Interestingly enough, our grand TSDI champion in Europe is also our greatest concern. In fact, Croatia has great ecological values in the fields of air quality, water quality, protected areas and rurality. Also, the emission of CO2 per inhabitant is low (at 3.8 tons per capita per year), which, along with a great tourism development, explains the very high TSDI. The result on itself can be explained and is logical if you look at the parameters one by one.
BUT, things are not always what they seem. Since 2012, with the popularity of the TV show “Game of Thrones”, Croatia has been the theater of mass tourism. This destructive tourism has grown in size up to this day. The city of Dubrovnik and its surroundings is a perfect exemple: the Unesco World Heritage site on the Adriatic is under threat from hordes of cruise ship tourists who crowd its narrow streets looking for landmarks from the hit TV series. These cruise ships have a huge impact on the turbidity of the waters locally but not enough for it to be seen in the final value for the whole country since Croatia counts many islands. The Unesco have been considering removing the city of Dubrovnik from the World Heritage group to regulate tourism figures in the area, and thus, protecting the environment and the longevity of the site.
Mass tourism is one of the great challenges that future generations of tourists have to consider. Mass tourism can occur in a variety of tourism situations. But, wherever mass tourism occurs, it relies on the same concept: there are very large numbers of tourists, often filling or exceeding capacity, in a given location at one time. Needless to say that such activity goes against the tide of sustainable tourism.
The main goal of our TSDI is not achieved, for now, in this scenario. In future versions, we planned to take more “human” data into account and compute the values locally to give more credit to areas that are not sustainable in regards to their ecosystems.