Summer Destination Only!? Dubrovnik’s September Tourism Boom!

Lauren Simmonds

Last month was a great month for the Pearl of the Adriatic, are people finally realising that this southern Croatian gem is even better to visit in autumn than during summer?

If there is one thing that everyone who knows Dubrovnik well does, aside from complain about traffic and the shops closing too early, it is recommend that people ditch the old, worn out notion of visiting the Pearl of the Adriatic in summer. It is too hot, there are too many people, and there really is far too much here to see and experience to arrive and not get the chance to see it because of the crowds and the harsh summer sun.

Part of the problem, if not the key to the entire issue, is the way flight and holiday companies view Dubrovnik. It has a Mediterranean climate, it is hot, there are some beaches, you can swim in the sea = summer destination.

It seems to me, and always has done, that this type of approach which has long since been applied by Northern and Western European flight companies from countries like the United Kingdom, Germany, the Netherlands and the Scandinavian nations to countries like Spain, Portugal, Greece and indeed now, Croatia, is not only incredibly shallow but quite offensive.

Dubrovnik is a cultural bastion that could and does rival anywhere else in Europe, from the Neolithic gems of England and Scotland to the remnants of Ancient Greece. A living, breathing museum which has more history packed within its small walled radius than anywhere else I can personally imagine surely deserves a bit more of a push as a year-round city break, at the very least, and not just be stuck with the ”summer destination” label, placing it alongside various Spanish and Greek resorts (which shall not be named) that have become greedy and lost their respective souls to what is known as the ”all-inclusive void”.

Maybe September 2017 can shed some light on whether or not there should be some serious re-thinking going on by flight companies…

As Dubrovacki Dnevnik reports on the 4th of October, 2017, the increase in the number of arrivals and overnight stays in the area of ​​Dubrovnik-Neretva County continued throughout the usually much quieter month of September. During the first nine months of this year, approximately 1 million, seven hundred thousand arrivals were recorded, with a total of 7.6 million overnight stays. Compared to 2016, arrivals in 2017 increased by 15% and overnights by 12%.

In September alone, over 250,000 arrivals were registered here in Dubrovnik-Neretva County, which is 13% more than in the same month of 2016. Alongside those numbers, 1.1 million overnights were recorded too, which is 8.6% more than in September 2016.

In the aforementioned period, most arrivals were realised by guests from other European countries, including the United Kingdom, Germany, Poland, Croatia, France, and Bosnia and Herzegovina. These figures were closely followed by guests from the United States.

The largest number of arrivals, higher when compared to 2016, was realised in the area of the City of ​​Dubrovnik, followed by the municipalities of Konavle, Župa Dubrovačka (Parish of Dubrovnik), Orebić (Pelješac) and Korčula Town. As far as the number of overnight stays goes, which, should be mentioned, has also significantly increased in relation to last year, is led by the City of Dubrovnik, followed by the municipalities of Orebić, Konavle, Župa Dubrovačka and Korčula Town.

Is it time for those who run operations to and from Croatia’s southernmost destination to re-think their policies and, dare I say it, rather small-minded world view? Dubrovnik is much, much more than just sunshine and sea, and tarring it with such a generic brush is more than insulting to everything this city possesses, 365 days per year.


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