Report on GSTC Destination Assessment of Dubrovnik
Dubrovnik, 2nd June – The Global Sustainable Tourism Council (GSTC) Destination Assessment of Dubrovnik Report was presented in Dubrovnik via video by Dr. Ioannis Pappas, GSTC Director – Mediterranean Region, with the participation of Mato Franković, Mayor of Dubrovnik, and Kelly Craighead, President and CEO of Cruise Lines International Association (CLIA). The presentation was attended by stakeholders including city representatives, councilors, travel agents, Universities, and tourism associations.
The GSTC Destination Criteria covers four pillars of destination sustainability: destination policy and planning, community involvement and benefits, management of cultural assets, and management of environmental and natural resources. In the assessment, Dubrovnik achieved 70% of excellence. Of the 105 indicators, 12 (11.4%) rated excellent, 47 (44.8%) rated as good with improvements necessary, 37 (35.2%) rated as medium risk, and 9 (8.6%) rated as high risk.
Mayor Mato Franković expressed satisfaction with the project, which was supported by CLIA, a partner of the City of Dubrovnik and signatory to the Agreement on Cooperation in the Preservation and Protection of the Cultural Heritage of Dubrovnik. Speaking about sustainable tourism during the global health crisis as the city has been left without a key income source, the Mayor recalled that after the 1991 bombing, UNESCO observers referenced the reconstruction of Dubrovnik. The Mayor said the city had since learned much and hoped that what happened a few years ago will not happen in future – that Dubrovnik, in addition to its beauty, becomes symbolic of too many visitors and reduced quality of life. “We have a great opportunity for a new beginning to define the criteria for how to make our city a pleasant place to live, while respecting our main industry of tourism,” Mayor Franković emphasized.
The Mayor thanked the GSTC, stakeholders involved in the project, and CLIA for its continued cooperation. “I believe this report will be a new beginning of the story of a sustainable Dubrovnik and a sustainable way of managing our main industry of tourism,” concluded Mayor Franković.
GSTC conducted a site assessment in November and December 2019, working with the Dubrovnik Tourist Board and the Dubrovnik Development Agency. Applying the GSTC Assessment methodology, the GSTC consulted with 70 stakeholders from national and local government, the private sector, NGOs and universities, and residents to assess performance in relation to the GSTC Destination Criteria.
CLIA’s President and CEO, Kelly Craighead, praised the commitment of the City of Dubrovnik in the development of sustainable tourism: “The GSTC Destination Assessment demonstrates the city of Dubrovnik’s continued commitment to moving tourism toward a sustainable future. The municipality should be applauded for its willingness to innovate, identify best practices, and agree on priorities for future action, and we believe that this destination assessment will help the city to improve even further its performance. The cruise industry is committed to sustainable tourism management, and we are proud to have contributed to the destination assessment as part of our partnership with Dubrovnik to collaboratively address sustainability in the city. The partnership between the cruise industry and Dubrovnik is a testament to what can be achieved through collaborative tourism initiatives to help preserve the heritage and environment of the world’s favourite destinations for future generations.”
“We at GSTC appreciate the partnership between the Dubrovnik Mayor’s office and CLIA to support a more community-friendly type of visitor experience,” says GSTC CEO Randy Durband. “City officials and stakeholders actively and strongly supported the assessment, with a very transparent process and sharing of our objective findings.”