Wednesday, 29 January 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.


The challenges facing Dubrovnik’s tourism industry, from the explosion of Game of Thrones tourists to the constant flood of cruise ships, has been making the news all over the world. Dubrovnik is certainly no longer in the shadows as a tourist destination, far from it, it is now and has been for the past few years well placed in the middle of the spotlight.

International film productions, such as Star Wars, Robin Hood and in particular Game of Thrones, have opened the city to a whole new generation of tourists. The growing number of American tourists is clear evidence that movie tourism is now one of the main sources of tourism to the city. In 2016 the second most numerous guests to Dubrovnik were Americans, which when you take into account that there are no direct flights from the US to Croatia goes to show the pull of the HBO serial.

One of the largest TV stations in Brazil, yes the Game of Thrones is truly a global phenomenon, Globo broadcast a program about Dubrovnik and the Game of Thrones syndrome and invited the editor of The Dubrovnik Times, Mark Thomas, to give his opinion.


One of the most iconic hotels in Dubrovnik will be closed for this Christmas and New Year season.

The five-star Hilton Imperial Dubrovnik has announced that from the 1st of November 2017 to the 15th of April 2018 the hotel will be closed for a complete refurbishment of the rooms and bar area.

The Hilton Imperial is one of the few Dubrovnik hotels that is open all year round and is always busy over the festive period.

view from imperial dubrovnik

View over the Old City of Dubrovnik from Hilton Imperial Dubrovnik 

In Croatia, Slavonia is considered as a region that has excellent food, especially meat. And last night Dubrovnik locals and guests had the perfect chance to try the tastes of Srijem and Slavonija as a part of Good Food Festival in the restaurant Mimoza.

Srijem and Slavonija


Slavonian hospitality is well known all across the region, so it’s not a surprise that guests felt at home last night. They were welcomed with scented plum brandy and made toasts with the famous wines from the gentle slopes of Fruska Gora mountain.

Food that included variety of cheeses, meat, ‘sarma’, pasta and all sort of homemade receipts was delicious and the whole atmosphere was cheerful, especially with live music – tamburitza, of course!

The Good Food Festival continues with its rich programme today and will last until Sunday, October 22nd.


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Srijem and Slavonija 3

sarma dubrovnik

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mimoza dubrovnik


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

So far, the campaign successfully has reached almost 40 million people and attracted more than 50,000 new fans on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Pinterest.

The main goal of the Croatian Tourist Board was 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. As part of the campaign, the HTZ also organized a prize game with a trip for two in Croatia main prize.

Apart from posts by the HTZ on social networks, posts of Croatian Olympic athletes and foreign bloggers greatly contributed to the visibility of this creative campaign.

‘’This is a very successful sequel of the promotional campaign which in its first version reached almost 13 million people and attracted more than 10,000 new fans on the Croatian Tourist Board social networks profiles. The second part of the campaign yielded even better results and made us very happy. Nowadays social networks and new media represent one of the most important communication channels thus we will, in accordance with this fact, design, create and implement a significant part of all our future promotional activities’’, commented the director of the HTZ Kristjan Stanicic.

Within the second part of ‘’Epic Week in Croatia’’, all participants had an opportunity to create their ideal vacation in a way that on a specially designed campaign website they chose the top seven out of 200 activities in Croatia that would make their dream vacation. Participants could also choose locations, the sights, cities, as well as tastes they would like to experience while in Croatia. Those who shared the top seven activities on their profiles on social networks, entered the prize game, whilst participants with the largest number of ‘’likes’’ made it to the final.

The person with the best-argued description of why he/she deserved the award won the main prize. This time it was a contestant from Italy. She made a creative and original presentation about Croatia as a tourist destination and stated the reasons why she deserved a trip for two within which she experienced the seven activities she had chosen for her dream vacation.

Good Food Festival started today with its rich programme and will last until Sunday, October 22nd. One of the numerous special events is surely a workshop called ‘Hello Tereza!’’, that explained everybody interested how to prepare vegetarian brunch or dinner.

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Workshop host was Tereza Poljanic and it was held at Tourist Information Centre Pile.  The host was energetic, sweet and talkative. She encouraged people to meet and talk, as well as to help her and learn something new. All the visitors got the chance  to try soka and banana cake and honestly – it was delicious!

