Thursday, 24 October 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 seasonality of Dubrovnik Airport has always proved a challenge. The airport depends on the city’s tourism industry for the vast majority of its passengers. Dubrovnik doesn’t have a boom of business class travellers nor is it a major European hub; it isn’t even a hub in the region with only direct flights to the capital Zagreb bringing in a significant number of passengers. When the tourists fly home for the summer the airport takes it foot off the gas and a skeleton staff takes the reins.

Passenger numbers show that in January the airport handles around 20,000 passengers each month, whilst in August this number “takes off” to around 400,000. Every winter there are snail steps, a new carrier announces flights or an existing one adds an additional connection. This winter will once again see the airport grind towards a brighter winter period.

departures dubrovnik airport

Terminal A now has a new function as Terminal C is completed 

Firstly the Spanish low cost airline Vueling has announced that not only will they maintain their summer flights from Rome to Dubrovnik to an all year round service but also they will add Barcelona throughout the winter. The Turkish national airline, Turkish Airlines, has also agreed to increase flights from Istanbul to Dubrovnik. These flights proved difficult to fill last year as the complicated political situation in Turkey negatively affected the airlines business. There were reports that flights from the Turkish capital to Dubrovnik were flying with only 30 percent capacity, clearly not feasible. And according to the specialised website EX-YU Aviation the Dubrovnik Airport is in talks with other airlines for the winter period. The most popular budget airline in Europe, Ryanair, had shown interest in operating flights from the UK to Dubrovnik on a year-round basis but there business model was rejected by Dubrovnik Airport.

"Compared to last year, Turkish Airlines has seen its passenger numbers increase by 84 percent on its Dubrovnik service. For us, it is also important that, during the winter, Turkish Airlines will add an additional weekly flight, for a total of four. Combined with Croatia Airlines' service to Frankfurt, we also have high expectations of British Airways and several other carriers we are currently negotiating with," commented the director of the Dubrovnik Airport, Roko Tolić.

And even if the airport fails to attract airlines through the winter there is still plenty of work to be done. The new Terminal C building may have been completed by the second phase of the investment project is set to start this winter. Work on the apron, the runway and taxiways and the logistical buildings will begin this winter, and once completed the airport will be able to handle almost 4 million passengers a year by 2032. As the airport received it’s one millionth passenger two weeks ahead of last year and is expected to break the two million passenger mark by the end of the year the expansion work is quite clearly required. The latest construction works are expected to begin this winter and are scheduled for completion in 2020.

dubrovnik airport 2

Korčula
A true gem of the Adriatic Sea the island of Korčula is a must visit. A delightful walled city, stunning beaches, rolling countryside and a wealth of traditions...not to mention great wines, Korčula is truly magnificent.

korcula

Lopud
A favourite summer destination for Dubrovnik citizens, Lopud is part of the Elaphite archipelago and is home to arguably the best beach in the region, Šunj. Easy to reach with a short ferry ride from the port.

lopud island

Lokrum
The garden of the Old City of Dubrovnik, fifteen minutes from the city and you are in paradise, green heaven. Take a blanket, picnic, water and a good book find your olive tree and unwind in the shade.

lokrum 4

Mljet
Home of one of the most breathtaking national parks in the world, god was having a good day when he created Mljet. Spend a long weekend on the island and you’ll feel five years younger.

mljet aerial

Šipan
The largest of the Elaphite islands and an unspoilt beauty. Nothing much has changed here for the last few centuries and that’s the charm of the island.

sipan

Amanda Holden enjoyed a family break in Dubrovnik last week. The celebrity judge of Britain’s Got Talent spent time in the city and enjoyed a ride on the cable car and a dip in the warm Adriatic Sea.

She also proved that she is a fan of the HBO series Game of Thrones as she went on her own “Walk of Shame” in the same spot this famous scene was recorded. Holden filled her Instagram account with wonderful photos of her summer holiday. Holden is an English television presenter, actress and singer, best known as a judge on ITV's Britain's Got Talent since the show began in 2006.

