Sunday, 22 October 2017

Irish national airline Aer Lingus released its summer flight schedule for 2018, in which it will reinforce all three of its lines to destinations in Croatia – reports Avioradar.

The line Dubrovnik - Dublin, begins two days earlier before the start of the summer schedule that is dated March 23rd  next year, with four flights a week, every Monday, Wednesday, Friday and Sunday. From May 31st 2018, the line will be upgraded to the daily frequency, which, compared with last year, is one flight per week more in the heart of the season.

The line Pula - Dublin will have an addition to the existing three flights a week, which fly every Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday. The line will also operate on Fridays from July 6th 2018. Line Split - Dublin will start two weeks earlier, or more precisely from May 15th 2018 will have one flight a week more in addition to Tuesdays and Saturdays – line will operate every Thursday too.

“I am going scuba diving for wine in Dubrovnik,” had me poking my finger in my ear to make sure I had heard her correctly. “Yes, that’s the message on my answer phone back in Canada – going diving for wine in Dubrovnik,” she smiled.

I was sitting on a flight back to Dubrovnik from London and the passenger next to me used that as her opening introduction line. Well it makes a refreshing difference from “Hello!” And indeed she was telling the truth. She was on a two-day break in Dubrovnik to go diving for wine in amphora off the Pelješac coastline. “Yes, that is rather a unique message to leave on an answer phone,” I agreed with her.

It turned out that this young Canadian lawyer quite enjoyed a tipple or two of the Bacchus juice. The conversation flowed from politics to current affairs and back to Game of Thrones (of which she wasn’t a fan) to social issues and history. “So what do people do in Dubrovnik if they don’t work in tourism?” she concluded. “Move somewhere else,” was the best answer I could think of. She smiled. “In a town where 40,000 people live and 2 million tourists visit everybody works directly or indirectly in tourism whether they want to or not,” I expanded. “So up-selling is a key factor in your economy,” was her first response.

Now that phrase “up-selling” got me thinking. I had just spent a week in the UK where at every, and I mean every, opportunity someone was trying to up-sell to me, but does this happen in Dubrovnik...well no.

For those of you who don’t know the tactic of up-selling is basically trying to persuade a customer to buy something additional or more expensive. I rolled my mind back through the last seven days. At the cafe bar – “Would you like a cake or biscuit with your coffee?” At the restaurant – “Can I interest you in a fresh salad with your meal?” At the hotel – “Would your wife be interested in a massage after her swim?” At the jewellery shop – “Would you like a special gift wrapping for only 5 pounds?” At the bakery (yes seriously at the bakery) – “Can I interest you in a homemade cookie with your bread this morning?” At the supermarket – “If you buy another bottle of ketchup you get the third one for free.”

Basically everyone is trying to sell something/anything to you to increase the size of your bill. But it isn’t done in an annoying or obtrusive manner, far from it. It always comes with a free smile.

And I have to be honest the tactic worked more than once, especially with my wife who had assumed that the cookie with her coffee in Starbucks was free. And then the finale was when we arrived at Gatwick Airport for the flight home and was met by a smiling face at the check in who offered an upgrade to a seat with more leg room. “We have a special two for the price of one offer today on extra sized seats to Dubrovnik,” she beamed. That isn’t a sentence you hear every day. Even on the plane the air hostesses were banging the up-sell drum. “Can I just get a white coffee,” I asked. “Of course sir, but can I just inform you if you take a sandwich as well you would get a Twix or Mars for free,” came the up-sell answer.

This constant stream of selling soon disappeared when we touched down. The very first coffee I ordered was met with “OK” and only “OK.” No mention of any other products, cookies, cakes or bars of chocolate...just “OK.” Are we missing something? Could we be earning more from tourists who are quite used to the up-sell tactic? Almost certainly. It is estimated that up-selling accounts from around 20 percent of a company’s business in the UK. So at a rough estimate we can safely say that we are around 20 percent worse off because we don’t up-sell. If you own a cafe bar or restaurant in Dubrovnik try telling your waiters to change “OK” to “would you like a cookie or cake” and see how that goes. If it works, and there is no reason to suggest it won’t, then I will gladly accept a small commission.

I dug deep through my memory banks and couldn’t think of one occasion that I had even been sold anything extra on top of what I had already bought. As Yoda from Star Wars would say “much to learn we have.”

