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.
For the past few years the number of British tourists holidaying in Dubrovnik has been on the increase and next year could well see another jump as British airlines put on more flights. According to a report on the specialised website EX-YU Aviation airlines have seen a “strong demand from the Croatian market for 2017,” and have responded by introducing new flights.
British tourists have been the most numerous in Dubrovnik for a number of years and this year was no exception with Brits outnumbering other nationalities. The director of the Croatian National Tourist Board, Ratomir Ivčić, commented that, "Up until now we were the ones pursuing airlines, now it's the other way around. We have held talks with British Airways, Norwegian Air Shuttle and several other UK carriers that want to double their number of flights to Croatia, particularly Istria and southern Dalmatia".
In 2016 there was a massive increase of 26 percent in the number of Brits holidaying in Croatia and in total three million overnight stays were achieved. Jet2.com has introduced new flights to Dubrovnik and will start in April. Whilst Dubrovnik will also have UK flight connections with British Airways, Monarch Airlines, EasyJet, Norwegian Airlines, Croatia Airlines, Thompson and Thomas Cook Airlines amongst others.
And with the opening of the third terminal of Dubrovnik Airport, terminal C, expected in May 2017 this will offer even more options for additional airlines.
Christmas is just around the corner and yet the temperatures in Dubrovnik today resembled a summers day. It might be a little chilly to swim in the Adriatic, with temperatures around 19 degrees Celsius, but the air temperature today in the city hit 20 degrees.
Tourists were spotted wearing shorts and T-shirts as the unusually warm November temperatures even had a few people sun bathing. With endless blue skies and plenty of sunshine the temperatures directly in the sunshine were much higher.
This thermometer shows that in the sunshine highs reached 36 degrees today. However the warmer weather isn’t expected to continue much longer, forecasters predict that by the end of the week we will be back in our coats and under umbrellas. But for now we are making hay whilst the sun shines.
The 2016 Dubrovnik Summer Festival is in full swing and it seems that the public are interested in the festive fun.
These photos of local felines enjoying the Christmas spirit caused tourists to stop and capture the moment.
The local cats obviously enjoy the warmth or maybe the shade under the olive trees.
The Saab Group has become a gold sponsor of the EBAN Winter University 2016 Conference of Business Angels which will be held on the 29th and the 30th of November in Zagreb.
A cooperation agreement was signed at the residence of the Ambassador of Sweden Lars Schmidt. The official signing of the agreement was attended by Davorin Stetner, the president of the CRANE (Croatian Business Angels Network) and representatives of the Saab group Sanja Hrvojevic Beganovic and Pierre Gauffin supported by the Swedish ambassador Schmidt.
''I am very pleased that a multinational company like the Saab Group has recognized the importance of this conference and decided to support us as a gold sponsor. Their support is a clear indicator of the quality of our work and a great motivation for our further activities and work. The Saab Group is known for its global presence and continuous investment in the development of techologies and innovation which make this group a kind of a symbol of the values that we want to promote through our conference'', said Davorin Stetner, the president of the CRANE and the main organizer of the conference.
The EBAN Winter University 2016 is the biggest European business angels conference, organized by the Croatian Business Angels Network (CRANE) and the city of Zagreb. It will gather more than 1,700 participants i.e. 400 business angels, over 100 start-ups, a few hundred students from all over the world and many others.
Speakers at the conference will be some of the most prominent business angels and investors, as well as professionals from the start-up industry who will participate in workshops and panels and give lectures and insights in the latest trends in the industry.
The conference will be attended by Bruce Dickinson, the front man of Iron Maiden, commercial pilot and entrepreneur, Johann Hansmann, the best European early stage investor, Dov Moran, the inventor of the USB stick, Tom Tyler, Bloomberg Global Head of Corporate and Investor Access, Peter Cowley the UK Business Angel of the Year 2014/2015, Frank Salzgeber from the European Space Agency (ESA), Candace Johnson, the president of EBAN and one of the 50 most powerful women in Europe and many others.
Last week the Croatian ice cream producer Ledo was awarded for innovation of its Hesteg, King Love and Lilipop ice creams by the International Ice Cream Consortium (IICC).
At the annual conference of the IICC which was held in Barcelona from the 8th to the 15th of Novemeber the Croatian ice cream producer won a gold medal for Ledo Hesteg ice cream in the category The Best Commercial Solution 2016. ''The IICC judges were impressed with the unique shape of our Hesteg ice cream on two sticks which can be shared both in real life and online'', said from the Croatian company Ledo.
In addition, another Ledo ice cream King Love won a silver medal in the category The Best Ice Cream of the Year, whilst the Lolipop ice cream, which will be available on the market next year, also won a silver medal in the category The Most Innovative Ice Cream in the World.
''Ledo was awarded primarily thanks to our creative approach, exceptional solutions and advanced technologies. The IICC association is one of the most important ones in this segment. In the last 30 years of its work it has gathered numerous ice cream producers from all over the globe thus these awards are very important to us as well as those that we received from this association in previous years. Our awards also confirm our strong position as a leader both in the region and in the world'', said Dario Vrabec, the CEO of the Ledo company.
Ledo is one of the largest producers of frozen food and ice cream in Southeastern Europe. Apart from Croatia, it is also produced and sold in Bosnia and Herzegovina, Slovenia and Hungary.
The first Ledo ice cream was called Snjeguljica (Snow White) and was produced in 1958.
The 2016 Dubrovnik Winter Festival opened last night and the fun continued today when the snow-maker brought a festive feel to the Stradun. Seeing the smiling faces of children playing in the artificial snow is a reminder of the Christmas spirit that the festival has brought to the town.
The snow might be artificial but the smiling faces are real. The Dubrovnik Winter Festival is proving a real magnet for locals and tourists with life brought back to the Old City of Dubrovnik. All we can say is “Let it snow, let it snow, let it snow!”
It’s open! The Dubrovnik Winter Festival opened last night and the Old City looked resplendent in its festive colours. From the 19th of November until the 1st of March the city will offer festive treats as the festival includes daily events and celebrations.
Stands selling traditional Christmas souvenirs, cuisine and drinks will help bring life back to the Old City of Dubrovnik through the winter months. This is the third year in a row that the Dubrovnik Winter Festival has been held and this year it’s bigger than ever before.
Check out our photo gallery by Zeljko Tutnjevic and Niksa Duper
The Old City of Dubrovnik is fully decorated for the Christmas period. The lights are ready to be lit and tonight at 8 o’clock the Dubrovnik Winter Festival 2016 will officially open.
The stands along the Stradun are already open and serving festive specialities and with 33 stands in total around the Old City this will be the biggest winter festival in Dubrovnik so far.
The famous giant size Teddy Bear has already found his spot in the middle of the celebrations and this year there are even more lights and decorations than last year.
Looks like being a Christmas to remember in Dubrovnik.