Wednesday, 23 October 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.


From the beginning of 2021, Dubrovnik will introduce a tourist fee for cruise ships in international maritime transport, ranging from two thousand to 40 thousand per ship, depending on the capacity of passengers per ship - Seebiz writes.

The decision on the introduction of such a fee for cruisers was made by the City Council of the City of Dubrovnik at its September 23rd session. This is a tourist tax for cruise ships in international maritime transport when the ship is at a port or anchorage in the Dubrovnik area.

-Pursuant to the current Law on Tourist Fees of the Republic of Croatia, the decision will come into force on January 1st, 2021, and the funds that the City of Dubrovnik will receive from that fee will be used for the improvement of the city's communal infrastructure – it’s stated from the City of Dubrovnik. 

According to that decision of the Dubrovnik City Council, the minimum amount of tourist tax per boat from two thousand kuna will be paid by cruisers with a capacity of 50 to 200 passengers, while for those with 201 to 500 passengers it will be five thousand kuna. For cruisers from 501 to 1000 passengers the tourist tax will be ten thousand kuna, and for those from 1001 to 2000 passengers 20 thousand kuna – Seebiz explains, adding that the largest amounts of tourist fees of 30 thousand and 40 thousand kuna will be paid by the largest cruisers, whose capacities are from 2001 to 3000 passengers, or from 3001 and more passengers.

This is the first time that this type of tourist fee has been introduced in Croatia, and it was announced earlier this year by Dubrovnik Mayor Mato Frankovic, with the aim of generating additional revenue and better management of tourism in the city. The City of Dubrovnik is also supported by the International Cruise Company Association-CLIA, with which it has been intensively and successfully cooperating for the last two years.

Agriculture Minister Marija Vuckovic visited the Neretva Valley yesterday, and on that occasion, accompanied by County Perfect Nikola Dobroslavic and Deputy Jacqueline Marevic, met with the mayors of the Neretva area. There was also a joint meeting with representatives of the producers and purchasers of tangerines, and then the Minister opened this year's tangerine harvesting season.

During the meeting with representatives of municipalities and cities, current topics from the agriculture sector were discussed, with the emphasis on tangerine production, and the producers and purchasers outlined the problems and difficulties they were facing.

County Perfect Nikola Dobroslavic said that there are several important agricultural projects in Neretva, particularly highlighting the projects of irrigation, the Center of Competences for citrus fruits and the Business Incubator in Ploce. Tangerine production is the cornerstone of Neretva's agricultural production, Dobroslavic said, which is why it is important for everyone to unite around a common interest, which is to keep that production alive and develop further.

-We need a partnership, we need mutual trust and we need to encourage the production of tangerines under the protected designation of origin. Our tangerine is, I am convinced, the best European tangerine, of exceptional quality and as such it must come to market, as a brand to be recognizable in the foreign market, and it is important that we keep that in mind - said Dobroslavic.

County Perfect Dobroslavic thanked Minister Vuckovic for marking the beginning of this year's tangerine harvest, expressing his belief that the harvest would be very good, as the yield is around 40 thousand tons, and the quality is exceptional, adding that the County will help the placement of tangerines this year as well and last year, when the Neretva tangerine was sold in the squares of Croatian cities.

-The payment of 20 million kuna to 1,602 tangerine producers who have applied for this grant has been completed, and we will continue to implement similar programs. Our tangerine is special and as such has EU name protection. We need to take advantage of this, manufacturers need to come together and act as partners in the market as well as in third markets. Neretva's tangerine will not be appreciated by anyone unless we start to value it more and hold it to the values behind that name. Tangerine is a monoculture in this area and this is an ideal situation for setting up a production organization. I believe that small steps can make major changes - said Agriculture Minister Marija Vuckovic.

The first boat for visitors from the City Port will leave for Lokrum at 11 am today (Saturday, September 28th). The reason behind is the 'Green Cleaning' action on the island, which will take place from 8.30 to 11 am. The underwater and coast of the Portoroc Bay will be cleaned.

The action will be attended by employees of the Public Institution Lokrum Reserve, members of the Diving Club Dubrovnik, employees of the Sea Cleaner (EKO-C2) boat company CIAN d.o.o. Split, members of the Dart association and Lovers of Croatian Tradition association, as well students and professors of the Dubrovnik Gimnasium, members of the Croatian Defenders Association Dubrovnik, members of the Dubrovnik Red Cross, members of the Croatian Mountaineering Association and many other fellow citizens.

