“Overcrowded destinations are successful, but there is a thin line between success and failure,” commented the Mayor of Dubrovnik, Mato Franković, at the recent ITB travel trade fair in Berlin.
Overcrowding is a huge problem is many popular tourist destinations, Venice, Barcelona, New York and London are all facing problems tackling the downside of being tourist magnets. And Mediterranean destinations have the extra pressure of thousands of cruise ship passengers arriving every day.
With cheap flights and online accommodation agencies travel has never been cheaper or easier, meaning that many tourists arrive for shorter trips, in fact the average stay in Dubrovnik last year was less than 3 days.
However, the advantages of easy travelling have led to overcrowding, in a survey by the consultants IPK around 9 percent of travellers commented that overcrowding negatively affected their vacation.
According to a recent report the City of Dubrovnik is getting creative in order to cope with the crowds. By the end of this year the city will launch a new app that will inform visitors when the historic Old City is overcrowded. It will feature a real-time people counter that will show the number of people in the city core at any given time.
And in an attempt to disperse tourists to other regions around the historic walls the city plans to launch a car-sharing scheme.
And the last, and quite possibly most important measure, will come from the Port of Dubrovnik, who will work on rearranging the arrivals of cruise ships to the city in an attempt to ease the infrastructure problems in peak times. This scheme will come into force this year but the full effects are expected to be seen from next year. The city is also looking at overcrowding solutions in New York and Venice.