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 first time in history seven Croatian airports had more than eight million passengers! That's almost 900 thousand passengers more than in 2015 – reports Vecernji.hr.
Most of these 8.1 million air passengers arrived in Croatia during the summer months, which shows how successful the tourist season really was.
In order to break the overall record of the number of passengers, most of the Croatian airports broke their own records. Split Airport for the first time in its history exceeded the figure of two million passengers in one year, and the Dubrovnik airport came close to the figure of two million passengers. Zadar airport got over half a million passengers and Pula Airport year had more than 400 thousand passengers for the first time in one year. Pleso Airport, the largest airport in Croatia, named after the first president of Croatia Franjo Tudjman, also boasts a growing number of passengers – over 2.7 million. A new terminal will be opened soon, with equipment for receiving 3.5 million passengers a year.
Split Airport had 476 thousand passengers less than Zagreb Airport, which doesn’t depend that much on the tourist season. But Split has one more record to brag about – it’s the only airport in Croatia that had over 500 thousand passengers in one month. Last year in July 544 262 passengers passed through the airport. However, the traffic at this airport is really seasonal, which is easy to see from the numbers – in January last year there was only 25 958 passengers. At Franjo Tudman Airport the greatest month last year was August with 284 419 passengers, while the slowest was February with 141 834 passengers.
With new lines being announced by many airlines already – Croatian airports could break even more records this year.
Preparations for the upcoming summer season are in a full swing. Thus the Croatian shipping company Brodosplit from Split has launched a new mini cruiser that is to set sail in the Adriatic this summer.
The new mini cruiser, with an estimated value at more than a million Euros, was built for a local private company Mladin Punta from Jesenice near Split.
The newest member of the Croatian nautical fleet is 42.4 metres long, 8.5 metres wide and 3.8 metres high. It has three decks: the main deck, the upper deck and the sun deck. Brodosplit has constructed a steel hull and a superstructure for the mini cruiser which will be able to accommodate 36 passengers and six members of the crew.
This is the tenth jubilee mini cruiser from the series of passenger ships for nautical tourism that has been built in Brodosplit since 2012 for domestic clients. The construction was realized within the government's program for the restoration of the passenger and excursion fleet for Croatia's private shipping companies - small entrepreneurs.
''The construction of passenger cruise ships has been fulfilling the efforts of Brodosplit to be a constant support to domestic nautical tourism'', stated the company from Split.
Almost exactly one month after Christmas, one of the most impressive Christmas decorations – a giant Christmas ball has left Dubrovnik. It was taken apart this morning.
A great attraction that has been added to Christmas decorations last year and made a comeback this year is a favorite among children but also adults, who just love to take selfies with it. It looks beautiful during the night and during the day, but it had to be taken away because of preparations for the festivity of Saint Blaise.
Photos by Dube Marjanovic Ladasic
Saint Blaise is the patron of Dubrovnik and festivity of St. Blaise is a big deal in this beautiful city. It's organised on February 3rd every year and it's also the Day of the City of Dubrovnik.
Preparations for this great event started this morning with putting up the poles with flags with the patron on them. It was interesting to see the festive decorations combined with Robin Hood set that seems to grow bigger every day.
Photos by Zeljko Tutnjevic
An event celebrating the Chinese New Year and the 25th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between Croatia and China was held at the Vatroslav Lisinski concert hall in Zagreb on the 23rd of January.
On this occasion the Croatian president Kolinda Grabar Kitarovic emphasized that China's constructive role in the international community significantly contributed to the further development of relations between Croatia and China. She also expressed her hope that 2017, a year of the rooster, which symbolises enthusiasm, diligence, courage and confidence, would bring better answers to growing challenges in the modern world.
‘’May this Year of the Rooster bring new impetus to strengthening friendly relations between the two countries and closer ties between their citizens. I hope that that their cooperation will be even closer and more intensive in order to strengthen our partnership and raise it to a strategic level," said the Croatian president, wishing all those attending the event a happy New Year.
The Chinese ambassador in Croatia Deng Ying said that China considered its partnership and cooperation with Croatia very important and underlined the great potential for advancing the cooperation between the two countries.
The celebration of the Chinese New Year also included great performances by a theatre troupe from the Chinese city of Ningbo, as well as singers, dancers and acrobats.
From the 16th to the 22nd of January a Croatian furniture company successfully participated at the International Interiors Show (IMM) held in Cologne, Germany.
Apart from the Salone del Mobile at Milan in Italy the IMM trade fair is one of the largest and most visited furniture and interior design shows in Europe held every year in January. This year the fair gathered more than 1,500 exhibitors (furniture designers, companies, retailers, architects, interior designers) from 50 countries around the globe who will set the course for a successful furniture business in the future.
The Croatian furniture company the Prima Grupa d.o.o. also found its place in this prestigious group of world furniture design companies. At one of the most attractive exhibition spaces the Prima Grupa company represented its new furniture collections with more than 100 products that had a debut at this year's IMM trade show.
The Prima's collection of furniture made of Croatian oak most attracted attention of European buyers. Only top quality furniture designed in accordance with the high expectations of Western Europe markets can open the doors of the leading retail chains across Europe.
The Prima Grupa d.o.o., the leading Croatian furniture company with a long tradition in manufacturing, retail and wholesale of home furniture was founded in Bjelovar in 1995. It has 52 stores throughout the country and 6 in Macedonia. Apart from the domestic market, Prima's products are available on the markets of Germany, Austria, France, the Czech Republic, Belgium, England, Romania and the Nordic countries.
Star Wars Episode VIII has finally been given its true name – The Last Jedi. After months of speculation and rumours the latest Star Wars has a name and a release date.
The Last Jedi will be released on the 15th of December 2017. The blockbuster was partially filmed in Dubrovnik with numerous locations around the historic Old City used.
From the 9th of March last year filming in Dubrovnik started and most of the shooting was done along the main street that runs through the centre of Dubrovnik, the Stradun. In fact this medieval street was transformed into a galaxy far, far away and even had stunt cars racing up and down.
Although many star actors were rumoured to come to Dubrovnik in the end only body doubles turned up. One thing is for sure Star Wars fans in the city will wait with expectancy to see their city in the latest movie.
For the eighth consecutive year the competition for the most trendy European destinations to visit this year is made by the website European best destinations. Competition started three days ago and will last for three weeks.
Website team has pre-selected 20 incredible destinations that all deserve to win the prestigious title and one of them is in Croatia – beautiful Hvar. This ancient city is charming and calming and surely has a lot to offer.
Other destinations that are listed are Brussels, Vienna, Amsterdam, Madrid, Rotterdam, Gdansk, Milan, Paris, Porto, Rome, Bonifacio, Athens, Sozopol, Prague, London, Berlin, San Sebastian, Basel and Wild Taiga.
If you want to support this beautiful Croatian city – click on Stari Grad. You can vote here.