The new mayor of Dubrovnik said
he is in favor of halving the number of cruise passengers arriving daily at the
Adriatic port city in Croatia.
Mayor Mato Frankovic, elected
in June, told London's Telegraph newspaper that the current soft ceiling of
8,000 passengers a day should be reduced to 4,000.
He also called for limits on
tour operators running day trips to the walled medieval city, which has been a
Unesco world heritage site since 1979.
A 2015 Uneco mission
recommended that a cap on cruise tourism be developed, and that it should not
exceed 8,000 passengers per day.
The Dubrovnik Port Authority
said on its website that the cap was exceeded 18 times in 2016 out of the 243
days when cruise ships called. It also said it refused 40 cruise call requests
for this year.
Dubrovnik has become one of
the most popular stops on an itinerary from Venice to the Eastern
Mediterranean, or the reverse route. Last year Dubrovnik had 639 ship calls and
handled 831,730 passengers, up 0.1% from the year before, according to Med
Cruise, an association of Mediterranean cruise ports. Of those, 763,561 were
transit passengers, ranking Dubrovnik behind only six other ports of call in
the Mediterranean region.
Frankovic said he would like
to see a "reset" for tourism, and that ship calls need to be spaced
more evenly so the weekend crush is reduced.
The Unesco report said 90% of
cruise calls to Dubrovnik come between May and October. And although cruise
visitors accounted for only 2.5% of all visitors in 2013, "they have a
disproportionate impact on the World Heritage property due to their
concentration in time and space," the report said.