Unrestrained tourism threaten Balkan UNESCO sites

Published on : Monday, April 17, 2017

UNESCO HeritageThe multiple UNESCO heritage sites including Macedonia, Montenegro and Croatia have been bearing the brunt of extensive damage owing to unrestrained tourism that is putting all these tourism sites at peril.


Apart from polluting the natural environment, the overwhelming number of tourists is believed to be disastrous for some of these sites.


The sites that continues be perilous are the Croatian cities of Dubrovnik, the Plitvice Lakes national park in Croatia’s interior, Byron’s renowned ‘Pearl of the Adriatic’ and also some well-known regions like Kotor in Montenegro and Ohrid that the historic city of Macedonia.


The numerous UNECO heritage regions of Dubrovnik bear a similar spectacle to Venice are also at the risk of losing its heritage status.


But then, these numbers actually do not include the visitors arriving here on cruisers. The Dubrovnik Port Authority states that a little less than 800,000 tourists had come to the city in cruisers at times reaching to more than 10,000 visits per day.


Since there are no reliable data about how much is earned by Dubrovnik from these brief cruise passengers, there are many people who question the profitability of such tourism.


It has been calculated by the Croatian Institute for Tourism that in the year 2010, Croatia has been able to earn 53 million euros from cruise liners.


But then, the data said that the total costs amounted to 338 million euros when the damage to the environment was factored in.


The UNESCO site of Pilitvice Lakes is also under risk.


Last year, the region was also believed to have been in the danger of losing UNESCO heritage status due to its high number of tourist arrivals that is around 1.3 million a year, reaching close to 15,000 a day in the peak season in July and August. Vejeran Pirsic who is a veteran ecological activist from Croatia said that these UNESCO heritage sites need to be operates responsibly and the number of tourists visiting the places need to be restricted.


In Montenegro, the government is implementing measures to make sure that Kotor maintains its position on the UNESCO list, and for achieving this aim the government had banned construction that had led to much controversy.



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