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 2016 Olympic Games in Rio will be held from the 5th to 21st of August and this year over 10,000 athletes from more than 200 countries will compete for the Olympic medals. The Croatian Olympic Delegation is more than ready for the most important competition in a life of an athlete.
Even though Croatia is a small country with the population of a little more than 4.2 million at the last Olympic Games held in London four years ago Croatian athletes set a record in winning three gold medals, one silver and two bronze medals. This month the Croatian Olympic team is expected to break that record.
At 2016 Rio Olympic Games Croatia will participate with 87 athletes, 19 athletes less than in London in 2012. They will compete in 17 different sports and there are plenty of candidates for Olympic medals.
Out of 87 Croatian athletes nine of them are Olympic medal winners and they will compete in individual sports. The Croatian national water polo team will defend a gold medal from the 2012 London Olympics whilst the Croatian handball team will compete for one of the medals after winning the bronze in London.
Interestingly, the 2016 Olympic Games medals will be the heaviest in the history with a weight of 500 grams. That is almost 100 grams more than those medals worn by athletes on the winner’s podium in London four years ago.
Auro Domus, the Croatian financial institution specializing in gold trading, has calculated the value of Olympic medals which will be awarded at the Olympics in Rio.
In the case that an Olympic gold medal winner decides to sell his/her medal the value would be 3,750 Kunas i.e. around 500 Euros whilst the value of a silver medal would be little more than 2,000 Kunas. A bronze medal would be worth of around 100 Kunas.
In spite of popular belief, gold medals are produced mainly of silver which accounts for almost 99 per cent. They are only plated with gold (at least 6 grams) which makes them look very precious. If gold medals were made of pure gold, their value would be 150,000 Kunas. The last Olympic gold medal that was actually made from gold was awarded in 1912. Silver medals are made entirely of silver with a share of 92.5 percent purity. Bronze medals contain 475 grams of copper and 25 grams of zinc.
Around 5 kilograms of gold and 1.6 tons of silver were spent in the production of the 2016 Olympic Games medals.
The negative trend of the Croatian population is continuing to show disturbing indicators. According to data from the Croatian National Bureau of Statistics in 2015 the number of deceased last year was 16,702 more than the number of births. When you also take into account that around 18,000 people more than in 2014 emigrated to work in other European Union member countries, the decline in population is more alarming.
In overall this new data from the bureau of statistics shows that the population of the Republic of Croatia noted a decline of nearly 35,000 in 2015 in comparison to the year before.
The birth rate per 1,000 inhabitants was 8.9 percent whilst the death rate per 1,000 inhabitants was 12.9 percent in 2015.
On several occasions social and political experts have warned about the negative effects of this decline on the economic growth of Croatia.
According to data from the Croatian National Bureau of Statistics (DZS) the average net monthly salary for May 2016 was 5,706 Kunas or around 760 Euros. In comparison to April 2016 there was a small increase of 1.1 percent whilst compared to May 2015 the increase was 2.1 per cent.
The highest average net salary in May was paid in oil refining in amount of 13,466 Kunas whilst the lowest average salary of 3,364 Kunas was paid in clothing production.
On the other hand, the highest average net salary for April was paid in the financial services sector, excluding insurance and pension funds, and amounted to 9,993 Kunas. The lowest net salary of 3,291 Kunas was paid in the production of clothing.
After the recent positive news from the Dubrovnik City Tourist Board on the increasing number of tourists who visited Dubrovnik in July comes news from the County Tourist Board. In the first seven months of this year a total of 889,449 tourists arrived in the Dubrovnik-Neretva County, almost a million tourists from January to the end of July, which is a healthy 12 percent increase on the same period from last year.
The majority of these tourists came from the United Kingdom, Germany, Bosnia and Herzegovina, France, Poland, Slovenia and the United States. July seems to have been a very successful month for the county, with 359,058 tourists arriving or a 16 percent increase over July last year.
From the beginning of January until the end of July a massive 3.77 million overnight stays were recorded, again an increase over the same period from 2015 this time by 11 percent.
Dubrovnik was visited by more than hundred journalists and their teams this year and the visits were mostly organized by Dubrovnik Tourist Board. During March, April, May and June journalists from UK, Germany, France, Spain, Belgium, Netherlands, Poland, Italy, Turkey, Finland, Australia, USA, Japan, China, Korea, Canada, Argentina and Brazil came. The biggest group was made of 36 journalists on the press trip which was organized by Turkish Airlines and Dubrovnik Tourist Board, with support of the Croatian Tourist Board.
Evertyhing that was published after those trips is the strong contribution to promotion of Dubrovnik.
