Thursday, 20 February 2020
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.



Dubrovnik has been declared as the best "City Break" destination in Croatia in Bol, Brac where yesterday Croatia Tourism Days 2016 began. A total of seven hotels of the City of Dubrovnik were awarded, Villa Dubrovnik earned two first prizes and two employees of Dubrovnik was declared the best.

At last night's ceremony the awards were given by Croatian Tourist Board, the Ministry of Tourism and the Croatian Chamber of Economy in terms of destinations, the sustainable tourism, attractions, the awards for the business sector (Tourist flower - Quality for Croatia), and people in the tourism industry (Man - Key to success in tourism, an annual award "Anton Stifanic") and prizes for the top three for secondary vocational and art schools.

Dubrovnik was awarded as the best city break destination, along with other many, many awards and recognitions. On the other hand, Konavle were awarded as the most successful destination for rural tourism.

In Dubrovnik went several awards in the category 'Man – Key to success'. Katija Gretel-Krmek from hotel company ALH won an award for employee of the year as the best sales and marketing in tourism and Mateo Gverovic from the Valamar Riviera was awarded as the best chef .
Dubrovnik hotels have earned the highest number of awards in the category "Tourist Flower - Quality for Croatia", which is another confirmation of the high quality hotel accommodation in our city. Valamar is the best conference hotel in Croatia, the best resort hotel is a 5-star Dubrovnik Palace Hotel, while the best resort hotel category 4 * is Hotel Neptune, and in the same category the third place went to the Valamar Argosy.
The best wellness hotel in Croatia is again one hotel located in Dubrovnik - the Valamar Dubrovnik President, the best boutique hotel is Hotel Dubrovnik Palace and two awards went to the hotel Villa Dubrovnik, which is the best single luxury hotel and the best luxury hotel in Croatia.

ACI marina Komolac got an award in the category of Best medium-sized marina again this year and it won third place.

When visiting Dubrovnik, you can't miss Minceta, one of the four fortesses of Dubrovnik City Walls. As the highest point of the Walls, this fort has a magnificent view on Dubrovnik and it's considered as one of the symbols of the City. 

However, Minceta is not there just for beauty purposes, even though it's really beautiful, but also for the defence – it represents one of the key points of the Dubrovnik defense system to the mainland due to its location on te north side.
Minceta Tower is named after the Dubrovnik aristocratic family Mencetic, which offered land for its construction. It is a large circular tower, based on a broad and solid bulwark. Its height and impressive volume dominates the northwestern part of the City. In the time of Dubrovnik Republic, Minceta with its fortification function seemed almost indestructible defense stronghold.

The fort was originally built in 1319 as a high reaching quadrilateral fort according the designs of local architect Nicifor Ranjina and has been like that for over 100 years. Then, in 1461 the famous architect Michelozzo di Bartolomeo of Florence built a new round tower around the earlier quadrilateral fort, adapted to the new technique of warfare and joined it to the new system of low scarp walls. Juraj of Dalmatia continued his work, he built the bottom of the fortress and gave it the recognizable overhead part, the crown.

Minceta Tower also had a part in the Game of Thrones filming – its base was used as the exteriror of House of Undying in the town of Qarth. All the GOT lovers must know the scene from season two - the place where Daenerys Targaryen walks around trying to find the entrance into the House of Undying looking for her dragons. Oh yes, we remember her screaming: ''Where are my dragons?''


According to data from the European Union Statistical office (Eurostat), the organic cultivation of agricultural products in the European Union included more than 11 million hectares of land in 2015 which was 21 percent more in comparison to 2014.

The data also showed that the greatest increase of the organic agricultural land was achieved in Croatia. In 2010 the organic cultivation of food included 16,000 hectares of land, whilst in 2015 the organic land area increased almost to 76,000 hectares or 377 percent.

Apart from Croatia, over the five-year period a significant increase of the organic food cultivation land was also recorded in Bulgaria (362%), France (61%), Ireland (53%), Lituania (49%) and Cyprus (48%), whilst the downward trend was observed in the United Kingdom (-29%) and the Netherlands (-4%).

