Travel and Tourism

This Croatian city is struggling with overtourism. Is Game Of Thrones to blame?

Dubrovnik, Croatia. Image: Spencer Davis/Unsplash

Melissa Wiley
Visual features reporter, Business Insider
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Travel and Tourism

  • Dubrovnik, Croatia, is proposing a ban prohibiting restaurants from adding outside tables and chairs
  • The city, where scenes from Game of Thrones have been filmed, has seen a spike in tourism
  • Dubrovnik joins a growing list of cities around the world that are buckling under the weight of overtourism

A ban on new restaurants may be Dubrovnik's next line of defense against overtourism, Julia Buckley reported for CNN Travel.

The Croatian city's mayor, Mato Frankovic, told Buckley that the ban would prohibit restaurants from adding outside tables and chairs. Because of limited space, this would effectively ban new restaurant business, he confirmed.

The city council owns Dubrovnik's public spaces and will vote on the proposal in December, according to Buckley.

"They can open inside, but knowing the Old City it's very hard to find a place where you can work inside," Frankovic said. "Ninety-nine percent of restaurants work mainly with outside tables."

Even if a restaurant closes, a new one won't be able to take its place with the ban in place, Buckley noted.

In recent years, Dubrovnik has experienced a surge in tourism because of its role as the fictional city of King's Landing in the popular TV series "Game of Thrones." According to the Croatia Times, Dubrovnik has experienced record tourism in 2019.

Dubrovnik joins a growing list of cities and towns buckling under the weight of overtourism.

Have you read?

Cities around the world are taking measures to combat overtourism. Venice plans to ban large cruise ships from its canal beginning in 2022, Kieran Corcoran previously reported for Business Insider. In July, Rome instituted a $450 fine for anyone sitting on the historic Spanish Steps, Evie Carrick reported for Insider.

Similar to Dubrovnik, Maya Beach in Thailand experienced a surge in popularity as a result of the 2000 movie "The Beach" featuring Leonardo DiCaprio. Last year, it closed to tourists until June 2021 to preserve the marine ecosystem, Karla Cripps and Kocha Olarn reported for CNN in May.

The negative effects of overtourism include overcrowding, pricing locals out of real estate, and environmental damage, Annie Lowrey wrote for The Atlantic in June. And overtourism doesn't appear to be dying down. As Lowrey aptly observed: "Like breakfast margaritas on an all-inclusive cruise, it is suddenly everywhere."

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