Winter tourism, or rather the lack of winter tourism, in Dubrovnik has been an unsolvable problem for the city’s tourism experts for years. The latest move to address this conundrum comes from the Mayor of Dubrovnik, Andro Vlahusic, who has approached all the hotels in the region to cooperate in strengthening Dubrovnik as a year-round destination.
The core of the problem has been the lack of flights during the winter months. Although British Airways used to fly four times a week through the winter months this has now dropped to once a week, with no flights at all at the beginning of this year. Apart from British Airways no other international airline operates to the city through the winter. Tourists have been forced to fly through Podgorica Airport in Montenegro with Ryanair, or catch a connecting flight from Zagreb, to reach the “city for all seasons.”
In the mayor’s letter to the hotels in Dubrovnik he points out the importance of creating new programs outside of the summer season, he says that the intention is to change potential tourist’s perception of Dubrovnik as a summer holiday destination.
The first proposal is to offer subsidies to British Airways to fly outside of the main summer season. The mayor has sent a letter to BA offering to subsidise all empty seats on planes flying to Dubrovnik through the winter. In December the mayor met with representatives from the British national airline and presumably this move is in response to their conditions. For all empty seats, up to the average capacity, the City of Dubrovnik will pay BA £100 for flights from London and €100 for flights from Frankfurt and Istanbul. Britain’s favourite airline is yet to reply to the proposal, but an answer is expected in the coming weeks.
As a correct solution highlights the joint proposal for this purpose assembled a working group, which refers to the correction of residence tax season.
The idea is to raise finances through the summer months, with a slight increase in accommodation taxes, and for these extra funds to be dedicated to help fund winter tourism activities.