Friday, 10 July 2020

The well-known low-budget airline, Norwegian, which has so far operated to almost all airports in Croatia, announced the re-establishment of three routes to Split and Dubrovnik – Croatian Aviation reports.

The company previously canceled its only line to Rijeka, and currently there are no announcements of traffic to Pula, Zadar and Zagreb. However, Norwegian confirmed the establishment of three lines to Dubrovnik and Split.

From July 4th, Norwegian will fly again on the route Oslo - Split, twice a week, on Wednesdays and Saturdays. From the same date, the company plans to establish the Stockholm - Split line, only once a week in July, on Saturdays.

According to Croatian Aviation, From July 28th, the Oslo - Dubrovnik line will be introduced, twice a week, on Tuesdays and Sundays.

At the end of July and the beginning of August, the introduction of more international routes to these two Croatian airports is expected, as well as the return of the company to Pula.

On the occasion of the World Music Day, which is celebrated on Sunday, June 21st, a number of rich musical events will be held in various locations in the city of Dubrovnik.

For the tenth year in a row on the first day of summer, June 21st, at five o'clock in the morning in the amphitheater on Srd, the traditional concert to welcome summer by Ana Rucner will be held. You'll have the chance to listen to the famous compositions of classical and popular music performed by this famous cellist, accompanied by versatile and charismatic Croatian pianist and composer Matej Mestrovic.

At 11 am in front of the Rector's Palace, the concert will be held by the mixed choir Libertas under the direction of conductor Viktor Lenert, with a diverse repertoire from evergreens to spiritual music, as well as the choir and orchestra of the Luka Sorkocevic Art School, conducted by Slobodan Begic.

The last musical treat organized by the City of Dubrovnik and the Dubrovnik Tourist Board, on the occasion of World Music Day, will be held in front of the Church of Saint Blaise, where the Lindo Folklore Ensemble and the Dubrovnik Symphony Orchestra will join forces at 8.30 pm. Folklore ensemble Lindo is preparing the performance of its tamburitza orchestra under the direction of the orchestra leader Enes Omercahic as well as the performances of the mixed and male vocal groups (a capella and with instrumental accompaniment) under the direction of the choir leader Vedran Ivankovic. The Dubrovnik Symphony Orchestra will perform with its string ensemble under the direction of violinist Mirabai Weismehl Rosenfeld, and will bring works by Vivaldi, Boccherini and Britten, as well as several well-known numbers from the popular repertoire. The Brass Quartet of the Dubrovnik Symphony Orchestra consisting of Damir Butigan, Toni Kusar, Martin Hrcan and Dzemal Cakic and percussionist Karmen Pervitic will also perform.

Bees are important, we know that, but do you know why? The answers came from the Croatian Ministry of Environmental Protection and Energy today and you can read it in the text below.

Pollinators are a diverse group of animals, the most important of which are bees, hoverflies and butterflies. More than 2000 species of bees are known in Europe, and we find a particularly great diversity in the Mediterranean area, while mountain habitats are home to the largest number of endemic bee species. In addition to wild species, bee breeding communities are also of great importance for pollination today.

Based on the latest expert estimates, there are about 725 species of bees in Croatia, of which the most endangered species are bumblebees and solitary bees.

In the European Union, pollinators are necessary for the survival of 84 percent of agricultural species, and 76 percent of food production depends on insect pollination. In terms of agricultural production alone, the contribution of pollinators is estimated at 15 billion euros per year. According to the Intergovernmental Science-Policy Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services (IPBES), developed as part of a comprehensive analysis of pollinator status, pollinators carry out economic activities worth a total of 577 billion dollars. This analysis indicated that the diversity and abundance of wild bees and other pollinators are declining in many regions of the world, and that many species are endangered.

It is important to note that honey bees, species that have been domesticated by man, cannot replace the role that wild pollinators play in pollination, although they contribute to pollination.

Causes of endangerment of bees and other pollinators are the disappearance and fragmentation of habitats associated with changes in land use, then climate change and intensive agriculture. The European Parliament's resolution on the EU Pollinator Initiative, adopted last December, draws attention to the impact of pesticide use on domestic and wild bees, especially neonicotinoids, which have been shown to be harmful to bees.

