Peak Season in Dubrovnik: Tourism Gridlock (Includes Video)

Total Croatia News

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There was not a lof space in Dubrovnik Old Town for a casual stroll yesterday… 

If there is one place you are guaranteed to find tourists in August in Croatia, it is Dubrovnik. The majestic city walls and old town has been a UNESCO World Heritage Site since 1979, and it is little wonder that the so-called Pearl of the Adriatic is the number one attraction on the Adriatic coast. In addition to the large number of tourists who arrive by car and plane, Dubrovnik also accommodates the majority of the more than 1 million cruise tourists who visit Croatia every year. 

And some days things are a little too full… 

As Dubrovacki Dnevnik reported on August 18, 2015, there was tourism gridlock in the city yesterday afternoon, as the old town quite literally came to a standstill due to the sheer number of bodies trying to get in and out of the old town. The large number of visitors was due to an increase in tourists due to the bad weather, as well as cruise tourists in town.

The result? See the video or more photos here.  

Dubrovnik and cruise tourism is an important debate in the development of the city’s tourism, and while there is no doubt that the large cruisers bring in the numbers, there are concerns on the negative effects such a large number of visitors have on the balance on life in the city and Dubrovnik tourism. The Dubrovnik Port Authority has a stated policy on cruise tourism numbers, which is available on its website:

“During last several years, Dubrovnik Port Authority according to provisions of the study “Sustainable cruise tourism development in Croatia” prepared by the Institute of Tourism tries to limit the number of cruise passengers. New measures were introduced which, considering the huge demand for Dubrovnik as one of the most attractive destinations in the Mediterranean, in most cases limit the number of cruise passengers up to 8.000 per day. Out of 243 cruise days per year only 18 days exceed the estimated number of 8.000 passengers, out of which six days in July and August, and only 4 days a year we deal with a number slightly higher than 10.000. Of course we must always take into account that the number of passengers cannot be counted based on ship capacity considering the fact that the ships on average use about 85% of their capacities. It should be emphasized that companies we cooperate with, bring their ships during large part of the season from early March until the end of the year, sometimes even year-round, therefore active and continuous cooperation with them including certain compromise is of great importance to us. It should also be emphasized that Dubrovnik Port Authority has refused about forty cruise call requests only in this season, in accordance with desire to limit the number of cruise passengers.

“With the aim of limiting the number of passengers Dubrovnik Port Authority and Dubrovnik County Port Authority have signed an agreement on joint booking according to 2+1 principle, which means booking two large cruise ships at the port and one large cruise ship in front of the Old Town. This booking system allows clear monitoring of most congested days in a year and the number of cruise passengers is limited or cruise call requests are refused accordingly.”


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