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.

From Croatia with Madness

Croatia Traffic Info

  • Drive carefully on the Rijeka bypass due to a broken down freight vehicle at Škurinje junction in direction Rupa. A1 MOTORWAY ZAGREB-SPLIT-PLOČE -Please drive carefully on the A1 motorway between Benkovac and Pirovac junctions due to reduced visibility from smoke. Due to forest fire the state road DC59 Knin-Kistanje-Bribirske Mostine is closed for traffic. Traffic is intensified on city roads and on their bypasses, on the section of the DC8 Adriatic road Split-Omiš-Makarska, before Učka tunnel and on the road after the tunnel towards Matulji junction.  Sections of the roads closed due to roadworks: -the DC29 from Novi Golubovec (DC29, DC35) -the DC502 Smilčić-Pridraga state road -ŽC5042 Višnjan-Tićan. Traffic is regulated by traffic signals/one road lane is free only: -on the DC1 state road in Knin, on the section Sučević-Otrić in Otrić -on the DC1 state road in Knin, on the section Jošani-Udbina-Ondić -on the state road DC2 in Vukovar, (Kudeljarska and Priljevo street) -on the state road DC66 Pula- Raša bridge -on the state road DC206 Valentinovo-Petrovsko. With the sunny and dry weather, more and more cyclists and motorists are on the roads. Other vehicles (such as cars or trucks) should look carefully for bicyclists before turning left or right, merging into bicycle lanes and opening doors next to moving traffic. Check your mirrors and be aware of blind spots before turning. While at a stop sign or red light, make a complete stop in order to let bikers pass, and check for unseen riders. Respect the right of way of bicyclists because they are entitled to share the road with you. Cyclists are not immune to traffic violations: pay attention to red lights and practice arm signaling!
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