Plitvice Lakes National Park is the oldest protected area in the Republic of Croatia and the biggest by its surface. The park is designated as the UNESCO World Heritage Site. Outstanding universal value is recognized within significant natural and geological processes, habitats and biodiversity. Only 1% of the park’s large surface is the main focal point for visitors and active tourism. We evaluated management of the park through Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threats (SWOT) analysis interpreting internal and external factors. High conservation of biodiversity, investments in different projects and high number of employees are considered as strengths. High number of visitors in small area and lack of visitor management plan, educational programs and marketing strategy are weaknesses. Threats are present through the inadequate management of drinking water supplies, lack of wastewater treatment plant and excessive construction in villages. Our opportunity definitely lies in protected nature and biodiversity. Considering very good status of the park’s finances, there aren’t any significant barriers for sustainable tourism approach, development of educational programs, various investments and adoption of new management plans. However, these activities must be beyond any potential political influence and they should have continuity in order for the park to be an example of quality management in the years to come.
Part of the book: National Parks