Thursday, 16 September 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.


According to announcements from the Croatian Ministry of Tourism, the 2017 tourist season is expected to be one of the best in recent years it terms of investment.

The Ministry has confirmed that fifty major projects are to be completed by the beginning of next season, including a great deal of major investments such as hotel complexes that will improve significantly the tourist image of Croatia.

''We are talking about fifty new hotels on the Adriatic coast and on the continent. At the moment, we are collecting precise information on the projects value. The fact is that we already have seven investments on the list of strategic investment projects and twelve more as potential candidates. Also, we are planning on activating the former military property that should be converted into tourist complexes. There are also a number of private investments that have already started this year and are to be completed in 2017'', the Croatian Minister of Tourism confirmed for Jutarnji list.

According to the list of investments collected by Jutarnji list, the value of projects that are to be completed by the 2017 summer season exceeds 300 million Euros with expectancy that this could rise to half a billion Euros due to the great interest of investors as well as domestic and foreign construction companies.

''Thanks to the present geopolitical situation Croatia proves to be a magnet for many investors. Investments in other destinations have recorded a decline due to safety reasons, and as Croatia is still perceived as a safe country, foreign companies are seriously thinking about taking their piece of pie on the Croatian market'', said a construction company manager for Jutarnji list.

One of the biggest investors in the Croatian tourism industry is definitely the American multinational diversified hospitality company Marriott International. According to information the company will invest in a hotel complex in Split that is to be completed by Easter 2017.

Positive news was also announced by the Valamar Riviera, the largest tourism company in Croatia, which has already announced its investment of a two billion Kunas in order to improve tourist offer in its facilities in Rabac in Istria, on the island of Krk, in Poreč and in Dubrovnik by 2020.

Whilst these investments are primarily the reason for satisfaction, an increase in accommodation capacity will once again activate the issue of the lack of workforce in the tourism industry which is already short 30,000 seasonal workers this year. Therefore, the Tourism Minister Kliman has already announced cooperation with the Croatian Employment Service (HZZ) and the Croatian Tourist Board in order to organize a campaign for the retraining of all of those who want to work in the tourism business.

Last year over 200,000 Chinese tourists visited Croatia and registered 270,000 overnight stays which was an increase by 36 percent in arrivals and 37 percent in overnights. This year over 300,000 Chinese guests are expected in Croatia so direct flights between these two countries are definitely 'a must'.

According to Vecernji list, Beijing Capital Airlines has announced new direct flights between Zagreb and Beijing in 2017. The flights will be introduced in June 2017 and will operate twice a week with the 222-seat Airbus A330-200 jet.

Beijing Capital Airlines is a subsidiary of Hainan Airlines, the largest private airline company in China. It currently offers scheduled flights across China as well as to South Korea, Thailand, Vietnam, Japan, the Maldives and Spain. The airline has planned to expand its business into Europe next year, i.e. to Helsinki and Zagreb and just recently the Civil Aviation Administration of China (CAAC) granted Beijing Capital Airlines a permit to operate services from Beijing to the Croatian capital.

Hainan Airlines already expressed interest in Croatia last year when it negotiated with Zadar Airport over possible charter services from China to Croatia. Unfortunately, that idea was never realized. Also Hainan Airlines was linked to a potential equity investment in Croatia Airlines.

Zagreb Airport Franjo Tudman is currently the only airport in the region of the former Balkan country of Yugoslavia to have been linked with the Far East. Korean Airlines maintains summer charters from Seoul to Zagreb operating a total of twelve flights with Airbus A330 aircraft.

Dubrovnik Summer Festival has started last night and like every year it offers a lot to see. Rich programme is cleverly presented in video on Youtube, showing the higlights of this, 67th, Dubrovnik Summer Festival.

During 47 festival days, more than 2000 artists from all over the world will take part in more than 70 theatrical, musical, operatic, ballet, folklore and other events in around twenty site-specific venues. It's clear that everybody can find something for themselves. Don't miss the video and if you want to more details about the program click here.

The 67th Dubrovnik Summer Festival’s music was opened by the world famous tenor, José Cura, whom music critics often call “the fourth tenor”, alluding to The Three Tenors. At the Opening Ceremony directed by Ivan Miladinov, he appeared as both conductor and singer, while today  he will perform some of the finest operatic arias with the soprano Linda Ballova and the Croatian Radio and Television Symphony Orchestra conducted by maestro Mladen Tarbuk in the gala concert taking place in front of St Blaise's Church.

