The Croatian media is buzzing with the arrival of the latest A-list celebrity to visit the island of Hvar: Tom Cruise goes walkabout.
Last year it was Prince Harry jumping into a swimming pool and Beyonce revealing her baby bump; this year Tom Cruise is the latest celebrity to check out the vibrant buzz on the island of Hvar, and he delighted fans by going walkabout in Hvar Town and posing for pictures with fans on August 31, 2012.
Cruise, who has visited Croatia once before in 2004, is holidaying in Croatia aboard the yacht Lady S, and headed for Croatia's premier island - named by Lonely Planet as its number five destination for 2012 - after arriving at Split Airport by private jet from Luton.
Hvar has a reputation of being a relaxed place for celebrities to visit, and Cruise seemed to enjoy his time, relaxing over a drink at Cafe Bar Pjaca on the main square. He delighted his army of local fans by freely posing for photographs (watch the video here).
During his visit, Cruise found time to meet with Hvar's charismatic mayor, Pjerino Bebic, who has been in the celebrity limelight himself in recent months. As previously reported on Digital Journal, Bebic wrote to Beyonce and Jay-Z in the wake of the positive publicity for the island's tourism in the wake of their visit and subsequent revelation that they found the inspiration for the naming of their daughter, Blue Ivy, on Hvar. Bebic bestowed honorary citizenship on Blue Ivy - a story that travelled around the world and led to an immediate upsurge in interest in tourism on the island.
Hvar Mayor Pjerino Bebic with Bernie Ecclestone and Eric Clapton at the Monaco Grand Prix
Bebic was also in Monte Carlo earlier this year, promoting the luxury aspect of Hvar's tourism, dining with Eric Clapton and Hvarophile Bernie Ecclestone. Clapton visited Hvar last month.
"We met near the main square," Bebic told Digital Journal about his meeting with Cruise. "I pointed out the oldest public theatre in Europe, which this year celebrates its 400th anniversary on Hvar. I told him also about Ivan Vucetic, a Hvar emigrant who pioneered the use of fingerprinting, and explained to him the rich history of the island. He was enchanted by the city and said he will be back."
Michael Schumacher posing after a meal at Meneghello on Palmizana
Cruise's visit is the most high profile of Hvar's busy 2012 season, a season which has also seen the likes of Clapton, Michael Schumacher, Edward Norton, Goran Visnjic and King Albert of Belgium visiting the island where organised tourism in Europe began in 1868.