Exhibition 'Dubrovnik, A Scarred City: The Deconstruction and Restoration of Dubrovnik 1991-2000' will open on Tuesday, October 1st at 8 pm in the 2nd hall of the renovated Lazareti Complex as part of a program to commemorate the 28th anniversary of the start of the attack on Dubrovnik.

On the occasion of the 40th anniversary of the listing of Dubrovnik's historic center on the UNESCO List of World Heritage Sites (1979) and the 20th anniversary of its removal from the list of endangered World Heritage Sites (1998), this multimedia exhibition represents the suffering of Dubrovnik as a result of the devastation by the Yugoslav National Army and its rapid and impressive restoration.

The exhibition of the authors Julijana Antic Brautovic, Mato Brautovic and Goran Cvjetinovic used the material of the Museum of the Homeland War and the Institute for Reconstruction of Dubrovnik, as well as photographs of Milo Kovac, Bozo Gjukic, Pavo Urban, Miro Kerner, Damir Fabijanic and others. In addition to providing a vivid account of the destruction of the monumental heritage during the attack on Dubrovnik in the Homeland War and the post-war reconstruction of the city, the exhibition Dubrovnik and Scarred City also addresses the political circumstances of the beginning of the Homeland War.

The exhibition was successfully realized at the United Nations Headquarters in New York from December 17th to 28th last year, and after at the Embassy of the Republic of Croatia to the United States of America in Washington, where it aroused great interest from the diplomatic public. It will be open to citizens and the general public in Lazareti by February 15th, 2020.

The latest achievement by the Brodosplit shipyard is called Flying Clipper and it's enchanting! 

- The shipbuilders of the Croatian shipyard Brodosplit have created the most sophisticated sailboat and the most sophisticated passenger ship ever built. The Flying Clipper is not only the largest, but I believe the most beautiful and, with its largest sails and masts, probably the fastest sailing vessel in the world, which will be registered in the Guinness book of records - Tomislav Debeljak, CEO of Brodosplit and DIV Group commented.

Flying Clipper is the largest square-rigged ship in the world contracted for the company Star Clippers Ltd from Monaco. This amazing ship has five decks, with accommodation for 450 persons, 300 passengers in 150 luxury cabins, and 74 crew cabins for 150 crew members.
It was designed according to the 1911 France II sailboat design. It is luxuriously decorated with a touch reminiscent of old sailing boats.

It has five decks, a beauty center, a sauna, a jacuzzi, a spa and fitness center, a library area and large lounges, with the largest extending to three decks.

The Flying Clipper is the first sailboat with the highest safety standards "Safe return to port" built in, and also meets all US Coast Guard and US Public Health requirements. It is the only sailboat in the world to receive the highest noise and vibration class possible.

Brodosplit shipyard is located in Split. Significant development of shipbuilding in this area began by establishing several smaller repair shipyards and their merging in 1922.
The shipyard Brodosplit has been in its current location since 1932. Its location in the northern side of Split, in Kastela bay, is extremely convenient, providing all the necessary infrastructure and superstructure for the shipbuilding business.

The company continuously monitors the modern world achievements in the field of shipbuilding. Its experts successfully apply those achievements in practice by own efforts and in cooperation with scientific research institutions. Competitive price, high quality and excellent maritime performances of Brodosplit’s ships are expanding the list of clients, which today consists of many reputable ship-owners and companies from Argentina, Brazil, Venezuela, England, Finland, Greece, Norway, Sweden, Poland, German, Switzerland, Russia, India, Liberia, Nigeria, Pakistan, Mexico and the United States.

The presentation of Dubrovnik, as well as direct flights Frankfurt - Dubrovnik throughout the year, was held in Frankfurt on Thursday for fifty German travel agents and tourism journalists. The event was co-organized by the Dubrovnik National Tourist Board, the Croatian national carrier Croatia Airlines and the Croatian National Tourist Board.

At the Croatian restaurant Damiro Westsite in the center of Frankfurt, Director of the Representative Office of the Croatian National Tourist Board in Rome, Romeo Draghicchio, welcomed all the guests and epmashized that Dubrovnik's promotion in the winter months fits into the strategic plans of Croatian tourism aiming to extend the season in which Dubrovnik is the most successful, and Frankfurt and the surrounding area present an ideal area for attracting additional guests in the winter, due to the direct winter connectivity.

Mato Radic, Director of Croatia Airlines Branch in Frankfurt, gave a presentation on the company's 30th anniversary and introduced business news, in particular the winter flight schedule with an emphasis on direct Frankfurt-Dubrovnik flights, three times a week during the winter months.

Silvana Turcic, director of the Travel Agency Obzor putovanja in Zagreb, made a presentation of the offer of winter package deals for Dubrovnik to the present travel agents.

