Historically, the city expanded demographic and economically around maritime trade activity. At the beginning of the 20th century Šibenik became a centre for metal industry and during the communism period, the aluminium industry employed the greatest part of the population, while trade and transport were also important sectors. After a transition period (1990-2005) Šibenik lost most of its industry while tourism became a focus of economic development. The city has a rich cultural UNESCO heritage and two national parks at 30 km distance. Combined with the sun-and-beach attraction, all this resulted in the number of tourists doubling in 10 years (2004 to 2014), mostly coming from Germany, Austria and Slovenia.
Although industry in Šibenik today is in slow decline, it still remains important for overall employment and the business sector, together with the city’s trade and the commercial harbour. Finally, it is worth mentioning that in 2015 the city received its first tertiary studies programme with the Polytechnic University.