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Dubrovnik planning to ban restaurants in the old town

Mayor Frankovich proposed a five-year moratorium on new tables
  • November 20, 2019 17:30
  • Author Monika Dimitrova
Medium dubrovnik

For a long time now the world-famous Croatian town of Dubrovnik is fighting overtourism with different restrictive measures. Recently the city has limited the number of cruise ships that dock in its ports, introduced foreign cruise ships tax, banned four out of five souvenir stalls, and cut by 20% the number of tables and chairs outside restaurants. Now Dubrovnik has suggested an even more stringent measure: an effective ban on all new restaurants in the city.

In this connection Mato Frankovic, Mayor of Dubrovnik, stated: Anyone wanting to open a restaurant in the Old Town cannot put down new tables and chairs for the next 5 years. They can open inside, but knowing the Old City, it's very hard to find a place where you can work inside. 99% of restaurants work mainly with outside tables."

There are already too many restaurants of about 150 different types in Dubrovnik’s historic centre, ranging from snack bars to taverns. The locals also want to protect themselves from  competition coming from the outside.

A five-year moratorium on changes in public spaces

Mayor Frankovic offered restauranteurs a 5 year lease extension provided that no changes are made in public spaces and the number of tables. He added that: “All those who have leased space owned by the City of Dubrovnik know that after the contract expires, we are obliged to call for tenders, place the premises on the market, and get new tenants according to the criterion of the best offer. The law does not envisage the possibility of offering a good tenant lease priority”.

The Dubrovnik Council will vote on the proposal in December. Since the city council owns all the public spaces in Dubrovnik, they get to decide whether or not a restaurant can be allocated space outside for tables.

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