Croatia: Former prison island deemed ‘perfect’ for gay tourists

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A former prison island compared to the US’s Guantanamo Bay, has been recommended for use by gay tourists, as they could be there “without anyone bothering them.”

Goli Otok (Naked Island), is an isolated isle in the Adriatic Sea off the Croatian coast.

It has been recommended by a paper from the Association of Eco and Social Forum of Croatia.

“Gay guests could enjoy their time at the island for 24 hours a day without anyone bothering them,” read the paper.

It continued: “It is completely private.”

Despite the island’s controversial past, with former inmates comparing it to Guantanamo Bay, and calls for a memorial to be built there instead, the paper suggested the fact that it hosted the former prison would make it an “attractive destination”.

Officials in Croatia hope to build on the £50 million the country already brings in from gay tourism, and the paper was passed on to the tourism minister Darko Lorecin.

However not everyone agrees that the island should be repurposed to host gay tourists, and the Association of Goli Otok prisoners still want the island to be made into a memorial.

“Their idea is probably to bulldoze the whole place and forget that anything ever happened here,” Darko Bavoljak, leader of the association said.

“This was a painful episode and we want to preserve it for posterity. But in this country anything is possible, it is even possible that the state disregards its own history.”