‘Game of Thrones’ lives on in Medieval Croatian city

‘Game of Thrones’ lives on in Medieval Croatian city


>>Sreenivasan: THE HBO TELEVISION SERIES “GAME OF THRONES” SET A RECORD THIS YEAR WITH 32 EMMY NOMINATIONS FOR ITS FINAL SEASON. THEY WON IN 12 OF THOSE CATEGORIES. THE SUCCESS OF THE SHOW IS HAVING AN UNINTENDED CONSEQUENCE ON THE CITY WHERE IT WAS FILMED. TOURISTS ARE MAKING THE MEDIEVAL WALLED CITY ONE OF EUROPE’S HOTTEST TRAVEL DESTINATIONS. NEWSHOUR WEEKEND’S SPECIAL CORRESPONDENT, CHRISTOPHER LIVESAY, HAS THE STORY.>>Reporter: DUBROVNIK, CROATIA. EVEN IF YOU’VE NEVER BEEN TO THIS GEM OF THE ADRIATIC, CHANCES ARE YOU’VE SEEN THIS CITYSCAPE STRAIGHT OUT OF A FANTASY. OR, RECOGNIZE THAT MUSIC? ♪ ♪ ♪ WITH ITS SEA, ANCIENT HISTORY, AND THESE MEDIEVAL WALLS, DUBROVNIK WAS ALREADY A MAGNET FOR TOURISM. THEN, VIRTUALLY OVERNIGHT, THINGS WENT INTO HYPERDRIVE. THAT’S THE DAY THE DRAGONS CAME. THIS IS KING’S LANDING FROM “GAME OF THRONES.” FOR SEVEN OF THE SERIES’ EIGHT SEASONS, DUBROVNIK WAS THE BACKDROP OF THIS MOST IMPORTANT OF SETTINGS IN ONE OF THE MOST POPULAR AND PRAISED TV SERIES OF ALL TIME. AND IT’S BROUGHT THIS MODEST BALKAN CITY A JOLT OF NOTORIETY.>>I REMEMBER WHEN I FIRST WATCHED IT. IT WAS JUST, “OH, MY GOD!”>>WELL, FIRST, WE HEARD ABOUT THE “GAME OF THRONES,” YOU KNOW. THIS SHOW WAS SHOT HERE. AND WE WERE EXCITED ABOUT THAT.>>SO, LIKE, CROATIA, THIS WAS LIKE, ONE OF THE THINGS I WAS LOOKING FORWARD TO THE MOST, LITERALLY, WAS THE “GAME OF THRONES” TOUR.>>Reporter: THAT’S RIGHT, NOW THERE ARE “GAME OF THRONES” TOURS. OUR GUIDE, IVAN VUKOVIC, SAYS THEY’RE THE MOST POPULAR TOURS IN A TOWN VISITED BY TWO MILLION TOURISTS A YEAR, ROUGHLY DOUBLE WHAT IT GOT BEFORE THE HBO SERIES TOOK FLIGHT.>>NOW, YOU’RE GOING TO SEE THE PLACE WHERE JOHN SNOW LEFT KING’S LANDING, SENT OFF… SET OFF TO THE NORTH.>>Reporter: AND WHAT “GAME OF THRONES” TOUR WOULD BE COMPLETE WITHOUT TAKING THE WALK OF SHAME, THE ONE THAT HUMILIATED QUEEN CERSEI BEFORE ALL OF KING’S LANDING?>>SHAME!>>SHAME!>>Reporter: TODAY, TOURISTS CAN REENACT THE SCENE, AND LOCAL VENDORS ARE CASHING IN WITH SHAME FOOD, SHAME DRINKS. SHAME COCKTAILS?>>SHAME COCKTAILS, SHAME MOJITO, SHAME BURGER.>>Reporter: BUT, FOR SOME HERE, WHAT’S A “SHAME” IS SOMETHING ELSE ENTIRELY. I’M ON A “GAME OF THRONES” TOUR IN THE HEART OF THE OLD TOWN OF DUBROVNIK. NOW, THE PEOPLE ON THIS TOUR, THEY’RE HAVING A BLAST. AS FAR AS THE LOCALS? NOT SO CONVINCED.>>SOMEHOW IT GOT TO BE OVERTOURISM, SO…>>Reporter: OVERTOURISM?>>OVERTOURISM, YEAH.>>Reporter: SO, THAT MEANS THERE’S TOO MANY?>>THERE IS TOO MANY. SOMETIMES THERE IS WAY TOO MANY BECAUSE WE LIVE IN A MEDIEVAL CITY WHICH IS SURROUNDED BY THE WALLS. SO, YOU CAN’T PACK 20,000 PEOPLE TO BE IN A CITY WHICH WAS DESIGNED FOR 7,000 PEOPLE. SO, I CALL IT, IN MY WAY, A BLESSING AND A CURSE.>>Reporter: WAITER LUJO JURECIC IS ALSO OF TWO MINDS.>>IT IS A GOOD THING SINCE WE ALL HAVE OUR LIVING FROM IT. SO, IT IS A GOOD THING.