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.
Speaking as the first speaker of the "high level" panel at the World Summit on Urban Tourism in Seoul, Mayor of the City of Dubrovnik Mato Frankovic presented solutions that Dubrovnik implemented in tourism management and are still in progress- from the project "Respect the City" to co-operation with the Cruise Lines International Association (CLIA).
At a conference that takes place in Seoul from 16th to 19th of September, organized by the World Tourism Organization (UNWTO), it was possible to hear that virtually all major tourist cities such as Paris or Nice, whose representatives also participated in the panel, face the problem of overcrowding and, therefore, the dissatisfaction of citizens.
-Just a year ago, in the world media, Dubrovnik has been shown as an example of negative management of the destination, and today the representatives of the City are invited to numerous conferences and we are shown as an example of good practice. Everyone wants sustainable tourism and everyone is looking for solutions, and Dubrovnik is currently one of the cities that is working on that intensely and in just a year has achieved great success in the field of sustainable and responsible management. However, we are aware that much work needs to be done to establish a model of governance we want – said the Mayor of Dubrovnik.
As the main figure of sustainable tourism, the mayor does not see visitors, but citizens. -Citizens are number one. As long as our citizens are happy and satisfied, our tourists will be happier and have the best experience of Dubrovnik - Mayor Frankovic said in a concluding statement.
The UNWTO summit in Seoul has gathered over 300 participants from 50 countries around the world. The first panel, attended by ministers and mayors, was led by Rajan Datar, a renowned journalist and host of The Travel Show at BBC.
The mayor met in Seoul with the Secretary General of the World Tourism Organization Zurab Pololikashvili. The UNWTO Secretary was invited to the 4th Tourism and Strategy Festival, which will be organized in Dubrovnik at the beginning of November.
Croatia joined the volunteers of the 150 countries and marked the World CleanUp Day and the International Day of the Protection of the Ozone Layer by removing the waste from the environment and educating the public on the importance of waste removal. That’s why the Department of Urban Planning, Spatial planning and Environmental protection organized Green and Blue CleanUp in cooperation with the Lokrum Reserve.
The action started at 9 am, with members of the Diving Club Dubrovnik, the Institute of Oceanography and Fishery Split and the Association Sunce, who cleaned the underwater of the Portoc bay and collected about 80 bags of seaweed weighing over 100 kg. The waste collected was about this composition: plastic waste about 20%, cans50%, glass 15% and metal 15%.
A large number of associations from Dubrovnik were a part of this action on the land, as well as many locals. Around 110kg of waste, mainly plastic, glass and a smaller amount of metal, were collected on the island by the edge of the rocks and in the bays.
National Geographic has recently published an article titled 17 of the World's Most Wild and Beautiful Places, taking their readers all over the world. They also included Croatia or more precisely, Plitvice Lakes.
-Deep in central Croatia’s dark, primordial Dinaric Alps, water and rock create the shimmering “land of the falling lakes,” as Plitvice National Park is known. A network of trails and wooden boardwalks entices more than a million visitors a year to explore waterfalls, streams, caves, and interconnected lakes – it's written next to the beautiful photo.
This is not the first and certainly not the last time that Plitvice Lakes have been placed on that sort of list! The oldest and largest national park in the Republic of Croatia is loved by the tourists and locals. The park is situated in the mountainous region of Croatia, between the Mala Kapela mountain range in the west and northwest, and the Lička Plješivica mountain range to the southeast.
With its exceptional natural beauty, this area has always attracted nature lovers, and already on 8 April 1949, it was proclaimed Croatia’s first national park. The park is primarily covered in forest vegetation, with smaller areas under grasslands. The most attractive part of the park – the lakes – cover just under 1% of the total park area.
The Plitvice Lakes National Park offers visitors seven different routes to tour the lake system, and four hiking trails. The park is open to visitors year round.
Dubrovnik City Walls welcomed their million visitor today and this happened 14 days before compared to the last year! The 25-year-old Sofia Petrovic from Notthingham in England had the honor to be the millionth visitor, and she arrived with her boyfriend Luke Armitage. This is their first visit to Dubrovnik. This young couple was welcomed by the Society of Friends of Dubrovnik Antiques and and the secretary of the Society Denis Orlic gave them flowers and gifts.
The news is that the ticket prices will increase, so instead of 150 kuna, the visitors will pay 200 kuna for the entrance to the City Wally. As Orlic said on the occasion of this small ceremony, between one million and 200 thousand to one million and 300 thousand visitors are expected by the end of the year.
Simona Halep, Romanian professional tennis player and current world No. 1 on the WTA Tour, is relaxing at Dubrovnik! She shared photos from our city all over her social media and on her Twitter she tagged Borna Coric and Donna Vekic, asking them if they can guess where she's spending her holiday.
