Sunday, 21 July 2024

Dubrovnik has secured a spot among the ten most popular summer destinations for family trips in 2024, according to Booking.com, one of the world's leading booking platforms. The list is led by Durres in Albania and the Moroccan cities of Tangier and Marrakesh, as announced by the platform today.

The ranking was determined based on a survey conducted by Booking.com in July 2023, which analyzed family summer vacation trends. The survey involved nearly 28,000 adults from 33 countries, including about 500 respondents from Croatia, who plan to travel for business or leisure in the next 12 to 24 months.

Dubrovnik placed eighth on the list of top family summer destinations for 2024. The top three spots were claimed by the aforementioned Albanian and Moroccan cities, followed by Destin in Florida, Seville and Palma de Mallorca in Spain, and Tokyo in Japan. Madrid in Spain and Bangkok in Thailand followed Dubrovnik in the rankings.

Additionally, Booking.com reported an 8 percent increase in searches for family accommodations for the 2024 summer travel season compared to 2023. There was also a significant 21 percent rise in global flight searches, indicating a robust interest in family travel this summer.

In the first half of this year, 38,794 new passenger vehicles were sold in Croatia, which is 14.7 percent more than in the same period in 2023 when 33,799 were sold. In June alone, 8,225 new cars were sold, or 14 percent more, according to Promocija plus data.

From January to the end of June, Škoda sold the most new vehicles, totaling 5,444, which is 14 percent of the total sales. Volkswagen follows with 4,324 new vehicles sold and a market share of 11.1 percent, and Renault is third with 3,076 vehicles sold, holding a 7.9 percent market share.

Almost 200 Teslas sold in June

Car Sales Boom in Croatia 38794 New Vehicles Sold in First Half of 2024 Škoda Leads the Charge 1

Opel is fourth with 2,789 new vehicles sold and a 7.1 percent share, while Toyota is fifth with 2,498 vehicles, representing a 6.4 percent share.

Škoda Octavia is the absolute bestseller in June with 704 units sold. Furthermore, 600 Opel Corsas were sold in June, and the VW T-Cross also sold well, with 357 units sold. The fourth place is held by Renault Clio with 243 vehicles sold.

In June, a very solid 196 Teslas were also sold, and among relatively new brands on our market, 56 Geelys, 20 Forthings, and 115 MGs were sold.

Electric cars no longer in last place

Interestingly, the sale of fully electric cars is no longer in last place. In the first six months, 848 electric vehicles were sold, which is a modest 2.2 percent share of the total sales, but still ahead of LPG vehicles (748 sold and a 1.9 percent share).

However, petrol cars are still the most in demand, with almost 50 percent sold, specifically 49.9 percent, or 19,348 units. Hybrids were chosen by 10,607 buyers, or 27.3 percent, while 7,243 diesel cars were sold, representing 18.7 percent.

Within the last five years, we've seen dramatic shifts in what is considered a normal work routine. Traditional nine-to-five work in an office setting dropped off significantly, and remote work was suddenly pushed to the forefront. It quickly gained popularity with workers for a host of reasons, and here are a few industry areas where it really took off.

Customer Service

Specialist customer service is employed by every company bigger than a startup. The support ranges from general retail queries for online shops, to specific details on payments, software, and site navigation in places like casino sites. Any major online casino will be packed with a wide range of different types of games, whether that's slots, table games or unique titles, as well as offers and unique features. Large numbers of customer questions on how everything works are entirely expected and thanks to this, this particular industry a huge customer service recruiter with VIP service agents adding a level on top of that.

Letter To The Editor That Dubrovnik Tunnel That Allegedly Doesnt Exist 3

Source: Unsplash

Considering that much of the industry was already working remotely, in the sense that customer service centers were often located elsewhere from the businesses they catered to, this shift was straightforward. It is now quite common to have agents working from home in customer service, and it remains one of the most remote-first careers out there.

Software Development

This is another wide-ranging category, as it actually contains a near-endless amount of specialities, from mobile app development all the way through to AI engineering. It's also one of the most in-demand skills in the world, with millions of developers active at any one time, including those both in full-time employment and individual start-ups. The number is rapidly growing as well, as it's one of the few areas where self-trained workers can be as successful as traditionally qualified ones.

While these could be solo operators or working in teams, the most interesting thing is that much of this work was done remotely even when remote work was less popular. It was an area of work where in-person meetings and coordination were always less common, and thanks to a raft of project management software on the lines of Jira, companies can now operate just as well as they would face-to-face.

