Tuesday, 24 May 2022
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

Even though the summer season has already commenced, the Dubrovnik region is still looking for seasonal workers. There are lots of job openings with relatively good pay but there is also an entire list of reasons why seasonal workers avoid Dubrovnik as a desirable city to work in.

According to recently published survey by the MojPosao website that was carried out with 300 people only 14 per cent of them would like to find a job in the Dubrovnik-Neretva County what is twice as less than those who would rather find a job in the Split-Dalmatia County.

''There are many seasonal job openings and the Croatian Employment Bureau (HZZ) receives dozens of job application demands from employers daily'', said from HZZ.

Waiters and chefs are the most wanted seasonal professions in the Dubrovnik region; the demand for chefs is even greater than in last previous seasons. According to data from May there were 44 job openings for waiters and 40 job openings for chefs, which is more than last year. There was also a significant demand for housekeepers and kitchen support staff in May.

The accommodation issue is definitely one of the main problems for seasonal workers. Many flats in Dubrovnik have been converted into tourist apartments thus there aren't enough flats on the open market for domestic subtenants let alone seasonal workers. However, in the rare case that seasonal workers find accommodation, the next obstacle is the extremely high price of renting it. A solution for this issue is crucial for almost 42 per cent of examinees who consider provided accommodation the most important thing in their search for seasonal jobs.

This problem is probably bigger than in other Croatian cities. High accommodation costs make most seasonal jobs unprofitable and it seems that employers are not yet ready to offer better terms.

Last year almost 1 million tourists visited the city walls in Dubrovnik and the associated revenue was 82 million Kunas. In comparison with 2014 around 90,000 tickets more were sold last year and the number of visits will probably skyrocket to 1.1 million in 2016. The City of Dubrovnik gets only half of that profit after VAT deduction. However, it is a positive change because till 2009 the City of Dubrovnik didn't get any profit, reported Jutarnji List.

Since 1969 the city walls have been managed by a small non-profit organization called the Society of Friends of Dubrovnik Antiques (DPDS). It was founded back in 1952 to sensitize broader public on the importance of preservation of Dubrovnik’s cultural and historical heritage.

The entire profit or the large part of it the DPDS invests into restoration and maintenance of the city walls and all the other heritage sites in the Dubrovnik region. However, this non-profit organization turns a profit of almost 100 million Kunas annually on the city walls and is completely independent in decision-making on how to spends all that money. On the other hand, the Plitvice lakes National Park with the UNESCO world heritage status visited 1.2 million tourist last year. The city walls in Dubrovnik have the same UNESCO status but whilst the national park is state owned the city walls of Dubrovnik are city owned but managed by DPDS. According to the data of the Croatian Institute of Public Finance in the terms of gross earnings this organization has bigger budget annually then some mid size cities in Croatia.

With the arrival of the new mayor of Dubrovnik Andro Vlahusic the City and DPDS concluded a new contract in 2009 and it was agreed that the gross earnings from the tickets, after VAT deduction, was to be divided in half between them. At the end of 2014 Vlahusic suggested that the entrance fee should be raised from 100 to 120 Kunas, which was refused by DPDS.

‘’We have done our best in order to prolong the introduction of the new price; however the price of 150 Kunas will be introduced in 2017. There are two reasons for that; the tourist crowds on the city walls have become unbearable, so with the new price we will try to slightly reduce or stop this rapid growth. On the other hand, the prices of all the European sites have already soared, the Parthenon in Athens, the Roman Forum and the Louvre are still more expensive than the Dubrovnik city walls. We suggest that the City of Dubrovnik manages the city walls and that DPDS gets 20 or 30 percent of the profit as much as they spend now. We would like to make this plan together and determine the obligations. The City Council will discuss it and the Ministry of Culture will then decide whether to approve it or not. Otherwise, there are considerable doubts about DPDS’s spending and investing the money, it seems that it is not in accordance with the regulations’’, says Andro Vlahusic, the mayor of Dubrovnik. It should be noted that the previous government had made a decision for the city walls to be returned to the City which was confirmed by the Croatian Parliament but the decision was later refused by the Constitutional Court.

The concert ''Dance rhapsody'' was held in the full atrium of the Rector's Palace on Friday. This is a third year of the concert, which is a product of Dubrovnik symphony orchestra in cooperation with Croatian-Russian society ''Art without borders'' and ballet department of the Art school of Luka Sorkocevic. This interesting night brought ballet performances accompanied by various ensembles of musicians, as well as virtuoso instrumental performances.

