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.
If we say Dubrovnik, what comes to your mind? Certainly many of you would answer the Old City or the City Walls. Well, there is a video that will make you feel like you are right there!
Facebook page Outdoors Croatia, which shares amazing shots from our beautiful country and is followed by 44 thousand people, has published a truly mesmerizing video from the City Walls. Aerial shots of Dubrovnik follow the runner and his dog truly enjoying the beauty of our city.
It's a good time to remind you that Dubrovnik City Walls ticket prices are cheaper nowdays.
If you are missing travel and especially if you are missing Dubrovnik, you must watch this video. Take a look at it below!
It's World Bee Day! In 2017, the United Nations General Assembly made a Decision to mark World Bee Day on May 20th with the aim of raising awareness of their importance and warning of a reduction in the number of bees in the world.
It is envisaged that World Bee Day will be marked through education and activities aimed at raising awareness of the importance of bees and other pollinators, the dangers they face, as well as their contribution to sustainable development. The celebration of this day aims to strengthen measures aimed at protecting bees and other pollinators, which would make a significant contribution to solving problems related to the global food supply and the stopping of hunger in developing countries.
Of the greatest importance are wild pollinators, a diverse group of animals, the most important of which are bees, spray flies and butterflies. More than 2000 species of bees are known in Europe, and there is a particularly large diversity in the Mediterranean, while mountain habitats are home to the largest number of endemic bee species. It is important to note that honey bees, species that have been domesticated by man, although they contribute to pollination, cannot replace the role that wild pollinators play in pollination.
In the European Union, pollinators are necessary for the survival of 84 perccent of agricultural species, and 76 percent of food production depends on insect pollination. In terms of agricultural production alone, the contribution of pollinators is estimated at 15 billion euros per year. According to the Intergovernmental Science-Policy Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services (IPBES), compiled as part of a comprehensive analysis of pollinator status, pollinators not only ensure food safety but also engage in economic activities worth 577 billion dollars. This analysis indicated that the diversity and abundance of wild bees and other pollinators are declining in many regions of the world, and that many species are endangered. This is in line with scientific knowledge about the decline in biomass and the diversity of many groups of insects. Therefore, it is crucial to stop the loss of biodiversity.
The causes of bee endangerment are the disappearance and fragmentation of habitats associated with changes in land use, then climate change and intensive agriculture. A European Parliament resolution on the EU Pollinator Initiative, adopted in December last year, draws attention to the impact of pesticide use on domestic and wild bees, especially neonicotinoids, which have been shown to be harmful to bees. By encouraging sustainable agricultural practices, including reducing the use of pesticides and retaining natural vegetation on parts of agricultural land, as well as planting native vegetation on urban and other anthropogenic green areas, it can be contributed to the struggle for bee survival and thus for our own survival.
Based on the assessment according to the European Red List of Bees, made in 2014, depending on the region, there are between 315 and 555 species of bees in Croatia, of which the most endangered species are bumblebees and solitary bees, Croatian Ministry of Environmental Protection and Energy writes.
A video conference of the Ministers of Tourism of the EU Member States will be held at 2 pm to discuss coordinated action in the implementation of the European Commission's Tourism and Transport Package, as well as the ways of contribution by the ministers responsible for tourism of EU member states in discussions on the Recovery Plan.
All topics are related to the consequences of the coronavirus pandemic (COVID-19) on the tourism sector, which were also discussed at the previous conference of tourism ministers held on April 27th.
As it was emphasized during the first videoconference, the tourism sector will need significant and adequate financial support in the short, medium and long term, and a joint Recovery Plan defines key areas for action.
As one of the sectors most affected by the crisis caused by the coronavirus pandemic and identified as one of the 14 key industrial ecosystems in Europe, the videoconference will discuss financial support for tourism and plans for its recovery this and next years.
At the session of the Small Council, the Society of Friends of Dubrovnik Antiquities decided today to lower the ticket prices for the City Walls from the current 200 kuna to 50 kuna, confirmed the president of the Society of Friends of Dubrovnik Antiquities Niko Kapetanic for Dubrovacki vjesnik.
Kapetanic pointed out that the lower price will be valid until June 30th, and depending on the development of the epidemiological situation, in agreement with the City of Dubrovnik, it will be decided how to proceed further.
-While the corona lasts, these will be the prices, and when the danger passes, we will return the prices to the old ones. After all, foreigners tell us that the price of 200 kuna is acceptable to them. At a lower price, we would show that we don't have respect for our own sights - said Kapetanic for Dubrovacki vjesnik and added that the amount of 50 kuna will be valid for foreign visitors and citizens of the Republic of Croatia, except for residents of Dubrovnik-Neretva County who have free entry to the walls.
The decision on the lower price list will be implemented as early as tomorrow, May 20th. A visit to Sokol Tower, the Rector's Palace and the Ston Walls, which are open from May 11th, will cost 30 kuna, also until the end of June.
In an interview with Die Welt, Prime Minister Andrej Plenkovic spoke about the fight against coronavirus epidemics in Croatia and at the European level, as well as the reactivation of the economy and the tourist season in Croatia.
As Die Welt stated, tourism is extremely important for Croatia and toruists usually crowd on the beaches of the Adriatic. They asked the Prime Minister about this year's expectations.
