Wednesday, 29 January 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.


In the Dubrovnik-Neretva County area, 52,810 arrivals were recorded during November 2019, which is 30 percent more than in November the previous year. Over the same period, there were 111,700 overnight stays, an increase of seven percent compared to November 2018.

Since the beginning of the year, during the eleven months of 2019, there have been 2,256,362 arrivals in Dubrovnik-Neretva County with 8,904,704 overnight stays. Compared to 2018, arrivals are up by 10 percent and overnight stays by 3.5 percent.

The most overnight stays were made by guests from the United Kingdom, Germany, the United States, France, Croatia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Poland, Slovenia, Czech Republic, Italy, Spain, Ireland and Norway.

Since the beginning of the year, there have been 3,668,264 overnight stays in hotels, which is an increase of four percent, and in households 3,710,459 nights were spent, five percent more than in the first eleven months of 2018.

Only from December 2017 until today, the number of slot machines in Croatia has increased by as much as 2000 – 24 sata reports. According to the Tax Administration, there are now 10,718 slot machines in the entire country, while at the end of December last year there were 8797. 

Research shows that Croatians are more addicted to gambling than other Europeans. In Croatia, 2.2 percent are addicted, and in the EU, on average, the number of addicts ranges from half a percent to a maximum of two percent.

As 24 sata writes, five years ago, all gamblers paid a little more than 117 million kuna into the budget through profit tax, and last year it was even three times higher. In the first eight months of this year alone, the state budget made almost 237 million kuna, while the organizers of gaming paid almost 590 million kuna in fees.

Budget revenues from games of chance are one of the most significant revenues of the Croatian budget. When players' payroll taxes are added to the fees paid by game organizers, those revenues are much higher than for example, revenues from all concessions, or fines and administrative fees paid by Croatians. Last year, a total of 550 million kuna was disbursed from various fines and administrative measures, with taxes on gambling profits and event fees over 1.3 billion. In the first eight months of this year, a total of 290 million kuna was paid for all concessions in the country, and 237 million kuna was paid for gambling tax.

The state directs the proceeds to the development of sports, the fight against addiction, culture and similar things. Half of the annual fee paid by casinos goes to these purposes, as well as half of the annual fee paid by slot machines and others – 24 sata writes.

The casino has to pay a fee of half a million kuna a year, and the slot machine owner gives ten thousand kuna each year, and for electronic roulette up to six playgrounds, 40 thousand kuna. Betting profit has ten percent of tax if it does not exceed ten thousand kuna. For gains of between 10 and 30 thousand, the tax is 15 percent, with profits between 30 thousand and half a million, the tax is 20 percent, and any gain over half a million kuna is taxed at 30 percent – according to 24 sata.

The Dubrovnik Tourist Board has printed a monthly leaflet for December, bringing a list of open restaurants, pizzerias and fast food restaurants during December, with winter working hours so that guests staying in Dubrovnik are as informed as possible!

The Dubrovnik Tourist Board is conducting an intensive Facebook promotional campaign in a dozen overseas markets with the largest number of guests coming to Dubrovnik during the winter months, as well as locally for visitors that are in Dubrovnik.

The leaflet can be downloaded on the TZGD website, or you can take it in the open Tourist Information Offices of the Dubrovnik Tourist Board of Pile and Gruz and in all open Dubrovnik hotels.

Or you can just click this link: Winter restaurants.

According to the eVisitor tourist check-in and check-out system, not including nautical data, there has been an increase in tourist traffic in the last eleven months of this year. From January 1st to November 30th, 2019, there were 1 419 636 tourists in Dubrovnik, which is 13 percent more than the year before, and 4 328 319 overnight stays, which is six percent more than in 2018. Since the beginning of the year, most guests came from the United Kingdom, the United States, Germany, France, Spain, Croatia, Ireland, Australia, Italy and Canada. There were 196 903 arrivals of guests from the UK who made 914 827 overnight stays, 158 084 guests came from the USA and made 438 952 overnight stays, while the number of guests from Germany was 108 171 with 289 959 overnight stays.

