Gordana’s crucial traits as she deeply respects local culture and tradition, from coastal Trogir all the way to Dalmatian hinterland. She ensures that her initiatives honor and preserve Dalmatian cultural heritage. She also engages in programs that support young entrepreneurs on their career paths. At the moment, she is hosting a young artist from North Macedonia within the Erasmus for Young Entrepreneurs program, who is creating practical and eco-friendly gifts for Villa Vinea’s guests.  

Gordana Piteša and young entrepreneur Milana Peshikj
Gordana Piteša and young entrepreneur Milana Peshikj

Gordana builds strong partnerships with the Croatian Chamber of Commerce, Split-Dalmatia county authorities, and Association Sunce Split to achieve her social and environmental goals. These partnerships often provide her with essential support and resources, and help her to spread her voice for greener tourism.

Panel discussion on the topic of sustainable tourism
Panel discussion on the topic of sustainable tourism

Nowadays, successful eco-entrepreneurs in tourism possess a distinct mindset that combines business acumen with a deep commitment to social and environmental impact. Gordana Piteša is one of the Dalmatian sustainability champions working with great passion, commitment, and ethical leadership style. Let her story inspire you to work towards a positive change.

Author: Nastja Logar

My life's passion is sustainable tourism, green marketing and glamping. I'm interested in discovering hidden gems away from tourist crowds, searching for unique experiences, pristine smiles and inspiring stories. I'm committed to promote authentic local lifestyle for green, active and healthy travelers while creating benefits for the local community.
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