Saturday, 25 May 2019
Mark Thomas

Mark Thomas

Mark Thomas - The editor and big chief of The Dubrovnik Times. Born in the UK he has been living and working in Dubrovnik since 1998, yes he is one of the rare “old hands.” A unique insight into both British and Croatian life and culture, Mark is often known as just “Englez” or Englishman. He is a traveller, a current affairs freak and a huge AFC Wimbledon fan.

Email: mark.thomas@dubrovnik-times.com

The world popular hotel chain of luxury hotels Four Seasons Hotels & Resorts has announced a big investment in Croatia by the end of 2017.

According to an announcement, Four Seasons is planning to begin construction of a luxurious tourist complex in the Brizenica Bay near Stari Grad on the island of Hvar by the end of this year.

The investment is estimated at around 1 billion Kunas and will bring 320 new jobs, it was said shortly before a meeting of the Croatian Minister of Tourism Gari Cappelli with representatives of the hotel chain in London on the 20th of April.

The tourist complex on Hvar will consist of 240 accommodation units, with almost 800 beds in a hotel with 120 rooms, as well as in 70 luxury villas and suites.

''We hope that the construction of this luxurious tourist complex will begin by the end of the year, whilst its completion is expected by 2019'', said Dennis Wijsmuller, the CEO of Arqaam Capital, the main investor company in the project.

The Croatian Minister of Tourism Gari Cappelli who ended his official visit to the UK on the 20th of April, emphasizes that the investment also represents new demands for the local community and tourism workers in terms of destination management as well as in terms of offering new cultural, entertainment, hospitality and other services.

During the meeting with Gari Cappelli, the representatives of Four Seasons pointed out that Croatia is one of the leading tourism markets in Europe and a popular holiday destination for high-class travellers from all around the world. They also said that their new project on the island of Hvar represents ''an exciting opportunity for further strengthening of our presence in Europe, which will bring Croatia an exceptional quality and service that Four Seasons is well known for around the world''.

As part of the ''Royal Christmas Gala'' tour, the famous British soprano Sara Brightman will perform for the first time in front of a Croatian audience this year.

Accompanied by the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra and featuring many guests, Brightman will hold a concert at the Zagreb Arena on the 21st of December 2017. She will sing a wide musical array of traditional Christmas songs and her greatest hits such as ''Amigos para Siempre'', the timeless song ''Time to Say Goodbye'', and the pop-rock classics ''Who wants to Live Forever'' and ''A Whiter Shade of Pale''.

Brightman is one of the most prominent performers and the world's best-selling soprano of all times with worldwide sales of more than 30 million records and 2 million DVDs. She is also the first artist to have been invited twice to perform the theme song at the Olympic Games. At the 1992 Barcelona Olympic Games she sang "Amigos Para Siempre" with the Spanish tenor José Carreras with an estimated global audience of a billion people, and 16 years later in 2008 in Beijing, she sang with Chinese singer Liu Huan, performing the song "You and Me" to an estimated 4 billion people worldwide.

In 2012, Brightman was appointed as theUNESCO Artist for Peace for the period 2012–2014, for her "commitment to humanitarian and charitable causes, her contribution throughout her artistic career, to the promotion of cultural dialogue and the exchange among cultures, and her dedication to the ideals and aims of the Organization.

B-Travel tourism fair was opened today in Barcelona. Tourist Board of Dubrovnik-Neretva County is one of the participants,with Tourist Boards of Split-Dalmatia, Zadar, Sibenik-Knin and Lika-Senj Counties. At the shared stand, the total offer of Dalmatia and Lika will be presented. The B-Travel fair is held for the 25th time and it's intended for a wide audience, with around 40 countries of the world presenting their offer.

The Catalan fair responds to the main motivation of todays' tourists: enjoying the travel experience. Products are divided into 5 main areas: B-Happy, B-Special, B-Culture, B-Adventure and B-Delicious. Croatian stand is located in the B-Culture area.

In 2016, tourists from Spain made over 65 thousand arrivals in Dubrovnik-Neretva County and over 172 thousand overnight stays – reports Dubrovnik-Neretva County Tourist Board.

 

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Luka Modric has become a Hollywood star! Even though the Croatian midfielder has been one of the leading stars in Real Madrid for years, it seems that he also has fans in Hollywood.

In a new Hollywood comedy ‘’Sandy Wexler’’ with Adam Sandler, a famous actor and comedian plays a talent manager working in Los Angeles in the 1990s. In the film, Sandy ''meets'' Modric. Actually, in one scene Sandler enters a cafe bar in Los Angeles, and finds himself standing in front of a wall with a framed Modric' jersey on it. Modric' famous number 10 jersey is from the Euro 2012 in Poland and Ukraine with autographs of players, with the United jersey of Ryan Giggs right next to it.

It is interesting to note that this scene, of which Modric is part, is actually a producers' mistake because the jersey should not be there at all. And why? Because Sandler plays a role of a show business manager Sandy Wexler in the early 1990s, and Luka Modric was just a little boy at that time.

Croatia's tourist offer has recently been enriched for one more attraction – the first underwater winery!

