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.
Turkish Airlines is looking for a third Croatian destination after flights to the capital Zagreb and to Dubrovnik have proved successful. Turkish Airlines is one of the rare airlines that operates flights to Dubrovnik out of the main summer season, with four operations a week through the winter last year. And they are now on the hunt for a further Croatian destination to connect with Istanbul. There are rumours that Split is the leading contender, and as the airport is the second busiest in the country this would seem to make business sense.
"Twenty years ago we launched two weekly flights to Zagreb, while today we maintain double daily services. In addition, two years ago we commenced four weekly year-round operations to Dubrovnik. This summer, services have been increased to eleven weekly. Our plan is to launch another route to Croatia so we can better connect the country to the world and bring even more tourists", commented the Country Manager for Croatia, Ugur Cantimur.
The first construction works on the new Peljesac Bridge are due to be started on Monday. The Chinese consortium, China Road and Bridge Corporation, will carry out all the works on the bridge and access roads and the deadline for completion is 36 months.
Once completed the bridge, which is the largest infrastructure project in Croatia for decades, will connect Dubrovnik to the rest of the country. The bridge aims at ensuring the territorial continuity of Croatia by connecting its mainland with the southernmost region, the Dubrovnik–Neretva County, while avoiding crossing Bosnia and Herzegovina at the Neum Corridor. By connecting the Croatian peninsula of Pelješac with the mainland, the bridge would span the part of the Adriatic Sea which separates the two near the Bay of Mali Ston and the Neretva Channel.
And at a cost of 2.08 billion Kuna it is certainly one of the most expensive projects in Croatia for years.
And the search for workers has already begun. At the beginning of June the Chinese company advertised for eleven construction engineers, from chief engineers to safety officers. And it is rumoured that around a hundred construction workers from China are on their way to Dubrovnik to work on the bridge. Locals had hoped to find employment on this huge project but it would appear that Chinese workers will fill most of the positions.
If they weren’t’ able to find employment on the construction site then at least they will be able to rent out their apartments and homes to accommodate the Chinese workers. Wrong again. According to information from the Croatian daily newspaper, Slobodna Dalmacija, the Chinese company plans to bring a cruiser from China to house the workers.
The popular American NBC morning program “Today Show” has featured a video of the tourism problems in Dubrovnik this morning. The show which reaches millions of US viewers certainly highlights the challenges Dubrovnik faces.
“Many U.S. travelers are planning European escapes this summer — but Kelly Cobiella reports those who live year-round in those popular tourist spots are not always thrilled about it,” writes the Today Show, which apart from Dubrovnik featured Venice and Barcelona.
The Mayor of Dubrovnik, Mato Frankovic, comments on the show that work is underway to combat the rise in tourism and says, “When you have satisfied citizens then you have satisfied tourists.”
Check out the video and let us know your feelings
All in the line of duty. There is a new attraction in Dubrovnik that will take you to places you have never been before. And in the spirit of adventure and, well, sheer curiosity The Dubrovnik Times took a ride 50 metres above sea-level, and a rocky beach.
The Dubrovnik Times team in training - Photo Zipline Dubrovnik
Zipline Dubrovnik is the latest adventure ride in Dubrovnik. If you are an adrenaline junkie, an adventure hunter or just want to have a whole new experience then Zipline Dubrovnik has it all in bundles. You’ll “fly” high over one of the most picturesque beaches in the region and have unbelievable views over the twinkling turquoise Adriatic and the green islands on the horizon.
I think it would be fair to say that at The Dubrovnik Times we normally like to keep our feet as close to terra firma as possible. But it isn’t every day that you can get top try such a unique experience in Dubrovnik, and as these guys were the first we jumped in, well feet first.
The point of no return - Photo Mark Thomas
At 250 metres in length and roughly 60 metres above the shoreline it certainly is an impressive sight as you stand ready to speed over the beach. Trepidation was probably the overriding feeling. However once lift off begins there is no looking back (or looking down) and the ride is simply stupendous.
A Zipline with a view - Photo Mark Thomas
The whoosh as the warm Adriatic air whizzes by, it is about as close as you’ll get to becoming a bird. The whole experience started with an extensive training and safety course. With Zipline Dubrovnik safety always comes first. The team are friendly and always on hand to answer questions, of which we had many. “Can I get a parachute,” was one of the first things that popped into my head.
If you want to spend a few hours with a totally new look and experience in Dubrovnik then this is certainly for you.
Location – Vrbica – Tri Brata beach
Cost - Price of a zipline tour is 300 Kuna (40€) per person (cash only)
Price includes – Equipment, water, training course, 2 guides and a ride on the Zipline
Booking details – groups are from 2 – 8 people if you want to bring a larger group please contact in advance – you’ll need to book at least two days in advance
Is it a bird...is it a plane...no it is a flying editor - Photo Ivana Smilovic
The last weekend of July is upon us and the roads of Croatia are expected to be extremely busy with tourists looking to find their spot on the Adriatic. And over the past few days’ drivers in Dubrovnik have become more and more frustrated with the horrendous traffic jams on the main coastal road from Dubrovnik heading towards Zupa.
The tailbacks start kilometres back from the centre of Zupa and have meant drivers taking at least three times as long to get to their destinations. One of the problems that has caused these jams is the fact that new traffic lights have been turned on at the junction to the industrial centre. These new lights were installed to control the flow of traffic towards a new cemetery that is currently being constructed.
The thinking behind slowing traffic on a busy road just to allow people to visit a cemetery could certainly be challenged, but as this cemetery isn’t actually open then the decision to turn them on is, to say the least, questionable.
There appears to be a new tower, or fortress, in Dubrovnik. And no it wasn’t built in the 16th century, or even uses stone or even looks particularly stable. Residents of the Ploce of Dubrovnik are becoming more and more frustrated with the amount of traffic, parking problems and garbage on the streets of their suburb.
And this latest example, a pallet skyscraper, which has been growing over recent days is sure to upset them even more. And as this suburb is one of the most frequented by tourists as they make their way into the historic centre it seems that more inspections are ned to be back a certain level of control.
Croatia will look to import more foreign workers next year to cover the shortfall in the tourism industry. It is expected that one of the most important businesses in the country will miss around 15,000 employees in 2019. The Croatian Minister of Tourism, Gari Cappelli, commented that next year the government will aim to re-train people who are currently unemployed as well as increasing the quota of foreign workers.
"We have to be aware that next year Croatia's tourist industry will need about 15,000 people, and it will not be possible to re-train those people within a single year," Cappelli added.
This year's quota for foreign workers in the tourist sector is 8,660. However, there will still be a shortage of between 5,000 and 7,000 workers.
And the Minister concluded that businesses in the tourism industry would be forced to increase the wages of workers in order to keep them in the country. One of the main problems of modern day Croatia is the exodus of young, professional citizens to other European Union countries in search of better pay and conditions.
"We must not allow it to bring the whole tourist season into jeopardy. If necessary, we will resort to (increasing) the quota as a solution, but in the long term the solution is in centres of competence," Cappelli said, adding that tenders for training would be issued in October.
At around 9.30 last night the lunar eclipse begun over the night sky of Dubrovnik. The perfectly clear evening sky meant that the views of the eclipse were stunning. The "totality" period, where light from the Moon was totally obscured, lasted for one hour and 43 minutes.
The moon’s colour was replaced from its normal silvery white to a blood red. This was the longest “blood moon” eclipse of the 21st century and the next one won’t be until 2123.
In Dubrovnik there was a special “moon eclipse watch” from the St. John fortress.