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.
According to data from Eurostat, the most popular destination of EU citizens in 2015 was the Canaries with 94 million overnight stays, followed by the French region Île-de-France including Paris, with 76.8 million overnight stays.
Furthermore, the Spanish Catalonia placed as the third with 75.5 million overnights, whilst the Croatian coast was in the very high fourth place with 68.1 million overnight stays realized in 2015.
Croatia’s Adriatic left many attractive destinations behind such as the Spanish tourist pearl the Balearic islands, the Italian region Veneto including Venice, the land of corridas and flamenco-Andalusia, the French regions of Provence-Alps-Côte d'Azur and Rhone Alps as well as the British capital of London with its surroundings, Tuscany and many others.
However, Sanja Cizmar, the analyst from the HDCZ consultancy company warns that this comparison was not quite relevant because it compared regions that could not be compared in terms of tourist products and services.
‘’What are the points of interest of a summer resort on the Adriatic and let us say, Paris? Even a comparison with the Canaries is not relevant because there the tourist season last almost a year thanks to the favourable climate. Nevertheless, it is a positive thing that we positioned very high on this list. In addition, Europe is a large receptive market and it is better for us to be mentioned along the most successful tourist destinations in Europe. For example, we were side by side of Catalonia, with which we can compare and which is globally recognized as a successful tourist destination’’, commented Cizmar.
The Eurostat data also showed that EU citizens achieved almost 90 percent of all overnights in EU countries. As far as other world destinations are concerned, in 2015 the most desirable destinations to EU citizens were the US where they realized 14 percent overnight stays and Turkey with 10.4 overnights stays realized by EU citizens. However, this list would look quite different today because due to terrorism attacks, tourist interest in Turkey has declined heavily over the past few years.
The cruise ship Celebrity Constellation dropped anchor in the Port of Dubrovnik yesterday as part of a cruise from Malta to Venice with around 2,000 gay passengers on board. This is the seventh time that this same sex cruise ship has berthed in Dubrovnik and what seemed like a sensation seven years ago has now become a common event.
The floating hotel Celebrity Constellation sailed into the city with more than 2,000 gay men from around the world and immediately upon arrival the passengers made their way to the historic core of Dubrovnik. Although some of them preferred to stay onboard and soak up the summer rays by the pool with little or no clothing.
- We watched the Gay Pride Weekend in London, and we were sorry we were not able to attend, but it's important we love it. Love has no limits! – commented Nick and Andrew as they went for a guided tour of the city.
The 300 metre-long Celebrity Constellation is cruising from Malta to Venice and for the 2,000 passengers onboard there are around 1,000 members of staff to make sure that the cruise is luxurious. In summer the cruise ship is in the Mediterranean and in the winter months of the year it heads to destinations in the Caribbean, the Bahamas, the Middle East and Asia.
The Managing Director of the International Monetary Fund, Christine Lagarde, participated in an international conference of economic experts in Dubrovnik, stressed that Croatia should accelerate economic growth and implement reforms that are necessary steps for the country's progress.
- When and how Croatia becomes part of the Eurozone, it is a matter for the Croatian Government and the European Union. Every new member of the EU had to go through tough and painful reforms to adopt the Euro as their official currency. The Croatian National Bank must be independent. There are many criteria to be fulfilled to enter the Eurozone and I am optimistic that the Croatian economy and the Croatian people will have their vision and will eventually go in the right direction towards the goal – commented Lagarde on the final day of the congress in Dubrovnik. Adding that the IMF is always looking for ways to motivate young people to stay in their homeland and create the future of their country.
- In the IMF we have seen a lot of changes in Croatia. I would say that every government should be transparent. Governments will come and go but it is important what they leave behind, which laws and which reforms they introduce – said the IMF director.
According to Governor of the Croatian National Bank, Boris Vujčić, the Dubrovnik congress was attended by 30 finance ministers from central, eastern and south-east Europe and numerous financial experts and was very constructive and will help with measures to accelerate economic growth in Croatia.