The latest data from Eurostat show that Croatia has recorded the biggest decline in the unemployment rate in the European Union at the annual level.

Among all EU member countries, only Spain ‘’scored’’ better than Croatia; it achieved the biggest drop in the unemployment rate on an annual basis with 17,1 percent in comparison to almost 20 percent in June last year.

The unemployment rate in Croatia decreased to 10,9 percent in August 2017 from 13,1 percent a year earlier. The number of unemployed persons fell to 171.351,00 from 213.340,00. In July, the unemployment rate was recorded at 10,8 percent.

In the period from 1996 to 2017, the unemployment rate in Croatia averaged 17,86 percent, reaching an all time high of 23,60 percent in January 2002 and a record low of 10,80 percent in June 2017.

According to the Eurostat’s report, the decline in unemployment rates is recorded by all EU member states, except for Estonia, where it increased to 6,9 percent in May 2017 from 6,5 percent in May last year.

The lowest unemployment rates were recorded in the Czech Republic (2,9 %), Germany (3,8%) and Malta (4,1%).

The Dubrovnik Symphony Orchestra (DSO) invites citizens and their guests to the humanitarian concert of the DSO String Trio and pianist Naira Asatrian. The concert will be held on Thursday, October 5th, at the atrium of the Rector's Palace at 9 pm, and collected money is intended for the purchase of an ultrasound apparatus for the Intensive Treatment Unit of the Dubrovnik General Hospital.

Tickets at prices of 50, 70 and 100 kuna can be purchased at the cash register Dubrovnik Symphony Orchestra (St. Dominic 9), in the Perla Adriatica agency at Ploče, at Luza, in the Gift Shop Dubravka at Pile, and one hour before the concert in front of the Rector's Palace. Tickets can also be booked at phone number 417 110.

The string trio of DSO will be: Azusa Yamauchi, a violin; Alena Shapachka, viola and Martina Peric, cello. The concerts program is as follows: W. Mozart Sonata in C major, op. 330 L. van Beethoven Sonata in F minor, op. 57 "Passionate" W. Mozart Piano Quartet in g minor, op. 478.

Over the last few years, the Dubrovnik Symphony Orchestra and pianist Naira Asatrian have organized several humanitarian concerts. Thus, two years ago, a Naira concert was held for the distrofiers, and the proceeds from the last year's concert were intended to purchase a fibroscan apparatus for the Dubrovnik General Hospital.

One of the greatest names in the world of music is coming to Zagreb next year.

The British rock singer and songwriter Sir Rod Stewart will hold a concert in the Croatian capital on the 2nd of February 2018. His Croatian fans will have a unique opportunity to hear many of his greatest hits such as ''Sailing'', ‘’Forever Young’’, ''The First Cut Is The Deepest'', ''Rhythm Of My Heart'', ''Maggie May'' and many more.

Stewart is one of the best-selling music artists of all time. During his more than 50-year long career, he has sold over 100 million records worldwide. Also known as ‘’Rod the Mod’’, Stewart has had six consecutive number one albums in the UK, whilst out of his 62 UK hit singles 31 of them reached the top ten, six of which gained the #1 position. Stewart has had 16 top ten singles in the US, with four reaching #1 on the Billboard Hot 100.

At the Queen’s Birthday Honours 2016 Stewart was knighted for his services to music and charity. On that occasion he said, "I've led a wonderful life and have had a tremendous career thanks to the generous support of the great British public. This monumental honour has topped it off and I couldn't ask for anything more. I thank Her Majesty and promise to 'wear it well'."

As a solo artist, Stewart was included in the US Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1994, the UK Music Hall of Fame in 2006, and was included a second time in the US Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2012 as a member of Faces.

European Best Destinations (EBD) has recently published a list of Most Beautiful Landscapes in Europe. This European organization promotes culture and tourism in Europe and has 4 million visitors and thousands of followers on Facebook, Twitter, Google+Pinterest, therefore, only the best of the best enter their lists.

The latest list features the 34 most beautiful places across the Old Continent and three of them are located in Croatia – Omiš, the Plitvice Lakes and the small island of Galešnjak.

 omis fro the air

''Welcome to the island of love. A few kilometres from Zadar, the Galesnjak Island, also known as Cupid Island is the only island in the world with a heart shape. That shape was discovered by a cartographer in the late 19th century. The island is very small within an area of 130 square metres. It does not house any hotel or restaurant.'', EBD describes the small Croatian island.

