September 16, 2019 – Dubrovnik is in the international media once again, and once again the topic is the inseparable duo or overtourism and cruise ships.
How much have the perceptions of Dubrovnik changed in the last ten years, do you think?
It was a question I was wondering looking over this morning’s news about Croatia in the international media.
Back in the 1980s, it was fondly known as the Pearl of the Adriatic, arguably the top destination in the whole of former Yugoslavia.
Then in the 1990s, it became one of the symbols of the horrors of war in the region. a siege and shelling of a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
The tourism recovery from the tragedy of war was mightily impressive, and Dubrovnik was at the heart of tourism in the new modern Croatian state, the very symbol of the Mediterranean as It Once Was.
And then, 8 years ago, came a new name and identity for the iconic city in southern Dalmatia – Kings Landing, the home of hit global HBO show, Kings Landing. A new genre of Dubrovnik fans was born.
But all the while, there was another aspect to tourism in Dubrovnik, which was growing steadily – cruise ship tourism. Cruise ships were among the first to return after the war, and their influence has gradually increased over the years to such an extent that they dominate during the main tourism months. And they are starting to dominate the international column inches when talking of Dubrovnik.
Overtourism, cruise ships – Barcelona, Venice, Dubrovnik.
The latest focus on Dubrovnik, overtourism and cruise ships is in a picture essay in The Guardian this morning:
Known as the “pearl of the Adriatic”, Dubrovnik has become one of the biggest tourist attractions in the Mediterranean. Its charming old town, array of Unesco World Heritage sites and sizeable port were always draws, but the new success of Game of Thrones, much of which was shot in the Croatian city, has made it a particularly popular stopoff point for cruise ships, whose passengers are told they can see the highlights in a single day.
Minders accompany the passengers on to dry land, where they are typically bussed into the old town. Tours often start at the 16th-century Pile Gate, followed by a stroll along the Stradun to the city walls, entrance to which costs €30 (£27). Game of Thrones locations and Europe’s oldest pharmacy in a 14th-century Franciscan monastery are big pulls.