Friday, 19 August 2022
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

Today, the 5th of August, is a public holiday across Croatia, Victory and Homeland Thanksgiving Day and the Day of Croatian Defenders.

Up and down the country this important day on the Croatian calendar will be marked with special events. The day marks an important date in the Homeland War in 1995 when, as part of Operation Storm, the Croatian Army liberated the city of Knin. And in 2008, the Croatian Parliament also assigned the name Day of Croatian Defenders to honour the current service members and veterans of the Armed Forces of Croatia.

As ever the main celebrations today will be in Knin, however each city will organise their own events.

 

The Guardian has compiled a list of the 40 best beaches for 2022, and three Croatian beaches make the top forty, including one in the Dubrovnik region.

With sea temperatures around 26 degrees and the turquoise glint of the Adriatic once again proving a magnet for tourists the popular UK newspaper has placed three Croatian beaches in their latest research.

And one of the beaches is in the Dubrovnik-Neretva County, Divna beach on the Pelješac peninsular.

"Divna beach is located on the northern coast of the Pelješac peninsula. The small pebble bay is surrounded by pine-covered hills. There are several shady spots, and the undersea between the beach and the islet is great for snorkelling," writes the Guardian about this popular beach.

The other two Croatian beaches in the top forty list were Mlini bay, which is part of Pakleni islands, and the Lošinj beach of Krivica bay.

divna beach plaza croatia

Divna Beach - Photo - Canva

 

During July 2022, there were 382,712 tourist arrivals and 1,955,001 overnight stays in the Dubrovnik-Neretva County. Compared to the same period in 2021, there were 45 percent more arrivals and 34 percent more overnight stays.

The most overnight stays were made by guests from the United Kingdom, Poland, Slovenia, Germany, Croatia and Bosnia and Herzegovina.

From the beginning of the year to the end of July, 3,943,556 overnight stays were realized. Compared to the same period in 2021, 91 percent more overnight stays were realized.

From January to the end of July, tourists from the United Kingdom, Germany, Croatia, Poland, the United States of America, France and Slovenia made the most overnight stays.

 

Thanks to favourable weather conditions, salt harvesting began in the Ston salt works on Tuesday, 10 days earlier than last year.

The salt was extracted, as usual, from the Frano basin. 70 tons of high-quality salt for general consumption was collected.

Volunteers from Dubrovnik, Korčula and neighbouring Herzegovina participated in the hard work, which is still carried out in the old-fashioned way and is a special attraction that draws many tourists.

 

The number of departures on the regular ferry line 634 Orebić-Dominče (Korčula) will increase from the upcoming weekend through the cooperation of the Dubrovnik-Neretva County, the Municipality of Orebić, the Agency for Coastal Line Maritime Transport and Jadrolinija.

Namely, with the increase in the number of passengers arriving on the island of Korčula via the port of Orebić or coming from Korčula to Pelješac via the port of Orebić, the need for a vessel with a larger capacity and a greater number of departures on the mentioned line has emerged. Thus, on the route Orebić-Dominče, the ferry "Mljet" will operate, which has a capacity of 616 passengers and 145 passenger vehicles. From this weekend, additional departures will be provided on the mentioned line when the need arises.

 

Could the south of Croatia face a serious water shortage? The summer temperatures across Dalmatia have been in the mid-thirties for months and rain hasn’t fallen over a constant period of time since the summer began. And with another hot and dry August on the way it could be at least another month before normal rainfall arrives. And this, according to the State Hydro Meteorological Institute, could cause a problem with drinking water in the south of Croatia.

The institute warned on Tuesday that since the water in the south of Croatia is more dependent on the amount of precipitation, if there is no rain, the availability of drinking water could become a problem, as water consumption has increased due to the tourist season.

In Croatia, temperatures have been high for a long time, at the end of July they rose to 39 degrees Celsius, and the current hydrological state and river water levels are significantly affected by the lower amount of precipitation in recent months, according to the institute.

“According to the calculations of the meteorological models, there are no forecasted significant precipitations in the next week that could improve the current hydrological situation,” said the institute.

Already the Istrian County has limited water consumption and prohibited the watering of public and private green areas, the use of showers on beaches, the washing of vehicles and public areas, streets and squares. And if rain doesn’t fall soon on the south of Croatia similar water restrictions could be seen.

 

A year is a long time in tourism. From almost complete isolation and shutdown to crowded streets and waiting lists for overbooked restaurants. Experts feared that the consequences of the pandemic would be deep and long-lasting, voices of optimism were few and far between. But clearly a year is a long time in tourism as figures from the front line of the tourism industry, Dubrovnik Airport suggest that the bounce back has already begun. Seeing that around 90 percent of visitors to Dubrovnik arrive through the airport the data of passenger numbers highlights the overall situation of tourism in the city.

In July last year 191,714 passengers passed through Dubrovnik Airport. It was the first month that the city saw tourist return mainly thanks to the fact that the UK eased travel restrictions. A month before only 59,566 passengers had passed through the southernmost airport in Croatia.

Just to get some perspective in 2019, which was a record year in terms of tourism numbers, a massive 514,723 passengers used the airport. Only August saw more passengers through the airport, with 524,615.

Now, this July the return to “normality” is coming closer, as 425,536 passengers used Dubrovnik Airport, more than double the numbers from last year.

In fact, these latest figures for July are the busiest the airport has been since August 2019!

Already over 1.1 million passengers have used the airport this year and with August and September expected to bring impressive results the 2 million landmark could be within reach. The driving force are flights from the UK, with easyJet, British Airways and Jet2.com the market leaders, however the airport is connected with over 60 European destinations, as well as transatlantic flights from New York.

In 2019 a total of 2.89 million passengers used Dubrovnik Airport, in 2020 as the pandemic struck that dropped to just over 330,000, and then in 2021 927,934 passengers. This year will surpass the previous two years in a matter of weeks. A year is a long time in tourism, indeed.

 

According to data from the eVisitor tourist check-in and check-out system, 193,473 tourist arrivals and 724,817 overnight stays were recorded in Dubrovnik in July 2022. These figures represent a 66 percent increase in tourist arrivals and a 70 percent increase in overnight stays compared to the same month from last year.

After two years of travel chaos caused by the global pandemic the tourism industry in Dubrovnik is bouncing back. 2019 was a record year for Dubrovnik’s tourism businesses and the latest figures from July this year highlight that after a couple of barren years the resilience of tourism should not be underestimated. Compared to the record year 2019, 91 percent of tourist traffic was achieved in overnight stays and 84 percent in tourist arrivals in July.

Most of the guests who stayed in Dubrovnik during July were from the United Kingdom, the USA, France, Germany, Norway, Ireland, Croatia, Spain, Poland and the Netherlands. According to the type of accommodation in July, there were 84,797 arrivals and 329,588 overnight stays in hotels and 81,164 arrivals and 302,874 overnight stays in private accommodation.

The Voice of Dubrovnik

THE VOICE OF DUBROVNIK


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