Sunday, 19 May 2019
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.


During the Easter holidays, the arrival of foreign tourists is intensifying in Croatia. Since this holiday is celebrated a bit later than last year and it’s the time of spring school holidays, domestic tourists are expected to travel too.

Positive tourist expectations from the Easter holidays are emphasized by the Ministry of Tourism and the Croatian National Tourist Board, who informs that according to eVisitora data, 1.4 million tourists were in Croatia from the beginning of the year to mid-April, or 10 percent more than in the same period last year, while there were 3.5 million overnight stays or four percent more – reports.

From the beginning to mid-April, 427 thousand tourists came to Croatia, or 21 percent more than last year, with 1.15 million overnight stays or 11 percent more. Most tourists were from Croatia, Germany, Austria, UK, Slovenia and Bosnia and Herzegovina, and the most visited destinations were Dubrovnik, Zagreb, Split, Porec and Rovinj.

Positive expectations in the Croatian Tourist Board and in the entire sector are based on good announcements from foreign markets and from domestic providers, especially hoteliers, who are opening most of their facilities on the Adriatic, including a part of camps.

Large hotel groups such as Valamar Riviera, Maistra, Bluesun, Jadranka (Lošinj Hotels & Villas) and Plava laguna, as well as smaller hotels, expect a good flow of tourists from from Istria to Dubrovnik, especially in multi-star facilities, which were first reserved and sold.

In some destinations in the Adriatic, such as almost all of Istria, in Dubrovnik, Split, Zadar and partly in Kvarner, there is a lot of tourists even before Easter as well as in Zagreb, which in the middle of April recorded 500-thousandth overnight stay. Great tourist expectations from the holiday season and the arrival of tourists can be heard on the continent too, especially in Lika-Senj and Karlovac County, due to visits to Plitvice Lakes and other attractive destinations, and in Slavonija and Baranja, especially in Vukovar-Srijem County, whose new offer is considered "a spring tourist hit in Croatia ".

In April, the summer flight schedule began, which this year will be richer than last year and only in the first week of April there was a record number of 252 flights, which, according to Croatian Tourist Board data, is an increase of 30 percent compared to the same period last year.

Almost all airports in Croatia are expecting a large number of passengers, as well as sea and nautical ports. The road traffic will increase too, so the Croatian Autoclub warns all the drivers to drive cautiously.

According to information from several domestic travel agencies, sales of Easter holidays to Croatia were as expected, and domestic and foreign tourists mostly searched for destinations in Istria and Kvarner, like Rovinj, Opatija, Losinj and Crikvenica, as well as Dubrovnik, Split and Dalmatian islands.

Domestic tourists are looking for spring travel programs in Europe this year, and some of them were sold out, such as a major Portuguese tour by plane, and programs for far destinations, such as the Faroe Islands.

In almost all categories, Croatia has relatively old vehicles. On average, cars with are 12.6 years old, motorcycles and mopeds are 12.5 years old, while tractors are over 30 years old – shows the data from the Croatian Vehicle Center, reports.

Statistics of this center show that in 2018 79,935 used cars were registered in Croatia and 61,745 new personal cars, but also that the number of imported used cars is growing every year, especially after Croatia joined the European Union.

Data also shows that 68.4 percent of the cars is older than a decade!

In addition to the mentioned categories, buses are on average 11.7 years old, cargo cars 11.4 years, and trailers are 19.1 year old.


The sequel of the successful action movie from 2017 ‘’The Hitman’s Bodyguard’’ is being filmed in Rovinj for couple of weeks now and has the attention of the whole world on this beautiful city and the famous trio: Salma Hayek, Samuel L. Jackson and Ryan Reynolds. These Hollywood celebrities have been sharing photos on their social media accounts followed by millions, not hiding their delight for being in Croatia.

Couple of hours ago Reynolds shared a photo with his colleagues on his official Instagram profile, revealing that the filming came to an end for him.

-That’s a wrap for me! Gonna miss kicking rocks with these two. Been down a lotta roads together – Reynolds wrote as a caption of the photos, showing him full of bruises, but happy to pose with Salma Hayek and Samuel L. Jackson.

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Photo from the official Instagram profile of Ryan Reynolds

Reynolds delighted his Croatian fans couple of days ago, when he shared a selfie on his story with words: ''If you you are gonna be repeatedly punched in the face anywhere… I recommend Croatia. I love this place.''

Just a day later, he was joined by his beautiful and equally famous wife Blake Lively in Rovinj. Who knows, since Reynolds is done with filming, maybe they'll take a trip around Croatia together! If not, we will surely miss his photos from Croatia and especially his kind words that he had for our country.
For those who don't know, the Hitman’s Bodyguard was a great success for Lionsgate, since their budget was 30 million dollars and they earned – 175 million. The sequel, which will be entitled The Hitman's Wife Bodyguard, is already attracting a lot of attention. Just recently it was announced that one more action star is added to the cast: Frank Grillo, known from the movies such as The Purge: Anarchy, The Grey, and Warrior. Morgan Freeman is expected to join the crew too.

