Wednesday, 21 August 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.


Mayor of Dubrovnik Andro Vlahusic and councilor for administration for the mayor's office Igor Deranja met today with the director and executive producer of the film "Robin Hood: Origins" Otto Bathurst and E. Bennett Walsh.

Director Bathurst told the mayor that Dubrovnik, which will play Nottingham in the movie, is a location they could never dream of.

- In the movie with the historical theme, the choice of location is just crucial. We looked at dozens of locations around the world, but Dubrovnik very quickly established itself as the only choice - said Bathurst and discovered that our city will be" the heart of the movie itself. "

The executive producer of the film, which will very likely turn into a trilogy, veteran E. Bennett Walsh closely acquainted the mayor with the project, presented a draft plan of shooting and expressed demands of the film crew. The producer, whose filmography includes such blockbusters like "Disturbia," "The Amazing Spider-Man" and both parts of Tarantino's "Kill Bill", is delighted with the openness and affection which by the City of Dubrovnik. He also said that Lionsgate is also in the final negotiations with the rest of the actors who will complement already impressive lineup and all the details will be known by the end of October when the much broader film crew will again visit Dubrovnik.

-The budget for marketing and promotion of the movie is very close to the amount of 100 million dollars, and Dubrovnik will be the basis of the total global marketing campaign - said Walsh.

When welcoming Bathurst and Walsh , the mayor Vlahusic said that in the city of Dubrovnik is the right partner to overcome the challenges that are inevitable when the recording takes place in the heart of the living city. The director and producer Barhurst Walsh readily accepted the mayor's proposal to flag the arrival of "Robin Hood" during the course of the Dubrovnik Winter Festival through a joint promotional campaign.

So far confirmed filming locations include a part of Stradun, City Port, the street of St. Dominic and the area under the bridge at Ploce. Setting the set design will begin in December, and the shooting will take place during three weeks in February and March.

By recording these big productions Dubrovnik will further confirm its status as the largest film studio in the open. Premiere of the film is planned for February 2018.

robin hood 4

At the conference MEETING G2.1 held last October in Zagreb, the Croatian president Kolinda Grabar Kitarovic emphasized that in 2014 Croats from the Diaspora invested 1.1 billion Euros in Croatia.

This year's conference MEETING G2.2 under the title ''Croats together in business'' will be held from the 10th to the 12th of October at the Congress Centre Forum in Zagreb. Many successful entrepreneurs who returned to Croatia, a group of influential Croatian businessmen who have lived in many countries as well as successful exporters from Croatia will attend the Zagreb conference.

The main goal of the conference is to connect Croats from abroad with people and business opportunities in Croatia via practical online and offline knowledge-sharing, matchmaking and networking forums in order to drive a new era of the economic development, growth and productivity of the homeland.

''We cannot wait for the whole situation in Croatia to improve in order to invest in the country. There are many young people in Croatia who managed to succeed in these difficult conditions. Also there is great interest in investing in Croatia and the Croatian Diaspora has an important role in the whole process. Croatian entrepreneurs should not be afraid, they must take advantage of our people around the world, just as the Mlinar company recently did when they opened a franchise in Australia'', said Don Markusic, the vice president of the Transparency International Croatia and the president of the Asia-Pacific Chamber of Commerce and also one of the participants of the upcoming business meeting.

At the closing of the last year's conference MEETING G2.1, Joseph Hrgetic, the G2 project director concluded, ''It is important that Croats outside Croatia stay connected with each other, and not only with Croats in Croatia. We want to strengthen our influence on the State Office for the Croats outside the Republic of Croatia and the Croatian Heritage Foundations all around the world as well as to connect strongly to the Emigration Congress and the Croatian World Congress in order to achieve synergy through cultural, ethnological and business cooperation''.

Statistical reports in 2015 refer to 222 museums and museum collections, 44 galleries and 93 collections in Croatia. During 2015, a total number of 210 museums and museum collections were opened to the public, which made 94.6% of the total number.

During 2015, as compared to 2012, the number of visitors to the permanent display in museums increased by 6.0% and amounted to 2.7 million, while galleries and collections were visited by the total of 1.2 million.

The total circulation of brochures, catalogues, expert publications etc. edited by museums and museum collections increased by 3.3%, as compared to 2012.

And the total number of persons employed in museums and museum collections increased by 6.0%, as compared to 2012. The share of women in the total number of persons in employment was 65.0%.

There is no end to praise for the Croatian tourism. Apart from this year's record breaking figures; it seems that 2016 is also a record breaking in winning tourism awards.

At the conference ''Global Green Destination Day'' which was held from 27th – 28th of September, 2016 in Ljubljana, Slovenia, the Croatian town Mali Losinj received the prestigious ''Top 100 Sustainable World Destinations in 2016'' certificate.

'Top 100 Sustainable Destinations in 2016’’ is a joint initiative of several organizations such as the Green Destinations, Travel Mole, the Destination Stewardship Centre, the Asian Ecotourism Network (AEN) and the Global Sustainable Tourism Council (GSTC).
To qualify in the Top 100 Sustainable World Destinations, it was necessary to meet 15 main criteria that are the essence of green destination standards such as nature and landscape, climate and environment, culture and tradition, people and hospitality, as well as sustainable destination management.

The world green destination community was founded in order to establish an exclusive network that will contribute to the International Year of Sustainable Tourism for Development in 2017 announced by the General Secretariat of the UN.

