Friday, 23 March 2018

When it comes to natural beauty and tourism, Croatia tops almost all world lists. However, when it comes to some other things related to everyday life of its citizens, the country regularly hits the bottom.

The latest subject is related to online shopping and package delivery. The internet shopping market of the European Union is regulated illogically and unfairly. For example, the cross-border delivery to smaller member countries such as Croatia is generally at least twice as expensive as delivery to larger EU member countries.

However, every cloud has a silver lining. The European Parliament recently held the final discussion about the Regulation on cross-border package delivery.

One of the Croatian MEPs Biljana Borzan who worked as a negotiator on behalf of the European Parliament explained, ‘’Around 11 million packages are delivered daily in the European Union. The new Regulation will bring transparency to the market by giving more power to regulatory agencies, in our case to HAKOM (Croatian Regulatory Authority for Network Industries). All prices that do not comply with the actual delivery costs will be reported to the European Commission, which will lead to cheaper delivery’’.

Borzan also added that almost 70 percent of EU citizens complain that delivery costs are too expensive, whilst more than 50 percent of them do not know what to do in case of delivery problems.

‘’That is why I have introduced the obligation for traders to inform consumers about all the forms of delivery with a price comparison while they purchase online. In addition, before the purchase, traders must inform consumers what to do in case of any problems’’, explained Borzan.

According to the latest news from the Russian tourist market, it seems that Croatia can expect a significant increase of Russian tourists in 2018.

The Croatian Tourist Board (HTZ) is currently participating at the Moscow International Travel & Tourism Exhibition (MITT), which is being held at Expocentre in Moscow from the 13th to the 15th of March 2018.

Apart from the HTZ as the main exhibitor, five more co-exhibitors are representing their offer at the fair such as the Zagreb Tourist Board, the National Park Plitvice Lakes, Lošinj Hotels & Villas, LifeClass Sv.Martin and Atlantis Travel.

Held annually, MITT is one of the top five travel exhibitions in the world and is highly valued by the international tourism community. The fair attracts more than 23,000 visitors and more than 1,900 companies from 187 countries and regions.

Rajko Ružička, the director of the HTZ branch office in Russia, emphasized that based on the first information and held meetings, it can be concluded that there is a great interest for Croatia, which is why the continuation of positive trends and the growth of tourist traffic is expected.

‘’The results of the early booking are very good and we expect the continuation of good arrangement sales that include Croatia. Earlier announced investments in Croatian tourism have great importance for the growth of tourist traffic especially in the segment of hotel accommodation which is highly sought after on the Russian market’’, concluded Ružička.

Considering the fact that airline connections are the key factor in the continuation of positive trends, air carriers such as S7, Aeroflot, Red Wings and the Croatian air carrier Croatia Airlines have already announced the introduction of new flights and confirmed operations on the existing ones between Russia and Croatia.

Last year, Russian tourists realized 133,000 arrivals and 955,000 overnight stays in Croatia or 12 percent more in arrivals and 10 percent more in overnight stays compared to 2016.

The year 2016 was a milestone for Croatia in terms of stopping the negative trends from the Russian market. The tourist growth, which was recorded last year, is expected to continue this year.

The Institute for the Restoration of Dubrovnik is the winner of the international award ‘Plautilla’, bronze plaque for the project ‘Reconstruction of the Rector’s Palace atrium, given by International Historic Cities Congress.

The award is given to cities, institutions and localities that were especially active when it comes to significant activities of protection and restoration of cultural heritage. By the decision of the jury, the International Cultural Tourism Award ‘Plautilla’ is awarded in three categories: best cultural tourist product, historical city/locality/institutions and best cultural tourist itinerary.

When it comes to best cultural tourist product, the award relates to those tourist boards, institutions, etc. for the best tourist product that is characterized by the quality and creative interpretation of the cultural and historical heritage.

When it comes to historical city/locality/institutions category, the award goes to those cities or institutions that have significant achievements in the protection and conservation of cultural heritage.
Best cultural tourist itinerary goes to those itineraries that present the cultural and historical heritage of the city or area in a high quality and interpretative way.

International Historic Cities Congress will be held for the fourth time from March 20th to March 23rd in the Hotel President Solin. Iva Carevic Pekovic, the Director of the Institute for the Restoration of Dubrovnik, will recieve the award.

