Friday, 22 January 2021
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

According to a study by the French specialized tourist magazine Echo Touristique, ten trends will mark the travels of French tourists in 2021, said the director of the Croatian National Tourist Board in France, Danijela Mihalić Đurica.

The results of the study show that the French are eager to travel and that they will travel safely as soon as the quarantines and travel bans end. Most French people will travel to one of the French or Central European destinations this year, preferring to stay in nature, so rural areas will attract more guests than cities. Also, in 2021, the French will book a large number of vacations through travel agencies that offer the possibility of cancelling reservations, refunds due to cancellations and through agencies that offer reliable information on the sanitary situation of individual destinations. Flexibility of reservations will be one of the basic criteria when choosing a vacation, and an increase in last minute bookings is expected.

The data also shows that the French will not travel on multiple trips this year, which has been the case so far, but their trips will be longer. Due to the current trend of working from home, many French people will combine vacation and work from home, so an increase in long bookings on platforms such as Airbnb and Booking is expected. The study further shows that strict sanitary measures will have a significant impact on the choice of accommodation, and the use of contactless technologies at airports and in accommodation and transport units will be strengthened, given that such technologies instil greater confidence in passengers in the current situation.

"The French can hardly wait for the situation to calm down and the possibility of international tourist travel again, and close and medium, but safe destinations could benefit the most this year, according to all research. In accordance with the above, in February we are launching a cycle of virtual events, i.e. webinars with which we will present Croatia as an attractive and safe destination to interested agencies and travel organizers. There will be a special emphasis on airlines and trends in air traffic because most airlines, including Air France, Transavia and Volotea, are optimistic about flights to Croatia, "said Mihalić Đurica.

 

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Croatian Health Minister, Vili Beroš, said there was no easing of Covid-19 measures, adding that the epidemiological situation was better and the pressure on the health system was diminishing.

"I want to believe that this is the result of the responsibility of the citizens, but it also shows the full meaning of our measures. We must not do anything that would jeopardize these positive trends, especially if we look at the events in surrounding countries,” said Beroš.

When asked how satisfied he was with the vaccination process in Croatia, he said that the Government of the Republic of Croatia had done everything possible to both order and distribute the vaccine.

"There is a lot of interest, and more vaccines are needed. Citizens have given their faith to science, profession, medicine. We need to reach a vaccination rate of more than 70 percent, and I believe we will achieve that. Every week 17,550 doses of Pfizer vaccine arrive, 264,000 doses by the end of March. Moderna's vaccine is coming, a total of 52,000 doses by the end of February, the good news is that AstraZeneca has made progress in the process and the EMA will soon approve the vaccine on January 29. It is realistically possible to vaccinate a million citizens by the end of March," says Beroš.

Beros said private health workers will be vaccinated in late January, early February. The priority in vaccination, he reiterated, are people in elderly homes, employees of the social welfare system and medical workers. In the second phase, chronic patients older than 65 will be vaccinated, and those younger than 65 will be vaccinated at the end of February, at the beginning of March, depending on the dynamics of vaccine delivery.

 

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One of the most widely read American dailies, USA Today, has published a list of the 100 most desirable travel destinations in 2021, and Croatia is in a high 11th place, said the director of the Croatian National Tourist Board in the USA, Ina Rodin.

Hoping that in 2021 the corona virus situation will stabilize and travel will be re-realized to a greater extent, USA Today employees and associates, together with the travel portal 10Best.com, have singled out the most attractive places to travel in 2021.

Croatia is on the list of attractive destinations such as the Grand Canyon National Park in Arizona, Madagascar, Hawaii, Paris, Prague, Italy, Greece and Australia, and it was again pointed out that the popular series "Game of Thrones" was filmed in Croatian locations.

The article states that the Covid-19 pandemic in 2020 meant many trips abroad being cancelled, but that with the discovery of the vaccine, travel is expected to return in 2021.

 

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As part of the campaign of the Croatian Institute of Public Health "Think of others - get vaccinated", today at the Dubrovnik General Hospital, the Mayor of the City of Dubrovnik, Mato Franković, received the vaccine against the Covid-19 virus.