''There is a reason why the two or three weeks you are going to spend on the Adriatic are called holidays. Rest and relaxation on the beach or in other words swimming and sunbathing, are the favourite activities of most tourists on summer vacation. Luckily, Omiš offers almost endless possibilities in this aspect, too. From big sandy beaches to small secluded pebble coves, from long shallows ideal for kids to the deep big blue opening up before you just metres from the shore – Omiš truly has something to offer to everyone'', writes European Best Destinations about a small Croatian town near Split.

The popular European organization also describes one of the most beautiful Croatian national parks, ''The Plitvice Lakes National Park is ranked at the top of the most beautiful parks in Europe. These 16 large lakes, connected by nearly 100 waterfalls, are dazzlingly blue. Here, nature reigns. It offers you the most beautiful shows in this park that has been part of the UNESCO World Heritage for more than 35 years. You will fall in love with this incredible place''.

Here is the entire EBD's list of the most beautiful landscapes in Europe:

The Azores, Portugal

Galešnjak Island, Croatia

Hallstatt, Austria

Bonifacio, France

The Mont Saint-Michel, France

Tuscany, Italy

Rhine waterfalls, Switzerland

The Svartissen Glacier, Norway

The Dordogne Valley, France

Mullerthal Region, Luxembourg

The Douro Valley, Portugal

The Faroe Islands, Denmark

Meteora, Greece

Positano, Italy

The Hallerbos Forest, Belgium

Bled, Slovenia

Oludeniz, Turkey

The Lofoten Islands, Norway

Kjerag, Norway

Blagaj, Bosnia and Herzegovina

St Kilda, Scotland

Omiš, Croatia

Algarve, Portugal

The Plitvice Lakes, Croatia

Trolltunga, Norway

Aix-en-Provence, France

Ischia, Italy

Dark Hedges, UK

Isola Bella, Taormina, Italy

Madeira, Portugal

Zaanse Schans, the Netherlands

Mount Etna, Catania, Sicily

Godafoss, Iceland

Capri, Italy

Dubrovnik has achieved record tourism results in the first nine months of this year. From January 1st to  September 30th 2017, there were 1.03 million tourists in Dubrovnik, which is a healthy 17 percent more than in the same period from last year. There were 3.5 million overnight stays, or 14 percent more than last year. In the first nine months, the largest number of tourists came from the United Kingdom, USA, France, Germany, Spain, Croatia, Australia, Sweden, Italy and Finland.

This September was the best tourist September ever in Dubrovnik.

Only in September this year there were 164,712 arrivals or 16 percent more than in the same month last year and 558,927 overnight stays, which is 13 percent more than in 2016. The largest number of visitors in September were the tourists from the United Kingdom, followed by tourists from the United States, Germany, France, Australia, Spain, Canada, Ireland, Sweden and Finland.

In the hotel accommodation, in the period from January 1st to September 30th this year, there were 535 667 guests, or an increase of 6 percent compared to last year, with 1 818 378 overnight stays, 4 percent more than last year. In the hotel accommodation, the largest number of guests in nine months of this year are from the United Kingdom, USA, France, Croatia, Spain, Germany, Korea, Japan, Australia and Sweden.

Private accommodation in the first nine months of this year had 358,385 arrivals, or 28 percent more than in the same period last year, and 1 254 448 overnight stays, which is 24 percent more than in 2016. The largest number of tourists in private accommodation were from the United Kingdom, USA, France, Spain, Germany, Australia, Italy, Canada, Korea and Sweden.

Currently in Dubrovnik, 14,875 tourists are staying in all types of accommodation, which is 10 percent more than in the same period last year, and most guests are from the United Kingdom, USA, Germany, France, Korea, Australia, China, Finland, Canada and Spain.

The millionth arrival was made in Dubrovnik on the 24th of September 2017, while last year it was made more than a month later on the 5th of November 2016. With two million passengers travelling through Dubrovnik Airport and the millionth visitor on the Dubrovnik City Walls, Dubrovnik continues to achieve record breaking tourist results.

Slavorum, the website that brings the latest news from Slavic lands together with travel, culture and food information, has recently published an article titled ‘8 Remarkable Slavic Forts And Castles That Should Be On Your Tour List’.

