Monday, 06 April 2020

There is no sign of property prices slowing in Dubrovnik, with the city reporting the strongest growth in prices in the whole of Croatia in 2017 meaning that once again Dubrovnik has by far the most expensive real estate in Croatia.

Last year property prices in Croatia rose on average by 4.18 percent, according to a survey carried out on 150,000 houses and apartments by a specialised property website. And Dubrovnik led the way with the average price of a metre squared of property in the city costing 3,362 Euros, a massive rise of 17.4 percent compared to 2016.

In Zagreb, the average asking price for a flat is 1,789 Euros and is around 8 percent higher than in 2016. Whilst in Split property prices are on average 2,550 Euros per metre squared.

It is not only the price that is rising in Dubrovnik, so is the demand. According to a local real estate the interest for the “right” property has never been higher. And when something comes onto the market at the right price it is normally sold within a couple of weeks.

 

Is modern technology making us all stupid? I think the answer is yes. We have lost the skills of human communication, we are losing our memory (how many phone numbers do you know off by heart) and we rely on Google to answer questions. And yet we have a blind faith that technology is making things easier. The answer is the exact opposite. We don't commit data to memory because of the "Google Effect" – we're safe in the knowledge that answers are just a click away, and are happy to treat the web like an extension to our own memory. And it is making us dumb.

We believe too much of what we read online. And yet what is printed in a newspaper is “fake news.” Facts that no longer suit our purpose are now seen as lies and the term “alternative facts” has sprung up. We have become sheep to the viral effect. If it is good for millions of other people, then it must be good for me. We have exchanged our real brain for an online one.
We book our holidays, find our future partners, reserve our flights, interact socially, order our food and pay our bills all in a virtual world. But just how trusted are these online services? One of the most popular has seen itself under fire – TripAdvisor.

You’re looking to book a table at a swank restaurant in Dubrovnik, hoping to find real local cuisine at reasonable prices. Where can you get the inside information to jump the queues and reserve your holiday meal? In these digital days many people would turn to the online review site TripAdvisor for assistance. But just how reliable is TripAdvisor? Can you trust the reviews and real and that you have really found a top ten restaurant in Dubrovnik? There have been many cases over the years of businesses paying for fake reviews, this happens all over the world so why should Dubrovnik be the exception?

There was a case a few years ago when a dubious team of “experts” promised to raise restaurants and travel businesses up the TripAdvisor list. They basically did this by writing fake reviews and posting them onto TripAdvisor sites, if I remember correctly it cost 1,000 Kuna for 10 reviews. To an extent it worked, but they made a few classic mistakes which altered TripAdvisor to the scam. But TripAdvisor is far from perfect. And one recent case in London has proved just how shaky the online review service actually is.

Like I’ve mentioned face reviews are nothing new, but in Dubrovnik they have all been for actual real restaurants. Just how much can you trick TripAdvisor.

One ingenious journalist from London set out to see just how far he could go. The Shed at Dulwich was a fictitious restaurant, literally it didn’t exist, but thanks to some clever marketing and some inside tricks it managed to find itself as the number one restaurant in London on TripAdvisor out of more than 18,000 restaurants. It didn’t have a cook, a waiter, tables, chairs or any food whatsoever, in fact it had never even served a hot meal to any guest, but yet it was rated as the top restaurant in London. Celebrities, food bloggers and the rich and famous were falling over themselves to book a table at London’s hottest new restaurant, an eatery that didn’t exist.

Oobah Butler, a journalist at Vice Video, spent seven months concocting The Shed at Dulwich, and the story is incredible. The Shed was at the end of his garden and with a cunny plan to trick TripAdvisor he managed to find himself in the middle of a media storm. “TripAdvisor is a false reality that everyone takes completely seriously,” commented Butler. When The Shed started to slowly rise up the ranks and the listings his phone was ringing off the hook with potential customers trying everything to get a table at the hottest eatery in the capital. It was all a hoax.

But the more he turned away customers, saying he was fully booked, the more and more they tried to book. “I always believed that the only part of TripAdvisor that was unfakeable was the restaurant itself. But then I thought, well actually maybe it is fakeable,” said Butler. It took lots of work but after seven months he had got the restaurant ranked as the top restaurant in London, and he had never even cooked a boiled egg let alone something that a Michelin cook would prepare. He even filmed the whole scam and when it was published of course it went viral and TripAdvisor more than a little mad. “People don’t trust their senses above what they read online anymore,” concluded Butler. He isn’t wrong!

