Monday, 18 February 2019
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.


Croatia can expect a huge influx of French tourists this year six international airlines have announced new routes from French cities to Croatia this summer. According to information released by the Croatian National Tourist Board six new airline routes between France and Croatia will be launched this year.

The tourist board made this announcement today after collecting information presented at a specialised health tourism fair held in Paris.

EasyJet will launch new flights between Nantes and Dubrovnik this summer, increasing the already busy schedule for the airline to the city. Air France will add direct flights between Paris and Dubrovnik as well as a new line to Split. The Spanish low-cost airline, Volotea, is adding flights from Lyon to Dubrovnik and Split and from Bordeaux to Pula and Marseille to Rijeka.

In 2018 some 592,000 French tourists visited Croatia, who recorded about 2.2 million bed nights, which the board said was 8 percent up from 2017.

The flu epidemic that has raged through Croatia this winter has now taken 45 lives according to information from the Croatian Public Health Institute. The institute stated that 45 deaths from influenza and flu-related complications had been recorded up and down the country. There has been a total of 28,700 registered cases of the flu in Croatia this winter.

The flu has taken the lives of patients ranging from only 7 years-old up to 96 years-old, although it has affected the elderly much more with 25 deaths of patients over 65 years of age. Many of these elderly victims had been suffering from another medical condition and the flu just added to their problems.

Last week alone, some 11,100 new cases of flu were recorded, which experts say indicates that the seasonal epidemic is close to peaking. The largest numbers of patients were registered in Zagreb and the area around it, some parts of eastern Croatia, as well as the Split-Dalmatia county in the south.

The 31st of January will always be remembered in Dubrovnik as the final chapter of the Republic. The French army, led by Napoleon, entered Ragusa in 1806, and two years later put an end to the Republic. On this day, the 31st of January 1808, the Republic of Dubrovnik (Ragusa) was abolished by the French General Auguste de Marmont. Without the knowledge of Napoleon Bonaparte, the French General, who was the military governor for the south of Croatia, abolished the Republic of Dubrovnik.

With this move Marmont ended eleven centuries of the Republic. Dubrovnik was then placed under French rule in Dalmatia as part of Napoleon's Italian kingdom.

At around two o’clock in the afternoon, on this day in 1808, Colonel Delort, who was Marmont’s envoy to the Dubrovnik senate, read out the decision to end the Republic.

Dubrovnik nobility did not completely surrender. The Great Council of the Ragusan nobility (as the assembly of 44 patricians who had been members of the Great Council before the Republic was abolished by France) met for the last time on 18 January 1814 in the Villa Giorgi in Mokošica, Ombla, with the efforts to re-establish the Republic of Ragusa eventually failing. They attempted to convince the English and the Austrians to help the local population expel the French, but this failed. And at the Congress of Vienna in 1815 the former Republic of Dubrovnik was handed to the Habsburg Monarchy, who ruled Dubrovnik until the fall of the monarchy in 1918.

From 1358 the Republic had prospered and flourished, it reached its commercial peak in the 15th and the 16th centuries, until 1808 when General Marmont ended almost 500 years of the city state of Ragusa. At its height the Republic had a population of around 30,000 with approximately 5,000 living inside the ancient city walls.

On the Facebook page, 'Firefighters - They Are Our Heroes' a video has been released showing footage of firefighters in Vukovar rescuing a puppy who was stuck on ice two days ago. The dog probably went for a walk on the ice, but on the part where the ice was thinner, the dog fell into the water and could not go any further.

The video shows a firefighter going out to the dog on an inflatable mattress, while other firefighters from the shore and helped him. When he reached the stranded dog and pulled it onto safety the other firefighters pulled him and the dog back to the shore.

Well done to the Vukovar firefighters!

The picturesque seaside town of Cavtat has been nominated amongst 20 European destinations as the Best European Destination for 2019.

