Source: Game of Thrones/HBO
The HBO hit Game of Thrones has made one European city so popular it may have to resort to turning tourists away.
The Croatian city of Dubrovnik has been heavily featured throughout the 7 seasons of Game of Thrones as the setting of the capital city King’s Landing where the titular Iron Throne sits.
Thanks to Game of Thrones fans, tourists helped pull Dubrovnik out of a recession in 2014, but tourism in the city has now exploded and the city may even be at risk of losing its World Heritage UNESCO designation if the overcrowding continues.
“We became too popular in the last couple of years,” local tour guide Ivan Vukovic told Money. “So many Americans and Canadians come here because of the show.”
Dubrovnik has also become a busy cruise ship port leading to heavy crowds in recent years. It is those crowds, thanks in part to the cruise ship passengers, that UNESCO cites as the main reason for putting Dubrovnik at risk of losing its World Heritage status.
The answer? According to Dubrovnik’s new mayor, Mato Frankovi, the only remedy is to limit the amount of tourists allowed inside the walled city.
Speaking to the Telegraph Frankovi said over the next two years he plans to cap tourists allowed inside the city to 4,000 per day – half of the current 8,000 limit imposed by UNESCO.
“I am not here to make people happy,” Frankovi told the Telegraph. “Some of the cruise lines will disagree with what I’m saying, but my main goal is to ensure quality for tourists and I cannot do it by keeping the situation as it is.”