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

Chinese Southeast European Business Association (CSEBA), in cooperation with the premium event company Meritum komunikacije, the Silk Road Chamber of International Commerce (SRCIC), the City of Dubrovnik, the Ministry of Tourism of the Republic of Croatia, the Croatian National Tourist Board, and the Ministry of Sustainable Development and Tourism of Montenegro, is organizing the Silk Road Tourism Conference on April 24-26 at Sheraton Dubrovnik Riviera Hotel in Dubrovnik.

The Silk Road Tourism Conference is becoming the largest and most important business event that brings together top Chinese and regional businessmen in order to strengthen cooperation in tourism and other related industries. The importance and seriousness of this event confirms the fact that besides business representatives from Croatia and the region, this conference will be attended by top Chinese tour operators, International Chamber of Commerce of China which networks hundreds of chambers of commerce on the Silk Road, Chinese investors, and other stakeholders that follow tourism industry.

A clear indication of the interest of the Chinese business community in this region, among others, will be attendance of Wang Shuai, founder and CEO of iYat, China's largest nautical company that promotes high class tourist packages for the Chinese yachtsmen in the world with its 10.000 yachts. Precisely, Shuai is coming to Croatia to expand cooperation with local businessmen after he had seen nautical potential of our coast during his visit last year. Even though regional countries have a great interest in this gathering, it was Croatia who strategically “jumped” due to its geographical position and the power it has in the tourism segment.

Besides respected guests, Chinese and regional businessmen, we'll have the highest representatives of the Silk Road Chamber of International Commerce (SRCIC), an organization that connects hundreds of chambers of commerce on the Silk Road and whose CSEBA is a full member. This organisation is a business club which strengthens the exchange between Western countries and China with its targeted activities and it affects on the speeding up of business processes in order to strengthen investment, expand business and stimulate the arrival of Chinese tourists on the Adriatic. – says Mario Rendulić, the president of CSEBA, that showed with the investment of 30 million in Krapinske Toplice which options are „opened“ by strengthening the cooperation with Chinese businessmen.

CSEBA points out that the reason why they decided to organize such a high-profile business meeting was the success of the 1th Silk Road Tourism Workshop held in early February in Krapinske Toplice. They were also encouraged by the expected strong investment impulse and the fact that Chinese company China Road and Bridge Corporation (CRBC) has won the bid for the construction of the Pelješac Bridge.

A special emphasis of a three-day conference will be on nautical, health and cultural tourism topics. SRCIC will present their plans for Croatia and the region, while the Silk Road Fund, which will invest in several countries in our region, will as well present their work.

Tourism potentials and characteristics of Croatia are still relatively unknown in China. Croatian tourism sector should get well prepared for the reception of Chinese guests who differ in cultural specifics and the way they're using Chinese communication platforms that we should become familiar with. Tourist promotion in PR China requires great organizational and cost-effective efforts, that's why one of the goals of this gathering is to bring as many relevant Chinese partners as possible to Croatia and the region. It is important to note that a pre-contract about the recording of the first Chinese movie in Croatia will be signed during the conference. Programme of the Silk Road Tourism Conference may be found on the following link www.silkroad.com.hr

The Dubrovnik Times has teamed up with the specialised Dubrovnik real estate agency Krešić Properties to bring you a selection of interesting properties in and the around the Dubrovnik region. Over the next few months we will feature a property every two-weeks, from stone cottages, seaside villas, apartments and luxury retreats. Whether you are after that Adriatic home of your dreams or looking to move into renting property this is the feature for you.

Dreaming about finding a place in the Mediterranean sun with spectacular views, this is the property for you. Location, location, location…and what a unique location this glorious apartment has. Overlooking the historic Old City of Dubrovnik, the turquoise Adriatic Sea and the oasis that is the island of Lokrum. The only problem will be dragging yourself away from the balconies, yes there are even two balconies.

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The Dubrovnik suburb of Ploče is one of the most sought after districts in the entire region, and it is easy to see why. For not only are the views from this area by far the best in the city but you are also within easy walking distance of the UNESCO World Heritage Site. Beaches, restaurants, hotels, shops, in fact all the amenities you’ll need are well within your reach. And as the apartment also has its own dedicated parking space you can leave your car at home and stroll to the golden beaches.

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This spacious apartment is a 90 metres squared and includes two balconies, a parking space, a well-fitted kitchen, light and airy living spaces and beautifully decorated bathroom and two large bedrooms. The entire apartment is decorated in tasteful colours and as it is south-facing you’ll have sun all day, even through the winter.

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Catch the early morning sunrise from your own private balcony, and when the sun moves further south head out onto the main balcony for a spot of lunch. With the busy Adriatic Sea directly in front of you you’ll never need to turn on the television, you have your own Mediterranean entertainment on your doorstep.

