Monday, 14 October 2019

Dubrovnik could be on the verge of direct charter flights from South Korea. Uniline, the largest Croatian tour operator, has opened an office in Seoul, South Korea. The new office is located in the residential part of Seoul, about one and a half kilometres from the Republic of Korea's Ministry of Foreign Affairs and about two kilometres from the Dynasty Palace.

"Uniline's long term goal is that every tenth Korean will experience and admire the beauty of Croatia and South East Europe," said Robert Sedlar, the executive director of the Uniline travel company. To achieve these goals, the company announced a number of marketing and sales activities in the Korean market, and negotiations for the opening of an airline charter line between Seoul and Dubrovnik.

According to the latest census, South Korea a population of 51 million, and in 2016, there were about 380,000 tourist arrivals in Croatia. This was a 10 percent increase over 2015, but when you compare that figure to six or seven years ago the number of Korean tourists in Croatia has increased by 300 percent.

Our resident "Style Guru" has been scanning the streets of Dubrovnik this week for the latest and greatest in fashion.

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The beautiful island of Mljet now has its own perfume. Made in France but inspired by Mljet this new perfume, Eau de Parfum “Nymph Calypso,” was inspired by the legend of Odysseus. According to legend Odysseus spent seven years on Mljet after a shipwreck.

This new perfume is the brainchild of Tamara Lukovic, who together with her husband Zoran, has been planning and initiating for the past nineteen years how to bring cultural and traditional heritage projects back to Mljet.

Tamara has worked for many years as a representative of various world cosmetic houses, so it is logical that after numerous projects of revitalizing heritage, making and selling original souvenirs, she came up with the idea of creating a perfume dedicated to the island.

In collaboration with the French perfume manufacturer Aromar Fragonard, she designed "Nymph Calypso" a perfume that blends Mljet into a unique memory and souvenir and will remind visitors of the beauty of Odysseus’s Island.

The heart of the fragrance is the delicate arrangements of the plants of the island along with sage, carnation, green apple, lemon and grapefruit, lavender and musky notes of pine, cedar and patchouli provide a sense of peace and relaxation. The fragrance essence contains jasmine, geranium. With the scent of Nymph Calypso you can always return to the island of Mljet and the powerful nature that makes this Adriatic island so special.

The perfume is available for sale at the Mediteran Art-Gift Shop within the Odysseus Hotel on Mljet Island. Dior has "Portofino" and Dolce & Gabbana "Sicily", and now Mljet has its unique " Nymph Calypso " perfume.

The Croatian restaurant Monte in Istria has officially become the first and only restaurant in the country with a Michelin Star.

At the end of January this year, a Michelin Star was awarded to the restaurant Monte in Rovinj. A few days ago, it became official when Roberto Mancuso, the CEO of METRO, the global partner of the Michelin guide, presented the Michelin Star plaque to Danijel Dekic, the owner and chef of the Monte restaurant - the first Croatian restaurant that deserved one of the most prestigious awards in the world of culinary arts.

In addition to Monte, the so-called Michelin plates were awarded to twelve restaurants in the Istria County (Meneghetti, Batelina, San Rocco, Konoba Morgan, Zigante, Marina, Damir&Ornella, Konoba Cok, Sv.Nikola, Wine Vault, Alla Beccaccia, and Pergola) which were selected for the Michelin Guide 2017.

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''METRO recognized the power and potential of Istrian gastronomy in 2014 when we opened the first wholesale centre in Istria adapted to hotels, restaurants and caterers. We have achieved cooperation with the Michelin Guide in Croatia in order to help Croatian restaurants and caterers find their place on the world's gastronomic map'', stated Roberto Mancuso, the CEO of METRO Cash&Carry Croatia.

More than a third of METRO's customers in Croatia come from the HoReCa sector, including 32 restaurants with Michelin's recommendation. METRO is using experience and knowledge gained in cooperation with the Michelin Guide and the culinary competition Bocuse d'Or in order to make Croatia's tourist and catering offer more recognizable.