Just as the celebrations ended and the holy mass completed the sun finally broke through the grey clouds and bathed Dubrovnik in sunshine.

The Day of St. Blaise, the patron saint of Dubrovnik, is the most important date on the city’s calendar and people travelled from all over the county to attend, in spite of the terrible weather in the morning.

Dressed in folk costumes from all regions of the county, Konavle, Župa, the islands and the hinterland, the Stradun was awash with colour and tradition. The 3rd of February is the Day of St. Blaise, the day that Dubrovnik gives thanks to the saint who saved their city, the patron saint of Dubrovnik.

Check out our photo gallery from today

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On the occasion of the Day of St. Blaise, the patron saint of Dubrovnik, and the Day of the City of Dubrovnik, the Mayor of Dubrovnik, Mato Franković, sent a congratulatory message to the city and its citizens.

Dear citizens of Dubrovnik,

In the festive spirit and with pride we celebrate the Day of our City and the Day of our patron saint, Saint Blaise.

Throughout the centuries and as time passes by opportunities change irreversibly, but Saint Blaise always stands firmly with the city and everywhere in Dubrovnik he is honoured as our patron saint.

We are proud of the legacy of our ancestors, this day was first celebrated in 1046, for giving us the Day of St. Blaise and the Day of the City, and we give thanks to the generations before us who built, guarded, defended and loved this city of freedom.

It is our job to preserve, and to develop, according to tradition, what we inherit, and to leave future generations the heritage of the city, which will be an inspiration, just as it is to us today.

On behalf of the City of Dubrovnik and me personally, I congratulate the City of Dubrovnik Day and the Day of St. Blaise.

The patron saint will always look over us all. Let's enjoy it and celebrate with joy.

Long live St. Blaise!

The Croatian national air carrier Croatia Airlines is expanding its destination network for the third year in a row. It is to introduce three new flights to Munich, Copenhagen and Dublin as well as to increase the number of weekly flights on existing routes.

For the first time in the history of the company, Croatia Airlines will launch regular international flights between Zagreb and Dublin on Thursdays and Sundays starting from the 3rd of May to the 28th of October 2018.

The novelty is also the seasonal flight between Dubrovnik and Munich, which will be operated five times a week starting on the 30th of April this year.

Among new routes is also the flight between Split and Copenhagen on Saturdays starting from the 5th of May to the 20th of October 2018.

In addition, the Croatian national air carrier carried a record-breaking number of 2,124,528 passengers in 2017 or 10 percent more in comparison to the previous year. The positive trend of passenger traffic is expected to continue in 2018.

Dubrovnik’s tourism industry has had a solid start to 2018 with 11,936 visitor arrivals recorded in January. The beginning of the year is traditionally slow for the tourism industry but thanks to more winter flights and a successful New Year period the city has set off the year in a positive mood.

The most numerous tourists in January, which saw an increase of 2 percent over January 2017, were from Bosnia and Herzegovina, Croatia, Korea, USA, Germany, Japan, Albania, Australia, Austria and Great Britain.

The clear winners were private accommodation, which in the city saw a 23 percent increase in guest numbers compared to the first month from 2017. From the 1st of January to the 31st of January 24,411 overnight stays were achieved in hotel accommodation.

 

The specialized Food, Wine & Travel (FWT) magazine has made a list of the 11 best travel destinations for 2018 and included the Croatian island of Lošinj.

American bloggers and travel writers chose all the 11 world destinations featuring many wonderful places around the globe.
When it comes to the island of Lošinj, the US travel blogger Cacinda Maloney recommended the island as a must-visit destination for 2018.

Maloney described Lošinj as an island of vitality, which remains in your memory due to the wonderful coast, crystal clear sea and fresh air. She also praised the beauty of the Čikat Bay, a hotel offer and top class spa programs emphasizing that the Condé Nast Johansens Award for Excellence in the category Best Destination Spa was awarded to the Bellevue Hotel last year. Maloney was also thrilled with the unique Apoksiomen Museum, a local gastronomic offer as well as with the neighbouring islands of Ilovik and Cres.

