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.
A fire broke out today on the island of Lopud today just after 1:00pm in the area north of the beach of Sunj. The Dubrovnik fire Brigade were called to the scene and reacted quickly.
The fire was quickly brought under control, thankfully the wind had dropped and helped in fighting the fire, and a little after 1:40pm the fire was extinguished. Twenty-two firefighters from Dubrovnik arrived on the scene and in spite of the difficult conditions successfully fought the fire. Whilst two special fire-fighting planes were on standby they weren’t required as the forest fire was extinguished by fire-fighters.
The cause of the fire is not yet known. It is believed that some members of the fire brigade will stay on the island overnight to monitor conditions.
Croatia spends only 7.2 percent of its GDP on healthcare placing in near the bottom of the European Union average. Statistics released by Eurostat show the expenditure on healthcare in member states in 2016 as a share of their GDP.
Healthcare expenditure in France was equivalent to 11.5 percent of GDP, more than in any other EU Member State. The next highest ratios were in Germany (11.1 %) and Sweden (11.0 %). Across the EU as a whole, it is estimated that healthcare expenditure amounted to 10 percent of GDP in 2016.
Croatia placed between Ireland and the Czech Republic and was in 19th position across the European Union.
An unexploded bomb from World War II has been uncovered on the island of Korcula.
According to reports from the police the bomb was found on the popular promenade “Šetalištu Tina Ujevića” on the outskirts on Korcula.
The explosive device, which appears to be an unexploded World War II bomb, is currently being deactivated by the bomb squad and the police have closed the whole area to members of the public.
It is believed that the deactivation process will be completed by tonight. As yet any further information on the mark and type of bomb found is unclear.
For a fleeting moment we thought that the rather unusual social media fad of showing bare behind in front of famous destinations was back. It was a trend that started back in 2017 and many cheeky photos from all over the world followed.
But it appears that this latest “bottoms up” Dubrovnik photo isn’t part of that rather revealing trend but a post from the group “Get Naked Croatia,” which promotes nudism in Croatia.
In fact, it is widely believed that a British King brought nudism to Croatia. During a cruise in the Adriatic King Edward VIII and his true love Miss Wallace Simpson fancied a dip. During their cruise they stopped at the island of Rab where King Edward VIII obtained a special permission from the local government to swim without clothes. The permission was granted and nudist tourism was born in Croatia, in fact the same beach was named by CNN as one of the top ten nudist beaches in the world.
After recording a drop in passenger numbers in July the Croatian capital’s airport once again got back on track in August. During one of the busiest of the year Zagreb Airport handled just over 376,000 passengers, which is a small increase of 0.9 percent over the same month from 2018.
From the beginning of the year until the end of August 2.27 million passengers have travelled through the capital’s airport, which is an increase of 2.4 percent on last year. In real terms meaning that an extra 52,847 passengers have used Zagreb Airport.
Tourism is certainly an important industry in Croatia and accounts for around 17 percent of the country’s GDP, but whilst it may seem that Croatian tourism is one of the market leaders in Europe latest data shows a different story.
In a breakdown of the overnight stays that tourists make throughout the European Union it is more than clear that the traditional holiday destinations still rule the roost. In 2017 Spain was the EU leader in terms of overnight stays, with 15 percent of all stays in the European Union. The second European tourist powerhouse, France, received 13.8 percent of the share, followed by the UK with 13.6 percent.
Compare these figures from the larger EU countries with Croatia’s share of the total number of overnight stays in the EU at only 2.7 percent and the difference is considerable. However, the populations of these major EU destinations must also be taken into account and subsequently the amount of hotel and private accommodation they actually have on offer.
Interestingly Greece, one of the most established Mediterranean holiday spots has only 3.5 percent of the share of overnight stays. Italy makes up 13.4 percent, Germany 12.8 percent and Austria 3.9 percent.
August was certainly a busy month tourists in the Dubrovnik – Neretva County with an increase in tourist numbers of 4 percent over August 2018.
There were 445,646 tourist arrivals in the Dubrovnik-Neretva County during August. And in the busiest month of the year 2.18 million overnight stays were achieved throughout the county, which is 1 percent more than last August.
Since the beginning of the year 1.7 million tourists arrived in the Dubrovnik – Neretva County and almost 7 million overnight stays were achieved.
The most numerous guests in the county were from the United Kingdom, Germany, France, Croatia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Poland, the United States and Slovenia.
Since the beginning of the year 2.6 million overnight stays were in hotels and 3 million in private accommodation, highlighting the importance of private apartments and villas for the county’s tourism industry.
Quite clearly Roman Abramovich, or more precisely his mega yacht Eclipse, loves Dubrovnik and Cavtat, as after four days ago he and his mega yacht are still here. The second largest yacht in the world owned by the Russian oligarch dropped anchor in the Bay of Cavtat on the last day of August and over the past few days the mega yacht hasn’t moved an inch.
The owner of Chelsea FC hasn’t been spotted, either in Cavtat or Dubrovnik, and it is still unsure whether the multi-billionaire is onboard. Eclipse is certainly proving an attraction, a floating attraction, as many small vessels and fishing boats have been approaching the 163-metre-long yacht to get a better view and even a few snaps for the holiday album.
Although Eclipse is owned by Abramovich it is also reported that the yacht is available for charter, but you’ll need extremely deep pockets as it costs an incredible 3 million Euros a week.
Apparently Eclipse has a special device to stop people taking photos of the yacht which is supposed to disable cameras with a direct laser beam.
All photos - Mark Thomas