Do we finally provide our guests with parking?

first_imgWe are constantly breaking tourist records, and this year we have crossed the magic limit of 100 million overnight stays. Statistically excellent and it is certainly a great success of the whole sector, but regardless of the whole euphoria, you need to be honest, open your eyes and talk openly and argumentatively about all the challenges.One of the challenges is certainly the awareness and the need to provide parking for guests. A logical and banal, but again so neglected problem. Why is there still a chronic lack of parking in our tourist destinations. When we invite guests to leave their Euros in our destinations, I wonder: Can’t we provide them with the most basic thing – parking?Again, due to the non-strategic development of our tourist destinations, the only thing that has grown in the past 20 years are accommodation capacities. The entire infrastructure did not follow this development, from the sewerage to the electricity network, so HEP sends us notifications every season not to turn on the air conditioning because the whole system is overloaded. Also, the beaches have remained the same, parking is declining, and destinations are suddenly rapidly increasing in population due to the arrival of tourists. All this is a huge burden on the entire infrastructure of the tourist destination, and the analysis of the Croatian Chamber of Commerce speaks in favor of that – “Simulation of food and beverage consumption in August“. Thus, Nin and Medulin are Croatian record holders in terms of population growth during the summer. According to the estimates of the Croatian Chamber of Commerce, the population of these cities increases by almost five and a half times during the summer season due to tourists, ie the number of inhabitants in Nin jumps by 461 percent in August, while the population of Medulin increases by 447 percent. Also, population growth in, say, Split-Dalmatia County ranges from 38 percent to as much as 123 percent in Istria County.Every year we witness cities cracking at the seams, especially this summer season, so it’s just a matter of how much the numbers can still grow without investing in infrastructure. But let’s get back to the topic of this article – parking. First I wonder where all that money that cities make goes? Secondly, does that thing really hurt us so much for our guests that we can’t even provide them with parking. Yes, it is best that the guests do not even come, but only to send money.If we care about our guests, shouldn’t we care where they will park their vehicles, ie will they be able to park in the destination at all? We are still primarily a destination where in most cases tourists come by car, even if guests come by plane they should use transport to the accommodation, whether public transport, taxi or car rental during the year. Now, if someone travels five to ten hours to our destination and knows that it will be difficult to find parking at the start we have a big problem. Before dipping his feet into the sea, he already has a negative perception and stress in his head.If we talk about destinations that develop primarily through tourism – live from tourism, especially those in Dalmatia whose space is further cramped due to the highway, why none of these destinations such as Vodice, Trogir, Biograd na Moru, etc. kup did not buy land above the highway and provide tourists with parking? If we are talking about destinations that have money, live from tourism and tourists, shouldn’t that be in their interest?First: They would solve the problem of incredible congestion, and thus rapidly reduce pollution as well as noise in citiesSecured parking would solve a big problem for tourists because they would know that they do not have to look for parking after “ten” hours of driving to the destination, which is extremely frustrating. It is clear to you that tourists when they finally come to the destination, all they want is to settle down and refresh themselves in the sea, especially if you are traveling with children, and not again looking for hours for parking. Here I immediately ask the hosts in the family accommodation: Do you greet them with a cold welcome drink and some indigenous snack?Secured parking would show that you care about tourists, reduce crowds in the city / destination, guests would go down to the destination by electric vehicles, and thus encourage environmental and sustainable development in combination with electric benches, smart city, LED lighting, organic products etc.… Also, there comes efficient public transport as well as various forms of integrated transport such as public bicycle system, car sharing services, rickshaws, segway… the story is only spreading in one other direction. Speaking of which, why don’t we have a fast and efficient “boat” line, ie electric boats, which connect destinations by sea, so as not to burden the roads. We have boats, we have an electric motor, it’s just a matter of implementation. Again, not to go on big ships, but on small boats which are our tradition and which would employ a lot more people.Second: We will encourage guests to move and explore the whole region / destination If there was no problem with parking, guests would use their cars more often without fear of having to look for parking again, and would free them up and encourage them to move by car to visit and experience the surrounding destinations. By doing so, they would have a much better experience of the whole region. Certainly how guests want to experience as much as possible, and one destination cannot provide them with all seven days. In the end, the only thing that matters is how the guest feels at the end of their vacation, ie whether they are satisfied with the destination or not, and whether they will come back and recommend it. We have to care, that’s a key element.Did we live up to expectations? Or maybe surpassed? What is good and what is not good in the destination? What do guests want? Ask them, they are with you, this is your best free research. My first encounter with tourism was through animation in tourism. As an animator, I communicated with the guests every day and I knew everything that was good and what was not in the hotel, camp, destination. Unfortunately, then, and as far as I can see today, the management still has no ear to listen to its guests, of course honoring the positive exceptions. We have to start dealing with tourism, and not live on rent, so we sell forms without content.Third: Increasing tourist spendingAlso, if we would provide parking to our tourists, it would further encourage tourist spending, precisely through increased guest mobility. Of course, nights and arrivals should be counted, but I wonder why no one counts tourist spending, ie non-board consumption, which is more important than the numbers of overnight stays. On the contrary, it is crucial for understanding tourism, because the goal of tourism is to increase the quality of life of the local population and to spend as much and as much local participants as possible on the local economy, not just to earn some and ultimately make money from tourism.Win-win, right? But first we must care about tourists and the strategic development of tourism.Some cities such as Split, Dubrovnik and Zadar have started this year with applications for public transport, but this is just the tip of the iceberg because the problem is complex, and it is impossible to solve the whole problem with one intervention. We need to look at the bigger picture and close the whole circle. Tourism is extremely dynamic, complex, heterogeneous, multidisciplinary and connects various industries vertically and horizontally. That is why it is complex and must not be developed by inertia or accident, but only strategically and sustainably.Let’s start from the beginning and provide parking for our guests.PS This has nothing to do with the Ministry of Tourism and the CNTB, because the cities themselves are in charge of the development of tourist destinations.


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