Croatian City of Dubrovnik on the Adriatic coast

Today, the City of Dubrovnik and Cruise Lines International Association (CLIA) signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) to work together in efforts to preserve and protect the cultural heritage of Dubrovnik—a popular Central European destination in Croatia along the Adriatic coast—through responsible tourism management policies.

The City of Dubrovnik believes that the adoption of best practices for long-term destination management will benefit residents and visitors alike, and aims to establish itself as a model of sustainable tourism in the Adriatic region. The collaboration will focus both on investment into improved tourism infrastructure and on adherence to globally recognized best practices.

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The MOU was formally signed by CLIA President and CEO, Kelly Craighead, as a representative of the cruise industry (i.e. cruise lines and their partners), and City of Dubrovnik Mayor Mato Frankovic, representing the community’s public and private sector stakeholders.

Mayor Frankovic commented: “We have developed an open and trustworthy relationship with CLIA and its members over the last two years. This commitment is just the beginning of a joint systematic, integrated and participative approach that will target some of the most important tourism issues locally and globally.”

Planned actions include the establishment of a dedicated group, which will work to engage key stakeholders, including the local community and international organizations; collaborating to create a roadmap for stewardship of the city, based on UN sustainable tourism criteria; enforcing the previously developed 2020 cruise ship berthing policy; and developing a “Respect the City” visitor education campaign.

Frankovic stressed the importance of Dubrovnik’s “Respect the City” project, whose measures should contribute greatly to achieving its sustainability goals, in combination with the measures agreed upon with CLIA. Part of that understanding means matching tourist’s experience expectations with the destination’s capacities, regional customs and culture.

The partnership’s efforts will also include an investigation of possibilities for establishing a Dubrovnik World Heritage Visitor Center and an Intermodal Transportation Center in Gruz Port.

Randy Durband, CEO of the Global Sustainable Tourism Council (GSTC), praised both parties for committing to the initiative, saying, “GSTC applauds the City of Dubrovnik and CLIA for creating collaborative mechanisms to better manage the resident and visitor experience in Dubrovnik, applying GSTC’s standard for responsible destination management. Public-private partnerships like this are essential to ensuring the commitments and resources necessary for destination stewardship.”