From very humble beginnings the online accommodation agency Airbnb has inflated to become the leading rental agency in the world. With over four million listings worldwide and a company valuation of $31 billion Airbnb is spreading a breakneck speed. In 2016 the company started the season with slightly less than 103,000 accommodation facilities in Croatia on their platform in comparison to only 36,000 in May 2015. The largest number of apartments are rented in Split, followed by Zadar, Pula, Korcula and Dubrovnik.

Airbnb's statistics show that on the average guests are exceptionally satisfied with the offer in Croatia rating it with 4.9 out of 5 points. In addition, apartments rated with five points account for 13 percent, whilst 2,800 renters earned the ''superhost'' status. The average overnight price in Croatia this summer is 67 Euros, but at the other end of the market there are some absolutely amazing places on offer.

We have searched Airbnb to find the top five most expensive rental properties in 2018, from luxury villas to stunning stone house and even yachts. All prices and photos are diretly from Airbnb. 

Top 5 most expensive Airbnb rentals in Dubrovnik

Villa Eden Dubrovnik

villa eden dubrovnik 2018

At a mere 7,210 Euros a night this absolute gem of a Dalmatian villa has views over the Old City of Dubrovnik and is a stone’s throw from the Adriatic Sea. With six bedrooms, seven bathrooms and 700 metres squared of living space you’ll have plenty of room to relax. Villa Eden Dubrovnik has a wine cellar, swimming pool, ample gardens, private gym and even a spa centre with a sauna and steam bath.

Villa Pugliesi Dubrovnik

villa pugliesi dubrovnik 2018

Wow! If it’s a combination of luxury and privacy you are after, then this gorgeous stone villa in Zaton hits the mark. Villa Pugliesi is actually a 16th century summer residence that has been lovingly renovated into one of the leading private villas in the region. Six bedrooms, huge swimming pool and even its own private chapel! With a private courtyard, perfect for those al fresco breakfasts, and 500 metres squared of living space you’ll be able to have a real family vacation. Of course you’ll have to spend 4,326 Euros a night for the pleasure.

Villa Casa Del Mare

villa casa del mare dubrovnik 2018

How much do panoramic views of the Adriatic cost? 2,575 Euros per night at the splendid Villa Casa Del Mare. Location, location, location. For those looking to soak up the Adriatic away from prying eyes this villa offers a front row seat. With five bedrooms, Jacuzzi, pool and even Swarovski chandeliers Villa Casa Del Mare is literally dripping in luxury. And having your own private jetty you can decide whether to take a car into Dubrovnik or jump on a speed boat.

Villa Mina

villa mina dubrovnik 2018

Need a vacation with the whole family, and even extended family, Villa Mina at 2,575 Euros a night has a room for them all. Set in the rolling hills over the picturesque bay of Brsečine Villa Mina has nine, yes nine, bedrooms and each have their own ensuite bathroom. With plenty of terraces, gardens and a pool you’ll have a vacation to remember at this extensive property.

Villa Dubravka

villa dubravka dubrovnik 2018

At 2,266 Euros a night Villa Dubravka is the height of luxury and is actually much closer to Dubrovnik than the location would suggest. Set at the base of a thick wooded hill, one the last truly green spaces in Dubrovnik, Villa Dubravka can accommodate with ease up to ten guests. And even though you’ll be within earshot of the whispering Adriatic Sea you have your own pool and terrace to relax by.


One of the world’s largest computer games industry conferences will be held in Dubrovnik this April. Reboot Develop, which will take place from the 19th to the 21st of April in the Sheraton Dubrovnik Riviera, will bring together 1,500 attendees from over 600 international companies.

This is the fifth edition of Reboot Develop and Dubrovnik can expect to see the biggest conference ever with more than 100 leading figures from the industry in attendance. Reboot Develop is a conference focused strictly on games industry professionals such as game developers, artists, audio artist (both seniors and indie), managers, PR, marketing experts, or sales and publishing representatives.

Conference goers can expect an eclectic mix of established games development studios and over 100 indie studios. Representatives of investors and publishers will also be in attendance along with a number of tech companies.

The Premier League club Southampton are searching for a new coach and the Croatian Slaven Bilic is on their radar. Southampton have only won one of the last 17 games in the Premier League, and the hammer fell on coach Maurizio Pellegrino, leaving the club rudderless.

Slaven Bilic, who was the manager of West Ham, is third favourite on the bookmakers list in England, with Mark Hughes the favourite followed by Marco Silva.

Bilic managed the Hammers in London for two years, from 2015 to 2017, before getting sacked in November 2017 after a 4 – 1 defeat by Liverpool.

