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 branches of tourism that will take the longest to recover is the cruise ship industry. And whilst tourism in Dubrovnik this summer has been surprisingly positive the number of cruise ship arrivals has been massively down on previous years.
The news that fewer cruise ships dropped anchor in Dubrovnik would be greeted with relief in the city, as generally the crowds that they cause is one of the main sources of over tourism in the city. However, they are also an important branch of income for a sector of the tourism industry.
From the beginning of the year until the end of July a total of 35 journeys by cruise ships was recorded in the Dubrovnik-Neretva County. To put that into some context the whole of the Republic of Croatia only saw 49 cruise ship journeys over that period and Dubrovnik received 35 of them.
Compared to the first seven months of 2019, the number of journeys of foreign vessels on cruises in Croatia decreased by a massive 86.7 and the number of passengers on board these vessels by 93.8 percent.
Croatia has three new Michelin star restaurants after the latest gastro guide was unveiled today. The restaurants Nebo in Rijeka, Alfred Keller on Mali Lošinj and Agli Amica in Rovinj were all awarded one Michelin star. Whilst the restaurants Boškinac in Novalja, LD Terrace on Korčula, Pelegrini in Šibenik, 360º in Dubrovnik, Monte in Rovinj, Noel in Zagreb and Draga di Lovrana in Lovran kept their stars.
"For the entire Croatian gastronomic scene, the awarding of the prestigious Michelin stars in the circumstances of the global corona virus pandemic is an exceptional success. This is very important for Croatian tourism because our country now has a total of 10 Michelin-starred restaurants, or a total of 79 restaurants with a label from this prestigious gastronomic guide,” commented the director of the Croatian National Tourist Board, Kristjan Stanicic.
He added that “This is a confirmation of the quality of Croatian gastronomy, i.e. our overall tourist offer in this segment, which is one of the main motives for many travel enthusiasts around the world. For us, the presence of our country in Michelin guides represents additional promotion and visibility, but also motivation in our efforts to make Croatia a prominent and internationally recognized gastronomic destination.”
The new edition of the Michelin guide for Croatia for 2021 includes the new Michelin Green Star label, which was awarded to Zinfandel’s restaurant in Zagreb. It is a label awarded to restaurants that are especially dedicated to gastronomy that is sustainable and environmentally friendly.
"Croatia is a particularly interesting destination that allows travellers and gourmets to enjoy authentic and diverse gastronomic experiences. The country offers local chefs local products of exceptional quality, which makes them surpass themselves day by day,” commented Gwendal Poullennec, the International Director of MICHELIN.
The new stars are the result of a secret tour of Croatian restaurants by professional inspectors from Michelin, the most important and most recognized guide globally for restaurants.
In the last 24 hours, 704 new cases of Covid-19 virus infection were recorded, and the number of active cases in Croatia today is 4,199.
Among them, 518 people are in hospital, of which 57 are on ventilators.
Unfortunately, a further 10 people died.
Since February 25, 2020, when the first case of infection was recorded in Croatia, a total of 378,726 people have been infected with the new coronavirus, of which 8,385 have died, a total of 366,142 people have recovered, of which 527 recovered in the last 24 hours.
There are currently 8,862 people in self-isolation.
To date, a total of 2,607,201 people have been tested, of which 10,077 were tested in the last 24 hours.
As of September 6, 3,302,352 doses of vaccine had been consumed, and 42.98% of the total population and 51.61% of the adult population had been vaccinated. On September 6, 5,369 doses of the vaccine were consumed, of which 2,970 people were vaccinated with the first dose.
In the Dubrovnik-Neretva County, 33 new cases of coronavirus infection have been recorded in the last 24 hours.
These are 16 males and 17 females: ten from Dubrovnik, nine from Konavle, four from Župa dubrovačka, three from Metković and Ploče and one from Dubrovačko primorje, Lumbarda, Slivno and Trpanj.
30 people made a full recovery: 19 from Dubrovnik, three from Korčula and Metković, two from Dubrovačko primorje and one from Ploče, Slivno and Vela Luka.
In the last 24 hours, 581 samples were processed, and since the beginning of the pandemic, a total of 127,050 samples have been analyzed.
28 people tested positive for coronavirus were hospitalized in the Dubrovnik General Hospital. Four patients require intensive care and are on ventilators.
There are 561 people in self-isolation, and no case of violation of the self-isolation measure has been recorded in the last 24 hours.
British tourists are traditionally the most numerous in Dubrovnik and this year doesn’t look like being any different. With the government placing Croatia on the green travel list more and more flights have been arriving in the south of Croatia and the indicators for September and October are positive.
Dubrovnik is certainly the darling of the media in the UK and with celebrities such as Sir Bob Geldof and England football stars Jack Grealish and Harry Maguire spending their summer holidays in Dubrovnik the city has filled the pages of many UK newspapers.
And the latest press article to highlight Dubrovnik is the popular website MyLondon with an article entitled “The pretty city 3 hours from Heathrow and Gatwick regularly named one of the best in the world and it's on the green list.”
The article states that “On the deep blue Adriatic Sea is where you’ll find the walled medieval city of Dubrovnik in Croatia. Visitors can enjoy the scenic views of the city as they walk along the cobblestone streets where you’ll feel transported back in time. If the picturesque paths don’t give you historic vibes then you’ll at least feel like you’ve stepped onto the set of Game of Thrones, which is quite literally what it is.”
Certainly more great publicity for Dubrovnik and the tourism industry in what has been a bounce-back year.
August was a busy month for Croatia’s southernmost airport with 291,207 passengers passing through the airport. Both July and August have been busy at Dubrovnik Airport and the difference between the height of the season and the rest of the year is striking.
291,207 passengers used Dubrovnik Airport in August, which is a considerable increase over August 2020 when 119.838 passengers passed through, although in the record breaking tourism year of 2019 a massive 524.615 passengers used the airport.
In fact, more passengers travelled through Dubrovnik Airport this August than all the other months in the year combined! And with the indicators suggesting that September, and even October, has positive bookings the airport could look forward to a long post-season.
According to the program for determining the quality of the sea on the beaches of the Dubrovnik-Neretva County for 2021, the Public Health Institute of the Dubrovnik-Neretva County conducted the eighth regular sea test on 120 beaches from August 23 to September 3. All the sea samples on 120 beaches complied with the requirements of the bathing sea quality regulation.
During the eighth sea quality test on the beach below the walls on Korčula on August 24, short-term pollution was found. Additional sea samples were sampled from August 27 to September 3. The test results from 31 August to 3 September meet the quality requirements, indicating the cessation of the short-term pollution.
The sea on 116 beaches was rated as a sea of excellent quality, on four beaches the sea was rated as good, while the sea on the beaches Uvala pržina on Korčula and Porporela in Dubrovnik was rated as satisfactory.
Croatian tennis player, Marin Čilić, announced on Instagram on Sunday that his wife had given birth to another son. His wife Kristina Milković gave birth to his second son.
Čilić wrote on his social media that “Our small family has grown by another member. Grateful to share that Baldo’s best friend has arrived. And just like that we are officially a team of 4. Baby boy is doing great and Kristine Milković is an absolute rock star. We can’t wait to bring this guy home to his brother.”