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.
Last year was certainly an impressive one for the Croatian tourism industry, with more flights, more guests and more importantly more revenue than ever before. According to figures just released by the Croatian Ministry of Tourism the revenue generated from foreign tourists in Croatia rose by 7.6 percent in 2015 compared to 2014.
In 2015 Croatian tourism brought in a massive 7.96 billion Euros, or around $9 billion, which meant that tourism generated 18 percent of the country’s gross domestic product. In the fourth quarter of 2015 revenue from tourism in Croatia was an impressive 663 million Euros, which was an increase over the fourth quarter of 2014 by 6.4 percent.
The news and videos on Star Wars VIII and Dubrovnik keeps rolling in. The latest video to go viral on the social media comes from the “Geek Squad” and is basically a collection of all of the videos, photos and info available online.
Many of the images used in the video come from the UK press, and there are also never seen before images and clips of the Star Wars VIII filming in Dubrovnik. In a few weeks the video has already been seen by over 40,000 people.
Check out the latest Star Wars VIII in Dubrovnik video.
On the 10th of May the first Turkish Airlines flight will land at Dubrovnik Airport. Turkish Airlines continues to expand its operations in Europe with the addition of flights from Istanbul to Dubrovnik.
This new connection will be the second direct link to Croatia, after the capital Zagreb, and is sure to attract many tourists from Turkey to Dubrovnik. In 2014 a total of 26,220 Turkish tourists visited Croatia, of which 17,398 stayed on the Croatian coastline. And as Dubrovnik already has three Turkish owned and operated hotels, Rixos Libertas Dubrovnik, The Pucic Palace and Villa Dubrovnik, the city should benefit from the introduction of these new flights. Discussions into the introduction of these flights began a few years ago, however due to the problem of Turkish nationals requiring a visa to enter the country the negotiations were placed on hold.
The flights will operate until the 29th of October this year and will operate on a three times a week basis. Introductory tickets have already gone on sale on Turkish Airlines website and start at around 100 Euros one-way.
The Croatian Prime Minister, Tihomir Oreskovic, visited Dubrovnik yesterday and held working meetings throughout a busy day. The privatization of the Maestral Hotel Group, a meeting with the mayor of Dubrovnik and a tour of the Dubrovnik Airport were all on the table for the Prime Minister yesterday.
The director of the Dubrovnik Airport, Roko Tolic, greeted Oreskovic at the airport and explained the current construction works that are taking place. The new passenger terminal, which will give the airport a capacity of 3 million passengers a year, is set to be completed by October this year. Oreskovic expressed his satisfaction with the works on the airport with which he ended his first official visit to Dubrovnik.
During his meeting with the mayor of Dubrovnik the Prime Minister was informed of the problem of winter flights to the city as well as the connection between Zagreb and Dubrovnik with Croatia Airlines. The mayor stated that Croatia Airlines needed to secure direct flights between Dubrovnik and Frankfurt during the winter. He also added that the City of Dubrovnik was planning to buy 50,000 tickets for the Dubrovnik to Zagreb route and to distribute these to citizens at reduced prices.
Photo - Zeljko Tutnjevic
The fifth Aklapela Festival begins on Friday the 8th of April with an evening of vocal groups in the Lazareti complex. Six a capella vocal groups will perform on the first evening and the entertainment continues on Saturday with another six groups.
The Dubrovnik Times has teamed up with the Aklapela Festival to bring you the chance to see, and more importantly listen, to these stunning Croatian vocal choirs. We are giving away two tickets for the first night, the 8th of April, and two tickets for the second night, the 9th of April. Both of these performances will be held in the Lazareti complex and both start at 7.30pm.
To enter the competition for a chance to win two free tickets all you have to do is follow the instructions on our Facebook page. Good Luck!
On the occasion of the twentieth anniversary of the plane crash in which the US Secretary of Commerce, Ronald Brown, was killed the mayor of Dubrovnik, Andro Vlahusic and the Country mayor, Nikola Dobroslavic, laid wreaths and lit candles at the memorial on the Strazisce Mountain. The commemoration was also attended by the US Ambassador to Croatia, Julieta Valls Noyes.
On the 3rd of April 1996 a United States Air Force Boeing crashed on approach to Dubrovnik while on an official trade mission. Ronald Brown, the United States Secretary of Commerce, and 34 other passengers were killed in the accident. The official Air Force accident investigation board reported several reasons that led to the Boeing crashing into the mountain side. Although the weather was far from ideal the findings reported that the main reasons were a “failure of command, aircrew error and an improperly designed instrument approach procedure.”
A large stainless steel cross on top of the Strazisce Mountain, which is 791 metres above sea level, stands in memoriam of the victims in the crash.
Sunday in Dubrovnik was indeed a sunny day! Temperatures reached 23 degrees with endless blue skies and calm seas; the first weekend of April was a great start. The tourist season in the city has already begun and the boats to Lokrum were busy today and the first swimmers enjoyed the Adriatic Sea.
According to predictions this summer could be a very hot one, the long range weather forecast for the rest of this month is for relatively settled weather with temperatures continuing to climb to the mid twenties.
The Stradun in Dubrovnik was busy today as locals and tourists enjoyed a coffee al fresco, there were even tourists wearing shorts and T-shirts in the early April sunshine. Summer in Dubrovnik is just around the corner.
Photos by Tonci Plazibat / CROPIX
With over 1,100 islands, stunning coves and bays, sheltered natural harbours and some of the cleanest seas in the world it is hardly surprising that one of the success stories of Croatia’s tourism industry in nautical tourism. And according to figures just released by the Croatian Bureau of Statistics back up this fact with an increase across the board, from revenue to the number of berths along the Adriatic coastline.
Croatia’s nautical business brought in around 100 million Euros in revenue last year, a growth of over 5 percent compared to 2014. There are a total of 121 ports along the Croatia coastline, which is again an increase over 2014, this time by nine. The statistics clearly show that the vast majority of the revenue was generated through berth rentals. The cost of renting a berth varies drastically from port to marina; there are 17,350 berths in the marinas and ports of Croatia. This number could, and should be increased, as the interest grows for nautical holidays in the Croatian Adriatic the number of berths has for some time been hopelessly inadequate. Dubrovnik will have two new marinas this year, with the construction of the ACI marina in Slano and the reconstruction of the marina in the Port of Dubrovnik.
In 2015 there were around 13,000 vessels permanently berthed in Croatia, the majority from Croatia followed by Austria, Germany, Italy, Slovenia and the UK. Considering that over 43 percent of the vessels permanently moored in the country’s marinas come from Croatia it is clear that there is room for improvement in attracting foreign registered vessels to berth all year round. When you take into account that 193,450 vessels passed through Croatian waters in 2015, almost 7 percent more than in 2014, and that the country only has 17,350 berths it goes to show that much, much work is needed to make the most of nautical tourism.