Wednesday, 20 October 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

So we had another mass vaccination event this week, or as they call them anti-vaxxer demonstration. It’s just another way to get to the same end. These are basically mass herd immunity events. It has all the elements, a mass of people not wearing masks, unvaccinated people, people shouting at the top of their lungs and people all squashed together.

It’s like Christmas for the virus. I’m all for freedom of speech and civil liberties, although I’m not quite sure what the anti-vaxxers are fighting against. They are basically protesting against something that isn’t compulsory. If you don’t want to get vaccinated then don’t, why do you have to shout about it.

I’m guessing that at some point Croatia will have to open all the restrictions, although that time probably won’t be before next year. My destination for this Christmas, the UK, has absolutely decided that opening up is the best policy. “It’s like a light version of the Swedish approach,” said a friend from London.

Condensing it right down, the government saw that they had reached the upper limits of the people who wanted to get vaccinated, and they saw that the older population were almost totally protected, so they opened up completely to spread the virus amongst the rest of the population. All of a sudden masks were not compulsory, sporting events could have as many supporters as they liked and discos reopened. “It looks like – if you don’t want the vaccine we’ll give you Covid,” commented my friend.

I’m following the situation on the island as we’re planning a big family Christmas this year. And of course in these times the most crucial, and indeed changeable, part of the journey is making sure we follow Covid regulations.

And as we’re driving, and crossing half of Europe, we’ve got a lot to follow. But some good news, very good news, came out of the “reopening” UK this week, news that will a) save us a lot of money and b) earn Dubrovnik more money.

All passengers who are fully vaccinated will no longer need to take the expensive PCR test, at least when returning to the UK from low risk countries. From the 4th of October fully vaccinated passengers arriving from low-risk countries will be permitted to take a cheaper lateral flow test, rather than the privately administered PCR lab tests now required. The insistence on PCR tests has meant that travel from the UK has been expensive, with PCR tests costing up to 80 Euros. That’s basically how one government decision saved me around 400 Euros in PCR tests.

More importantly it caused a wave of holiday reservations as the Brits welcomed the news by clicking “book now” on their laptops. “It is amazing how many people booked flights in October,” a UK travel agent told me. Adding that “If there were flights in November, December, all year round, there would be people booking and coming to Dubrovnik.”

A multiple Emmy-winning investigative reporter and producer from the States, Peter Greenberg, once told me “Airlines must be directed to fly all year round and build up the winter tourism. Otherwise all you are doing is perpetuating the problem of overcrowding. You have to figure out – are you listening to the airlines or are the airlines listening to you. Right now it would seem that the airlines aren’t listening to you at all.” He was right. We are now seeing that people are willing to travel in October and even November, but of course, in fewer numbers than in August, but the demand is there.

Has it taken a global pandemic to realise that we can have winter tourism? But will anything change, probably not as we aren’t the masters of our own destiny, we are hostages to the airlines. As I told you we’re having a big family Christmas this year. We booked the villa which will be our festive base last Christmas. And at the time of booking 70 percent of the villas were already fully booked. Winter tourism is alive in the UK.

In the Dubrovnik-Neretva County, 31 new cases of coronavirus infection have been recorded in the last 24 hours.

These are 17 people from Dubrovnik, three from Konavle, Metković and Župa dubrovačka, two from Slivno and one from Korčula, Ston and Vela Luka.

One male from Metković (born in 1956) died.

41 people made a full recovery: 14 from Dubrovnik, 11 from Župa dubrovačka, three from Dubrovacko primorje and Ploče, two from Konavle and Ston and one from Blato, Korčula, Kula Norinska, Lumbarda, Trpanj and Lastovo.

In the last 24 hours, 740 samples were processed, and since the beginning of the pandemic, a total of 137,543 samples have been analyzed.

14 people tested positive for coronavirus were hospitalized in the Dubrovnik General Hospital. Two patients require intensive care and are on ventilators.

There are 893 people in self-isolation, and in the last 24 hours, two cases of violation of the self-isolation measure were recorded. 

The British national airline, British Airways, will gradually reduce the number of routes and weekly operations to Croatian airports in October.

At the beginning of October, British Airways will have a total of four active flights to Croatia, but the number of weekly flights will gradually decrease from week to week, reports Croatian Aviation.

Dubrovnik is traditionally the most important destination of this UK airline in Croatia, which is evident from the number of weekly flights. Namely, British Airways has the largest number of weekly operations from London to Dubrovnik Airport.

Until the last day of October this year (October 31), British Airways plans to operate between Heathrow and Dubrovnik as many as 11 times a week! Two daily flights are available on Tuesdays, Wednesdays, Thursdays and Sundays, and one flight each on Mondays, Fridays and Saturdays.

Although the company has considered the possibility of traffic on the line between Heathrow and Dubrovnik in the winter flight schedule, however this will not happen due to low demand in the winter months.

