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SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT OF HIGHLY TOURISTIC REGION OF ISTRIA

By Jasmina GRZINIC

Abstract

As the scale of tourism grows, the resource use threatens to become unsustainable. Withought environmental responsibility the levels of cheaper mass tourism will increase, forcing more “nature-based” tourism to move on to new destinations. This scenario is opposite to the “Croatian Tourism Development by 2010” strategy. With a favourable geographic position, almost at the heart of Europe, Istria has always represented a bridge connecting the Middle European continental area with the Mediterranean. This area is the most visited Croatian tourist region with 27% of all visitors and 35% of time spent in all of Croatia. The Croatian National Bank’s preliminary figures for 2007 show that international tourism generated 18.4% of Croatian GDP. For these reasons the Istrian tourism industry can not ignore environmental issues in its management and requires the informed participation of all relevant stakeholders (according to the Agenda 21 for tourism industry). Properly planned tourism development, combined with environmental protection, produces the concept of sustainable tourism. Environmentally sustainable form of tourism represents a step forward from "sea and sun" mass tourism developed at the coastal part of Istria. There are a myriad of definitions for Sustainable Tourism, including eco-tourism, green travel, environmentally and culturally responsible tourism, fair trade and ethical travel. Mentioned selective tourism forms are adopted as the concept of the present and future Istrian destination development.sustainability, Istria, tourism development

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