Croatia, where I live, is the well known Mediterranean tourist destination. According to the latest data from our Ministry of Tourism there where 17 Million Tourists Flock to Croatia in 2017. Istria was the most visited region, followed by Split-Dalmatia County, Kvarner, Zadar County and Dubrovnik-Neretva County.
To distance itself as a mass tourism destination the Croatian tourism industry must seek new ways of furthering its development, which will enable it to gain the sustainable competitive advantages that it obviously needs. Clearly, one of the possible ways of achieving this is through ecotourism.
Croatia even though is well known Mediterranean tourist destination has more to offer to tourists than just beautiful beaches. In Croatia, we are blessed with 8 National parks, 2 strict reserves and 11 Nature parks each offering something magical and beautiful.
With a solid foundation of eco-conscious organizations, local experiences, and dedication to socio-cultural and environmental sustainability, ecotourism in Croatia has a bright green future. Providing the industry continues to develop in a responsible and considerate manner, focusing on local tourism businesses, empowering local communities to get involved, environmental protection, and socio-cultural preservation, Croatia could soon be a leading nation in ecotourism experiences.
Croatia as a tourist destination want to distance it selves as a mass tourism destination, so an international conference on ecotourism in Mediterranean protected areas recently took place in Split, bringing together 60 representatives of protected areas and travel agencies who are together creating new ecotourism products.
Participants in the conference agreed that ecotourism could be a genuine solution to the current tourism challenges in the Mediterranean. As an alternative to the mass tourism ecotourism in Croatia can take into account local tradition and heritage as well as their biodiversity.
In addition to that in the DestiMED project which was financed from the European Union's, data was collected for an innovative approach to reducing tourism impact on natural resources which are maintained by protected area communities.
The Mediterranean protected areas have the tools and know-how necessary so that tourism can have a positive impact on them, and they can also work with other parks to promote a new vision of Mediterranean tourism.
In Croatia, the project is implemented by WWF Adria in the Lastovo Archipelago Nature Park and the Kornati National park.