The mayor of Croatia's popular party resort island of Hvar has pledged to put an end to debauchery by mostly young British tourists. He hopes to improve their behavior by slapping them with huge fines.
"Save Your Money and Enjoy Hvar" read signs put up at the weekend at the entrances to the town's center, graphically detailing offences and their corresponding fines, local media reported. The highest, a 700-euro fine, is given for public drinking, eating or sleeping. Other unwelcome behavior includes tourists walking around in swimsuits in Hvar's center. They risk a 600-euro fine, while those not wearing T-shirts must pay 500 euros.
Newly-elected mayor Rikardo Novak had earlier pledged he would "make decent" the young tourists visiting the biggest town on one of the most popular southern Croatian islands. "They are vomiting in town, urinating on every corner, walking without T-shirts, crawling around, unconscious", Novak told local media in June announcing measures to change such habits. "Young tourists are welcome, but they will have to learn how to behave here."
His reactions were sparked also by articles in British tabloids which described the Croatian island destination as a "place of Sodom and Gomorrah." In June, the mayor of Novalja, on the northern island of Pag, also complained about young mostly British tourists visiting his town.
The crystal clear water of the Adriatic coast attracts bathing tourists - and party people
Mayor Ante Dabo warned notably against what he called their "primitivism, nakedness and drunkeness." Like Hvar, Novalja in the past several years has become known as a summer party destination for young tourists. Tourism is a major industry for Croatia. Visitors flock to its stunning Adriatic coast, which has more than 1,000 islands and islets. Last year the Balkan country welcomed nearly 16 million visitors, far outstripping its population of 4.2 million.