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It’s good to know that Tereza is a communications graduate, certified vegan chef and an expert on healthy eating. She  graduated from the Matthew Kenney Culinary Academy in Los Angeles and she currently lives in Auckland, New Zealand. She is the author of the blog ‘’Teresamisu ̋, two cookbooks and the host of ̋Zdravo, Tereza! ̋ (or ̋Hello, Tereza ̋), which is broadcasted on the popular Slovenian television channel Pop TV.

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Tereza admits that she is completely in love with healthy eating. She never counts calories and she makes sure that she only consumes ecologically grown, high-quality foods that give energy and provide wellbeing. Her most popular dishes are red vegetarian burgers with crispy potatoes, flour-less green pizza and her rich vegan chocolate cake with a creamy glaze. She is currently exploring Dalmatian and Dubrovnik cuisine. Her workshops are presented in a way that can be a starting point for anyone who wants to find their own healthy culinary identity.

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She will have another workshop tomorrow, also in the Tourist Information Centre Pile at 5 pm. This one carries the name ‘’Fermentation, the new ‘’super-food’’.  If it will be good as this one, it’s well worth a visit.


One of the best tourist stories in the world, according to UNWTO, has a great honour to present Istria and Croatia at the Scottish International Storytelling festival in Edinburgh this month.

Istra Inspirit, as the only project of cultural-innovative tourism from Croatia, has been invited to present themselves to the audience of the Scottish International Storytelling festival, which is to be held for the 28th consecutive year in Edinburgh from the 20th to the 31st of October 2017.

The well known festival gathers those who are eager of creative presentation of stories from all around the world and connects cultures, languages, generations and places. Istra Inspirit will be part of this interesting concept, which promotes cultural diversity, and present Istria and Croatia on the 24th of October.

During its performance in Edinburgh, Istra Inspirit will present Istrian stories, myths and legends from its rich creative palette of experiences. Apart from stories characteristic of this Croatian region, Istra Inspirit will also present the most interesting legends in Croatia.

Istra Inspirit is a joint project of the Istria County, the Istrian Tourist Board and the Istrian Development Tourist Agency, which enriches the cultural and tourist offer of this Croatian region, by reviving historical events on authentic locations through staging Istrian legends and myths.

Last year, one of the best stories in the history of Croatian tourism Istra Inspirit received a great recognition of the profession and was included in the renowned and acknowledged book ‘’Tourism Stories’’ published by the United Nation World Tourism Organization (UNWTO).

Dubrovnik will receive flights this year from London Southend Airport. Flybe will operate flights from this lesser known London airport from the 17th of June to the 9th of September. Flybe will seriously increase the number of flights from Southend Airport to around 230 a week and included in this increase are flights to Dubrovnik and Zadar.

Glyn Jones, Chief Executive Officer of Stobart Aviation, the owners of London Southend Airport commented that “We’re hugely excited about what we’re now offering passengers, almost doubling the number of flights next summer. Simply, there’s more choice with a brand-new route to Antwerp and the return of increasingly popular destinations in Croatia from next summer.”

He added that he believed Southend Airport could compete with other larger airports around London as it offered “more comfort, faster access, fewer queues and a friendlier experience.”

Tickets are already available for purchase on the Flybe website and prices for a single ticket start at around 70 Euros. 

The summer season is over in Dubrovnik and now it’s time for the rugby season to start.

Dubrovnik’s own rugby team, Invictus Rugby Club, start their new season with hope and optimism after seriously reinforcing their ranks. The first comes in the shape of David Casey, a New Zealander, who has been brought in to train the senior team and to inject some energy and belief as well as the rugby culture from the southern hemisphere. And along with Casey is another foreign import, this time on the playing side as Patrick Rowntree, from England, has been drafted in to play the opening part of the season.

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Dubrovnik’s rugby adventure kicks off this weekend when on Sunday they take on Lokomotiva from Zagreb at 2.00 pm in the Gospino Polje stadium in Dubrovnik.

In fact the rugby weekend in Dubrovnik starts on Saturday when a former All Black, Gary Braid, will be joining an Invictus training run in Cavtat in the morning at the club’s ground. This will be followed in the afternoon with a womens reunion rugby presentation which should be great fun.

This season the Invictus Rugby Club will compete in the Adria 7s regional league, the Croatian Championship in Rugby 7s as well as the Croatian 7s Cup and in the 2nd division Croatian Rugby Chamionship where they will compete with a full team of 15 players. This weekend, the opening of the league, will be historical as it will be the first time that a full rugby team has represented Dubrovnik competitively. We wish them well for this opening weekend.

The Voice of Dubrovnik


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