The Other Side Of Dubrovnik, Marin Drzic or Darth Vader?

Lauren Simmonds

I have written several articles on how the impact of tourism affects me and those like me, a resident who has to live and deal with its immediate effects day in day out, and I can understand why to some, a less than positive viewpoint may come across as quite cynical. It is certainly different to look at Dubrovnik from the perspective of a resident, and it would be very narrowminded of me to assume everyone can relate to my thoughts, but a video I came across on YouTube reminded me that its not just us 42,000 residents who are beginning to feel like things have gone too far.

Roosh V, a blogger who grew up in the US visited Dubrovnik and created a two minute video of his impressions of the Pearl of the Adriatic. In the video he speaks honestly about his experiences, concluding with how he’d be happy to visit again, but wouldn’t step foot into the Old Town.
As someone who earns part of their daily bread from the tourism machine of Dubrovnik, it is validating on a personal level that a complete stranger to the city can see where it is going very wrong in its approach, but deflating and frustrating on a professional one. With the endless cruise ships, tour busses and direct flights forever piling into this tiny city, its infrastructure, which was never designed to accommodate such enormous numbers of people is failing, traffic jams find themselves on top of traffic jams and Game Of Thrones and Star Wars are seemingly being chosen over the protection and maintenance of the ancient monuments and culture that gave Dubrovnik its place in the world. It is high time we thought of a new path that doesn’t involve greed.
I’d encourage you to watch his video if you’re interested in seeing how ”summer in the city” quickly turns Dubrovnik into Disneyland, and I’d be interested in hearing ideas about how Dubrovnik can preserve its identity, an identity being quickly eroded in the face of money and fame.


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