Human Resources

Of all the job types out there, human resources initially feels like one that would suffer from being conducted remotely. It's a role that inherently requires connections between humans, and that has always been something best done in person. However, as the amount of remote and cross-border employees has increased, having HR agents locally available is nearly impossible.

Letter To The Editor That Dubrovnik Tunnel That Allegedly Doesnt Exist 4

Source: Unsplash

This is why specialists trained to do their work remotely are becoming more and more in demand as time goes on. Conducting things like interviews or catch-up meetings via Skype or Zoom has become the new normal in many cases, and new software packages have been released specifically to address this. With remote work set to only grow in popularity, this may even become more standard than traditional methods.

As of 2024, there are certainly some large companies that have forced the shift back to office-based work. However, these changes have not gone down well, and we're expecting to see remote work, and all the roles above, gradually become the only option.

Residential property prices in Croatia increased by an average of 1.7 percent in the first quarter of this year compared to the previous quarter, while on an annual basis, prices rose by 9.1 percent, according to data from the Croatian Bureau of Statistics (DZS).

New residential buildings in the first quarter of 2024 increased in price by an average of 3.3 percent compared to the last quarter of the previous year. Compared to the first quarter of 2023, prices of new constructions rose by 6.2 percent, according to the DZS report published on Thursday.

In the first quarter of 2024, compared to the last quarter of the previous year, residential property prices in the City of Zagreb increased by an average of 1.8 percent, by 1.4 percent on the Adriatic, and by 2.2 percent in other areas.

Annually, residential property prices in Zagreb increased by an average of 8.8 percent. On the Adriatic, the growth was 8.9 percent, and in other areas, it was 10.8 percent, according to statistical data.

Every summer, when I take bus #10 (from Cavtat) towards Dubrovnik, I get off at Ilijina Glavica. If you're traveling between 9:00 AM and 4:00 PM, about twenty to thirty tourists get off the bus when the driver announces "Old City." And when they get off, they start looking around and have no idea where to go. The locals who got off the bus immediately cross the road - right there at the bus stop. And the tourists follow them. Like ducklings after their mother.

Me? I go down to the tunnel and cross safely. So one day, when I got off the bus, I looked around carefully to see if there were any signs directing tourists to this safe option. There aren't any! There is one sign at the stop that says the stairs are 200 meters from the stop. It doesn't say where the stairs lead - just that they exist.

One day as I was approaching the tunnel, two older English ladies were standing 10 meters from the tunnel entrance, looking to cross the road. It's a three-way intersection! For those who remember the old game 'Froggy,' where you control a frog to avoid cars and cross the road, that's the first image that came to my mind. I approached the ladies and asked if they were going to the Old City. They said they were, so I told them to follow me to cross the road safely. Naturally, they were grateful.

I can't understand why the city can't put a sign at the bus stop for tourists to go down to the tunnel. And a sign at the tunnel entrance indicating it's the SAFEST route to the Old City. It sounds simple. If only 20 people per bus go to the city from 9:00 AM to 4:00 PM daily (that's 15 buses as they run every half hour), we're talking about 300 people crossing a very busy road and putting their lives at risk. In reality, it's probably double or triple that number every day! I decided to find out why this situation exists at all. My wife has a lot of contacts in the city, so I asked her to put me in touch with someone who could help with my “smart” idea to put signs at the bus stop and the tunnel entrance. Within just a few minutes, I got a response. I had to read it twice to believe what I had read…

Letter To The Editor That Dubrovnik Tunnel That Allegedly Doesnt Exist 1

Part of the response (and I'm not naming anyone because these are good people just trying to do their job) was as follows: "That passage never received an occupancy permit because the former mayor had it built without a building permit. I don't know if there are any legal consequences if the city puts up a sign directing pedestrians to use an underpass that hasn't received an occupancy permit."

Further: "The problem is that the papers cannot be obtained retroactively. Everything would have to be demolished, returned to its original state, and then start obtaining the necessary permits. It's a totally crazy situation. The city tried to solve the problem, but without success. I think that's why the city hasn't put up signs because it would then take responsibility for directing pedestrians to a tunnel that doesn't have the necessary papers and thus risk lawsuits. Anyway, the situation can't stay like this, but what to do is a question for lawyers and everyone else who needs to find a way out of the situation."

