The Mayor of the City of Dubrovnik Mato Frankovic and his associates met with the representatives of Celebrity Cruises, the world's leading cruise ship company, for the most part Vice-Presidents in charge of public administration and marketing strategies and representatives of the Cruise Lines International Association (CLIA).
-Partnership with CLIA and harmonization of arrival times for cruise ships have resulted in significant shifts in pressure on the historic core in the summer seasons of 2018 and 2019, compared to 2017 and earlier - Mayor Frankovic said during his introductory presentation about city's strategic project Respect the City. He also emphasized that cruise tourism is an important segment of the economy in Dubrovnik and that it is not a problem in the number of people but in the flow, and a better flow can be achieved by an organized flow schedule.
The delegation was also presented with measures of traffic coordination, new rules for conducting business activities in public areas, smart city projects and programs planned for 2020 and years ahead. As key factors, Mayor Frankovic singled out the takeover of cruise ship shuttle services and the gradual elimination of traffic around the contact area of the Old City, except for locals.
-Some of the measures we introduce are unpopular and the City has lost some of its budget money, but such moves are necessary if we want to reach the sustainable tourism we seek. Our task is to put the needs of citizens first. Everything we have done and will do in the future will greatly contribute to creating a unique destination experience and increase the quality of the overall service for all visitors - said Mayor Frankovic.
Celebrity Cruises is also on the same track as it is developing a marketing campaign that puts sustainable tourism in its destinations in focus.
- All desirable cruise destinations in the Mediterranean and beyond are currently facing the same challenges and fully support the aspiration to preserve the local heritage culture. Celebrity Cruises is developing the Positive Impact Tours project, which aims to educate guests about sustainability, local culture and customs, enabling guests to support the visiting society. The project will offer trips to areas away from the hustle and bustle of the city, giving guests an authentic experience of the destination while relieving the overburdened city centers - said marketing strategy representative Dominique P. Taleno.
They expressed their willingness ti be a part of Respect the City project, praising the step forward in managing the destination that city government has achieved in a relatively short period of two and a half years. It was also emphasized that the joint efforts to achieve better organization on the ground also helped the image of shipping companies because of their willingness to cooperate.
Mayor Mato Franković thanked the delegation and the CLIA for their repeated willingness to cooperate in order to resolve the existing problems in the spirit of partnership. Opening conversations and working in the common interest of the local community and the cruise companies can gradually align the needs of the destination with the needs of the cruise market, the Mayor said.