He took the opportunity to send a message to all fellow citizens about the importance of vaccination and solidarity with other members of the community.

“It is important that we, as politicians who hold socially responsible positions, show by our example that the vaccine is safe. We are aware that in the area of Dubrovnik-Neretva County and the City of Dubrovnik we have a level of aversion to vaccination, especially of children. The European Union has provided a sufficient amount for everyone so I believe the response will be good and so we will ultimately defeat this virus. In the history of the world, many diseases have been solved by vaccination. So, there is no fear, the vaccine is safe and so far millions of people have been vaccinated,” said Mayor Franković.

On the topic of travel and the announcement of the so-called. "Green passports" he said that it was too early to talk about it, but pointed out that the reactivation of the tourist season, which he expects by June, will certainly depend on the vaccination of the population.

 

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On this day exactly four years ago, Dubrovnik was covered with a fresh blanket of snow! Four years later and the sun is shining, the skies are blue and temperatures are in the mid-teens. However, on the 11th of January 2017 it was a different story, a winter story. The snow started falling early in the morning and continued for most of the day.

A thick cover of snow covered Dubrovnik for two days and needless to say the city, which is used to rather different weather conditions, almost completely stopped. Drivers abandoned cars, roads were closed and even pedestrians had problems in the snow. This isn’t a part of the world used to dealing with snow and ice.

And it wasn’t only the snow that caused a problem, temperatures plummeted to minus ten!

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Alemka Markotić, director of the Clinic for Infectious Diseases "Dr. Fran Mihaljević", said in today's HTV show Dobro Jutro, that the areas of Croatia affected by the earthquake are one of the priorities for vaccination and that most likely the entire shipment of the Moderna vaccine will go there.

She added that there is an increased danger of an increased number of new Covid-19 cases, especially since there was an upward curve in Sisak-Moslavina County just before the earthquake.

"It's very important that people get vaccinated in the area," she said.

Markotić said that there has been a significant downward trend in the number of new Covid-19 cases across Croatia for two weeks now, but also that evident decrease in new cases over the holiday period was due to the fewer number of people tested.

She added that for almost a week we have seen an important and significant downward trend in the number of hospitalized people and those on ventilators, which is also good for the health system which, she said, has been quite overstretched in recent weeks.

"At one point, unfortunately, we were among those who have the highest number of infected and hospitalized in percentages, however, such a situation occurred more or less in most countries in Europe and in the world," Markotic told HRT.

 

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Dubrovnik is a photographer’s dream, let’s face it you can throw a camera in the air and capture a stunning photo. And every day Instagram is filled to overflowing point with some absolutely blasting of the pearl of the Adriatic.

We have selected our top five “Hello 2021” photos from Instagram. Check out our top five inspiring Dubrovnik Instagram photos from last week and keep sending us your own photos and videos of the region. We just love your feedback!

And don't forget to follow our Instagram page

 

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Last year was certainly a year to forget for the travel and tourism industry, and figures just in from Croatia’s airports highlight just how challenging 2020 was. Last year Croatia welcomed 2.2 million fewer passengers than in 2019, according to a report from Croatian Aviation.

In the first days of the new year, Croatian airports published their monthly statistics for December and thus concluded the number of passengers, operations and cargo for the previous, the year in which commercial aviation experienced its biggest decline in history!

The capital’s airport, traditionally the busiest in the country, handled 924,823 passengers last year, which was almost half of all passenger numbers to Croatia last year. However, this figure was a massive 73 percent drop from 2019 when over 3.4 million passengers travelled through Zagreb Airport.

And Split Airport, in spite of a relatively solid summer period, welcomed just over 674,000 passengers last year, a massive drop of 79 percent.

And the third busiest airport and the southernmost airport in Croatia, Dubrovnik Airport, had by far the worst year. Dubrovnik tourism industry was especially struck by the pandemic and the airport was the biggest loser in 2020 with an 88 percent decrease in passenger number compared to 2019. Only 330,147 passengers passed through Dubrovnik Airport last year, compared to a whopping 2.89 million in 2019.

 

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