Dubrovnik, another city which has been swamped with tourists in recent years, has signed a Memorandum of Understanding with the Cruise Lines International Association to work together to preserve the historic destination.
As growing concerns over overtourism hit other cities like Barcelona in Spain and Venice in Italy, the Croatian government is taking the initiative to make sure there are long-term management operations in place to ensure that residents and tourists are kept happy.
The collaboration between Dubrovnik and CLIA will mean that there will be investment in tourism infrastructure.
The MOU was formally signed by President and CEO of CLIA, Kelly Craighead as well as the Mayor of Dubrovnik, Mato Frankovic.
“We have developed an open and trustworthy relationship with CLIA and its members over the last two years,” said Mayor Frankovic.
“This commitment is just the beginning of a joint systematic, integrated and participative approach that will target some of the most important tourism issues locally and globally.”
Some of the other planned actions will also include a dedicated group which will work to engage key stakeholders like the local community as well as international organisations; create a roadmap for stewardship of the city based on the UN sustainable tourism criteria; enforce a previously developed 2020 cruise ship berthing policy and develop an education program for cruise visitors and other tourists called ‘Respect the City’.
Mayor Frankovic said that the ‘Respect the City’ program is vital in ensuring the longevity of the beautiful city, a popular destination for small and large ships. And part of that understanding matching the tourists’ expectations with the city’s capacities, regional customs and culture.
The partnership between the two bodies will also investigate the possibility of establishing a Dubrovnik World Heritage Visitor Centre as well as an Intermodal Transport Centre in Gruz Port.
The move comes as other cities like Palma de Mallorca, another key destination in the Mediterranean comes under increasing pressure from overtourism.
More than 10,000 people have signed a petition calling for a limit of one cruise ship a day docking at Spanish coastal city.
Roughly around 500 cruise ships dock in the city a day, with the city recording around two million passengers visiting last year.
A manifesto calls for curbs on the ships and it has been signed by more than 30 organisations and 11,000 islanders, will be presented at a conference in Palma this week.
The document which was drawn up by a group of more than 30 NGOs, residents’ associations and community groups, says that “mega cruise ship tourism has increased in a way that is unsustainable and undesirable for our city, leading to serious environmental impact and increasing social protest”