An hour drive from Dubrovnik, at Drace on the Peljesac peninsula a group of enthusiastic Croatian entrepreneurs took their wine story under the sea surface.

The idea came to the owners five years ago and they believe that the sea provides natural cooling in ideal conditions and the perfect silence underwater improves the quality.

''Five years ago we came up with an idea of launching this project, although the story began by chance twelve years ago, when we got a bottle of wine as a gift that had leftovers of an old amphora on top'', said Edivo Vina.


Apart from placing bottles of wine under water, they also provide visitors with the opportunity of diving in by themselves and witness the whole process. As a bonus, visitors can also dive to the shipwreck of an ancient ship.

The whole process, however, begins on the surface. After being aged for three months, wine is then stored in amphorae, special clay jugs with a narrow neck and two handles. After that, it is kept under the sea surface for a year or two. ''This unique way of wine storage gives it a special pinewood aroma'', says Lonely Planet.

In order to prevent any kind of contamination, the owners have taken every precaution; all bottles are corked, and two layers of rubber are added to prevent saltwater from leaking in, and wine from leaking out. The amphorae are then packaged in cages and locked to prevent any unwanted divers from taking this unique brand of alcohol with them.

It is interesting to note that Condé Nast Traveler, the world popular luxury and lifestyle travel magazine, praised Edivo Vina as ''Wines you can find if you dive in the sea near Dubrovnik!''

The Croatian Tourist Board (HTZ) has recently launched a new promotional campaign ''Epic Week in Croatia'' with a goal of encouraging ''fans'' on social networks and other potential tourists to create their dream vacation in Croatia.

The campaign will be active until the 30th of April on Facebook and Twitter; the HTZ wants to additionally position Croatia as a tourist destination with a rich and wide offer where everyone can find something for themselves, whether it is cultural and active tourism, entertainment or quality vacation and enjoyment in nature.

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''Our campaign ''Epic Week in Croatia'' is an addition to the highly successful campaign/project ''Croatia Feeds'', with which we invite all to create their ideal vacation in a way that on a specially designed campaign website they choose the top seven among 101 activities that would make their dream vacation. Participants can choose locations, the sights, cities, as well as tastes they would like to experience while in Croatia. They can also participate in a prize game and win a trip for two and experience the exact seven activities they chose for their dream vacation'', explained Ratomir Ivcic, the director of the HTZ.

In addition, the HTZ also emphasizes that they have launched a nautical promotion and a brand campaign on the key markets of Germany, the UK, Austria, Sweden, Norway, Switzerland and Poland, which will be active until the 10th of May.


Dubrovnik's Musical Spring, the musical cycle of the Dubrovnik Symphony Orchestra held from 18 to 28 April, started with the performances of excellent Croatian pianist Aljosa Jurinic. Tomorrow, April 21st, you will have a chance to listen to a concert that Dubrovnik audience has not yet had a chance to hear - Concert for violia and orchestra by Béla Bartók. Young Croat violist of Ethiopian origin Hiwote Tadesse will play along with the Dubrovnik Symphony Orchestra conducted by Tomislav Facini in Dubrovnik Cathedral at 8:30 pm.

In 2011, Hiwote began studying at the Royal Conservatory in Gent and the Maastricht Conservatory in the class of one of the world's best violists, Michael Kugel, where in 2016 she graduated as the best student of the generation. Hiwote is currently trained at the Belgian prestigious Queen Elisabeth Music Chapel and since August 2016 has been conducting violias at the Dubrovnik Symphony Orchestra. She is the winner of many awards: the Grand Prix at the International Youth Music Competition in Moscow (2014), the first prize at the Citta di Barletta International Competition in Italy (2013), the first prize at 46th and 48th Croatian music and dance student Competition (2008. , 2010).

The concert that Hiwote will play is not performed frequently. Violist W. Primrose ordered a viola concert from the Hungarian composer Béla Bartok in 1945. Bartok then lived in the United States, sick and poor. He accepted the order, but the concert remained unfinished due to the death of the composer. T. Serly, Bartok's student and assistant, is one of those who took on the task and worked out four confusing bifols in a concert that will be played tomorrow. With the use of modern composing techniques, we hear Bartok's recognizable in the use of the folk motifs of Transylvania and Scotland (the homeland of W. Primrose).

In addition to this concert, the orchestra will also perform Mozart's Serenade for Cello Puffers and Idyl by Blagoje Bersa.

Croatian Kinological Association in cooperation with the Kinological Association Libertas Dubrovnik organizes international dog show CACIB Dubrovnik 2017, which will be held on 25th and 26th of April. Dog show will be held in the Solitudo autocamp.

Exhibitors come from 31 countries and 3 different continents. In two days, 800 dogs will be shown, and will be evaluated by international experts.

Program of the show:
Tuesday, 25 April
 09.45 Opening of the show
 10.00 Evaluation of dogs
15.00 - 16.30 Selection of the most beautiful dog

Wednesday, 26 April
10.00 Evaluation of dogs
15.00 - 16.30 Selection of the most beautiful dog

The Voice of Dubrovnik

THE VOICE OF DUBROVNIK


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