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‘’Losinj Island in Croatia is, after all, known as the Island of Vitality where wealthy Europeans came to get away from the hard, cold winters for centuries. They came to this tiny island to cleanse their bodies and minds. Literally, before medical tourism was even a thing. It is said the island has special health benefits because of the fresh air mixed with sea salt and pine trees. But not only that, it is a gorgeous seaside village of fewer than 10,000 inhabitants with a simple way of life. You will absolutely be delighted to spend some time here along the coast of the crystal clear waters of the Mediterranean Sea’’, wrote Maloney for the FWT magazine.

According to FWT magazine travel experts, the best travel destinations for 2018 are:

1. Tokyo, Japan

2. Lošinj Island, Croatia

3. Abruzzo, Italy

4. Fredericton, New Brunswick, Canada

5. Bordeaux, France

6. Capri, Italy

7. Sri Lanka

8. Lake Constance, Germany

9. Budapest

10. Jordan

11. Solomon Islands

 

The programme of the 69 Dubrovnik Summer Festival, which traditionally takes place from 10 July to 25 August in around twenty site specific venues of Dubrovnik, has been presented to the public by Dora Ruždjak Podolski, Artistic Director, her assistants Saša Božić, Theatre Programme Director, Tomislav Fačini, Music Programme Director, and Karolina Rugle, Innovative Cultural Practices Director, and Ivana Medo Bogdanović, Executive Director, on Friday, 2 February, at the Festival Palace, within the Festival of St Blaise and the City of Dubrovnik Day. Mato Franković, Mayor of Dubrovnik, and Žaklina Marević, Deputy Prefect of the Dubrovnik-Neretva County expressed their support for the programme.

The Festival’s own productions continue to be a staple of the theatre programme, thus confirming the national, cultural and historic identity which the Dubrovnik Summer Festival has built during its long time existence, applying the specific Festival drama ensemble model. We also aim at intensifying the co-production model practice so that the Dubrovnik Summer Festival productions could also be shown during the theatre season before wider national and regional audiences. Premiere plays include Miroslav Krleža's Michelangelo Buonarroti, a coproduction with the Ivan von Zajc Croatian National Theatre of Rijeka, directed by Sebastijan Horvat on the Island of Lokrum. Appearing in the title role, Rakan Rushaidat will open the eternal but always actual question of the relation between art and money, and thus the question of art, money and politics, which is perhaps more important than ever nowadays. Well known to the Festival audiences for his direction of the hit play Kate Kapuralica, Dario Harjaček will stage a selection of prose works by Ranko Marinković entitled Under the Balconies. The main theme of his stories is the Mediterranean and its bitter-sweet mixtures, irony that turns into cynicism and people swept away by political storms and south wind. Nicknamed Voltaire of Vis for his intimate and family connections with Dubrovnik, Marinković was obsessed by boundaries of the closed world. Like Dubrovnik, the Mediterranean is indeed reduced to boundaries and rituals. The play will be staged in the University Campus Park. In collaboration with the Zagreb Academy of Dramatic Arts, the premiere of the play Countdown – at a Wedding with Držić and Nalješković, directed by Lee Anastazija Fleger, Marina Pejnović and Hrvoje Korbar and performed by students of the Zagreb Academy of Dramatic Arts' Acting Department, will take place in several locations in the City. This project redefines the idea of site specific theatre, which has existed in Dubrovnik from the 14th century right up until today's Festival, including fragments from the works of Marin Držić and Nikola Nalješković which focus on wedding plays. Exploring characteristics of wedding plays and customs in both Renaissance and present-day Dubrovnik, the project will also involve the residents of Dubrovnik. The Dubrovnik premiere of the play Correcting Rhythm, directed by Goran Sergej Pristaš, is a co-production between the BADco., the Croatian National Theatre of Zagreb and the Dubrovnik Summer Festival, which premiered at the CNTZ Sound Studio in November 2017. Forty years following Pavao Pavličić's story The Good Spirit of Zagreb, Goran Ferčec's text revives the theme of the obsession with the rhythm of city life and the role which crime plays there. The audience will surely welcome repeat performances of last year's hit play by Hrvoje Ivanković, Marin Držić – Victory over the Enemies, directed by Ivica Boban and performed by the Festival Drama Ensemble.