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Ideal as a summer base, a buy-to-rent option or a permanent home, this rare Dubrovnik opportunity has it all in abundance. Properties in the Ploče area rarely come onto the market and when they do they are generally snapped up relatively quickly, this sun-kissed apartment will certainly not be on the market for long, take the chance now to reserve your viewing. Once you’ve seen it you’ll be bowled over.

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The series continues in two weeks’ time with another stunning Dubrovnik property.

Interested in more info on this property contact Krešić Properties

Key features
Location – Ploče, Dubrovnik
Price - € 489,000.00
Living area - 90 m2
Number of bedrooms - 2

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All the tickets reserved for Croatian football fans for the group stages of the 2018 World Cup in Russia have been sold. Croatia will play Argentina, Iceland and Nigeria in the group stages and the dedicated fans have already bought all the available tickets. If you don’t have a valid ticket for the matches, then don’t travel to Russia.

Speaking to the media the ticketing manager for the Croatian Football Association, Nikša Martinac, said that “All the tickets for Croatia’s group matches in Russia are sold out. The Stadiums in Kaliningrad, Nizhny and Rostov are completely sold out in all sections.”

At least 5,000 Croatian fans will be at every game, as the allocation given by FIFA is 5,000, however many more could actually be in the stadiums as the organisers are reporting that all three of the stadiums are completely sold out. The first game to be sold out in Croatia’s group was the game between Croatia and Argentina. Croatia kick off on the 16th of June against Nigeria in Kaliningrad.

The Croatian tourist industry is not heading towards mass tourism, but integral development, sustainability and quality, which is why there is growing demand for Croatia, Tourism Minister Gari Cappelli told Hina in an interview. "This year we expect a 7% increase in tourism turnover over 2017 and tourism investment to increase to nearly a billion euros. This will certainly further improve service quality, in which we have been making progress every year, especially with regard to high-category hotel accommodation," Cappelli said. He said that Croatia was becoming increasingly interesting to investors, so that about 40 new or newly-renovated hotels were expected to open this year, much like last year.

The minister noted that tourism was having a great impact on the economy as a whole, as indicated by the latest report by Standard and Poor's ratings agency, which upgraded the country's credit rating, and last year's article in The Financial Times which ranked Croatia seventh among destinations with the highest potential for tourism investment.

Speaking of booking for this year, Cappelli said that early booking and high early occupancy was yet another proof of how popular Croatia was as a destination. "We are improving our position in the world, including in remote markets from where more and more tourists are coming and where we have been increasing our promotional activities, especially in Japan, China, South Korea, the United Arab Emirates and elsewhere. These markets are offering the biggest opportunities for tourism turnover growth, which is why this year we are planning to open HTZ (Croatian Tourist Board) offices in Shanghai, Seoul and Los Angeles, and possibly a consulate in Abu Dhabi, as the first step towards opening an office."

Cappelli said he also saw possibilities for further tourist trade increases and development of year-round tourism in this year's expansion of flight services to Croatia, thanks to which tourist trade was increasing already in the pre-peak season and the airports recorded increases in the number of passengers of about 20 percent in the first months of this year compared with last year.

 "We are following the trends and are trying to stay abreast, and I should say, immodestly perhaps, that we are leaders in some aspects. Our eVisitor system has been globally recognised as a technological innovation for more effective monitoring of tourist numbers, for which we have received an award from the World Tourism Organisation," the minister said.

Asked if, considering the excellent announcements from world markets, he expected the problem of over tourism, Cappelli said that Croatia was developing its tourist industry on the principles of sustainability. "We are planning and developing selective forms of tourism based on full quality and destination management involving all stakeholders," he said, citing gastronomic tourism, cycling tourism, health tourism and nautical tourism. "We are encouraging tourism businesses financially and logistically to innovate their services by creating additional attractions that will draw in visitors all year round," he added.

For the first time in ten years, the Tourism Ministry, in cooperation with the sector, has embarked on thoroughly changing the three key laws governing tourist boards, tourist tax and membership fees with a view to developing the tourist industry, professionalising the system and giving greater importance and autonomy to local government.

Cappelli says that these changes are not cosmetic but seek to ensure an effective legal framework for all those concerned. In this context he recalled that Croatia had launched an initiative to establish a Tourism Fund at EU level. "It may sound unbelievable, but tourism does not have its working body within the European Commission, unlike 20 or so other sectors, and therefore it is not directly financed," he said.

The Fund would provide finance for tourism infrastructure, small and medium enterprises in the tourist sector, and training. "We have already received support from many EU members for this and we expect a large number of member states to sign the declaration to this end. We have also received an encouragement in a recent recommendation from the European Parliament to open a financial line for tourism in the next multiannual financial framework," Cappelli said.

 

Could the renowned Deep Purple guitarist, Roger Glover, be performing a free concert in Dubrovnik this summer. It might sound like an incredible story but it might just come true.

The Dubrovnik musician, Ibrica Jusić, was recently introduced to the Deep Purple legend in Switzerland and took the opportunity to invite Glover to Dubrovnik this summer, reports Jutarnji List.

