Saturday, 22 September 2018

Croatia is certainly on the radar of American tourists. So far this year 373,000 Americans have visited Croatia a massive 23 percent increase over the same period from last year. One of the most popular destinations is Dubrovnik, thanks in part to the serial Game of Thrones, however other Adriatic cities are also experiencing an American boom.

At the Las Vegas travel exhibition, Virtuoso Travel Week, currently being held the luxury travel agency Virtuoso has reported a 28 percent growth in demand for vacations in Croatia. In fact, Croatia is in the top ten fastest growing travel destinations.

“The US is a very important market for Croatian tourism, recording double-digit growth rates annually,” commented the Croatian National Tourist Board director Kristjan Stanicic.

The director of the Croatian National Tourist Board in New York, Ina Rodin, commented that Virtuoso put Croatia in its annual survey’s top ten destinations in three categories – fastest growing destinations, most popular destinations for millennials, and most popular international destinations.

The Croatian National Tourist Board presented itself at the Virtuoso Travel Week, the most significant tourist event on the American continent, which is held for 30th time from 11 to 17 August in Las Vegas. It is an event that brings together representatives of the most influential tourist entities specializing in luxury and experiential travel, and this year there has been a record attendance of more than 6000 participants from 100 countries around the world.

-The USA is an extremely important market for us, from which we achieve high double-digit growth rates on an annual basis. There is a potential for further development, which is why it is strategically important to strengthen the promotional activities and the position of Croatia in this big market. It is certain that positive trends can contribute to our quality cooperation with large tour operators and associations, such as the Virtuos network, which has partners and associates in more than 50 countries - said Croatian Tourist Board director Kristjan Staničić, adding that in the previous part of the year from USA there were 373,000 arrivals (+ 23%) and 1,058,000 overnight stays (+ 18%), which places it in the fastest-growing markets in 2018.

Among the many participants of the Virtuoso Travel Week, there are representatives of the Croatian tourism sector who have held numerous meetings with representatives of travel agents specializing in luxury travel from the USA, Canada, Latin America, Australia and New Zealand, and introduced them with the latest news in Croatia's tourist offer.

Ina Rodin, director of the Croatian Tourist Board Representative Office in New York, emphasized that joint marketing activities with Virtuoso are one of the key priorities of Croatia's promotion to the US market.

-Croatia's popularity and the growth of demand for our country within the Virtuoso network has grown by about 28 percent. Croatia's excellent position is additionally confirmed by the annual Virtuoso research, according to which Croatia is among the top 10 destinations in three categories - in the category of fastest growing destination, the most popular destination for so-called. Millenials and in the category of the most popular international destination - said Rodin.

With 17,500 tourist advisors from 50 countries with annual turnover of over $ 23.7 billion American dollars and a portfolio of more than 1,700 partners including hotels and resorts, airlines, cruise companies, onsite travel agencies and tourist boards, Virtuoso is one of the most significant organizations in the segment of luxury travel. Croatia has a total of six members in this network, with the exception of the Croatian Tourist Board: Leonidas Travel DMC, Calvados Club, Fortuna Travel, Hotel Villa Dubrovnik and Boutique Hotel Alhambra - Lošinj Hotels & Villas.

Lonely Planet has recently published an amazing video showing the beauty of Dubrovnik, but also with amazing tips on how to spend time in the city if you only have a day. Video that lasts a bit more than 2 minutes is a perfect little guide for all those that are planning their Dubrovnik vacation, especially if they are coming for a short time.

Lonely Planet advises tourists to get up early and hit the Walls, walk on Stradun, visit Franciscan Monastery and Museum and then the Rector's Palace. After that, they recommend visiting an island of Lokrum and grab some lunch there and also swim – if you wish. Then you should head back to the Old City to grab some dinner and after it you can jump in the cable car. Sounds like the perfect day to us! Take a look at the Lonely Planet's video.

The Motovun Film Festival arrives at the Dubrovnik Summer Festival for the first time ever with one of its specialties - movie projections on unexpected locations, under the open sky, in places where movies never run, on August 23rd and 24th. And where? That will remain a secret until the last minute!

The Motovun Film Festival will feature two exceptional films - the best film of this year's festival (the winner of the Propeler Motovun Award), and one of the best screenings of William Shakespeare's work:

MUCH ADO ABOUT NOTHING (Kenneth Branagh, UK, 1993) - one of Shakespeare's most popular movie adaptations ever, with Emma Thompson, Denzel Washington, Keanu Reeves, Michael Keaton;

KILLING JESUS (Laura Mora Ortega, Columbia, 2017) - a true story of a director whose father was killed in an assassination in the unsure streets of Medellin, and the main heroine is in search of a killer, just as the director herself did in real life. The film, with Croatian, is also titled in English.