In 2016, there were 13,985 persons that immigrated to the Republic of Croatia and 36,436 persons that emigrated from it. Therefore Croatia had a negative net migration with foreign countries that amounted to -22,451.

In 2016, there were 55.3% of Croatian citizens and 44.7% of foreigners who immigrated into the Republic of Croatia, while 95.6% of Croatian citizens and 4.4% of foreigners emigrated abroad. Out of the total number of immigrants, there were 31.1% of persons who arrived from Bosnia and Herzegovina. Out of the total number of emigrants from the Republic of Croatia, 56.1% of persons departed to Germany.

In 2016, the greatest share in the total number of persons who immigrated to the Republic of Croatia was recorded in the City of Zagreb (23.8%) and the County of Split-Dalmatia (14.0%). The largest share of emigrants from the Republic of Croatia to foreign countries was recorded in the City of Zagreb (13.4%), followed by the County of Osijek-Baranja (10.0%) and the County of Zagreb (8.0%).

Every now and then it’s good to take some unusual trip. The one that we recommend today is – salt works in Ston, just a drive away from Dubrovnik. Ston salt pans are one of the oldest active salt pans in the world and are a great attraction.

The tradition of harvesting salt lasts for over 4000 years and is still produced in the same way as it was before – with assistance of the sea, sun and wind. Ston salt works or ‘’Solana Ston’’ has 58 pools divided into five groups. Nine pools are meant for crystallization process – 8 of them carry name of the saints (Francis, Nicholas, Balthazar, Anthony, Joseph, John, Peter and Paul) while one is called Mundo (world).  Salt was precious during the Dubrovnik Republic and two pools that carry the names Blaise and Lazarus and have granite bottoms were used for making the purest salt and sending it to Wienna court.

The harvest of the salt is done during the summer months or more precisely from April to October. Annually, 500 tons of salt can be harvested from nine pools.

Take a short tour through Solana Ston in our photo gallery.

Non profit organization ‘Blue World Institute’ brought amazing news on their official Facebook page – in only 2 days 10 dolphin newborns were observed in Cres-Losinj waters.

-Dear friends we bring you the great news! This week our research team observed a group of 49 dolphins and within this group 9 newborn dolphins were present. Interestingly, 5 of them were clumsily swimming next to the females that became mothers for the very first time! We wish them all the success in raising their firstborns. But that is not all, in the same sighting we saw female Bully alone, but already on the following day Bully was observed also with the newborn, the smallest we’ve ever seen - just one day old! – Blue World Institute published.

They also brought a set of photos showing these sweet newborns. Visit their official Facebook page to see them.

Croatian Mountain Rescue Service published a thank you note by married couple John and Jennifer on their official Facebook page. Couple was rescued on July 6th from the mountain of Srd, where they got lost after leaving the path.

John wrote special thanks to the team who came two hours later for them and took them to the hospital, admitting that it was reckless to start their hike without checking the correct route.

-I'm familiar with the fact that your members are volunteers and I am very happy to have met them. We would like to support your work so please provide us with an account number so that can pay a donation to help your work – John wrote in this note, saying that they really enjoyed visiting Dubrovnik.

Croatian Mountain Rescue Service thanked for the donation and also wrote that gratitude from those we rescue is their biggest prize.

Deputy County Mayor of Dubrovnik Neretva County Josko Cebalo participated in the presentation of the conceptual project of the new Port of Korcula, held in the City Hall of the City of Korcula.

Director of the County Port Authority of Korcula Vedran Lelekovic welcomed all the participants and expressed his satisfaction with the progress of the project documentation and stressed that this is a major infrastructure project that will contribute to the development of tourism in Korcula.

Cebalo stated that Dubrovnik-Neretva County provides full support for the further development of the project at all levels.

The new port will be built on the location Polacista (Zrnovska Banja), five kilometers away from the town of Korcula. The port is optimized in accordance with the needs and the depths of the sea. In January it was said that the the port is estimated to cost about 70 million Kuna, which is significantly less than the original version of the port, whose construction was estimated at two hundred million Kuna.

 

korcula2

    New Port of Korcula - photo by Dubrovnik Neretva County

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