Deputy Mayor Jelka Tepsic participated in the inaugural conference of the SMARTMED strategic project, held on Monday at the Esplanada Hotel in Zagreb. The aim of the project is to start innovation and the development of new products and initiatives in tourism, and the City of Dubrovnik, with its innovative project "Respect the City", was presented as an example of good practice in addressing the challenges of rapid growth and tourism development.
The conference was opened by the State Secretary at the Ministry of Tourism Frano Matusic, emphasizing the importance of sustainable and smart destination management in line with global challenges and trends. He emphasized that the SMARTMED project is one of the first initiatives to work together in the Mediterranean region, the tourist region with the highest tourist traffic, and stressed the importance of cooperation and creating unique responses to common challenges.
In her presentation, Deputy Tepsic presented examples of effective smart solutions provided by the City of Dubrovnik through the comprehensive Respect the City project. She emphasized that significant results have been achieved during the two and a half years of the project, such as reducing the congestion of the old city center due to a better distribution of cruise lines to the Dubrovnik port and various traffic coordination measures in cooperation of all involved services.
- We started with six tourists counters at the entrance to the Old City center, then with an application that predicts movement and the possibility of crowds within the walls, and we have the so-called smart parking thanks to which we always know how many parking spaces are available. We have also developed an app that, when the number of tourists in the City exceeds 4,000, gives users alternate routes and locations to visit. These solutions have certainly made us no longer blacklisted by the British Independent – said Tepsic.
One of the most important goals of the project Respect the City is the dispersion of tourists outside the Old City center, said Deputy Tepsic, referring to the ALTER ECO project. This project uses ICT technologies to measure the loads of major focal points in the Dubrovnik area, and then collects the data needed to relieve those points and gain insight into visitor movement preferences. - We are committed to working on creating a sustainable tourism destination, to ensure that Dubrovnik is a City for all - both residents and guests - concluded Tepsic.
The conference was attended by representatives of the Ministry of Tourism of the Republic of Croatia, as the lead partner of the project and the Croatian Chamber of Economy Rijeka. Another 11 project partners from Portugal, Spain, France, Montenegro, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Italy, Slovenia and Greece are participating in the project. The total value of this project is 3 million euros and will last until 30 June 2022.
The strategic SMARTMED project should define the guidelines for the future model of smart destination management in the Mediterranean, establishing joint cooperation between partner countries and implementing it through the further development of strategic documentation and tourism policy.