From the total number of tourists from January 1st to November 30th, 2019, 794 869 guests stayed in 50 Dubrovnik hotels, an increase of 18 percent in hotel accommodation compared to the same period in 2018, and they made a total of 2 287 492 of overnight stays, or six percent more than last year.

There were 477,492 guests staying in private accommodation from the beginning of the year to the end of November, an increase of ten pecent compared with last year. In the same period, 1 584 358 overnight stays were recorded in private accommodation, which is eight percent more than in 2018.

In November, 46 369 arrivals were recorded in Dubrovnik, which is 34 percent more than in the same period last year, and 83 646 overnight stays were realized, which is ten percent more than in 2018. In the past month, most guests were from Germany, Croatia, the United States, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Sweden, the United Kingdom, China, Korea, Singapore and Taiwan.

In the past week in the area of Police Administration of the Dubrovnik-Neretva County there were 12 traffic accidents, in which three persons got heavily injured, two persons got light injuries, while there were seven traffic accidents with material damage.

By carrying out traffic control measures, police officers have taken 601 repressive measures against the perpetrators of traffic offenses, out of which 391 measures taken due to speeding, 21 measures due to improper overtaking, 40 measures for improper stop and parking, 29 measures because of non-use of the seat belt, eight measures against drivers who were driving the vehicle under the influence of alcohol and seven measures because of using mobile phone while driving. Don't forget to put your day lights on, because last week 21 persons got fined for not keeping them on.

Due to increasing labor shortages, domestic and foreign employers in Croatia are increasingly reaching out to foreign workers - Zadarski list reports.

According to the latest figures from June this year, there is a lack of about 300 thousand workers in Croatia. If the trend of aging, as well as the migration of the population continues until 2050, there could be a million workers missing.

Apart from tourism, shortcomings are also visible in construction, so it is no longer surprising to see foreign workers at Croatian construction sites and restaurants and hotels, especially those from the far and middle east. Currently 24,115 foreign workers are employed in the construction sector in Croatia, out of which 500 come from Nepal, according to Zadarski list.

A group of Nepalese workers is now working on the reconstruction of a shopping center in Zadar.

Better working conditions are the reason for the increasing arrival of Nepalese workers to Croatia. For example, in Dubai and Qatar they work 13 to 14 hours a day for a monthly salary of only 1,500 to 2,000 kunas, and they only have one day off during the whole month. In addition, they point out that salaries in tourism are slightly better, but they are below the minimum in construction.

Dubrovnik Winter Festival has officialy started on Saturday, November 30th and is full of events. Every Monday through this period, we will bring you a guide for the week ahead of you. Here are the events for this week!

MONDAY (December 2)


3 – 6 pm, Mokosica

Decoupage technique by Eko Centar Zeleno Sunce and Eko Omblici enviromental organisatios

TUESDAY (December 3)


3 – 6 pm, Mokosica

Painting Christmas motifs on canvas bags, boxes and cards by Eko Centar Zeleno Sunce and Eko Omblici enviromental organisatios


Lazareti, Nave 10, 5-7 pm

Workshop for adults


Lazareti, Nave 3, 6.30 pm

Dubrovnik Children's Choir


7 pm, Elementary school Mokosica

Workshop is led by Romana Novkovic and Ana Lojpur and is open for applications to 3 December, contact number: 0919242284

THURSDAY (December 5)


Lazareti, Nave 10, 5-7 pm

Workshop for adults


Lazareti, Nave 3, 6 pm


Franciscan Church, 8 pm

Dubrovnik Symphony Orchestra, Libertas Mixed Choir, Conductor – Marc Tardue

SATURDAY (December 7)


