Monday, 17 June 2019

Dubrovnik is basking in warm sunshine today as temperatures reached 18 degrees. A warm front is currently hanging over Dubrovnik are set to remain sunny and calm for at least the next seven days.

Up until the end of this weekend the temperatures will stay constant at around 18 degrees. Today the city was a mixture of heavy coats and shorts as the bright sunshine keep people guessing on the right wardrobe.

Check out our gallery from today in the Old City

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On the second day of his official visit to Russia, the Croatian Minister of Tourism Gari Cappelli participated in a meeting of the Association of Croatian Travel Agencies (UHPA) and Russian Travel Agencies (ATOR), where he also met with Alla Manilova, the deputy Minister of Culture in Russia, in charge of tourism.

During the meeting, Cappelli presented the status of tourism in Croatia in 2017, with an emphasis on health tourism and investments in the tourism sector as a significant contribution to the further strengthening of Croatia's tourist offer and services in the country.

On this occasion, Maja Lomidze, the director of ATOR also participated in the meeting as well as representatives of TUI Russia, Coral, Paks, and Russian Express who presented booking figures and interest in Croatia for 2017 to the Croatian Minister Gari Cappelli.
Most tour operators have recorded an increase of early bookings by 20 to 35 percent for Croatia this year, and praised the excellent cooperation with the Croatian Tourist Board (HTZ) in Moscow. They also pointed out that one of the competitive advantages of Croatia is that it is perceived as a safe destination.

Furthermore, the Tourism Minister Cappelli informed the representatives of the tour operators about new investments in the Croatian tourism industry, emphasizing the development of year-round tourism and stronger support to tour operators who bring tourists in the off-season period.

According to data, Russian tourists achieved 119,700 arrivals (+7%) and 879,100 overnight stays in 2016, most of which were realized in hotels and household facilities. The most visited Croatia’s counties by Russians were the Istria County (328,700), the Split-Dalmatia County (192,000) and the Primorje-Gorje County (102,000), whilst the most popular cities were Porec, Umag, Dubrovnik, Rovinj and Opatija.

Dubrovnik has been awarded as the best cruise destination in Europe for 2016. At the SEATRADE Cruise Global fair in the US the city was awarded by the British Cruise Insight magazine as the best destination for 2016. According to the website, where cruise ship passengers left their impressions and rankings for each destination last year Dubrovnik was chosen as the leading port.

The SEATRADE fair is one of largest such exhibitions in the world and was held from the 13th to the 16th of March in Fort Lauderdale. Dubrovnik tourism industry was represented by the director of the Dubrovnik Tourist Board, Roman Vlasic, who also collected the award.

During 2017 in Dubrovnik 577 cruise ships are expected to arrive in Dubrovnik with around 760,000 passengers. These figures are a slight decrease on last year, around 9 percent fewer cruise ship passengers are expected this year compared to 2016.

 dubrovnik cruise award

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

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Croatia is a country truly blessed with natural assets from its pristine coastline to crystal clear lakes. The tourists rave and the travel writers gush about the physical attributes which set this country apart and underpin its very economic survival.

Most people in the world are aware of the clear waters of the Pacific Ocean but they are like minestrone soup compared to the Champaign sweet waters of the Dalmatian coast. The inland lakes, too, are amongst the most beautiful in the world. Standing by the shores of the Plitvice Lakes and looking one hundred metres out and being able to see the submerged part of a dead tree is an experience which could only be described as surreal.

It is this environment that the visitors come to see and their input is the lifeblood of this country - they drive employment for all, particularly the youth. They help keep families together by ensuring young people can find employment close to home. They enable many families to generate income from their properties in areas where no other reliable source of income exists. And the good news is that the number of tourists is rising annually. The bad news is that they may stop coming. It seems inconceivable that all this could change and the tourists go somewhere else. Well humans are just brilliant at taking things for granted.

Years ago, Australia too was unbelievably pristine and my city's harbour had dolphins, penguins and occasionally whales. But years of selfishness and neglect lead to that much rubbish being left in public places which ultimately ended up in the sea, that the government was forced to mount nationwide television campaigns and community groups were formed to clean the country up. Slowly but surely people, and predominantly the young people of the country got the message and much of the unnecessary rubbish pollution stopped.



Walking and swimming around Dubrovnik I see a lot of places which are out of sight to the tourists and it is here that the seeds of disaster are being sewn as many locals will happily leave household and building rubbish in public places. The worst offenders of all are the smokers who are busily killing themselves and happy to throw their butts on the street - where on earth do they think they will end up ? - In the sea of course.

On the subject of just how short sighted smokers are I am reminded by the recent death of Vesna Volovic at 66 years of age which was due to a smoking related illness. She rose to international fame when, as a hostess on the then Yugoslav airline in 1972 she survived a 10,000 metre fall from the sky when the plane blew up mid flight. On waking from a coma her first words were “have you got a cigarette?” So, having survived the impossible she went right on killing herself.

The supermarkets continue to feed everybody's plastic bag habit and their final resting places is one of the biggest polluters. It is unbelievable for me to see young people, the very group who has the country’s future in their hands, on their lunch break from school walk away and leave piles of plastic bags and wrappers. The “orange men” who walk the streets of Dubrovnik sweeping them up can't keep the problem under control.

There are lessons about rubbish pollution to be learnt from other parts of the world. Take the Pacific Ocean. It is inconceivable that such a giant body of water could be strangled by pollution but yet it is happening. The Great Pacific Garbage Patch is an area much larger than the Mediterranean where the sea is choked by floating plastic. Right on our doorstep we have a problem which sends us a reminder card every summer when the currents change. On a couple of days large volumes of floating plastic rubbish descends on Dubrovnik from Albania. At my local, Dance beach, it is so bad you can’t swim through it and it takes the guys days with fishing rods and hooks to clean it all up.