The recently published European Union Biodiversity Strategy to 2030 also highlights the importance of pollinators, and states stopping the recovery of their populations as one of the key objectives of ecosystem restoration, through a series of measures that should reduce pressure on their natural habitats. By encouraging sustainable agricultural practices, especially reducing the use of pesticides and retaining natural vegetation on a minimum of 10 percent of agricultural land, as well as planting native vegetation on urban and other anthropogenic green areas, we can contribute to the fight for the survival of bees and other important pollinators, as well as our survival.

Also, among the key commitments of the Strategy until 2030, the non-use of chemical pesticides on sensitive areas such as green urban areas of the EU and the reduction of the use of chemical pesticides by 50 percent were highlighted.

Also, the recently published European Union Strategy "From the field to the table" covers the issue of reducing the use and risk of pesticides and encourages the wider implementation of integrated pest management. This strategy will also improve the risk assessment of pesticides for the environment.

The set goals should synergistically contribute to improving the condition of populations of bees and other pollinators.

Croatia is a safe country and one of the few to have a tourist season this year, Deputy Prime Minister and Interior Minister Davor Bozinovic said on Wednesday, adding that more than 350 thousand tourists had registered their arrival via the EnterCroatia system – the official website of the Croatian Government reports.

- Croatia is perceived as a country where it is desirable to come on vacation, and at the moment we may be the only country that has announcements of foreign tourists and crowds at border crossings - said Bozinovic in Zadar at the opening of the Headquarters for Security Measures during the 2020 tourist season.

Minister reminded that last year Croatia had 20 million tourists and more than 90 million overnight stays.

- We will probably not reach those figures this year, but according to today's reports, we can say that the entire security system has shown exceptional efficiency in resolving crises, regardless of whether it is epidemics, crimes or fires - Bozinovic emphasized and noted that there were twice as many fires this year than last year at this time, but they went unnoticed because of Covid-19.

- Despite that, the system worked. Our unique homeland security system sends a message not only to Croatian citizens but also to foreigners that Croatia is a safe country and that foreign tourists can feel safe here this year as well. We work according to the model we established at the very beginning of work of this Government, and the very fact that we have connected everyone who has something to do, say and analyze when it comes to the security situation speaks of the fact that we are achieving good results – Bozinovic said.

Journalists were interested in Bozinovic's opinion on wearing protective masks because tourists are confused since most people in Croatia do not wear masks.

-It is always better to have a mask than not, but it is not mandatory. If we introduced it as an obligation, it would mean that our epidemiological situation is much worse than it is. What is good is that the mask is worn indoors and perhaps most important of all - masks protect! Especially if an infected person has a mask, the chance of infecting someone is certainly much lower. If an infected and healthy person has masks, they reduce the chance of infection by up to 90 percent - Bozinovic said.
He added that the epidemic is under control in our country.

-Our numbers are small, but we must keep in mind that the situation in neighboring countries and in Europe and at the global level speaks in favor of the presence of the virus - said Minister Bozinovic.

Croatia ready to react in case of outbreaks

Bozinovic stressed that Croatia is ready to react to the possible emergence of certain outbreaks caused by the coronavirus epidemic.

-We have shown that we know how to deal with such challenges, that first and foremost - we have people, but also a technique and experience that guarantees safety to everyone - he said.

As part of the meeting with members of the Headquarters for the implementation of security measures during the upcoming tourist season, an introductory presentation was held on general security indicators and the functioning of the Headquarters for the implementation of security measures during the tourist season, followed by a presentation of the National Maritime Data Collection Center Zadar.

-For the third year in a row, we are opening and starting to work through the Safe Tourist Season project, which has proven to be very effective when it comes to protecting citizens, property and tourists visiting our country at this time of year. We can state that the security situation is favorable. However, this year's season is specific, so for the first time the health profession is an integral part of the Headquarters for a safe tourist season headed by epidemiologist Alan Medic - said Minister Bozinovic.

Minister reminded that last year there was a record number of 95 foreign police officers from 19 countries in Croatia, and at the moment there are 36 police officers from nine countries who will join their Croatian colleagues in creating a safe season in Croatia.

Swedish Ministry of Foreign Affairs has made a press release bringing some news to travelers! 

-There have been developments recently in the EU, the EEA and the Schengen area that have led to the easing of restrictions that had previously represented obstacles and risks to Swedish travellers. Therefore, as of 30 June, the MFA will remove the advice against non-essential travel to the following countries: Belgium, Croatia, France, Greece, Iceland, Italy, Luxembourg, Portugal, Spain and Switzerland – it's written in the press release.

