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.
Dubrovnik is the champion of Croatian tourism in 2016 and the best City Break destination – it was declared during the Days of Croatian tourism in Bol, Brac.
Dubrovnik hotels demonstrated their high quality by winning numerous awards, especially Villa Dubrovnik, which was declared the 'Hotel of the year'.
Vlaho Margaretic, head of the Office for entrepreneurship, tourism and the sea received the recognition in the name of City of Dubrovnik. This is the second time this year that Dubrovnik was declared the champion of the tourism, since it already got that title from the newspapers Vecernji list. Well done!
On Sunday the 30th of October the island of Lokrum will be free for everyone. The Lokrum Reserve have announced that this Sunday the island will open its doors to all visitors for free, which means that not only is entrance into the nature reserve free but also so are the ferries from the Old City harbour.
The weather forecast for this weekend predicts sunshine and temperatures in the mid twenties, in other words an ideal opportunity to visit Lokrum.
Catch a ferry from the Old City harbour
A few days ago the Croatian Inventors Association reported that at the British Invention Show (BIS), the UK's largest invention and innovation exhibition, held from the 19th to 22nd of October in London, six Croatian inventors and entrepreneurs won 11 medals.
Tomislav Bronzin, one of the Croatian inventors and the CEO of the Citus Company, won the main award of the show for his invention "C@N PersonRecog - Gender & Age Group Recognition Software". Apart from the main award, he also won a special certificate and a gold medal which made Bronzin the most successful exhibitor at this year’s British Invention Show.
Matej and Filip Bosnjak won a gold medal and a platinum one for their invention "A model for the welding of round objects". The invention was designed at the Technical school in Zagreb and produced by their family company E.T Industrijska Elektronika.
Gold medals were also won by Slobodan Rajic from the Telecor Zagreb Company for his ''Manhole anti-terrorist lock'' and by Tomislav Juratovac from the Pro-Hepro company for his ''Helloquent Wi-fi'' product.
Apart from medals and awards which were won in technology, a gold medal and a special award for design was won by the ''Nikel prive'' exclusive cosmetics made by the Priroda Lijeci company owned by Mirjana Brlecic, whilst Melita and Mira Mocan from the Cosmel Company received a special award and a gold medal for their ''Creamy poppy milk'' product.
The British Inventors Show (BIS) was at the Barbican Centre, in the heart of the City of London for years as a very important business event with numerous visitors and an international top-class jury.
According to a press release on the 25th of October, the IKEA Croatia company said that in the 2016 financial year (the 1st of September 2015 – the 31st of August 2016) it generated revenue of over 72 million Euros, which was an increase of almost 6 percent in comparison to the 2015 financial year.
"In the second year of operating we have achieved excellent sales results and launched online sales in order to be even more accessible to Croatian buyers," said Stefan Vanoverbeke, the director of the IKEA Croatia company and the regional director of IKEA South East Europe (SEE). He also added that IKEA Croatia would continue to develop and adapt its offer and services to its customers as well as to open a ‘’pick-up point’’ in Split in the next twelve months.
Of the total revenue during the second financial year the Department store of IKEA Croatia achieved 68.3 million Euros, whilst IKEA Food (restaurant/bistro/cafe/Swedish food shop) generated 3.5 million Euros.
Last year more than 1.6 million people visited the IKEA Zagreb store, whilst the IKEA.hr website had more than 5 million visitors.
On the other hand, in accordance with the IKEA’s global sustainability strategy ‘People and Planet Positive’’, the IKEA Zagreb department store has recycled 92 percent (950 tons) of their collected waste, whilst from the sale of recycled waste the profit was 174,000 Kunas.
Sustainability is also very important to Croatian customers thus the IKEA department store from Zagreb placed as the 5th in the world in terms of the number of sold solutions for a more sustainable life at home.
During the 2016 financial year IKEA Croatia with its sister company IKEA Centres launched a project Designer Outlet Croatia. It is designed as a fashion outlet next to the IKEA Zagreb department store which construction will start during 2017, whilst the opening is expected in 2018.
