Saturday, 22 September 2018

Even though Croatia has been breaking records in all tourist segments this year, according to national statistical data, it is always nice to hear praise from abroad.

The tourist company Valamar Riviera has been awarded the Euromoney Real Estate Award in the category Leading Developer in Tourism in Croatia.

It is the company’s second award received from the world famous specialized financial magazine Euromoney. Reminding that the Euromoney award was received two years ago for Best Managed Hotel Company in Central and Eastern Europe, Valamar states that Euromoney awards are acknowledged around the globe as a symbol of business excellence.

Euromoney presents the awards based on researches that include real estate professionals- consultants, developers, investors, property users and bankers from all over the world. This year’s research included almost 2,500 professionals from more than 1,200 companies on 75 real estate markets.

‘’Valamar Riviera is the largest investor in the Croatian tourism industry with investments estimated at more than 4 billion Kunas. Our goal is to complete a three-year investment cycle worth between 1,5 and 2 billion Kunas by 2020. This year, the company realized the largest individual investment in tourism worth 562 million Kunas; we built two new luxury resorts in Rabac – Family Life Bellevue Resort and Girandella Resort’’, stated Valamar.

By the number of destinations and capacity, revenue and operating profit, as well as by the number of guests and employees, Valamar is the leading tourist company in Croatia.

Every week The Dubrovnik Times goes to new levels for your pleasure. This time it’s all about culinary pleasure. We have scoured the menus of Dubrovnik to bring you our favourites. And not only did we just research the menus we have gone that extra step and tasted the food in advance for you...its hard work but someone has to do it. This week I visited a firm favourite with locals and tourists the only Bosnian restaurant in town worth trying – Taj Mahal.

Bosnian cuisine has never tasted so good. Look I have to say that I am not an expert of Bosnian cuisine at all, apart from a few trips to Mostar and Sarajevo I am well in the dark. But if all Bosnian food is like it is in Taj Mahal then I am emigrating! Yes, I know you have just read Taj Mahal and though it was an Indian restaurant but you’d be wrong this is Bosnian with a capital B!

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I had been lucky enough to visit the sister restaurant in Hotel Lero a few weeks back so I had a little experience. “I thought today we would try the Sudžukice (grilled baby beef sausages) a traditional Bosnian sausage and they are a little spicy,” said the friendly owner. The spicy sausages are served with a baked potato filled with cottage cheese and are BBQ delicious. “The other thing you should try is Bamija,” added the owner. I am glad she recommended this as it was one of the tastiest dishes I have tried this year. Listen, go to Taj Mahal and try it for yourselves. It is a pie like dish filled with veal, tomatoes and garlic. The key is the pastry that rolls around the meal, it is absolutely perfect. And quite possibly the best pastry I have ever tasted in my life. I would go again just to try the pastry, in fact I asked the waiter to bring me half a kilo!

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Don’t go to Taj Mahal and just go for the easy options, get adventurous and discover the menu a little. Ask the waiters for help they will be able to lead you through the choices and recommend something that might look a little exotic and unknown but turns out to be a gastronomic delight.

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The restaurant in the Old City is located in a tiny side street and only has a few tables inside so it might be an idea to make a reservation before you turn up.


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PROMO 

Dubrovnik Airport has welcomed its two millionth passenger for the first time ever. Stephanie Eng Allen, from Tulsa, Oklahoma, USA, arrived on a Croatia Airlines flight from Zurich.

She was accompanied by her husband, Jack Allen, and they came to celebrate their wedding anniversary.

- For the first time in the history of this glorious and successful tourist season of the Dubrovnik Airport we welcome our two millionth passenger on a flight of our most important partner, Croatia Airlines. This year we expect a record of 2 300 000 passengers – said Dubrovnik Airport Director Roko Tolic, adding that they are working intensively on new flights and lines for next year.

The ceremony was held in the section of the passenger terminal where the new restaurant will be opened soon.

Stephanie Eng Allen got gifts from representatives of the Konavle Borough, the City of Dubrovnik and the Dubrovnik-Neretva County as well as the tourist boards, Croatia Airlines and Valamar Hotels.

Stephanie was pleasantly surprised especially since it is her first trip to Europe and in Dubrovnik, which she says is a beautiful place with wonderful people.

-This is a special time for me and my husband because we are celebrating our first wedding anniversary and you have made it even more special. We are on vacation for 12 days. We are here until Sunday and we go on a cruise trip to the Greek islands and then from Athens we go back home. I've never been here and I was all very surprised. This is a special place – said Stephanie.

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Roko Tolic with Stephanie Eng Allen marking the 2 millionth mark - Photo Zeljko Tutnjevic 

Dubrovnik will be richer for another festival this year with the Dubrovnik Wave Music Festival the new kid on the block. 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. The Dubrovnik Times caught up with the main organiser behind the scenes of this new festival, Mike Lemaic, to find out what audiences can expect from the new wave of music in Dubrovnik.

This will be the premiere edition of the Dubrovnik Wave Music Festival. How did you come up with the idea to create this festival?

