Wednesday, 23 September 2020
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

Anyone who has ever dived into the Adriatic Sea in Croatia knows that it is one of the cleanest seas in the world. And the popular website housebeautiful.com has recognised its beauty by naming the Dalmatian coastline as one of the 11 clearest bodies of water in the world.

“The Adriatic Sea along this coast is part of the reason Croatia has become one of the hottest new destinations to visit in Europe. Dramatic limestone cliffs line the water and make it a totally unique experience,” writes the website placing Croatia as the eight clearest seas in the world.

Cala Macarelleta in Spain is placed on top of the list, which also includes Jenny Lake in Wyoming, Koh Phi Phi Don in Thailand and The Maldive Islands.

Read the full article on housebeautiful.com here

Ride the bus in Dubrovnik and surf the internet for free. The public bus company in Dubrovnik, Libertas, has teamed up with Media King from Osijek to implement free Wi-Fi internet in 100 buses in Dubrovnik. From now all locals and tourists will be able to log on to the free internet and check emails, Google or update their Instagram profile whilst riding the bus.

Media King has already supplied 60 trams and buses in Osijek, all 150 public buses in Split with free internet access and now Dubrovnik will have the same service. Internet hotspots will be installed in 100 Libertas buses and this figure could well rise to include all public tr4ansport in the city.

This technologically advanced Wi-Fi system allows large amounts of simultaneous connections to access points without congestion and interruption and provides high-quality internet access at maximum speeds. The system also allows commercial use, enabling advertising on all access points, thus achieving self-sustainability.

All that users need to do to use the service is to select the Wi-Fi network "LIBERTAS MEDIAKING" and follow the simple instructions.

Pilots of the largest European low-cost airline, Ryanair, will go on strike in Germany tomorrow and it will have a knock-on effect for Croatia. Over 250 Ryanair flights from Germany will be cancelled tomorrow, including some flights into Croatia, and almost 400 European wide.

The German union announced on Wednesday that German Ryanair pilots would join their colleagues from Ireland, Sweden and Belgium and hold a one-day strike. The strike will begin on Friday at 3.00am and will apply to all German cities.

Apart from the cancelled flights from Germany there will also be cancellations in Croatia. Ryanair flights into Pula and Zadar from Frankfurt have been cancelled, six flights in total.

The Croatian government has decided to introduce, as of 2019, a higher tourist tax in the peek season, raising tourist taxes, paid per person per night, in all accommodation facilities except camping sites by approximately 25%. "Even with the proposed increase, Croatia still has the lowest tourist tax of all its peers," Tourism Minister Gari Cappelli said. Under the government's decision, the tourist tax should go up 25% in all accommodation units except camping sites, from HRK 8 to HRK 10 per person per night.

Tourist taxes range, for example, between EUR 0.45 and EUR 2.50 per day in Spain, between EUR 0.20 and EUR 7 in Italy, between EUR 1 and EUR 2 in Portugal, between EUR 0.15 and EUR 3 in Austria, between EUR 0.50 and EUR 4 in Greece, and EUR 2.5 in Slovenia.

In Croatia in 2019, tourist tax at campsites should remain HRK 8 per person per night, while in other accommodation units it will go up.

Last year the Croatian National Tourism Board collected HRK 464 million in tourist taxes.

The Croatian Weather Office has issued a new “heat wave” warning for the Dubrovnik region as temperatures in Dubrovnik have been over 33 degrees for the past week. The extremely warm weather is expected to continue for at least another seven days and are unlikely to fall under 30 degrees for the whole of August.

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The public fountains of the historic Old City of Dubrovnik were doing a roaring trade today as tourists and locals looked for some refreshment. And the popular website AccuWeather has also issued a severe weather warning for Dubrovnik “Yellow Warning for Extreme High Temperature in effect until Thursday.”

And there isn’t much refuge from the heat in the Adriatic, the sea temperature in Dubrovnik at 5:00pm was a bath-like 26.5 degrees. Historically July and August are the warmest months of the year with average temperatures around 30 degrees.

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The tourism industry in Croatia has many numerous knock-on effects to other businesses. And proof of this can be seen in the number of new cars sold in Croatia so far this year. From January to the end of July an incredible 44,000 new cars were sold in Croatia which is 21 percent more than the same period from last year.

A large majority of these cars were probably bought by rent a car companies in order to cover the massive demand for cars during the summer months. In July alone a massive 5,700 new cars were sold.

The best-selling brand over the first seven months of the year was Volkswagen, with 6,540 cars sold and a 14.8 percent market share. Renault came in second with 4,369 cars sold, and a 9.9 percent market share, while Opel was third with 4,321 cars sold and a 9.8 percent market share.

Under the banner of “Horrors of the Homeland” an exhibition turned heads in the centre of the historic Old City of Dubrovnik yesterday. Marijana Pende created a “pop-up” exhibition on the Orlando Statue when she wrapped a flag with the Libertas Summer Festival slogan which was covered in signs of various world currencies.

This intervention in a public space was part of the “Horrors of the Homeland” exhibition in the 69th Dubrovnik Summer Festival which will include over 30 artists in various locations around the city.

It would appear that Pende’s display was a message that Libertas, or freedom, has a price.

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The rate that Croatia’s population is shrinking is reaching alarming proportions. With less births, rising mortality rates and a huge number of citizens crossing European borders in search of higher paid jobs the population is dropping like a stone in the Adriatic.

The state statistics bureau has released more data on the population levels for 2017 and it doesn’t make pleasant reading. In 2008 the country’s population was around 4.3, but today ten years later the population is 4.1 million, in other words has dropped by 204,300 in ten years. And the worrying factor is that the speed in the drop of citizens doesn’t look like slowing down. Croatia could well have less than 4 million citizens by 2020.

In 1990 the average age of women having their first child was 24.3 years of age, whereas in 2017 the average increased to 29. In the meantime, the average age of mothers having their first child in the European Union also increased to 30.6 years.

In mid-2015, most EU member countries had lifted restrictions on Croatian workers and the number of emigrants increased by almost 10,000 that year. In 2016, the number continued to grow, and in 2017 was at a record high of 47,400, with most leaving to Germany.

As a result, Croatia's population has been shrinking since 2011, and in 2017 it lost nearly 31,800 people.

The Voice of Dubrovnik

THE VOICE OF DUBROVNIK


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