So if that's the future do we really want to go there? People who ruin their own environment would have to be called Dodos, after the birds that as we know are now extinct. Not for the reasons all the scientist will tell you, that they were too stupid to get out of human's way but because they were sick all of the time. Yes they were stupid and lazy but the Wizard knows that the scientist have missed one important point and the real story is that they kept rubbishing their nests and they eventually all got sick and couldn't get away from hunters if their tried. It's all about attitude really. We all have to make an effort to stop being lazy or complacent.

If smokers weren't so lazy and walked their butt to a rubbish bin or if everybody disapproved of throwing butts on the street things would change. If the builder knew that someone would take his number plate and report his dumping and that there was going to be some action taken to fine him things would change. At the end of the day it’s up to us all to save the tourism industry.

This is a very beautiful country let’s keep it that way before it's too late.

The Wizard of Oz 

According to a Zagreb International Airport (MZLZ) press release, the first test landing at new Franjo Tudman Airport in Zagreb was successfully conducted on the 14th of March with passengers on the flight from Vienna to Zagreb.

"All procedures for the test reception and dispatch of passengers and their luggage at the new terminal were carried out successfully," MZLZ reported, adding that the construction of the airport is in a final phase.

The airport management's website has also announced that the official opening of the airport will be held on the 21st of March when the first flight (to Dubrovnik) will take off from Franjo Tudman Airport. Seven days later, on the 28th of March, the new airport will be fully open to traffic.

Valued at more than 300 million Euros the Zagreb Airport's new terminal building stretches over 65,000 square metres and three levels, featuring three baggage carousels, eight air bridges (six for international flights and two for domestic services), nine security checkpoints, 23 passport control booths and a car park with the capacity of more than 1000 vehicles.

The island of Lokrum is open for another season! The closest island to Dubrovnik and the city’s green oasis will start with the regular ferry service on Saturday the 25th of March. The first ferry for this year will leave at 10.00am from the Old City harbour and will depart every hour, on the hour, until 3.00pm, with the last boat returning from the island at 4.00pm.

An adult return ticket, which includes entrance into the Nature Reserve, is 120 Kuna. From this year tickets can be purchased in the Luza building, next to the Gradksa Kavana cafe bar, and the ticket office will be open from 9.00am to 1.00pm on weekdays and 9.00am to midday on Saturdays. This first spring timetable will be in force until the summer season when the boats run more often and over a longer period.

lokrum ferry

Lokrum boats back in action for 2017 

Construction work on one of the most popular beaches in Dubrovnik is in full swing in preparation for the upcoming summer season. The beach on the Bay of Lapad is a magnet for thousands of tourists and is surrounded by many hotels.

Works have been going on for several weeks as after the company “Dubrovnik Sunsets” won the beach concession. When completed the beach area will include restaurants, cafes, shops and terraced sunbathing spots.

Check out the photo gallery of the beach today

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lapad beach, dubrovnik, croatia

The Dubrovnik Strings Chamber Orchestra will have a rather special concert this Friday the 17th of March when they will be joined by the Marko Genero. Born and raised in Dubrovnik Genero graduated viola at the Zagreb Music Academy and became the youngest assistant professor at the academy.

He continued his career with the Zagreb Soloists where he performed all over the world. In 2001 he obtained a master’s degree in Essen and has won numerous international competitions. Genero, from 1999, has been the solo violist of the Symphony Orchestra in Bochum.

The concert program for this Friday includes J.S. Bach Brandenburg Concerto No. 3 in G major, Bach Concerto for Viola and Strings, Vivaldi Concerto Grosso in G minor and Britten Lachrymae for Viola and Strings.

Tickets are available at the office of the orchestra from Monday to Friday from 9.00am to 2.00pm. For further information visit the website of the Dubrovnik Symphony Orchestra. The concert starts at 8.00pm in the Dubrovnik Cathedral. 

marko genero poster

According to a reputable daily newspaper The Globe and Mail from Toronto, Canada deports thousands of people annually, however, data from the Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA) do not reveal details of why some individuals are deported back to their homeland. The story of those thousands of unwelcome people contrasts with international perceptions of Canada's warm embrace of foreigners.

In most cases, the reason for deportation is ‘’non-compliance’’ with the basic entry requirements, whilst only 10 percent were returned to their home countries due to their criminal activities, which is the second most common justification.

The data from CBSA on Citizenship of removed persons in the period from 2012 to 2016 show that the most deported nation from Canada were Hungarians (6,942), followed by Mexicans (6,937) and the US citizens (5,666).

After Americans, the most unwanted nations were Chinese, Colombians, Indians, French, North Koreans and Croats who placed as the 9th on the CBSA’s TOP 10 list. According to the CBSA data, almost 1,282 Croatian citizens were deported from Canada in the period from 2012 to 2016.

Furthermore, the results of CBSA Unwelcome Index for the period from 2011 to 2015 show that citizens of Hungary were the most unwelcomed in Canada. ‘’ Most Hungarians removed during this period were Roma’’, explained Sean Rehaag, an associate professor at Osgoode Hall Law School in Toronto who specializes in immigration law.

Hungary was followed by Slovakia, Croatia and the Czech Republic, which the Canadian daily newspaper emphasizes as the countries with a significant Roma population. "There was a lot of discrimination and rights abuses affecting Roma in those countries during this period’’, said Janet Dench, executive director of the Canadian Council for Refugees.

The Voice of Dubrovnik


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