The reason that the advice against travel is being removed for these countries is that they have decided to open up for travellers from Sweden and the rest of the EU, which means that the uncertainty factors for Swedes are minimised. The decision to remove the advice against travel to these countries will apply as of 30 June 2020 until further notice.
For other countries in the EU, the EEA and the Schengen area, the advice against travel remains in place until 15 July.

As the press release explains, the great uncertainty concerning global travel remains. Closed borders or far-reaching restrictions on possibilities to enter and leave countries, quarantine provisions and curfews remain a reality in large parts of the world. The disruption of international passenger traffic continues.

For travel to countries outside the EU, the EEA and the Schengen area, the advice against non-essential travel for Swedish travelers is being extended to 31 August 2020.
In good time before this date, the MFA will provide information about whether the advice against travel will be changed, extended or removed.

-The fact that the advice against travel is now being removed for certain European countries does not mean that the situation is back to normal. The situation remains uncertain and changeable, even in Europe. Individuals carry a great level of responsibility – the Swedish Ministry of Foreign Affairs explains, adding that every traveller should carefully consider their journey, prepare thoroughly, stay informed and follow the advice and instructions of local authorities when abroad.

Another strong earthquake was felt in Zagreb at 5:51 pm. As seismologist Kresimir Kuk confirmed for N1, the quake had a magnitude of 3.1 on the Richter scale with its epicenter in Markusevac.

The first information said that the earthquake had a magnitude of 2.9 on the Richter scale, and the epicenter of the earthquake was 4 kilometers east of the city center. The tremor lasted for a few seconds.

After two strong earthquakes of magnitude 5.5 and 4.8 on the Richter scale, which hit Zagreb in the early on March 22th and left terrible damage, the city had about thousand following trembles.

At the beginning of April, activities began on arranging, rehabilitating and equipping public beaches and bathing areas in the Dubrovnik area. So far, works have been completed on the following beaches: Buza, Porporela, Pile-Sulic, Dance, Boninovo, Kalamota (Donje celo and Bezdan) and Veliki zali, Gjivovici, as well as the beaches in Mokosica, Zaton, Belvedere and Solitudo.

On the beaches in Zaton (Bunica, Bat, Ankora, Orsan Gverovic, Soline, Ponta mala), Moksšica (Ponta Sjekavica, near the Gostiona, Vapor, near the ex Ambulance), Solitudo (Mandrac beach) and on Veliki zali, the approaches to the beaches were cleaned, on which filling the rocks and leveling the beach was done. Also, showers were set up, as well as stairs, cabins and locker rooms needed for the upcoming season.

On Buza, Boninovo, Porporela, Sulic, Dance, Kalamota (Donje celo and Bezdan), Belvedere and Gjivovici, landscaping works were also completed, which included repairing fences, steps and handrails, concreting damaged platforms, walls and steps, and repairing and installing showers.

The contractor Frendy d.o.o has the remaining works on equipping and arranging public baths in Elafiti, Vrbica, Stikovica, Titova Vila, Trsteno and Orasac, the completion of which is planned for the end of June, and the funds provided in the Budget for arranging and maintaining beaches before the summer season are 1,717,000 kuna.

British Airways have announced the return of flights to Croatia from this July. Three Croatian destinations will receive flights from British Airways, Zagreb, Split and Dubrovnik. According to an article on Croatian Aviation British Airways had planned flights to Croatia at one point even for June, this did not happen, mainly due to restrictions imposed by the UK government.

At the moment, 14 days of self-isolation after arrival in the UK is still mandatory, but companies based in this country are putting pressure on the authorities to lift this restriction, which would greatly facilitate the re-establishment of air traffic. The UK government have already stated that they will review the self-isolation regulation on the 29th of June.

According to current information, British Airways intends to launch three routes to Croatia from July, to Zagreb, Split and Dubrovnik, with flights from Heathrow and Gatwick.

This will be a much needed shot in the arm for Croatia’s tourism industry, not least for Dubrovnik where traditionally UK tourists are the most numerous. BA have announced that they will fly to Dubrovnik from the 16th of July, three times a week, on Mondays, Thursdays and Saturdays, from London Gatwick. This is much less than they flew last year, when the airline operated 11 flights a week to Dubrovnik, but nevertheless these flights will still open up Dubrovnik to UK tourists.

