Several ports, harbours and countries have expressed concern about the shear number of people disembarking from cruise ships today.
One example is the Croatian city of Dubrovnik, which has led to Cruise Lines International Association (CLIA) and the City of Dubrovnik signing a Memorandum of Understanding to work together to preserve and protect the cultural heritage of the city through responsible tourism management and to help establish Dubrovnik as a model of sustainable tourism in the Adriatic region and beyond.
The MOU, which was signed on 24th July by CLIA, President & CEO, Kelly Craighead, and City of Dubrovnik, Mayor Mato Franković (pictured, left), focuses on investment, collaboration and best practices for long-term destination management to the benefit residents and visitors alike.
Immediate actions to be taken under the agreement include:
• Engaging key stakeholders including the local community and international organisations through establishing a dedicated working group;
• Collaborating on a destination stewardship roadmap for the city based on UN sustainable tourism criteria;
• Communicating and implementing the previously developed 2020 cruise ship berthing policy;
• Developing a ‘Respect the City’ visitor education campaign.
The City and CLIA are also exploring the possibility of a Dubrovnik World Heritage Visitor Centre and Intermodal Transportation Centre in Gruž Port.
“Today’s agreement validates the work we have already done with Mayor Franković and formalises the cruise industry’s continued commitment to the City of Dubrovnik and its people,” said Ms Craighead (pictured, right). “Signing of the MOU today is an important step in developing innovative practices in sustainable tourism management with Mayor Franković and the city of Dubrovnik. We look forward to sharing specific action plans and our progress as we work together with the city and other tourism partners to support responsible tourism in this great city.”
Mayor Mato Franković added: “We have developed an open and trustworthy relationship with CLIA and its members over the last two years. This commitment is just a beginning of a joint systematic, integrated and participative approach that will target some of the most important tourism issues locally and globally.”
He also stressed the importance of the City of Dubrovnik ‘Respect the City’ project, whose measures contribute greatly to achieving the goal, along with the measures agreed upon with CLIA.
He concluded: “Dubrovnik is first and foremost our home. We want to welcome guests and share our amazing home in a way that protects and preserves it. We hope this pioneering co-operation agreement will show the way to all relevant stakeholders, including other destinations, to work together to make our tourism and communities more sustainable, and our local people and our guests more satisfied.”
The agreement has been praised by destination stewardship experts, including Randy Durband, CEO of the Global Sustainable Tourism Council (GSTC), “”Tourism is managed best when public authorities engage all stakeholders in the community meaningfully in destination planning.
“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,” he concluded.