Wednesday, 23 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.


Year after year more people die in Croatia than they are born. This alarming data is the latest summary about the natural movement of the population published by the Central Bureau of Statistics a few days ago.

In the period from 2011 to 2013 this negative difference was around 10,000 people annually, whilst since 2014 it exceeded the psychological limit, thus in 2015, even 16,702 more people died than they were born. In 2016, this difference was slightly less, however, still alarming for a small nation such as Croatian. The data show that last year 14,005 more people died than they were born. Therefore, only last year, when 37,537 people were born, and 51,542 people died, it is estimated that a town of the size of Slatina disappeared in Croatia.

Furthermore, in the last five years, less than 232,000 people were born, and more than 300,000 died. The negative natural increase is around 71,000 people, which means that in this short period of time, in terms of demographic monitoring, disappeared the city of the size of Zadar.

In the monthly analysis, starting from June 2016, the worst month was January this year when there were almost twice as many deaths (6441) than births (3232).

For the demographer Stjepan Sterc this devastating trend is expected considering the massive emigration and the age of the population.

''This is the reality of Croatia. In the first months of 2017 the natural decline compared to the same period of 2016 is higher by almost 40,2 percent thus it is highly expected that at the end of this year we will face the data of almost 20,000 more deaths than births. If this massive wave of emigration and other negative trends continue, more than 200,000 people could disappear by the natural decline in only ten year period'', warned Sterc.

Since the last census in 2011, more than 200,000 people emigrated from Croatia, out of which 30 percent from Slavonia, or 70,000 people. The black statistics of the country's foreign migrations show that around 57,000 people moved to Germany, whilst 80,000 people immigrated to Ireland.

Even though analyses and comparisons as well as unofficial and official data count 4 million or even 4,2 million people in Croatia, demographers are warning that the Croatian population has already fallen below this number and that today, considering the massive migratory wave, Croatia's population has shrunk to less than 4 million people.

Summer is almost over, but there is still a lot fun and special events to attend. The newest festival in Dubrovnik-Neretva County, ‘Salt Festival’, was presented at the press conference yesterday.

Salt festival will be held in Ston salt works from August 27th to September 1st.  Program includes various contents - concerts and music evenings, workshops for the youngest and a small fair of traditional products and handcrafts in the historic ambience of Ston salt works, all accompanied by gastronomic offer of the Peljesac peninsula and the area of Dubrovnik-Neretva county.

The idea of creating a festival in the Ston area was inspired by the story of salt and the Dubrovnik Republic, which based its progress (among other things) on the production and trade of this important item in human nutrition.Ston salt works, unchanged since the 14th century, was the strategic economic point of the Dubrovnik Republic, while today it is an important economic entity and a unique monument of culture and tourist attraction.

Salt harvest, which takes place in Ston salt works in a traditional way every year, also represents a special tourist attraction and captures the attention of visitors. Because of its geographic position, the small town of Ston has the potential for the development of additional contents that will attract visitors from all over the peninsula as well as beyond.


festival soli flyer eng

The Qatar Royalty certainly know how to travel in style and luxury. The $130 million super yacht “Stargate” owned by Sheikh Abdullah bin Khalifa Al Thani, a member of the Royal Family of Qatar, dropped anchor in Dubrovnik yesterday.

And out of all the yachts to arrive in Dubrovnik over the past week this impressive 82-metre long floating palace received the most attention. Stargate dropped anchor between the island of Lokrum and the historic Old City of Dubrovnik.

Built in 2001 Stargate even has a sister ship, an identical twin, which was built for Sheikh Hamad bin Khalifa Al Thani, the former Emir of Qatar. But when the net worth of the Al Thani family is estimated at $2 billion spending $260 million on two identical yachts is, and pardon the pun, a mere drop in the ocean.

stargate 3

stargate 2


According to the latest announcements from Riga International Airport, the Latvian low-cost air carrier airBaltic will launch direct summer flights to Croatia next year.

During the next summer season new flights will be operated twice a week between the Latvian capital of Riga and the Croatian city of Split from the 21st of May 2018.

"Network expansion is a key part of our Horizon 2021 business plan that enables us to further improve connections between the Baltic region and the rest of the world", commented Wolfgang Reuss, the SVP Network Management at Air Baltic.

The Latvian air carrier has a fleet of 30 aircraft and operates flights to 68 destinations around the world. In the first half of this year airBaltic has carried 1,565,462 passengers throughout its network in Europe, Russia, the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS) and the Middle East, which is the second highest number of passengers in the history of the airline.

Dubrovnik is a city of romance, a city of culture, a city of history and unfortunately over the past few years a city of kayaks! This “colourful” scene of a multitude of kayaks was taken on the Pile bay area of the historic Old City and shows stacks of these plastic boats running the view for tourists and locals. Kayaking has exploded in Dubrovnik in recent years and like mushrooms after the rain companies offering all kinds of tours.

