During three days of Proceed with Care – Living with Tourism conference, leading experts who were gathered emphasized the important issue of the growing conflict between excessive tourism and the protection of the cultural environment, historic cities, monuments and sites, especially those listed on the UNESCO World Heritage List.
In the Croatian National Theatre of Šibenik, Croatia, the International Scientific Conference Proceed with Care took place for the first time from 2nd to 5th May. The mentioned sustainable tourism conference was organized by The National Association for Interdisciplinary Activities in the Field of Heritage and Tourism. The conference gathered world-leading experts in the field of preservation of cultural heritage. Many keynote speakers shared their knowledge and experience: Yonca Erkan, Michael Turner, Ludwig Thorsten, Antonio Miguel Nogués-Pedragal, Yoel Mansfeld, Benno Albrecht, Juan Manuel Corso Sarmiento, Cristina Jover Fontanals, Mar Santamaria, Dimitri Ioannides, Dejan Verčič and other experts. The conference was organized under the sponsorships of the President of Republic of Croatia Kolinda Grabar – Kitarović, Croatian UNESCO Committee and Ministry of Tourism as well as partnerships of City of Šibenik, the Croatian National Tourist Board and National park Krka.
Why do we have to Proceed with Care?
One of the conference organizers, Jelena Skorup, opened the conference with an important question why proceed with care? while many speakers were trying to give the answers. The main idea of the conference Proceed with Care was living with tourism while all participants had the opportunity to hear many suggestions of strategies and techniques of comprehensive planning and design of tourism territories and infrastructure as a tool for sustainable management of both; tourism and heritage, especially those listed by UNESCO as World Heritage. Also, some of the speakers covered communication strategies and techniques for implementation of sustainable planning and design solutions where the strategy of positioning the heritage of tourist destination and defining its brand architecture.
Three interesting panels were moderated by three Proceed with Care organizers. The first panel on topic Towards SDG was moderated by Dragana Lucija Ratković Aydemir while the topic of second panel Future sustainability – New Ideas was led by Jelena Skorup. The third panel named Overtourism – Too Much? and moderated by Ankica Mamić was focused on strategies of positioning the heritage of tourist destination and defining its brand architecture.
The main conference goal was to get together researches and leading experts from all over the world in order to find solutions for sustainable management of both; tourism and heritage, especially those listed by UNESCO as World Heritage. The newest academic and scientific researches, as well as strategies, tactics, and tools, were presented at the conference in order to help find solutions for cultural heritage preservation as well as for tourism sustainability.
Many places from UNESCO’s list, such as Dubrovnik, Hvar, Plitvice Lakes, Venice or Barcelona, are challenged by seemingly insurmountable challenges that could soon be captured by other Croatian coastal towns as well. Many efforts are being made to identify and prevent potential problems in time, and for the existing ones to find adequate management of visitors and destinations. Therefore, The Proceed with Care – Living with Tourism Conference has a goal to become a permanent gathering of world’s authorities, relevant authors and researches, and at the same time, has a goal to position Croatia as an initiator in the field of the preservation of material and non-material heritage.
The National Association for Interdisciplinary Activities in the Field of Heritage and Tourism, ICOMOS Croatia; University of Zagreb, School of Architecture; Università Iuav di Venezia, Doctoral Study (Università Iuav di Venezia, Scuola di dottorato); Department for Architectural Design DPA, Escola Tècnica Superior de Barcelona ETSAB, Universitat Politècnica de Catalunya UPC; Institute of Art History, Zagreb; Centre for Marketing and Public Relations, University of Ljubljana, Faculty of Social Sciences (Center za marketing in odnose z javnostmi); Fakultet za družbene vede, Univerza v Ljubljani, IRMO; Institute for Development and International Relations, Zagreb; ARIES_JURAČIĆ SKORUP ARHITECTS from Zagreb, MUZE from Zagreb, IMC Agency from Zagreb.
Photos by Damir Fabijanic