Saturday, 24 February 2024
Mark Thomas

Mark Thomas

Mark Thomas - The editor and big chief of The Dubrovnik Times. Born in the UK he has been living and working in Dubrovnik since 1998, yes he is one of the rare “old hands.” A unique insight into both British and Croatian life and culture, Mark is often known as just “Englez” or Englishman. He is a traveller, a current affairs freak and a huge AFC Wimbledon fan.

Email: mark.thomas@dubrovnik-times.com

2016 will certainly be remembered with fond memories by Dubrovnik’s tourism industry and now news just released from the Dubrovnik Tourist Board shows just how good it has been. The landmark 3 millionth overnight stay was reached yesterday, the 12th of September, a full twenty days earlier than 2015.

From the beginning of this year until the 12th of September a grand total of 819,585 tourists arrived in Dubrovnik, which is a 10 percent increase on the same period from last year. This figure also highlights the shortened length of stay that tourists how stay in the city, a world trend since the explosion of online bookings and low-cost airlines.

According to statistics from the eVisitor tourist registration system all forms of accommodation in the city received record breaking results. The overall overnight stay figure is a 12 percent increase over 2015.

The breakdown of tourism figures in terms of nationalities shows that Dubrovnik was most popular with guests from the United Kingdom, France, USA, Germany, Spain, Croatia, Sweden, Italy and Australia.

According to the Croatian Chamber of Commerce (HGK) Croatian airports recorded the highest number of passengers in history. In July 2016 almost 1.5 million passengers passed through the Croatian airports of Dubrovnik, Split, Zadar, Pula, Zagreb, Osijek, Rijeka, Brac and Mali Losinj. On the other hand, in the first seven months of 2016 the airports in Croatia recorded around 4.4 million or 12.4 percent more passengers in comparison to 2015.

''The most important factor in increasing the air travel demand is growth of the economy and GDP in most EU countries and growing tourist demand for Croatian holiday destinations due to decreased departures to some of the European and North African traditional destinations such as Turkey, Greece, Tunis etc.'', said Tonci Peovic, the president of the Association of Air Traffic in the HGK.

He also added that air carriers partly reduced the average ticket prices in air transport as a result of the oil price reduction on the world market. The air traffic increase in Croatia was also affected by the shortened stay of tourists in various destinations, approximately 2-3 days on average, mainly thanks to internet reservation systems which enabled more frequent exchange of tourists in the same capacity.

Ljubica Herceg, the director of Transport and Communications in the HGK, emphasized that most European countries as well as Croatia were trying to respond to the challenges of providing adequate accommodation capacity for the current upward trend in air traffic taking into account the development of tourism.

“Works on the upgrading of the airports in Zagreb and Dubrovnik are almost completed, whilst works on the modernisation of Split Airport are to start soon'', said Ljubica Herceg, noting that apart from the increase in capacity and modernization, all major international airports also paid special attention to the improvement of business processes of the acceptance of passengers and luggage.

The data from the HGK show that in the first six months of 2016 Croatian airports recorded an increase in passenger numbers in comparison to the same period last year; Brac Airport recorded an increase of almost 90 percent, Pula 34.15 %, Split 25.41 %, Dubrovnik 16.46 %, Zadar 15.3 %, Zagreb 10.4 %, whilst Osijek recorded an increase of 7.85 percent and Rijeka 7.46 %.

Every now and then Dubrovnik gets recognized by the most popular world magazines and websites. The latest one has been published at Forbes with a title 'Why Dubrovnik should be high on your travel list' and is a really good promotion of our beautiful city.

The author has been really surprised by Croatia, calling it a ''a place unlike any other'' but Dubrovnik enchanted her. 

- The dreamiest old city in Croatia is Dubrovnik, in the middle of the Dalmatian Coast. Known as the Pearl of the Adriatic, it’s a place that is medieval, mythical and occasionally magical – writes Forbes journalist and adds some facts about history, saying that 'atmosphere, passion and deliciousness explain why some 2 million tourists descended on Dubrovnik last year'.

Game of Thrones is also mentioned, of course, just like the crowds that can be avoided, according to the author by coming during the winter or exploring the City in the morning or the evening. The other solution is to just enjoy the busyness!

She also brings some restaurant recommendations and since Old City is quite small and can be soaked up in a few days the journalist promotes also Peljesac and Elaphiti Islands. For more details check out the original article.

According to data from the eVisitor and eCrew information systems, the Croatian Tourist Board (HTZ) has announced that in the period from the 1st of January to the 9th of September 2016 Croatia recorded 13.63 million tourist arrivals and 80.24 million overnight stays.

''Since the beginning of this year we have already achieved over 80 million overnight stays thus we've surpassed last year's results achieved in all twelve months of 2015. These great results would not have been possible without cooperation between the public and private sectors, the innovativeness and commitment to work of all our workers in the tourism industry'', said the Croatian Minister of Tourism Anton Kliman, adding that this year's income from tourism would be above all expectations.