'GEO SAISON', magazine published monthly on German in 92 thousand copies, with over 600 thousand readers, brings some sort of guide of our town, which Natalie Schweiger made after her visit in April.
After the visit of 36 journalists in May, they were many reports, such as last weeks article by the Japanese journalist Aisha Takasa on the website www.crea.bunshun.jp. Many texts were published before, for example in papers and website Hankook Iibo by the Korean journalist Lee Sung Won, on the Kookmin Iibo by Nam Ho Chul with the title „Blue beyond Orange … Jewel of the Adriatic Sea“. In daily newspapers Chosun Ilbo, article about Dubrovnik was titled „ Red wave welter in alleys meeting sea“, by Heo Yoon Hee.
In May, Dubrovnik was visited by French journalists of the Air France Inflight magazine Cécile Balavoine i Tadzio Pacquement who described Croatian sounds on interesting way. Air France Inflight magazine is distributed in more than 4 million copies every month, which includes over 930 thousand readers from Europe and 398 thousand French readers, and estimated value of the article about Dubrovnik and Croatia is about 390 thousand Euro.
„A DAY IN IN THE LIFE OF Dubrovnik“, report of the author Lars Collin with photos by Mauro Rongione, who have visited Dubrovnik in 2015, has been published in the SAS Inflight magazine Scanorama in June, on five pages, with the interview with Jadran Gamulin, famous Croatian sailor and shipbuilder from Dubrovnik. Scanorama has around 2 million readers mothly and it's distributed in the planes of SAS airlines.
These days it's also quite dynamic in Dubrovnik, many bloggers and freelance journalists are coming. At this moment Judith Servin, journalist from Mexico is in Dubrovnik, as well as the bloggers from USA, the owners of the blog ''Just a pack'' and many others, whose articles we expect during the autumn.
While everybody seems to talk about the 'bikini ban' in Dubrovnik these days, the new trend is on the rise. To take your picture, looking at Dubrovnik – naked. Sam Lyons has posted a photo on his Instagram profile, not trying to hide anything - it seems that Dubrovnik has litteraly blew his pants off.
If there wasn't the similar case of 'nakedness' last month, we would think that this is some sort of protest to the new law that will make you pay a fine if you walk around the Old Town of Dubrovnik in bikini or showing your torso.
Well, we guess this is some kind of promotion for Dubrovnik too. Good or bad, you decide!
The spectacular new passenger terminal at Zagreb Airport ''Franjo Tudman'' which is to be opened in March 2017 will soon get an equally impressive hotel in its neighbourhood just opposite the main entrance of the new terminal, reports Jutarnji list.
Branko Kincl and Velimir Neidhardt, the architects and the designers of the awarded urban and architectural design of the new passenger terminal have revealed to Jutarnji that they have just completed the preliminary design of the airport hotel for their client Zračna luka Zagreb Ltd. and that they are waiting for the building permit to be issued.
According to the words of Kincl, the new four stars medium-sized hotel will have 150 rooms (standard, de-luxe, suites, special rooms for the disabled and a presidential suite) with a maximum of 300 beds. The hotel will also have a congress centre, shops, wellness facilities and an indoor parking garage.
The ground floor of the hotel will have a restaurant with a bar, shops and a wellness centre. The first floor is intended for business purposes; there will be office spaces, several multi-purpose halls for large meetings and a few smaller function rooms for smaller meetings. A terrace for organizing receptions in the open air is also planned with this project.
The roof of the hotel has been designed as a terrace for recreation – an open space for exercising and sunbathing with a fresh juice bar and hydro massage facilities.
''The plan is also to connect the hotel to the airport building by an underground pedestrian tunnel and an elevated 200-metre pedestrian walkway. A corridor for railway or tram rails construction between the hotel and a road is also planned with this project'', said Velimir Neidhardt.
The total investment of the hotel is estimated at around 15 million Euros and currently partners are being selected to undertake the project.
The latest addition to the ACI Marina group will open tomorrow. ACI Marina Slano, or “Veljko Barbieri,” will open its doors to the public tomorrow. The marina was planned to be opened on the 1st of July this year, but due to a lack of agreement with the head of the Borough of Dubrovnik Primorje, Nikola Knežić, the grand ceremony was called off.
The PR representative of ACI Marinas, Gracia Krainer, has confirmed for the local media that the ACI Slano marina will open tomorrow and officially become the 23rd member of the ACI family. Krainer added that no special ceremony was planned but that sailors who arrived in the marina tomorrow would be welcomed.
ACI Slano's planned opening on the 1st of July was cancelled after a disagreement as to the construction of the access road to the marina.