Monday, 16 December 2019

The number of cruise ship passengers that disembarked in Croatia this this year is 120,000 less than in 2016. From the beginning of this year until the end of September a total of 758,692 cruise ship passengers arrived in Croatia, when compared to 2016 when 878,907 passengers arrived the drop is significant.

Out of a total of 540 journeys of foreign vessels on cruise, the majority was realised in the County of Dubrovnik-Neretva (65.7%) and the County of Split-Dalmatia (17.0%). The most visits of foreign vessels on cruise were realised in the seaport of Dubrovnik (437 visits), followed by the seaports of Split (171 visits) and Korčula (113 visits).

In the period from January to September 2017, the number of journeys of foreign vessels on cruise decreased by 17.7% and the number of passengers on board by 13.7%, as compared to the same period in 2016.

The Dubrovnik Synagogue is the oldest Sephardi synagogue still active in the world today and the second oldest synagogue in Europe after the synagogue in Prague.

Originally formed in 1352 the Dubrovnik Synagogue formed the centre piece of the Jewish community in the city which flourished at the end of the 15th century after many Jews were banished from Spain and Portugal and came to settle in Dubrovnik.

synagogue dubrovnik


Situated in Žudioska Street the Baroque style synagogue was rebuilt in 1652 and has been preserved in its original form to the present day. With heavy velvet curtains, ancient scrolls and a Moorish carpet from the 13th century the synagogue attracts visitors from all over the world.

The small museum in the synagogue contains many artefacts from throughout the Jewish community's rich and diverse history in Dubrovnik.

Christmas comes to Dubrovnik earlier and earlier every year and yesterday the first decorations were hung in the historic Old City of Dubrovnik. It seems that the city has gone from swimming in the Adriatic in roasting temperatures to the sounds of jingle bells overnight.

There are 44 days left to Christmas Day and Dubrovnik is following the global trend and getting ready more than a month in advance. The first street to get its festive feel was the street that runs parallel to the Stradun, Ulica od Puča, and today the rest of the streets will get their own decorations.

The Dubrovnik Winter Festival begins on the 2nd of December and by then the whole city will look like a scene from Christmas card.

xmas decorations dubrovnik 2

When Italy replaced its national currency with the Euro in 1999, the cost of living rose almost overnight, as was the case in many European countries that introduced the Euro as their official currency.

One of the costs that sky-rocketed was the cost of dental care and everything related to dental hygiene. Therefore, many Italians used to come to Croatia for tooth repair, tooth extraction, dental implants etc. because it was much cheaper than in their own country.

However, even though Croatia has not introduced the Euro yet, it seems that many of its citizens go to neighbouring countries to visit the dentist, following the practice of Italians.

According to some data, many dental patients from the Croatian region of Dalmatia more often than not, go to Bosnia and Herzegovina to fill cavities, polish their teeth and other dental procedures. They have all the reasons to do so because there is a big price difference between the two countries when it comes to dental care.

The price of the first dental examination in Croatia is up to 200 Kunas, whilst in Bosnia and Herzegovina it is free of charge. Tooth extraction in Croatia is 300 Kunas, whilst a Bosnian dentist would charge only 50 Kunas. Furthermore, the cost of dental sealants in Croatia is around 300 Kunas, whilst in Bosnia and Herzegovina it is up to maximum 100 Kunas.

"We still have several destinations in the Balkans which we will launch. We will announce these new destinations soon. I am not prepared to reveal them now because I don't want to give my competition the opportunity to have an insight into our strategy,” commented the CEO of Qatar Airways, Akbar Al Baker, to the news network Al Jazeera.

The national airline of Qatar launched flights to Sarajevo from Doha last week and is now looking to expand into the region even more. Back in June the airline said it was considering several destinations in south-east Europe including Ljubljana. And now it is rumoured that Dubrovnik is on the radar for the airline. Qatar Airlines already operates flights from Doha to Zagreb and has shown confidence in these flights as the frequencies have been increased for next year.

"This region is growing. It is becoming affluent and at the same time there is economic growth here and an airline plays a very important part in the economic growth of a country. So we intend to continue our expansion in Eastern Europe,” added Al Baker.

The Bellevue Hotel on the island of Lošinj has won a new international prestigious award in the category Best Destination Spa.

The Condé Nast Johansens Award for Excellence in the category Best Destination Spa was awarded to the Bellevue Hotel at the ceremony held at The May Fair Hotel in London a few days ago.

This annual award stands for an extraordinary quality and this year it went to the Bellevue Hotel thanks to online voting results, feedback from guests and reports from local experts. It only confirmed that the Croatian hotel, as part of the hotel brand Lošinj Hotels & Villas of the Jadranka Group, truly belongs to the world’s hotel elite and enjoys the trust of guests from all over the world.

hotel bellevue losing aerial

‘’We are delighted to be side by side of the world-class hotels of the highest level and luxury, which in itself represents an enormous acknowledgement and confirmation of our recognisability at the international level as well. The Condé Nast Johansens Award for Excellence, as well as all awards so far, is a result of the joint work of all our employees who, with hospitality and excellent relations with our guests, successfully spread the word all over the globe about our hotels, our premium offer and the island of Lošinj as a destination’’, commented Goran Filipović, the member of the board at the Jadranka Group.

