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.

Email: mark.thomas@dubrovnik-times.com

Last week distributors of Croatian wines in Japan together with representatives of several important retail chains toured Croatia in order to continue their cooperation in the export of Croatian wines in Japan.

During their visit to vineyards and cellars throughout Croatia seven Japanese distributors and potential buyers, who arrived in Croatia, tasted selected wines and authentic Croatian specialties. They decided to import Croatian quality wines and wine varieties that have until now been unavailable on the Japanese market.

The export of Croatian wines to Japan started last year. Then a large representation of Croatian wines was organized at the biggest trade fair in Japan earlier this year in February. The representation at the Supermarket Trade Show in Tokyo and the arrival of the Japanese partners to Croatia are part of a large project of promoting Croatian wines in Japan.

This project confirmed that Japan is a very demanding and very interesting market for Croatian winemakers who can supply this market with high quality authentic wines.
The Japanese drink around 364 million litres of wine a year, mostly wines from Europe amongst which Croatian wines are becoming more recognizable and important for the Japanese market.

During their visit to Vina Belje, the guests from Japan, to their surprise and delight, were welcomed by Mirko Filipovic ''Cro Cop'', who is very popular among the Japanese and surely the greatest ambassador of Croatian sports and Croatia in Japan.

Bob Geldof appeared today in the Gruz Harbour! An Irish singer, songwriter, author, occasional actor and political activist apparently got off the MSC Cruise ship and went to Brsecine, where the yacht was waiting for him to start his Adriatic cruise, reports Dubrovacki vjesnik.

He rose to prominence as the lead singer of the Irish rock band The Boomtown Rats in the late 1970s and early 1980s, alongside the punk rock movement. He co-wrote "Do They Know It's Christmas?", one of the best-selling singles of all time and starred in Pink Floyd's 1982 film Pink Floyd – The Wall as "Pink."

Geldof is widely recognised for his activism, especially anti-poverty efforts concerning Africa. In 1984 he and Midge Ure founded the charity supergroup Band Aid to raise money for famine relief in Ethiopia. They went on to organise the charity super-concert Live Aid the following year and the Live 8 concerts in 2005.

''This is such a wonderful weather for all those activities we planned to do on our vacation. A dose of rain, a dose of sun, pleasantly warm and perfect for touring, excursions, walking and hiking. For our group which arrived here from Canada for the very first time, this is a dream come true holiday. Peace and quiet, relaxation and enjoyment in activities we love'', said with a smile a young Canadian who is visiting Bol on the island of Brac.

This year is a record breaking one for the Croatian tourism industry. Even in September almost all hotels along the Adriatic coast are booked to capacity till the end of the month despite this unstable weather. Some estimates say that this year Croatia has reached the best ever tourism results from 1987 when it was a member country of the former Balkan country of Yugoslavia.

Although the weather conditions are quite tricky, tourists simply enjoy their holiday in Croatia. Tourists from northern Europe, where autumn with lower temperatures has already started, arrived on the Adriatic shores simply to enjoy in the mild and beautiful September weather.

''Rain?! Who cares about the rain? We enjoy swimming in the sea while it rains because the sea is warm, and we have never seen such a beautiful colour of the sea water. There are many stunning beaches in Australia, but this is something special. We are in Croatia for the first time and we will recommend it to everyone we know. We didn't opt for Croatia in September only for swimming, but considering the fact that it is a beginning of autumn every day in which we can enjoy in the warm and clear blue sea is like winning a lottery'', commented young tourist from Australia.

These off-season guests have also emphasized that there are lots of interesting tourist attractions in Croatia, the food is not expensive and they are very happy and feel quite safe here.

Dubrovnik marked the World Car Free Day today, the 22nd of September, with an organised ride around the city. Bikers gathered on Pile in front of the Old City of Dubrovnik and after a ride around the town finished on the Stradun in the heart of the historic city.
The event to mark car-free day was organised by the City of Dubrovnik, the Development Agency for Dubrovnik DURA and the association for road safety.

The event "promotes improvement of mass transit, cycling and walking, and the development of communities where jobs are closer to home and where shopping is within walking distance". Studies showed that for short trips in cities, one can reach more quickly using a bicycle rather than using a car.

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The Dogus Group, one of the top three largest private-sector conglomerates in Turkey and the Hyatt Hotels Corporation are planning to open Hyatt Regency Zadar Maraska, the first Hyatt hotel in Croatia in the spring of 2019. Apart from the new hotel, the Dogus Group will also build 115 luxurious residences as well as a commercial complex with exclusive shops, restaurants and cafe bars. This investment is estimated at 100 million Euros.

''We are quite small and we cannot afford ourselves to be average. The policy of the Ministry of Tourism and the Croatian government is to encourage excellence in all segments, not only in the tourism industry. Results of the Dogus Group are impressive, whilst the results of this year's tourist season in Croatia with 83 million achieved overnight stays are record breaking'', said Anton Kliman, the Croatian minister of tourism.

''We strongly believe in the great potential of Croatia. That is why we continue to invest in areas and sectors that fit sustainably into the corporate policy of the Dogus Group. We have several hotels and marinas on the Croatian coast and we are confident that the project Maraska will contribute to the beauty of the city of Zadar, as well as to the development of the tourism portfolio of the Dogus Group '', emphasized Hüsnü Akhan, the CEO of the Dogus Group.

Burak Baykan, the regional manager of the Dogus Group for Croatia and Montenegro said that they were very proud to cooperate with Hyatt and to have the opportunity to introduce Hyatt Regency, one of the most famous world hotel brands in Croatia.