Lazareti Plateau, 10 am – noon

Dance studio Lazareti, interactive dance programme


11 am – 1 pm on the promenade in the Lapad Bay

City of Dubrovnik Youth Centre


Marin Drzic Theatre Atrium, 3 pm

Chocoland Magic Chocolate Corner, Magic Brush: Become a prince or a princess for a day (make-up for princesses and princes), Art Workshop (making Christmas decorations and cards/art stories), Christmas Dance Programme (Dubrovnik Dance and Recreational Studio), Tale of Goddess Mokosh (play in the Marin Drzic Theatre Production, directed by Srdana Simunovic). Special guest after the show will be Saint Nicholas!


3-6 pm, Mokosica

Decoupage technique by Eko centar Zeleno Sunce and Eko Omblici environmental organisations


In front of the Dubrovnik Cathedral, 7.30 pm

SUNDAY (December 8)


North Pole Station at the Bursa Theatre
10 am – Let's Dance with Mrs Claus
11.15 am - Parade of Mrs Clauses across Stradun to Luza
11.30 am – Opening of the North Pole Station


Marin Drzic Theatre Atrium, 3 pm

Chocoland Magic Chocolate Corner, Magic Brush: Become a prince or a princess for a day (make-up for princesses and princes), Christmas Dance Programme (Dubrovnik Dance and Recreational Studio), Fairy Tale World (telling Christmas fairy tale and animation), Tale of Goddess Mokosh (play in the Marin Drzic Theatre Production, directed by Srdana Simunovic). Special guest after the show will be Saint Nicholas!


3-6 pm, Mokosica

Creative programme for children by the Dubrovnik Natural History Museum


Bunic-Kaboga Summer Villa, 6 pm


Franciscan Church, 8 pm

Advent concert of church choirs of the Dubrovnik Bishopric


Every week Christmas carols and traditional Dalmatian songs will be sung on Sunday mornings from Brsalje and Stradun to Gundulic Square. Like every year, market stalls full of variety of Christmas delicacies and goods are placed at those locations.

It's good to know the buses are operating free of charge on all city lines (including lines 26, 28 and 35) from 5 pm to the last departure of the evening, all to January 6th.

There is also a X-MAS BUS, whic will operate on the following route: Main Bus Station – Grawe – Pile – Vojnovic – Lapad Post Office and Lapad Post Office – Vojnovic, Pile – Tommy (Gruz) – Main Bus Station.

For the special holiday experience, hop on the XMAS TRAIN, which passes through Lapad Bay from the beach to the ice skating rink and back every day from 9:30 am to 5 pm. The train will depart every 30 minute and it is free of charge for all the passengers.

You are also more than welcome to enjoy the ice skating rink in the Lapad Bay, at tennis courts, every day from 9 am to 10 pm.

Dubrovnik Winter Festival starts tomorrow and for the first time a part of the Christmas magic will transfer to Lazareti! 

For the first time in six years of the Festival, Dubrovnik Heritage is organizing a suitable Advent program. The opening is at tomorrow, Saturday, November 30th, at 6pm on the Lazareti Plateau with convenient music, dancing and free dining.

The opening program will include FA Lindo, Zupa majorettes, Dance Studio Lazareti, City Security and DJ Vjeverica, who will take care for the musical part of the program. Elves and fairies will be an integral part of the Advent in Lazareti.

Dubrovnik Heritage, in collaboration with the Dubrovnik Catering School, is offering more than a hundred completely free portions of 'dirty macaroni' this Saturday, with a free glass of wine.

Lazareti will also has a great selection of food and drinks at the Advent house, as well as from the stands where there will be excellent delicacies such as prosciutto, cheese selection, stews and a wide selection of craft beer.

Dubrovnik finally got another place to go during the most beautiful holidays of the year.

If you want to know more about this year's Dubrovnik Winter Festival, click here Dubrovnik Winter Festival is coming - this is all you need to know!

The Voice of Dubrovnik


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