The meeting was opened by the President of the Croatian Academy of Sciences and Arts, Academician Velimir Neidhardt, who presented the most representative buildings owned by the Academy on the Adriatic coast and in Zagreb, which are important cultural and historical monuments. Minister of Tourism Gari Cappelli also spoke at the meeting, announcing that in the first half of 2020, during Croatia’s presidency of the European Union, the leaders of EU member states will be presented with a strategy for the development of Croatian tourism in the next ten years. Organized by the Scientific Council for Tourism of the Croatian Academy of Sciences and Arts and in cooperation with the think tank Starting Perspectives (PiP), a scientific conference “Challenges of Croatian Tourism” was held on Wednesday, June 5 in the Library of the Croatian Academy of Sciences and Arts. Siniša Topalović from PiP said that the increasingly obvious conflicts of vision and interests of stakeholders are reflected in the violation of the capacity to tolerate the use of national public and natural assets, which is neither adequately regulated nor effectively managed. “Equally, problems within the interests and capacities of the socio-demographic and value substrate of Croatia and its tourist destinations are revealed. They concern the preferences and visions of the local population regarding the destination profile, the phenomenon of employment and the labor market in tourism, the capacity and quality of public services, the use of space as a basic tourist resource and especially the national perception of tourism as the easiest source of income.”, Said Topalovic. Source / photo: Croatian Academy of Sciences and Arts In his opinion, the real estate business should be directed towards Mediterranean urbanity by concentrating construction in dense settlements, which could be the embryo of future cities. “Space is a strategic resource of overall social and economic development. That is why our task is to be able to explain its properties, to be able to clearly say what we want to do with it and how we want others to treat it. The biggest threat to the Croatian area today comes from the tourist demand, especially the one that parasitizes on it, creating generic ambiences, as opposed to those that make it different from any other area. The Croatian littoral belt unstoppably covers the aggressive unarticulated construction carpet, but it is only partly a product of illegal construction, and for the most part it is a product of spatial planning regulation according to which proper building permits have been issued.”, Said academician Basic. “Croatian society and space must not become hostages of tourism as the predominant economy, but tourism can become a source of national demographic revitalization and spatial requalification. Croatian tourism is on the threshold of development, before which it must slow down growth and encourage prosperity, which must be colored with the colors of a recognizable affiliation to the Croatian space and culture.”, Concluded academician Basic. Academician Bašić warned that tourism is taking on the status of an economic monoculture because it makes up almost 20 percent of Croatia’s GDP. “Tourism is very fragile. And it has its own phylloxera that can easily cross the border and destroy tourist must”, Said Academician Bašić, recalling the catastrophic consequences caused by the excessive dependence of Dalmatia on viticulture at the end of the 19th century after the appearance of grapevine disease. As the President of the Scientific Council for Tourism, Academician Nikola Bašić, pointed out, Croatia, returning to Europe, brought its natural and cultural achievements to its treasury, which is why the Croatian space is recognized as an unquestionable value.