Tourism in Dubrovnik through the eyes of well-known guide Ivan Vukovic Vuka

Lauren Simmonds

A well-known and much loved Dubrovnik tour guide takes to Facebook to write a comical, yet painfully true post on what mass tourism has become in the Pearl of the Adriatic.

The problems facing Croatia’s southernmost town owing to the vastly negative effects of unbridled, mass tourism have long since been documented on many news portals, in many newspapers and in many angry comment sections on all corners of social media. The side effects of endless cruise ships, angry taxi drivers, mile-long traffic jams, hire cars and the lack of anything on the shelves at Pemo by noon affect everyone in Dubrovnik, including the tourists themselves. 

Ivan Vukovic Vuka is unarguably Dubrovnik’s most beloved tour guide, and despite his happy demeanor and almost permanent smile, he is obviously beginning to feel the irritating, proverbial rash that is Dubrovnik’s apparently out-of-control tourism and describes it in a telling, albeit comical Facebook status written in a mixture of both English and Croatian, if you are able to read Croatian language, here is the link to the original as published by DuList, as some things are colloquial and cannot be properly translated, if you aren’t, please read on for a short translation:

”Tourism in Dubrovnik:

Hi Ivan, see you tomorrow in Du-brov-nik. We are in Zagreb. (I hope so, because if you fly with Croatia Airlines you could also go to Rome).
You arrive to meet your guests, say, at the Bellevue Hotel, and you did not even manage to run 20 meters before some booker sees you and starts yelling ”Sea kayaking! City tour!” What a start. You didn’t even manage to get to the old hospital, and once again you hear the yelling of ”Pub crawl! Cable car tickets!” Wtf? Selling cable car tickets on the black?

And then comes the first contact with the [Old] City, a few more stands, we are now Janica Kostelic, slaloming with the exclamation of ”Game of Throneees, we are the pioneers of these tours, join us!”. Somehow we’ll enter between the cruise ship passengers. Of course, the guests cannot hear me, but I slide onto Stradun to the sound of the tweeting of Dubrovnik’s local birds (known as parrots) and just when you think that it is the end, then come the restaurants with ”Pasta, pizza, great menu TripAdvisor 1*!!!”

Ivan escapes with the guests through Ploce gate, again, through the stands, avoiding that drunkard at the very last minute. I don’t go through the streets in town because it means running at 110kmh with chairs and tables.

Dear Dubrovnik politicians, I can hardly wait for you to publish who will be the bew director of the Dubrovnik Tourist Board. On Thursday, the 29th of June, 10,000 people are expected from cruise ships. So help us God!”


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