During the two-day conference as part of the Top 100 video stories, where each ambassador presented sustainability, identity, history and tradition of his/her destination, the town of Mali Losinj presented itself to the world audience with a video projection about a unique Museum of Apoxiomen. It also presented a project of research and preservation of the marine environment through public awareness and education – the Friendship of Losinj and dolphins presentation.

At the conference during which a number of workshops on sustainable tourism were held, also participated some big names from the tourism industry such as Luigi Cabrini, the Chairman of the Board of Directors of the Global Sustainable Tourism Council (GSTC) and the Advisor to the Secretary-General of the World Tourism Organization (UNWTO), Albert Salman, a global leader in tourism sustainability, Cinzia De Marzo, an European expert on sustainable tourism indicators as well as Maja Pak, the manager of the Slovenian Tourist Board.

According to the program eVisitor, for the registration and deregistration and recorded marine tourist traffic, on the first of October there was 12,888 tourists in Dubrovnik (15 percent more than in 2015), and most of them were from the United Kingdom, Germany, USA, France, Finland, Sweden, Canada, Australia, Netherlands, China and Croatia. 

During September in Dubrovnik was registered 12 percent more arrivals than in September 2015 adn 11 percent more overnight stays. In September, the majority of guests were from the UK, USA, Germany, France, Spain, Australia, Sweden, Finland, Canada and Ireland.
In the first nine months of 2016 Dubrovnik has achieved record-breaking results in all types of accommodation. From 1st of January to 30th of September in Dubrovnik there was 11 percent more visits and 12 percent more overnight stays than 2015. That is more than three million overnight stays this year! This is the top list of visitors this year - led traditionally by UK, then France, USA, Germany, Spain, Croatia, Sweden, Australia, Finland and Italy.

According to the records of marine tourist traffic in the first nine months of 2016 there was 13 percent less arrivals and six percent more overnight stays.

The month of October is significant for congress tourism, and the end of this month there will the Good Food Festival, so more good results are expected.

Exhibition ''Bella Vista'' of contemporary Dubrovnik artist, academic painter Ivana Drazic Selmani will be opened on Thursday, 6th of October, at 7 pm in the Dubrovnik Art Gallery. The artist will be presented by the ambient installation, images, graphics and video. All work discusses the Dubrovnik environment with all its beauty, melancholy and issues, announced Dubrovnik Art Gallery. 

The largest exhibition hall of the Gallery will be filled with salt in a layer of a few inches, creating a visual sensation with dense symbolism. By researching personal history, the artist has carried out the work ''On the Dance'' (2013), a series of sixteen miniature drawings (3 x 4 cm) made according to the template of old photographs, showing scenes of bathing on the Dance, one of the oldest Dubrovnik beaches.

In the newly created cycle, pictures of larger formats called Bella Vista also show scenes from swimming made based on models of the old family black and white photos from a period of thirties to fifties. Pictures capture moments of leisure, relaxation, harmonious coexistence of man and the sea.

The exhibition will be opened until Sunday, 13th of November, 2016.

Recent data from the European statistical office (Eurostat) show that among the EU member countries Croatia recorded the biggest decline in the unemployment rate in August, 2016 in comparison to the same month last year. However, its unemployment rate is still one of the highest in the European Union.

The seasonally adjusted unemployment rate according to the methodology of the International Labour Organisation (ILO) in Croatia recorded a slight drop from 13 percent in July to 12.9 percent in August, reported the European statistical office.

In last year’s August the rate of unemployment was 16.6 percent, which means that Croatia, according to the data available from the Eurostat, recorded the biggest drop in the unemployment rate on an annual basis among the EU countries.

However, Croatia is still among the three EU member countries with the highest unemployment rate. The group is led by Greece with the unemployment rate of 23.4 percent in June, followed by Spain with 19.5 percent.

On the other hand, the lowest unemployment rate among the EU member countries in August was recorded in the Czech Republic (3.9 percent) and Germany (4.2) percent.

According to the data from the European statistical office, there were 237,000 unemployed people in August in Croatia, or 3,000 people less than the previous month. In comparison to the last August, this number decreased by 79,000 people.

According to the annual report from the Adventure Travel Trade Association (ATTA), Croatia is the leading destination for the development of adventure tourism in the region of Eastern Europe and Central Asia.

Croatia topped other countries in the region primarily thanks to the large resources needed for the development of adventure tourism upon which many open air activities can be developed such as bird watching, hiking, rafting, rock climbing, caving and paragliding.
The ATTA is the leading Association consisting of around a thousand agencies, tourist boards and investors in adventure tourism. Apart from the Croatian Tourist Board, a dozen of Croatian tourist agencies are members of the Association.

As the leading country in the region of Eastern Europe and Central Asia, Croatia is followed by Turkey, Armenia and Kazakhstan. Furthermore, this is the first time that the ATTA included regional classification in its annual Index of Development of Adventure Tourism (ATDI), which has put Croatia in the focus of consideration for investors and agencies in this rapidly growing segment of tourism.

The world market of adventure travel which includes outdoor activities, touring cultural and natural attractions, is worth around 263 billion US dollars with an increase of 65 percent only in the period between 2009 and 2012. For comparison, the world market of cruise travel is worth around 120 billion US dollars.

It is not known how much the Croatian market of adventure tourism is worth, but it is known that the most developed activities are cycling, hiking, rafting and kayaking at sea. ‘’The adventure tourism is a great chance for small businesses, self-employment and the regional development, but also an opportunity to extend the season’’, emphasized Zeljko Klemen, the owner of the agency Huck Finn which has been on the market for almost 20 years.

The Voice of Dubrovnik


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