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.
The island of Lokrum is having a bumper year, reporting record growths in sales of all types of tickets. Lokrum, which is located directly in front of the Old City of Dubrovnik, has always been a popular destination for locals and tourists.
In the past two months the Lokrum Reserve has seen a 32 percent increase in the number of tickets sold compared to 2015. As there was also a slight increase in the price of a ticket to the island the total revenue from ticket sales so far this year is 2.07 million Kuna, which is an increase of a massive 48 percent compared to the same period from last year.
“In particular, we like to highlight the increase in the number of tickets sold to travel agencies this year,” commented the Lokrum Reserve in a statement. Just to remind you a return ticket to the island, which includes entrance into the nature reserve, costs 100 Kuna for adults and 20 Kuna for children.
The capital of Albania was the host of the fourth Terra Madre Balkans meeting from 2 to 5 June, which was held as a part of European project ESSEDRA which is funded by European Union. The head of the meetings is Slow Food. There were over 350 delegates from 12 countries who presented their traditional products on 50 stands and The Dubrovnik Times found its place too.
Everyone has the right to enjoy the food – is the message of Carlo Petrini, who is behind the idea of the Slow Food.
The local district of Lastovo on the island of Lastovo popularly called ''the island of crystal stars’’ has initiated the first island system of public bikes as a part of the most exotic project in Europe so far and entered the list of more than a hundred “nextbike“ destinations in the world. Nextbike is an automatic bike sharing system which offers the most entertaining, the healthiest and the greenest method of public transport at the most favourable prices.
Nextbike has reported that the Fund for Environmental Protection and Energy Efficiency has subsided 80% of the project proving their long term focus and support for projects of sustainable mobility.
It has been noted that all users registered on Lastovo can also use the system of public bikes in eight Croatian cities so far and in more than hundred cities all over the world.
Lastovo has two sustainable stations for Nextbike bikes that are charged by solar panels, can easily be installed or transferred depending on users needs, says Nextbike.
The public bike system as an ideal complement to public transport efficiently solves the parking problems, contributes to environmental protection, enriches the tourist offer, positions each location as a desirable cycle tourist destination and improves the quality of life of the local community. These bikes are equipped with a technology for real-time monitoring, Shimano automatic gear shift, a basket and other elements for traffic safety. All the bikes are extremely robust and resistant to all weather conditions. Renting and returning works via an app, smart card, service hotline or via log-in at terminals or on-board computers. The Nextbike user account should be activated with amount of 79 Kunas for hiring a bike. Every day the first 30-minutes is free of charge. It is also possible to rent a larger number of bikes for a group.
This year foreign tourists have booked their hotel accommodation at favourable prices in the Adriatic much earlier than before and domestic tourists will ''pay the price'' of such increased interest from abroad.
By the end of June when Croatian citizens will have the opportunity to combine two public holidays into a little vacation it will be very hard to find rooms available in the hotels along the Adriatic coastline. Due to a great interest foreign tourists have shown for the Adriatic this year, hoteliers didn't have to adjust their prices to offer ''last minute'' arrangements or discounts for domestic guests so the prices are now much higher than most of Croatian citizens are willing to pay at this time of the year. However, no matter how high the price actually is now domestic guests will hardly find any rooms available this month simply because everything has been booked in advance by foreign tourists.
If you ask the hoteliers in the Adriatic about the booking in June most of them will gladly answer that they are already ''overbooked'' i.e. interest of foreign guests is much bigger than the accommodation capacity available at the moment.
On the other hand, private renters are looking forward to the upcoming public holidays hoping that many domestic guests will come to stay in their apartments. It is estimated that around 180,000 domestic guests will visit the Adriatic in June most of whom will book their accommodation with private renters.
''The fact is that foreign tourists have booked their accommodation in Croatia much earlier than before because they appraised that most of the capacity would be sold to those who are coming to Croatia for the first time this year in order to avoid some other countries. That's why the booking was at a very high level already this winter. My opinion is that this situation will not affect the growth of our statistical numbers as much it will positively reflect on our financial results. Due to this increased interest of foreign guests our tourism employees managed to reach much better prices and income in the tourism industry will be much higher than in 2015. This year in June we have offered the same prices as we did last year, we have made no special offers or discounts. However, the prices will be slightly higher in July and August in comparison to 2015'', commented Boris Zgomba the president of the Association of Croatian Travel Agencies (UHPA).