In this prestigious annual selection of the best destinations to travel to in Europe the only representative from Croatia this year is the beautiful town of Cavtat and you can help Cavtat win. From today, the 15th of January, to midnight on the 5th of February 2019, people from all over the world can vote online for their favourite place.

“Just like you, we are passionate about travel. For the past 10 years we have been relying on real experts’ advice, your advice, to assess travel trends. In recent years, millions of you have been voting online to reward the title of Best European Destination to cities such as Lisbon, Bordeaux, Zadar and Porto,” comments the organisers European Best Destinations.

Voting in the online poll can be found on this link and only one click and vote - only one vote per IP address / week is allowed. And you can also share the link and your vote onto your social media channels.

1.4 million Croatians were in employment in December 2018, slightly less than in November by 0.5 percent or around 6,900 people. And according to the State Statistics Office the registered unemployment rate rose from 9.4 percent to 9.6 percent at the end of 2018.

Of course as soon as the tourist season ends in Croatia the number of unemployed people rises as a great many of the people who work in the tourism sector work on a seasonal basis, or a part-time contract. And in fact, as expected, the highest drop in employed people by sector in December was in the tourism industry. Analysts say that the increase in the unemployment rate and the monthly fall in employment levels are due to seasonal trends on the local labour market, given that many Croatians work temporary jobs during the summer tourist season.

This year, the Croatian National Tourist Board organized a presentation of the all of the best of the country as a tourist destination at the prestigious New York Times Travel Show, which was being held in New York from the 25th to the 27th of January. More than 560 exhibitors attended this leading travel fair, including 170 representatives of national tourism organizations from all over the world and more than 30,000 potential travellers and representatives of the tourism sector. The Croatian stand was also visited by the director of the Croatian Tourist Board, Kristjan Staničić, and various other tourist boards took part in the event including the Dubrovnik Tourist Board.

"In the US market, Croatia is among the top five emerging destinations, which confirms the strong growth of tourist traffic from the United States over the last few years. The information we have received from all our partners points to another excellent tourist year. Namely, certain projections show a rise in US market turnover this year at a rate of between 15 to 20 percent, " commented Staničić. Adding that last year Croatia received more than 580,000 tourist arrivals and 1.6 million overnight stays from the USA, which was a massive 22 percent increase in tourist arrivals compared to 2017.


Due to the favourable economic situation in the US more travellers are expected to arrive in Europe this year. And Croatia, which for the first time in years will have direct flights from Philadelphia to Dubrovnik, is extremely interesting on the US market. The growing populartity can be seen in the fact the Croatia has recently won three prestigious Travvy Awards. There have also been numerous travel reports in the various publications, from the New York Times to specialised travel magazines.

"The Affluent Traveller Collection (ATC) results show that Croatia, along with Island, South Africa, Japan and Italy, is on the list of the most desirable destinations in 2019. Studies among USTOA members, however, indicate that our country, along with Island, Cambodia, Colombia, Vietnam, Portugal, Bhutan, Bolivia, Burma and Ethiopia is on the list of the fastest growing destinations, "said the director Croatian National Tourist Board in New York, Ina Rodin.

The head of the borough of Tivat in Montenegro, Siniša Kusovac, held a meeting with representatives of the international movie production company “Work in Progress” on supporting the filming of a new Hollywood blockbuster starring Johnny Depp. It is believed that the latest Depp movie will be partly filmed in Tivat in May this year.

The star of Pirates of the Caribbean is to star in the new movie “Minamata.” The film follows the career of the American photo-journalist W. Eugene Smith who, after the end of World War II, began working for Life magazine and discovered the Minamata factory employee's poisoning in Japan. Some of the scenes will be recorded in the capital of Serbia, Belgarde, whilst the crew will spend around a week in Tivat.

“Projects like the Minamata movie are desirable for our municipality and we have already secured consensus,” commented Kusovac. It is believed that around 200 people will be involved in the filming in Tivat and a number of locations around the area have already been selected.

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The Voice of Dubrovnik


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