Tuesday, 07 December 2021
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

The Growth of a Game, in partnership with the Croatian American Football Association, will be hosting one of the premier American football camps in Europe from August 5th-7th, 2016 in Split. This all-American sport is growing ever popular in Croatia and these kinds of camps will only help to improve the level of the teams as well as increase publicity throughout the region. The Growth of the Game aims to promote the sport across Europe and has a popular website and growing social media accounts.

This camp, known as “The Growth of a Game Split Skills Camp”, will be an annual event with the intent of improving the level of players from around the region. Players and coaches from all across Europe will visit Split for the camp, and upwards of 120 players are expected to be in attendance. And our own Dubrovnik Sharks American Football team will also be in attendance this weekend in Split.

dubrovnik sharks photo

Dubrovnik Sharks / Photo Adriatic Images 

The Growth of a Game Split Skills Camp will be led by several of the top coaches in Europe, including Daniel Levy, head coach for the Warsaw Eagles in Poland; Geoff Buffum, head coach for the Calanda Broncos in Switzerland; Tyler Harlow, head coach for the Cineplexx Blue Devils in Austria; Matheus Dias, defensive coordinator for the Warsaw Eagles; Eoin O’Sullivan, offensive line coach for the Warsaw Eagles; Alexandre Braga, defensive backs coach for the Warsaw Eagles; and Clayton Lovett, defensive coordinator for the Brazilian national team.

The organisers added that “The majority of camp attendees will be from Croatia, Serbia, and Slovenia, however players from as many as 15 countries will be present.”

''As far as shopping habits of Croats are concerned, they show tendency for compulsive shopping like Americans'', say economy experts from Zagreb and Rijeka Universities of Economy in their economic survey recently published in the new issue of the Economic Trends and Economic Policy magazine.

According to the survey, around 5 percent of people show tendency to obsessive shopping which exceeds their real needs and wallets. This survey was based on a poll carried out in a shopping centre in the Primorje-Gorje County in April 2014. Around 800 people participated in the poll.

The survey also showed that age and salary were the most important factors of compulsive shopping whilst the category of gender was not statistically significant.

''Younger consumers and those with higher incomes are more likely to buy compulsively than other consumers. They are prone to spend the rest of their money at the end of a month and buy things they cannot even afford; they like to buy things even though their bank accounts are empty. On the other hand, when it comes to their buying habits they have a guilty conscience'', emphasized the authors of the survey adding that shopping habits of younger consumers changed in response to the economic crisis.

''As far as shopping behaviour of men and women is concerned, the survey shows that Croatia is approaching developed countries. Nowadays, more and more women are involved in the labour market, they have higher incomes and less time for shopping, whilst men are more involved in shopping and are becoming more like women concerning their shopping habits, even when it comes to impulsiveness in the Croatian environment. There are more and more compulsive men buyers'', said the economy experts.

According to the words of the experts, the difference between men and women is that men usually focus on technology goods and objects that symbolize power and prestige such as computers, cars and mobile devices, whilst women prefer products related to beauty and good looks such as clothes, cosmetics, shoes and jewellery.

Not so long ago the movie Fan, the Bollywood hit, was released and it's not the secret that it has a lot of sequences filmed in Dubrovnik. That really influenced the tourists from India, who were inspired by the action scenes of Shah Rukh Khan and felt the urge to visit Dubrovnik.

Today The Economic Times has published an article titled 'Travel inspirations from Bollywood: Romantic New Zealand and dreamy Croatia' and as it's clear from the title, it's about the countries that were used for filming the Bollywood hits but also have a lot to offer.

The Economic Times writes about Zagreb, Istria and of course – Dubrovnik. Here's how they describe our town:
- If you are thinking of the best time to visit Dubrovnik then the answer is anytime is worth a visit. The buzz is just so catchy right at the street cafes, where tables remain packed well into the night. You may want to time your visit during the Dubrovnik Summer Festival (gets over in August) or during the Feast of St Blaise (in Feb) when the patron saint of the city is honoured.

On Friday, August 5, Croatia is celebrating Victory and Homeland Thanksgiving Day and the Day of Croatian Defenders. Since that's a public holiday, some of the shops, banks, exchange offices, etc. will be closed or working shorther hours, so keep that in mind if you're visiting Croatia.

