Sunday, 22 April 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

After several weeks of speculation Turkish Airlines has finally confirmed interest in its counterpart in Croatia. According to the words of Mr Abuldkerim Cay the airline's Chief Human Resources Officer Turkish Airline has seen an equity investment in Croatia Airlines as a very good business opportunity and benefit for both sides. This confirmation came just a few days after the Croatian government had removed Croatia Airlines from a list of strategically important companies and made it eligible for a sale. Over the weekend Mr Ahmet Tuta Turkey's Ambassador to Croatia confirmed the words of Mr Cay from Turkish Airlines. He also added that both companies cooperated as Star Alliance members and that there was interest in a list of companies the Croatian government had announced for sale.

Whereas Turkey is not an EU member it could acquire up to 49% of Croatia Airlines.

A few weeks ago Mr Krešimir Kučko CEO of Croatia Airlines denied claims that Turkish Airline showed interest in the state company adding that a strategic partner through recapitalisation would accelerate the carrier's development and fleet expansion. He also said that good business results made the airline more appealing than ever before and hoped to have success in finding a strategic partner.

Mr Tonči Peović, who has managed both Zagreb and Dubrovnik airports and is seen as a possible candidate for Mr Kučko replacement said, ''If the government sells Croatia Airlines without recapitalisation requirements, then the most likely buyer would be Alitalia, owned by Etihad. This would give Air Serbia, through its part-owner, access to Croatia Airlines’ valuable airport slots and a leading position in the Balkans''.

He also added that the only guarantee for survival would be a strategic recapitalisation through a process of programmed bankruptcy, by a non-European company, which would compete against Etihad and Lufthansa and have a strategy to develop the EU market through a hub-and-spoke network. ''Otherwise, the takeover will be hostile, which has been the case with a number of companies in Croatia'', said Mr Peović.

The spectacular sinking of the warship “Vis” almost went horribly wrong. The warship was sunk with controlled explosions this week off the coast of Kamenjak in the Istrian peninsular in northern Croatia. Built in 1956 Vis was used as an Admiralty ship in the Yugoslav Navy and was used by Tito, as well as being visited by many heads of state. The 85 metre long ship was bought by a Croatian businessman, Arsen Brajković, in 2002 from Montenegro. His idea was to sink the ship and to use it as an attraction for divers.

After years of organisation the warship was finally sunk this week with controlled explosions 250 metre from the shoreline at a depth of 35 metres. “From the concept to the implementation took five years and now “Vis” will serve as an example for other entrepreneurs in Dalmatia to do the same,” Brajkovic told journalists.

However the sinking didn’t go quite to plan as this video below clearly shows. With the eyes of the media and national television on it controlled explosions sunk the warship. However the ship suddenly started to dip into the sea after the third and final explosion and the divers on board can clearly be seen blown off their feet with the blast, before jumping into the Adriatic to be picked up by waiting safety boats.

vis sinking

Check out the video at 2.10 for the full drama.

 

Due to the number of visitors from the United States to Dubrovnik, a number that has tripled over the past five years, the Mayor of Dubrovnik Andro Vlahusic and local authorities are seeking a partner for the service of flights between New York and Dubrovnik for next year. Vlahusic considers that it is unacceptable that Americans visiting Dubrovnik have to fly via Belgrade, instead of nonstop and that the city expects the route to be operated twice a week throughout the year.

Therefore, the Dubrovnik Tourist Board and the Dubrovnik Association of Trade and Crafts will carry out a survey of the US market in the last five years and then contact potential tour operators and airline companies. On the other hand, earlier this month Turkish Airlines launched flights from Istanbul to Dubrovnik. With this airline Dubrovnik will also be linked to the Far East so Asian tourists will be able to use this service but only during winter. Also ANA (All Nippon Airways) the largest Japanese airline company will operate charter flights to Dubrovnik in August and early September.

Earlier this year, the Croatian Ambassador to the United States said the Embassy has resumed discussions with various stakeholders in order to explore all possibilities for the establishment of direct flights to Croatia. "We will do all we can to spearhead and facilitate this effort, and achieve direct flights as soon as it is economically possible", the Ambassador said.

“Culture Club Revelin will organize a monster screen for the upcoming 2016 UEFA Champions League Final match this Saturday, on the 28th of May. A big six meters long TV screen, an incredible and unforgettable view over the Old City of Dubrovnik and great atmosphere are a guarantee for interesting night of watching the most important club match in Europe'', said the organizers of this event.

