Mayor Franković: ‘No Punishments for Guests Dragging Suitcases Across Stradun! Our Focus is on Education’

The tourist season has just begun, and already we are witnessing scenes of tourists tarnishing the historic cores of Dalmatian cities with inappropriate and uncivil behavior in public, giving the impression that Croatia is a destination for reckless partying without consequences. In response, the city of Dubrovnik, led by Mayor Mato Franković, has implemented a series of changes to enhance the quality of life within the protected historical area.

Mayor Franković emphasized that Dubrovnik was also grappling with this issue a few years ago, but through strategic measures and an educational approach towards tourists, they have successfully established themselves as a city of culture, creating conditions for sustainable tourism and harmonious coexistence between residents and visitors. Guests have acknowledged that the long-term plan for the desired tourist offer in a destination, along with the absence of a strategy to maintain balance, has transformed Split, with its UNESCO-protected old town, into a primary “party” destination in Croatia, where most incidents and excesses occur.

“In 2017, we witnessed Dubrovnik heading in the wrong direction of mass tourism, which brought about all the phenomena we did not want to see in our city. We initiated the Respect the City project, which serves as a communication channel through which we convey our expectations to the guests visiting our city. The sheer number of visitors coming to Dubrovnik was a significant concern, and we implemented various measures such as better and more organized scheduling of cruise ship arrivals, introducing limits on the number of cruise ships, extending their stay—requiring a minimum of 8 hours—and improving the scheduling of daily excursionists, who are now obligated to purchase a vignette for entering the city through the Dubrovnik Pass mobile application. The Dubrovnik Pass app also serves as a direct communication channel with our guests, where we suggest the best times to visit the historical core. All these efforts have resulted in a more balanced distribution of guests throughout the city,” stated Mayor Franković during his guest appearance on the Špica s Macanom podcast. He also highlighted the importance of communication with guests, emphasizing what is expected of them during their stay in Dubrovnik.