ZAGREB, Oct 9 (Croatia Sun News) – Sustainable destination management, keeping excessive tourism in check and protecting the interests of the domestic population are the main topics in global and Croatian tourism, the 2019 Global Green Destinations Days international forum heard on Wednesday.
The forum began in Zagreb and will also be held in Mali Losinj, Gorski Kotar and Pltivice Lakes until October 12. Behind it is the Green Destinations international foundation for sustainable destination management, which has 200 member states.
The event brought more than 120 participants from 30 countries who will discuss the conservation of nature, biodiversity and local culture, handling waste, including plastic, notably from the sea, and strategies for the development of ecologically responsible destination policies.
Tonci Glavina, state secretary at the Tourism Ministry, said Croatia’s tourism policy was oriented towards sustainability and green destination management. “We have several destinations that already have been recognised globally as green, such as (the towns of ) Mali Losinj and Drnis.”
He said a green tourism action plan was drawn up three years ago and that this year the ministry had co-financed with HRK 800,000 eight tourism development feasibility studies as well as provided HRK 1.4 million to help draw up tourism quality management studies for eight counties.
We have also reformed tourism legislation with focus on destination management, he said, underlining the need to increase the quality of the tourism offer as well as the lives of the local population.
Green Destinations president Albert Salman said the forum was a place to present solutions for destinations in the age of mass tourism as well as a key event for destinations which wanted to escape excessive tourism.
He said global tourism was developing in an unsustainable and irresponsible manner, making life difficult for the local population. All destinations which apply green and sustainable measures are at an advantage in relation to those which do not, as tourists increasingly demand those measures and spend more in those destinations, he added.
The director of the Mali Losinj tourist board, Dubravko Cvitkovic, said the town on Losinj island had been listed among the world’s 100 selected sustainable destinations for the fourth year now and that it was also among the 20 global leaders in sustainability.