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.


This year Croatia will receive more cruise ships than last year, 963 cruise ships are expected to arrive in the country this year, whilst last year there were 911.

According to data from the Ministry of Sea, Traffic and Infrastructure the largest number of cruise ship arrivals in the Adriatic will be in Dubrovnik and Split.

"The Port of Dubrovnik expects in 2018 a continuation of business like in 2017, with a certain reduction in the number of cruise ships but a slight increase in the number of passengers due to changes made in the business environment of cruise tourism," the Ministry pointed out.

Over the course of this year, the Port of Dubrovnik is expected to receive 441 cruise ships with about 740 thousand passengers. This is 2 percent less cruise ships than in 2017 but a 4 percent increase in passengers.

A congress entitled "Shared Future of Cultural Heritage: Synergy between Heritage, Tourism and Digital Culture" is currently being held in Dubrovnik. The international conference, organised by the Croatian Association of Historical Cities (HUPG) and the City of Dubrovnik, will bring together leading experts and lecturers.

"Our motivations are the same as we have a common mission: to improve the quality of life in historical places, cities and tourist centres for the benefit of the population and the visitor. We all strive to provide the preconditions needed for a high-quality coexistence of historical heritage and modern trends, despite the many challenges," said the Dubrovnik Mayor, Mato Franković, and the President of HUPG Jakov Vetma.

The congress, which is being held in the Dubrovnik Palace Hotel, will aim to offer answers to many of the issues that challenge local authorities and other relevant factors of modern society.


Dubrovnik will play host to a rather special concert on the 16th of April as the sights and sounds of Croatian folklore come to town.

The Folklore Ensemble Linđo and the Marin Držić Theatre have joined forces to bring the renowned Lado ensemble to the city. In a concert entitled “Good Evening, Good People” the Lado ensemble will perform folk dances and songs from all over Croatia. It is sure to be a magical evening.

The concert, which will be held in the Marin Držić theatre, will be held on the 16th of April starting at 8.00pm and tickets can be purchased at the ticket office of the theatre from 9.00am to midday and on the day of the concert until 6.00pm.

The Prefect of the Dubrovnik – Neretva County, Nikola Dobroslavić, received an official visit from the French Ambassador to Croatia, Phillippe Meunier, yesterday.

The discussions involved cooperation between the two countries, especially in the field of tourism, given that this is a very important economic branch in Croatia and in France as well. In the context of tourism development and season extension, the county prefect also announced the construction of the Congress Center in Dubrovnik, highlighting the need for such a centre in Dubrovnik.

Also Dobroslavić informed the French ambassador about the agricultural potentials of the county, in particular the production of citrus fruit in the Neretva valley.

Ambassador Meunier expressed interest in the efficiency of the Dubrovnik-Neretva County in withdrawing funds from EU funds, whereby Dobroslavić indicated that Dubrovnik is in fact the most successful county in Croatia.

"We have a large number of projects in implementation, the largest is the Dubrovnik Airport project. Also, we are looking forward to signing a contract for our strategic project for the Peljesac Bridge, which is about EUR 357 million in grants," Dobroslavic said.

Ambassador Meunier expressed his satisfaction with the co-operation between France and Croatia and as a further proposal for better cooperation, he presented a joint organization of French language courses in the area of Dubrovnik-Neretva County.

The sixth edition of New Europe Market (NEM) – which will be held in Dubrovnik from June 11-14, 2018 – will address many intriguing questions concerning the future of Pay TV channels in the face of the omnipresent digitalization.

This June, NEM guests will once again have the opportunity to find out about the current issues in the TV industry from the leading media experts. The panel discussion „The Interplay between Pay TV and Digital Content“ will be attended by leading experts in their respective fields: Salim Mukaddam, General Manager and Vice President of BBC Worldwide for Central and Eastern Europe (CEE); Katharina Behrends, Managing Director of NBCUniversal for Central and Eastern Europe; John Rossiter, General Manager of Sony Pictures Television Networks for Central Europe; Karin Heijink, Vice President of Content and Products at Viasat World Limited; Levente Málnay, Senior Vice President of AMC Networks International for Central and Eastern Europe; Bartosz Witak, Senior Vice President and General Manager of Viacom International Media Networks for Central and Eastern Europe and Israel.

