Tuesday, 27 October 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.

Email: ivana@thedubrovniktimes.com

After catastrophic fires at Orebic and Neretva Valley, another fire broke out in Konavle hills. It started near place Siljesci. Gras and low plants are on fire and the members of the Public Fire Department of Konavle and volunteer Fire Department Cilipi are trying to stop it.

Amongst those who are trying to fight the Konavle fire, some of them just returned from Orebic!

According to the firefighters, they are hoping to be able to locate the fire, so it doesn’t reach larger proportions.

The state of the fires in the Dubrovnik Neretva County is critical. The fire in Orebic has not yet been placed under the supervision of the firefighters, while another major fire in the Neretva Valley in the municipality of Kula Norinska threatens the inhabited places, Kula Norinska, Matijevici and Momici. The fire came about a hundred yards from family houses. The fire front stretches over fifty acres of space and the job of the firefighters is even more difficult because of the north wind and an inaccessible terrain.

At the very entrance to Orebic in the settlements of Mokalo and Stankovici, several family houses were burnt down. People were in fear and panic during the whole night.

At 8 am, in Orebic, under the chairmanship of the Minister of Defense, General Damir Krsticevic, a session of the Dubrovnik - Neretva County Crisis Staff was attended by representatives of Dubrovnik-Neretva County, Orebic Municipality, Director of State Protection and Rescue Administration Ivica Lozancic, Chief Firefighter Commander Slavko Tucakovic , Deputy of the County Prefect Josko Cebalo, representatives of the Mountain Rescue Service and all institutions operating in these crisis situations.

General Krsticevic was firstly at the field, where he saw the scale of this catastrophic fire that has caught Orebic surroundings. He praised three hundred firefighters who, through superhuman efforts, managed to defend the houses.

-Unfortunately, a few houses have burnt down. But it is good that there were no injured people - General Krsticevic said at the beginning of the session of the Protection and Rescue Department, which was closed to the public.

- I would like to thank all those involved in extinguishing fire, firefighters, tourists and the local population. Such co-operation is proof of the work of Homeland Security, and the task of the Croatian Army is to help the people in hard times - General Krsticevic said.

Since the early morning hours, the candairs are trying to extinguish the Orebic fire. They couldn’t do it yesterday because of the strong north wind.

- Our pilots are very brave. But they simply could not act because of the turbulences that are specific here in Orebic - Krsticevic said.

Mayor of the City of Dubrovnik Mato Frankovic and Deputy Mayor Jelka Tepsic had an inaugural visit yesterday by the Ambassador of Thailand Jakkrit Srivali, who resides in Dubrovnik as part of a visit to the Thai community in Croatia.

On this occasion, the Mayor and Ambassador, whose headquarters for this part of Europe in Hungary, discussed the current tourist situation in Dubrovnik, cruising tourism and future growth, and on the possibility of developing investments in some other industry, except tourism.

The Mayor highlighted the projects that are currently ongoing with a aim of strategic planning of sustainable tourism development, as well as some of the projects to be funded from EU funds such as establishing free wifi in the area of the Old City. He also pointed the other industries in which the City invests, such as financing modern technology and start-up companies.

The Ambassador expressed gratitude to the Mayor for the reception and expressed the desire to promote Thai cuisine in Dubrovnik due to its lack of gastronomic offer in Dubrovnik as well as Croatia in general.


There is currently no large open fire at Orebic on Peljesac! During the whole night, firefighters held the defense line three miles from Postup to Glabalovo, fighting with the wind. Meteorologists announce moderate to strong north wind, occasionally with stormy strokes that will gradually deteriorate.

The fire brigade commander of the Dubrovnik-Neretva County Stjepan Simovic pointed out that the situation is better, but firefighters, of course, remain in the field.

-We have to be careful, there is occasionally a smaller flame that the wind can easily flourish. For now, the fire is far from over - Simovic said.

There are still several hundred firefighters from the Dubrovnik-Neretva County and other parts of Croatia, as well as members of the Croatian Army and other emergency services. During the morning, Canadairs are expected to try to help again, since yesterday that was impossible because of the strong wind.

Minister of Defence, Damir Krsticevic has urgently convened a meeting of the County Fire Department of the Dubrovnik Neretva County, which will started at 8.00 am in Orebic.

The Dubrovnik-Neretva County Tourist Board attends this year's IFTM Top Resa Paris Fair, which takes place from 25th to 28th of September. The Fair is held for the 40th time and is the most important French international travel and tourism fair. IFTM Top Resa is made exclusively for tourism professionals.

About 160 destinations at 350 stands are presented at Top Resa and every year the fair is visited by more than 30 tourist professionals.

At this fair, the Tourist Board of the Dubrovnik-Neretva County performs together with the Croatian Tourist Board and the Tourist Board of the City of Zagreb at a joint stand.

In the first eight months of this year, the Dubrovnik-Neretva County was visited by 104,473 French tourists, who made 386,063 overnight stays, which is 2.4 percent more in arrivals and 1.5 percent more in the overnight stays compared to the same period of 2017.

For the second year in a row, the Croatian Tourist Board is implementing the project "Croatia, Full of Islands to Discover", which aims to the positioning of Croatia as an attractive and quality nautical destination. As part of this year's project, the Croatian islands are enjoyed by 18 world-famous influencers and bloggers from Germany, Great Britain, France, Poland, Belgium, Sweden, Norway, Australia and Japan. This promotion is focused on blogs and social networks like Facebook, Instagram and Twitter. The travel program includes the islands of Brac, Hvar, Vis, Bisevo, Ravnik and Solta, and while visiting the island the influencers will be presented with destinations, tourist attractions, customs and delicacies. In the implementation of the project and program, which runs until September 29th, local tourist boards also participate.