- There is no continent as rich in castles as Europe. The remarkable history of Slavic countries is full of the thousands of castles. Many of them survived and now stay a fascinating tourist attraction – it’s written in the introduction of the article.
We are not surprised that one of our most famous fortresses made it to the list. It’s fort Lovrijenac.

- It is small but impressive and absolutely charming. The fortress located outside the western wall of the historical city of Dubrovnik. Located 27 meters above sea level makes you think about the most adventurous stories you’ve ever heard. The first fort on this site was built by Venetians in the 11th century, but the one which is available now comes from later times. It is also known as St. Lawrence Fortress and it is a must-see place if you are in Dubrovnik – it’s explained in the article.

Lovrijenac has an amazing history, and in modern times it became really popular after playing Red Keep in the Game of Thrones series.

‘’That is one small step for a man, one giant leap for mankind’’, said Neil Armstrong when he first stepped onto the Moon.

These famous words can be used to describe the Croatian furniture industry, but in reverse order. Recently a small furniture company from Slavonia signed a business deal on furnishing several hotels in the United States and made a giant leap. At the same time, this represents a small but significant step for the weakened Croatian economy.

The Ancona Group Ltd is a modern furniture factory located in the eastern part of Slavonia, in the city of Djakovo. Its latest job is to furnish at least five hotels in the US, from New York and Washington to Miami. The company was founded in 2000; however, since 2003 it has been dealing with manufacture of furniture.

So far, the company has exhibited its furniture in the Middle East, from Dubai to Qatar, as well as in Libya. However, they are primarily focused on the market of Western Europe and Scandinavian countries. The latest business agreement has led the company over the Atlantic to the American market.

‘We have signed an agreement on furnishing five American hotels in 2017 and 2018. Four hotels are members of the Club Quarters hotel chain; three are located in New York and one in Washington. These four hotels are to be furnished by the end of this year. The fifth hotel located in Miami is a member of the Even Hotels, and is to be furnished by March or April next year. We have already sent some samples for the project in Miami, whilst the furniture for hotels in New York and Washington is already in the production process. There are some indications that this agreement could turn into a very serious business’’, explained Markica Stanusic, the owner and director of the Ancona Group.

acona group

It is interesting to note that cooperation between the Croatian furniture company and Americans started last year. Stanusic was touring the US in the Christmas period and simply by chance, he made a reservation in one of the hotels of the Club Quarters Hotels chain. When he arrived at the hotel, Stanusic expected much more than he saw; the furniture seemed very cheap and modest. He contacted an agent he had met on a fair and asked if there was a possibility to bid on a tender. Therefore, the company applied and won the tender. However, they needed to bring Americans to Djakovo to sign an agreement.

ancona 3

‘’These Americans never imported anything from Europe, but mainly from the Middle East. I do not know what they expected to find here, but when they saw our company, our factory, our showroom and our business approach, they were more than surprised’’, commented Stanusic.

The Ancona Group ltd has 120 employees with 12,000 squares metres of internal space and 25,000 square metres of factory area. Around 70 percent of the company’s total income comes from exports. Their partners and clients are some of the famous hotels and resorts companies such as Radisson, Marriot, Starwood, Sheraton and Modus.

 

Dubrovnik will play host to a new international music festival this October and The Dubrovnik Times is giving you the chance to win tickets for this major event. We have teamed up with the organisers and now you have the chance to win and to be a part of the first ever Dubrovnik Wave Music Festival.

From the 13th to the 14th of October the stunning island of Lokrum will transform into a host and the big stage for the launch of the Dubrovnik Music Wave Festival - the very first music festival in Croatia featuring different genres of music; pop, rock, jazz, blues, electronic, alternative, world music, electro pop, indie, house and many more all under the same roof. And we can get you in for free for both days!

free tickets

 

How do you enter – easy – just follow this link to our Facebook page – easy as that.


All you have to do to enter is to comment and to like – not so tricky – and you could be a lucky winner.

In total we have four tickets – two sets of two tickets – the first pair are up for grabs from 02/10/2017 to the 06/10/2017 and then from the 07/10/2017 and the second pair from the 11/10/2017. Got it?

But stop reading this and get liking and commenting.

Entry will be from 4.00 pm and the program will start from 6.00 pm till midnight each day – two days of musical fun with The Dubrovnik Times and the Dubrovnik Music Wave Festival.

Good luck!

Get more info here - www.dubrovnikmusicwave.com

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