The festival idea was born last year, actually through a conversation with the city government. I had proposed the idea of organising some musical events through the year and the idea of Music Wave Festival was born. The City was interested as it would potentially attract more visitors to Dubrovnik. I proposed to use locations throughout the city, such as beaches and islands were we would stage different genres of music. Everything was pretty much agreed and then we had a change of local government so we had to put things on hold for a while. We will hold the first festival on the 13th and 14th of October which will help bring some new attraction during the autumn period. One of the ideas of the festival is to help extend the tourist season and to put Dubrovnik on the map as a hotspot for music festival.

How will the festival differ from other music festivals in the region?

The difference that we would like to see with our festival compared to others is that the festival will feature different genres of music. Some of the locations maybe lend themselves to certain types of music. For example the beaches maybe lean towards electronic music and dance music whereas Lokrum is more suitable for jazz and blues. The idea is to make the festival open to a wide audience with differing musical tastes. So you could say that out target audience is anyone from 18 to 65, which is good for the city because not only will we attract younger people but also older generations. Also the festival is open to families because we are trying to make this festival not like other electronic music festivals which are alcohol fuelled. We want to open it to families and children, so there is no age restriction.

dubrovnik music wave festival logo

What experience do you have of organising these kinds of festivals?

We are a company primarily orientated towards managing international talent. Also we have a focus on finding new talent. So part of our role is marketing, PR, events, gigs, etc and as a management company we work with a wide range of companies who put these festivals on. Maybe this year, the first year, may be on a smaller scale than future festivals but it’s important to get it off the ground.

How difficult was it to find locations in Dubrovnik?

It wasn’t that difficult to find locations but it more difficult to be engaged in a conversation with the owners or managers of the locations. Certainly in future years we will be looking at a whole range of new locations.

Does Dubrovnik need another festival?

Dubrovnik is a cultural city and yes already has a lot of events but in my view the events that the city currently have tend to be concentrated more towards classical music spectrum. Croatia is a very popular destination for UK tourists and in the UK there are over 300 music festivals. So when you connect the two together you can see that there is room for such music festivals in Dubrovnik. To my knowledge this is the first festival in the city that will involve different genres of music. We would certainly also consider putting on events throughout the winter time, which would again help to attract people to the city outside of the main summer season.

Dubrovnik is in a “Catch 22” situation with winter tourism. But I am sure that if the main airlines realised that there is something happening in the city in the winter that they would operate flights. Somebody has to start and show the will.

So what does the word “wave” indicate in the Dubrovnik Wave Festival?

So the original idea was to have a main festival at a fixed time of the year and then continue throughout the whole year with a wave of different events.

How supportive have the city authorities been in assisting you put on this first event?

Well, actually very supportive. In fact you could say that we have joint goals and ambitions so they were quick to realise this and jump onboard.

How difficult was it to attract international artists to come and perform here?

So far we have 16 artists confirmed. Of course it is a new venture so for the artists as well it is a challenge to join us on the ride. They have been very helpful to make this first event a success. Of course bringing artists here is an expensive project so we hope that in the future with the help of sponsors we can make the festival even bigger and more successful. We want to build year on year, not only by extending the days of the festival but also by bringing even more artists.

You have actually created ticket packets designed for visitors to visit the festival; this seems a very proactive way of attracting guests

We are trying to make it as easy to possible for audiences to attend the festival. Of course there are always people who will come independently but for people who want a more organised packet we have covered that. We have teamed up with Gulliver Travel who have actually negotiated accommodation deals and we also have Croatia Airlines onboard as an airline partner.

From small acorns great acorns grow – what are your plans for the future?

All festivals start with small steps. For example when Glastonbury started they had a handful of people and one stage. Last year they had an audience of 380,000 people on 16 stages. In the future we can see multiple stages on multiple locations over a longer period of time. Dubrovnik is an amazing city and will surely be a magnet for music lovers.

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Let the music play

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.

Situated in the Imperial Fortress on top of the Srđ hill the Dubrovnik in the Homeland War 1991 – 1995 Museum is well worth a visit. This large Napoleonic fortress was the first line of defence for Dubrovnik in the Homeland War and is now a fitting home for this extensive museum.

artifacts from homeland war dubrovnik

In the permanent exhibition you will see original arms and military equipment used in the Homeland War, such as mines, explosives and flags of the brigades involved. There is also an interesting video display that highlights Dubrovnik in the war and the role that the Imperial Fortress actually played.

homeland war museum

The exhibition was officially opened on the Day of Victory and Homeland Gratitude Day, and the Day of Croatian Veterans, in 2008. The Serbian-Montenegrin aggression on Dubrovnik is examined with documents, original papers and a map of the area in war time. A moving and humbling experience that highlights one of the darkest pages in Dubrovnik’s history books.

homeland war museum dubrovnik

Following the record-breaking tourist season, data from the semi-annual report on Jadrolinija’s passenger traffic show that in the first six months of this year, the largest Croatian passenger and car transport company achieved excellent results.

Jadrolinija carried 4.2 million passengers and more than 1 million vehicles in the mentioned period or 10.6 percent more passengers and 12 percent more vehicles in comparison to the first six months last year. The company increased the total revenues by 10.2 percent to almost 363 million Kunas.

