Wednesday, 28 July 2021
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.

Email: mark.thomas@dubrovnik-times.com

As the tourist season in Dubrovnik reaches its peak around 13,500 tourists stayed in Dubrovnik last weekend. This figure represents 52 percent of the number from the same weekend from 2019.

The most numerous guests were from France, the USA, Germany, Croatia, Russia, Poland, Great Britain, Ukraine, Spain and Austria. The number of tourists from Great Britain is expected to rise drastically as from today Croatia is on the UK green Covid list and more airlines from the UK are expected to arrive.

Since the beginning of the year, slightly more than 123 thousand tourist arrivals and close to 411 thousand overnight stays have been registered, which is around 20 percent of the tourist traffic realized in the same period of pre-pandemic 2019.

 

During last weekend, from 16 to 18 July, 761,549 vehicles were registered on all motorways under the jurisdiction of Croatian Motorways and 42.7 million Kuna was collected in tolls. This is 30 percent more than over the same period from last year and the income is 36 percent higher than last year, Croatian Motorways announced.

In the same weekend last year 31.3 million Kuna was collected in tools and 587,250 vehicles used the motorways.

Compared to 2019 the figures are less, over the same weekend 841,690 vehicles used Croatian highways and 47.4 million Kuna was collected.

Croatia has opened up to British tourists as from today, the 19th of July, the country now finds itself on the green travel list. Although, in fact Croatia is actually on the green watch list, which basically means that it can be moved back to the amber list at short notice.

And since the decision to open up travel to Croatia a wave of announced new flights and indeed publicity from UK publications has meant that interest is high. One of the most popular newspapers in the UK, The Daily Mail, produced a double-page spread on tourism in Croatia with the headline – “Croatia Joins the Party.”

Croatia entry requirements for UK tourists -

UK travellers entering Croatia must provide evidence of one of the following:

Full vaccination (with second jab received at least 14 days prior to travel)

A negative Covid-19 antigen test taken within 48 hours before travel

A negative Covid-19 PCR test taken within 72 before travel

A doctor’s certificate of recovery following a positive test result between 11 and 180 days prior to travel

And Croatia accepts the UK NHS card as proof of vaccination.

 

The Croatian Minister of Health Minister, Vili Beroš, spoke today about the Covid-19 epidemic in Croatia. In the past 24 hours 18 new cases of Covid-19 were recorded across Croatia and there are currently 685 active cases in the country. There are 125 people in hospital and 14 people on ventilators. Unfortunately, over the past 24 hours a further 2 people passed away due to the virus in Croatia.

And Minister Beroš sent a clear message to people to get vaccinated, “Last month, 579 citizens ended up in hospital because of Covid-19 – 94 percent of them were not vaccinated. The maths is clear, the vaccine against Covid-19 = healthy and normal life. Let's protect ourselves and others,” wrote the Minister on Twitter.

 

In the last 24 hours, two new cases of coronavirus infection have been recorded in the Dubrovnik-Neretva County. These new cases are one male and one female, from Dubrovnik and Blato.

On a positive note eight people made a full recovery - seven from Dubrovnik and one from Župa dubrovačka.

In the last 24 hours, 218 samples were processed, and a total of 91,893 samples have been analysed since the beginning of the pandemic.

Ten people tested positive for coronavirus were hospitalized in the Dubrovnik General Hospital, and one male person from Konavle (born in 1941) died in the last 24 hours.

There are 238 people in self-isolation, and in the last 24 hours no violation of the self-isolation measure was recorded.

 

Dubrovačko Primorje will soon have a new fish market in Slano. The fish market, which is a project funded by the European Maritime and Fisheries Fund, will be a new way for the local fishing community to sell their products.

The total value of the project is 287,562.50 Kuna, of which 85 percent has been financed from EU funds, while the funds of the Republic of Croatia participate in 15 percent of the project value.

The implementation of this project introduces a new and better way of placing fishery and aquaculture products on the market that has not been present in the municipality so far. Fishermen and traders will be able to sell on a daily basis, which should ultimately lead to an increase in the consumption of fishery and aquaculture products, which is also the overall goal of this project.

On the opening day of the fish market, visitors will be able to buy fish and shellfish starting at 7.30 am.

During the first six months of 2021 Vela Luka was visited by 4,187 guests and achieved 24,621 overnight stays. The most numerous tourists to this town on the island of Korcula were from Poland, Slovenian and Germany.

According to information from the Vela Luka Municipality up to the 15th of July there were 33 percent more tourists in the destination compared to the same period from 2020. However, as last year’s tourism was greatly affected by the Covid-19 pandemic any comparison to last year is complicated.

Currently, there are 321 guests staying in Vela Luka in various accommodation facilities, with more than 50 percent of these tourists staying in private accommodation.