With more than a hundred years of experience in restaurant selection, the Michelin Guide recommends more than 20,000 restaurants in 30 countries worldwide. Whether a restaurant is in Europe, Asia or America, Michelin’s inspectors apply the same criteria in evaluating the quality of each restaurant they visit anonymously.

Using the unique process that has been perfected over decades, the Michelin Guide has become an international reference for fine dining, whilst the Michelin Guide plaque represents an official acknowledgement for a restaurant as part of the selection for 2017.

An exhibition of photographs by the Croatian - German artist Iva Batistić was this week in Dubrovnik in the gallery of the Croatian Heritage Foundation of Dubrovnik. The exhibition, entitled Croatian Street photography, features stunning black and white images and was opened by the art historian Andrea Batinić Ivanković.

“It is actually with street art photography that the artist brings many famous street motifs from Dubrovnik, Zadar, Sibenik, Korcula and Zagreb to the public,” commented Batinić Ivanković.

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Iva Batistić is a freelance photographer who lives in Frankfurt/Main, Germany. She is the daughter of Croatian immigrants and was born in Frankfurt in 1979. In 2006 she graduated from the Faculty for Applied Linguistics and Cultural Studies of the Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz.

The Dubrovnik exhibition will remain open until the 9th of September from 9.00am to midday at the gallery in the Old City on Petilovrijenci Street.

Last night an earthquake rumbled through the Pelješac peninsula.

At exactly 3.04am the earthquake was recorded with the epicentre in the sea off the peninsular near the village of Drače.

The magnitude of the earthquake was 3.3 on the Richter scale and it was felt in surroundings residential areas. No material damage has so far been recorded.

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An impressive increase and record figures that have been recorded in arrivals and overnight stays this year only confirm that the tourism industry is the most profitable part of the fragile Croatian economy.

Although private accommodation still dominates the country's tourist offer, hoteliers have achieved great results and made the best out of tourist potentials along the Adriatic coast.

Over the past few years, leading hotel groups have initiated an investment wave that has led to a rise of the accommodation quality and the number of four-star and five-star hotels. Modernization has brought higher service standards and numerous additional attractions that attract tourists that are more demanding.

With the development of tourist services on the Croatian market, first class hotel brands have also appeared on the tourist scene. Currently twelve global and six European brands are branding 46 hotels with 9,500 rooms in the country.

Croatia is characterized by a very high level of consolidation of the hotel market, as it is evidenced by the fact that the 10 largest domestic hotel and tourism companies are managing more than 40 percent of the total hotel rooms.

The lion's share of the market pie goes to the two leading groups – Valamar Riviera and the Luksic Group, which unites three major hotel companies in its portfolio (Plava Laguna, Istraturist Umag, and Adriatic Luxury Hotels).

Here are the Top 10 largest hotel companies in Croatia

1. Valamar Riviera ( 1,559,000 million Kunas in revenue; 2,594 employees)

2. Maistra ( 955 million Kunas in revenue; 1,561 employees)

3. Plava Laguna ( 545 million Kunas in revenue; 942 employees)

4. Istraturist Umag ( 482 million Kunas in revenue; 1,059 employees)

5. Adriatic Luxury Hotels ( 453 million Kunas in revenue; 770 employees)

6. Arena Hospitality Group ( 392 million Kunas in revenue; 652 employees)

7. Solaris ( 354 million Kunas in revenue; 733 employees)

8. Liburnia Riviera Hotels (295 million Kunas in revenue; 602 employees)

9. Grand Hotel Lav ( 280 million Kunas in revenue; 193 employees)

10. Jadranka Hotels ( 264 million Kunas in revenue; 688 employees)

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 the Taj Mahal restaurant in Hotel Lero for some authentic Bosnian cuisine.