The population of the European Union on the 1st of January this year was bigger by 1,5 million in comparison to the previous year, i.e. it rose to 511,8 million inhabitants, Eurostat reported a few days ago.
According to the Eurostat data, the largest decline in the population was recorded in Croatia, Lithuania and Latvia.
Considering that the birth and the death rate in the EU were the same as in 2016, an increase of 1,5 million is attributed to migration.
Last year the EU population grew in 18 member countries, mostly in Luxembourg (1,98%), Sweden (1,45%), Malta (1,38%), and Ireland (1,06%). On the other hand, ten EU member countries recorded a decline in their population, however, the worst situation was in Lithuania (-1,45%), Latvia (-0,96%), and Croatia (-0,87%).
The Eurostat data show that on the 1st of January 2016 Croatia had a population of 4,190,700, whilst on the same date this year the country recorded 4,154,200 inhabitants.
The EU country with the largest population is Germany (82,8 million), followed by France (67 million) and Great Britain (65,8 million).
In addition, 5,1 million children were born in the 28 EU member countries in 2016 with the highest birth rate in Ireland, Sweden, and Great Britain, and the lowest birth rate in Italy, Portugal, and Greece.
The opening night of the 68th Dubrovnik Summer Festival was a glamorous affair last night.
The opening ceremony, which was held in front of the St. Blaise Church, was followed by a fireworks display in front of the Old City shooting high above the Dubrovnik night sky. Thousands of locals and tourists witnessed this amazing beginning to the most important cultural festival in Croatia.
Check out this stunning aerial video of the fireworks display last night from One Frame Media.
Josephine Skriver, a Danish fashion model that is known all over the world for being Victoria’s Secret Angel, spent her vacation in Dubrovnik. She shared numerous photos from Dubrovnik on her official Instagram profile that has over 4 million fans!
‘’Croatia, you are lovely’’ and ‘’This place is paradise’’ are some of the captions that accompany the photos that attracted a lot of attention on Instagram.
Skriver is born in 1993 but already made a great success. She is a Victoria's Secret Angel and since her modeling debut in 2011, she has walked in over 300 fashion shows, modeled for some of the world's biggest fashion brands and been on the cover of and featured in magazines such as Vanity Fair, Elle, Vogue, Harper's Bazaar, Marie Claire.
According to the latest news from Viktor Lenac, the Croatian shipyard has signed a contract on a series of additional repairs on the USS Mount Whitney.
Just to remind you, last December the USS Mount Whitney, the flagship of the Sixth Fleet of the US Navy, arrived to the Viktor Lenac shipyard in Rijeka for overhaul that was supposed to be finished by July 2017. However, a number of new works has been agreed upon that will boost the shipyard’s revenues and favourably affect business results and stable employment capacity. The additional works are to be completed by mid-September this year.
The USS flagship has already visited the Croatian shipyard four times and has chosen Viktor Lenac again for another major upgrading of the warship in order to additionally modernize the ship and prolong her working life span.
The basic contract on overhauling of the American warship was worth $21 million; however, three months ago the Croatian shipyard announced that in case of activation of additional options, the total value of the project could reach almost $30 million.
Viktor Lenac is one of the leading shipyards in the Mediterranean. Founded in 1896, the shipyard has a long tradition of ship repair and conversion and was among the first in the world to introduce ship lengthening.
In 2016, the Croatian shipyard achieved 274 million Kunas in revenue and 1,45 million Kunas in profits.
Last night was a special night for Dubrovnik, as 68th opening of the Dubrovnik Summer Festival was held. After the ceremony, everybody tried to find a perfect spot to watch traditional fireworks, that were really impressive this year. One of the most beautiful and popular places to watch the fireworks is for sure the terrace of Museum of Modern Art Dubrovnik, where photographer Zeljko Tutnjevic was located and took these photos. Enjoy!