More and more destinations are resorting to drastic measures to combat mass tourism. The latest addition to the list is Dubrovnik, located in Croatia. The Adriatic gem has made a radical decision: to ban wheeled suitcases in its historic center.
Wheeled suitcases have become essential for vacations. With two or four wheels, they prove to be highly convenient, sparing travelers from the hassle of carrying heavy bags and potentially experiencing soreness the next day. However, Dubrovnik has taken a surprising step by prohibiting the use of wheeled suitcases in the city’s historic center. The goal? Reducing noise disturbances.
This Isn’t Disneyland or Game of Thrones!
This unprecedented measure follows numerous complaints from the residents of Dubrovnik. The locals are fed up with the constant noise produced by these little wheels. This summer, visitors are required to carry their wheeled suitcases.
It’s worth mentioning that Dubrovnik is one of the most sought-after summer vacation destinations. Its popularity skyrocketed with the filming of the Game of Thrones series, attracting countless fans eager to walk in the footsteps of their favorite characters. In a 2019 article, our colleagues at France Info quoted Marin Krstulovic, President of the neighborhood council and representative of Dubrovnik’s residents, who explained, “We’re fighting to maintain our city. This isn’t Disneyland or Game of Thrones; it’s our home! Two years ago, we had only 1,557 residents in the old town; we’ve lost over 60% of our population in twenty years.”
An Anticipated New Measure in November
This widespread frustration is pushing local authorities to take even further steps to curb mass tourism. Starting next November, luggage will be outright banned in the historic center. A mandatory luggage storage system will be implemented, as explained by Dubrovnik’s official to Jutarnji List: “Tourists will deposit their luggage in storage, and we will deliver them, for a fee, to their place of stay. This is just the beginning; the ultimate goal is to create a logistical center at the airport, after which all luggage will be directly delivered to the place of residence.”
This measure is part of an extensive action plan conceived by the authorities of Dubrovnik, named “Respect the City.” The aim is simple: mitigate the adverse effects of over-tourism through a series of measures, including not using motorcycles or scooters without prior authorization, refraining from smoking in public spaces and avoiding the consumption of food or beverages around the city’s cultural monuments.