Ratomir Ivcic, the director of HTZ said that it was not at all easy to surpass last year's results in only nine months, ''This is an excellent result considering the fact that last year 80,02 overnight stays were achieved according to the tourist traffic data gathered from all tourist boards in Croatia. This result also indicates that tourists in Croatia stay longer and that eVisitor system has significantly contributed to more accurate register of tourist traffic''.

Even though the current weather conditions aren’t ideal for swimming in the Adriatic the latest findings show that the sea in the Dubrovnik region has excellent water quality.

The regular testing of the sea water quality in the Dubrovnik-Neretva County by the Department of Environmental Protection and Nature has revealed that of the 115 beaches in the county 105 have excellent water quality.

The only beaches that didn’t reach the highest levels were the Portina beach in Ploce, Prapratno, Supavo, the water polo beach in Cavtat, the Banje, the Hotel Argentina and Mali Zaton, which all recorded good quality. Whilst the beaches in Srebreno, Kupari and Hotel Supertar in Cavtat all recorded satisfactory levels.

The current sea temperature in the Dubrovnik region is around 23 degrees.

Croatia is a country well known for its natural beauties and stunning coastline of ''a thousand islands'' which attracts more and more tourists each year especially those with ''deeper pockets'' such as yachtsmen.

In the last five-six years there has been a large number of gay men who like to sail the Adriatic and consider Croatia as a gay friendly destination.

Each year more and more young men as well as young women opt for Croatia as their holiday destination on the recommendation of those who already visited our country. They choose Croatia as a supreme holiday destination which offers them peace and quiet, beautiful natural scenery, excellent cuisine, friendly hosts and true freedom in expressing their mutual love while sailing.

''They are great guests who prefer solitude during the day, they like hidden coves to freely enjoy their time with a partner, whilst in the evening they choose top restaurants for enjoyment in our cuisine. They are very demanding guests, but within reasonable limits. No acting, just hedonism'', says an owner of a boat charter company in Croatia.

These guests usually plan their summer holidays in advance; they rent a boat or a yacht and already know which route they will sail in order to take advantage of all the benefits of the Adriatic such as hidden coves and nightlife spots.

''They are extremely tidy, a yacht or a boat is spotless after seven days of their stay. These types of guests like to drink alcohol in large quantities especially all kinds of quality vodka as well as expensive cognac. As far as wines are concerned, they always like to try local brands especially wines on islands they visit. But they always require top products. Everything is top about them even their trained and sculpted bodies!'', says with a smile a lady skipper from Split.

Even those who are not GOT fans know it – Dubrovnik is King's Landing and an important part of the Game of Thrones series. While on the break from watching the series, since season 6 has ended and 7 has just started filming, the real fans of GOT may want to visit the famous filming locations.

That's why website Mashable has made a list of 5 essential trips for Game of Thrones superfans, organized by house. Dubrovnik, as King's Landing, is representing house Lannister that is currently ruling the Seven Kingdoms.
- To truly capture the Lannister experience in Dubrovnik, one need only stride about its rocky passages and gaze intensely to sea, scheming how best to maintain your power. But when you need to recuperate from all that angst, explore Dubrovnik's world-class dining scene for a feast fit for a Lannister. If you're feeling really extravagant à la Tyrion, Restaurant 360° is a Michelin Star eatery that serves classic Mediterranean dishes. For the Cersei sympathiser, Croatian viticulture is an art certainly worth appreciating – writes Mashable.

When it comes to filming locations they mention Stradun and ''walk of shame'' stairs near St. Ignatius Church and Trsteno Arboretum but as we all know – there are many more filming locations worth a visit. We're sure the Game of Thrones superfans already have them on their schedule.

When you are preparing to travel somewhere or when you reach the destination the most important things in that moment are where to sleep, what to do and where to eat. If you are a vegetarian or vegan in Dubrovnik it can get tricky because in Croatia many people believe that a meal without meat isn't a real meal.

But it's not all lost. Since Dubrovnik is touristic city, everbody do their best to please their costumers. Vilda Magazine brings few tips and tricks for vegans and vegetarians in Dubrovnik.

First is to stay in a apartment or a good hotel. Of course, if you're used to preparing your own meals in your own taste the best thing you can do is to rent an apartment with a kitchen where you can prepare your own breakfast, lunch and dinner. You can go to the green market and get local products. It could save you money, since restaurants can be quite expensive, but if you don't feel like cooking on your vacation then the alternative is a good hotel where you can check what they offer before you come.

Vilda Magazine also suggests restaurant Nishta, which has a complete vegetarian and vegan menu and Marco Polo, a regular restaurant that serves vegan food. Also, there is Bio&Bio shop, which can make your stay even more easier.

The most important tip they bring, in our opinion, is to be nice and ask. Yes, many restaurants don't have vegan food, but if you explain them what you want they will do their best to fullfill your wishes. Just don't be shy!

The Voice of Dubrovnik

THE VOICE OF DUBROVNIK


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