 

 

BA have announced a similar flight schedule for the capital, Zagreb, with three flights a week, from the 9th of July, on Mondays, Thursdays and Saturdays. And from London Heathrow to Split, from the 9th of July, on Mondays, Thursdays, Fridays and Sundays.

And BA isn’t the only UK airline to restart flights to Europe and Croatian destinations, EasyJet, Jet2.com and others all look set to restart flights in July. Of course a lot will depend on the future decision of the UK government and whether they decided to lift the 14-day self-isolation regulation. This regulation was introduced on the 8th of June and was heavily opposed by the UK travel industry. The regulation means that all those arriving in the UK, including British citizens, have to declare an address where they will self-isolate for two weeks, with those who fail to do so facing a fine.

 

Mayor Mato Frankovic participated in the first UNESCO webinar on world heritage called "Re-thinking Urban Heritage for Resilience and Recovery", in the context of the impact of the COVID-19 virus on cities and the resumption of their activities after the global pandemic.

In the difficult time of the global crisis, both health and financial, the City of Dubrovnik was completely left without the main economic branch, Mayor Frankovic emphasized in his address at the first panel.

- At this moment, we are slowly starting with the renewal of tourism, two days ago Dubrovnik Airport established international flights and this season we expect the realization of about 30 percent of last year's tourist traffic. It should be noted that Dubrovnik is a city that is extremely financially dependent on tourism, more than 80 percent of our economy is strongly associated with tourism, and the rest are various other areas that are also indirectly related to tourism - said Mayor Frankovic.

Despite the difficult financial situation, the city administration has not lost sight of the set goals and the need of the city for further development in the right direction, was one of today's messages from Mayor Frankovic.

-You know the history of Dubrovnik in 1991 when the city was bombed, and even then UNESCO observers in their records mentioned the reconstruction and future of Dubrovnik, which should think about how to introduce sustainability in its tourism. Despite the fact that we live from tourism and it is our main economic activity, we do not want to make the same mistake, so this difficult period is also a great opportunity for change and we will certainly use it – Mayor Frankovic said.

Speaking about the renewal of the activities of cities, Frankovic pointed out that the restoration and protection of heritage are dependent on each other, and especially referred to the challenges facing the Dubrovnik city administration.

-The cultural heritage of Dubrovnik is in excellent condition and we are continuously investing in its restoration. The richness of heritage will certainly be one of the comparative advantages of cities under UNESCO protection. I am deeply convinced that UNESCO cities will be rebuilt sooner than others. Heritage is always attractive, and cities will now be even more beautiful with less crowds. All these are challenges ahead of us, and I must point out that we are ready for the health crisis and have solved it well, and the financial crisis is just ahead of us, but I hope that we will face it just as successfully - concluded the Mayor.

In addition to the City of Dubrovnik, the first panel also presented the experiences of the cities of Tunisia, Jaipur, India and the Philippine city of Wigan. Experts Satya Tripathi from the UN Environment and Cherie Nursalim from the GITI Group also joined the panel with their perspective on the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic on heritage and sustainable urban development.

The British The Telegraph published a large article about Croatia, in which it brings ten reasons why Croatia is worth visiting – as soon as you can - said the Director of the Croatian National Tourist Board Representation in Great Britain Darija Reic.

The author of the article, Mary Novakovich, empashizes the rare opportunity to visit Dubrovnik in the heart of the season without the usual crowds as the main reason for coming to Croatia.

Another important reason are the charming beaches, such as Zlatni rat on the island of Brac, Krivica on Losinj and Stracinska on Solta. The author of the text also commented on the delicious Croatian gastronomy and praised the Croatian wine scene, which Novakovich called one of the most exciting in Europe.

The Telegraph also writes about festivals, art, natural beauty and history as unavoidable experiences when visiting Croatia, with a special emphasis on Rijeka, a "fascinating port city" and the European Capital of Culture, as well as Zagreb, Zagreb's coffee drinking culture and the inevitable Dolac market.

The Telegraph with its daily and weekly print and online editions reaches over 12 million readers per month.

The Voice of Dubrovnik

THE VOICE OF DUBROVNIK


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