The organic agriculture in the EU in 2015 included 6.2 percent of the total used agricultural land. The largest share of the agricultural land with organic food cultivation had Austria with 552,000 hectares or 20 percent of the total agricultural land. Austria was followed by Sweden with 17 percent share or 519,000 hectares and Estonia with 16 percent share or 156,000 hectares, whilst Croatia had a share of 4,9 percent at the end of 2015.

The globally popular conference forum TEDx is coming to Dubrovnik. On Friday the 28th of October the first ever TEDx event to be held in Dubrovnik will take place in the Marin Držić Theatre in the heart of the Old City. The theme for this conference will be “Living Tomorrow,” and over the six hours of the event an international panel of fifteen speakers will bring forward ideas and influences.

“The atmosphere of the exchange of differing ideas from a wide range of speakers will be interesting to experience in Dubrovnik,” commented the organisers of the event.

TED, or Technology, Entertainment, Design, events have proved extremely popular over the past years and this first ever TEDx is a spin-off from the initial idea, where X stands for independent. These are non-profit conferences, or melting pots of ideas, in which guest speakers are also unpaid. The TEDx in Dubrovnik starts at 1pm in the theatre and is scheduled to finish at 7pm, with tickets available at the door. TED speakers have included Bill Gates, Jane Goodall, Elizabeth Gilbert, Sir Richard Branson, Nandan Nilekani, Philippe Starck, Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, Sal Khan and Daniel Kahneman.

The international guest speakers in Dubrovnik will include Davor Ljubimir , Branimir Brkljač, Božidar Jukić, Mihovil Španja, Rebecca Charry Roje, Aleksandra Kolarić, Srećko Koralija, Tomica Šćavina, Ljoba Jenče, Cody McClain, Rambo Amadeus, Mihaela Lekić, Gaella Gotwald, Siniša Car, Elizabeta Planinić. And there will also be a music program with two local artists, Maja Grgić and Lovro Barišić.

Dubrovnik will look forward to an afternoon of exchanging ideas and along the way finding solutions to the challenges of Living Tomorrow.

For further information on the speakers and the themes please download the attachment.

Dubrovnik Tourist Board promo movie named Dubrovnik & Time won one another prestige award on the 9th festival 'ART&TUR' IN Vila Nova de Gaia, Portugal, that was held from 19th to 22th of October. The video has won the second place in the 'Tourism destinations – cities' category. The international competition had a total of 301 movies from 52 countries on this festival.

The main objective of the festival is to promote creativity in tourism, so the contents of the ART & TUR Festival were enriched with complementary film events, such as workshops and photographic exhibitions.

With this award, promo movie Dubrovnik & Time hits a total of thirteen. It produced by BALDUCI FILM Zagreb and directed by Herve Tirmarchea.

Croatia is the country with the most 'mama's boys' in European Union, according to Bloomberg that brings a chart of countries with under-35s that still live with their parents. When it comes to 'mama's girls' our country would also be in the top with more than 60 percent of the ladies that still didn't leave their parents' home. 

Some would say that there are no surprises on the list because it's hard for the young people to 'cut the chains' because of the situation in the country as well as the Euorpean Union slow-moving economy. 

Young people from Denmark, Finland and Sweden are at the bottom of the list. Young Finish women are more likely to live their parents' home, with only 14 percent still living with their mums and dads. 

Every week our resident "Style Guru" will be scanning the streets of Dubrovnik for the latest and greatest in fashion.

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The last time Croatia operated flights to the United States was in the summer of 1991, the year of the Homeland War, when the American airline Pan Am maintained flights four times a week from New York to Zagreb.

Earlier this year the Croatian ambassador to the US announced that the Embassy had continued discussions with various stakeholders in order to explore all possibilities for the reestablishment of direct flights to Croatia as soon as it was economically possible.

On the other hand, a European carrier has been negotiating with Zagreb International Airport about possible seasonal flights to New York for the next summer season. Jacques Feron the general manager of Zagreb Airport previously said that it would be "fantastic" for the Croatian capital to offer direct flights to the United States. "In the US, New York would be an excellent destination, although it is true that this metropolis is well connected to all major European airports", commented Mr Feron.

The announced direct flights between the United States and Croatia might not be far away, but a final agreement is yet to be reached.

The Voice of Dubrovnik


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