-This represents one of the most attractive segments of the Croatian tourist offer. Our coastline with more than a thousand islands is unique in the world, which confirms today's status as one of the most desirable nautical destinations in the Mediterranean. I'm sure bloggers and influencers are full of positive impressions, as can be seen from the many posts that they have already shared with many fans and companions on social networks and blogs - said the Director of the Croatian Tourist Board Kristjan Stanicic, adding that the quality promotion of nautical tourism offers will be continued, especially in the periods before and after the season.

Polish blogger and photographer Michal Maj is part of the program ‘Croatia, Full of Islands to Discover’. He runs one of the most popular blogs in Poland. This is Maj’s third time in Croatia because, as he said, it is a very beautiful and attractive country that is only couple of hours away from Poland. He emphasizes that Croatia is a country full of diversity where you can’t be bored, especially if you are sailing the beautiful Adriatic Sea. Martin Solhaugen, a film director and influencer from Norway, who if followed by nearly 100 thousand fans on social networks Instagram and YouTube, had a great desire for sailing in Croatia. As he said, Croatia delighted him, as well as this project that brought together his colleagues from all over the world. Luke Jackson-Clark from Great Britain is also sailing the Adriatic. He is a professional photographer with more than 50,000 fans on Instagram and is delighted with the natural beauties of Croatia that he says is "full of life." Among the participants are British actress Lauren Arthurs, who is active on Love Lauren's blog, as well as social networks Facebook, Instagram and Twitter, followed by more than 130,000 fans. She describes Croatia as a country that takes your breath away, especially because of the crystal clear sea and the rich and varied eno-gastronomy.

The project "Croatia, Full of Islands to Discover" is a continuation of the promotional activities that Croatian Tourist Board conducts this year in order to position Croatia as an ideal nautical destination. The additional promotional significance of the project is that all bloggers, in addition to travel, are specialized in the topics of eno-gastronomy, culture, fashion or photography. It’s good to add that more than 440,000 arrivals and nearly 3 million overnight stays have been realized in the segment of the nautical charter in the previous year, representing a two percent increase in arrivals and four percent in overnight stays compared to the same period last year.

Free concert for the children ‘The Carnival of the Animals’, which has been performed at the 69th Dubrovnik Summer Festival and had amazing interest by the audience of all generations, will be held again in co-operation with the Caboga Stiftung Foundation. The concert will take place in the Bunic Kaboga Summer Villa on Sunday, September 30th at 6 pm.

Along with the Dubrovnik musicians performing this popular Saint-Saëns work, there will be a story teller: actress Srdana Simunovic.The Carnival of Animals is the most famous music piece that found its way to the hearts of children all over the world. Composer of this work, Camille Saint-Saëns, was born almost 200 years ago in Paris and is one of the artists known as the "miracle of the child". As an adult and respected composer, while spending time with his friends on vacation in Austria, he decided to play around in a zoological fantasy entitled The Carnival of Animals. Through various portions of this descriptive piece of full humor and satire, he commented on other composer's compositions, his own works, and his music critics (in a line dedicated to long-eared animals). Each of the 14 items of Animal Carnivals is devoted to one animal or group of animals, and almost all parts hide quotes or music reviews of other famous musical works.

Free performance tickets are available at the Festival Palace (Od Sigurate 1) from 9am to 12pm. There is also a free bus service from Pile, which departs at 5.30 pm.

The Dubrovnik Tourist Board organized the presentation of a tourist offer in Tokyo on the 19th of September, in partnership with the Turkish Airlines, and with the support of the Embassy of the Republic of Croatia in Japan.

A presentation for about 200 travel agents, media representatives, tourism companies and organizations was held at the prestigious business location of the Tokyo University Club. The ambassadors of the Republic of Croatia in Japan, Drazen Hrastic and Romana Vlasic, the director of the Dubrovnik Tourist Board addressed the guests, while the presentation of Croatia and Dubrovnik in the Japanese language was done by Edouard Tripkovic Katayama.

Interest in Dubrovnik is increasing, and that was confirmed by the number of agents and representatives attending this, by now the most visited Croatia and Dubrovnik presentation in Japan, followed by work meetings with the largest media and tour operators.

The Dubrovnik Tourist Board presented the tourist offer of the city at the Tourism Expo Japan Fair, from 20th to 23rd of September, in cooperation with the Dubrovnik-Neretva County Tourist Board. The Zagreb Tourist Board, the Sibenik-Knin County Tourist Board and the Tourist Board of Sibenik were also presented at the Croatian Stand. The first two days of the fair were of a business character, while the last two were open to the public. Exhibitors from 130 countries participated in the fair, and this year's fair attracted around 200,000 visitors, making it the most visited one.

The Asian market is of great importance for Dubrovnik, and Japan is an extremely important market especially because it provides a year-round visitors, and the presentation of Dubrovnik and tourism offer in Japan will certainly contribute to increasing tourist visits. Interestingly, around 70% of Japanese people decide on a trip organized through travel agencies, while a smaller percentage decides to do it alone. That’s why it’s advisable to organize presentations and seminars for tourist travel agency organizers and representatives in Japan.

By September 19th, 28 525 tourists from Japan visited Dubrovnik, which is 25 percent more than in the same period last year, and they made 57 998 overnight stays, which is 17 percent more than last year.

The Voice of Dubrovnik


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