A two-hour ferry ride from Split, Vis is far removed from the bustle of the Dalmatian coastline, drawing visitors entranced by its natural beauty. Off limits to foreigners in former Yugoslavia when it served as a military base, the island was spared garish communist-era tourism development. These days, the remnants of army buildings and crumbling stone houses form a distinctive backdrop to this relaxed, low-key resort that retains an old-world charm. But how long will the idyll last?
Islanders face a dilemma. They want to preserve Vis’s unique character but are keen to see more tourism revenue on which they depend. While keen to see investment, they are wary of developments that might scar the landscape. Recent projects that have met with the authorities’ approval include the restoration of a nineteenth century British fort, now a restaurant and music venue, and plans to turn a dilapidated villa into a luxury hotel.
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