As you all know, the beautiful city of Dubrovnik is located along the sparkling waters of the Adriatic, and attracts people from all over the world for its bright blue sea, medieval walls and Game of Throne’s filming spots.
Tourism in Dubrovnik has sky rocketed in the past few years, and a lot of it has to do with the Game of Thrones’ filming locations, which brings 60,000 tourists a year just for that particular reason.
It was reported that in a single day in August of 2016, over 10,000 tickets were bought to walk Dubrovnik’s famous city walls. This heavy influx of tourism has caused excessive pollution, the destruction of animal habitats, and it overloads the infrastructure as well as threatens the culture and heritage of the city. The limestone of Stradun has been gradually smoothed down from thousands of people walking along it with each tourist season, so much so, that the city has had to manually create texture on the limestone with hammers to create some kind of slip resistance.
The prices of homes in Dubrovnik’s Old Town have increased because of the amount of houses being turned into Airbnb’s to accommodate tourists. This destroys a sense of community and inflates the price of property. It has been reported that today only 1,157 people call Dubrovnik’s Old City home, compared to 5,000 in 1991. Many argue that Dubrovnik is on its way to become the next “Disneyland”, which has already happened in places like Venice, just across the Adriatic.
Along with the threat of the city turning into a place that does nothing but cater to its many foreign visitors, over construction along the coast is threatening the biodiversity of the land, as well as pollution from the thousands of visitors who walk through the streets of Dubrovnik each day. Dubrovnik is a beautiful city that has a rich history, and it’s a no brainer why people want to go within the city’s walls. There needs to be a solution that allows visitors to travel to this uniquely alluring city on the Adriatic, but in a way in which such trends won’t destroy the land and the culture.
Any tourist who is interested in planning their next trip to Dubrovnik should see if they’re meeting a standard checklist that will keep over tourism from saturating the city. This checklist should make foreign travellers consider the following,
Is the place you are staying at owned by locals?
Are you supporting local businesses and contributing to the economy versus buying items at manufactured souvenir shops?
Are you participating in any excursions that do not respect the environment?
Are you respecting the locals’ culture?
Do you clean up after yourself when visiting the hiking trails or beaches?
By promoting and implementing the use of a kind of checklist for tourists to use to keep these questions in mind when visiting Dubrovnik, visitors and locals are ensuring that there is a way to coexist in a positive manner, where the economy can prosper, and continue to make Dubrovnik a thriving destination for people from all over the world. Making visitors aware of sustainable tourism through promotional advertisements or a simple brochure when they enter Dubrovnik’s walls has the potential to influence their actions.
By supporting local businesses, treating the land as if it were your own, and respecting Dubrovnik’s way of life, it is ensuring that the long-term development of tourism in Dubrovnik is sustainable and promotes the harmony of the local economy, the environment and the cultural/social aspects of the city.
SOURCE(S): Overtourism in Dubrovnik from Responsible Travel. (n.d.). Retrieved here.
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