The 69th Dubrovnik Summer Festival Theatre Programme also features international guest performances and Croatia's finest most recent productions. Last year's multiple winner of the Croatian Theatre Award, the Zagreb Youth Theatre production of Kristijan Novak's play Dark Mother Earth, dramatized by Tomislav Zajec and directed by Dora Ruždjak Podolski, will be shown in July on the Island of Lokrum, while Mate Matišić play Wax People, directed by Janusz Kica, will be shown late in August in Gradac Park. One of major Russian theatres, the Voronezh Chamber Theatre, will perform Anton Chekhov's play Uncle Vanya, directed by Mikhail Bychkov, winner of the Stanislavski Award. This will be the first Russian guest performance at the Dubrovnik Summer Festival.

“Our mission includes the mobility and communicativeness of ideas, the attracting of new audiences, the promotion of young generations of artists, the networking of Croatian and European artists, and the exploring of new site specific quality accentuating the affirmation of interdisciplinary and educational programmes. I fully believe in teamwork, my three assistants - Saša Božić, Tomislav Fačini and Karolina Rugle - and this public cultural institution. Sharing the same festival vision, we move towards the same goal, promoting Croatia's highest artistic values, insisting on international recognisability, and being competitive within modern trends. However, not at the expense of the exclusive programme which has been created in Dubrovnik for 69 years.” - explained Dora Ruždjak Podolski, elaborating on the programme created in the first year of her mandate.

Ballet art lovers will have the opportunity to enjoy one of last year's most intriguing projects, Death and the Dervish, produced by the Ballet of the Croatian National Theatre of Split, choreographed by Igor Kirov after libretto by Saša Dimoski based on motifs of Meša Selimović's work of the same name, while the music was composed by Goran Bojčevski. Other dance programme highlights include a piece for four dancers A Love Supreme, based on and named after the famous John Coltrane jazz album. The piece is choreographed by Anne Teresa De Keersmaeker and Salva Sanchis, and produced by the renowned  and De Munt/La Monnaie Royal Opera House of Brussels.

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Rosas dance ensemble

The Bitef Theatre will present the ballet show Macbeth, choreographed by Miloš Isailović and performed by the Bitef Dance Company. The ballet, based on William Shakespeare's play of the same name, conjures up the modern day dark world of conspiracy, crime, psychological deviations, power-lovers and passion. In the interdisciplinary play Title, the Berlin-based choreographer and performer Clément Layes explores the complex interconnectedness between things and meanings we build around them with his special sense of humour, and establishes „war and peace“ between things and thoughts, feeling free to disclose the noise of things and the spectacular silence of objects.

The carefully and originally conceptualised music projects are the backbone of the music programme, as the initial impulse for the development of innovation following the Dubrovnik Summer Festival tradition, thus retaining the Festival’s poetic quality but also restoring its prominence. This has always made the Festival a world famous and attractive venue for both presenting and attending events, in addition to its proficient approach and presentation of top quality music projects featuring a variety of ensembles, style periods, genres and poetics which share enviable artistic value. The music programme will open with the appearance of one of the world's greatest cellists Mischa Maisky and the Zagreb Philharmonic conducted by Pier Carlo Orizio, in front of St Blaise's Church, and close with the Croatian Radio and Television Symphony Orchestra.

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Mischa Maisky

The Dubrovnik Symphony Orchestra will perform Mozart's Grand Mass in C minor featuring the Oratory Choir of St Mark's Church conducted by Maxim Emelyanychev and soloists Leon Košavić, Ivana Lazar, Marija Kuhar Šoša and Krešimir Špicer. This orchestra will also perform at the Rector's Palace Atrium under the baton of Tibor Bogányi and with violinist Marin Maras. The Schumann Quartet is considered to be one of the finest chamber ensembles in the world. Currently a residential ensemble of the Chamber Music Society at New York’s Lincoln Centre, the quartet will appear at the Rectors Palace. This venue will also play host to the Ensemble 1700 and one of the most renowned present-day countertenors Andreas Scholl. The artists who will appear in recitals include cellist Yuya Okamoto, an Eugène Ysaÿe Award winner in last year's international Queen Elisabeth Competition, and Ivan Krpan who became one of Croatia's most successful pianists ever having won First Prize in last year's International Ferruccio Busoni Competition in Bolzano. Other music programme highlights include a piano recital by , who recently appeared in a sold out seven-concert series at Carnegie Hall. Worth mentioning among Trifonov's numerous awards are First Prize in the Arthur Rubinstein International Competition in Tel Aviv, Grand Prix in the Tchaikovsky International Competition in Moscow, and Grammy Award in Best Classical Instrumental Solo Performance Category.

