Friday, 03 April 2020
Ivana Smilović

Ivana Smilović

Ivana Smilović – a senior journalist at The Dubrovnik Times. Born and raised in Dubrovnik, Ivana (or Smile as she is known to all) graduated Media Studies from the University of Dubrovnik. A book worm, coffee addict and want-to-be world traveller Ivana brings her unique local insight, connections and general optimistic and well smiley feel to the Times.


Coronavirus pandemic has paralyzed air traffic worldwide, including in Croatia. And what are the proportions of the difficult situation in which the aviation industry has found itself shows the data on passenger traffic for March at the three largest Croatian airports - Zagreb, Split and Dubrovnik – reports.

While the Zagreb Airport has four daily scheduled flights operated by Croatia Airlines, so some passengers can still be seen at the airport, Dubrovnik and Split are completely deserted without any flights daily. The situation is the same at smaller Croatian airports - Zadar, Pula, Rijeka and Osijek.

According to, the Zagreb Airport (Franjo Tudman) recorded a 58 percent drop in the number of passengers in March compared to March 2019, when 232,978 passengers passed through the largest Croatian airport.

Split Airport had 50,037 passengers in March last year, and only 16,466 in March this year.

When it comes to Dubrovnik, 57,773 passengers passed through the airport in the third month of 2019, and 19,480 in March this year, which is a 66.3 percent drop. But it's important to emphasize that Dubrovnik Airport has been closed for all the civil traffic from March 19th, after the first case of COVID-19 was dicovered with an employee of Dubrovnik Airport. It is planned to stay closed until April 15th and, combined with the world situation, there is no bright future for the traffic numbers in the next couple of months. According to, in April last year more than 210 thousand passengers passed through this airport.

Croatia Airlines operates four more flights from Zagreb to Frankfurt, London, Brussels and Amsterdam. At the Dubrovnik airport, was told that all airlines canceled their flights for April and May, but their hope is that they will start returning in June.

During March 2020, 16,778 arrivals were recorded in the Dubrovnik-Neretva County, which is 73 percent less than in March 2019 and 60,298 overnight stays, which is 55 percent less than in March 2019.

Since the beginning of the year, there were 63.054 arrivals, which is 45 percent less than in the same period of 2019. In the first three months of 2020, 178,437 overnights were realized, which is 39 percent less than in 2019.

World Autism Awareness Day is celebrated on April 2nd, and on that occasion blue balloons from Luza were released by Dubrovnik Mayor Mato Frankovic and Deputy Mayor Jelka Tepsic. They were joined by the commander of the Dubrovnik Fire Department and the Chief of the Civil Protection Staff Stjepko Krilanovic and the County Fire Commander Stjepan Simovic.

While drawing attention to all the challenges of life with autism, City and Staff leaders once again sent a message to the public - Stay Home.

Although traditionally throughout Croatia April 2nd is marked by various events and the traditional release of blue balloons in city squares, this year, due to the special measures because of the coronavirus, there were no such manifestations.

-When the quarantine is over, remember our isolation - said the Autism Association of Croatia, among other things, on the occasion of this year's World Autism Awareness Day.

A new respirator Draeger Evita INFINITY V500 worth 210 thousand kuna has arrived to Dubrovnik General Hospital – Dubrovacki vjesnik reports.

The funding for this respirator was provided by Dubrovnik General Hospital for the planned period of 2020.

In this difficult situation of the Covid-19 pandemic, which causes serious respiratory illnesses, this kind of respirator will help the medical staff in combating the virus while controlling ventilation and respiration, and will provide respiratory support for patients with coronavirus.

Fear and anxiety marked the first few weeks of coronavirus situation, but with the time passing by, many people are embracing the positivity and trying to lift the sipirits of others.

That's why the group of Dubrovnik citizens, musicians or music lovers, but surely familiar faces to anybody living in our City, joined and sung ''Moja domovina'' (My Homeland), famous patriotic song originally recorded in 1991 as a charity single by the Croatian Band Aid.

The video is made by LMT Studio.

The reactions to this version are pouring in, and many say that it gave them the shivers. Listen to it below and – enjoy!

Dubrovnik woke up with low temperatures, bringing snow on the mountains and making it feel like it's the middle of the winter, not April 1st.

That surprised many, but especially furry residents of the Zarkovica Animal Shelter, placed just above the Old City of Dubrovnik.

Sandra Sambrailo shared the photos from the shelter this morning, with the caption:
''Good morning from Zarkovica! We won't complain about being cold and you don't complain about being bored in your warm apartment. 'Stay at home' sounds tempting!''

It surely is tempting when it comes to these low temperatures, but there were still a couple of volunteers who didn't let snow stop them and arrived to the shelter to walk with the dogs. Praiseworthy!




The Regulation on Excise Duty on Tobacco Products and Alcoholic Beverages in Croatia came into force today, April 1st, 2020.

Therefore, cigarettes prices could increase by two kuna, while alcoholic beverages could go up by three kuna more per liter - reports. 

Sweetened juices prices will also go up, depending on the amount of sugar in them. Wine and beer are not included in this regulation, so their price should remain the same.

Sugar free juices are expected to go cheaper.

There are different ways of coping with coronavirus, isolation and anxiety that comes with all of that. After the collective singing of "Moja domovina", last night Mokosica sang the big hit of the legendary Oliver Dragojevic – Cesarica.

At 8 pm, the citizens of this Dubrovnik's district went out to their balconies and windows, turned off the lights in their houses and apartments, and the all-time Cesarica awakened the emotions and nostalgia for the great Croatian musician, Oliver Dragojevic, who sadly passed away in July 2018 after his fight with lung cancer at the age of 71, but will be remembered forever.

The Voice of Dubrovnik


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