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 airports of the region had an extremely successful 2017 with most of them showing a huge increase in passengers.
The busiest airport in the region, by some distance, was the Nikola Tesla Airport in the Serbian capital, Belgrade, which handled 5.3 million passengers last year, an increase of 8.5 percent over 2016. Then the top ten list was dominated by Croatia, Zagreb in second place with 3 million passengers, Split with 2.8 million and Dubrovnik Airport with 2.3 million passengers.
Split Airport recorded the largest increase in the region with an amazing 23 percent increase compared with 2016. In fourth place was Pristina, followed by Skopje, Ljubjana, Tivat and Pogorica in Montenegro and in tenth position was Sarajevo in Bosnia and Herzegovina. In fact, the airport in the Bosnian capital, with 957,000 passengers, had its busiest year on record and dominated air travel in the country.
Austria looks like extending its ban on Croatian workers for another two years.
Austrian Minister of Labour, Beate Hartinger-Klein, opposes full opening of the labour market to Croatian citizens this year. "We need to consider that there are 400,000 unemployed people in Austria. We will report this to the European Commission by June 30, and provide our arguments for this," the minister added. Austria must decide by July 1 this year whether it will extend the restrictions for the work of Croatian citizens for another two years.
"We are thinking of taking full advantage of the seven-year transitional period for Croatia," Klein said. The leader of the Social Democrats, Christian Kern, has commented that Croatia's citizens pose a potential threat to the labour market in Austria, and estimates that there could be 150,000 arriving in the next five years.
With Valentine’s day just around various world news outlets are recognising the most romantic city on the Adriatic. After Dubrovnik being featured in the UK newspaper The Telegraph as one of the most romantic European cities comes news from further afield. The Malaysian newspaper, New Strait Times, has published a list of the “Top 10 European destinations for love and romance in 2018,” and Dubrovnik once again features on the list.
“Known as the Pearl of the Adriatic, Dubrovnik is the most beautiful city of Croatia. Situated on the Dalmatian coast, the city is one of the most desirable travel destinations in the world. The impressive walled city offers amazing views of the Adriatic Sea, and there is so much to explore from its natural parks and historic monuments to gastronomic delights,” writes the New Strait Times about Dubrovnik.
The largest state owned hotel chain in Dubrovnik, Maestrali, has been sold to a company from the Czech Republic. The government has accepted a bid from the Czech company J & T IB Capital Markets for 114 million Kuna reports Dubrovacki Vjesnik.
Although the news is still unofficial the Ministry of State Property has reported the news and apparently it is only a matter of formalities and the contract will be signed.
The Czech company has offered 114 million Kuna for almost 60 percent of the shares in the hotel chain in Lapad which includes five hotels on the coastline.
Dubrovnik’s most famous writer of comedy and tragedy, Marin Drzic, is about to go international. One of the most popular books of “Dubrovnik’s Shakespeare” Uncle Maroje (Dundo Maroje) has been translated into English.
The English version of Uncle Maroje will be presented in the Marin Drzic theatre on Saturday the 20th of January. This project was made possible by the Marin Drzic Home, the Dubrovnik Tourist Board and the City of Dubrovnik and the book was translated by Filip Krenus. The book release is part of the event Festa Dubrovnik 2018.
Nikola Matic, the director of the House of Marin Držić, the author of the book's preface Luko Paljetak and Romana Vlašić, the director of the Tourist Board of the City of Dubrovnik, will all participate in the presentation of the book together with the translator and writer Filip Krenus.
“Although this comedy has been translated into Renaissance English language, my goal is not, as I have mentioned, that this is a museum exhibit. Dust is the death of the theatre and I would like the translation to be a springboard for the full performance of this brilliant comedy in English,” commented Krenus.
It has started earlier this year. The travel trend of baring all in various world destinations that started a few years ago is continuing.
And whilst many tourists have re-enacted the famous Walk of Shame scene from the HBO Game of Thrones series not many have one this far to assure total authenticity. Over the past few years Dubrovnik has been bombarded with these nude photos, and at least this latest one hid his behind with a well-placed track.
The online reservation system - Booking.com among 550 thousand accommodation facilities in 218 countries and territories awarded the "Guest Rewiev Award 2017" to almost 25 thousand objects in Croatia! That was enough to place Croatia in the group of ten most award-winning countries – it was reported from the Croatian office of Booking.com.
-Croatia is in second place with the highest scores, just behind Italy, while Split, Zadar, Dubrovnik and Zagreb among the top 20 most awarded cities in the world – it’s said from Booking.com.
The annual awards by Booking.com are based on user experience and guest ratings worldwide that booked accommodation facilities through that platform. There were 140 million guest reviews last year and based on them nearly 500 thousand accommodation facilities received an award.
In addition to being the second highest ranked country, Croatia is ranked sixth in the number of awards this year.
The highest number of awards, for as many as 81.6 thousand objects, went to Italy, while France was second with 33.5 thousand awarded objects and the third USA with 30.5 thousand.
GROWING POPULARITY OF OUR COUNTRY
In Croatia, 24,395 objects of all kinds received awards with a total average rating of 9, while 243 objects received the highest rating of 10. Among the top 20 cities in the world, Split is ranked second, right after Rome, Zadar and Dubrovnik are at 9th and 10th place, and Zagreb on 19th.
-According to the number of awards received this year, Croatia has climbed from ninth to sixth place, which shows its growing popularity and since the awards are given on the basis of guest reviews and their authentic experiences, we believe that it can also help the owners of accommodation facilities in their business - they say from Booking.com.
They emphasize the fact that awarded facilities must have an average review score of 8 or more based on at least five guest ratings by the end of October. Cleanliness, comfort, location, content, staff and value for money are evaluated, and since reviews are never edited or changed in any way, travelers can be sure to read authentic testimonials about actual user experiences in accommodation facilities.
The Kingfisher Calendar for 2018 published by the United Breweries Group of India recently went out and it shows gorgeous models in swimsuits – filmed in our beautiful Croatia.
This calendar has quite a reputation and it's often described as one of the most prestigious modelling assignments in India. It has been published annualy since 2003 and every calendar, just like 2018 one, has been shot by the famous fashion photographer Atul Kasbekar.
This year's calendar gathered supermodels Priyanka Moodley, Priyanka Karunakaran, Ishika Sharma and Mitali Rannorey and has been shot in Rovinj, Pula, Opatija and on the Brijuni islands.
Screenshot from the official Kingfisher Calendar website
It has already drawn a great attention from the Indian press and it makes a great promotion for Croatia. For example, Indian Express writes:
-The photo shoot was done in both touristy and offbeat locations spread across the central European nation. From the unusual archipelago like Brijuni islands to popular destinations such as Rovinj, Kasbekar scouted for picturesque places to capture the essence of Croatia and clicked the ladies in what can be touted as one of this year’s hottest swimsuit shoots.
The photos also collected a great number of likes and interest at the official Instagram profile of Atul Kasbekar.
Take a look at a whole calendar here.
Photos by Atul Kasbekar official Instagram profile