The former Croatia National Team boss is 9/1 favourite to get the new role at Southampton with Sky Sports stating “Another man who could be keen to take on a fresh challenge is Bilic, who enjoyed just over two years in charge of West Ham before being sacked in November.”

Game of Thrones may have only filmed for a few days in Dubrovnik, but the filming in King’s Landing is ongoing.

The filming of the eighth and final season of the most popular TV series ever is currently underway and even though the key members of the cast were busy in Dubrovnik back at the beginning of February it appears that they aren’t finished with King’s Landing. Dubrovnik has acted as the set for King’s Landing since season two of the series but for this final season HBO have built their own King’s Landing in Northern Ireland.

kings landing in ireland 2018

Photo by - Jeff McCrory

At the Titanic Studios in Northern Ireland the massive set has been under construction for almost six months and it would appear from the latest photos that it is nearing completion. One of the largest sets ever built the studio has basically rebuilt Dubrovnik in Northern Ireland. According to reports it cost around $1.38 million to build the set and to recreate Dubrovnik.

As this is the final season of the HBO series it was rumoured that King’s Landing would feature heavily, however it was also assumed that the production company would film in the city and not recreate their own city.

dubrovnik rebuilt in northern ireland for game of thrones

Photo by -Jeff McCrory

An interesting event full of light effects is on the horizon in the Croatian capital of Zagreb.

For the second year in a row, in organization of the Zagreb Tourist Board and with the support of the City of Zagreb, the Festival of Lights will be held from the 15th to the 18th of March in Zagreb. This festival will present the state-of-the-art lighting solutions based on lighting technologies in the historic core of the city.

The theme of the festival is the spring that symbolizes the awakening, growth and renaissance, therefore each of the locations will try to evoke the springtime through light performances that will be held from 6 to 11 pm every day during the festival.

festival of lights in zagreb 2018 33

The first Festival of Lights Zagreb was held last year on seven locations and attracted more than 100,000 visitors. From the previous seven locations in Upper Town, this year’s festival has expanded to 19 locations such as the Grič tunnel, Art Park, Tomićeva Street, the Lotršćak Tower, Grič Park, Gradec plateau, Jesuite Square, Klovićevi Dvori Gallery, Opatička Street, the Croatian History Institute etc.

With the four-day festival, Zagreb will join the other world cities such as Prague, Lyon, Amsterdam, St. Petersburg, Helsinki and Berlin which already have a tradition of organizing such festivals.

It is interesting to note that last year the Festival of Lights Zagreb was included in the international organization Festival of Lights International.

The Port of Dubrovnik attended the Seatrade Cruise Global in Florida, Fort Lauderdale, held from the 5th to the 9th of March.

This is the largest fair of the cruise industry in the world and was attended by representatives of the ports of Dubrovnik, Split, Zadar, Sibenik and Rijeka on a joint stand under the name "Croatian Cruise Ports". This four-day event, with 11,000 registered participants, is an epicentre of the world cruising industry activity and the only annual event that brings together all the participants in cruising activities.

miami croatian cruise ports 2018

Cruising is the fastest growing activity in the tourism sector, with an increase of 70 percent in the last 10 years, the number of passengers on cruises increased from 15.2 million to 25.8 million per year. The contribution of cruising to the world economy and employment plays an extremely important role, and according to CLIA Europe data in 2017, in Europe it contributed a record 38 billion euros.

The Port of Dubrovnik opens this season cruise seasons on the 17th of March with the arrival of a Viking Star with a total of 900 passengers. By the end of the year in Dubrovnik 489 cruise ships are expected with about 770,000 passengers.

After the expected slowdown in economic growth this year, Croatia can expect to accelerate economic activity in the next two years, according to the latest forecasts of the renowned Vienna Institute for International Economic Studies, reports Jutarnji List.

According to their forecasts, Croatia will conclude this year with a 2.7 percent growth in gross domestic product (GDP). But next year, growth in the economy should accelerate to three percent, and the same growth rate should be achieved in 2020.

The statement does not reveal the reasons why Croatia can expect to accelerate economic growth over the next two years. However, their forecasts do not deviate significantly from those of domestic macroeconomists. Thus, Hrvoje Stojic, a macroeconomist for Addiko Bank, in 2019 also expects growth of the Croatian economy at a rate of three percent, and in 2020, according to his forecasts, he would see a growth of between 2.5 and 3 percent.




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The Voice of Dubrovnik


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