‘Do They Walk Around London Like That?’: Mayor of Hvar Town on Measures Against Public Disorder

Total Croatia News

After last week’s statement about the need to take care of Hvar’s image, new Mayor of Hvar Town Rikardo Novak wants to get the island in order.

In an interview for Slobodna Dalmacija, Novak stated Hvar is not the place for young tourists who don’t respect the island and its residents.

You said on TV you were going to force tourists to be more decent?
Yes. Because some of them have no decency at all.

It sounds harsh when a mayor states he’ll “enforce decency” on tourists he makes a living from.
What would you say if you saw remnants of excretions on every corner? Is that what decent people do?

Who’ll be catching and warning such tourists?
Municipal officials, the police…

Police taking care of tourists?
Yes, the police and wardens should warn people not to do what they do.

And what are they doing?
Throwing up all over town, urinating on every corner, walking around shirtless, sleeping in public, wandering around out of their minds…

I understand people need to wear clothes in church and in museums, but what does it matter if they walk around shirtless when it’s 40 degrees outside?
Of course it matters. Do they walk around London like that?

They don’t, as temperatures [in London] rarely come close to ours.
Let them behave like that in other coastal towns, but that won’t be an option in Hvar anymore. Let them be naked on beaches, but when they are in town, they should put on a shirt.

What about fines?
Fines are our last resort, but we’ll come to that if they don’t listen.

How high will the fines be?
We don’t know that yet.

Well, do you have certain amounts in mind?
They will be substantial, but I can’t comment on specific amounts yet.

It’s said that people from Hvar would prefer the tourists to send them money and stay home.
Listen, I’ve been working in tourism for 30 years and I know that such behaviour of young party-goers has defaced our tourism that has 150 years of tradition. And those who say such things about Hvar’s locals have never been here and seen what’s been going on in recent years.

Well, I visit Hvar every year, it’s a bit noisier than usual, but nothing really bad. You can’t expect tourists to tiptoe around at 11 PM – they’re on vacation!
We haven’t seen same things then. I’m in my town every day and I know what I see and what citizens tell me.

I think you can put up with some things if you plan to make such big money from tourism.
Income at all costs is not the tourism we want on this island.

So Hvar won’t be a party destination anymore?
We don’t want to be just a party destination. Young tourists are welcome, but they will need to know how to behave here.

Restaurateurs want the guests to drink and spend as much as they can, to pay 200-300 kuna for cocktails, and are filling the town budget along the way. And then someone wants to forbid tourists to have fun?
Everything has its limits. Bar owners shouldn’t welcome naked guests in their venues and they should stop providing them with alcohol once they see the guests have had too much to drink.

It sounds like all tourists are drunkards who piss all over the place?
Of course they aren’t, that’s the minority, but that minority is terrorising other tourists and Hvar’s residents. It’s those individuals that we want to stop.

Is it too late to put things in order now the season has started?
It’s not, we’re already working on that.

You don’t have your own people in the City Council of Hvar, how do you plan to enforce order?
I think everyone in town cares about the future of tourism and we’ll easily make a deal.


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