Wednesday, 17 April 2024
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.

Email: mark.thomas@dubrovnik-times.com

In a recent report released by the Croatian Bureau of Statistics (DZS), it has been revealed that residential property prices in Croatia experienced a significant surge in 2023, marking an average increase of 11.9 percent compared to the previous year.

The data, published on Thursday, indicates that within this period, prices of newly constructed residential properties saw a rise of approximately nine percent on average, while prices of existing residential properties escalated by 12.4 percent.

This upward trend in property prices comes amidst challenges faced by young people in Croatia, who are increasingly finding it difficult to acquire property.

Breaking down the figures regionally, the report highlights that compared to 2022, property prices soared by 11.7 percent in the capital city of Zagreb, by 11.3 percent in the Adriatic region, and by a striking 16.3 percent in other areas across the country.

Delving deeper into the quarterly data, it reveals that in the final quarter of 2023, residential property prices in Croatia experienced a quarterly increase of 3.4 percent compared to the preceding quarter. Moreover, on an annual basis, prices surged by 9.5 percent when compared to the same period in 2022.

The analysis also showcases that new residential properties witnessed an average price hike of 4.8 percent compared to the third quarter of 2023 and a 3.7 percent increase compared to the fourth quarter of 2022. Conversely, existing residential properties saw price upticks of 4.7 percent quarterly and 10.4 percent annually.

Further dissecting the regional trends, it is revealed that in the fourth quarter of 2023, property prices in Zagreb, the Adriatic region, and other areas rose by 1.1 percent, 6.3 percent, and 2.8 percent respectively, compared to the previous quarter.

On an annual basis, property prices in Zagreb increased by an average of 6.5 percent, with the Adriatic region witnessing a growth of 11.3 percent. Meanwhile, in other regions, residential property prices in the final quarter of 2023 surged by an average of 14.4 percent compared to the same quarter in 2022, according to DZS data.

The substantial increase in residential property prices indicates a robust real estate market in Croatia, albeit posing challenges for potential buyers, particularly the younger demographic, as property ownership becomes increasingly elusive.

The tourism season seems to be off on the right foot in Dubrovnik.

The city is experiencing a significant surge in tourism as approximately 10 thousand guests flock to the area midweek, marking a 55 percent increase compared to the same period last year. This influx of visitors, as reported by the eVisitor tourist registration and deregistration system, highlights a notable boost in tourism activity.

Leading the pack in terms of visitor origin are tourists from the United Kingdom, Germany, Croatia, the United States, Spain, Ireland, Italy, Poland, Canada, and Finland.

 

Dubrovnik's nautical tourism sector has experienced a significant decline in the first quarter of this year compared to the same period last year, according to data released by the Croatian Tourist Board. With only 75 arrivals and 344 overnight stays by sailors, the figures indicate a nearly fifty percent drop.

Germany, Mexico, Denmark, the United Kingdom, Austria, and France were the primary sources of nautical visits during this period, as reported by the Croatian Tourist Board. Despite the decline, these international visitors still contribute substantially to the region's nautical tourism industry.

The reasons behind this decline in nautical tourism activity in Dubrovnik during the first quarter remain unclear. However, stakeholders in the industry will likely be monitoring the situation closely as they navigate the challenges and opportunities ahead in the coming months.

"Ludbreg Horseradish" has been granted a European protected designation of origin, announced by the European Commission in the Official Journal of the European Union on April 3, 2024. This designation registers the product in the database for protected designations of origin and protected geographical indications and ensures protection throughout the European Union. The EU logo for protected designations of origin or protected geographical indications on the packaging guarantees consumers the purchase of an authentic product.

The process of protecting the name "Ludbreg Horseradish" was initiated by the "EUVITA" Cluster for Rural Development and Entrepreneurship from Varaždin, which submitted an application to the Ministry of Agriculture for the protection of the geographical indication under the name "Ludbreg Horseradish."

"Ludbreg Horseradish" is the root of a vegetable culture obtained by cultivating the wild plant horseradish (Armoracia rusticana P. Gaertn., B. Mey. et Schreb.), which, as an indigenous species and the same-named preserved variety, grows exclusively in the Varaždin County area. It is characterized by spiciness, sharpness, and a refreshing taste, consumed as a fresh product, primarily as a side dish and addition to meals.

In addition to the natural characteristics of the production area, the production of "Ludbreg Horseradish" relies on the human factor, which involves a traditional method of planting and knowledge of horseradish cultivation technology, essential for maintaining the characteristics of the preserved variety. The skill in cultivating "Ludbreg Horseradish" is crucial from preparing seedlings to processing the roots for the market, including the plant's processing during vegetation and identifying the optimal degree of maturity to ultimately obtain a root with recognizable shape and sensory properties.

'Quattro aprilanti, quaranta duranti' is an old Italian proverb that you often hear in Dubrovnik and basically translates as, what the weather is like on the 4th of April it will be the same for the next forty days.

If this proverb is true, then we could be in for a warm and settled period with plenty of sunshine and rising temperatures. Highs today are expected to reach a sunny 20 degrees as summer starts early.

Of course, this is a theory that has no basis in science, however we’d all be happy if it did indeed prove to be correct.

 

The Croatian Tourist Board (HTZ) and the global media conglomerate Paramount have begun implementing a joint marketing campaign aimed at positioning Croatia as a high-quality and attractive tourist destination in the USA.