After the completion of the first phase of the project additional 400 new jobs are expected to be opened.
One of the most well-known and iconic hotels in Dubrovnik, the Hotel Excelsior, is on the verge of a major refurbishment. According to a statement the Hotel Excelsior will close its doors to the public on Monday the 31st of October when the reconstruction of the interior will begin.
Hotel Excelsior, which is part of the Adriatic Luxury Hotel group, will remain closed over the winter months whilst the works are carried out.
The last time work was done on the hotel was back in 2008 and this time, as is clear from the photos, it will be a significant investment. The redesigned hotel will be up and running for the 2017 summer season.
Check out the photo gallery of how the new Hotel Excelsior will look.
There are still no signs of the summer ending in Dubrovnik this year. Even though we are on the verge of November, with only 58 days left until Christmas, the sunshine just won’t stop.
The historic Old City of Dubrovnik reassembled the middle of summer today with hundreds of tourists in shorts and T-shirts as temperatures pushed up to 24 degrees. There were even a few “brave” swimmers in the Adriatic.
The forecast until the beginning of next week is for more warm sunshine and temperatures stuck in the low twenties. Is there a better time of the year to visit Dubrovnik?
The Small Onofrio's fountain, one of the iconic symbols of the historic Old City of Dubrovnik was damaged five days ago when one of the heavy stone slabs from the outer rim crashed on the ground. Of course, it had to be repaired as soon (and as good) as possible and the Friends of Dubrovnik Antiquities reacted really fast. Today, the fountain got its missing piece back!
Just a reminder, it seems that the accident was caused by a tourist that leaned on the edge of the fountain. Thankfully the weighty stone didn’t injure anyone as it smashed into pieces of the ground.
The Small Onofrio Fountain, located at the end of the Stradun, is a magnet for tourists and in the warmer summer months is a source of much needed refreshment, and quite often small children climb on this edge to reach one of the fountains. The fountain was designed by the Italian architect Onofrio Della Cava and was constructed between 1440 and 1442.
This is how the fountain looked like after the accident - Photo by: Ahmet Kalajdzic
Dubrovnik has been declared as the best "City Break" destination in Croatia in Bol, Brac where yesterday Croatia Tourism Days 2016 began. A total of seven hotels of the City of Dubrovnik were awarded, Villa Dubrovnik earned two first prizes and two employees of Dubrovnik was declared the best.
At last night's ceremony the awards were given by Croatian Tourist Board, the Ministry of Tourism and the Croatian Chamber of Economy in terms of destinations, the sustainable tourism, attractions, the awards for the business sector (Tourist flower - Quality for Croatia), and people in the tourism industry (Man - Key to success in tourism, an annual award "Anton Stifanic") and prizes for the top three for secondary vocational and art schools.
Dubrovnik was awarded as the best city break destination, along with other many, many awards and recognitions. On the other hand, Konavle were awarded as the most successful destination for rural tourism.
In Dubrovnik went several awards in the category 'Man – Key to success'. Katija Gretel-Krmek from hotel company ALH won an award for employee of the year as the best sales and marketing in tourism and Mateo Gverovic from the Valamar Riviera was awarded as the best chef .
Dubrovnik hotels have earned the highest number of awards in the category "Tourist Flower - Quality for Croatia", which is another confirmation of the high quality hotel accommodation in our city. Valamar is the best conference hotel in Croatia, the best resort hotel is a 5-star Dubrovnik Palace Hotel, while the best resort hotel category 4 * is Hotel Neptune, and in the same category the third place went to the Valamar Argosy.
The best wellness hotel in Croatia is again one hotel located in Dubrovnik - the Valamar Dubrovnik President, the best boutique hotel is Hotel Dubrovnik Palace and two awards went to the hotel Villa Dubrovnik, which is the best single luxury hotel and the best luxury hotel in Croatia.
ACI marina Komolac got an award in the category of Best medium-sized marina again this year and it won third place.