Saturday, 25 January 2020
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.


The Dubrovnik-Neretva County Tourist Board is currently taking part in the MATKA fair in Helsinki. The travel fair, held from the 16th to the 19th of January is an important meeting point for travel agents and media from Finland and is being held at the Messukeskus Helsinki Exhibition and Convention Centre.

This year the Dubrovnik-Neretva tourist board are co-exhibiting at the booth of the Croatian Tourist Board, along with the Tourist Board of the City of Zagreb, the Tourist Board of the Split-Dalmatia County, the Tourist Board of the Šibenik-Knin County, as well as a selction of leading hotels in Croatia.

The first day of the fair was intended exclusively for professionals in tourism, while the other days are open to a wider audience.

helsinki tourim fair dubrovnik

In 2019, this fair was attended by 64,589 visitors, of whom 13,877 were professionals in tourism, and even higher figures are expected at this year's fair.

In 2019, the Dubrovnik-Neretva County was visited by 41,411 tourists from Finland, who realized 158,651 overnight stays, compared to the previous year, an increase of 21 percent.


The pedestrian passage is planned to be arranged on the Ploce area, on the part from the Ploce Gate to the entrance to the Lazareti complex, and the works are the subject of an open public procurement procedure this week.

A total of 215 square meters of stone paving is planned, as well as the construction of new 50-meter-long stone curbs with the arrangement of storm water drainage within the scope of the project.

As part of the investment in the construction of the new pedestrian corridor, existing sites for taxis are being phased out and a stone pavement will be expanded at that location.


The construction of the stone pavement at the Gate of Ploče will achieve a representative appearance of the eastern entrance to the historic centre, but will also increase the safety of pedestrian traffic. In addition, with the construction of the now-defunct sidewalk and its extension, the Gate of Ploče will "merge" with the Lazareti complex, the newly renovated creative and cultural centre of Dubrovnik.

The planned value of the works is about 900,000 Kuna, and the deadline is 60 days from the date of introduction of the selected contractor.


The municipal traffic officers of the City of Dubrovnik are busily preparing for the upcoming season and are currently attending a course covering several segments through the Adult Education Program at the Dubrovnik Tourist and Hospitality School.

As an introduction they all had a lecture on communication skills, where, among other things, they had a workshop on "Communication and Behaviour in Stress and Crisis." The second part relates to the cultural and historical heritage of Dubrovnik and the Dubrovnik-Neretva county, and then a great deal of the teaching hours are intended for learning English, i:e refreshing knowledge, and education will be adapted to everyday situations in the field.

The courses are being held during January, in the part of the year where the workload of the public utilities and traffic officers is much less than normal, and in order to facilitate their work and improve knowledge and skills, which is especially pronounced in the summer when they work with a large number of people from different parts of the world.


The third solar powered ship has arrived on the island of Mljet. An 8-kilowatt rooftop solar and power plant provides navigation throughout the summer without recharging batteries and the new boat has been named “Pero Sršen.”

The Mljet National Park received 85 percent of the funding for the three solar eco-friendly and self-sustaining ships, each costing 450,000 euros. They are completely Croatian made, from the ICAT factory in Zagreb, and can accommodate 54 passengers and two crew members, and even the winter sun is enough for them to sail.

The first electric boat arrived on Mljet in April 2018 under the name 'Niko Nodilo' and in the spring of 2019 the second 'Antun Matic' arrived.

The delivery of the third ship 'Pero Sršen' to Mljet National Park will completely replace diesel vessels with more economically and energy efficient vessels.

mljet electric ferry 2020


Love International is back in Tisno this summer, following on from last year’s sold out edition.

And for the very first time, as part of the 5th anniversary celebrations, the Adriatic odyssey will feature a series of back-to-back sets from some of the world’s most revered taste-making artists, a mix of both familiar faces and new names.

Taking place a little later in the season across Wed 15th – Tues 21st July 2020, Love International returns to the stunning Dalmatian coast. There’s no better blend of holiday and festival as one, where bouncing boat parties, wild open-air sets at Barbarella’s, beach-side Beach Bar action, Olive Grove escapism and the pulsating Garden Stage create a truly unique experience. From dawn the sublime Sunrise Sessions ease everyone through beautifully lit mornings, and on the final day the unique Secret Island Party rounds the adventure off.

There’s a wonderfully wide range of music to be immersed in running 24-hours across 6 of the 7 programmed days, during which several key artists will play back-to-back sets across the festival’s intimate settings. First up, the newly announced Call Super b2b Objekt are two of most versatile and adventurous selectors around. Vladimir Ivkovic is also added where he will join Ivan Smagghe for another evening of wondrous weirdness, and they join a world’s first with Antal b2b Hunee b2b Palms Trax. There are further inspired combinations from Shanti Celeste b2b Saoirse b2b Moxie b2b Peach, Ben UFO b2b Craig Richards, Eris Drew b2b Octo Octa, Bruce b2b Hodge, Heidi Lawden b2b Lovefingers and Axel Boman b2b Kornél Kovács b2b Pedrodollar in a series of tantalising sets unlike anything the region has ever seen.

Next up, brand new solo artist additions include Red Axes, Dan Shake, Artwork, Nicolas Lutz, CC:Disco! and Prosumer, who join Khruangbin (DJ Set), Ross From Friends (DJ set), Andrew Weatherall, Crazy P Soundsystem, Horse Meat Disco, Job Jobse, Midland, Paranoid London, Roman Flügel, Optimo, Orpheu The Wizard, Avalon Emerson, Chaos In The CBD, DJ Tennis, Gerd Janson, Carista and Powder.


