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.
Indications on the market and the results of sales promise a good tourism year which has already been seen in turnover in the first few months of the year however the problem of the lack of staff is bothering a lot of companies, particularly smaller companies in hospitality, the Croatian Chamber of Commerce (HGK) said this week. The lack of labour in the tourism sector was one of the main topics at a meeting between the HGK and representatives from the tourism sector. Hospitality and restauranteurs underscored that for months noone has responded to vacancies for waiters, particularly in continental parts of the country, including Zagreb.
Workers are lacking in hotels too the director of the National Association of Hoteliers UPUHH, Ivan Bahunek, said and added that the problem of workers can be felt throughout the tourism world and that Croatia, like other countries, will have to increase its imported labour.
Ivana Maltar from the UHPA - national association of travel agencies - said that the introduction of the General Data Protection Regulation too will further burden business in tourism.
Nevertheless, hoteliers and agencies and camps all expect good results this year the director of the KUH -National Association of Camps - Adriano Palman, said as summer capacities in Croatia have virtually already sold out.
In February a total of 229,139 passengers passed through Croatian airports, which is 13.9 percent more than in the same month last year, while the number of passengers rose by more than 14 percent in the first two months of this year, according to data from the Central Bureau of Statistics.
In the first two months of this year, 481,000 passengers travelled through Croatian airports, or 14.7 percent more than in the same period last year.
The latest CBS data show that the largest number of passengers in February was recorded at capital’s airport in Zagreb, through which about 169,600 passengers or 10 percent more than in the second month of last year.
Zagreb was followed by Split Airport, with 29,109 passengers and a 28.5 percent growth, and Dubrovnik Airport, with 24,181 passengers and a growth of 6.2 percent.
Official statistics show that most passengers who used Croatian airports in February were on airplanes arriving from or traveling to German airports.
An official trailer for the latest Robin Hood has been released by Lionsgate Movies and Dubrovnik features heavily. The blockbuster, which was shot in Dubrovnik in February 2017, stars Jamie Foxx, Taron Egerton, Eve Hewson and Jamie Dornan.
Set for release on the 21st of November this year the lengthy teaser trailer shows all the explosions and action from what would appear to be a high-octane version of Robin Hood. The original release date was set for march this year, but was then pushed back to September, but now it is clear that an autumn date of November 21st has been decided on.
All action Taron Egerton as Robin Hood - Screenshot
The all action movie features Taron Egerton as Robin Hood, Eve Hewson (the daughter of Bono from U2) as Maid Marion, Oscar award winning Jamie Foxx as Little John and the Irish heartthrob and star of the Fifty Shades of Grey franchise, Jamie Dornan, as Will Scarlet. However, and spoiler alert, it would appear from the trailer that Dornan comes to a sticky end as he can be seen falling to the ground, presumably shot by arrows.
The main street in Dubrovnik, Stradun, in the final version of Robin Hood - Screenshot
Dubrovnik was one of the main locations for newest Robin Hood flick, and acted as one of the sites for Nottingham. Interestingly the film originally carried the title of Robin Hood: Origins, but this seems to have been dropped and the teaser advertises just Robin Hood. “Dubrovnik is a vital part of Robin Hood: Origins and in the final version the whole city will be visible,” commented the director Otto Bathurst, and from this latest trailer it is clear he was on the money.
The cobbled old stone streets of the historic Old City of Dubrovnik are supposed to be a haven for pedestrians, but this morning they resembled a busy highway. Trucks, cars and delivery vans of all shapes and sizes piled onto the ancient streets, streets that weren’t constructed with vehicles this size and weight in mind.
Trucks delivery produce to the restaurants, construction lorries picking up broken cement and even a gas bottle delivery van, the peace of the Old City of Dubrovnik was broken by the sound of coughing exhaust pipes.
A reader of The Dubrovnik Times filmed this video yesterday morning in the Old City of Dubrovnik, we counted 12 vehicles in total. What makes it even worse is that the video was filmed at 8 am when children were making their way to school.