Students of the ballet school performed accompanied with musicians Elvira Gailoullina (violin), Helena Tomaskovic (piano), Damir Butigan (trumpet), Karmen Pervitic (percussion), Dive Franetovic Kuselj (flute) and Adrian Ivcevic (cello).
Program included, among others, the work of K.S. Hacuturjan, P.I. Cajkovski, A.F. Goedick, H. Soderberg, V.A. Gavrilin, B. Papandopulo, G. Faure and A. Vivaldi.

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Croatia Airlines has introduced flights from the Croatian capital to the St. Petersburg. The first flight from Zagreb landed at Pulkovo Airport in St. Petersburg on the 9th of June. “Today, St. Petersburg is the only destination served by Croatia Airlines in Russia, and it’s an honour for Pulkovo to be a starting point for the carrier’s development in the Russian market,” commented Evgeniy Ilyin a representative of Pulkovo Airport.

Croatia’s national airline will operate flights between Zagreb and St. Petersburg twice a week, every Thursday and Saturday, and this is the 35th destination inside the Croatia Airlines network. “With direct flights on Thursdays and Sundays, we offer the citizens of St. Petersburg and Russia the fastest and most convenient traffic connection with Croatia. I believe that Croatian citizens will also recognise the value of this route and use this opportunity to discover the beauties of the former capital of the Russian Empire and Russia in general,” added Kresimir Kucko, the CEO of Croatia Airlines.

Every weekend our resident "Style Guru" will be scanning the streets of Dubrovnik for the latest and greatest in fashion.

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Hollywood actor Goran Visnjic paid a visit to the Dubrovnik animal shelter on Zarkovic yesterday where he met with the President of the City Council of Dubrovnik, Mato Frankovic, and Anica Sambrailo, the President of the Society for the protection of animals in Dubrovnik.

The Visnijic family are strong supporters of the Dubrovnik animal shelter and have been vocal in their condemnation of the new shelter that has been constructed in the vicinity of the existing one. Once again Goran Visnjic, who starred in ER as Dr. Luka Kovac, emphasised his desire to help with the construction of a new home in a suitable location. With Frankovic he toured the new home that was built by the City of Dubrovnik. “A monument to stupidity,” was how Frankovic described the new home as it cost around half a million Kunas and has yet to be opened as the Croatian Ministry of Culture have banned any further works on the site.

“This behaviour which the mayor of Dubrovnik, Andro Vlahusic, and his closest associates have shown with this new unused home is testimony to their ignorance and incompetence. They have thrown money into the wind and for this there is no penalty, there should be a moral responsibility,” concluded Frankovic.

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Mato Frankovic and Goran Visnjic 

With the warmer summer days upon us in Dubrovnik it is always wise to avoid the midday sun. Buy a hat, use sun cream or even an umbrella to keep away from those rays, you can even seek the shade of nature.

However these tourists found a rather odd way to keep out of the Adriatic sun, under an olive tree in the middle of one of the busiest road junctions in the city. A reader sent us photos of this group of tourists huddled under the shade of a relatively small olive tree on a roundabout as traffic thundered past.

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As a part of the Dubrovnik Festiwine, ten renowned wine distributers and sellers visited Croatia and Dubrovnik. Before visiting Dubrovnik, they had visited nearby countries such as Macedonia, Srbia, Montenegro and Slovenia.

The arrival of wine dealers from China is a fantastic opportunity for wine producers of Dubrovnik Neretva County, who used the opportunity to inform their friends from China about the fantastic wines of the region, as well as discuss the opportunities to export wines to China.

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This cooperation was realized with the assistance of Richard Peng Wi, a jury member of Dubrovnik Festiwine, who continuously works to promote and distribute Croatian wines to China. Richard Wu is a wine educator who devotes his time and talent to spreading wine culture in Southern China. Over the past recent fifteen years he has visited many wineries around the world. He recently established the Wine Club and Wine School with the purpose of familiarising Chinese wine lovers and consumers with high quality wines of the world as well as their native wine culture. At the same time, he is making great efforts in exploring advanced wine industry technologies and winery management for national wine makers. In the last three years, his company has sold around 60.000 bottles of wines, mainly from France, Slovenia and Chile.

In April, it was reported the import of wines to China rose for 44 percent when compared to 2015, with the total increase of 3 percent. China is the fifth largest wine consuming nation in the world, and all the trends show that the consumption and wine popularity will continue to rise.

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The Voice of Dubrovnik

THE VOICE OF DUBROVNIK


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