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Daniil Trifonov

Another attractive programme, entitled Guitarissimo, will be shown at the Rector's Palace Atrium featuring eight distinguished guitarists who will perform together only for this special occasion: Zoran Dukić, Petrit Çeku, Morana Pešutić, Tomislav Vukšić, Tvrtko Sarić, Krešimir Bedek, Pedro Ribeiro Rodrigues and Maroje Brčić. The French accordion player Vincent Peirani and saxophonist Emile Parisien will perform a programme covering several genres based on improvisation. The winners of prestigious jazz awards in France, including ECHO Jazz in Best International Ensemble Category in 2015, the musicians will appear at Palace Hotel’s Vala Beach Club. The concert is collaboration between the Dubrovnik Summer Festival and the Jadranski Luksuzni Hoteli Co.

The 69th Dubrovnik Summer Festival programme will present Croatia’s rich folk dance and song heritage through the shows of Lado and Linđo folklore ensembles, which will be held at the Revelin Fort Terrace. The Film Programme will consist of Croatian award-winning films and a selection of international films shown at the Pula Film Festival. The Sponza Palace Atrium will play host to an exhibition of works by Pino Trostmann, and a group exhibition of works by Dubrovnik modern artists. The project City Keys – Audience Development Programme, will feature the symposium Mythologization of Works by Michelangelo in Dubrovnik, while the exhibition Ranko in Dubrovnik and other programmes will promote the participation of Dubrovnik residents in the Festival programme.

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„The presentation of the official Festival programme and the beginning of tickets sale almost six months before the Festival beginning is a success, which will hopefully become the rule rather than the exception. In addition to the timely completion of the programme, I would like to congratulate the entire team for its work related to European funds. During the last two months, we managed to apply for two projects within the Creative Europe Programme, and are planning to apply for another two by the end of the year. Regarding the budget of the 69th Dubrovnik Summer Festival, it will be 12,5 million kunas, which is similar to our last year's budget. We are planning to obtain 60% of the funds from public sources – Ministry of Culture, the City of Dubrovnik, the Dubrovnik-Neretva County and tourist boards – while almost 40% of the budget will consist of our own income, sponsorships and donations from our faithful partners.“ – explained Ivana Medo Bogdanović, adding that the Festival expects a stable financial year.

 

 

The Mayor of the City of Dubrovnik, Mato Franković, received an inaugural visit from the Ambassador of the Kingdom of Denmark to the Republic of Croatia, Christian Thorning, and the honorary Danish Consul in Dubrovnik, Vlaho Đurković, yesterday.

Franković welcomed the Danish ambassador to the city for the first time and introduced him with the tradition of the Day of St. Blaise, presenting Dubrovnik's tourist and cultural offer and the efforts of city administration to create the city as a leading destination of sustainable tourism in this part of the Mediterranean.

Ambassador Thorning expressed special interest in the implementation of the “Smart City” solution in Dubrovnik and on opportunities for cooperation in the field of application of technology solutions in city management.

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Dubrovnik is present at one of the most important travel shows in London, the 24th Holiday and Travel Show, with the Dubrovnik – Neretva County Tourist Board attending. Traditionally one of the largest and most well attended shows in the travel industry the British market is by far the most important for the Dubrovnik region.

For the past few years British tourists have been the most numerous in the region, with almost 280,000 Brits holidaying in Dubrovnik in 2017. This is the eighth time that the tourist board has been present at this show, which attracts both tourism professionals and members of the public, and the feedback from the stand is very positive. British tourist achieved 1.4 million overnight stays in Dubrovnik in 2017, which was an increase of 23 percent over 2016. The Holiday and Travel Show finished on the 4th of February.

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The Voice of Dubrovnik

THE VOICE OF DUBROVNIK


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