Dubrovnik’s Autumn Tourism Boom: October Brings Great Results!

Lauren Simmonds

Summer destination? Time to ditch that dated label.

Dubrovnik has been somewhat plagued by the ”summer destination” label ever since Croatia’s southernmost city took off as a popular holiday destination. With the likes of Greece and Spain carrying such labels, it tends to inadvertently lump the Pearl of the Adriatic into the ”I have a three month window to visit this place” mentality in the subconscious minds of tourists. That couldn’t be further from the truth.

Airlines are partially at fault, and we’ve talked about this before, but Dubrovnik should be labelled as a city break, not as a summer destination. The fact that this fascinating historical place, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, a living, breathing museum nicknamed the most beautiful city in the world, is thrown in with other European beach destinations that are accessible to Northern Europeans within a pretty small window is somewhat shameful. Germans, Brits and Scandinavians are perfectly aware that this amazing city exists outside of summer too, it doesn’t just vanish into thin air – they just can’t seem to get to it very easily.

Although there is a lot of talk (and some praiseworthy action) when it comes to promoting Croatia as a year-round tourist destination, with offers of adventure tourism, active tourism, sustainable tourism, eco tourism, and the list goes on, it still seems bizarre to many that Dubrovnik turns into a ghost town come winter. Winter is the time when it is finally possible to really see and experience all the art, culture and history this city has to offer without drowning in a crowd of people, being knocked out by selfie sticks, being suffocated by leaflets about ”KAYAKS!!!” or ”WALKING TOURS!!!” being shoved down half way down your throat or getting heat stroke. I’ve made my point. I’m not bitter, honestly.

Unfortunately, many places, including but not limited to hotels, bars, restaurants and other establishments that cater for tourists tend to follow the trend and no longer see any point in remaining open. And why would they when airlines and their glittery ”summer destination” propaganda have succeeded in turning people off. The city goes from being packed solid for three months to being all but empty, except for the cats and pigeons. If Dubrovnik was lined with white sandy beaches and had a choice of cheap all inclusive hotels offering flat, warm beer in plastic cups, then I’d understand. But this isn’t Benidorm.

Despite having said all this, are things finally beginning to take a turn in the right direction? According to a report from DuList on the 4th of November, 2017, it would seem that October in Dubrovnik has been somewhat more successful than usual. An impressive 142,165 arrivals were recorded in Dubrovnik-Neretva County, which is a 14 percent increase when compared to October 2016. 514,766 overnights were also acheived, which is 10 percent more than were acheived in October 2016.

Are things finally turning around for the Pearl of the Adriatic?


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