Monday, 18 November 2019
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.


The tourist season in Croatia may have started slow, with changeable and indeed rainy weather in May, but it is certainly ending in fine form. In spite of the doom and gloom stories of this year being a disaster and that bookings were down it would appear that the truth is in fact the exact opposite.

The Croatian National Tourism Board has released figures today showing that revenues generated from tourism so far this year have already surpassed last year’s figures. Basically meaning that the two months ahead of us, which is always a busy time for the capital’s tourism business, will push earnings into record numbers.

So far this year an incredible 19.7 million visitors have enjoyed the Croatian Adriatic coastline and the hidden beauties of the hinterland, and a whopping 106 million overnight stays have been recorded. Meaning that the number of tourist arrivals is up by 5 percent on last year, and overnight stays by 2 percent.


Of course it isn’t all sugar and spice as the country and certain destinations in particular are having to learn to deal with the organisation and infrastructure challenges that tourism brings. The crux of the problem is certainly the seasonality of the tourism industry in Croatia, and this is particularly acute in popular hotspots such as Dubrovnik, Rovnij and Hvar.

The most overnight stays in Croatia so far this year have been made by tourists from Germany, Croatia, Slovenia, Austria, Poland, Italy, Czech Republic and Great Britain.

And when the results are broken down it clearly shows that Croatia’s tourism industry is heavily reliant on accommodation in private villas, apartment and rooms. The AirBnb and culture has seen almost 39 million overnight stays in private apartments. Whilst the lack of hotel space means that just over 24 million people have stayed in hotels so far this year.

Work on the construction site of the new Dubac Cemetery will continue in early November with the construction of the roads within the scope of the cemetery, approximately 900 meters long, with two large parking lots, a substation and all the necessary infrastructure to which the cemetery will be connected at a later stage.

At the same time, a public procurement procedure is being carried out for the preparation of the main and implementation project with cost lists for Stage 2, which refers to the burial fields and facilities within the cemetery, the project for all types of graves and the project for the so-called “Bible Garden.” The future cemetery will also have all the necessary infrastructure, including a chapel, office buildings and a meeting room.

Currently 1,840 requests have been received and a total of 3,550 burial sites can be accommodated in this area, which will be upgraded in the following periods according to needs and requirements.

The two men suspected of carrying out the armed robbery of the Duty Free Shop at Dubrovnik Airport on Monday the 21st of October at 7.40am have been brought before the courts in Dubrovnik.

A father and son team from Konavle were arrested earlier today on suspicion of the robbery at which around 90,000 Euros was stolen as it was being delivered by security guards to the management offices. The cash stolen was the weekend’s takings from the Duty Free shop at the airport.

During the interrogation of the first suspect, A K., his lawyer, Dragan Pistalo, was present.

Ten minutes after the first suspect, the father, was brought in for questioning, his son A.K. arrived at the Dubrovnik courts with police officers.

The two men from Gabrili in Konavle stole a scooter from a local restaurant and with helmets on their heads threatened security guards with weapons to hand over the cash. This is the first time that such a robbery has occured in the Dubrovnik region.


The demolition of the former headquarters of the largest company in Dubrovnik, Atlanska Plovidba, has begun.

A new office-residential building will replace the old head office of the Dubrovnik shipping company. The company spent the summer organising all the required paperwork and now the actual demolition work has begun.

Once completed the new building will be home to 106 apartments and 7 office spaces and will reach a height of 22 metres. To solve the normal problem of parking the new building will have three levels of underground parking with 147 spaces. And future owners are sure of a good view as the building is located close to the Port of Dubrovnik. 

According to information from the Zagreb Stock Exchange, permits were issued by the City of Dubrovnik, the Administrative Department for the Issuance and Implementation of Physical Planning and Construction Documents on the 3rd of July.


Two suspects have been arrested by police officers in connection with the armed robbery at Dubrovnik Airport at 7:40 on Monday morning. It has been reported that the two suspects are a father and son from Konavle, from the small village of Gabrili, and both are already on police records.

The two arrested suspects were brought into custody and then detained for further questioning.

“The criminal investigation is still ongoing," Davorka Becic, a spokeswoman for the Dubrovnik-Neretva Police Department, told HRT.

The father is believed to be a former taxi driver who worked mainly at the airport in Cilipi. He was known to the police for speeding and traffic offences, in spite of being a professional taxi driver, and managed to collect 54 fines for different driving offences. Why a driver with so many driving offences was still allowed to be a taxi driver clearly shows glaring holes in the taxi registration system.

The investigation continues.


It would appear that the net is tightening around several suspects in connection with the armed robbery of around 90,000 Euros in cash from the Duty Free shop at the Dubrovnik Airport.

"In relation to the measures taken in connection with the robbery that took place at the Dubrovnik Airport on October 21, at about 7.40 o'clock, the Dubrovnik Police Department are conducting a criminal investigation of several persons from the territory of our County,” said the Dubrovnik Police Office in a statement today.

They added that “Also, in pursuant to an order of the State Attorney's Office, certain evidentiary actions are underway, the results of which will be notified to you upon completion.”



The Tourism Expo Japan is being held from the 24th to the 27th of October in the Japanese city of Osaka.

At this fair, the Dubrovnik Tourist Board is making its first appearance at a joint booth with the Dubrovnik-Neretva County Tourist Board and together with the Zagreb, Šibenik-Knin and Lika-Senj County Tourist Boards. About 1,300 exhibitors from 140 countries are exhibiting at the Tourism Expo Japan, with an estimated 190,000 visitors.

From the beginning of 2019 to the 22nd of October 35,439 Japanese tourists arrived in Dubrovnik and achieved 71,749 overnight stays, which represents a 6 percent increase in arrivals and also a 6 percent increase in overnight stays.


The revenues of the Port of Dubrovnik in the first nine months of this year amounted to HRK 29.6 million Kuna, which is 29 percent more when compared to the same period from last year.

Expenses amounted to 17.7 million Kuna, which means that the profit of the port amounted to 11.9 million Kuna. The results of the port’s operations since the beginning of the year were praised by the President of the Management Board of the Port of Dubrovnik, Željko Raguž, at a press conference.

“Last year was a record year and this year we have generated 29 percent more revenue than last year. Some will say it's easy to generate revenue due to the cruisers that arrive. Of the four major port revenues; mooring and disembarking, garbage, storage and parking, only one is directly related to the arrival of cruisers - mooring and disembarking. Everything else is an effort of both the management and employees to reach these results,” said Raguz.



The number of cruisers was roughly the same as last year, and in 2019 the port recorded a 20 percent increase in waste removal revenue, which amounted to 1.2 million Kuna more than last year.

Jubilee awards and thank-you notes were also given to long-time employees of the company. For 30 years of work in Luka, plaques were awarded to the employees: Senad Dilberovic, Danijel Bulat; for 35 years Margarita Pecotic, Pero Djamarija, lawyers of the port Zoran Zec, Ramiz Hebib, Saban Stovrag, Edin Hebib, and for 40 years of work the following letters of thanks were received: Mare Svalina, president of the Workers' Council Senad Skaljic, Mujo Muratagic, president of the Emir Hadžimahovic union.

The Voice of Dubrovnik


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