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.
One of the stars of the England National football team is spending some time relaxing in Dubrovnik after his exploits at the Euro 2020. The midfield ace, Jack Grealish, who plays for Aston Villa had been on holiday in Greece and then moved onto Dubrovnik.
Grealish, who starred in the England team that made it all the way to the Euro 2020 finals, posed in a the Rixos Premium Hotel in Dubrovnik with the chef from the Teppanyaki restaurant. And the Rixos chef commented on social media “Thank you so much Jack Grealish for having a wonderful dinner in Umi Teppanyaki restaurant and my pleasure to cook for you tonight.”
The 25-year-old Grealish is currently the centre of a possible multi-million-pound transfer to Manchester City.
Before arriving in Croatia Jack Grealish had been living it up on the Greek island of Mykonos with teammates Mason Mount, Ben Chilwell, Luka Shaw and Kyle Walker.
If a hundred thousand more tourists were currently on the Adriatic now, the end of this month would be completely similar to the last days of July in the pre-pandemic 2019.
There are currently just over 900,000 guests in the country. Foreigners dominate, but 125,000 domestic tourists mean that the season has reached its peak for Croatian citizens as well.
About 450,000 new guests arrived last weekend alone, which is 20 percent better than the same weekend last year, writes Večernji list.
Comparisons also show that there are now 185,000 more tourists in Croatia than on the same day in 2020, and that the gap behind the record 2019, according to the eVisitor tourist traffic monitoring system, is 140,000 guests. The most visited is, by the way, Istria with 243,000 tourists, among the destinations is Rovinj, and the Germans have been the most numerous throughout the whole year.
In the Dubrovnik-Neretva County, 29 new cases of coronavirus infection were recorded in the last 24 hours.
These are 15 males and 14 females; seven from Metković, six from Dubrovnik, four from Ploče, three from Opuzen, two each from Kula Norinska and Slivno, one each from Korčula, Lumbarda, Ston and Zažablje and one non-resident of the county.
17 people made a full recovery - four from Dubrovnik and Ploče, three from Zažablje and Župa dubrovačka, two from Konavle and one from Opuzen.
In the last 24 hours, 610 samples were processed, and since the beginning of the pandemic, a total of 96,255 samples have been analysed.
Eight people tested positive for coronavirus were hospitalized in the Dubrovnik General Hospital.
There are 378 people in self-isolation, and in the last 24 hours, three cases of violation of the self-isolation measure were recorded, one of which was at the border.
Nearly 843,000 vehicles drove on Croatian motorways last weekend, which is 39 percent more than the same weekend from last year, a clear indication that this season is considerably better than last year.
Revenue from tolls collected during the past weekend, from July 23 to 25, amounted to slightly more than 46.5 million Kuna (excluding VAT). Compared to the same weekend in July last year, there were about 136 thousand more vehicles on Croatian motorways and about 13.5 million Kuna more tolls collected.
Even when compared to 2019 there were only 3 percent fewer vehicles last weekend compared to the same weekend from 2019.
"Although the overall traffic was lower than in 2019, it is interesting that on some highways there was more traffic than in the same weekend in 2019,” commented Croatian Highways.
The European Commission President, Ursula von der Leyen, announced that the target of 70 percent of vaccinated adults in the European Union was reached on Tuesday, and called on everyone who has the opportunity to be vaccinated for their own health and the protection of others.
"Our goal in July was to protect 70 percent of adults in the European Union with at least one dose. Today, we have achieved that goal, and 57 percent of adults have been fully vaccinated,” said the President of the Commission.
Von der Leyen points out that efforts should be continued and as many people as possible vaccinated.
“The delta variant is very dangerous. I therefore call on everyone - who has the opportunity - to get vaccinated. For their own health and the protection of others,” said von der Leyen, noting that the EU will continue to provide enough vaccines.
Around 17,500 tourists stayed in Dubrovnik last weekend, with the French the most numerous. According to information from the eVisitor system, which checks arrivals, registrations and cancellations, the number of tourists in Dubrovnik last weekend was 65 percent of the number from the record breaking 2019.
Clearly the doom and gloom that the tourist season in Dubrovnik would be a washout this year was off the mark as more and more guests arrive and the early predictions from experts that the final figure would be around 60 percent seems to be spot on. The historic Old City is busy, with queues for spare tables at most restaurants and hotels, especially five-star hotels, showing solid bookings. Of course, the uncertainty of the pandemic still hangs over the tourism industry, although there is a resilience, as one Dubrovnik restaurant owner stated today “We will continue to work, to stay optimistic and to look forward to an even better 2022. Although to be fair this year has been a pleasant surprise. It’s time to look up and not down.”
The most numerous guests in Dubrovnik at the moment are from France, followed by tourists from the USA, Germany and since the UK placed Croatia on the green travel list Brits are the fourth most numerous. By the end of the season there is a good chance, if the Covid-19 situation remains stable, that UK tourists will once again be the most numerous. Indicators show that bookings from the UK market are up in October meaning that there could well be a positive post-season.
Since the beginning of the year, close to 153,000 tourist arrivals and 521,000 overnight stays have been registered.
A Dubrovnik restaurant has been listed in the top 25 restaurants in Europe. The Michelin-star “360” has made it onto the list of the top fine dining restaurants in Europe for 2020 in a new TripAdvisor ranking. This fine dining Dubrovnik restaurant was the only Dubrovnik restaurant on the top 25 list in Europe, but was joined by another Croatian restaurant “Monte” in Rovinj.
“Absolutely brilliant experience all round. Food was amazing and absolute artistry and hard work has clearly gone into every aspect of the food and presentation. Lots of extra little courses we weren’t expecting,” was one of the latest reviews left on TripAdvisor.
Restaurant 360 is the only Dubrovnik restaurant to be awarded with the prestigious Michelin star, although there are a further nine restaurants in the city with a listing in the Michelin guide book.
This latest recognition from TripAdvisor is one in a long list of awards for 360.
In the last 24 hours, 27 new cases of Covid-19 virus infection were recorded, and the number of active cases in Croatia today is a total of 924
Among them, 138 people are in hospital, of which 13 are on ventilators.
Unfortunately, a further 2 people died.
Since February 25, 2020, when the first case of infection was recorded in Croatia, a total of 362,648 people have been infected with the new coronavirus, of which 8,247 have died, a total of 353,477 people have recovered, 110 of them in the last 24 hours.
There are currently 3,521 people in self-isolation.
To date, a total of 2,251,838 people have been tested, of which 3,372 were tested in the last 24 hours.