Sunday, 25 August 2019

On this very day 30 exactly thirty years ago the first national airline in Croatia was founded. Croatia Airlines' story began on August 7, 1989, with Zagreb Airlines d.d. (Zagal), an airline company. Zagal started operating in December of the same year providing a postal service, and on July 23, 1990 changed its name to Croatia Airlines d.d. and became a national airline for the transportation of passengers, goods and mail.

Croatia Airlines' first commercial flight took place on May 5, 1991 from Zagreb to Split, while connecting Croatia to the world began on April 5, 1992, the first international flight from Zagreb to Frankfurt.

From the first flight to the end of February this year, the company's aircraft totalled 589,500 flights and carried more than 38,240,000 passengers. Of these, 11,407,500 passengers were recorded on internal flights, 24,014,500 on international flights and 2,818,000 on non-scheduled (charter) flights. During the upcoming tourist season, Croatia Airlines flights will fly into 38 destinations in 24 countries.

 

Summer in Dubrovnik is well known for high temperatures, but sometimes the temperatures are more bearable and sometimes – it gets challenging. 

When it comes to next couple of days, there is no danger of a heat wave for the Dubrovnik-Neretva County for Thursday, August 8th. Moderate heat wave is expected on Friday, August 9th, while the high risk of heat wave arrives with the weekend, Saturday and Sunday (August 10th and 11th), as the County Institute for Public Health reports.

Experts are warning people to avoid the midday sun and to drink plenty of fluids.

The second season of BBC's television series McMafia will be filmed in Croatia starting in early autumn of 2019 – it is reported by Film New Europe, adding that after successfully using incentives for the first season, producers have applied for a new round of cash rebates.

Created by Hossein Amini and James Watkins, McMafia is inspired by the non-fiction bestseller McMafia: A Journey Through the Global Criminal Underworld (2008) written by a British journalist Misha Glenny, and stars James Norton in a leading role of British-born son of a Russian mafia boss. It is produced by BBC, AMC and Cuba Pictures.

According to the article, so far, McMafia has been filmed in 12 countries. For the first season, most of the filming was done in London and on various locations in Croatia. However, none of the stories in the series actually happen in Croatia. The city of Zagreb, for example, played Prague in some scenes of the first season, the Dubrava Clinical Hospital in Zagreb played a Russian hospital, and the Johann Frank nightclub in the Zagreb city centre acted as a club in Tel Aviv. McMafia was also recorded in Croatia’s coastal cities Split, Rijeka and Opatija, which acted as several countries ranging from France to Israel, while Pag island acted as the Sinai desert.

For the first season alone, 150 Croatian film workers have been engaged, as well as over 3,000 extras. Most prominent Croatian actors such as Nina Violic, Lucija Serbedzija and Goran Navojec have been given supporting roles in the series. A similar number of locally employed staff is expected for the second season, which will again be filmed in several Croatian locations including Zagreb and coastal locations, Film New Europe reports.

Croatia’s path towards adopting the Euro as the official currency is growing pace with the European Central bank revealing that they would carry out stress tests of five leading Croatian banks. This is basically the next step for the country’s aim to join the euro zone after the letter of intent to join the euro zone was sent from Zagreb to Brussels last months.

According to an article on Reuters the five Croatian banks that will be unfžder the magnifiying glass are Zagrebacka banka, Privredna banka Zagreb, Erste & Steiermärkische Bank, OTP banka Hrvatska and Hrvatska postanska banka. It is expected that the full results of these stress tests will be known by May of next year. Interestingly only one of these five banks is actually Croatian owned, Hrvatska postanska banka.

Reuters reported that “Croatia last month submitted a formal bid to join the European Exchange Rate Mechanism (ERM-2), an early stage on the path to membership of the euro currency."

 

 

Croatia sent a letter of intent to join the euro zone, and therefore adopt the Euro as the official currency, on the 4th of July.
And it seems that the public will not be asked their opinion in the form of a public referendum. The Prime Minister of Croatia, Andrej Plenkovic, has already made his feelings clear on this point when he stated that the public have already decided when they voted to join the European family back in 2012 when almost 67 percent voted to enter.

