Monday, 14 October 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.


Croatia is this year's readers' choiche winner for Travel+Leisure's destination of the year. That was decided in an online poll, where Croatia captured 28 percent of the vote. 

- A Mediterranean favorite, Croatia is a jewel in the crown of the Adriatic—the medieval cities of Split and Dubrovnik have long been ports of calls for large-ship cruises—but further inland you’ll discover one of the last unspoiled stretches in the region, where sheep roam the countryside to graze on wild sage, and locals sell homemade olive oil and cheeses – writes Travel + Leisure.

The country got 28 percent of votes from readers of the distinguished portal, whilst Portugal placed as the second on this prestigious list and got 24 percent of the votes. The city of Pittsburgh placed third.

They add that a success of Game of Thrones series, which was filmed in Dubrovnik and Split, made a big boom when it comes to tourism. However, they also say that there is a lot more to see in Croatia than ''the two mediveal cities''.

This is one more success for Croatia, a country that is really loved by the tourists.

Apart from Croatia there were also some other European representatives such as Mallorca, the island of Ischia, Paris and Iceland.

Here is the entire list of the nominees: America’s National Parks, Canada, Croatia, Hawaii, Iceland, Ischia, Korea, Mallorca, Mexico City, New Zealand, Orlando, Paris, Pittsburgh, Portugal, Rio de Janeiro, Singapore and Washington D.C.

The most popular budget airline in the world, Ryanair, is set to expand on the Croatian and regional market with amongst others new flights announced to Zadar for the 2017 summer season. Ryanair will introduce to new destinations for the Dalmatian city of Zadar for 2017, new flights to Glasgow and Copenhagen. In 2016 the budget airline was the leading airline flying out of Zadar, carrying a total of 325,000 passengers, a mammoth 65 percent of the total number of passengers. However according to an article on the specialised website EX-YU Aviation there are still some problems that need to be ironed out before the new flights can be fully introduced.

Zadar Airport and the City of Zadar agreed to pay the airline incentives to fly and according to Ryanair there is still an outstanding debt of 612,000 Euros. It can be presumed that this debt will need to be settled before the budget airline continues to expand its connections to Zadar.

Flights to Dubrovnik with Ryanair look like still being on hold, and both the airline and the City of Dubrovnik are tight lipped about the current negotiations. It can be assumed, if the Zadar case is used as an example, that one of the sticking points in the negotiations is the amount of cash incentives the airline is demanding. Ryanair's Route Development Manager, Luis Fernandez-Mellado, said the budget carrier is willing to maintain year-round flights from Dubrovnik, describing it as an extremely interesting destination.

The closest airport to Dubrovnik that operates with Ryanair is Podgorica in Montenegro and the Irish airline has announced even more new routes for 2017. Ryanair opened flights to Podgorica in 2013 and operates to London Stanstead airport all year round. They have now added flights to Berlin and have expanded flights to Charleroi to an all year service. With the Montenegrin capital around a three-hour drive from Dubrovnik this route is the closest Ryanair base. And until negotiations between the low-cost airline and Dubrovnik are resolved it remains the best option for cheap flights during the winter.

Dubrovnik has been the location for the most popular serial of all time, Game of Thrones, the biggest movie franchise ever, Star Wars, and now it is the backdrop for the best documentary channel, National Geographic.

A crew from National Geographic have been filming on the island of Lokrum directly opposite the historic city core. The two-day filming is for a documentary that is set in the future, the world in the future, which is almost polar opposites of the Game of Thrones serial. In fact according to reports the production team for this latest National Geographic documentary is the same that filmed the Game of Thrones for HBO.

Dubrovnik is slowly getting ready for the Christmas and New Year season. Yesterday the festive stands arrived on the Stradun and were constructed. These stands will be open on the 19th of November, this Saturday, when the 2016 Dubrovnik Winter Festival opens.

The stands will sell a range of festive cuisine and are similar in size to last years, however as opposed to last year the serving hatches will open to the sides and not directly onto the Stradun, presumably meaning more space for people to walk along this busy main street.

stands xmas dubrovnik

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Podravka as one of the leading food companies in Croatia participated at the Premier Business Exhibition for the global Food and Hospitality sector in China from the 7th to the 9th of November, 2016.

The international fair in Shanghai gathered over 2,000 exhibitors from 66 world countries among which there were international suppliers already present on the large Chinese market as well as international brands that originate from China. This year's edition of the FHC fair focused on buyers of quality imported products, as well as on food products and beverages which are not produced in China.

Podravka products such as Studena water, famous jams and marmalades, Linolada, Lino cereal products etc. have already been represented in a series of major food chains in Shanghai and Beijing that specialize in imported goods and are hot spots for foreigners living in those cities and members of middle and upper classes in China.

According to the Podravka's office, it is expected that in the next few weeks additional contracts will be signed with two chains which are present in many parts of the two major Chinese cities.

Podravka has also used the opportunity to sell its products online, which is a very popular sales channel in China. A month and a half ago, the Croatian food company opened its virtual store on the Chinese website, which is Chinese counterpart of eBay and Amazon, managed by the Alibaba Group, one of the world’s largest internet sellers. On this website consumers can find all Podravka products which are registered to be sold in China. During the first week of operations, Podravka offered its products at substantially reduced prices.

The city is slowly getting ready for the festive period in Dubrovnik as the lights and now today the Christmas trees have been installed. The main Christmas tree, as in previous years, was today raised and decorated at the end of the main street, the Stradun.

And then another smaller tree arrived which was lifted up onto the balcony of the Sponza Palace. The Dubrovnik Winter Festival will open this Saturday the 19th of November and will bring even more festive fun.

xmas tree dubrovnik 1

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When Croatia became an EU member in 2013, some major changes affected Croatian fishermen and their traditional ways of fishing. For example, traditional fishing nets which had been used for generations were no longer in accordance with the European Common Fisheries Policy (CFP) which set of rules were made mostly for fishing in the Atlantic.

Therefore, three years after Croatia's accession to the EU, the Croatian Ministry of Culture declared small traditional fishing in Croatia as an intangible cultural heritage, the news which was confirmed by the Islands Parliament in Croatia.

This means that fishermen from Croatian islands and along the coastline will be able to use ‘’traditional skills and practices’’ which have been used for centuries without worrying about administrative obstacles and laws which came into force after the country’s accession to the European Union in 2013.

The decision was made in Zadar last week at the 113th session of the Ministry of Culture’s expert committee on determining properties of cultural goods after a proposal from the Croatian Islands Parliament.

Dubrovnik director and editor Vladimir Gojun won an award for best editing at the 24fps - international short film festival in Abilene, USA. Gojun received the award for the work of the Slovenian short film 'A new home', directed by Ziga Virca.

- 24fps is not a traditional short film festival. The thirty Official Selection films are screened only once for the public, as a part of three curated exhibition programs. These unique programs highlight the filmmaker as well as the film itself, and each project is introduced by a festival official. Filmmakers in attendance are given the opportunity to speak to the audience after their film’s screening – it's written on the official pages of this international short film festival.

The Voice of Dubrovnik


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