Even though the start of May was one of the wettest on record the summer is well and truly here now.
With temperatures in the mid twenties and the sea warming up our photographers were out in picturesque seaside town of Cavtat today to capture the June feeling.
Photos by Niksa Duper
The 2016 UEFA European Championship in France has already stimulated advertising campaigns in Croatia. However, this growth will mostly depend on how far the Croatian football team will go in the Euro 2016.
According to the analysis of the advertising trends during the big football championships (2008-2015) the Croatian Association of Societies for Market Communications (HURA) says that during football championships television advertisements increased significantly.
''This increase by 5 to 6 percent has been predicted for the period of one month i.e. during the UEFA European Championship so the overall growth would be to maximum 10 million Kunas'', says HURA.
HURA also states that during football championships the biggest increase of advertising is noticeable in the food and drink industry (ice-cream, meat, beer), telecommunications, finances (banks) and in the car industry. In recent years this increase is also visible in the retail chains. Growth of the “supporters” package products (snacks and beer), cheering props as well as television sales increases drastically.
“The advertising activity usually begins one month before the official opening of the championship which is the most visible with advertisers that have sponsorship and competitions. It will reach its peak in June but in July it will greatly depend on the ranking of the Croatian football team. In the case that Croatia gets knocked out of the Championship the advertising activities will decrease almost instantly,” concluded HURA.
It is estimated that during the UEFA European Championship 2016 in France from the 10th of June until the 10th of July 2.5 million people will watch the football games at the stadiums all over France and more than 150 million people all over the world will watch each football game in live in front of their televisions.
In the world of rugby, when the rugby season 15 is over, everybody knows it's time for rugby 7s. It's a little faster and more attractive version of rugby which will be played this August in Rio on the Olympic games. Rugby 7 is played on the field that has the same dimensions as rugby 15, but only 7 players play, and the games last for 7 minutes in the two half-times with one minute break in the middle. In that way it's possible to play 5-6 games in the day.
Rugby club Invictus Dubrovnik club is at its beginnings and they're trying to show the Dubrovnik audience how dynamic and interesting this sport is, so the club applied to be the host of the Dalmatian championship which is also the qualification tournament for the Croatian championship, on which three best clubs from the South region will play. South region includes all the clubs from Zadar to Dubrovnik and on this tournament 6 rugby clubs will play: Nada Split, Sinj, Makarska Rivijera, Sibenik, Ploce and the host Invictus Dubrovnik.
Players of the Invictus Dubrovnik have played in the rugby 7s tournaments twice, but now they have couple of more experienced players from the area and they will perform for the first time on the tournament in which compete the clubs with praiseworthy history, as are favorites Nada from Split, Sinj and Makarska. However, guys have fallen in love with this sport really quickly and they are looking forward to playing in front of the domestic audience and showing them the new Olympics sport to the potential new rugby players from Dubrovnik and the area.
Recently the new trainer entered the Invictus team, who lives and work in Cavtat, so this will be the good opportunity to see where the domestic guys are and how to improve the club. The trainer is Petra Druskovic, who has the Master in Kinesiology and former player of Croatia in the rugby 7s, who was recently the trainer of the of the young forces of the rugby club Nada Split. She is also the first female rugby judge in Croatia.
Tournament will be played on the football field in Gospino Polje on Saturday, July 11, with the start at 2 pm when the group phase of the competition starts. Semifinals start from 4:40 pm while finals are at 6 pm. All who have any interest are invited to the Gospino polje, to meet with the new Olympic sport and enjoy how some of the best rugby players in Croatia are toppling rivals and destroying prejudices.
Australian Times, Britain’s only media outlet specialising in connecting with Australians living in the UK, has published a list of 5 off the beaten track (but easy to get to) European summer escapes and two are in Croatia! Orasac and Plitvice Lakes have found their place on the list with Lyon, France, Zarautz, Spain and Kotor, Montenegro.
We are glad that someone has discovered our little pearl, Orasac, located just around 15 kilometers northwest from Dubrovnik, between Zaton and Trsteno.
- The turquoise water is deep but calm in the little beach cove. And, there is a stone sea wall from which the kids (and big kids) launch themselves into the sea. A small beachside café offers visitors breezy panoramic views over the Adriatic Sea and a seafood cuisine that is fresh and delicious – writes the author of the article, adding that it's easy to go from Orasac to Dubrovnik, as well as to visit Elaphiti islands.