Mayor Mato Franković delivered a lecture on Friday to a group of American students from the University of Illinois at Urbana Champaign, who are currently visiting Dubrovnik as part of their study trip focused on understanding the significance of tourism for the Croatian economy.
Taking place at the Dubrovnik City Hall, Mayor Franković discussed the unique aspects of Dubrovnik's tourism industry, highlighting the sustainable tourism measures implemented through the 'Respect the City' project. He also shed light on the Smart City solutions adopted by the city for more efficient management, as well as the growing trend of digital nomads as a distinct type of tourists. The mayor emphasized the importance of addressing the needs of the local population while facilitating a harmonious coexistence with tourists.
The students expressed curiosity regarding the challenges faced during the city's reconstruction efforts amidst a large influx of visitors, the management of a significant number of taxi drivers, and potential issues related to high real estate prices for residents. In response, the mayor shared insights on Dubrovnik's housing projects, including a new city measure aimed at allocating apartments in the historic core to families with multiple children, as part of the city's demographic policy.
Overall, the interaction provided the American students with valuable insights into Dubrovnik's tourism industry and the efforts undertaken by the city administration to ensure a sustainable and inclusive tourism experience for both visitors and local residents.