It's a celebration of the day in 1995 when the Croatian Army took the city of Knin during Operation Storm, which brought an end to the Republic of Serbian Krajina, a self-proclaimed Serb entity in Croatia.

In 2008, the name Day of the Croatian Defenders was added to this holiday by the Parliment, therefore this day also honors the serving men and women and veterans of the Republic of Croatia Armed Forces.

The 2016 Olympic Games in Rio will be held from the 5th to 21st of August and this year over 10,000 athletes from more than 200 countries will compete for the Olympic medals. The Croatian Olympic Delegation is more than ready for the most important competition in a life of an athlete.

Even though Croatia is a small country with the population of a little more than 4.2 million at the last Olympic Games held in London four years ago Croatian athletes set a record in winning three gold medals, one silver and two bronze medals. This month the Croatian Olympic team is expected to break that record.

At 2016 Rio Olympic Games Croatia will participate with 87 athletes, 19 athletes less than in London in 2012. They will compete in 17 different sports and there are plenty of candidates for Olympic medals.

Out of 87 Croatian athletes nine of them are Olympic medal winners and they will compete in individual sports. The Croatian national water polo team will defend a gold medal from the 2012 London Olympics whilst the Croatian handball team will compete for one of the medals after winning the bronze in London.

Interestingly, the 2016 Olympic Games medals will be the heaviest in the history with a weight of 500 grams. That is almost 100 grams more than those medals worn by athletes on the winner’s podium in London four years ago.

Auro Domus, the Croatian financial institution specializing in gold trading, has calculated the value of Olympic medals which will be awarded at the Olympics in Rio.

In the case that an Olympic gold medal winner decides to sell his/her medal the value would be 3,750 Kunas i.e. around 500 Euros whilst the value of a silver medal would be little more than 2,000 Kunas. A bronze medal would be worth of around 100 Kunas.

In spite of popular belief, gold medals are produced mainly of silver which accounts for almost 99 per cent. They are only plated with gold (at least 6 grams) which makes them look very precious. If gold medals were made of pure gold, their value would be 150,000 Kunas. The last Olympic gold medal that was actually made from gold was awarded in 1912. Silver medals are made entirely of silver with a share of 92.5 percent purity. Bronze medals contain 475 grams of copper and 25 grams of zinc.
Around 5 kilograms of gold and 1.6 tons of silver were spent in the production of the 2016 Olympic Games medals.

The negative trend of the Croatian population is continuing to show disturbing indicators. According to data from the Croatian National Bureau of Statistics in 2015 the number of deceased last year was 16,702 more than the number of births. When you also take into account that around 18,000 people more than in 2014 emigrated to work in other European Union member countries, the decline in population is more alarming.

In overall this new data from the bureau of statistics shows that the population of the Republic of Croatia noted a decline of nearly 35,000 in 2015 in comparison to the year before.

The birth rate per 1,000 inhabitants was 8.9 percent whilst the death rate per 1,000 inhabitants was 12.9 percent in 2015.

On several occasions social and political experts have warned about the negative effects of this decline on the economic growth of Croatia.

According to data from the Croatian National Bureau of Statistics (DZS) the average net monthly salary for May 2016 was 5,706 Kunas or around 760 Euros. In comparison to April 2016 there was a small increase of 1.1 percent whilst compared to May 2015 the increase was 2.1 per cent.

The highest average net salary in May was paid in oil refining in amount of 13,466 Kunas whilst the lowest average salary of 3,364 Kunas was paid in clothing production.

On the other hand, the highest average net salary for April was paid in the financial services sector, excluding insurance and pension funds, and amounted to 9,993 Kunas. The lowest net salary of 3,291 Kunas was paid in the production of clothing.

After the recent positive news from the Dubrovnik City Tourist Board on the increasing number of tourists who visited Dubrovnik in July comes news from the County Tourist Board. In the first seven months of this year a total of 889,449 tourists arrived in the Dubrovnik-Neretva County, almost a million tourists from January to the end of July, which is a healthy 12 percent increase on the same period from last year.

The majority of these tourists came from the United Kingdom, Germany, Bosnia and Herzegovina, France, Poland, Slovenia and the United States. July seems to have been a very successful month for the county, with 359,058 tourists arriving or a 16 percent increase over July last year.

From the beginning of January until the end of July a massive 3.77 million overnight stays were recorded, again an increase over the same period from 2015 this time by 11 percent.

The Voice of Dubrovnik


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