Cruise ships are a doubled-edged sword for Dubrovnik, and it seems resolving matters isn’t quite as straight forward as one would have hoped. Could a new daily per passenger fee be the answer the southern Dalmatian gem is looking for to avoid going the same way Venice did?
As Marija Crnjak/Poslovni Dnevnik writes on the 8th of March, 2019, as of 2021 the City of Dubrovnik will introduce a daily tax for guests of cruise ship passengers in the amount of one euro per person, from which the city will be able to turn about 950 thousand euros into cash in just one year. The main part of the revenue will be intended for the maintenance of the city’s road, as the mayor of Dubrovnik Mato Franković revealed to Poslovni Dnevnik at the ITB Tourism Fair in Berlin, Germany.
On Wednesday, he met with the representatives of large cruise companies like Carnival, and one of the topics was the new tax that they are preparing for the Pearl of the Adriatic.
After dealing with the tight timetable of large cruise ships, the guests of which typically visit Croatia’s tourist Mecca for just one day, this will be an extra move in Dubrovnik’s efforts to break free of the damaging consequences of not only the major tourist crowds in Dubrovnik, but the environmental damage being caused by the massive vessels themselves, with the aim of increasing revenue for the strengthening of the city’s infrastructure.
In line with that same goal, Dubrovnik has already been one of the few this year to use a legal option and increase the flat tax for property renters to 750 kuna per bed, and next year, this amount is planned to see yet another increase, to a maximum of 1500 kuna, from which the City of Dubrovnik will make 12.5 million kuna in revenue. Otherwise, Dubrovnik allocates twelve million kuna annually for road maintenance.
Discussions about the need to introduce a tax for cruise ship passengers has been going on for more than five years now, and now it will be possible to change the Law on Residence Tax which is in the second reading.
“All cities that receive cruise ships will now finally have the right to charge a one-day-resident sojourn tax, which we have been able to introduce at the City Association level, and we’re pleased that the Ministry has incorporated it into the law. Companies have nothing against the taxing, they just asked us to give them enough time to prepare for it, as the tax will be charged to agents who will need to calculate it into the price of the whole arrangement,” explained Frankovic.
The move will limit the number of cruise ships in Dubrovnik to two daily, so that no more than 5,000 visitors will arrive in the city in any one day. This is the result of intense negotiations between the City of Dubrovnik and the largest cruise companies in the CLIA association, which took place to attempt tp solve the problem of up to seven cruisers a day entering Dubrovnik, which would bring up to 10,000 passengers into the city per day.