Whilst business is obviously booming, and good luck for that, the organisation of the kayaks has got a little out of control. Imagine going for a romantic stroll and hoping to soak up the proud history of the Dubrovnik walls only to be met with hundreds of kayaks washed up on the beach.

And as the City Council and the Mayor seem determined to bring some order to the city’s tourism business maybe the organisation of these kayaks, basically on the doorstep on the city, is a good place to start.

The main coastal road above Dubrovnik was once again the scene of an accident today. At around 2.45pm a driver lost control of his vechile and rammed into the carsh barrier. Thankfully the barrier did it's job as it fences off a 100 metre fall down rocky cliffs.

The road was blocked for some time whilst the emergency services dealt with the incident and there were no injuries. It appears that according to reports the driver lost control of his vechile, served accross the road and hit the barrier.

accident lucky escape dubrovnik


Global risk index in economy, which takes into account only four criteria, has proved quite favourable for Croatia.

Based on three out of four measured data, Croatia has been included in the company of the least risky economies in the world.

The global risk index in economy is Bloomberg's index which measures the share of international reserves of the central bank, excluding the state gold in GDP, the share of the unemployed in a society, the rate of inflation and the fluctuation rate of the exchange rate.

As far as Croatia is concerned, the country has a high reserve share of almost 26 percent, thus, according to this criterion Croatia is among the nine least risky countries in the world. Due to the expectation of a low inflation rate of only 1.2 percent, the country has placed as the 14th in the world.

However, when it comes to employment, Croatia is a risky country. According to the International Labour Organization (ILO), this year Croatia should have an unemployment rate of 11,7 percent, thus, the country is the 75th among 82 countries that carried out these measurements. Croatia did not measure fluctuations in domestic currency exchange rates. All and all, Croatia has left a good impression in the overall research that has taken into account a very narrow field of economy.

Furthermore, Russia is in a worse position than Croatia in terms of reserves, among other things, due to the fact that its central bank has a large share of gold reserves that has not been taken into account.

The rate of inflation is often growing faster if the economy is growing intensely thus if GDP growth is not taken into account as a parameter but only inflation, the low level of inflation can be perceived as a factor of additional stability.

In addition, the lowest risky country in terms of the rate of inflation is Switzerland, in terms of the share of reserves in GDP is Hong Kong, whilst Qatar is the least risky country when it comes to employment with only 0,3 percent of the unemployed.

Looking for an unforgettable night out on the town in Dubrovnik? The chance to meet new friends, hit some of the hottest bars and nightclubs and dance the night away – we have the solution – a Pub Crawl! Now we probably all know what a pub crawl is, but we are normally doing it in our home town. Now with these new pub crawls from Ziggy Star you can go on a Dubrovnik pub crawl (and save yourself money at the same time).

ziggy star 1

This is three steps to the perfect hit out in the Old City of Dubrovnik. The tour starts at 10.00pm every night when your host for the night meets and greets you on the Pile Gate in front of the city.

Step one – from Pile Gate you make your way down to the first drinking hole of the night, the funky B4 bar, and what the guys from Ziggy Star call a “Power Hour.” In this warm up bar you’ll have an hour of free drinks (yes, you read that correctly an hour of free drinks) combined with thumping music and great company.

ziggy star 2


Step two – off to the second bar of the night. “Of all the gin joints in all the towns in all the world, she walks into mine,” well it isn’t a gin joint but it is named Casablanca, where you’ll be treated with a free welcome drink. That’s right you’ve been living large for over an hour and you haven’t put your hand in your pocket yet. This trendy bar is slap bang in the middle of the city centre and a popular destination for the “in” crowd.

Step three – these couple of hours in the Dubrovnik bars (where you have mostly been enjoying free cocktails) have only been a warm up for the main event – Culture Club Revelin. This is where the volume on your pub crawl evening gets rammed up to the maximum with the most famous night club, not only in Dubrovnik, but in the region. Raise the roof as your pub crawl ticket also entitles you to free entrance into the hottest nightspot in town. And you have never seen a club like this before. Located in a massive stone fortress the club has the most spectacular light shows you have ever seen and is also host to the most sought after DJ’s on the planet.

ziggy star revelin


With the Ziggy Star Dubrovnik Pub Crawl you night out will be a night out to remember. And yes you’ll certainly remember it as the team from Ziggy Star have a personal photographer who follows your group all night catching all those moments (and yes some might be embarrassing) for you to upload on your social media accounts in the morning.

By 10.00am the next day you’ll have all the “proof” of a thumping night out as the photos arrive in your inbox! Check them out here

ziggy star 4


We know what you’re asking “sounds great but how does it cost?” All this comes for only 250 Kuna (or 33 Euros).


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The Voice of Dubrovnik


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