In fact, Croatia's EU membership does oblige it to eventually join the euro zone, as such the country plans to join the European Monetary System, the pathway to euro adoption. It is rumoured that the earliest date that Croatians could be paying in Euros rather than Kunas is 2023.

The most popular car brands in Croatia so far this year are Volkswagen, Opel and Renault, although Audis, BMWS and even Porches are on the wanted list.

From the beginning of the year until the end of July 44,368 new cars were sold in Croatia, which is a small growth of almost 1 percent when compared with last year. And the most popular brands are Volkswagen, who have sold 5,440 new vehicles have been sold this year, followed by Opel with 4,519, Renault with 4,309, Skoda with 4.014 and Dacia with 2,789.

And also at the high-end of the car market 68 new Porsches have been sold, 1,130 Audis, 987 BMWs and 863 Mercedes were sold.

The best-selling model this year has been the Skoda Octavia, followed by the Renault Clio, the Volkswagen Golf, the Opel Corsa and the Suzuki Vitara.

And diesel models are much less popular than last year, 61 percent of all vehicles sold this year have been petrol models, 35.5 percent diesel, hybrids just over 2 percent and only 0.2 percent electric cars.

 

The cultural and entertainment program 'Ulicama grada Grada' (On the streets of our City), organized by the City of Dubrovnik continues this week, with the vocal groups FA Lindo, Ragusavecchia, Kase, Maestral and Ibrica Jusic.

This week, the schedule is as follows:

Wednesday, August 7th– vocal group FA Lindo, on the stairs in front of the Dominican Monastery from 9:15 pm;

Thursday, August 8th – vocal group Ragusavecchia, Lapad Bay from 9:30 pm;

Friday, August 9th – vocal group Kase, on the stairs in front of the Dominican Monastery from 10:30 pm;

Saturday, August 10th – vocal group Maestral, on the stairs in front of the Dominican Monastery from 10:30 pm;

Sunday, August 11th – Ibrica Jusic, on the stairs in front of the Dominican Monastery, midnight concert.

A total of nine vocal groups participates in this event, and the programs will be held at three locations, so the locals and their guests can enjoy beautiful music in the Old City, Lapad Bay and once a month in Mokosica.

In the past week in the area of Police Administration of the Dubrovnik-Neretva County there were 20 traffic accidents, in which five persons got heavily injured, six persons got light injuries, while there were ten traffic accidents with material damage.

By carrying out traffic control measures, police officers have taken 849 repressive measures against the perpetrators of traffic offenses, out of which 448 measures taken due to speeding, 91 measures due to improper overtaking, 49 measures because of non-use of the seat belt, 13 measures against drivers who were driving the vehicle under the influence of alcohol and 32 measures because of using mobile phone while driving.

The days of a classic fortnight package holiday on the beach seem a long distant memory, travellers today aren’t seeking sun, sand and the sea but a much more active vacation. And Croatia has found itself on a list of the top 50 most adventurous countries in the world.

From white water rafting to zip-lining travellers are today looking for thrills and spills and according to recent research Croatia is a good location.

The website Just Traveller has analysed Google search trends to find the most adventurous countries in the world, based on search volume around adventure travel phrases including sky diving, skiing, scuba diving and more. Coming out in the top spot with the highest adrenaline seeking population is Australia, where people displayed the highest search volume across these phrases.

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And Croatia ranked in the top 50 countries in 45th place. Somewhat surprisingly Croatia placed sixth in the world for Google searches for sky diving, and even more odd ninth in the world for skiing.

The USA, UK, New Zealand and Germany also made the top 5. At the bottom end of the scale, Tajikistan was named the least adventurous country in the world.

Whereas the rest of Croatia saw a drop in tourist numbers in July Dubrovnik is clearly on the top of many travellers lists and bucked the national trend by recording a growth in tourist numbers. In July Dubrovnik recorded a 5 percent growth in tourism numbers compared to the same month from last year with 227,905 travellers enjoying the pearl of the Adriatic.

