Sun shines again, and tourist season is picking up with more and more people arriving. Many predict it could be one of the best recorded.
As a city with priceless history protected by UNESCO, as well as rich cultural life and gastronomy Split is a real magnet for visitors who travel to discover its heritage and lifestyle. Apart from that, in the last few years, Split was recognized as a popular destination for younger tourists, thriving for partying and nightlife. And there is plenty of that, too. And some side effects, too.
Both local people and other categories of visitors witnessed incidents and misbehaving by some of our guests around the town, especially in the historical centre. Media also noticed it, and little-by-little Split gained a reputation as a place where everything is allowed, and anything is possible. Public drinking, vomiting, passing out in parks and other public spaces, noise around the clock, etc. became a daily routine, with residents of the historical centre being the biggest victims. Diocletian's Palace is a living structure, and people living within its boundaries deserve some respect.
This is not the reputation we want for Split. Our city deserves to be an attractive destination, but long-term, not just until drinking-bound youngsters find another funnier, cheaper and less controlled destination. In one word, we want Split to be a sustainable destination where both citizens and visitors of all ages and interests will be satisfied. It's our long-term goal that we are working on, but in the meantime, some more urgent measures had to be brought, similar to some other cities in Europe and elsewhere.
As it was announced earlier, the City of Split just voted a set of rules to maintain order and peace in historical and residential areas which now become a decency zone. The decision will be enforced by city order officers accompanied by police, who are authorized to fine anyone breaking those rules. And here is what you can expect.
- Any public alcohol consumption within the historical centre and less than 100 meters from schools and kindergartens will be fined 300 euro
- Urinating in public, food and drink consumption in public spaces when it can leave dirty traces, and staying in bars and other venues after working hours - fine is 300 euro.
- Climbing and sitting on historical and other monuments and landmarks, bathing and climbing on public fountains brings a fine of 300 euros.
- Vomiting in public places will cost offenders 300 euro
- Sleeping in public parks, squares, parking lots and other public spaces will cost offenders 150 euro
Not only tourists will be under watch. Any soliciting of taxis and other unlicensed transportation is also under threat of 300 euro fine.
We are aware these are not popular measures, but something had to be done. It's not directed against any category of our guests, nor we and the city authorities are against people having fun in our beloved city. Allow me to remind you of a campaign Split and this Tourist Board launched a few years ago. Its slogan, Respect & Enjoy, illustrates everything we want to achieve.