Sustainable tourism is the way of future travel. In order to remain a country rich in history, culture and gorgeous destinations, certain actions must be taken in order to keep Croatia a prosperous and beautiful country.
Croatia lies on the shore of the Adriatic Sea, just opposite Italy and makes up part of the Meditteranean with Greece close by. Throughout the years, Croatia’s popularity has skyrocketed thanks to social media and, none other than, the hugely popular Game of Thrones TV series which was filmed in various locations around this versatile country.
Croatia truly has it all; beautiful mainland with magnificent valleys, mountains and their towering peaks, and a coastline to die for, studded with hundreds of islands. Tourism has been a major economic driver in Croatia for years but it’s even more so in the recent past. With such an influx of visitors year after year it is important to find a development model that will allow Croatia to grow economically thanks to tourism, but that will also take into account the sustainability of such an endeavour.
So What Exactly is Sustainable Tourism?
It is quite common for people to assume that the term ‘sustainable’ is a reference to eco-friendliness. Going green is a big part of sustainable tourism but it’s not the only element of sustainable tourism. Actually, sustainable tourism rests on three pillars:
Sustainability is integral to everything Sail Croatia does, which is why we’ve funded and founded non-profit organisation, Green Sail, dedicated to raising awareness on the practices and responsibilities that will help maintain Croatia as a sustainable tourism destination for future generations.
How Does Green Sail Foster Sustainability?
Green Sail is passionate about a sustainable future of tourism in Croatia and it is the core foundation of their business. They partner with various agencies within the nautical industry from charter companies and marinas, to environmentally conscious businesses and individuals that all share in the same passion and goal - to keep Croatia as pristine as possible.
To this date, Green Sail has achieved much success with more to tackle and overcome on the horizon. These direct actions include coastal cleaning, coastal waste reduction, recycling promotion, green tours and education with over 58 partner companies and 35 volunteers. In one month alone, Green Sail was able to remove almost 5 cubic meters of sea waste in a sea clean-up Team Event. Not only this, but in 2019 Green Sail was also a semi finalist for the European Social Innovation Competition which asks for Europeans to develop solutions to problems that affect our current society.
By focussing on the environmental practices and developing various policies and projects, this ensures that efforts will continue to have a positive effect on Croatia’s local tourism. Recognising the importance of ecological awareness, Green Sail has also identified various recycling locations along the Dalmatian coast, meaning it’s easy for everyday locals to become involved in Green Sail’s initiatives to keep their country clean and prosperous.
How As A Traveller Can I Help?
As a tourist, you would be surprised at how achievable being a sustainable traveller can be. Big differences start with small actions. When booking a trip, consider the following:
- Carry a reusable bag with you
- Pick up litter when you see it
- Separate waste & recycle
- Bring a reusable water bottle and refill on the go
- Buy locally and avoid plastic packaging
- Choose travel companies with an up-to-date environmental policy
It’s unrealistic to expect that everyone will be able to make these changes all at once, but if you start off small, you’re on your way to helping this growing effort!
What is Sail Croatia Doing About Sustainability?
Sail Croatia developed a Sustainability Strategy which details what we aim to achieve by 2022. Key achievements that we’ve made thus far include:
- The removal of over 500,000 single use plastic water bottles
- Introducing free biodegradable water bottles onboard our vessels
- Over £100,000 invested into environmental sustainability
There is still much to be done in the name of sustainability and tourism which is by 2022 we will ensure that:
- A complete ban on plastic straws & disposable plastic cups onboard our ships
- A complete ban on single use plastics used for linen & towels onboard
- 90% of Sail Croatia crew and onboard representatives will be Green Sail certified
Joining forces with Green Sail, Sail Croatia aims to tackle additional complex issues by 2024 which include:
- Blackwater waste management within the nautical industry
- Research and implementation of eco-cleaning products within the nautical industry
- Sustainable alternatives within the nautical industry including solar panels
For all of our future aims and how we plan to tackle these, read our Sustainability Report.
Green Sail understands the importance of environmental awareness and how that will impact on Croatia’s future. Along with Sail Croatia and the help of the everyday traveller, we can ensure sustainable tourism in the future for everyone to enjoy.