Whereas restaurants and shops need to receive deliveries of fresh produce there is a regulation that these deliveries must be carried out between 6 and 8 in the morning. And as every vehicle that enters into the Old City Walls needs a permit it surely shouldn’t be too complicated to limit the numbers. And finally would it not be more environmentally friendly if only electric vehicles were actually given permission.
Dubrovnik has achieved record tourism results for the first four months of this year! From the 1st of January to the 30th of April a total of 154,220 tourists stayed in Dubrovnik, which is 4 percent more than the same period from 2017, which was a record breaking year.
There were 436,121 overnight stays, or 3 percent more than last year. In the first four months the most numerous tourists were from the United Kingdom, Croatia, USA, Germany, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Austria, France, Spain and South Korea.
In the first four months of 2018 hotels had the most tourist arrivals, 118,644 guests, followed by private accommodation with 27,476 guests.
In April alone there were 88,115 tourist arrivals, a one percent increase over April last year, and most of the guests were from the United Kingdom, United States, Germany, Austria, Croatia and Finland.
Dubrovnik General Hospital is in need of thirty doctors, according to the President of the Croatian Chamber of Physicians, Trpimir Goluža.
Speaking to RTL news Goluža warned that the high cost of living in Dubrovnik was having a negative effect on attracting doctors to work in the hospital. He stated that “Dubrovnik is considerably more expensive than the rest of Croatia and therefore doctors aren’t interested in working there.”
"This is primarily the problem of the City of Dubrovnik and the Dubrovnik - Neretva County, and they need to agree on how they will deal with these problems, Dubrovnik General Hospital needs another thirty doctors to function normally.”
Croatia in general has a problem with young educated professionals leaving the country to work in other European Union member countries. And this problem also applies to the medical profession where trained staff from all disciplines are moving to Germany, Sweden and Ireland where they are paid considerably more than at home.
Good beer, good music and a good time in the heart of the city. After last year’s successful debut, the second Zagreb Beer Fest will be held from 17 to 20 May in the Franjo Tuđman Park.
Entry is free, and the festival presents more than 100 types of beer. The first Beer Fest attracted 30,000 visitors. This year more than 50,000 guests are anticipated, which is why the festival will last one day longer.
Zagreb Beer Fest has an excellent location in the very heart of the city. The family atmosphere in the afternoon and the excellent concerts in the evening are its recipe for success. And this year the Franjo Tuđman Park will become a big stage.
Favourites of the Zagreb music scene Pips, Chips and Videoclips will play their greatest hits on the stage of the Zagreb Beer Fest for the first time. Let 3, one of the best live bands in the region, will also be bringing their good energy to the festival. And Fischer-Z, British band famous for the hits “Berlin”, “Marliese”, “Room Service”, “So Long” and “Crazy Girl” will be performing for a Zagreb audience once more after more than 30 years. They are appearing in Zagreb after a sell-out tour of Europe. Croatian electro-pop duo Nipplepeople will also be appearing at ZBF for the first time.
With the summer season on the doorstep and the public parking company have announced that as of yesterday, the 1st of May, the parking prices around Dubrovnik have increased.
If you were planning to park your car near to the Old City you’ll have to pay 75 Kunas an hour, or around 10 Euros an hour in the Zone 0. This zone is a small carpark just outside of the Old City gates on Pile and is the most expensive public parking in Dubrovnik.
However, the other zones aren’t exactly cheap. An hour on the road in the near vicinity of the Old City is 40 Kunas an hour, or around 5.40 Euros an hour, and further out in the suburbs parking is 10 Kuna an hour. These higher seasonal prices will be in effect until the end of October. And if you don’t pay the parking there is a good chance that you’ll receive a fine, the fine is normally the cost of a day parking in the zone. Of course if you have parked illegally then you get towed, and the price of getting your car back ranges from 500 to 800 Kunas plus fines.