The year in which the health crisis, and then the crisis of freedom of movement, exposed the shortcomings of national economies that depend on conventional tourism, also highlighted the debate on the sustainability of individual tourism models. Environments that for various reasons did not exclusively link their development path to the number of tourist arrivals and overnight stays, proved to be more resilient, but also more desirable in the new circumstances.
Which, in fact, sustainable tourism?
Sustainable tourism we can define it as tourism that fully takes into account current and future economic, social and environmental effects, takes care of the needs of visitors, sectors, environment and destination. Sustainable tourism should make optimal use of environmental resources and help protect natural heritage and biodiversity, respect the socio-cultural authenticity of the destination, and ensure that economic activities are sustainable and long-term, as well as bring social and economic benefits to all stakeholders with equitable distribution. To provide a valuable experience for tourists, sustainable tourism must maintain a high level of tourist satisfaction, while raising awareness of sustainability and promoting the practice of sustainable tourism among them.
Guidelines and practices for the management of sustainable tourism development can be applied to all forms of tourism, in all types of destinations, including mass tourism, but also various tourist niches. The principles of sustainability refer to the environmental, economic, socio-cultural aspects of tourism development. In order to achieve long-term sustainability, an appropriate balance must be struck between these three dimensions. To ensure broad participation and consensus, sustainable tourism requires the informed participation of all relevant stakeholders, but also strong political leadership.
Sustainable tourism in the Croatian way
Sustainable tourism in Croatia has been relevant for the last ten years, and special emphasis is placed on sustainable development of rural areas where tourism can play a significant role, as well as destinations for mass tourism that need sustainability to prevent devastation of natural and cultural resources.
After writing Independent, Croatia ranks 2020th in the world in terms of tourism sustainability standards and acceptance of green transformation for travel recovery for 13, making it among the top 20 countries, as shown by a new report on sustainable tourism by a global research company Euromonitor International. This analytical house evaluated 99 countries in the world and ranked the best countries of sustainable tourism through the so-called Sustainable Travel Index that is, observing the ecological, social and economic sustainability, the risks of the country, as well as the sustainability of tourist demand, transport and accommodation, where they also state that 66,4 percent of consumers globally, it wants to positively impact the environment through its day-to-day operations in 2021.
A pioneering example of the philosophy of sustainability in Croatia is certainly BioMania iz It hurts on Brač. The story, which started in 2018 as BioMania Street food at the Golden War, will soon be expanded to include the BioMania Bistroom in Bol itself. In addition to offering fresh and delicious vegan and vegetarian food from farm to fork, BioMania's business is exploring whether it is possible to do business in the Croatian hospitality industry in a completely sustainable way. In their own field, they grow the crops they use to make meals, and many other foods are procured from local producers, thus supporting the local economy. Their business story is a fully rounded process that includes recycling, waste sorting, composting and many aspects of the circular economy, and in the procurement process they only work with suppliers who adhere to the same code of ethics.
Dario Kožul who is behind the whole BioMania project, says: "Sustainable catering is just a continuation of the sustainability to which I have been committed for the last ten years. In BioMania we serve the whole kitchen which is based on herbs. These herbs include - of course - fruits and vegetables, but also beans and a number of other products that have flavors that are great. The huge difference between us and others is the origin of foods. For us, the origin of food is extremely important. Because the food is succuss, after all. It has to be grown in a certain way, from a certain seed… that is something that is extremely important to us. ”
Brački Bol as an example
Proactive Bol Tourist Board develops sustainability in several directions and is extremely pleased with the fact that BioMania started sustainable catering in Bol, and they believe that this venture will become a good example for the entire industry. "Sustainable tourism should be a strategic way of thinking and developing tourism in Bol, with an emphasis on involving the local community and the domicile population in the production of organic, organically grown food. Thus the domicile population will feel the added value of tourism. Tourists are no longer as they used to be, they are more and more aware and are looking for the authentic ones and they know the value of local food and dishes very well. ”, he told us Markito Marinkovic, director Tourist boards of Bol.
"I am sure that this year we will be in the center of attention - both guests and the media - because we are doing something that is certainly not in Croatia, and it is not common in the wider area. What sets us apart is a complete sustainability story - from how we choose and educate our employees, to how we treat them, which partners we choose to work with and from whom we procure groceries, in addition to the ones we grow ourselves. It is extremely important for our Croatian tourism to move in that direction. It is irreplaceable in the long run, everything else is less valuable. Fortunately, we still have nature that is fantastic and we have the prerequisites to create an extraordinary oasis. Our island is small in terms of population, but we can do a lot in a short time. We are on the right track and we must all accept that together and move on. ”, he concluded Skin
Photo: Matea Pajtlak, Ivor Madžar / Klain PR