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.
The Croatian tennis ace, Marin Cilic, is planning to get married in Dubrovnik this year. Cilic, the third ranked world player, made the finals of the Australian Open in January.
According to reports Cilic will marry his long-time girlfriend, Kristina Milkovic, in Dubrovnik in April this year. Dubrovnik is the hometown of Milkovic and the couple met when in 2008 when Cilic was playing in Davis Cup match for Croatia.
The happy couple in Dubrovnik on Christmas Eve last year - Photo Instagram
Tourists in Croatia spent on average 79 Euros a day in 2017, which is 19 percent more than in 2016. According to results from the Institute of Tourism tourists spent 13 Euros daily than in 2016.
The average spend per tourist in Croatia last year varied widely, according to a few key factors, with guests from the US the biggest spenders at 160 Euros a day, followed by tourists from the UK who spent on average 140 Euros a day, then Spanish at 126 Euros. Interestingly the most numerous tourists in Croatia, in terms of nationality, the Germans were in the group of the lowest spenders, at only 75 Euros a day.
Of the total average daily consumption per person of 79 Euros, tourists spent the most, 40 Euros spent on accommodation, 13 Euros for food and drink and 12 Euros for shopping.
"One of the most important indications from this study is the noticeable increase in other motives of arrivals apart from the sun and the sea. While vacations on the coastline accounted for 55 percent of tourist arrivals, a percentage of those coming for new experiences and experiences is up 31 percent, and gastronomy vacations is up 29 percent. This is what we aspire to, and it shows that other motivations have become more and more important, along with sports, recreation and active holidays, which can be done both in the pre and post season, and thus Croatia is approaching the goal of all-year round tourism," emphasized the Minister of Tourism, Gari Cappelli.
The State Protection and Rescue Administration started the process of modernization of the alert system in Dubrovnik. The first phase of the work on the establishment of a new population alert system has been completed, and on Thursday, February 8th, from 11am to 12pm on the territory of the City of Dubrovnik, several sirens will be examined on several occasions, followed by the whole alert system.
The State Protection and Rescue Administration therefore notifies residents and their guests to remain calm when they hear sirens on Thursday, February 8th, since the testing of the alarm system elements is necessary for the functional verification of the correctness of the new alarm system.
Filming of the eighth and final season of Game of Thrones began this morning in Dubrovnik. It is believed that the HBO crew and cast will remain in the city for three days and a number of locations are rumoured to be used. However, the levels of security are much stricter than previous years as the series comes to a conclusion so the production company are trying to hide the outcome as much as possible.
Filming in the Pile area of Dubrovnik for season 8
Although it was rumoured that many of the stars would be in town so far they have managed to avoid the press. The action today was down in the Pile Bay area, under the Lovrijenac Fortress, and there was even security out in speedboats on the Adriatic to keep prying lenses at bay. Kit Harington, or Jon Snow, was believed to be on his way to Dubrovnik and there are even speculations that fans have spotted him in the city. However, there was no evidence today that the popular British actor was actually in Dubrovnik. “Is Jon Snow in town?” questioned a tourist from Spain to the waiting press, showing that the heartthrob actor is one of the main characters in the serial.
Former producers of Game of Thrones visit the set today
Banners were hung from the Old City walls, props went in and out of the locked down set and hair and make vans were spotted but security, including police, was ramped up to the maximum. The Old City walls were closed in one direction and numerous security patrolled the walls. There were even a handful of fans who had turned up this morning in front of the set to catch a glimpse of their heroes.
Dubrovnik is in Game of Thrones mode and all we are missing are the actors.
Banners flying from the Dubrovnik City Walls
Watching you from all angles
A quick glimpse behind the scenes
Watching me...watching you
Set under the Fortress Lovrijenac
Part of the set or a pile of rubbish...make your own conclusions
It isn’t only in Dubrovnik that the Day of St. Blaise, the patron saint of the city, is celebrated. The Dubrovnik Club in New York organised a festival on the 3rd of February at a popular restaurant in New York to celebrate this important day. Around seventy members of the club and their friends and family enjoyed a full celebration of the patron saint of Dubrovnik.
The President of the Dubrovnik Club, Šime Šimunović and the Vice President, Noris Boccanfuso, both made short speeches and introduced the special program for the night. A musical program, with the band “Dalmati” playing for the fifteenth year running, and all of the ceremonies that you would expect from the Day of St. Blaise made this celebration in New York extra special.
The Day of St. Blaise celebrations in New York were held in Restaurant Dubrovnik, owned by Željko Tomic originally from the island of Lopud, and a traditional Dubrovnik style meal was served.
Restaurant Dubrovnik in New York hosted the celebrations
Croatia’s health tourism was presented for the first time at the Les Thermalies Fair held in France last week.
The branch office of the Croatian National Tourist Board (HTZ) in France presented Croatia’s health tourism offer at the specialized fair Les Thermalies, which took place in Paris from the 1st to the 4th of February 2018.
One of the largest fairs in this part of Europe gathered around 300 exhibitors and more than 35,000 visitors where Croatia, as a health, spa and thermal tourism destination, presented its offer for the first time and stirred a lot of interest of visitors to the fair.
On this occasion, the director of the HTZ Kristjan Staničić commented, ‘’Health tourism is unquestionably important for Croatia as a tourist destination and is one of our most prominent products with a long tradition and history. It is among the tourist products that will be the focus of promotional activities of the HTZ’’.
Staničić also added that that was the reason for organizing this presentation at the Les Thermalies fair within which the HTZ presented to the French audience all important information related to the offer, regulation and service coverage in Croatia by the French health insurance as well as prices that are lower for certain health services in Croatia than in France.
‘’France is one of the most developed European markets in terms of health tourism’’, commented Staničić.
The waterbus “Bajadera” in the city of Vukovar in Slavonia has become the first wholly electric-solar boat in this part of Europe and on the whole of the Danube River.
The first electric panorama tourist boat in Vukovar is a sustainable and developmental tourist product, which uses renewable energy sources and is completely nature and environment friendly.
On the roof of the boat, the Solvis company from Varaždin installed a photovoltaic power system of 3,30 kilowatts and a solar charging regulator. Thus, this green tourist story on the Danube River became the proud bearer of the Green Mark label and the Ambassador of Alternative Fuels.
Game of Thrones is coming back to Dubrovnik for the final season, all the true Game of Thrones fans know that already. King’s Landing will once again be in Dubrovnik as filming for the eighth season of the most popular ever TV series is expected to start tomorrow and last for three days. Catering is getting ready for the arrival of the celebrities and the excitement can be felt all over the city.
The tents to hold the camera equipment have already been installed near the Old City of Dubrovnik a few days ago on the Pile Gate, suggesting that filming could take place in the Lovrijenac Fortress, or the Red Keep, and the Pile Bay.
Today some final touch-ups were made. There are also some rumours that there could be some filming at Stradun, too.
Everybody is thinking the same – the grand finale could be filmed right here, in Dubrovnik. So all the big celebrities are expected. The rumours have already started, since one of the fans published on Twitter a super excited Tweet about seeing Jon Snow or Kit Harington, one of the most famous and lovable characters of the series in Dubrovnik!
Also, Emilia Clarke or if you wish - Daenerys Targaryen has been saying goodbye to Rome, Italy where she's been during the last couple of days, according to her official Instagram profile. And Rome is just a short flight away from Dubrovnik…
However, these are all speculations. Who will come to Dubrovnik still remains to be seen – hopefully with our own eyes and not on the screen, when the final season airs.