So, at least it's acknowledged that it's a "crazy situation." If this isn't "Croatia" in one story, I don't know what is. OK, I understand the logic of this, but we're a global city! I'm sometimes tired of the excessive catering to tourists. But this is a city, this is the life we live. Damn it, our lives depend on tourists whether we like it or not. Just imagine this: if you're a tourist, coming from Župa, Cavtat, Konavle, and visiting the Old City, you get off the bus and have no idea which direction to go to reach the Old City. And all you see are locals playing 'Froggy,' and based on the fact that there are no signs around, it seems like that's the only option!

And for my own peace of mind, as someone who uses the tunnel, is it safe?? Will it collapse on my head one day? It's either safe or it's not. If it's safe - and I'd bet some qualified engineers could determine that over a weekend - let someone put up a sign before some tourist gets killed crossing the road. If it's not, close it. It sounds like it's more a tug-of-war between the current and former administration than using some logic. Get over it, people. We're a global city - let's act like it for once!

Edi Perović
Župa dubrovačka

Croatian tourism is entering the main summer part of the tourist year with positive trends and traffic results. According to eVisitor system data, over 7.2 million arrivals and 28.1 million overnight stays were recorded in Croatia from January to the end of June, representing a 6 percent increase in arrivals and a 2 percent increase in overnight stays compared to the same period last year. Of this, 25.8 million overnight stays were recorded on the Adriatic, which is 2 percent more than last year, over 1.1 million overnight stays were recorded inland, representing a 7 percent increase, while in the city of Zagreb, 1.2 million overnight stays were recorded in the first six months, which is an 8 percent increase compared to the same period last year.

Croatian Tourism Soars Over 28 Million Overnight Stays in First Half of 2024 1

"The positive results achieved in the first part of the year are another confirmation that Croatia is profiling itself as a year-round tourist destination, offering guests more and more content outside the summer months. Excellent physical indicators are also accompanied by financial ones, as we had 24.61 percent higher revenues from foreign tourists in the first quarter compared to the record last year, and in the first six months, we had 6.5 percent more fiscalized invoices. With the new investment cycle, for which the Government has secured record funds from European funds and the state budget, we will further raise the quality of our offer and believe that in the coming years, Croatia will achieve even better results in this period, both in pre and post-season, thus fully realizing our strategic goal of developing tourism throughout the year and in all parts of Croatia. I thank the entire tourism sector for what has been achieved so far. The most intense months of the year are now ahead of us, and I believe we will continue this positive trend," said Tonči Glavina, Minister of Tourism and Sports.

When we segment Croatia's tourist results by counties, the most overnight stays in the first half of the year were recorded in Istria (8.4 million overnight stays), Split-Dalmatia County (5 million overnight stays), and the Kvarner region (4.4 million overnight stays), and by destinations in Dubrovnik, Rovinj, Zagreb, Split, Poreč, Umag, and Zadar.

"In sports terms, the Croatian tourism sector has done an excellent first half and is entering the continuation of the tourist year with great optimism. Very intense summer months are ahead of us, and currently, over 700,000 tourists are staying in our country daily. Soon, that number will exceed one million guests per day, earlier than ever before, which also confirms a very high occupancy rate of accommodation capacities. On this occasion, I call on all tourism workers to continue their dedicated and quality work because only in this way will we leave a positive impression on our guests, which is especially important knowing that only a satisfied guest returns to the destination," said Kristjan Staničić, Director of the Croatian National Tourist Board.

Looking at the markets, during the first six months, the most overnight stays were made by guests from Germany (5.7 million overnight stays), followed by domestic guests (3.7 million overnight stays), then Slovenia (2.7 million overnight stays), Austria (2.6 million overnight stays), Poland (1.8 million overnight stays), and the UK (1.3 million overnight stays). When observing overnight stays by types of accommodation facilities, most were recorded in hotels (9.2 million overnight stays), household facilities (over 8 million overnight stays), and camps (5.5 million overnight stays).

The big hearts of the City of Dubrovnik are joining forces in the charity event "For the Ultrasound of Life," aimed at raising funds to purchase a modern gynecological ultrasound machine for the Dubrovnik Health Centre. Organized by the association "God, Justice, Honesty," a special fashion show will be held on the terrace of the Dubrovnik Art Gallery on Saturday, July 6, at 9 PM.

