Dubrovnik and Cruise Lines International Association (CLIA) have signed an agreement to work together to establish the Croatian city as a sustainable tourist destination.
The Memorium of Understanding signed by CLIA president and CEO, Kelly Craighead, and City of Dubrovnik mayor, Mato Franković, focuses on investment, collaboration and best practices for long-term destination management to the benefit of residents and visitors alike.
Immediate actions to be taken under the agreement include engaging key stakeholders including the local community and international organisations through establishing a dedicated working group, collaborating on a destination stewardship roadmap for the city based on UN sustainable tourism criteria, communicating and implementing the previously developed 2020 cruise ship berthing policy, and developing a ‘Respect the City’ visitor education campaign.
The city and CLIA are also exploring the possibility of a Dubrovnik World Heritage Visitor Center and Intermodal Transportation Center in Gruž Port.
“Dubrovnik is first and foremost our home,” said Franković.
“We want to welcome guests and share our amazing home in a way that protects and preserves it.
“We hope this pioneering cooperation agreement will show the way to all relevant stakeholders including other destinations to work together to make our tourism and communities more sustainable, and our local people and our guests more satisfied.”
Dubrovnik has been at the centre of the overtourism debate for some time now, with some reports indicating visitors are outnumbering locals during peak periods.
“Today’s agreement validates the work we have already done with Mayor Franković and formalises the cruise industry’s continued commitment to the City of Dubrovnik and its people,” said Craighead.
“Signing of the MOU today is an important step in developing innovative practices in sustainable tourism management with Mayor Franković and the city of Dubrovnik. We look forward to sharing specific action plans and our progress as we work together with the city and other tourism partners to support responsible tourism in this great city.”
The news comes just one month after thousands turned out to a march in Venice to call for cruise ships to be kept out of the city’s lagoon after a ship crashed into a wharf while docking at Guidecca Canal.
CLIA has come out in support of the Mayor of Venice Luigi Brugnaro’s calls for “an urgent solution” allowing cruise vessels to enter the Venice cruise terminal through an alternative route.