Welcome from Mr. Mato Franković

Mayor of City of Dubrovnik

A city that is both a museum and a performance stage, a unique combination of history and modernity – a city with a capital C! That’s Dubrovnik! Its rich cultural heritage, different architectural styles, various cultural events, film tourism, Mediterranean flavours and superior accommodations draw millions of tourists each year. The old city centre, surrounded by original medieval walls, has been under UNESCO protection since 1979. Our unique city is primarily a city of culture and art.

In order to protect our valuable heritage and evaluate public space, also preserve the integrity of the local populace, we focused our tourism on sustainable development. With that goal in mind, we initiated multidisciplinary project “Respect the City” in 2017. In the face of negative publicity in global media due to the large crowds of visitors, uncontrolled tourism development and overtourism, the city was at risk of falling victim to its own success. In that conditions many of our visitors unfortunately could not fully experience the city’s beauty.

With this project, we began tackling the difficult challenge before us through different measures of relieving traffic congestions and implementing smart city solutions. In a relatively short period of time, we began managing our destination, reduce the crowds in the historic center and now are heading toward sustainable tourism, to the great satisfaction of visitors and citizens alike.

So, I hereby invite you to explore Dubrovnik, its quaint streets, churches and museums, as well as its surrounding area, which will inspire you in more ways than one, regardless of whether you are a lover of nature, history, architecture or gastronomy. Thank you for respecting the city and its citizens while you are staying with us, and helping us keep this UNESCO site, a jewel of the Mediterranean, as attractive and the next time you decide to visit.

Mato Franković

Mayor of the City of Dubrovnik

Dubrovnik’s everlasting allure

Where turquoise and terracotta meet in perfect harmony. Framed by the Adriatic Sea the historic Old City of Dubrovnik is one of the most iconic sights in the world. Soaring stone walls run unbroken for over a mile and have protected this once city republic for centuries. If these walls could only talk, what tales they would tell.

Simply unique – uniquely simple

The richness of Dubrovnik’s history has very much shaped it present and future. So well preserved are the palaces, façades and plazas of the city that it’s easy to imagine what living in the Republic all those centuries ago would have looked and felt like. And feel is the right word, a destination that allows you to get up close and personal with history. It’s no wonder that Dubrovnik has been listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site since 1979. However, Dubrovnik is far from being a museum, this is a living, breathing city with a soul. And exploring beyond the walls will open a plethora of opportunities. The combination of a world-class destination and this laid back Mediterranean way of life is a charm that is everlasting. Simply unique – uniquely simple.

A City for All Seasons

And as the seasons change so do the promises in Dubrovnik. Luxury hotels and private villas all with panoramic sea views accommodate a truly international list of clientele. Whether it is to enjoy the long warm summer days by island-hopping or water sports or the romance of a fresh Spring morning walking those city walls, Dubrovnik is truly a city for all seasons. From pavement cafés that spill out onto the plazas or award winning restaurants, the culinary scene is varied and vibrant, from the freshest seafood to mouth-watering desserts. And combine this with the fine wines that are produced in the rolling countryside near Dubrovnik and you have the prefect night out. From the glitz and the glamour of summer in Dubrovnik when celebrities soak up the sunshine to the cooler months when peace and tranquility reign. Discover Dubrovnik at your pace and create your own Adriatic memories.


In City of Dubrovnik tourism is the most relevant sector enabling economic development and sustainability of the area. Tourism changes the conditions of living in many positive but also negative ways. Determined to turn Dubrovnik into a leader in sustainable tourism in the Mediterranean area, in 2017 City of Dubrovnik started to develop the strategic project Respect the City.

The first clear achievement was: better destination management. This was a critical change.

The world had the image of an overcrowded Dubrovnik. Hence our objective was to address overtourism head on by welcoming visitors but without risking the residents way of live. We welcomed the idea of destinations as value-chain hubs of life-enriching experiences for locals, visitors, businesses, communities and nature.

In the process, we got to immediately implement some actions and measures to organize the communal and traffic problems and also setting new rules for public space management and such issues which all led to approval among the citizens and tourists. Tourist info stands, restaurant tables and illegal bookers were removed from most critical streets and the crowds diminished immediately, mobility of people and vehicles is improved. Dubrovnik integrated smart city solutions: web platform predicting the number of visitors in the Old Town on a given day, smart parking, Dubrovnik Pass application for visitors, Bus web shop for the purchase of vouchers for bringing passengers to Pile gate, web cameras on city roads, car sharing project.

Since the significant portion of problem with over tourism is related to cruise ships and daily visitors, City of Dubrovnik reached out to CLIA, the world's largest cruise industry trade association. We were the first municipality do such a thing and the response was great immediately. In a matter of weeks or months we worked out our guidelines in cooperation and in common interest, because not even the cruise companies were satisfied with crowded streets for their guests, since it gives a lesser experience of Dubrovnik to each visitor, no matter the arrangement of their visit. In cooperation and in common interest City managed to make adjustments on short terms and started to work toward a long term solution which basically means meticulous planning of cruise arrivals/departures daily, weekly and annually. A limit to 2 cruises per day with no more than 4000 passengers at the time was established. This was a key achievement.

The outdoor development perspective and even more substantial tourist offer are also the future construction of a new cruise terminal. With the realization of this project, where the international association CLIA will be an advisory partner, Dubrovnik would take an important place on the map of homeport cities. This infrastructure investment, which includes components of sustainable, harmonized and functional rise of cruise industry in Croatia and Dubrovnik, will be guaranteed.

Action plan includes also mid and long term measures, some of mid term are sustainable urban mobility plans such as pak’n’ride zone for visitors, Dubrovnik electric boat trams and long term plans includes olicentric urban development, new roads and tunnel investments.

Change in destination management quickly begin to echo within the tourist community and City of Dubrovnik’s representatives started to get invites from leading congresses all over the world to share Dubrovnik experiences and solutions and continue to do so.

Today, Respect the City is moving in the right direction. There is still a lot of work to do, but we started a joint systematic, integrated and participatory approach that will target some of the most important tourism issues locally and globally.

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