Clia has signed an agreement with Dubrovnik to protect its cultural heritage through responsible tourism.

A memorandum of understanding (MOU) between the cruise association and the Croatian port city has been signed in a bid to establish Dubrovnik as a model of sustainable tourism “in the Adriatic region and beyond”.

Dubrovnik is among a number of coastal destinations that serve the ocean cruise market that have called on the industry to take action to reduce overtourism.

The MOU was signed by Clia President & CEO Kelly Craighead and City of Dubrovnik mayor Mato Franković. It focuses on investment, collaboration and best practices for long-term destination management to the benefit residents and visitors alike.

Craighead said: “Today’s agreement validates the work we have already done with Mayor Franković and formalizes the cruise industry’s continued commitment to the City of Dubrovnik and its people.

“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 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.

“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 cooperation 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.”

Immediate actions following the MOU 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