The main goal of the promotional activities, which include showcasing the beauty through a video segment on CBS television by Emmy-winning author Erica Olsen and promoting Croatia in Times Square in New York, is to increase the visibility of the Croatian tourism offer so that a larger number of Americans choose Croatian destinations for their travels.

HTZ New York Digital 4

"The US market is our most important distant market, from which we generate the highest tourism traffic. That is precisely why targeted promotional activities are strategically important in further building Croatia's position as one of the most desirable foreign destinations for Americans. The activities we will conduct on the most-watched television channels in America, on the world's most famous square, and in collaboration with a leading global media company like Paramount, will certainly contribute to achieving these goals," said the director of the Croatian Tourist Board, Kristjan Staničić, adding that during the past year, we achieved almost 711 thousand arrivals and over 2 million overnight stays of American tourists.

Croatia Takes Times Square Promoting Tourism in the US with Paramount Partnership

 

Nathalie Rayes, the Ambassador of the United States to Croatia, had her first official visit to Dubrovnik and surroundings from April 1st to April 3rd.

During her stay, Ambassador Rayes attended the commemoration of Ron Brown. She signed the official memorial book and walked to the site of the accident to pay tribute to the victims. At the commemoration, Ambassador Rayes thanked the city and the county for their ongoing efforts to honour Minister Brown and his mission.

While in Dubrovnik, Ambassador Rayes held constructive meetings with Mayor Mato Franković and County Prefect Nikola Dobroslavić, reaffirming the strong ties between the United States and Croatia.

Americka veleposlanica31

She collaborated with communication students at the University of Dubrovnik, discussing misinformation and media literacy in their radio program.

Visiting the Dubrovnik Archives, Ambassador Rayes reviewed historical documents, including the one in which the Republic of Dubrovnik recognized the independence of the United States.

On the Pelješac Peninsula, she met with local entrepreneurs, emphasizing the importance of economic cooperation, especially in tourism and viticulture.

Ambassador Nathalie Rayes's visit underscores the enduring partnership between the United States and Croatia, highlighting common interests and shared goals.

Ryanair opened its new base at the Ruđer Bošković Dubrovnik Airport yesterday and commenced operations with two Boeing 8-200 "Gamechanger" aircraft.

The two based aircraft took off yesterday morning on the first flights to Bergamo and Dublin, marking the completion of preparations for the opening of Ryanair's base and the start of operations, which have been underway for the past six months.

With this, Ruđer Bošković Airport became Ryanair's third Croatian base, following the long-standing base in Zadar and the recently opened base in Zagreb, further increasing Ryanair's presence in Croatia with 19 interesting routes for summer '24 to Dubrovnik.

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54 weekly flights from Dubrovnik - Photo - Canva

Ryanair will operate on 19 routes, including 10 new routes to major European cities such as Bergamo, Bari, Paris – BVA, Brussels – CRL, Karlsruhe, Memmingen, Krakow, Weeze – Düsseldorf, Poznan, Oslo – TRF. There will be a total of approximately 54 flights per week throughout the summer season with a total capacity (arrival and departure) of around 450,000 available seats. It is important to note that Ryanair will also operate flights in the winter season to a minimum of three international destinations.

On the occasion of the start of Ryanair's operations, Viktor Šober, the CEO of Dubrovnik Airport, stated, "We are pleased that Ryanair has opened its new base at Ruđer Bošković Airport with two of its aircraft, and I would like to take this opportunity to thank all our employees who have been actively working on this project for the past months and have done an excellent job in cooperation with Ryanair. We now face a challenging season that will probably be record-breaking, and there is a lot of work ahead of us.”

And he added that “Ryanair will connect Ruđer Bošković Airport with 19 European destinations during the summer of '24/25 and with 3 destinations during the winter of '24/25. This partnership between Ryanair and our airport will result in better connectivity, more flights during the summer season, and the much-desired winter routes, connecting Dubrovnik with European destinations. With this partnership, Ruđer Bošković Airport will be better connected than ever, further developing Dubrovnik as a tourist and city break destination.”

Unveiling 19 Destinations Ryanair Takes Off with 54 Weekly Flights from Dubrovnik 1

19 destination with Ryanair from Dubrovnik - Photo Canva

On the occasion of the start of operations, Ryanair's Director of Communications and Media Relations, Jade Kirwan, said, “As Europe's largest and fastest-growing airline in Europe and Croatia, Ryanair is pleased to officially commence the summer '24 flight schedule from/to our new Dubrovnik base with our first flights to Bergamo and Dublin departing Tuesday morning.”

And concluded “Building on our bases in Zagreb and Zadar, Ryanair's new base in Dubrovnik represents a further investment of USD 200 million (total of USD 800 million in 3 bases) in Croatia, creating over 60 highly paid jobs for pilots and cabin crew, while also supporting over 500 local jobs in Dubrovnik through our contribution to year-round tourism and connectivity. This summer alone, Ryanair will fly to 19 routes to/from Dubrovnik (expanding our previous 2 route offerings), including exciting new connections to some of Europe's largest cities such as Berlin, Brussels, Helsinki, London, Milan, Paris, Rome, Stockholm, and Wroclaw, providing the lowest fares in Europe and an unmatched choice for our Croatian citizens and visitors from summer '24 onwards.”

The Voice of Dubrovnik

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