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

  • Traffic is suspended on the DC8 Adriatic road between Omiš and Brela at the place Medići due to trees on the road, detour: Omiš-Gata-Dubci. Due to rain the roads are wet and slippery in Dalmatia, in Istria, in Lika and Gorski kotar mountain areas, in the northern coastal area and in the central parts. Rock and land sliding is possible. Due to fog visibility is reduced in Gorski kotar - on the A6 Rijeka-Zagreb motorway between Kikovica and Tuhobić tunnel. Traffic is dense in cities and on their detour roads. During the day difficulties can be expected in roadwork areas, such as on the A1 motorway between Lučko and Donja Zdenčina junctions in direction Split. Drivers are invited to keep distance and to adjust the speed to road conditions. With the bad weather the headlights have to be on during the day as well. One lane is free only/traffic is flowing in reduced lanes on the following motorways:-A1 7th-8th km in direction Rijeka/Split, in Plasina tunnel in both directions; -A2 Zagreb-Macelj between Zaprešić and Zabok junctions 20th-18th km in both directions; -A3 Bregana-Lipovac between Kutina and Novska junctions 119th-120th km in both directions; -A6 Rijeka-Zagreb at Svilno viaduct 78th-80th km between Orehovica and Čavle junctions in each direction till 1 June; -A8 in Istria on the section Lupoglav-Učka tunnel. Roadworks on the A4 Zagreb-Goričan motorway (Zagreb detour road): - till 9 June 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; - till 8 May traffic is suspended in the exit lane of Popovec junction from direction Goričan towards Popovec, detour for direction Vrbovec-Popovec: Sveta Helena junction (A4)-Sveta Helena-DC3 Goričica-Belovar-Žerjavinec-Soblinec-Popovec junction, for direction Goričan (A4)-Sveta Helena: Komin junction (A4)-DC3-Sveti Ivan Zelina-Donja Zelina-Žerjavinec-Soblinec-Popovec. Lepenica rest area (at 57th km) on the A6 Rijeka-Zagreb motorway is closed till 15 June, the previous rest area and petrol station is the one Ravna Gora (at 30th km), the next one Cernik-Čavle (17,8 km away from Lepenica). Due to roadworks traffic is suspended: -on the DC1 state road in Lučko and Stupnik (Zagreb); -on the DC8 Adriatic road at Posedarje; -on the DC6 state road, section Glina-Dvor border crossing, detour: Glina (DC37)-Petrinja-Hrvatska Kostajnica-Dvor. 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 Klinča Sela, Tušilović and Mostanje; -on the DC1 Sinj-Klis Grlo state road at Dicmo; -on the DC8 Adriatic road on the section Kaštel Stari-Kaštel Gomilica, at Podstrana, on the section Zaton Doli-Bistrina, at Srebreno; -on the DC66 Pula-Most Raša state road; -on the DC75 Poreč detour road, section Vrvari-Bijela; -on the DC62 Veliki Prolog-Metković state road at Most Metković.
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  • During the day difficulties can be expected at the border crossings with Slovenia, Bosnia and Herzegovina and Hungary due to traffic density and occasional additional controls. Passenger traffic is dense at: - Bregana (20 minutes), Karasovići (30 minutes), Stara Gradiška (25 minutes) in the inbound direction, -Bregana (25 minutes), Županja (30 minutes) in the outbound direction. Bus traffic is heavy at Bregana (an hour) in the outbound direction. In the outbound freight traffic there are delays at Bajakovo (4 hours) and Tovarnik (an hour), in the inbound at Bajakovo (5 hours) and Tovarnik (an hour) as well. Due to roadworks at Županja and Slavonski Brod border crossings delays can be expected. At Harmica border crossing traffic is allowed for vehicles up to 7,5 tonnes only.
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  • The following ferries, catamarans and boats do not operate due to strong wind: -Lopar-Valbiska, Brestova-Porozina, Šibenik-Zlarin-Kaprije-Žirje ferries, -Mali Lošinj-Rijeka, Rijeka-Rab-Novalja, Ubli-Vela Luka-Hvar-Split, Korčula-Hvar-Split, Jelsa-Bol-Split, Vis-Split catamarans, -Mali Lošinj-Unije-Susak boat.
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