“Malinska is the pearl of the Kvarner islands,” wrote university professor L. Waagen of Vienna in 1905.
Tourism, the main branch of Malinska’s economy, began at the turn of the century due to the development of railway and steamship transport. The first recorded guests were hunters, Austrian and Hungarian aristocrats and patricians from Rijeka. They came to Malinska to hunt woodcock and other fowl. The visit of Archduke Rudolf of Hapsburg and his escort was recorded at the beginning of 1887. The hardworking locals tried as best as they could to ensure their own livelihood, and established many companies and businesses all over the island. One of these companies was incorporated in Bogovići in 1904 as a type of cooperative that obtained foodstuffs and other products at lower prices for the people. This also encouraged the opening of the first hospitality
facilities which were, up to the 1930s, built using local capital. At first, locals tried to adapt existing structures for the purpose of tourism.
The first accommodation and hospitality facility was opened in 1880, a tavern and inn mostly frequented by hunters, giving rise to its name, Al Cacciatore (Hunter’s Arms). The Italian name was mandated because of the influence of Italianists from then Austrian Istria and the Kvarner islands. With the departure of the Italians in 1921, the name was changed to Triglav. It initially had six rooms, and was later expanded to ten rooms. The first owners were Tomo and Petra Fabijanić. For many years it was the favourite gathering place of the people of Malinska and Dubašnica. Today, it has been modernized and bears the name of Adria, and is open only during the tourist season.
Jadran, the first postwar hotel, was built in 1920 and owned by Petar Škarpa. Today, the former hotel building is the seat of the municipality. In 1923 near the bathing area of Draga, Anton Milčetić built a hotel of the same name featuring a large hall and kitchen. Its capacity was 54 beds. Today, this building houses the dispensary and shooting range of the Sports Shooting Club. In 1926, Mate Galantić built Hotel Kvarner (no longer open today), while, in 1928, brothers Ivan and Mate Bogović built hotel Praha featuring a restaurant and covered terrace on the ground floor.
The late 19th century was important for medical tourism in Malinska. Due to the benefits provided by the coastal climate, 1984 marked the start of the organized arrival of members of the Austrian Southern Railroads. In 1909, the tavern Slavija opened and, in addition to food, also offered board. This marked the beginning of seasonal hospitality. During these years, several small taverns, hotels, and villas opened. All except one were built by the local populace.
In 1909, locals from different vocations and social backgrounds with the shared vision of encouraging tourism, established the Society for the Beautification of Malinska. Through their work, they devoted equal attention to new construction, both for accommodation and hospitality, and to the grooming of promenades and trails, installation of benches, and cleaning.
The Bathing Committee was established in 1929. Their first task was to groom the bathing areas of Haludovo and Draga, and to connect them along the coast.
The promotion of tourism in Malinska began the same year. The premiere of the first promotional film was held in Sušak in November 1929. The film attracted great attention, and was also screened in Czechoslovakia, Austria and Germany. Greater efforts were devoted to expanding tourist offerings, and instruments were purchased and music groups established. Among the first was the Tamburica Group formed around 1925.
In 1931 the Czechoslovakian Children’s Colony became the first hospitality establishment built with foreign capital. It had a capacity of 172 beds and a large kitchen. A children’s bathing area, park, and modest sports playground were also built. For many years, it was a successful establishment for children’s vacations.
Between Hotel Malin in 1936, and the complex of Haludovo in 1970 (which is no longer operational), a great number of apartments were built in Malinska, along with several family owned hotels featuring groomed surroundings and multiple tourist amenities.