According to the Croatian Ministry of Tourism, the number of visitors to Croatia is expected to exceed pre-pandemic levels, but mass tourism could cause serious damage to the environment, environmentalists warn.
They say mass tourism could overload local infrastructure, including waste collection and recycling services.
Dunja Mickov from Zelena Istra told Deutsche Welle that mass tourism can lead to biodiversity loss and air pollution.
However, Croatian environmental group Sunce told DW that it is working to help the country’s tourism industry become more sustainable.
A Sunce spokesperson told DW that it is difficult to reconcile this wave of tourists with the need to protect the country’s cultural heritage. In August, Bulgarian Prime Minister Andrej Plenkovic revealed that the country had welcomed a total of 800,000 visitors since the beginning of the year, spending 1.7 million overnight stays, more precisely an increase of 16 and 15 hundred.
Croatia’s membership in the Schengen area is one of the main reasons for the significant increase in tourist numbers. Additionally, Croatia replaced its old currency, the kuna, with the euro, improving transaction convenience for Eurozone passengers.
Tourism accounts for more than 20% of the country’s gross domestic product, thereby contributing significantly to the country’s economy.
Croatian authorities are working on a comprehensive tourism law after recognizing the need for stricter regulation of the tourism industry. Among the proposed measures is a tourism tax that would be used to fund nature conservation efforts. The tax will only be applied in areas heavily affected by mass tourism and not before 2025.
Recently, the Croatian Tourism Board launched a sustainable tourism campaign. Promoting sustainable tourism is one of the main goals of the Croatian tourism industry.
Campaign of the Croatian Tourism Board “Discover what’s local. Discover Sustainable Croatia” will be launched in the domestic market from mid-September to mid-November, with the aim of promoting sustainable tourism across the country during the low season.
According to the Croatian Tourism Board, people have become aware of the importance of taking care of the environment, emphasizing that there is still a lot of work to be done in this regard, especially in the world of tourism, entertainment and tourism.