Yes, I’m a hypocrite because I was a tourist to Dubrovnik but that was in 2007 and things have certainly changed. I think travel is so important but sometimes we do put too much pressure on our loveliest places when they can’t cope with large numbers of tourists.
When I got to Dubrovnik it was quite literally ON FIRE because it was SO hot. This was also the year that there were a series of destructive wildfires in Greece.
You may recognise Dubrovnik has been the Star Wars film The Last Jedi.
In the 16th century, it was as its peak with one of the largest merchant navies in the world, covering over 50 ports. The riches brought by seafaring trade is the reason that Dubrovnik’s elegance is so loved by the middle-classes today.
The residents of the old town cashed in on tourism by moving out to the suburbs and the population of that area plummeted from 5000 in the 90s to around 500 now.
To quell the summer crowds, the tourist board are thinking of issuing tickets in order to keep numbers to a manageable amount. Cruise ships already have their numbers capped or at least they’re supposed to. But why is it SO popular? Three words: G-O-T.
Game of Thrones has boosted the numbers even further with GOT geeks joining the posh oldies and backpackers in the old town throng.
It is definitely worth discussing the significant impact that GOT has had on tourism in Croatia as a whole.
During the filming in Croatia’s Šibenik, even the mayor turned up to audition as an extra along with 500 locals. The main square and UNESCO cathedral represented Braavos, although the church authorities were not happy with not very Christian tone of GOT. Kastel Gomilica, Žrnovnica, the fortress of Klis and Split are also used as locations.
Dubrovnik has been christened the ‘Pearl of the Adriatic’ and looking at the terracotta roofs gleaming in the sun, its not hard to see why.
As well as the tourists, there is the odd wedding photoshoot as well!
There are other great places to visit in Croatia, so maybe its a case of spreading the tourists a round a bit. It was so popular before Games of Thrones and The Last Jedi that the numbers nowadays may be unsustainable in terms of water supplies, refuse disposal and quality of life for people who live there as well as soaring prices.
It is SO hot in the summertime, that perhaps making it more of a year-round destination is the answer. After all, if its the destination is so hot that it is burning necessarily the best time to visit and also have photographs full of tourists? I think not.