>>Reporter: BUT THE TOURIST ECONOMY MEANS HE CAN’T AFFORD TO LIVE IN THE NEIGHBORHOOD HE GREW UP IN, ONE THAT’S GETTING HARDER TO EVEN RECOGNIZE.>>I THINK DUBROVNIK HAS LOST ITS INTEREST AS IN A TOWN, AS ITS HISTORY, BY IT’S BECOME MORE LIKE “GAME OF THRONE’S” KING’S LANDING. IT’S A STEP FORWARD TO BRING MORE PEOPLE HERE, BUT I THINK DUBROVNIK IS LOSING ITS AUTHENTICITY.>>Reporter: BAR OWNER STJEPAN PERIC TAKES A MORE DIRE VIEW.>>(translated): I THINK EVERYONE WHO LIVES HERE WILL EVENTUALLY MOVE AWAY. THE CITY WILL BE LIKE A MUSEUM, AND PEOPLE WILL PAY A TICKET TO GET IN. THEY WON’T SEE A LIVING CITY.>>THIS TOWN NEEDS TO LIVE AND NEEDS TO CONTINUE FOR THE FUTURE. NO ONE WANTS TO COME IN DEAD TOWN.>>Reporter: MATO FRANKOVIC IS THE MAYOR OF DUBROVNIK. HE POINTS OUT THAT THE CITY AS A WHOLE HAS ONLY 42,000 RESIDENTS, ROUGHLY THE SAME NUMBER IT HAD BACK IN THE EARLY ’90s. THAT’S THE BLOODY PERIOD THAT SAW THE DISINTEGRATION OF YUGOSLAVIA AND THE SHOCKING BOMBARDMENT OF DUBROVNIK DURING THE CROATIAN-SERBIAN WAR. THE SCARS ARE STILL VISIBLE TODAY. BUT EVENTUALLY, VISITORS COULDN’T RESIST. AND WHEN THE REBOUND CAME, SPURRED BY “GAME OF THRONES,” THERE WERE UNINTENDED CONSEQUENCES, PARTICULARLY IN THE WALLED “OLD TOWN.” IT HAD CLOSE TO 3,000 RESIDENTS A DECADE AGO. TODAY, WITH HOMES BEING CONVERTED INTO VACATION RENTALS, THERE’S BARELY 1,000 FULL-TIMERS LIVING HERE. COMPARE THAT TO THE 10,000 TOURISTS WHO MIGHT COME IN A SINGLE DAY.>>WE HAVE A LOT OF VISITORS COMING JUST BECAUSE OF “GAME OF THRONES.” IS THAT GOOD? IT’S GOOD BECAUSE THEY’RE GOING TO SEE SOMETHING NEW AND SOMETHING UNIQUE. BUT THIS IS… AGAIN, WE ARE COMING ON THE BEGINNING, AND THIS IS AT THE MANAGEMENT OF THE TOURISM.>>Reporter: THE CITY IS MANAGING TOURISM, HE SAYS, BY LIMITING THE NUMBER OF CRUISE SHIPS AND TOUR BUSES. THE CITY HAS ALSO CUT THE NUMBER OF SOUVENIR STANDS BY 80% AND BANNED LOUD MUSIC AFTER 11:30 AT NIGHT– MEASURES IT TOOK AFTER UNESCO, THE CULTURAL BODY OF THE UNITED NATIONS, WARNED THE CITY RISKED LOSING ITS SPECIAL WORLD HERITAGE STATUS IN 2017.>>NO, NO. THEY TRIED TO KILL KING JOFFREY IN THE RIOT SCENE. NOT THIS GUY, THE BLOND GUY.>>Reporter: OF COURSE, TOUR GUIDE IVAN VUKOVIC SAYS DUBROVNIK CAN’T AFFORD TO BITE THE TOURIST HAND THAT FEEDS IT, EITHER– NOT AFTER SO MANY YEARS OF STRUGGLE, AND NOT NOW THAT “GAME OF THRONES” AIRED ITS FINAL SEASON EARLIER THIS YEAR, SOMETHING HE HOPES WON’T HURT HIS BUSINESS.>>YOU TRY TO TALK ABOUT DUBROVNIK AS AN AMAZING DESTINATION, AND NOW EVERYBODY WANTS TO SEE IT. SO, TEN YEARS AGO, I WAS BEGGING PEOPLE, LIKE, “CAN YOU VISIT US?”>>Reporter: SO, IS DUBROVNIK A VICTIM OF ITS OWN SUCCESS?>>SOMEHOW LIKE THAT. IT’S A VICTIM OF ITS OWN SUCCESS. THAT’S A PROBLEM– DON’T GETS TOO POPULAR, IF POSSIBLE.>>Reporter: OH, IS THAT YOUR ADVICE?>>(LAUGHS) IT’S MY ADVICE. LIKE, YOU TRY TO BE SUSTAINABLE, BUT IT’S VERY, VERY HARD BECAUSE YOU WILL NOT TELL THE PEOPLE “DON’T VISIT US.”

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