"After previous charity events, we recognized that the Dubrovnik Health Centre urgently needs a modern gynecological ultrasound machine, like those available in private clinics!" says Ana Obradović Skračić. "We came up with the idea to organize a social event involving our fellow citizens. A few months ago, we developed this idea and invited businesses as well as private individuals to join the campaign with their donations!"

Foto Galerija

25 women from the social life of Dubrovnik and Croatia supported the idea and responded to the call to model for four Dubrovnik designers. Dresses for the show were provided by Lella Design, Tena Filičić, FILIA - Anamarija Filipović-Srhoj, and Sonja KOSOVIC.

The organizers hope that this event will become a tradition with the aim that every woman has access to quality healthcare. All citizens can join this campaign by making a donation to the following account:

Association "God, Justice, Honesty"

U Pilama 5, 20000 Dubrovnik

IBAN: HR5824070001500016127

BIC: OTPVHR2X

OTP BANKA D.D.

Domovinskog rata 61, 21000 Split

A grand total of 431,771 passengers passed through the Dubrovnik Airport in June this year, representing the busiest June on record for the southernmost airport in Croatia.

In June last year 344,456 passengers used the airport, and in 2022 that number was 313,381 as the tourism industry recovered from the global pandemic. 2019 was a record breaking year for Dubrovnik tourism and in that year 415, 876 passengers passed through the airport.

As this year has seen a constant rise in passenger numbers on a month by month basis we could well be in for another record breaking year. So far this year almost 1.1 million passengers have used the airport, and the two busiest months of the year, July and August, are ahead of us.

The second annual Mljet fair of local products "From Field to Table" will gather numerous family farms from our county, as well as from other parts of Croatia.

Visitors will be presented with a diverse range of domestic authentic products such as cheeses, prosciutto, honey, olive oil, various teas, wines, homemade liqueurs, and jams.

The fair will take place from July 5th to July 7th in Babino Polje.

As an additional offer during this three-day fair, on Saturday, July 6th, there will be a gastronomic offer and entertainment program with live music, featuring the band Cover Page.

This is the second year that the Tourist Board of the Municipality of Mljet is organizing the fair of local products, aiming to promote domestic authentic products from Croatia and enhance the already rich tourist offer.

“We look forward to seeing you in large numbers and come to support our hardworking family farms,” invites the Mljet Tourist Board.

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State Real Estate (Državne nekretnine) reported record-breaking business revenues of €16.8 million from property management in 2023, marking a 7.6% increase compared to the previous year. The state-owned company announced this achievement on Wednesday.

Highlighting successful management of residential and commercial properties, the company also reported total revenues of €20.8 million for the past year, representing a 19% annual increase, with a net profit of around €4 million.

The company attributed the revenue growth to improved efficiency in receivables management and collection, an expanded portfolio, and the recognition of some income from EU-funded property investments.

In 2023, State Real Estate executed record current and investment expenditures totaling €8.6 million, significantly enhancing property values. These investments, which included the renovation and equipping of 125 apartments for temporarily housing citizens affected by earthquakes, also contributed to a 40% increase in total expenses compared to 2022. This rise in costs was compounded by inflation effects on service and utility expenses and a significant increase in managed properties.

Over 12,000 Properties Under State Management

Last year, the company signed 337 leases for commercial spaces and residential rentals. The number of tenders and commercial spaces offered to the market increased, with nine tenders for leasing 201 commercial spaces across Croatia being announced. The total value of all active lease contracts at the end of 2023 exceeded €75 million.

The company's property portfolio significantly expanded following the enactment of the Law on the Management of State-Owned Real Estate and Movables. By June, the company was managing over 12,000 properties.

The new law, which resulted in a 45% increase in the property portfolio, also expanded the scope of tasks related to sales and dissolutions. Consequently, the company took on more than 3,000 new cases. These changes were preceded by the company's reorganization and systematization, workforce strengthening, and the definition of new business processes to tackle the new tasks starting in 2024.

"We successfully managed properties in 2023, and driven by these results and our previous efforts, we have entered 2024 optimistically and rapidly, considering the new legal requirements that now include sales and dissolutions in addition to our existing tasks. We expect to offer around 200 commercial spaces for lease this year and prepare the first 50 properties for sale and dissolution," said Mirela Habijanec, Board Member and Director of State Real Estate, in a statement shared in the press release.

The Voice of Dubrovnik

THE VOICE OF DUBROVNIK


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