Croatia’s ‘Game of Thrones’ town tackles overtourism with visitor limits, tourist tax

Category: Lifestyle/Entertainment


Unlocking Word Meanings

Read the following words/expressions found in today’s article.

  1. picturesque / ˌpɪk tʃəˈrɛsk / (adj.) – very beautiful and visually pleasing, like a painted picture

    Living in a picturesque island is really calming.

  2. surge / sɜrdʒ / (n.) – a sudden large increase

    There has been a surge in the number of foreign students enrolling in this school.

  3. put a strain on (someone/something) / pʊt ə streɪn ɒn / (idiom) – to place an overwhelming burden on someone/something

    The young girl’s illness has put a strain on her parents.

  4. contributor / kənˈtrɪb yə tər / (n.) – someone or something that helps to cause something

    The company’s generous donation is a major contributor to the charity’s finances.

  5. heritage / ˈhɛr ɪ tɪdʒ / (n.) – the traditions, art, buildings, languages, etc. that are part of a society’s culture and have continued over the years

    The town takes great pride in its architectural heritage.


Read the text below.

Dubrovnik, a picturesque city on Croatia’s Adriatic coast, is facing the challenge of overtourism, as the number of annual visitors continues to rise.

The city, which is a UNESCO World Heritage site, has seen a surge in tourism in recent years, with more than 1.2 million visitors arriving in 2019. This has put a strain on the city’s resources, including its water supply, waste management, and transportation systems. During peak season, the city’s narrow streets and historic buildings are often packed with tourists, making it difficult for locals to go about their daily lives.

Environmental concerns have also been raised, with waste and pollution becoming a major problem. The city has implemented a number of measures to manage tourism, including limiting the number of visitors who can enter the city’s historic center each day and introducing a tourist tax to fund infrastructure improvements.

“First of all, the number of, for instance, the cruise ships per day is limited now to 4,000 people,” says Miro Draskovic, head of the Dubrovnik tourist board.

“The hours that they are staying, the length of their stay in Dubrovnik port is much longer now. Most of them are staying for eight hours or more. Some are staying for six hours.”

“The other thing we have, for instance, is the visitor’s counter, cameras that are put around the Old Town, which help us to know the exact number of visitors at any point of time,” he adds.

Dubrovnik’s tourism industry is a major contributor to the local economy, but some locals argue that the city needs to take a more sustainable approach to managing tourism. This could include investing in sustainable infrastructure and promoting alternative forms of tourism, such as cultural and eco-tourism.

Despite these challenges, Dubrovnik remains a popular destination for tourists from around the world. The city’s stunning architecture, rich cultural heritage, and beautiful coastline continue to attract visitors.

This article was provided by The Associated Press.

Viewpoint Discussion

Enjoy a discussion with your tutor.

Discussion A

  • During peak seasons, overtourism makes it difficult for locals in Dubrovnik to go about their daily lives. If you were one of the locals, would you still like to continue living there? Why or why not? Discuss.
  • In your opinion, should places made known in movies or series be made a tourist spot? Why or why not? Discuss.

Discussion B

  • Which tourist spot in your country is likely to experience overtourism? Why do you think tourists like to visit that place? Discuss.
  • If given the chance, would you personally visit a tourist spot that’s known for overtourism? Why or why not? Discuss.