“I talked about our future musical collaboration,” commented Jusić. Adding that all real musicians speak a unique language and understand each other no matter what music genre they prefer.

“I used the opportunity to propose to my new acquaintance to come to Croatia in the summer and to see all the beauties of our country, and I have invited him to visit me in Dubrovnik, on my steps, on which I will perform for the fifty-fourth time in a row,” said the Dubrovnik musician.

And so the locals and tourists to Dubrovnik might have a surprise this summer. “The whole story was very interesting to him,” concluded Jusič. Could we see the Deep Purple legend actually performing on the streets of the Old City this summer? It would certainly make a special memory for guests in the city at that time.

Local content production is an important topic that will be discussed at New Europe Market, which will be held in Dubrovnik from June 11-14 and which will once again bring together leading TV experts, managers and board members of TV companies, broadcasters from the entire region, as well as producers and other media professionals.

For some critics and market followers, it seems that the ever-growing local production is winning new viewers and keeping old ones better than the other forms of production. Can local production on Pay TVs be the new benchmark and a sign of quality?

The panel entitled “How to make a great local production?” will gather renowned production experts for a discussion, which will be moderated by Ivana Miković, Deputy General Manager of the Radio Television of Serbia.

How does the entire process of production look like from the perspective of producers? What are they doing to keep viewers interested in their content? How to increase the quality of the content? This will be explained by Kim Moses, Executive Producer at Sander/Moses Productions, Lars Lundström, screenwriter and producer at Nice Drama, Nebojša Taraba, Creative Director at Drugi plan, Taliah Shahar, Head of International Operations at United Studios of Israel, and Paula Cohen McHarg, Senior Sales Manager for CEE, CIS, Africa, Middle East, Greece and Turkey at Keshet International.

“As the television business becomes more global, NEM is the best place for the industry to explore and tap into the burgeoning CEE region”, said Taliah Shahar, Head of International Operations at United Studios of Israel, adding that “in a time when the global TV platform is gaining momentum, the need for great local drama increases, as viewers still want to see their lives and unique experiences reflected on screen.”

Thoughts of the person behind the hit series Humans

Diverse content, interesting and innovative production, local topics... Can Pay TVs really increase their viewership with new, refreshed, and original local content?

An answer to this question will be given by Lars Lundström, one of the most famous and most esteemed Scandinavian producers and screenwriters, and the executive producer of the British series Humans, which is a remake of his Sci-Fi hit Real Humans. He is also known for his work on the series Tusenbröder and Wallander, and he revealed to us how to make a local drama production that will attract global attention:

“I believe it is all about creating its own unique universe and not shying away from the very local aspects of it. All great storytelling is in fact local, even stories like Star Trek. I’m very happy and honoured to attend NEM’s panel on “How to make a great local production” at the ever so significant NEM’s conference.”

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The opinion that local productions are always in a way closer to viewers than foreign ones is shared by Nebojša Taraba, Creative Director at the Drugi plan production company and the producer of Novine, a series that has just achieved – thanks to NEM 2016 – international success and global distribution.

“Already confirmed experiences of some big Pay TV systems, such as HBO, have shown that local original productions are generally better received and have more viewers than even the biggest global hit series such as Game of Thrones. A win-win situation for all involved is the one where a particular local content with a well-chosen topic attracts global interest.”

NEM you don't want to miss!

At NEM 2018 professionals will have an opportunity to exchange business ideas, meet other people from the TV industry, absorb and share knowledge, as well as relax in one of the most beautiful Mediterranean locations – Dubrovnik. Create your account and find the best option for yourself on the conference's official website: http://neweumarket.com/

This summer season hasn’t even started in Dubrovnik and already various international airlines are announcing new flights and new destinations for 2019.

The latest company to release information is TUI Airways, and they have announced three new operations to Croatia from the UK with two flying into Dubrovnik. In 2019 TUI will operate flights from Cardiff to Dubrovnik and Leeds/Bradford to Dubrovnik.

These new flights will fly once a week, every Thursday, from the 2nd of May to the 26th of September. And then TUI will also connect Pula in Istria with Bradford Airport, again once a week, from the 4th of May to the 28th of September.

According to data just released by the Croatian Employment Service there are currently 174, 415 people unemployed in the country.

At the end of March this year there were 177,973 unemployed people registered in the Croatian Employment Service, which is 6.7 percent or 12.787 persons less than in the previous month, and a huge 20.6 percent or 46.095 persons less than compared to the end of March in 2017.

One of the main reasons for this massive drop in unemployment is the fact that around 200,000 Croatians have left the country, mainly from the region of Slavonia, looking for employment in other European Union members, mainly Ireland, Sweden and Germany.

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18°C

Dubrovnik

Partly cloudy
Humidity: 84%
Wind: W at 6.44 km/h
Monday
Partly cloudy
16°C / 20°C
Tuesday
Partly cloudy
15°C / 21°C
Wednesday
Mostly sunny
17°C / 21°C
Thursday
Sunny
16°C / 22°C

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