Balkan Insight: Uncontrolled Tourism Threatens Balkan UNESCO Sites

By , 17 Apr 2017, 15:33 PM Travel
Balkan Insight: Uncontrolled Tourism Threatens Balkan UNESCO Sites Balkan Insight

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Dubrovnik has been the subject of debate surrounding the amount of people being allowed to enter into the Old City and onto its city walls for a long time now, and it seems it is not alone...

Balkan Insight is a well known portal which opens the door to the international community about goings on in Croatia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Macedonia, Bulgaria, Romania, Serbia, Montenegro, Albania and Kosovo in English language. The site reports on politics, business, arts and culture, news and analysis and entertainment from throughout this area of south eastern and central Europe. 

The site reported on the 17th of April 2017 that uncontrolled tourism is posing a threat to several UNESCO World Heritage sites here in Croatia, as well as in Macedonia and in neighbouring Montenegro, all of which allegedly risk losing their prestigious titles due the negative effects of unbridled, mass tourism. It isn't a new topic as far as Dubrovnik is concerned, and as the report correctly says ''the sites are suffering unprecedented damage''.

The City of Dubrovnik fell into UNESCO's bad books recently due to the allowance of completely unrestrained numbers of people to flood through the gates of the Old City and onto one of its most popular attractions - the prized, ancient city walls. Since then, various ideas on how to control the numbers heading straight for the Old City have been thrown around, eventually resulting in cameras equipped with people counters being placed at all five historical entrances. Although the new camera system is in its infancy and will obviously require time to work comfortably and efficiently, new rules will be implemented that will only allow a certain number of people in at any one time, and visitors in larger groups will need to announce their arrival beforehand. It should be noted that unrestricted mass tourism isn't only problematic to the Old City and its precious infrastructure, but to residents who find it difficult to come in and out of their homes, and also to the tourists themselves. On many occasions, emergency services such as ambulances and other permitted vehicles have struggled to make their way into the Old City due to the uncurbed amount of human traffic - a problem which poses a very real and serious threat to health and safety.

As well as the Pearl of the Adriatic, the report by Balkan Insight mentions the beautiful and increasingly popular Plitvice Lakes in the country's interior, a site which sees around 1.3 million visitors per year, approximately 15,000 per day in peak season and has been the location of several completely preventable accidents in recent times.

To read Balkan Insight's full report, click here.

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Croatia Traffic Info

  • On most of the roads in Croatia traffic is of medium intensity, occasionally heavy on the roads along the coast. Drivers are invited to adjust their driving speed to road conditions and keep the safety distance between the vehicles. There are no longer delays at the Lučko toll station on the A1 motorway. There is a traffic ban on freight vehicles heavier than 7,5 t on most Croatian state roads leading to the coast and in Istria, except on the DC1 Karlovac-Knin-Sinj: -on Saturday, 24 June, 4am-11pm -on Sunday, 25 June, noon-11pm. One lane is free only on the following sections of the motorways: -A2 Zagreb-Macelj between Sveti Križ Začretje and Krapina junctions 38th-41st km in both directions; -A4 Zagreb-Goričan - traffic is suspended in the entrance lane of Kraljevečki Novaki from direction Sesvete and Dugo Selo towards Ivanja Reka junction, there is a local detour; in the roadwork area traffic is flowing in reduced lanes. Sections of the roads closed due to roadworks: -on the DC1 state road in Lučko (Zagreb); -on the DC8 Adriatic road at Posedarje; -on the DC6 state road, section Glina-Dvor border crossing; -on the DC502 Smičić-Pridraga state road. Traffic is regulated by traffic signals/one road lane is free only:-on the DC1 state road in Knin until 14 July; -on the DC1 state road at Mostanje and on the section Sučević-Otrić. -on the DC8 Adriatic road on the section Zaton Doli-Bistrina; -on the DC66 Pula-Most Raša state road.
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  • Passenger traffic is heavy: inbound: Kaštel, Plovanija, Klek, Zaton Doli, Nova Sela outbound: in both directions: Karasovići, Metković and Slavonski Brod Due to traffic density and occasional additional controls, during the day difficulties are possible at the border crossings with Slovenia, Bosnia and Herzegovina and Hungary. Border crossing Gunja-Brčko: 24. June 6pm-8pm - closed for all traffic. Border crossing DVOR: 27. June 9am-1pm traffic - closed for all traffic. Due to roadworks at Županja border crossing delays can be expected in both directions. At Harmica border crossing traffic is allowed for vehicles up to 7,5 tonnes only.
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  • All ferries and catamarans are operating according to schedule.
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