The majority of the guests in July came from the United Kingdom, the United States, France, Germany, Norway, Australia, Spain, Canada, Finland and Sweden.

And according to figures just released by the Dubrovnik Tourist Board more tourists decided on booking their Dubrovnik break in private apartments and villas than in the city’s hotels. Almost 97,000 tourists stayed at one of the 51 hotels in the city, whereas just over 102,000 jumped online and booked an Airbnb or Booking.com accommodation in the city. In fact since the beginning of this year until the end of July stays in private accommodation is up by a massive 13 percent compared to the same period from last year.

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Dubrovnik fared much better than the rest of the country as a whole, according to data from the Croatian National Tourist Board there were 32,038 less tourist in Croatia in July and 402,439 fewer overnight stays.

Since the beginning of this year and up until the end of July an impressive 813,340 tourists stayed in Dubrovnik, an increase of 17 percent over last year and 2.4 million overnight stays were achieved. 2019 certainly looks like being another record breaking tourist year in Dubrovnik.

Italy represents one of the most important emission markets for the Croatian tourism sector, from which we achieved 579 thousand arrivals and 2.3 million overnight stays so far, representing a 1.3 percent increase in arrivals and 2.4 percent in overnight stays compared to the same period last year. Positive results were also achieved in July, during which Italian tourists made 209 thousand arrivals and 1.1 million overnight stays, which represents a growth of 1.5 percent in arrivals and 3 percent in overnight stays compared to July last year.

Director of the Croatian National Tourist Board Kristjan Stanicic emphasizes that these results are excellent indicators for Ferragosto, the period when the largest number of Italian tourists reside in Croatian destinations. -The majority of tourist traffic from the Italian market is coming, what is confirmed by the announcements for August and the first half of September by key partners, tour operators and agencies. This is the result of a continuous and proactive promotional strategy that includes numerous marketing and PR campaigns, as well as excellent cooperation with Italian partners - said Director Stanicic, adding that the increasing transport links between Italy and Croatia are a driving factor for the further growth of tourist traffic from this market.

Italians usually travel by car, almost 60 percent, followed by airplane, 20 percent, followed by train, bus and boat travel. When it comes to booking travel, about 56 percent of Italians book their trips directly, 37 percent do not book at all, while about 7 percent book their trips through an agency. From accommodation in Croatia, they prefer household facilities and hotels, while out of tourist offers they value gastronomy, natural beauty, nautics, and health tourism, especially in the post-season.


-We have done key promotional activities on the Italian market, which is evident from the results achieved, but also from numerous positive announcements that certainly contribute to creating a positive image and recognition of Croatia in this important market. Traditionally, Italians travel the most in August, with their favorite foreign destinations being Greece, Spain and Croatia, where they most often travel to Istria, Kvarner and Dalmatia, but increasingly discover the continental part of our country, especially Zagreb - said Viviana Vukelic, Director of the Croatian Tourist Board Representation in Italy.

Croatia's popularity among Italians is evidenced by numerous publications in the Italian media. Just before the main tourist season, most were written about the Croatian islands and the coast, summer festivals, locations where the popular series "Game of Thrones" was filmed, national parks, beautiful beaches, and detailed reports on trips on motorcycles and campers were published. The specialized magazine Caravan e Camper dedicated its cover to Korcula, calling it timeless, while the cover of the popular Dove magazine features Vrbnik on the island of Krk, or the Hvar lavender fields and the Makarska Riviera that adorn the cover of Bell'Europa. The June issue of the specialized sailing magazine "Il giornale della Vela" published a detailed report on sailing in Croatia, providing a series of information on where to sail in Croatia, where to rest, what destinations on the islands and the coast to visit, all of which are illustrated with attractive photographs out of which the Kornati are on the front page.

The Voice of Dubrovnik

THE VOICE OF DUBROVNIK


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