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.
Summer will finally arrive in Dubrovnik this week with temperatures expected to stat soaring from Thursday. After the worst May on record, in terms of both rainfall and low temperatures, for decades the start of June looked just as unsettled.
However, weather forecasters have predicted that this Thursday the summer will finally start all over Croatia with temperatures expected to hit a balmy 25 degrees on Thursday and rise to 27 degrees at the weekend. And then after the rain and grey skies have finally broken the whole of the Dubrovnik region will be in for temperatures in the high twenties with endless blue skies and blazing sunshine.
The rest of June looks like being a “normal” Dubrovnik summer with temperatures in the mid-thirties and not a drop of rain in sight.
Croatian Parliament Speaker Gordan Jandrokovic began an official visit to Japan by meeting with Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, parliament said in a press release on Monday.
The two officials said political relations were very good and friendly, and welcomed the political dialogue established at all levels, notably parliamentary.
As for economic cooperation, they cited several good examples and underlined the joint wish to boost it further.
Jandrokovic and Abe singled out as positive examples of Japanese investment in Croatia the Kali Tuna and Yazaki companies. Jandrokovic invited Japanese investors to follow their example, saying they were welcome in Croatia.
Abe mentioned the Tokyo 2020 Olympics, where numerous Croatian athletes are expected, which will be an excellent opportunity to further promote Croatia and its tourism as well as contribute to more Japanese tourists visiting Croatia.
After a full 28 years the first direct flight from the US to Croatia will land this Friday at Dubrovnik Airport. American Airlines will connect Dubrovnik and Philadelphia will nonstop flights three times a week from June until September, and in September the airline will add an extra flight to make it four flights a week.
There is also hope that the airline, if results are as positive as predicted, will decide to extend the flights to an all-year-round service. This move to add an extra flight a week in September was a result of huge interest from passengers looking to visit the pearl of the Adriatic.
American Airlines' Vice President of Philadelphia Hub Operations, Jim Moses, commented to the specialised website EX-YU Aviation that, "Dubrovnik has been a place of interest for several years. It has grown in popularity among US travellers, but remained unserved by US airlines. American Airlines saw an opportunity to fill that gap".
According to statistical information on the behaviour and visits of users of the popular travel advice website TripAdvisor, Croatia is at the top of the list of countries with the highest growth in search and popularity in the first four months of this year.
Namely, the popularity of Croatia has risen by a whopping 27 percent. And the most sought after destination in the whole of Croatia is, Dubrovnik.
In fact, in the category of cities Dubrovnik had an impressive 46 percent growth in popularity, and another Croatian city came in second place in this category, with Split seeing a great rise in interest on the world’s most used travel website.
"These are excellent indicators for Croatian tourism if we know that in April, for example, more than 280 million world travellers sought key tourist information through TripAdvisor," commented the Director of the Croatian Tourist Board, Kristjan Staničić.
In second place after Croatia came Slovenia with a 22 percent growth.
In the category of cities, after Dubrovnik and Split, the biggest growth in popularity was recorded in Salou in Spain with a 39 percent growth, Ayia Napa in Cyprus and Marmaris in Turkey with a 31 percent growth and Ibiza with a 29 percent increase.
The President of the European Commission, Jean-Claude Juncker, will make his first official visit to Croatia this week and a visit to Dubrovnik will be his first destination.
The European Commission President will have an informal working dinner in Dubrovnik on Thursday evening with Croatian Prime Minister Andrej Plenković. Juncker will then travel to the Croatian capital of Friday where he will meet with President Kolinda Grabar Kitarović.
Juncker comes to Croatia from Ljubljana, where he will attend the Summit of the Three Seas Initiative Thursday. Ten representatives of EU member states will gather at this gathering, including the Croatian President and US Secretary of State for Energy Rick Perry.
The first flight from the largest low-cost airline in the world landed at Dubrovnik Airport today. On a flight from Dublin Airport the Ryanair plane landed today and made history as the first every aircraft from the Irish budget airline to land at Dubrovnik. Not only will these new flights open Dubrovnik to more Irish tourists but will also allow Dubrovnik citizens to visit the Emerald Isle at reasonable prices.
Ryanair will operate four flights a week between Dublin and Dubrovnik until the 25th of October. “We hope that as well as Dublin that Ryanair will expand their destinations from Dubrovnik in the near future,” commented the director of the Dubrovnik Airport, Frano Luetic.
With prices starting from only 30 Euros return this new connection is sure to prove popular and today’s flight was almost full. Ryanair announced that the flights to Dubrovnik will be operated by Boeing 737-800 with a maximum capacity of 189 seats.
“Dubrovnik Airport will be connected with 70 international destinations with direct flights this summer season. The arrival of Ryanair certainly means a lot for Dubrovnik and we hope that apart from Dublin Ryanair will connect Dubrovnik to other European destinations in the future. And also that they will extend the period that they fly to Dubrovnik,” commented the director of the Dubrovnik Tourist Board, Romana Vlasic.
The Dubrovnik cable car hangs silent as it has been closed to the public since the 25th of April, and all the indicators show that it will remain closed at least until the 1st of July.
As Dubrovnik and visitors to the city get set for a second month without one of the most popular tourist attractions local travel agencies and tourist businesses are counting the cost of lost earnings. However, the cable cars loss is quite clearly the Dubrovnik City Walls gain. “Whatever the case the City of Dubrovnik in this situation isn’t losing anything. Quite the contrary we are earning as in the meantime the number of visitors on the Dubrovnik City Walls has increased,” commented the Mayor of Dubrovnik, Mato Frankovic.
He pointed out evidence that since the cable car has been closed the number of visitors to the Dubrovnik City walls has increased by 40 percent when compared to the same period from last year. “From this 40 percent increase in ticket sales 60 percent is paid into the City of Dubrovnik’s budget,” added the Mayor. He did however express his desire that the situation with the cable car is solved as soon as possible.
Property prices across Croatia rose on average by 2.8 percent in April, with Dubrovnik still having the most expensive real estate in the country.
According to data published by the online property website Crozilla.com the average price per metre squared of a house in Dubrovnik is 4,050 Euros. And this makes Dubrovnik the only Croatian city where average prices per square metre are more expensive for a house than an apartment.
In fact, house prices in Dubrovnik rose by 3.4 percent when compared with the same month from 2018 and at 4,000 Euros properties in the city are almost double the price many of the other cities.
The most sought after Croatian cities in April were Zagreb, Osijek, Poreč, Zadar and Pula.