Tuesday, 20 March 2018
Mark Thomas

Mark Thomas

Mark Thomas - The editor and big chief of The Dubrovnik Times. Born in the UK he has been living and working in Dubrovnik since 1998, yes he is one of the rare “old hands.” A unique insight into both British and Croatian life and culture, Mark is often known as just “Englez” or Englishman. He is a traveller, a current affairs freak and a huge AFC Wimbledon fan.

Email: mark.thomas@dubrovnik-times.com

The Port of Dubrovnik attended the Seatrade Cruise Global in Florida, Fort Lauderdale, held from the 5th to the 9th of March.

This is the largest fair of the cruise industry in the world and was attended by representatives of the ports of Dubrovnik, Split, Zadar, Sibenik and Rijeka on a joint stand under the name "Croatian Cruise Ports". This four-day event, with 11,000 registered participants, is an epicentre of the world cruising industry activity and the only annual event that brings together all the participants in cruising activities.

miami croatian cruise ports 2018

Cruising is the fastest growing activity in the tourism sector, with an increase of 70 percent in the last 10 years, the number of passengers on cruises increased from 15.2 million to 25.8 million per year. The contribution of cruising to the world economy and employment plays an extremely important role, and according to CLIA Europe data in 2017, in Europe it contributed a record 38 billion euros.

The Port of Dubrovnik opens this season cruise seasons on the 17th of March with the arrival of a Viking Star with a total of 900 passengers. By the end of the year in Dubrovnik 489 cruise ships are expected with about 770,000 passengers.

After the expected slowdown in economic growth this year, Croatia can expect to accelerate economic activity in the next two years, according to the latest forecasts of the renowned Vienna Institute for International Economic Studies, reports Jutarnji List.

According to their forecasts, Croatia will conclude this year with a 2.7 percent growth in gross domestic product (GDP). But next year, growth in the economy should accelerate to three percent, and the same growth rate should be achieved in 2020.

The statement does not reveal the reasons why Croatia can expect to accelerate economic growth over the next two years. However, their forecasts do not deviate significantly from those of domestic macroeconomists. Thus, Hrvoje Stojic, a macroeconomist for Addiko Bank, in 2019 also expects growth of the Croatian economy at a rate of three percent, and in 2020, according to his forecasts, he would see a growth of between 2.5 and 3 percent.

Tickets for the 69th Dubrovnik Summer Festival are now on sale. The ticket office in the Festival Palace in the heart of the Old City of Dubrovnik is now open for the purchase of tickets for the 69th Dubrovnik Summer Festival program. The office will be open from 10 am to 2 pm from Monday till Friday and from the beginning of May will start working on a full-day schedule.

The programme of the 69 Dubrovnik Summer Festival, which traditionally takes place from 10 July to 25 August in around twenty site specific venues of Dubrovnik.

Full details of this year’s program can be found at the website of the Dubrovnik Summer Festival.

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An earthquake, measuring 3.4 on the Richter scale, rumbled through the north of the Dubrovnik – Neretva County yesterday.

The epicentre of the quake was in neighbouring Bosnia and Herzegovina and seventeen kilometres away in Metkovic the ground shook as the quake rumbled through. According to the Croatian Seismic Centre the estimated population in the so called “felt area” of the earthquake was 130,000. No injuries or severe material damage has so far been reported.

If you are travelling towards the Dubrovnik suburb of Lozica be careful as a road traffic accident has just occurred blocking the busy road in both directions.

The emergency services are on the scene and are attempting to clear the road.

One eye witness told The Dubrovnik Times that “It would appear that the car lost control on the wet road and crashed into the wall.” It is still unclear as to whether anyone was injured in the accident.


Boninovo – a place where love is treasured in Dubrovnik. With panoramic views over the Adriatic Sea the security fence stands guard over the sheer cliff drop, and apart from this more practical purpose it also holds romantic dreams.

This seemingly plain green fence has become Dubrovnik’s love lock wall. It is hard to say when it started, at least ten years ago is our best guess, but now the fence is awash with pledges of undying love from all over the world.

love wall dubrovnik 2018

Padlocks with the initials, messages, hearts and poems are snapped into place on the fence and the keys are then thrown in the sea. It the modern day version of carving your names in a tree trunk, but once more environmentally friendly.

“Love U 4ever,” from a Swiss couple – “Be my Valentine” in French and “U complete me” from Juan in Mexico. The Dubrovnik love fence is as international as the guests that land every summer.

If you want to add your own enteral love message on a padlock then from the Old City head up the road from Pile Gate for around a kilometre, when you get close the clank of padlocks in the wind will led the way.

wall of love dubrovnik boninovo

love mum dubrovnik 2018

Croatia has the fourth most expensive hotel room rates in Europe, with the average price of a room a whopping 135.9 Euro. According to research by the leading agency STR Global into the price of accommodation in Europe the most expensive room rates are in Switzerland with an average price of 192.8 Euro.

The agency investigated accommodation, travel agencies, tourist attractions and prices across the whole of Europe and Croatia came out as the fourth most expensive room rates. After Switzerland, Italy came in second place at 142.8 Euro, followed by Malta at 138.3 Euro and Croatia at 135.9 Euro.

Croatian accommodation is more expensive than France (118 Euro), Spain (114 Euro) and Greece (119 Euro). Whilst some of the cheapest countries were Germany (101 Euro), Great Britain (105 Euro) and Finland (103 Euro). According to the research the cheapest room rates in Europe can be found in Austria which had an average hotel room price of only 101 Euro.

“Overcrowded destinations are successful, but there is a thin line between success and failure,” commented the Mayor of Dubrovnik, Mato Franković, at the recent ITB travel trade fair in Berlin.

Overcrowding is a huge problem is many popular tourist destinations, Venice, Barcelona, New York and London are all facing problems tackling the downside of being tourist magnets. And Mediterranean destinations have the extra pressure of thousands of cruise ship passengers arriving every day.

With cheap flights and online accommodation agencies travel has never been cheaper or easier, meaning that many tourists arrive for shorter trips, in fact the average stay in Dubrovnik last year was less than 3 days.

However, the advantages of easy travelling have led to overcrowding, in a survey by the consultants IPK around 9 percent of travellers commented that overcrowding negatively affected their vacation.

According to a recent report the City of Dubrovnik is getting creative in order to cope with the crowds. By the end of this year the city will launch a new app that will inform visitors when the historic Old City is overcrowded. It will feature a real-time people counter that will show the number of people in the city core at any given time.

And in an attempt to disperse tourists to other regions around the historic walls the city plans to launch a car-sharing scheme.

And the last, and quite possibly most important measure, will come from the Port of Dubrovnik, who will work on rearranging the arrivals of cruise ships to the city in an attempt to ease the infrastructure problems in peak times. This scheme will come into force this year but the full effects are expected to be seen from next year. The city is also looking at overcrowding solutions in New York and Venice.




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The Voice of Dubrovnik


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