The festival continues to support up and coming talent from across the globe while always giving a nod to local artists from Croatia, too. These names include Adam Curtain, Body Hammer, Danielle, Darwin, Dr Banana, Elena Colombi, Elias Mazian, Juan Ramos, Luca Lozano, Mad Miran, Manami, Nosedrip, Phuong Dan, Project Pablo, Roza Terenzi and Yu Su.

There’s an eclectic mix of newcomers to Love International for the very first time, returning old friends and a range of performers who weave across a dizzying array of sounds, adding further depth and range to the festival’s pulsating sonic sphere. Listed A-Z, these include 5IVE, Adriatic Social Club, Alison Swing, Apiento, Bakula, Beepolar, Begin, Bill Brewster, Bobby, Budino, Carnero, Carlos, Charlie Beck, Chris Bowen, Christophe, Craig Christon, Dave Harvey, Dave O, Desert Sound Colony, Disco Mums aka The Chemical Mothers, DJ Absolutely Shit, Ellie Stokes, Eric Duncan, Feel The Real, Felix Dickinson, Frank Broughton, Franklin De Costa, Homeboy, Hugo, il Bosco, Ilija Rudman (Live), Jackin Patz, Jake Manders & Wayne Holland, James Dyer, Jenny Jen & Nadia, Jessica, Jonny Rock, Justin Van Der Volgen, Kid Manchine, Kit Seymour, Krywald & Farrer, Ladybeige, Lauer, Lawrence Klein, Leewok, Legalize Lambada, Liv Ayers, Lloydski, Lucas Wigflex, Lucija, Maja Pa, Man Power, Manfredas, Metrodome, MIMI, Mozhgan, Nick Jelly, Nick The Record, Not An Animal, Oli Silva, Paramida, PBR Streetgang, Peak & Swift, Pedrodollar, Peter Leung, Pharaoh Brunson, Piers Harrison, Polanco, Pure Respect, Rastanils & Olof Uhlin, Raw Silk, Rubin, Rupes, Shane One, Sonofapizzaman, Starion, TamTam, Tender T, Test Pressing Soundsystem, Tommy Walker 3, Tonko, Tristan da Cunha, Victor Rodriguez, Viscera, Warehouse Preservation Society and Will Tramp.


Tom Paine, Love International’s co-founder with Dave Harvey, explains: “For our 5th anniversary we have decided to change things, and shape our programme around a series of back to back sets. As many DJ friends performing stay for the duration of the festival it feels like the perfect time to do something different in Tisno. Some of our programmed b2bs are long time DJ partners and others are world firsts coming together, and all will play across different stages and different times of the day through our 24-hour timetable, bringing completely new and unexpected journeys across the musical spectrum. To have the opportunity to put Antal b2b Hunee b2b Palms Trax in our favourite open-air club is something we are very excited to see happen, along with all of the back to backs taking place across the week.”


Croatia ranks as the 24th best country in the world to raise a family, according to a new report from U.S. News & World Report and the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania.

The 2020 report on the best countries to raise children has been published and sees Scandinavia dominating the top three positions.

The ranking report draws from a global perceptions-based survey and ranks countries based on scores from a compilation of eight country attributes: caring about human rights, being considered family friendly, its environment for gender equality, being seen as happy, having income equality, being safe, and having well-developed public education and well-developed health care systems.

Croatia finished in 24th position, between the Czech Republic in 23rd place and Brazil in 25th position, and climbed one position from 2019.

“Croatia has found itself at the crossroads of major historical movements, both East and West. These political shifts have uniquely shaped its present-day borders, which curve around Bosnia and Herzegovina in central Europe and stretch along the Adriatic Sea opposite Italy,” writes the article.

Denmark tops the rankings list, followed by Sweden and Norway. Canada in fourth place, New Zealand in eighth position and Australia in ninth place are the only countries in the top ten outside of Europe. The United Kingdom comes in at eleventh place and the USA at 18th position.


“In the last ten years, from 2008 to 2018, Croatia has lost 500,000 workers,” said Davorko Vidović, from the Croatian Chamber of Economy.

According to Vidovic, out of a total of half a million workers, as many as 200,000 employees left work through natural causes, either through aging or retirement, whilst a further 300,000 left Croatia in the wave of migration to other EU countries in search of a brighter future.

The private sector has also been warning that the situation has been alarming for some time, and the biggest problem arises precisely during the tourist season. To stop this negative trend, the Croatian Chamber of Commerce has announced the abolition of quotas for foreign workers.

Around 40,000 foreigners worked in Croatia last year, while a total of 65,000 permits were issued.


To mark Croatia’s presidency of the Council of the European Union 2020, the Croatian National Bank released yesterday, the 15th of January, a special commemorative coin to the value of 25 Kuna.

The author of the conceptual and artistic design of the new commemorative 25 Kuna coin is academic sculptor Damir Mataušić, and the authors of the official logo "Typographical chessboard" used on the face of the new coin are Iva Primorac, Stipe Brčić and Marija Juza.

Only 30,000 25 Kuna coins have been minted and the new commemorative coin was forged at the Croatian Monetary Institute.

If you are interested in purchasing the new 25 Kuna coin the sales opened yesterday through the website of the Croatia National Bank.


The Voice of Dubrovnik


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