Dubrovnik Tourist Board traditionally organizes a special program on Easter Sunday, April 21st, for numerous visitors and residents of Dubrovnik. The program will start at 10 am in the Old City.

The program starts at 10 am with a traditional egg decoration with wax and plaiting of palm leaves organized by the association "Dubrovacki primorski svatovi’’, during which the ladies in traditional folk costumes will share traditionally decorated eggs, as a gift of the Dubrovnik Tourist Board.

The entire program will also be enriched by the performance of the vocal group Kase at 10.30 at the end of Stradun.

If you are bringing children or if you feel a bit like a Peter Pan, it’s good to know that Easter Bunny will visit the Old City too. You can spot him in the Old City at 10 am. He will take a boat to Lokrum at 11 am, where he will socialize with visitors until noon.



Shakespeare returns to Dubrovnik in the sixth edition of the Midsummer Scene Festival called the Season of Love and Hate. The festival will be marked by the play Romeo and Juliet. One of the most famous love stories in the world will be heard in English for the first time on the Lovrjenac Fort. Director Sean Aita places Verona in the mafia context of the early 1960’s when the rebellious teenagers were still a big novelty in the traditional Italy.

Sean Aita is directing a play for the first time in Croatia. He is an awarded British director and member of Trinity College in London, and for thirty years he has written and directed for the Vienna’s English Theatre. At this theatre’s main repertoire Midsummer Scene Festival success Twelfth Nigth was included.

This year, the experienced ensemble is led by Georgia Christodoulou as Juliet and Clement Charles as Romeo. This young acting duo has recently graduated at the Royal Conservatory of Birmingham as the best in the class and will mark Dubrovnik as their career start. Other parts include Jenni Lea-Jones, Nicholas Limm, Alexander Varey, Richard Emerson, Amanda Osborne, Mark Elstob and Croat Filip Krenus.

The performances of this early Shakespeare tragedy will emerge with the Lovrjenac Fort with the help of costume designer and stage designer Maira Vazeou, who works in Greece on the Prague quadrangle of scenery and theater architecture, while the design of lights will be created by Aleksandar Mondecar.

The Midsummer Scene Festival starts on June 21st and runs until July 7th. Apart from the new premier of Romeo and Juliet, which will have 13 performances at Lovrjenac, there are other events such as concerts, cabarets, guest appearances, and Drzic in English. The Midsummer Scene Festival is a project by the City of Dubrovnik and the Dubrovnik Tourist Board, produced by Brilliant Events, Dubrovnik and Honey-tongued Theater Productions, London.

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If a woman spends only 20 kuna on the package of menstrual pads monthly in Croatia, which is an absolute minimum, it means that she is paying the state 60 kuna of tax in a year. If we multiply that with the number of women up to 50 years - it turns out that the state budget during a year earns at least 54 million kuna just on menstruation - writes RTL.

This is known as "tampon tax" and women can’t avoid it. It was even discussed in the European Parliament, which made a recommendation that this tax should be zero percent.

However, not many countries decided to do so. Just like Croatians, 25 percent of tax is paid by the ladies of Denmark and Sweden, in Hungary even more – 27 percent, while in Belgium and France the tax is 5.5 percent. In Ireland, women do not pay tampon tax. This tax was first abolished in Kenya 15 years ago, followed by a number of other African and American countries, while in the UK the menstrual tax goes to the fund which finances women’s associations.

The smallest amount of hygiene supplies consumed by a woman in five years will cost about 1,200 kuna in Croatia. Not counting pain killers, without which 20 percent of women can’t function normally.

For this, ladies in Croatia have to pay a 25 percent tax because hygiene pads nd tampons are not counted as a basic necessity of life, even though without them, no woman can’t live.


Like every year, Easter bunny will visit Dubrovnik, especially the beautiful island of Lokrum where children will have a blast with planned program.

On Saturday, from 2.30 pm to 3.30 pm, small children will get a chance to seek the chocolate eggs hidden on the island with the help of Easter bunny.

On Easter, bunny will come to the Old City and you can spot him on Stradun at 10 am. He will take a boat to Lokrum at 11 am, where he will socialize with visitors until noon.

Easter bunny will also visit Dubrovnik General Hospital to entertain the youngest patients on Easter.

Public institution – National Park Mljet for the third time supported the humanitarian action "Palcic gore", association of the parents of the premature babies. The National Park employees also held the eco-cleaning action of the Great Lake, with the help of the elementary school students of the Mljet - Govedari school.

-This valuable action is a continuation of co-operation in raising awareness of the problems faced by parents of premature babies, as well as the children and health professionals. The action was supported by the Doctor Sandra Benkovic, who works at Govedari and who has joined the employees of the Park and students, who supported humanitarian action and carried out the action of cleaning the coast and the entrance to the Great Lake.

The Voice of Dubrovnik


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