Friday, 22 September 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.


Whether you are a child or an adult you must have heard for Frozen, one of the most famous animated movies these days. With Elsa and Anna, one of the main characters is Olaf, the funny snowman, that accompanies the sisters in their adventure.

Dubrovnik Winter Festival will bring a piece of that Disney magic to our City! That was published on the Facebook page named ''DULAF'' – combination of words Olaf and Dubrovnik.

- Dear friends, I'm DULAF! I'll be coming to Winter Festival this year and I'm really happy because of that. If I have a nice time, I'll invite Elsa and Anna to join me. I'm going on the trip now and we'll see soon. Yours sincerely, DULAF – says the Facebook page.
Dulaf will surely bring joy to the children, but also to adults, just like ''Teddy bear Franko'' who turned into real mascot of the Dubrovnik Winter Festival last year.


It is never-ending swimming season in Dubrovnik this year, well for the brave. This photo was taken on the 16th of November in Soline in Zupa near Dubrovnik.

The Adriatic Sea temperature in Dubrovnik is currently around 18.5 degrees.

When asked if the sea was cold the lady in the photo answered “When I get numb it’s great.” She added that she works as a tourist guide and doesn’t have much time to swim through the warmer summer months.

The Croatian Chamber of Commerce (HGK) has reported that Peter Clement, the purchasing manager of the French retail chain Auchan visited Croatia on the 14th and the15th of November in order to establish direct contacts with potential Croatian suppliers.
Peter Clement as the purchasing manager of non-food products for the European market met with Croatian manufacturers of footwear, textile products, plastic household products, cleaning products, hygiene products, umbrellas etc.

The visit of Auchan representatives was organized as part of the HGK project "Croatia Supply Day", which has been initiating potential foreign importers to visit Croatia and meet with Croatian exporters.

Auchan is the third largest retail chain in France and the 11th biggest chain in Europe. It is one of the world’s leading distribution chains present in 16 countries with 330,700 employees working in 1,774 hypermarkets.

The French company has branches in France, and internationally in China, Hungary, India, Iraq, Italy, Luxembourg, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Russia, San Marino, Spain, Taiwan and Ukraine. Its revenue in 2014 was 63 billion Euros.

The next major tourism investment in the Dubrovnik region, the Kupari resort, is underway. The former military resort has remained destroyed since in the Homeland War in the early nineties.

The site contains five hotels, including a hotel which was constructed in the early 1900s; the new plans are that all these hotels will be destroyed to make way for a five-star resort with a Marriott as the centre piece.

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The new look Kupari Resort will look impressive 


And now work has begun to clean the whole site in preparation for the construction of the one of biggest hotel investments in Croatia in the past century. “I heard some loud explosions in the morning and the ground shook,” explained a resident of nearby Mlini to The Dubrovnik Times.

Kupari was purchased by the Avenue Group based in Austria on a 90-year lease in the spring of this year.

Check out these photos from Adriatic Images of the Kupari Resort this morning

kupari cleaning 1

kupari cleaning 2

kupari cleaning 4

kupari cleaning 5

kupari cleaning 6

This year the Croatian capital has announced the best Advent in Europe which is to start on the 26th of November and will last to the 8th of January, 2017.

At the opening ceremony of Advent in Zrinjevac with the illuminating of decorative lights, Advent at the European square will also be opened as well as the Ice Park at the Tomislav square, Fuliranje, Zagreb Christmas Fairy Tale, amongst many other events.

This year the tourist board of the city of Zagreb with its partners have prepared over ten new programs for numerous visitors and citizens. Apart from the traditional programs such as a live Nativity scene, ArtOmat, Zagreb Christmas balconies, Advent and the New Year's Eve at the Jelacic square, this year Advent events such as New Advent and Santa Claus's Frozen Fairytale will also be organized in Novi Zagreb. Some novelties such as Fashion Advent, At Rudolph's, Advent in the Design district, Advent in the Tunnel, amongst others, were also announced in the program.

The city of Zagreb has got one more Advent attraction – the Christmas Fairy Tale in the Tunnel which will be told in a totally different way. A 3D installation on the ceiling, selected music in this magnificent acoustic space and video projections will create a truly superb atmosphere.