''Real or Atletico, Luka Modrić, Ronaldo and Mateo Kovačić or Torres and Koke. No matter who is your favourite the Revelin terrace offers enjoyment in cheering and supporting whilst watching the match on the biggest TV screen with the best audio system in Croatia. All you need to do is come to Revelin at 8.00pm and choose your place on the terrace'', said the Culture Club Revelin in a statement.

Watching the match on the biggest TV screen in Croatia is an introduction to the upcoming European football Championship 2016 on the Revelin terrace starting on the 10th of June.

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Citizens of the newer EU member countries, such as Croatia, where people favour online shopping often have complaints of being victims of the so called 'geo-blocking' i.e. discrimination by place of residence. Some online shops often refuse to sell or deliver goods or automatically redirect the consumers to local websites with different offers and prices. Also more often than not the prices are much higher than for the consumers from some other European member countries. But the web shop evolution is on the horizon. This situation has to be changed so the European Commission introduced regulations for e-trade in order to prevent discrimination against users from some member countries in consideration to pricing and conditions of selling or paying.

''There is a single market for goods bought and sold in the real world, so there should be a single market online, too. Very often citizens do not have access to the best offers on the internet or they give up cross-border shopping due to extremely high delivery price or uncertainty of their rights,'' said Andrus Ansip a Vice President of the European Commission for the Digital Single Market.

According to Biljana Bronzan a Croatian representative in the European Parliament every fourth customer has complaints about online shopping. ''Almost 25 percent of the European consumers have complaints about being unable to buy items online from other countries. The fact is that cross-border online shopping accounts for only 14 percent of the total internet shopping. The consumer associations estimate that a delivery to the smaller European member countries costs twice as much as to the bigger member countries. On the other hand, this market has great potential and would greatly benefit Croatian retailers and customers as well. According to some estimates an increase in online shopping by 10 percent would lead to a growth of GDP in the EU by 1.7 percent,'' commented Bronzan.

Amerigo Vespucci, the Italian training ship, called 'the most beautiful ship in the world', sailed into the Port of Gruz and it will stay until May 29. The historically most important ship of the Italian Navy came as part of a maritime mission honouring its 85th anniversary.

This is the second time it came after 2012, and it's interesting that since its launch in Castellammare di Stabia on 22 February 1931,  it's been used nearly every year for the training of the Italian Naval Academy, conducting 79 training missions around the world.

Cruise season has begun! This was the first 'super busy' day of the new season and Dubrovnik was crowded with tourists – over 10 thousand of visitors have been roaming around. With the high temperatures and a bunch of people you could really say that the summer is just around the corner. You have all seen the photos of the crowd in Dubrovnik, but today we have something different – take a look at this cruise ships.

 

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                  Photos by Niksa Duper

When we saw a guy with a polar bear mask standing on Porporela in the Old Town of Dubrovnik on the photo on Instagram, we just had to know who he is and why is he doing that. We discovered that his name is Elnar Mansurov, he's 29 years old and lives in Russia, near Ural Mountains in Perm city. He organizes expeditions and also has a family cafe. In short, but sweet interview he discovered why he wears the mask and what are the reactions.
I must ask, why the polar bear mask? How did you get an idea and does it have any special meaning?
In my city I have been promoted an idea of independent tourism. Unfortunately even 10 years in our country many thought it is impossible to travel without agencies. It was difficult to get a visa and my purpose was to convince people that it’s not that way.
Therefore we created mishka.travel web-site about traveling and its symbol of white polar bear.
I think Russia is associated with a brown bear while white one does not have enough attention. ;)
For the beginning we posted stickers with a white bear image as a symbol of independent traveling, then we decided to have a head of white polar bear with us while traveling. It was made by a puppet master.
Do you wear it on every trip?
Yes, I try not to forget it for every trip, it brings a lot of joy for kids. This head was my companion from Grenland and North Korea to Tanzania, Argentina and Japan.
How do people react to the mask?
They are always interested in it and ask me «why bear?» and «what does it man?». And of course take photos of me. Some people have even recognized me because of following me via Instagram.
I saw on the Instagram that you were in Dubrovnik, how did you decide to come here?
We came to spend 10 days in Montenegro and it would be a crime not to visit Dubrovnik.
What are your impressions?
People often write me words of gratitude because in my Instagram account and blog I tell russan-speaking users how to save money during the trip and travel rationally (miles of avia companies, how to find a cheaper ticket etc.) The main thing is to inspire people for traveling. Seems like I manage to do that.

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Sunny

17°C

Dubrovnik

Sunny
Humidity: 78%
Wind: ENE at 11.27 km/h
Monday
Sunny
16°C / 20°C
Tuesday
Partly cloudy
15°C / 21°C
Wednesday
Mostly sunny
17°C / 21°C
Thursday
Mostly sunny
16°C / 22°C

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