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.
In the first seven months of this year, Dubrovnik has achieved record tourism results!
According to the registration and e-visitor registration data, from the 1st of January to the 22nd of July 626 548 tourists stayed in Dubrovnik, which is 6 percent more than in the same period from 2017. This year the mark of two million overnight stays was reached a full three days earlier than last year. On the 22nd of July 2,010,250 overnight stays were recorded, or 4 percent more than last year. Currently there are almost 26,000 tourists in Dubrovnik.
In the first seven months, the largest number of tourists came from the United Kingdom, USA, Germany, France, Croatia, Australia, Finland, Spain, Norway, Sweden.
In hotel accommodation, from the 1st of January to the 22nd of July this year, there were 354,249 guests, an increase of 5 percent over the previous year, with 1,114,083 overnight stays, 3 percent more than last year. In hotel accommodation the most numerous guests in the first half of the year came from: the United Kingdom, USA, Germany, France, Croatia, Finland, Austria, Spain, Sweden and Japan.
Private accommodation in the first seven months of this year had 202,074 arrivals, or 11 percent more than in the same period from last year, and 677,770 overnight stays, which is 8 percent more than in 2017. The largest number of tourists in private accommodation were from the United Kingdom, USA, Germany, France, Australia, Norway, Canada, Spain, Finland and Sweden.
The British airline easyJet has declared Croatia their destination of the year, which was additionally confirmed by the printing of the July issue of the inflight magazine, which for the first time in history was devoted to only one country - Croatia. This is a publication intended for users of their services and will contribute to the further promotion of Croatian destinations, since the magazine has a monthly base of more than 6 million passengers.
"Choosing Croatia as a destination of the year by one of the key European air carriers for us is a great success, but also a confirmation that we are making important and strategically important changes in this important transport segment. The key goals we have defined include positioning Croatia as an attractive all-year tourist destination, which is also very well connected with infrastructure, especially in the context of air transport that are extremely important for boosting tourist traffic in the pre and post periods. With this aim, this year, for the first time, this year we carried out more significant cooperation with air carriers and travel organizers from abroad, "said the Director of the Croatian Tourist Board Kristjan Staničić, adding that Croatian tourism can boast more than 70 new regular lines introduced this year.
easyJet has chosen Croatia as a destination where traffic and interest rates are increasing, making Croatia one of the key destinations of this airline, which handles more than a million passengers to Croatian destinations during the summer months. This year the airline has 49 active lines connecting Croatian destinations such as Dubrovnik, Split, Pula and Zadar with many key European cities such as London, Berlin, Milan, Paris, Basel, Bristol and others.
easyJet annually carries more than 82 million passengers, of which about 13 million business passengers. The fleet counts nearly 300 aircraft flying to a total of 980 routes, or 156 airports in 33 countries worldwide.
After his exploits in the 2018 World Cup in Russia the central defender Dejan Lovren is taking a well-earned break in the Adriatic. Yesterday the Liverpool FC star was spotted on the island of Korcula where he was more than happy to pose with fans and sign autographs.
Lovren takes some time out with his son - Instagram
Lovren is cruising the Adriatic with his wife and young family, as well as he good friend the comedian and presenter Enes Bešlagić. And the two had fun in the sea on an underwater motorised scooter, the video soon went viral on Instagram.
Can there be any place more romantic than overlooking Dubrovnik from the top Srd Mountain? This touching video has appeared on Instagram with the comments “You are the woman who has brought into my life harmony, love, faith, positivity, sincerity, trust and millions of other beautiful qualities.”
Marin Požgain, an Austrian football player with Croatian roots, proposed to his girlfriend in Dubrovnik and filmed the big moment. “I cannot put that joy into words, because with your "yes" you gave me the permission to live a common dream and made me the proudest man in the world. Thank you for everything my angel!”
Check out the special moment
Thousands, or probably millions, of photos and videos of Dubrovnik are uploaded onto social media accounts by tourists every year, let’s be honest the city lends itself to camera lenses. Every now and then one leaps out the screen and begs to be watched.
This was the case with this video sent to us by a Polish video company “Poka To” who kindly sent this video to us. With the 2Cellos playing the theme tune to the Game of Thrones serial in the background this is certainly a professional production and apart from the ancient city walls also highlights the popular beach in Konavle – Pasjača.
Vedran Corluka became the first of the Croatian national football squad to get married after their exploits in the 2018 World Cup in Russia. The former Tottenham Hotspur defender married his sweetheart Franka Batelic in a romantic ceremony in Istria.
The 32-year-old central defender, who currently plays for Lokomotiv Moscow, married the 26-year-old singer and model Batelic in Bale in Istria in a ceremony that was attended by friends and family.
Two other football stars from the World Cup, Luka Modric and Ivan Perisic, also attended the wedding. Batelic, who represented Croatia at this year’s Eurovision Song Contest, looked stunning in a flowing white dress, whilst Corluka was clean shaven and smart for the big day.
Even though it has been embroiled in various PR disasters, from potential strikes, talks of privatisation to low morale in the workforce the national airline, Croatia Airlines, has started 2018 with fine passenger figures. In the first six months of this year the number of passengers that the airline carried increased by 5 percent compared to last year. A grand total of 910,000 passengers flew with the airline from the beginning of the year until the end of June.
And whilst many businesses have been reaping the rewards of the positive promotion of the 2018 World Cup it would appear that the football also helped save Croatia Airlines figures. During June Croatia Airlines operated six charter flights from Zagreb to Russia, and this continued into July as the progress of Croatia continued into the later stages. However not one of these flights operated from Dubrovnik Airport, which meant that many hundreds of fans drove to Tivat in Montenegro to catch flights to Russia.
The capacity rate, or load factor, of Croatia Airlines in the first six months of 2018 was also impressive, coming in at 71 percent.
Croatian Members of Parliament managed to spend a whopping 5.1 million Kuna in the first six months of 2018 in addition to their regular salaries. The considerable amount of extra money was spent on rent, daily allowances, airplane tickets, hotel rooms and family separation allowance.
From the 1st of January to the 10th of July MPs spent an incredible 1.7 million Kuna in covering the costs of using their personal vehicles for official purposes, whilst 1.4 million was spent on rent bills and a further 150,000 on household bills.
587,000 was spent on airplane tickets, 483,000 on family separation allowances, 288,000 on tolls, 258,000 on hotels and 142,000 on daily allowances.
For example, Croatian Democratic Union member (HDZ), Ante Bacic, spent 89,488 Kuna in the first six months of this year on extra activities, almost 15,000 Kuna a month in addition to his salary.