''Together with the Hyatt Corporation we will work on the transformation of the old factory of Maraska drinks into the Hyatt Regency Zadar Maraska which will offer the highest level of service to its guests. We are convinced that a brand like Hyatt will significantly contribute to the attractiveness of the city of Zadar as a tourist destination, to the overall development of the Croatia’s tourist offer as well as to its positioning in the segment of luxury tourism. The commercial complex will be open to all citizens of Zadar. Upon the completion of this project, the total amount of the Dogus Group investment in Croatia will rise to 350 million Euros, "concluded Burak Baykan, adding that the hotel would open 170 new jobs and have a positive impact on indirect employment.

The International Movie Festival “SILK ROAD – PATH OF DIALOGUE“ organized by the Marco Polo Institute that will take place in Korčula from September 22-27 continues the rich cultural program in Korčula. The Festival hopes to inspire the development of cultural cooperation and dialogue among the participating countries. During the Festival, we will be able to see a selection of movies from Syria, Turkey, China, Iran, Macedonia, Russia, India and Croatia, and thus make a modest contribution to the establishment of dialogue among the participating countries.

The festival presents a selection of recent movie production from the countries located on the silk road. The Silk Road is almost certainly the most important link in the history of mankind, connecting three continents with the key role in the development of human civilization. However, the Silk Road is not only a transportation link between the continents. It served as a cultural link between the cultures of the West and the East that helped share crucial religious, mystical and philosophical ideas, scientific, military and economic achievements and discoveries. It also contributed to the rise and fall of large empires and states. It is our desire to collect all new, experimental, radical, creative and characteristic movie production, mainstream or not, primarily focused on excellence and peculiarity.

“I support the Festival and trust that the cosmopolitan spirit of our city will help this event become a traditional gathering of participants from the Silk Road countries, some of which decided to participate in the Festival in spite of war atrocities,” commented the Mayor of Korcula, Andrija Fabris.

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“Love” seems to be an important word in my life lately. It is the reason behind many decisions I've made and paths I've taken. Perhaps too many. When it comes to personal relations, love is an excellent guide and helps define goals better than any other feeling. On the other hand, when you let it affect your business life as well (and I do that often), things can get complicated.

My wife and I own a company in its second year of business which is quite an uphill part of the business development process. Yesterday morning we went to see our business banker and for the remainder of the day, when someone would ask me “Hi, how are you?” – I would reply “I’ve been to the bank this morning.” – to which most of them would just go quiet and nod their heads as if to say they understand the struggle.

Our business is an absolute labour of love, but since we love things that are a bit out of typical mainstream, we are not making as much money as we could considering the work hours and level of knowledge we put into it. This is the realisation I’m living with for a while now, and I can’t say it doesn’t bother me. My profession is management. There is no nobility tied to earning less in this area of human endeavour. Also, modern day Croatia and certainly Dubrovnik are societies that put plenty of emphasis on the importance of earning money, sometimes even to the point where dishonest practices are painted a pale shade of grey. This constant pressure for validation through one’s bank account makes patiently waiting for one’s work of passion to come to fruition that much more disheartening.

“Do what you love and you will not work a day in your life.” – reads a popular saying. It’s not true, don’t fall for it. If you are in it for the love, you will be working your butt off. So much it will damage your health and your relationships, at least a bit. This is one thing you can be sure of. There is no successful business built from the ground up that didn’t involve a whole lot of work.

So, to summarize, love will make you do all sorts of silly things in life, but in business it can make you work very long hours, risk your financial future, and make you seem crazy in the eyes of those around you. All this just so you can have a product or service of your own that you can be proud of (and maybe sleep in on Monday every once in a while).

So, why do it? Because you can’t force yourself not to. You see, when you are running your own business (that you feel passionate about), you get hooked on a very special feeling. This feeling is one of freedom and you get to feel it during those short quiet-before-the-storm moments when you get to relax, take a deep breath, and realise you are actually working on making your dreams come true. Nothing money can buy is a fitting replacement for that feeling.

Besides that, sometimes you do get to sleep in on Monday.

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Bozidar Jukic, AKA The Restless Native, is a Dubrovnik local with too many interests to name them all, with writing being at the very top of the list. He is a lover of good food, music and film, and a firm believer in the healing power of laughter. His professional orientation is towards tourism and travel so it comes as no surprise he spends most of his time alongside Mrs. Jukic running their own local tour company. Their goal is helping travellers from all over the world get a more intimate experience of Dubrovnik and what it has to offer. To find out more about their work, visit their website or Facebook page.
www.insiderholidays.eu
www.facebook.com/insiderholidays

September is World Alzheimer's Awareness Month and Alzheimer's Action Day was marked today, the 21st of September. And the Dubrovnik based society, DUSAB – Dubrovnik Association for Alzheimer sufferers, their carers, family and friends – organised an event in order to raise awareness about Alzheimer's disease and dementia.

DUSAB stated that the Dubrovnik-Neretva County has over 3,000 patients (according to the latest statistics from Alzheimer Europe) and that year on year the number of patients is growing. They also warned that there still are many stigmas related to Alzheimer's disease and dementia and that the disease still remains a mystery to the scientific community.

“My husband became ill with dementia and my daughter helped me to care. We came up with the idea to establish an association,” commented Beba Pazin, one of the founders of DUSAB. She added that the association meets every Tuesday in their Dubrovnik premises in which they hold lectures, workshops, psychotherapy and exchange experiences. “We are fighting the stigma that the disease has on a daily basis, and slowly but surely are moving forward,” concluded Pazin.

On the World Day of Alzheimer's disease the DUSAB association explained their work to the gathered patients, carers and people interested or affected by the disease.

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Photos - DUSAB Facebook 

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