Two amazing films on two amazing secret sites, and the entrance to screenings is free for anyone who discovers them. How to find out where the movie is hiding? During the next few days the Dubrovnik Summer Festival will release a few tips that lead to the responses where you can enjoy movies on Thursday and Friday, August 23rd and 24th, and they'll publish the exact location right before the projection itself.

They caught the hearts of a nation when they performed a Croatian classic folk song before the World Cup semi-final clash with England and are continuing to spread the love after being featured on a leading New Zealand TV network.

Klapa Samoana are an Auckland-based male vocal group who specialise in performing traditional Croatian folklore tunes. It might sound a little unusual, a group of Samoans from New Zealand singing in Croatian, but there is an explanation. Whilst at school the guys had a music teacher from Dubrovnik and he passed on the vibe and the emotion for Croatian music.

Watch the full video and discover how Klapa Samoana showed their love for Croatia

On the back of an impressive display at the 2018 World Cup in Russia Croatia have leapt up the new FIFA rankings. The Croatian national football team jumped up 16 places on the latest FIFA rankings and are now the fourth best team in world football.

For the first time in 16 years France are on the top of the list after winning the World Cup and in second place are Belgium. FIFA have recently changed the points system with which the rankings are calculated. "The new calculation system is based primarily on adding and subtracting points to the previous number of points instead of calculating the average score over a given time period. Points that are added or subtracted are determined by the relative strength of both rivals, including the expectation that better-ranking representations should achieve better results against lesser-placed teams, and emphasis is placed on the importance of the finals of big competitions, that is, a smaller importance on friendly matches," commented the Croatian Football Association.

atmosphere as croatia play football

Croatia's World Cup success in Russia brought a wave of joy across the country - Photo by Tomislav Kristo / CROPIX

Based on this new formula, France has moved six places to take first position, which they last held in 2002. Only three points behind France are semi-finalists of the World Cup, Belgium, followed by Brazil in third and Croatia in fourth. This new ranking for Croatia equals the best ever ranking of fourth which they held in June 2013.

England, who were beaten by Croatia in the World Cup semi-final, also climbed in the FIFA rankings by six places to finish in sixth position.

Germany and Argentina are among the major disappointments, Germany with their failure to get past the group stages in the World Cup dropped from first place down to 15th position. Whilst South American giants Argentina crashed to 11th position from 5th place.

The next FIFA rankings will be released on September 20th 2018.

new fifa rankings 1213

Could Dubrovnik see direct flights from America in 2019? There are currently no airlines flying directly between the US and Dubrovnik, or even the US and Croatia, however in spite of this fact American tourists were in the top five most numerous last year.

Over the past few years there have been numerous attempts to tempt an American airline to operate flights to Dubrovnik but so far these have proved unsuccessful. The world’s largest airline, American Airlines, has confirmed that it is introducing a number of flights to Eastern Europe for 2019 and one could well be Dubrovnik. Reports have surfaced that American Airlines is in contact with Dubrovnik airport about the possibility of introducing a direct service from Philadelphia to Dubrovnik as a seasonal service for 2019.

"We’ve so far been really excited by Prague and Budapest. Their performance has been pretty amazing, some of our best flying in continental Europe. So that may actually compel us to go fly more things in Eastern Europe next year," commented Vasu Raja the American Airlines Vice President for Planning.

Although it threatened last night the rain didn’t fall in Dubrovnik. The night sky came alight with flashes of lightning and thunder could be heard rumbling over the Adriatic Sea. And one talented Dubrovnik photographer caught the moment brilliantly when the lightning struck the sea and the nature gave us its own fireworks display.

Boris Bačić uploaded these two stunning photos on his Facebook profile with the comment “I haven’t taken photos of lightning for a long time but this summer storm was just unmissable.” The photos have also been picked up and published by international weather publications.


Photo by Boris Bašić 

It might sound like a like from the famous comedy drama Faulty Towers “Don’t mention the war,” but this is just one of the don’ts given by the famous American travel vlogger Mark Wolters when visiting Croatia.

In his video “Visit Croatia - The DON'Ts of Visiting Croatia,” Wolters gives his own take on what not to do when enjoying the Adriatic coast on holiday. From don’t be shocked at the level at which Croatians speak to don’t expect sandy beaches the video has been seen by over 230,000 people on YouTube already.

Check out the video and let us know if he has missed any “don’ts”

The low-cost Spanish airline Level has introduced direct flights from Vienna to Dubrovnik four times a week. The popular airline, which is part of the International Airlines Group, has recently announced an expansion of flights from Vienna including 14 new destinations and Dubrovnik has found itself on the list.

The first flight from Austria landed on the 11th of August and was greeted with a traditional “shower” from the waiting fire brigade at Dubrovnik airport. The flights, which start at only 120 Euros for a return flight, will operate on Mondays, Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays.

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The Voice of Dubrovnik


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