Saturday, 25 June 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.


A swarm of bees collected on the front balcony of The Pucic Palace Hotel this morning and soon proved a tourist attraction as passersby snapped the odd scene. The bees, for some unknown reason, swarmed together and hung off the stone facade of this five-star hotel in the heart of the Old City.

It was left to the professionals to solve the problem as beekeepers were called to catch the swarm and take them to a new home. The beekeeper didn’t bat an eyelid as he scooped up the bees and the moment was caught by our photographer Zeljko Tutnjevic.

bees pucic palace

pucic palace bees

bees pucic palace 2

''Around 18 per cent of the total number of unemployed citizens registered in Croatia or 50,000 people have gained qualifications to work in the tourism industry but the hoteliers are still short of around 30,000 employees for this summer season'', it was said yesterday at a round table ''Human capital in the hotel industry'' which was organised in the Hotel Westin by the Association of Employers in Croatian Hospitality (UPUHH).

The biggest demand is for support staff such as chefs, waiters, maids and even animators. However, unemployed prefer their status quo i.e. to be registered with the employment Bureau because they do not want to lose their permanent compensation over a few months of season job.

''We have indicated this problem already in April and gathered together on time to ensure the labour force for this tourist season but it hasn't been solved yet, it's only in the beginning. It is important to remark that Croatia has unemployed personnel in the tourist profession and we have to find the best way to mobilize and involve them in the work process'', said Bozica Lapic the assistant of Antun Kliman the Croatian Minister of Tourism.

According to the words of Mario Bebic the assistant of the Croatian Minister of Labour the Employment Bureau has already been involved in this situation with a pilot project of finding seasonal workers and designated a professional as a contact person for key employers in the Croatian hospitality. Also the funds for retraining and fast training especially for chefs and waiters have already been ensured in order to make Croatia fully prepared for the next summer season.

The largest tourism company in Croatia, Valamar Riviera, held its first investors day on the 9th of June gathering around 50 stock holders, bank representatives and potential investors. The new corporate strategy until 2020 was presented by Zeljko Kukurin, the president of the Valamar Board, reported

‘’Valamar Riviera is a stock company with over 21,000 stock holders and institutional investors from Croatia and these projects fully fit into our business model. By using the synergy of our professional management and financial strength with the value of destinations we believe we could be a good partner to the state and local communities in the further development of this tourist asset’’, said Kukurin.

A few weeks ago the Restructuring and Sale Centre (CERP) in Croatia invited bidders with non-binding offers to submit their binding offers for the purchase of the state shares in the Hotel Imperial and the Hotels Maestrali till the 5th or the 11th of July 2016, reported from CERP.

This invitation came after the Governing council of CERP had determined the initial price for selling the state share in those two hotels in the beginning of May. For 50.08 per cent of the state share in the Hotel Imperial on Rab CERP has set the price of 259,9 million Kunas i.e. 816,18 Kunas per share. On the other hand, for 68.26 per cent of the share in the Hotels Maestrali in Dubrovnik the price of 109,06 million Kunas has been set i.e. 309,82 Kunas per share.

John Terry is really enjoying his time in Croatia with his family. He has visited Skradin, Krka falls, Mljet as well as Dubrovnik and today he's spending time in Cavtat.

Chelsea captain must be on the move even on his vacation so he posted a video which was filmed while he was training in Cavtat. The caption says ' After a 5k run this morning I came across these steps and decided to go old school.
10 times sprinting up, walking down slowly. I wish I never found those steps.'' See the video here.

Over 80 thousand people saw the video and many of them commented things like ''John Balboa'', ''Legend'', ''Still got it'', showing that Terry has some really good fans.

Dubrovnik symphony orchestra in cooperation with Croatian-Russian society ''Art without borders'' and balet department of the Art school of Luka Sorkocevic will have the concert by the name ''Dance rhapsody'' tomorrow, Friday June 17th, in the atrium of the Rector's Palace, starting at 9 pm.

Students of the balet school will perform accompanied with musicians Elvira Gailoullina (violin), Helena Tomaskovic (piano), Damir Butigan (trumpet), Karmen Pervitic (percussion), Dive Franetovic Kuselj (flute) and Adrian Ivcevic (cello).

Program includes, 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.

I don't know if you've noticed, but the European Football Championship is on at the moment. Yes, it is very difficult to miss. It is screaming at us from the billboards and colouring all our advertising space with colours of our national teams. You would think a diehard football lover like myself would be elated. In a way, I am. All those matches on's an absolute dream for many of us. Meeting my parents for coffee yesterday, I asked my father if he saw any games in the past week. He simply said "All of them." - with a proud grin across his face, while my mother rolled her eyes and sighed. What a great summary of pretty much everyone's feelings about the Euro.

