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.
When it comes to TV stations and their revenue in Croatia, last year proved a relatively successful one.
Currently there are 47 TV stations operating in the country. In 2016, they achieved revenue of almost 2.2 billion Kunas which was a significant increase in comparison to previous years.
According to data, the pure profit was around 56 million Kunas, however, there were times when some of the TV stations went in the red.
Among all TV stations in Croatia, the largest are the national TV station Croatian Radio and Television (HRT), Nova TV and RTL. The national TV station HRT earns the most and employs 2,800 people. By revenue and by the number of employees, HRT is followed by Nova TV, which employs 330 people, and RTL with 240 employees.
The privatization of the last state hotel companies in Croatia - Dubrovnik's Hotel Maestral, Hotel Makarska and Crikvenica Adriatic, is expected to raise minimum of 458 million Kuna. There has been an unprecedented interest in the first round of the public tender with more than 40 letters of interest just for Hotel Maestral. 68.94 percent of the shares in Hotel Maestral are up for grabs and investors have shown great interest for these five hotels on the coastline in Lapad.
The nominal value of these shares in Hotel Maestral is 71.1 million Kuna, HRK 200 per share, and will they be offered for 114.27 million Kuna, or 321.42 Kuna per share. After thew first stage of the public tender, in which 40 investors showed an interest, the parties now have 30 days to submit a bid for Hotel Maestral. After many previous attempts to sell the last state owned hotel company in Dubrovnik it would seem at this early stage that this attempt will be more successful.
The fourth Dubrovnik Winter Festival begins on the 2nd of December and the city is slowly getting in the festive spirit. Today the Christmas houses arrived on the Stradun and were constructed. In total there will be eight houses on the Stradun plus more on the Pile and Gundulic square in the Old City.
From the 2nd of December until the 6th of January locals and guests will be able to taste some traditional festive treats in Dubrovnik.
The program and opening of the Dubrovnik Winter Festival begins with the lighting of the Advent Candle at 9.00 o’clock in the heart of the city.
The German ADAC (General German Automobile Club) placed Croatian campsites in second place, right behind the Netherlands, in their guide to the best quality camps in Europe. Over the past few years Croatian camping has made significant steps forward in terms of quality and contents. This has resulted in a leap in the number of guests as well as the revenue recorded.
Guests to Croatian campsites have become ever more demanding and their biggest concerns are poor traffic connections, unhelpful locals and bad recycling options, according to a report in Poslovni Dnevnik. The lack of good quality footpaths and cycle tracks was also of concern to campsite guests.
This year campsites throughout the country have surpassed record breaking years of the late 1980’s by reaching 19 million overnight stays. Camping makes up about 25 percent of the total accommodation capacity in Croatia, however the number of pitches in Croatia is one of the smallest in Europe, only Spain has fewer.
The largest number of guests in the campsites were from Germany, followed by Slovenians, Dutch and Austrians. In 2017 there were 284 large and medium-size camps operating in Croatia for a total of 242,000 people, which is 4.4 percent more than two years earlier.
Since the end of the year is getting closer, the time comes to value 2017 and see what was popular, what was not, where did people travel, how successful was the year, etc.
Yesterday American Popsugar published 12 trendiest travel destinations in 2017. They complied a list of this year's most popular destinations from all over the world, about which people were buzzing all over social media.
Can you guess which city was placed on the top of the list? Yes, Dubrovnik!
-Croatia has soared in popularity and quickly became one of Europe's most visited tourist destinations in 2017. Dubrovnik features some of the country's most charming architecture, beautiful coastline views, and quaint beaches. The fact that the city was used as the backdrop in Game of Thrones has bumped it up to the top of many people's bucket lists – writes Popsugar.
Other destinations on the top of the list are Havana, Bali, Marrakesh and Tel Aviv. See the full list here.
The international fair for investment projects REXPO 2017, which gathers domestic and foreign investors and represents the best investment projects in the region, will take place at City Plaza in Zagreb from the 30th of November to the 1st of December for the sixth year in a row.
Due to its success in the previous years, REXPO has a significant place in the yearly calendar of business and investment fairs in the region, but also in the wider geographic area.
Great Britain is a partner country of the fair, whilst British investors see REXPO as a platform that will enable them to inform about investment opportunities in Croatia and to build valuable contacts that could encourage larger investments in the country.
One of the important participants at this year’s REXPO will be the DAMAC International company, the leading investor in luxury real estate in the Middle East, which is coming to the fair with the same aim as British investors.
On this occasion, Marjan Pipenbaher, the head and responsible bridge designer, will hold a presentation titled ‘’The Pelješac Bridge – engineering masterpiece’’, currently the most important infrastructure project in Croatia.
The REXPO fair will also host Simone Micheli, one of the most famous names in the field of architectural design in Europe. The main goal of his presentation is to inspire potential investors to invest in the development of luxury tourism in Croatia.
REXPO HTL Day is organized in cooperation with PKF hotel experts from Vienna, whilst a special partner this year is the Hard Rock Hotel chain, which recently announced its arrival in Croatia i.e. opening a four or five star hotel in the country.
When it comes to health, life expectancy in Croatia has been prolonged for almost three years; however, it is still below the EU average.
According to data, the life expectancy in Croatia was 77.5 years in 2015, but it was shorter than the EU average of 80.6 years. It is interesting to note that the life expectancy for women in Croatia was 81 years, whilst for men it was 75 years in 2015.
As a population, Croats mostly suffer and die from cardiovascular diseases and cancer, which cause 76 percent of all deaths. Compared to the EU average, the death rate caused by cardiovascular diseases in Croatia is almost twice as high as the EU average. Unfortunately, the devastating data also shows that the death rate caused by lung, breast and colon cancer is among the highest in the European Union.
One of the important indicators is the infant mortality rate, which was 4.6 children per 1,000 live births in 2015 and was among the highest in the European Union with the average infant mortality rate of 3.6 children.
Dubrovnik woke up with strong winds that made problems in air and road traffic. It lowered temperatures, which was especially felt on the mountains of Konavle, located in Dubrovnik-Neretva County, where the first snow flakes could be seen falling.
Winter really came to Dubrovnik-Neretva County today and who knows, even though is not usual, maybe we can expect the white Christmas – at least at Konavle!
The police advises drivers to reduce their speeds and to take extra care on the roads today.