Pay TV in the midst of accelerated digitalization and trend changes

The main topic of this panel will be the following: What are Pay TV channels doing to keep up with digital trends and how can content help them in the uncertain battle against those branches within the TV industry that have been cherishing these trends for years? There are many discussions on the impact of SVOD on the sector of traditional Pay TV, but will SVOD eventually subjugate Pay TV or can they both exist together without excluding one another? Operators have been fighting for years for subscribers using the satellite, cable, terrestrial and IPTV infrastructure, so it comes as no surprise that their goal is to retain the existing subscribers, but at the same time also to attract the new ones by creating content that will satisfy the broader audience. With the emergence of SVOD, Pay TV channels lost a lot of their viewers in a relatively short time. There is no doubt that the Pay TV market is still growing globally; however, SVOD is developing faster.

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Who will emerge as a winner?

Will one side in this media game eventually prevail or is coexistence indeed possible? Karin Heijink of Viasat World Limited clarified the goal of the panel:

“This panel will look at the key issue facing traditional Pay TV players in the CEE region and explore how they adapt and keep up with the proliferation of digital content in the transformative media landscape. You can expect a lively debate, as is always the case at NEM, which undoubtedly stands out as one of the key TV events in Central and Eastern Europe. NEM is a not-to-be-missed event because it brings together leading decision makers from the region and beyond.”

Wise words came from John Rossiter as well, who is General Manager of Sony Pictures Television Networks for Central Europe: “The tech giants have become the Goliaths as they have exploited Network Effects to their full potential. Audiences are still consuming the same programming but just on different platforms. We have to focus on producing content that just works. Adapt we must.”

Katherine Behrends, Managing Director of NBC Universal for Central and Eastern Europe highlighted NEM as a leading market event for key content providers, studios and platforms in this area, focusing on important trends and topics specific to this region:

“We have been keen supporters and sponsors of the event since its inception and are happy to see it grow in recent years”, said Behrends.

Panel moderator, Chris Dziadul, Editorial Director and Chief East European Analyst of Broadband TV News, also distinguished NEM as one of the leading events of the television industry in Central and Eastern Europe, and said: “This year’s conference sessions will undoubtedly confirm this with a must-attend panel discussion entitled Pay TV In The Digital Content Game. It will examine how the region’s pay TV sector is adapting to, and indeed thriving in, the rapidly changing digital marketplace and feature top executives from international content providers that all have a strong and agenda-setting presence in Central and Eastern Europe.”

Secure your spot at this unique event now!

With panels, market, screenings, networking opportunities, as well as the wonderful Croatian coast, NEM is a unique experience that will take place from June 11-14, 2018. Secure your badge and book your accommodation via our website and find out why 90% of NEM participants return to this unique event in the CEE region.

Carnival Horizon, one of the newest cruise ships in the world, dropped anchor in Dubrovnik today on its inaugural cruise of Europe. The mega cruise ship, which can hold up to 3,960 passengers, was launched in March of this year and this is her first visit to Dubrovnik.

Carnival Horizon features a SkyRide, an IMAX Theatre, a WaterWorks aqua park, and Carnival’s Seuss at Sea programme. And there is also an on-board water park, the first time a Carnival ship has included this feature. There is even a brewery on-board that creates four craft beers.

The American musician and actress, Queen Latifah, will serve as the godmother to the ship.


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The low-cost British airline,, has announced new flights between Croatian and the UK for next year. The popular airline already operates a number of flights weekly to Dubrovnik from various UK airports and now they have announced a new line between Pula and Birmingham.

The new weekly flights will operate once a week, every Sunday, from the 12th of May until the 13th of October 2019. Tickets are already on sale for these flights and prices start at around 60 Euros for a single ticket.

In 2019, according to the latest data from the airline, will operate flights from nine different destinations to Dubrovnik and six to Split in 2019. And with the new flights from Birmingham to Pula this will take the number of flight destinations into this Istrian destination to five.

It might only be the beginning of April but the tourist season is well underway in Dubrovnik. This morning there were queues at the Pile Gate entrance into the historic Old City centre and it would appear that it took the authorities by surprise as there were no measures to regulate the flow of tourists.

This time it seems that the cruise ship industry isn’t to blame for the crowds as there is only one large cruise ship docked in the Port of Dubrovnik. The season has begun earlier than normal and the summer months will be just as busy as ever, if these scenes today are any indication.

The Voice of Dubrovnik


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