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.
After a week filled with concerts and indeed rain, the Dubrovnik Symphony Orchestra (DSO) enters the second week of the Autumn Music Variety festival with performances by great musicians.
On Friday, October 15 at 8:30pm in the Rector's Palace, a concert by the Dubrovnik Symphony Orchestra will be held under the direction of the famous Slovenian conductor Uroš Lajovic and with a solo performance by Dubrovnik horn player, Toni Kursar.
The Autumn Music Variety highlights Dubrovnik musicians through solo performances in collaboration with prominent conductors. An interesting program with compositions by A. Ivančić, R. Strauss and L. van Beethoven was carefully selected for this concert.
Maestro Uroš Lajovic was born in Ljubljana, where he studied composition and conducting at the Academy of Music, graduating in 1967.
In the period from 1972 to 1991 he worked in the Slovenian Philharmonic, first as an assistant, and from 1978 as a permanent conductor. At the same time he was the leader of the Chamber Orchestra of RTV Slovenia from 1974 to 1976, chief conductor of the Croatian Radio and Television Symphony Orchestra from 1979 to 1981. He founded the Chamber Orchestra Slovenicum in 1988 with which he organized concert series in Ljubljana and performed throughout Slovenia.
The festival is supported by the City of Dubrovnik, the Tourist Board of the City of Dubrovnik and Rixos Premium Dubrovnik.
The Croatian National Tourist Board has launched a new mini-autumn promotional campaign #FALLinLoveWithCroatia on the social networks Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and Tik tok. The campaign will be conducted in October and November with the aim of maintaining the visibility and promotion of Croatia as a tourist destination with an interesting offer in the autumn part of the tourist year, with the aim of highlighting the rich autumn beauties and attractions of Croatian destinations.
The campaign is carried out in cooperation with the system of tourist boards in the country in order to highlight through social networks all the best that their destinations offer visitors in the off-season, from interesting places, attractive locations of local parks, promenades to traditional activities such as grapes, olives, mandarins, pumpkin production and olive oil to picking mushrooms, collecting chestnuts and preparing indigenous gastronomic delicacies from autumn fruits.
The desire is to paint social networks with all the colours of autumn and emphasize the beauties of Croatian national parks and nature parks at this time of year, but also to encourage everyone to rest and explore Croatia in autumn. The campaign is open to all domestic and foreign followers of the Croatian National Tourist Board social media networks “Croatia Full Of Life.” Just share your photos with the hashtag #FALLinLoveWithCroatia.
"The aim of this campaign is to highlight the beauties of Croatia in autumn colours, to bring the followers of activities such as sailing or traditional harvests, autumn events, but also rich autumn eno-gastronomic delicacies that are specific to each Croatian region. In our promotional activities, we want to highlight those parts of the tourist offer that are the main motive for coming to the destination in this part of the year," said the director of the Croatian Tourist Board Kristjan Staničić.
The city of Dubrovnik is the best city in digital readiness, in the category of small towns, according to the analysis of digital readiness of Croatian cities in 2021, which was conducted for the third year in a row by the consulting company Apsolon. In the competition of 20 Croatian cities and according to the overall digital readiness index, it took a high third place, just behind Rijeka and Zagreb.
Dubrovnik took the absolute victory in three of the five categories - in the area of availability and quality of e-Services, availability of city data and citizen participation in decision-making. In the field of service information and unified payment systems, it took second place.
This recognizes the step that Dubrovnik has made compared to the previous year through the central city portal e-Dubrovnik, for access to public information, open data and digital services. An example of good practice is the provision of insight to citizens into all city accounts through websites, as well as a large set of open data or implemented geographic information systems (GIS) for cartographic presentation of spatial data.
"Since it encourages citizens to co-decide on the proposed budget solutions, Dubrovnik is a prime example of participatory democracy in Croatia," the analysis said.
The Mayor of the City of Dubrovnik, Mato Franković, expressed his satisfaction with the results of the analysis, emphasizing the importance of transparency in public administration and citizen participation in decision-making processes.
