Friday, 01 December 2023
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.


According to data from the Croatian Bureau of Statistics (HZS), the country recorded 19,834 marriages and 6,010 divorces in 2015. In other words, 303 marriages out of 1,000 ended up in divorce.

These data may seem like ''depressing'' romance statistics, but according to the HZS the number of divorces in Croatia is actually in a decline. In comparison to 2014 when 19,501 marriages and 6,570 divorces were recorded, in 2015 there was a rise in the number of marriages and a drop in the number of divorces.

It is interesting to note that according to numerous statistics the number of divorces around the globe is growing. John Gottman, the psychologist at the University of Washington and the founder of the Gottman Institute for relationships explains that the main reason for a divorce is - contempt.

On the other hand, Michael Rosenfeld, the professor of sociology at Stanford University confirmed that women were more likely to initiate divorce. According to his data collected between 2009 and 2015, almost 70 percent of all divorces were initiated by women.

The 1045th Day of St. Blaise was marked today in Dubrovnik with a holy mass and a procession through the streets of the Old City.

Thousands of people turned out to watch the big day and the city was alive with colours and sounds as banners and flags carried by worshipers in traditional costumes paraded down the Stradun.

The 3rd of February is one of the most important days on the city’s calendar as praise is given to the patron saint of Dubrovnik – Saint Blaise.

Check out our bumper photo gallery of today by Zeljko Tutnjevic


After twenty years the world popular English musician, singer, songwriter and actor is coming back to Croatia this summer.

On the 26th of July Sting will perform at the Pula Arena as part of his 57th & 9th Tour. The concert in Pula will be his only concert in the region.

Sting's highly anticipated rock/pop album ''57th & 9th'' is his first rock album in 13 years released on the 11th of November 2016. His concerts in Europe and North America have already been sold out.

The ten-song collection represents a wide range of Sting’s musical and song writing styles. Sting described the album as having a spontaneous feel, featuring "a lot of rock 'n' roll" with themes of searching, travelling, the road and the pull of the unknown.

The album, produced by Martin Kierszenbaum, was recorded over a period of three months with Sting’s long-time collaborators Dominic Miller (guitar) and Vinnie Colaiuta (drums), as well as drummer Josh Freese (Nine Inch Nails, Guns n’ Roses), guitarist Lyle Workman and backing vocals by the San Antonio-based Tex-Mex band The Last Bandoleros.

Martin Cruickshank, a Croatian war veteran, is trying to break the Guinness record and become the first Croatian to row an ocean. And if you thought his name doesn’t sound very Slavic you are right, Martin was born in Scotland.

In 2015, Martin and his sister Fenella McAlister undertook an attempt to row the Atlantic from Sagres in Portugal to Barbados on board the boat Fifty-Fifty.

The brother-sister team has already rowed halfway to the other side of the Atlantic or more than 1,500 nautical miles out of 2,602 in a boat with no sails and no outboard motor.
It is interesting to note that Martin Cruickshank was born in Scotland, where he acquired a military education. During the Homeland War in Croatia in 1991, he joined the Croatian Armed Forces and was one of 481 foreign volunteers from 35 countries who defended Croatia in 1991-1995. Today he works as a Security and Investigations Consultant and Contractor; he is a member of the Croatian Forces International Volunteers Association and an adventurer. Martin is a Croatian citizen and lives in Velika Gorica with his family.

The Ocean Rowing Society International has been following and reporting about this adventure. If the team succeeds in this endeavour, Martin and Fenella will become the first brother-sister team, and Martin-the first Croatian to row an ocean. Thus, they will surely enter the Guinness Book of Records.

One of the first Croatia's hotel brands Bluesun Hotels & Resorts concluded the last year with a revenue of almost 50 million Euros or 12 percent more in comparison to 2015, whilst a profit increased by 40 percent, according to information from the company.

''All tourist indicators showed that 2016 was one of our best business years so far. The number of overnight stays has had a continuous rise over the past years, whilst last year we achieved a record-breaking 760,000 overnights or one percent more than in 2015'', stated from the Bluesun company.

