The main objective of CROSTO is to continuously measure and monitor the development of sustainable tourism in the most tourism developed region of Croatia (Adriatic Croatia). Through the establishment of periodic and systematic monitoring processes, the observatory is key to observe and understand issues related to sustainable tourism, supporting local stakeholders in their decision-making processes with essential evidence. By applying and the European Tourism Indicator System among local communities and at the same time being part of INSTO, the observatory’s main tools in realization of its vision will be promotion, education and knowledge transfer. The long-term objective of CROSTO is to help establishing more observatories within the country and serve as coordinating entity, seeking to support sustainable tourism throughout the entire country in the future.
Since the measurement covers entire counties (NUTS3 regions) – not just their coastal areas, which are heavily burdened by tourism, but also the large, underdeveloped hinterland area – great differences were und at the local level and, thus, the results are average values that offer a general insight into the overall state of sustainability.
Therefore, since 2018, CROSTO monitoring has been specifically initialized at the local level, whereby six local destinations, which have very diverse features, were selected for the purposes of further measurement: Rovinj, Mali Lošinj, Novalja, Hvar, Ston and Dubrovnik.
In designing a model of sustainability measurement at the local level, we started from the fact that active stakeholder involvement in the process is the key to success as well as an important strategic resource, which can and should be used to plan sustainable development.
This fact is particularly important due to the complexity of the procedure, whereby measuring the sustainability of tourism is a process that must involve stakeholders from the fields of energy distribution, communal services, social services, spatial planning and tourism. Therefore, it is necessary to consider all of the relevant factors that determine the individual dimension of sustainability. As a first step, each monitored destination appointed a local CROSTO coordinator to establish which institutions must be included in the measurement process. In addition, the local CROSTO coordinators in each destination then formed a local working group comprised of managers in companies and institutions responsible for collecting the dana needed in measurement.