 

The whole of Croatia has remained in the red zone on the new European Union Covid-19 map from the European Center for Disease Prevention and Control.

The epidemiological situation is best in Europe in Hungary, the Czech Republic and Denmark, and good conditions are also in parts of Italy and Spain. The worst situation in Europe is in Slovenia, which is the only one marked in dark red.

Red, to remind you, means a 14-day incidence of 75 to 200 infected per 100,000 inhabitants with a positive share of more than 4 percent, and areas where the 14-day incidence is infected from 200 to 500 per 100,000 people.

In the last 24 hours, 1,373 new cases of Covid-19 virus infection were recorded, and the number of active cases in Croatia today is a total of 8,615.

Among them, 694 people are in hospital, of which 89 are on ventilators.

Unfortunately, a further 15 people died in the past 24 hours.

 

In the town hall, the Head Councillor of the borough of Župa Dubrovačka Silvio Nardelli, yesterday received the representative of the vocal group “Klapa Subrenum,” Šime Lukšić, on the occasion of the victory at the 16th Klapa Festival with mandolins and guitars held in Makarska. The festival was held under the auspices of the President of the Republic of Croatia Zoran Milanović, organized by the City of Makarska and the Makarska Tourist Board.

The winning performance of Klapa Subrenum, featured songs "The sea is my destiny" and "Tija bi te jubit mala", and their rendition was greeted by ringing applause, and the expert jury awarded them the largest number of votes.

Nardelli congratulated “Klapa Subrenum” on winning the award and wished them further success.

Architects and designers have control over our setting and by changing the way we design buildings, can shift our physical relationship with the environment. Tomislav Alujević and his award-winning team at studio Aalto have become a distinctive choice for hoteliers and owners of luxury properties throughout the Mediterranean looking to create destinations with the utmost respect for nature and nurture. The Split-based architecture studio has recently been recognized by the Luxury Lifestyle Awards and has named Aalto as a 2021 Winner in the category Best Luxury Architect Studio in Croatia.

High-end hospitality developers looking to build a natural facade with minimal intrusion and supreme ambiance, need to look no further. The team has worked together for over fifteen years and as a collective has the utmost respect for the environment; not only for the site location but with every raw material used throughout the build.

Their design approach is to keep as much of the Mediterranean landscape as possible and to integrate the architecture as such. Their ultimate objective is to conceptualize a ‘dialogue’ between interior and exterior design, ensuring .

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Seamless integration between the indoors and outdoors

The team of Studio Aalto believes that climate change requires a paradigm shift in architectural language and that they have a responsibility to think critically about how they are impacting the environment.

One of their most recent projects, is the MASLINA RESORT, a luxury 5-star seaside boutique hotel. Set amongst unaffected nature overlooking the scenic Maslinica Bay on Hvar Island the resort stretches over 2 hectares of pine forest and is surrounded by olive groves and terraced vineyards.

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Maslina Resort 

The result was a cluster of six interconnected pavilions overlooking the Adriatic Sea which created an illusion of a floating landscape. The use of locally sourced materials such as local Brac Island stone, Iroko wood, brushed brass, and tones of terracotta harmonized with the natural color scheme of the landscape. Custom-made interiors and handpicked vintage pieces complete the space, ultimately designed with the guest in mind.

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Beach bar at Maslina Resort 

This ingenious team of designers approaches every single project with the utmost respect for traditional architecture and the “genius loci” of the structure whilst reinterpreting the construction in a contemporary way. 

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Bringing the discipline of architecture into the next millennium

About Luxury Lifestyle Awards

Luxury Lifestyle Awards is a global award selecting, recognizing, celebrating, and promoting the best luxury goods and services all over the world. The goal of the company is to connect people with the best of luxury. LLA has evaluated more than 10 000 various goods and services in 400 categories from 60 countries and analyzed the results to give you a TOP list of the best of the best in the world. Such world-renowned brands as Chanel, Dom Perignon, and Ferrari were proudly named winners. The victory brings companies status and recognition, global promotion, and exposure to an entirely new market of customers.

Employees in the health and social care system who do not want to be vaccinated, do not have a Covid-certificate, have not recovered from the virus and refuse a test for Covid-19, from October 1 will not be able to enter the institutions where they work, or will be considered not appeared at work, and then they will consequently be able to get an extraordinary dismissal, reveals Jutarnji List.

A government source explained that labour relations are already defined by the Labour Law and employment regulations for health and social care institutions, so that these regulations will not have to change but for those who do not want to have a Covid-certificate will be considered not did not show up at work.

According to the Employment Law, absenteeism can be considered a serious violation of employment and the employee can be fired for misconduct or extraordinary dismissal without the right to severance pay and notice period, and various labour regulations precisely define the procedures in these situations.

 

A new study names Zagreb in top 30 best capital city to visit on vacation. 
 