"The City of Dubrovnik systematically uses and develops new digital and Smart City concepts, using modern solutions to improve the overall quality of life and to open its business to citizens as much as possible. By implementing the Open City system, we have achieved that citizens are involved to the lowest level in the financial operations of the City, but also management and participation in decision-making,” stated Mayor Franković.
The overall winner according to the overall composite index of digital readiness of Croatian Cities this year is Rijeka, which is in first place in the category of large cities. In the group of medium-sized cities, Pula won.
Property prices across Croatia rose by 26 percent from 2010 to the second quarter of 2021, according to new data from Eurostat, whilst the price of renting rose by half as much at 13 percent.
Croatia has one of the largest home ownership percentages in Europe, in fact the Home Ownership Rate in Croatia averaged 89.67 percent from 2010 until 2019. This percentage generally means that the real estate market in Croatia is largely buoyed by foreign buyers and people purchasing second homes or apartments to rent.
According to the Eurostat survey in the just over ten-year period from 2010 to the second quarter of 2021 property prices across the European Union rose on average by 34 percent, whilst rent prices rose by 16 percent. Meaning that property prices in Croatia rose slightly slower than the EU average. Although it must be taken into account that some EU countries saw an absolute boom in house prices, in Estonia prices climbed by an incredible 133 percent and in Luxembourg by 111 percent. Whilst on the other hand some EU countries saw housing prices tumble, in Greece by -28 percent, in Italy by -13 percent and in Cyprus by -8 percent.
House prices in Croatia increased by the most in recent years, residential real estate prices rose by 6.5 percent in the second quarter of this year compared to the same period last year, the strongest since the fall of last year.
According to the registrations of tourists received through the eVisitor system, last weekend there were close to seven thousand tourists in Dubrovnik - four times more than at this time last year, but only 47 percent of the number in the same period in 2019. However, it must be stressed that 2019 was a record breaking year for Croatian tourism.
The most numerous tourists in Dubrovnik were from the United Kingdom, followed by tourists from the USA, Germany, Croatia, France, Russia and Ireland.
Since the beginning of the year, about 471 thousand tourist arrivals and 1,745,500 overnight stays have been registered, which is 44 percent of the tourist traffic realized in the same period in 2019.
The former Croatian President, Kolinda Grabar-Kitarović, has been appointed President of the Commission for the Supervision of the Election of the Future Host of the Olympic Games, and she was appointed to that position by the International Olympic Committee.
“With experience at highest levels of government and international relations, Kolinda Grabar-Kitarović, will play a key role chairing the Commission in charge of exploring, creating and overseeing interest in future Games of the Olympiad and Summer Youth Olympic Games,” tweeted the IOC.
Grabar-Kitarovic said she was grateful for the opportunity to work with potential hosts on Olympic projects and to help them achieve their long-term goals for development, public health, participation in sports and inclusion.
"This is an exciting opportunity to develop innovative ways to steer the Olympics into the future and to explore the challenges facing upcoming hosts, such as climate change," said Grabar-Kitarovic.
Financial crisis, what financial crisis. After almost two years of the pandemic and the pressure on businesses and financial institutions it was believed that the real estate business in Croatia would slow down. However, if the latest property development in the Croatian capital is any judge then the market seems far from slowly down.
A new apartment development in Zagreb, which includes a total of 153 new apartments, has a waiting list of over 2,000 buyers! And as the starting price is reported 5,000 Euros per metre squared the financial crisis seems a thing of the past.
Demand for real estate has long since broken all records, and the interest in new construction in Zagreb, especially in better locations, has gone through the roof. Of all the regions in Croatia property prices in the capital are rising the sharpest. Although Dubrovnik may still have the most expensive real estate in the country, both Zagreb and Split are catching up.
According to a report in Jutarnji List this new development, which is located in the area of the former Kamensko factory near Keglić, will also include new public areas and the whole project has been designed by the renowned architect Hrvoje Njirić.
The public institution Lokrum Reserve has announced a new sailing schedule to the island which started yesterday, Saturday, October 9th.
The new schedule sees the first boat to the island at 10:00am and then boats every hour until 5:00pm. The last boat returning from the island is now at 6:00pm.
And in case of bad weather the boats will not operate to Lokrum.