''Advent in Zagreb is the most important event in the Croatian capital which recorded an increase in the number of visitors of almost 50 percent in the last two years. According to data from the Zagreb Tourist Board more than 45,000 arrivals and around 82,000 overnight stays were recorded in 2013, whilst 70,550 arrivals and 123,734 overnights were achieved only in last December'', said from the Zagreb Tourist Board. In addition, Advent in Zagreb won the Best tourism event award at the Croatian Days of Tourism 2016, whilst as the last year's winner in the European Best Christmas Destination category, this year Advent in Zagreb will have the opportunity to defend its title from the 2nd to the 12th of December, 2016.

Dubrovnik Winter Festival is just around the corner – it will start on Saturday. Opening ceremony will start at 8 pm in the Old City by turning on the Christmas lights and will continue with the concert of famous Croatian band – Colonia.

The third Dubrovnik Winter Festival was presented on the rather interesting press conference held right in front of Orlando Column.

- Dubrovnik is not only sun and sea, even though we're not trying to escape from that. Dubrovnik is not only inheritance and we want it to have content trough all 365 days. During this winter there will be around 10 hotels opened, Dubrovnik is growing during the whole year, winter is interesting in our City. We'll have famous car brand and film crew this year too – said Romana Vlasic, director of Dubrovnik Tourist Board. 

There are four parts of this years festival: Advent in the City, Festivity of Saint Blaise, Valentine's and the Carnival. Dubrovnik has really worked to enrich its winter offer and the third Dubrovnik Winter Festival will for sure be the best one yet.

Croatia is this year's readers' choiche winner for Travel+Leisure's destination of the year. That was decided in an online poll, where Croatia captured 28 percent of the vote. 

- A Mediterranean favorite, Croatia is a jewel in the crown of the Adriatic—the medieval cities of Split and Dubrovnik have long been ports of calls for large-ship cruises—but further inland you’ll discover one of the last unspoiled stretches in the region, where sheep roam the countryside to graze on wild sage, and locals sell homemade olive oil and cheeses – writes Travel + Leisure.

The country got 28 percent of votes from readers of the distinguished portal, whilst Portugal placed as the second on this prestigious list and got 24 percent of the votes. The city of Pittsburgh placed third.

They add that a success of Game of Thrones series, which was filmed in Dubrovnik and Split, made a big boom when it comes to tourism. However, they also say that there is a lot more to see in Croatia than ''the two mediveal cities''.

This is one more success for Croatia, a country that is really loved by the tourists.

Apart from Croatia there were also some other European representatives such as Mallorca, the island of Ischia, Paris and Iceland.

Here is the entire list of the nominees: America’s National Parks, Canada, Croatia, Hawaii, Iceland, Ischia, Korea, Mallorca, Mexico City, New Zealand, Orlando, Paris, Pittsburgh, Portugal, Rio de Janeiro, Singapore and Washington D.C.

The most popular budget airline in the world, Ryanair, is set to expand on the Croatian and regional market with amongst others new flights announced to Zadar for the 2017 summer season. Ryanair will introduce to new destinations for the Dalmatian city of Zadar for 2017, new flights to Glasgow and Copenhagen. In 2016 the budget airline was the leading airline flying out of Zadar, carrying a total of 325,000 passengers, a mammoth 65 percent of the total number of passengers. However according to an article on the specialised website EX-YU Aviation there are still some problems that need to be ironed out before the new flights can be fully introduced.

Zadar Airport and the City of Zadar agreed to pay the airline incentives to fly and according to Ryanair there is still an outstanding debt of 612,000 Euros. It can be presumed that this debt will need to be settled before the budget airline continues to expand its connections to Zadar.

Flights to Dubrovnik with Ryanair look like still being on hold, and both the airline and the City of Dubrovnik are tight lipped about the current negotiations. It can be assumed, if the Zadar case is used as an example, that one of the sticking points in the negotiations is the amount of cash incentives the airline is demanding. Ryanair's Route Development Manager, Luis Fernandez-Mellado, said the budget carrier is willing to maintain year-round flights from Dubrovnik, describing it as an extremely interesting destination.

The closest airport to Dubrovnik that operates with Ryanair is Podgorica in Montenegro and the Irish airline has announced even more new routes for 2017. Ryanair opened flights to Podgorica in 2013 and operates to London Stanstead airport all year round. They have now added flights to Berlin and have expanded flights to Charleroi to an all year service. With the Montenegrin capital around a three-hour drive from Dubrovnik this route is the closest Ryanair base. And until negotiations between the low-cost airline and Dubrovnik are resolved it remains the best option for cheap flights during the winter.

The Voice of Dubrovnik


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