- We are optimistic. Of course, we do not expect the same number of tourists as in previous years. The last two years of the season were record-breaking: in 2019 alone, our country was visited by 20 million tourists, mostly from EU countries. Our hotels, holiday homes and beaches are well prepared this year as well. They are just waiting for a signal to start, but in a new epidemiological context – Plenkovic explained.
When asked about the risk of importing the virus again, Prime Minister explained that his and European Commission's most important concern was to harmonize the epidemilogical situation.
-The virus has proven to be a very dangerous enemy. That is why we must rely on the credibility of the data and the responsible behavior of those who cross borders. We don't need only responsible hosts, but also responsible tourists. I believe that the risk can be limited if people will behave wisely. We all just have to be a little more careful – Plenkovic said, among the other things, in the interview for Die Welt, which Government published on their official website.
The Mayor of the City of Dubrovnik Mato Franković and his Deputy Jelka Tepsic met yesterday with representatives of the Dubrovnik Tourist Guides Association and the Tourist Guides Guild to discuss the current situation in the tourism industry and expectations for the continuation of 2020 and the 2021 season. Head of the Department of Tourism, Economy and the Sea Marko Miljanic and the Director of the Dubrovnik Tourist Board Ana Hrnic were also present at the meeting.
Speaking of the consequences of the coronavirus epidemic in the tourism and transport sector, Mayor Frankovic informed the participants about the main conclusions of the meeting with Prime Minister Andrej Plenkovic held last week in Banski dvori. Primarily, given that Dubrovnik is entirely an air destination, the importance of ensuring the preconditions for landing international flights at Dubrovnik Airport was emphasized. One of the important goals is to enable the landing of charter flights as private aircrafts from the European Union and the United Kingdom to Dubrovnik Airport and the entry of mega yachts.
- This season will be far from ideal, we expect the realization of 30 percent of last year's tourist traffic and in that sense I am optimistic that we will achieve that. The goal is for the economy to survive until the spring of 2021 and for the losses to be as small as possible - Mayor Frankovic emphasized. He added that it is not realistic to expect cruise guests by the end of this year.
Direct contacts have been established with global airlines such as British Airways and Jet2com, and negotiations and elaboration of financial parameters are underway, said Mayor Frankovic. He pointed out that the city budget earns 70 percent of funds directly from tourism, and the rest is also indirectly related to tourism, which is why it is financially justified in this situation to invest in a subsidy for international flights.
Deputy Tepsic reminded that the Tourist Board has launched a promotional campaign, and various benefits for this year's visitors are being prepared in the form of discounts for visits to Lokrum, City Walls, Dubrovnik card, as well as free programs of cultural institutions.
The importance of implementing the prescribed protection protocols was emphasized in order to avoid potential infection and endangerment of the currently good epidemiological situation. Tourist guides are still waiting for the recommendations of the Croatian Institute of Public Health.
The company of the City of Dubrovnik - Dubrovacka bastina d.o.o. after a break caused by the corona virus opens its premises in Lazareti and the Bunic-Kaboga Summer Villa for all visitors, in compliance with the epidemiological measures prescribed by the Civil Protection Headquarters of the Republic of Croatia.
From this week in the fourth and fifth nave of Lazareti you can visit the exhibition 'Dubrovnik Caravan Road' by Ana Opalic and David Kabalin, the result of many years of research and artistic reconstruction of the caravan route that connected Dubrovnik with its hinterland and for centuries was the basis of economic and cultural development of Dubrovnik.
In the second nave, visitors can see the exhibition 'Dubrovnik, a Scarred City', a multimedia display of the war destruction and reconstruction of Dubrovnik made on the occasion of the 40th anniversary of the inclusion of Dubrovnik's historic core on the UNESCO's list of protected cultural heritage and the 20th anniversary of its removal from the endangered world heritage sites.
These exhibitions are open from Monday to Friday from 8 am to 4 pm, and from 9 am to 1 pm on Saturdays.
But do you know the history of Lazareti? Check it out here How Dubrovnik was a world leader in dealing with deadly pandemics.
The Chinese tourist monthly magazine Traveler published a story about the history of quarantine, with the greatest emphasis on Dubrovnik and its historical experiences in the fight against various epidemics since the 14th century.
The reason for this instructive historical story in Traveler, one of the most popular travel magazines in China, is the current situation with the COVID-19 virus and its impact on tourism.
According to this magazine, Europe has faced epidemics several times in the past, and the entry points of the disease were ports such as Venice, Genoa and Dubrovnik. The very idea of quarantine as a way to fight various epidemics was conceived in Dubrovnik in 1377, when the world's first known health regulations in this regard were adopted.
Along with the illustration, the magazine states that merchant ships spent 30 days in quarantine on the islands of Mrkan and Bobara. Although today Dubrovnik is one of the most famous tourist centers in Europe, Traveler states that the history of the city is extremely interesting, and the decisions made six centuries ago "were wise, reasonable and effective."
-Emphasizing Dubrovnik in the international tourist media as a positive example, with recognition of the knowledge and abilities of our ancestors, is just another wind in the back for the recovery of tourism and the return of life to the time before the epidemic. Therefore, we are happy with this kind of news - said the Mayor of Dubrovnik, Mato Frankovic about the article in Traveler.