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José Cura became world famous for his intense and original interpretations of opera characters, including the role of Otello from Verdi’s opera of the same name. The brilliant tenor will perform several arias from this opera for the Dubrovnik audience: the Love Duet from Act 1, the realisation of Desdemona’s betrayal, and the moment Otello dies next to the body of his beloved. The programme also includes Blagoje Bersa’s symphonic poem Hamlet, his first orchestral piece intended to portray the state of mind and soul of the tragic hero from Shakespeare’s namesake play. Felix Mendelssohn Bartholdy composed his suite A Midsummer Night’s Dream inspired by Shakespeare’s comedy of the same name. The Croatian Radio and Television Symphony Orchestra will perform the Wedding March from this suite, conjuring up the wedding of Theseus and Hippolyta. The second part of the programme will bring a breath of the Spanish and Latin American culture. After Manuel de Falla’s Ritual Fire Dance and two pieces by Astor Piazzolla, Cura will perform three songs by Armando Manzanero, an exceptionally prolific and successful Mexican composer, whose songs translated into English and performed by great singers such as Frank Sinatra, Tony Bennett and Elvis Presley became chart-toppers in the USA.

Gala concert will take place in front of St. Blaise's Church starting at 9:30 pm, but the versatile artist José Cura has prepared yet another treat for the festival audience. Apart from his successful career of a tenor, conductor and composer, José Cura is also a talented photographer. In his book Espontáneas, he presented his fascinating photos, which will be exhibited in Sponza Palace starting from 13 July.

Dubrovnik has made it to one more top list of countries to visit. It's listed as one of the top five destination for photographers at the Gildshire website

As it's said in the article, no other continent offers the wealth of diversity in subject matter, making Europe an essential voyage for every photographer and Dubrovnik is one of the cities that shouldn't be missed.

- Even today, the city is a car-free zone making it easy to imagine life hundreds of years ago. Walking on the city walls is a must-do photographic activity – the views of the city and the surrounding Adriatic Sea are simply spectacular, and it quickly becomes apparent why Dubrovnik is referred to as the ‘Jewel of the Adriatic’ – writes the author about Dubrovnik.

That's quite true, since anyone who visits Dubrovnik can't leave the town without bunch of beautiful photos.

The 67th Dubrovnik Summer Festival is officially open. With the raising of the Libertas flag and the melody of the “Hymn to Freedom” the festival opening ceremony was held last night. The packed audience, including many dignitaries, in the heart of the Old City were treated to a musical and dance spectacle at the 67th opening of the summer festival, the most important date on the Dubrovnik cultural calendar.

From the 10th of July until the 25th of August in twenty locations in and around Dubrovnik around 2,000 artists will perform. The festival will host forty-five days of world class drama, music, ballet, art and much more with an international audience of over 60,000 people expected this year.

The opening ceremony was a grand affair including a special performance by the famous Argentinean tenor José Cura.

After the main ceremony an impressive fireworks display was held just outside of the Old City walls.

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67 summer festival fireworks

Photos Tonci Plazibat 

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

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Selfies can be dangerous for your health, that the message from the Croatian mountain rescue service. The mountain rescue service has warned people about putting themselves in danger in the hunt for the perfect seflie whilst on holiday in Croatia.

A Canadian man almost fell down a 75-metre cliff top in the Plitvice Lakes national park as he edged further back he fell and was only saved as tree branches broke his fall. The 20 year-old Canadian was lucky, although he did suffer serious injuries according to a police report.

And the Croatian mountain rescue service has urged tourists not to take “stupid and dangerous selfies.” On their official Twitter account they posted - Dear tourists, we respect you. It’s time for you to start respecting yourself. So, stop making stupid and dangerous selfies. Thank you.

This is not the first time that a photo in the Plitvice Lakes has been dangerous, just last year a Slovak tourist fell from the same spot as died whilst taking a photo.

The appeal came after the young Canadian plunged off a 75-metre (250-foot) viewpoint in the Plitvice Lakes national park while trying to take the perfect selfie.

The Voice of Dubrovnik


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