The travel experts at Bounce analysed capital cities around the globe, based on factors such as the average cost of a hotel & transport, number of attractions & restaurants and average temperatures & rainfall, to reveal the best capital cities to visit on your next city break. 
 
See where your capital city ranks here: https://usebounce.com/blog/capital-cities-index
 
The top 30 highest rated capital cities in the world 
 
 

Rank

Capital City

Country

Average Cost of a Hotel $

Average One Way Ticket Price Local Public Transport $

Average Temperature (degrees c)

Average Annual Rainfall (mm)

Number of Attractions per KMsq

Restaurants per KMsq

Total Score

1

Valletta

Malta

$199.58

$2.37

18.80

427

311.48

442.62

6.74

2

Abu Dhabi

United Arab Emirates

$158.69

$0.55

27.92

42

0.61

2.86

6.24

3

New Delhi

India

$101.87

$0.40

25.00

700

67.33

290.61

6.06

4

Manama

Bahrain

$180.87

$0.80

26.50

68

4.00

23.13

5.77

5

Riyadh

Saudi Arabia

$169.78

$0.87

26.00

66

0.11

0.67

5.74

6

Muscat

Oman

$210.66

$1.32

28.00

100

1.20

2.06

5.59

7

Paris

France

$193.34

$2.26

12.30

720

73.98

165.54

5.57

8

Kuwait City

Kuwait

$180.87

$0.85

25.70

128

2.12

5.72

5.56

9

Ankara

Turkey

$45.74

$0.42

12.00

451

0.02

0.16

5.53

10

Jakarta

Indonesia

$81.77

$0.28

26.70

2,097

1.20

13.53

5.48

11

Bangkok

Thailand

$97.71

$1.23

28.60

1,207

2.22

7.90

5.46

12

Cairo

Egypt

$114.34

$0.32

21.40

18

0.45

1.41

5.42

13

Taipei

Taiwan

$119.19

$0.72

23.00

2,159

5.92

55.81

5.34

14

Nicosia

Cyprus

$97.71

$1.77

19.70

364

7.62

20.35

5.32

15

Madrid

Spain

$131.67

$1.77

15.00

415

5.54

19.38

5.30

16

Hanoi

Vietnam

$79.00

$0.30

23.60

1,760

9.01

9.38

5.26

17

Lisbon

Portugal

$148.99

$2.11

17.50

591

28.93

49.94

5.14

18

Bucharest

Romania

$81.08

$0.60

10.80

699

5.52

9.53

5.11

19

Andorra la Vella

Andorra

$85.24

$2.19

9.80

415

6.58

41.58

5.09

20

Beijing

China

$109.49

$0.62

12.90

566

0.64

2.98

5.07

21

Warsaw

Poland

$70.68

$1.14

8.50

695

2.58

6.38

4.99

22

Zagreb

Croatia

$106.03

$0.64

10.70

917

1.26

1.36

4.98

23

Bratislava

Slovakia

$79.69

$1.07

10.50

683

1.91

3.49

4.96

24

Manila

Philippines

$85.24

$0.50

28.40

1,666

7.21

24.70

4.95

25

Belgrade

Serbia

$86.62

$0.91

12.50

696

2.26

4.70

4.91

26

Luxembourg City

Luxembourg

$126.12

$0.00

9.30

828

5.05

14.44

4.90

27

Prague

Czechia (Czech Republic)

$146.91

$1.25

8.40

687

7.79

10.97

4.85

28

Moscow

Russia

$160.77

$0.68

5.80

678

2.69

5.56

4.80

29

Sofia

Bulgaria

$75.53

$0.97

10.60

623

1.92

2.93

4.80

30

Bridgetown

Barbados

$194.03

$1.76

27.00

1,111

6.73

8.33

4.79

 
 
Valetta, Malta is the most popular capital city in the world with an overall score of 6.74 out of 10. With Valletta being home to the highest number of attractions and restaurants out of all of the capital cities, it is no wonder this city has ranked top of the list.
 
Abu Dhabi, UAE ranks second with a score 6.24 out of 10. Average temperatures in the city hit 27.92 degrees and the average rainfall is just 42mm per year, making this a great destination if you’re a sun seeker.
 
New Dehli, India ranks third place with an average score of 6.06 out of 10, with average temperatures topping 25 degrees and 12,409 restaurants to choose from.
 
Further insights
 
  • Ankara, Turkey is the best capital city for hotel prices, with an average price of $45.74 per night.

  • Luxembourg has free public transport and is the crowned best capital city for transport in the world.

  • Bangkok, Thailand is the best capital city for temperature with an average of 26.6 degrees!

  • Cairo, Egypt has the least rainfall with only 18mm of average rainfall per year.

  • Valletta, Malta is both the best capital city for attractions (311 per KM per sq) and for restaurants (442.6 KM per sq).

The Voice of Dubrovnik

THE VOICE OF DUBROVNIK


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