Local Politicians Talk Tourism and What Needs to Change in Split-Dalmatia County

Daniela Rogulj

The local politicians (county councilors) of Split-Dalmatia County have analyzed the past tourist season and discussed preparations for the season ahead. All in all, they are happy with the number of arrivals and overnight stays, but warn against the negative side of sudden tourist development, reports Dalmacija Danas on March 26, 2019. 

“In Dalmatia, we have a growth in tourism, increasing demand for local food, and people are leaving us from Zagora, Slavonia. Sinj is the center of Dalmatia, connecting it to the highway would be important, and therefore Split-Dalmatia County must insist on traffic verticals. We have to make sure that at our restaurants, ethnic cuisine is not ordered, but local cuisine. Fields have to be irrigated. We no longer have lambs; now we only have them in the elections. We have to encourage livestock farming and be cautious, as my colleague Bačić said. We import frozen lamb from Romania and New Zealand. Let’s not fool around with the shepherds. The meadows are empty. Weeds are growing in the Sinj field. We will applaud it when it is resolved. It is good to grow tourism, but we produce very little. To produce only for tourism purposes, Zagora would be full of flocks and cultivated fields. We produce food, encourage shepherds and cattle. At that point, the cry will be heard in the birthplaces in Zagora, not at the bus stations,” said MOST’s Miro Bulj.

Danica Baričević from HDZ said that there are more and more flights in Dalmatia every year. 

“At the fair, the county presented the coast, the islands, and Zagora. They presented Dalmatian flavors, from cheese to prosciutto. We are the only county in the Republic of Croatia that recognizes all the efforts of private renters and co-finances it, especially in Zagora. It is my pleasure to return to the roots in this tourist story. The maritime department and tourism department is planning well, and we are doing projects like Hidden Habits which recognizes our natural heritage in Dugopolje, Split, Mosor and Kaštela. We need sustainable tourism. It is located in the tourist infrastructure, especially Zagora. More and more guests are returning from Western countries. In 2019, our Zagora became a place for pleasant and safe living. The analysis is excellent and the results are to be praised. We want this season to be even more successful.” 

SDP’s Damir Krstinić said that tourism is holding up the state, but there are also negatives.

“It’s aggressive towards resources, especially nature. It burdens the infrastructure. Almost all our places along the coast and on the islands have an unresolved issue of fecal water. Tourism changes the structure of society; in particular, it means that somebody may be chasing you off of your “own” beach because you will not rent a lounger. Due to all this, the price of subsistence is very high and the students are begging to leave their apartments by June 1. Short-term rent is promoted which brings much less revenue. Tourism is a good servant, but it can become a bad master. We have to be careful not to lose control over tourism.”

Milija Baldić-Lukšić (MOST) emphasized that Kaštela celebrated 110 years of tourism.

“The first hotel in Kaštela, the Palace, is still fresh. It is photographed by tourists who send photos on their mobile phones. How to improve our county’s offer and turn it into the best destination? I want the consumption of tourists in the county to be bigger than it is now. It is imperative that we use our own products, cultural and historical goods more. As for the number of tourist overnights – in Seget, the number is growing, in Solin this number is low. We have the offer, but it should be coupled with the preservation of the environment so that tourists can recognize us by ecology, sea, and gastronomy. It’s not good that everything goes by figures, it should also be about quality. The number of apartments is increasing, and the prices are falling.”

Natalija Rajčić from the Pametno party spoke about the issue of waste generated during the season.

“Marketing is good, but there are no words about problems like semi-permeable septic tanks, etc. Let’s take more account of what the guests are not content with.”

Mate Rebić (MOST) said that tourism is the strongest branch of the county. 

“I think tourism is the most important in economic terms. While it increases, there is an increasing pressure on space and the problem of sustainable tourism development comes to the fore and it is increasingly in the public’s focus. Last year, the Institute of Tourism developed a Study of Capacity. Recall, there are several major constraints on tourism development. There is the problem of waste disposal, drainage, roads, parking places, and overburdening the electrical network. If we want the growth rates of tourism to be bigger, we will need to be serious about it. In parts of the county where there is a higher pressure of tourism, there is a greater degree of irritation on the local population.”

The director of the Split-Dalmatia County Tourist Board, Joško Stella, said that the capacity study is significant because the county has received this analysis, whereas, for example, Dubrovnik or Barcelona do not have it. 

“It is not a goal to raise capacities so that we have no one to work. This is an analysis of the tourist season, not tourism. As far as measures are the same every year, the result is that the season is constantly extended. Flights are now operating until November. I am not saying that we have to have an entire tourist year, but that the season is sustainable. The beauties must be preserved for the generations to come.”

To read more about travel in Croatia, follow TCN’s dedicated page


Subscribe to our newsletter

the fields marked with * are required
Email: *
First name:
Last name:
Gender: Male Female
Please don't insert text in the box below!

Leave a Comment