According to financial data, the number of overnight stays and other indicators, and among all destinations in which Bluesun operates, the best results were achieved in Tucepi on the Makarska Riviera, where four Bluesun hotels are located (Hotel Afrodita, Hotel Alga, Hotel Neptun and Hotel Kastelet).

In the overall structure of tourists, Germans had the largest share in total overnight stays (25 percent), followed by the French (12 percent) and the Swedes (10 percent), whilst the number of Norwegians and tourists from the UK and Slovenia continues to rise.

In terms of bed places, the Bluesun Group has accounted for 3,5 percent of the total accommodation capacity of all hotels and camps in Croatia with nearly 6,000 beds in 15 hotels and one campsite. These figures also include the accommodation capacity of the Group’s new hotels, the Hotel Berulia in Brela and the Hotel TUI Blue Jadran in Tucepi which are to be opened this year.

The national air carrier Croatia Airlines has announced expansion plans for the upcoming summer season and emphasized cooperation with the Ministry of Tourism.

In consideration of good news on bookings for 2017, Kresimir Kucko, the CEO of Croatia Airlines and Garri Cappelli, the Minister of Tourism recently discussed the possibility of improving mutual cooperation and coordination regarding an introduction of potential new routes in this and next year.

In addition, both executives emphasized the importance of partnership between the two institutions because Croatia Airlines operate flights all year round and is a significant factor for extending the summer season. This year the air carrier will continue to operate flights from Zagreb to Lisbon, St Petersburg, Milan and Prague, whilst flights from Croatian destinations to Scandinavia are actively being taken into consideration.

''The tourist season for our company starts around Easter holidays, and this year we are introducing seasonal flights to and from the most important emissive markets until the end of October. Flights in pre-season and off-season represent a strong support to the development of tourist capacities in our country thus we are ready for the cooperation with the Ministry of Tourism'', commented Kresimir Kucko, the CEO of Croatia Airlines.

''These meetings are necessary for the benefit of the whole Croatian tourism industry, especially for the extension of the summer season, which depends not only on destinations’ offer and facilities, but also on regular flights. I would like to keep an open dialogue between the Ministry of Tourism, the Croatian Tourist Board and Croatia Airlines in order to find the best way for quality cooperation'', explained the Minister of Tourism Garri Cappelli.

According to the latest data from the Croatian Bureau of Statistics (HZS) in the first eleven months of 2016, the Croatian airports had almost eight million passengers, which was a significant increase of 13 percent in comparison to the previous year.

According to an article published on the New York Times portal two Croatian destinations have found their place on the ''52 Places to Go in 2017''.

Canada is the favourite destination among Americans, but the pearl of Croatia's tourism the city of Dubrovnik was highly ranked and placed as the 6th on the prestigious list. The largest Croatia's peninsula Istria is another Croatian destination worth visiting this year; it placed as the 41st among 52 destinations from all over the globe.

Authors of the list described Dubrovnik as ''the star of Dalmatia'' which offers new ways of enjoyment. Among other things, they particularly emphasized the possibility of exploring hidden beaches by public electric scooters as a supplement to the public transportation.

On the other hand, the authors stated that Istria had long been in the shadow of Dalmatia and that it definitely deserve tourists' attention. It is a region full of newly opened hotels, Roman ruins, truffles, finest wines and seafood specialities.

The Swedish multinational clothing retail chain and the second largest global clothing retailer Hennes and Mauritz (H&M) has released data on their financial results for 2015/2016. The H&M company generated a revenue of 1,972 billion Euros at the group level.

However, the company has explained the decline in profits by higher procurement costs due to a stronger dollar and increased discounts after a cold spring in Europe.

Despite the situation on the world markets, there is some good news from Croatia. Even though H&M recorded sales declines on the markets of France, Germany, Switzerland, Italy as well as the US and China, the Croatian market showed much better results. Only in Croatia, H&M achieved sales revenue in amount of 670 million Kunas or 4 percent more in comparison to the previous financial year.

These results only indicate the great popularity of the H&M retail chain among Croatian citizens since the opening of its first store in Zagreb in 2011.

The Voice of Dubrovnik


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