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No, it isn’t Indian its Bosnian! The Taj Mahal Restaurant is located in the Hotel Lero, easy to find and plenty of parking, or if you are in the historic Old City there is the first Taj Mahal. I have to admit that I am not an expert on Bosnian cuisine, I thought it started and ended with cevapi! How wrong I was. In fact I would go so far as to say don’t order cevapi, instead ask the waiters for assistance, try something new, you can’t go wrong.

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 The three things that stood out for me were a – the full flavours of the meals b – every meal had a story and a history and c – the passion that the owners and staff have for their food. “I would like to offer you a tasting menu today so that you can taste all the different flavours,” smiled the friendly co-owner. She wasn’t wrong! Every dish had a distinct character.

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 I would certainly recommend the Begova Soup – a thick base broth style soup that was apparently only served in the most wealthy homes centuries ago – truly delicious. And then the peppers filled with cottage cheese. This is a summer favourite as it is light and refreshing. The green peppers are filled with cottage cheese and then left for 40 days. This process gives the peppers that cheesy flavour. Bosnian cuisine takes its roots from the East and the West and a Turkish style rolled cabbage leaves filled with rice, mint, lemon peel and dried white raisins is a real Eastern dish.

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 One true star of the menu is a sweet cevapi. It is hard to describe this dish (my mouth is still watering) it is small pieces of veal prepared with dried figs, dried raisins and granny smith apples, told you it was hard to describe. The flavour is so strong and distinct, the meat melts in your mouth and the sauce has you reaching for the bread (yes, that’s also homemade and Bosnian) to mop it up.

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 And the traditions and flavours don’t stop with desserts. An almond jelly (called Bademli Almasia) is a dessert that was made for a specific occasion (a very specific occasion) when mother’s had just given birth! Yes, we told you that every dish has a story. It isn’t too sweet and is made of milk, gelatine and almonds, again extremely refreshing. Or there is the more classic Baklava, but this time is isn’t overly sweet, in fact I would say just right. They actually use buckwheat flour which probably takes away some of the normal sweetness. All in all the Taj Mahal is more than just a meal it is a gastronomic adventure.

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Contact
Old City – Nikole Gučetića 2
Hotel Lero – Iva Vojnovića 14
Tel - +385 (0)20 323 221
Open from – 10am –12am

PROMO 

One of the stars basketball had a tough time escaping from Game of Thrones in Dubrovnik this week. Ante Tomic, the centre for Barcelona, played the Escape Room in Dubrovnik with his girlfriend. Tomic, who also represents the senior Croatian national basketball team, stands at an impressive 2.18 metres tall (or 7ft 2 in) and is frequently spotted in Dubrovnik on holiday. He played the Escape Room this weekend.

Escape room is a new concept of entertainment where you and your teammates are challenged to solve a series of riddles, hints and mysteries within a set time frame! You are “locked” inside a room, based on the Game of Thrones, which has used Dubrovnik as the location of King’s Landing and have 60 minutes to work with your team to finish the mission and get out. It is a fun, unique and exciting experience to enjoy with your friends, colleagues or family! The game can get challenging but will give you a great sense of achievement and encourage you to work together with your team to finish the mission!

“He was a regular customer and it was until another client started cheering and asking for a photo that I even realised who he was,” commented Bogdan Dascalescu the co-owner of the Dubrovnik Escape room.

August is getting hotter and hotter in Dubrovnik.  According to the State Hydrometeorological Institute, there is a great danger of the heat wave on August 8th and 9th, while even higher risk of heat wave is projected for August 10th and 11th  in Dubrovnik-Neretva County.

Here are some tips to fight the heat wave:
-    Drink regular or mineral water and low calorie beverages without caffeine, alcohol and sugar
-     Avoid staying in the sun for a period of 10am to 5 pm (especially children, pregnant women, elderly people, heart patients and those with chronic illnesses)
-    Shower or bathe in warm water
-     Wear light clothing of natural materials
-    If you have to leave the house,  wear a hat, sunglasses, use sunscreen and always take a bottle of water with you
-    Eat more often small and if possible liquid meals

The Voice of Dubrovnik

THE VOICE OF DUBROVNIK


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