The Director of the Dubrovnik Tourist Board, Romana Vlasic, welcomed everybody and emphasized that the direct Frankfurt-Dubrovnik winter flight has been running for the third year within the strategic projects of the Croatian National Tourist Board, the City of Dubrovnik Tourist Board and Croatia Airlines. She added that on the initiative of the Dubrovnik Tourist Board and Croatia Airlines, all open hotels participate in winter programs during the winter in Dubrovnik. Vlasic expressed her satisfaction with the excellent air connectivity between the two cities and the number of German tourists, who ranked 3rd in the top rankings of Dubrovnik's most numerous guests. She stressed that in 2018 there were 77 723 German guests, 22 percent more than the previous year, and they made 273 764 overnight stays, seven percent more than in 2017.

The Head of Communication Tactics of the Dubrovnik Tourist Board, Sandra Milovcevic, introduced the gathered travel agents and travel journalists to the tourist offer of Dubrovnik and tourist attractions of the city and its surroundings as well as cultural events throughout the year, with special emphasis on events during the winter months. The Dubrovnik Tourist Board has designed and printed leaflets on all events during the winter in Croatian, English and German, which will be available to all visitors of the city at the Tourist Information Offices.

A prize draw was held for about 50 people who were present, and German travel agent Uschi Kretschmer wonn two Croatia Airlines Frankfurt-Dubrovnik return tickets as well as two nights for two at the Valamar Lacroma Hotel in Dubrovnik.

Croatia has dropped seven places in IMD World Digital Competitivness ranking (WDCR) in 2019, being placed at the close bottom of the list on the 51st place out of 63 countries featured. 

-A significant drop of seven places on the latest, global digital competitiveness ladder demonstrates Croatia's real problem: its unwillingness to adopt technologies and create an enabling environment to keep pace with global and especially digital development. The result is a warning to society as a whole, because it indicates a lack of preparedness for the future, which most of all affects our younger generations - commented Ivica Mudrinic, President of the National Competitiveness Council, as reports.

The United States held on to the number one spot, with all top five economies in the ranking unchanged: USA, Singapore, Sweden, Denmark and Switzerland.

Now in its third year, the WDCR, produced by the IMD World Competitiveness Center, measures the capacity and readiness of 63 economies to adopt and explore digital technologies as a key driver for economic transformation in business, government and wider society.

To evaluate an economy, WDCR examines three factors:
• Knowledge - the capacity to understand and learn the new technologies
• Technology - the competence to develop new digital innovations
• Future readiness - the preparedness for the coming developments

Croatia's biggest minus (-14) was in the 'Future readiness' factor.

-The weaknesses of Croatia include the following indicators: international experience, foreign highly-skilled workforce, employee training, immigration laws, technological development and applications, company agility, use of big data and analytics, knowledge transfer and public-private partnership – it was stated from the National Competitiveness Council, as reports.

You can see all the details about IMD World Digital Competitivness ranking here.

EARTH, SEA & FIRE Triathlon is getting closer! The second edition of this fun event held in Dubrovnik will start on Saturday, October 12th, at 2 pm in the Port of Gruz.

This is a race for everybody to enjoy: first-timers and Ironman finishers, families and fans, as stated by the organizers. EARTH, SEA & FIRE welcomes every ability, offering three distances: Super Sprint triathlon, Sprint & Olympic triathlon.

Olympic Distance consists of 1,5km two-laps swim, 40km four-laps bike and and 10km four-laps run combo.
Sprint Distance consists of 0,75km one-lap swim, 20km two-laps bike and 5km two-laps run.
Super Sprint Distance consists of 0,4km one-lap swim, 10km one-lap bike and 2,5km one-lap run.

EARTH, SEA & FIRE welcomes experienced triathletes: Seasoned athletes looking for a flat course built for speed are sure to make this a tough race at a high pace while aiming at their PB or other records.

This triathlon welcomes first-timers: Newbies will appreciate flat course and calm sea water for the obvious reasons, one being they have the chance to race side by side with the best triathletes.

Also, this triathlon offers relay races for everybody: This is an opportunity for the members of a club to actually race as a team. It’s also a chance for individual runners, swimmers, and bikers to join their forces, get a taste of triathlon and start a long-course tri career. When it comes to relay, your age group is of no importance. Your gender, disability or ability, professional or amateur status don’t matter either. The relay is all about team camaraderie, true to the heroic spirit of triathlon – for the win!

All the details are avaliable on the official website of the event.

The Voice of Dubrovnik


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