The most significant revenue growth of 42.5 percent was achieved on international lines such as the Split-Ancona line and the new one introduced this season between Bar (Montenegro) and Bari (Italy).

The revenue growth in the national maritime traffic was also achieved due to the earlier schedule of the seasonal fast-ferry line Dubrovnik-Korcula-Hvar-Bol-Split and due to revenue increase recorded on the Split-Supetar, Valbiska-Merag, Prizna-Zigljen, and Zadar-Preko lines.

In comparison to last year, total expenditures increased by 6.4 percent to 376.7 million Kunas, mainly due to the increase of the average price of fuel consumed in the first six months this year.

From January to June 2017, the total loss of Jadrolinija was 13.7 million Kunas, which, as stated the company, is a better result for almost 11 million Kunas in comparison to the same period from last year.

Furthermore, at the end of June, the company’s receivables were 4.4 percent lower compared to last year, whilst the total liabilities decreased by 18,7 percent, mainly due to regular repayments to banks and other financial institutions.

Jadrolinija pointed out that this debt reduction opens up great potential for a new investment cycle; liquidity is satisfactory and liabilities were settled within deadlines, entirely from regular business.

Looking to stock up with some homemade jams and marmalades for the winter period, well now is your chance as the 11th Festival of Jams opened this morning in the centre of Dubrovnik. The Festival of Jams and Marmalades is organised by the DEŠA association and is being held in front of the St. Blaise Church in the heart of the Old City of Dubrovnik.

"Small and specialized producers from all over the country will visit Dubrovnik and bring hundreds of types of natural jams and marmalades. Exhibitors will be dressed in folk costumes and this festival is one of Dubrovnik's autumn attractions,” commented the organisers.

The festival is open until Sunday and from 9.00am to 5.00pm.

The festival not only promotes small producers, including high-quality local produce, but also the wealth and variety of cultural heritage of different parts of the country.

festival of jams dubrovnik

jam and marmalade dubrovnik

Ladies from all over the globe, who had a privilege to be on the cover of the cult magazine Playboy, are saying goodbye to Hugh Hefner.

Among so many beautiful women, the most popular magazine for men once featured a girl from Croatia, actually the city of Zadar, a home of the pin up model Ana Perduv.

‘’They published a short story about me, my tattoos, a unique dress style etc. When the magazine offered me an interview, I was honoured. Playboy is a classic, whose cover featured numerous stunning women as well as my role models such as Marilyn Monroe and Dita Von Teese. I am deeply honoured to be part of that history and I hope that my photo will be on the magazine’s cover soon’’, commented Perduv.

After the great success of Croatian smart benches on world markets, the country has presented one more green invention.

The city of Rijeka has become a home of a smart parasol presented by a local innovator Sasa Muscet and set up on the famous city’s promenade Korzo.

The smart parasol with solar panels is a design innovation because the shape of a parasol was added a new function. It is a metal construction in the form and purpose of a parasol with solar panels that charge the accumulator that provides electric power for charging mobile devices, primarily cell phones.

The parasol construction was designed to be protected against stealing, and it is relatively easy to install and transport.

sun umbrella smart croatia

This smart invention can be set up independently on beaches, excursion spots and other similar places, as well as on open public areas such as walkways, squares etc. along with smart benches and form a kind of solar park.

The possibilities of use are almost limitless because the functionality and use of a smart parasol does not require the connection to the power grid due to the solar energy accumulated by solar panels.

It is interesting to note that the 57-year-old innovator Sasa Muscet won a gold medal for his successful performance at the 41st Croatian International Innovation Fair INOVA 2016 and was selected for Best Innovation in Tourism among 450 innovations from 22 countries.

Today will probably be a busy day in Dubrovnik, according to the cruisers schedule published on the official page of Port Dubrovnik. This Friday is marked with red colour, which means that over 7500 passengers are expected.

According to the schedule, five cruise ships will arrive to Dubrovnik – Mein Schiff 2, Costa Luminosa, Star Pride, Azamara Quest and MSC Poesia. All the cruise ships are coming through the morning and three of them will stay until night hours. Costa Luminosa is supposed to leave at 1 pm, while MSC Poesia will leave at 4:30 pm.

During the days like this, it’s normal to expect traffic jams and big crowds in the Old City. If you are visiting Dubrovnik or living here, try to prepare as much as you can – and by preparing we mean try to be as calm as you can or avoid the crowds.

Good thing is that by the end of the year there is just one more red cruiser day. It will be next month, on October 13th. And don’t worry, it’s not Friday 13th – it’s Monday.

Cloudy

23°C

Dubrovnik

Cloudy
Humidity: 81%
Wind: N at 11.27 km/h
Monday
Showers
20°C / 26°C
Tuesday
Windy
18°C / 22°C
Wednesday
SP_WEATHER_BREEZY
16°C / 23°C
Thursday
Partly cloudy
16°C / 23°C

The Voice of Dubrovnik

THE VOICE OF DUBROVNIK


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