It is interesting to note that TripAdvisor awarded the Bellevue Hotel this year thanks to the hotel guests who declared the Bellevue Hotel the best Croatian hotel and the best luxury hotel in Croatia after only two seasons since its opening.

bellevue spa

Award winning spa centre 

On the second day of the World Travel Market (WTM), which is currently taking place in the British capital from the 6th to the 8th of November 2017, the Croatian Tourist Board presented a new promotional video of Croatia as a tourist destination.

The new video includes many of Croatia’s famous athletes such as football players Luka Modrić, Ivan Rakitić and Mario Mandžukić, a basketball player Dario Šarić, a tennis player Marin Čilić as well as a crossover pianist Maksim Mrvica and an actress Zrinka Cvitešić.

The World Travel Market is the most important event in the tourism business held every year in London. It represents the largest business travel fair in the world.

Apart from the premiere of the new video, Croatia will present itself with new promotional exhibition stands i.e. with the concept and creative solution of presentation at travel fairs.

The popular British rock band Skunk Anansie is coming to Croatia next year.

Skunk Anansie will perform at the 13th edition of the INmusic festival, which will be held in Zagreb from the 25th to the 27th of June 2018.

After the band did not perform at the same festival in 2016, due to sudden disease of the band’s leading vocal Skin, Skunk Anansie is coming to Croatia next year, reported organizers of the festival a few days ago.

All members of the band, the bassist Richard ‘’Cass’’ Lewis, the guitar player Martin ‘’Ace’ Kent and the drummer Mark Richardson will perform side by side of the charismatic singer Deborah Anne Dyer, also known as Skin, at the INmusic festival 2018.

Skunk Anansie formed in 1994, disbanded in 2001 and reformed in 2009. The name "Skunk Anansie" is taken from Akann folk tales of Anansi the spider-man of Ghana, with "Skunk" added to "make the name nastier".

They have released six studio albums: Paranoid & Sunburnt (1995), Stoosh (1996), Post Orgasmic Chill (1999), Wonderlustre (2010), Black Traffic (2012) and Anarchytecture (2016); one compilation album, Smashes and Trashes (2009); and several hit singles, including "Charity", "Hedonism", "Selling Jesus" and "Weak".

In 2004, the Guinness Book of British Hit Singles & Albums declared the band one of the most successful British performers between 1952 and 2003.

According to data from Promocija plus, the leading research and analysis agency in the region, car sales in Croatia in October increased by 25.4 percent in comparison to the same month last year.

In the period from January to the end of October of 2017 a total of 45.128 new vehicles were sold or 19.4 percent more over the same period last year.

The bestselling brands in Croatia in the mentioned period were Volkswagen with 6,454 sold cars, followed by Skoda (4,472), Opel (4,388), Renault (4,166) and Suzuki with 2,739 sold cars.

The bestselling model in October was Ford Focus with 241 sold cars, followed by Skoda Octavia (224) and Dacia Duster with 179 sold cars.

By fuel type, in the first ten months of this year the share of diesel-powered cars in the total car sales accounted for 54,4 percent or 24,546 vehicles, whilst petrol-powered cars accounted for 44,5 percent or 20,104 sold vehicles.

At the same time, 422 hybrid cars were sold (almost negligible share of 0,9 percent) and only 19 fully electric vehicles.

The old adage “there’s no business like show business” is certainly true when the Dubrovnik tourism industry is examined. Hollywood blockbusters, Bollywood mega stars, globally popular serials – all have found their place in the sun in Dubrovnik. The pearl of the Adriatic has hosted a number of blue chip productions, from Game of Thrones to Star Wars, and the side-effects are starting to seriously change the city’s tourism industry.

Game of Thrones was certainly the game changer (pardon the pun) when the second season descended on Dubrovnik five years ago. And with the final season, season eight, about to start filming at the beginning of 2018, Dubrovnik has been riding the wave of international publicity. And where there is smoke there is fire. The most watched serial of all time has brought more Americans to Dubrovnik than ever before.

In 2016 a grand total of 95,000 Americans visited Dubrovnik, the biggest increase in any country market last year. And this year that number is on the rise. From the beginning of the year until the end of October a whopping 131,000 Americans landed in the city and increase over last year of 37 percent. This means that Americans are the second most numerous tourists in Dubrovnik in terms of nationality. All this would be maybe normal if we were a major European city.

got dubrovnik walls

Computer generated graphics help to add a new dimension to King's Landing 

However, when you take into account that there isn’t one direct flight between Dubrovnik and the US, or in fact between Croatia and the States, then this figures are even more impressive. Americans are leaving traditional European guests, the Germans and French, in their wake. And what makes the UNESCO World Heritage Site so attractive, the answer is three words – Game of Thrones.

Souvenir shops, guided tours, photo opportunities and even the chance to sit in an iron throne have put Dubrovnik firmly on the map for Game of Thrones fans. And it seems like a bottomless market. An average of 31 million viewers tuned in to every episode of the recently broadcast season seven.

According to inside sources the HBO scouts are already in Dubrovnik ahead of the final season checking out new locations and possible new sites. It is believed that filming in Dubrovnik will start at the beginning of the year, and King’s Landing should star in the final battles for the iron throne, meaning that Dubrovnik should get a leading role again. Once again we can expect an influx of American tourists to Dubrovnik in 2018. But imagine just how much more these figures would be in there were actually direct flights.

new got dubrovnik

On the lookout for new locations for final series 

The Voice of Dubrovnik


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