On her Instagram, that is followed by almost 900 thousand fans, she published photos of her posing, with hashtag #beautifulplace. The photos were liked by more than 70 thousand people!
For those who don't know, Halep first broke into the world's top 50 at the end of 2012, reached the top 20 in August 2013, and finally the top 10 in January 2014. She won her first 6 WTA titles in the same calendar year in 2013 (a feat that was last achieved by Steffi Graf in 1986 when she won her first 7), being named the WTA's Most Improved Player at its end, as well as being named ESPN Center Court's 2013 Most Improved Player.
Halep won her first major tournament at the 2018 French Open, having previously lost in the 2014 French Open, 2017 French Open and 2018 Australian Openfinals. She also reached the final of the 2014 WTA Finals, losing to Serena Williams in straight sets after having defeated her earlier in the tournament. Halep continued her success throughout the 2015 and 2016 seasons, winning 3 titles in each respective season (including 2 Premier Mandatory titles) and remaining within the Top 10.
Halep was the most clicked player on WTATennis.com for two consecutive years (2014–2015), when she was awarded the WTA Most Popular Player of the Yearprize. After the 2017 Wimbledon Championships, Simona Halep became the active player with the most consecutive weeks within the Top 10. Halep has also won WTA's Fan Favorite Singles Player in 2017.
Once again, the Dubrovnik Tourist Board is organising the Good Food Festival – a gastronomic treat for all lovers of good food, which will take place from October 18th to 21st this year and will feature many events. This year's fifth edition of the festival contains a varied range of delicious food and top wines.
Several workshops will be organised during the festival, such as a workshop on preparing Dubrovnik sweets and traditional Croatian dishes, as well as workshops on food styling and food photography. The central event of the festival will be the traditional Dinner with a Famous Chef, which features a gourmet program that is perfectly complemented with a music program. This year's rich Good Food Festival program also includes interesting presentations and workshops, a Dalmatian Brunch, as well as the traditional Healthy Food Fair at Pile.
The highlight of the Good Food Festival is the famous Dubrovnik Table that stretches along the entire lenght of Stradun, where many Dubrovnik hotels and restaurants, pastry chefs and top -kitchens will be presented, putting their knowledge and skills on display.
-We believe that this year's Good Food Festival will bring together many lovers of original, traditional, but also modern dishes and that the festival will delight every visitor, just as it has been the case with the previous four editions of the festival – they said at the Dubrovnik Tourist Board.
Uber has had excellent results this season in Croatia! In total, from June 1st to September 1st, Uber drove up to 170,000 tourists, an increase of as much as 47 percent compared to last year. Nearly all (94%) came to Croatia with the already installed Uber application on their cell phones.
- The fact that even 94 percent of tourists already had Uber application, is a clear indication that foreigners expect Uber to be available in our country and that they like to use it. The results of this tourist season have once again confirmed the importance of the new Road Transport Act, which makes it easy for everyone to travel across the country - said Davor Tremac, general manager of Uber for Southeastern Europe.
Most tourists who used Uber came from the United Kingdom and the United States (14%) and Australia and France (5%). They mostly traveled on trips of less than five kilometers (84%), while the longest run this summer was on the Pula-Osijek route, which had as much as 550 kilometers and lasted 359 minutes.
In Dubrovnik, Uber was mostly ordered for the transport to or from the City Walls and the central bus station, and in Split to the city center and the Mall of Split shopping center. In Dubrovnik, the tourists mostly relaxed on the beaches of Copacabana and Banje, and among the Croatians Bellevue Beach was popular too. In Split, Bacvice and Znjan were unavoidable, and among the locals Kasjuni. The title of the best romantic and best tourist destination was taken by Dubrovnik's Old City.
UberBOAT has sailed several hundred times and in 40% of its time it drove passengers to the islands close to Split, Dubrovnik and Sibenik.
Agritourism Konavle the sixth consecutive year organizes the traditional agrotouristic manifestation Trganje (Picking) - which symbolically marks the grape harvest in Konavle. The picking will be organized on Friday, September 14th in the monastery of Saint Vlaho in Pridvorje starting at 2 pm with the aim of promoting Konavle as a wine region and preserving tradition and cultural heritage.
The members of Agritourism Konavle revive the old traditions, wearing traditional costumes and showing the way the grape was picked in the past. - Our goal is to unite and show Konavle as a wine region that has to offer the top tourist product – they said.
This year's program will take place according to the following hour:
2:00 – 2:30: gathering/welcome
2:30 – 3:30: picking
3:30 – 4:00: collecting grapes
4:00 – 5:00: processing grapes in a traditional and modern way
5:00 – 6:30: snacks and socializing with live music
Everybody are more than welcome to join this beautiful event in Konvale – free of charge.