Have you ever been to Canada? If not, it really should be on your list as a ‘go to place’. Canada, of course, is far larger than Croatia and has a vast changing landscape, with a multitude of interesting cities, towns and rural regions to visit. If you make the trip, amazing landscapes, wonderful food and a huge amount of charm and history await you. Canadian culture is fascinating, even though, less than 200 years ago, it was far more of a wilderness.

There can be many reasons for visiting Canada such as tourism, work, or joining family already residing there. Before you can sample the delights of travelling here, you will need help from experts like Byevisa who will happily guide you through the necessary travel documents to visit Canada, to make your trip as hassle-free as possible.

More and more Croatians are touring or visiting Canada. As a Croatian citizen, you do not need a ‘visa’ as such, but you will need an eTA. The eTA is an Electronic Travel Authorisation, an entry document that is linked to your passport. With no requirement for an actual full ‘visa’ and laborious paperwork for Croatians to enter by air, (Canada is visa-free for residents of the EU), this is a much simpler process. Even though it will be checked electronically at passport control, it is wise to print your eTA off and take it with you just in case. The good news is, it is valid for a whole 5 years, or until your passport expires. An excellent reason for you to pay multiple visits here!

As long as you provide accurate personal details on the online application form, The Canadian Immigration authorities will process it quickly, so you can start making plans for your trip. Will it be ‘The Canadian Rockies’ in the West, or the bright lights of Toronto in the South-East? If you can spend a little more time than usual on holiday, you will never be bored here!

With a valid eTA, many other countries will also welcome you with open arms. If you decide to plan your route to travel via other destinations on your way to Canada, you will need to check the visa requirements for these destinations. For instance, if you visit Canada by boat, sea or coach, you may well need other visas or travel authorisations to enter if these destinations are not visa exempt.

Is it easy to travel from Dubrovnik to Canada?

Unfortunately, there are no direct flights to any Canadian destination, but flying time itself from Dubrovnik to Canada can take around 11 hours. Toronto is the shortest route at around 11 and a half hours minimum, but the further east you go, it will take up to 16 hours, depending on which carrier you choose. Flight costs however can be made economical, if you are prepared to tolerate more than 1 stopover. Remember to take into account time changes when you plan your trip as Canada has 6 time zones.

Can you compare Croatia with Canada?

In some ways, yes, but they still have very different traits, other than both being beautiful destinations. For instance, whilst Dubrovnik is a vibrant and busy capital, it still has a very relaxed atmosphere, whereas the larger cities in Canada are like other capitals such as New York, or London, full of hustle and bustle. You can still find quieter, more relaxing destinations away from the cities, however. If you end up at Lake Louise in the province of Banff, you will never find a more tranquil stretch of water and an air of complete calm.

The food is quite different with much more widespread international offerings in Canada. Lobster is very much on the menu in both destinations though, along with a variety of other seafood. Both destinations can boast of Michelin starred restaurants and on the opposite end of the spectrum, pizza places are infinitely cheaper in Dubrovnik than in Canada! Eating out in Canada is significantly more expensive than dining in Croatia. However, experiencing the diverse food scene in cities like Toronto is an experience not to be missed.

Thinking of Emigrating to Canada?

It’s far better to visit any country first, before making the huge decision to emigrate. However, there are plenty of valid reasons to consider a new life in a country with such a vast expanse.

Some reasons could be:

A better lifestyle, depending on what makes you happy

Top medical facilities

A wider spectrum of job potential in different skills

Moving to be closer to family

Better choice of education

Croatians are very welcome to work in Canada, with many managerial positions available particularly in the IT and skilled labour sectors. Many of these roles do come with excellent benefit packages, a point to consider. There are already many Croats living in Canada, some in communities in and around the cities, but according to a recent census, the majority are in Montreal and Toronto. The cost of living is much higher in Canada, but the salaries are much more lucrative.

If you are between the ages of 18-35, you will qualify as part of the Youth Mobility Programme, an agreement between Croatia and the Canadian government. You do not need a specific work visa, but you do need a permit under the agreement. If you are over 35, then you will have to have a work permit/visa in which a specific employer sponsors you. Skilled workers work under another programme entirely. which requires more documentation and will take longer. The ability to speak either English or French to a good level is also essential, as is proof that you have worked in your skilled profession for at least 2 years. After vetting your application, you will be asked to attend some interviews where you will be assessed. The whole process will take several months until you know whether you qualify.

The charm of Canada

Canada is indeed a wonderful place to visit, and travel between the various regions is easy. It’s stunningly picturesque in the forests, mountains and along the coastline. If you are into sport, Canada has so much to offer, as well as adventure holidays, hiking and skiing in picturesque spots. Cultural events abound with everything from opera to dance, theatre to photography, indoor and outdoor cinemas and watersports. Many people who visit Canada are very likely to return for more vacations and sightseeing. The Canadians are friendly and welcoming and as soon as it is time to go home, you’ll be wishing that you could stay longer!

The Voice of Dubrovnik

THE VOICE OF DUBROVNIK


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