However, there is another side to this story. It seems people have a tendency to lose track of some of the important goings on in the world and at home during big sporting events like this one. We Croatians are definitely no exception to this rule; in fact, sometimes I get the feeling we are worse than the majority of other nations when it comes to forgetting our troubles. Our politicians know this very well. The most cringe worthy moment for me happened last week when I saw a clip of our president appearing on one radio show where she demonstrated her singing ability by going through a few Croatian football fans' songs. By now most of you know I am not very political in my writing, but seeing our head of state engaging in quaint PR stunts while our government is falling apart and the country going towards special elections worries me. Sometimes, we shouldn't have the luxury of taking a month off to stare at the screen and spend all our time arguing about who scored the nicer goal, Payet or Modric (Modric, by the way).

Oh yes, I can already hear my countrymen groaning about being preachy and not letting people have fun. That's a valid point, you need to have fun in your life and sports are the perfect way to do so, but when do we get to be serious? When is a proper time to stop and talk about important issues in this country? It's not during big sports tournaments, nor during the holidays, and less talk about work during summer, the better. So, when do we get to face our real problems?

Perhaps we ought to have European Macroeconomics Championships every two years, with all the bells and whistles our football or basketball tournaments enjoy. People could buy jerseys with the name of the President of Croatian National Bank or the Minister of Finance printed on the back. We could have action replays of our guys and girls finishing financial reports before the opposing team and celebrating the victory with the fans. Maybe then, after we fail to qualify for all major competitions in the sport of macroeconomics and get our butts kicked by virtually all the other EU nations, maybe then the people will start taking it seriously and make our national squad invest a bit more time in practicing and a bit less time having their pictures taken around the country and arguing in the parliament. One can only hope...
Bozidar Jukic is a Dubrovnik local with too many interests to name them all, with writing being at the very top of the list. He is a lover of good food, music and film, and a firm believer in the healing power of laughter. His professional orientation is towards tourism and travel so it comes as no surprise he spends most of his time alongside Mrs. Jukic running their own local tour company. Their goal is helping travellers from all over the world get a more intimate experience of Dubrovnik and what it has to offer. To find out more about their work, visit their website or Facebook page.

It seems that social media users are the masters of the Eiffel Tower this month.  As part of a publicity campaign by French carrier Orange, a sponsor of the Euro 2016 soccer tournament, the color of the tower’s lights will be chosen based on the number of tweets, Facebook posts and Instagram posts shared in support of each participating country.

Here's how it goes: the fans need to use hashtags of their country on the day their country is playing. For example, today is the match between England and Wales (among the others), and currently England has the best chance to have its colors on the Eiffel Tower. The posts that are taken into count are those published on the day of the match from one minute past midnight until 9:30 pm and the team that gets the most social media support gets its national colors projected onto the Eiffel Tower until midnight.

So, tomorrow is the day for Croatia! Don't forget to put hashtags #CRO all over the social media and maybe we'll see our colors on the Eiffel Tower. Currently we're on 13th place on the list of all countries participating on the tournament, which shows how passionate the fans are. And we know Croatian fans are more passionate than that.
All the statics are avaliable on this link.

After six successful seasons, 218 events and 670,000 kilometres the Adriatic Games have started the seventh season as an international project under the new name - City Games. Apart from Croatia and other countries of the former Balkan country of Yugoslavia (Slovenia, Montenegro, Serbia, Macedonia, Bosnia and Herzegovina) this year there are several new participants: Hungary, Italy, Austria, Germany, Netherlands and Great Britain.

The City Games is a sports and entertainment event organized during the summer months with the goal of broadening the tourist offer and promoting companionship between cities and countries. The City Games are organized as a series of competitions between teams that are representatives of their cities. Due to its diversity, the project is intended to suit all generations.

Various games and disciplines are the foundation of the City Games project. They are fun and entertaining but also educational, promoting some common values like friendship, team spirit and healthy competition. Traditional disciplines are the Sea battle, Flying water polo, Paddle, Treasure, Archers, Donkey race, Fisherman’s crate, Tourist rescuing etc.

city games 2

‘’This year 70,000 people will have the opportunity to support the competitors live and almost 8.5 million people will watch the City Games on their televisions’’, said Miroslav Krzyk the author and the project manager.

The 7th season of the City Games will feature 3 TV shows broadcasted on 8 well known national TV stations such as ORF(Austria), MTVA(Hungary), RTVSLO(Slovenia), MRT(Macedonia), Nova TV(Croatia), Pink(Serbia), Pink BH(Bosnia and Herzegovina) and Pink M (Montenegro). This broadcasting part of the story is very important for expanding the project in the next four or five years in order to achieve the level of the former Games Without Frontiers. Even in the next couple of years the City Games are planning to increase the current number of country participants to 18 countries and expand the franchise to cover all of Europe.

This year the City Games tour has already started on the 10th of June in Omišalj and will last for 100 days and encompass 40 different locations in several countries. 200 cities will be represented by around 2,000 participants competing in various entertaining games. The fun will last until the finals on the 3rd of September 2016 in Biograd na moru which will be filmed and produced into 80 minutes dynamic TV shows broadcast in 8 European countries.

The Voice of Dubrovnik


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