Thursday, 22 August 2019
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

Owning an apartment, villa or holiday home up and down the Croatian Adriatic coastline is certainly a lucrative business. According to recent figures just released by the Croatian Bureau of Statistics a whopping 3 million tourists decided to book private accommodation in Croatia in June this year, a healthy increase of 11 percent compared with the same month from last year.

Experts reports suggest that apartment owners in Dubrovnik can pocket a tidy 10,000 Euros a season, which after paying agency fees and taxes gives them a second income of around 7,000 Euros annually. And there is no sign that reservations with quality apartments is slowly down, in fact the opposite seems to be the case, as 44 percent of all accommodation bookings in Croatia in June were in private apartments and villas.

 


Among foreign tourists, the highest number of overnight stays, 3.5 million, was recorded by Germans in June, which is a 43.7 percent increase over June 2018, followed by Austrians, Slovenes, Poles, Czechs and tourists from the UK and Italy.

There are around 367,000 rooms in private accommodation in Croatia with a grand total of 960,000 beds, which is further evidence of just how important this type of accommodation is for the country.

And many apartment owners in Dubrovnik are reporting that they are full up until the end of September and into the beginning of October.

Bernie Ecclestone is back in the Adriatic on a cruise. The former head of Formula One is certainly no stranger to Dubrovnik and has been coming to the Croatian coastline on cruises for years after being introduced by his former wife Slavica. This time Ecclestone arrived with his mega yacht Petara which set him back a cool $35 million. Although as the F1 Supremo is reported to be worth $3.5 billion it was a drop in the ocean.

Ecclestone has already been spotted on the island of Hvar and now it looks like he is working his way down the Croatian coast as he docked in Korcula yesterday afternoon. Meaning we can probably expect Bernie to appear in Dubrovnik over the next few days. Maybe he will even bump into Slavica who has recently finished building a luxury villa in Zaton, some 15 minutes from Dubrovnik.

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Photo - Korcula Online Instagram 

 

 

Japan's largest air carrier, All Nippon Airways (ANA), will return with charter flights to Ljubljana and Dubrovnik from Tokyo and Osaka organized by Japan's largest tour operator, JTB Travel. The first flight from Osaka to Ljubljana is expected on the 31st of August, and the first flight from Tokyo to Ljubljana on the 14th of September.

The first charter will depart from Dubrovnik on the 7th of September 7, and on the 21st of September for Osaka. Passengers will be carried on a Boeing 787-9, which has a seating capacity for a maximum of 395 passengers.

In relation to the introduction of regular routes to Croatia and the acceptance of the Air Service Agreement between Croatia and Japan, the first round of bilateral negotiations was held in November last year. Japan's foreign minister confirmed that there is a stable demand for air connections between Croatia and Japan in the future, as does JTB Travel, Japan's largest travel company.

 

Yes, we know the historic Old City of Dubrovnik is stunningly gorgeous, and yes we know that the best views are from the city walls, but please don’t go overboard when trying to impress your friends on social media.

Already this summer season an American tourist fell from the walls, and with behaviour like this he could be joined by other candidates soon.

This photo appeared on social media and whilst we understand that collecting as many likes and comments is extremely important to many people, taking undue risks is probably not the right way to go. Dubrovnik is so picturesque anyway and there are so many new angles that you don’t have to dangle from walls to make a point.

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Photo - Instagram 

 

 

Croatian Foreign and European Affairs Minister Gordan Grlic Radman and Japanese Foreign Minister Taro Kono met in Zagreb on Wednesday evening for the talks on boosting bilateral relations, which also includes the improvement of the economic cooperation.

Taro Kono is the first Japanese foreign minister to visit Croatia after 24 years when his father Yohei Kono also visited Zagreb as the Japanese foreign minister. Grlic Radman' s predecessor Marija Pajcinovic Buric paid an official visit to that Asian country this past March.

The main topic of today's meeting was the bilateral relations. We agreed that these relations are very good and friendly, marked by regular political dialogue and visits of senior officials of both countries, as well as by excellent parliamentary cooperation, the Croatian minister told the press after the talks.

We have discussed the possibilities for the further strengthening of economic cooperation, which will be definitely facilitated by the entry into force of the double taxation avoidance agreement between Croatia and Japan this September, Grlic Radman said.

The two countries are set to conclude an air traffic agreement, too.

When it was built back in 2003 and delivered to Russian billionaire Roman Abramovich it was the eleventh longest yacht in the world at 115 metres in length. Pelorus has had an interesting history, changing hands many times, playing host to Premier League footballers and even acting as a venue for an MC Hammer concert, and yesterday she dropped anchor near the Peljesac Peninsular.

Abramovich owned the mega yacht from 2003 to 2009 when he lost in his divorce to former wife Irina. However, Irina didn’t make much use of the yacht as she sold it in 2011 to one of the founders of Dreamworks, David Geffen, for a cool $300 million, who then sold it to a Sheik from the United Arab Emirates before finally the yacht ended up in the hands of its current owner, Chinese businessman Samuel Tak Lee.

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Pelorus at anchor - Photo Mark Thomas

The former Chelsea footballers Frank Lampard and John Terry have both holidayed on the yacht, and in fact John Terry used the yacht for a honeymoon cruise.

Pelorus is at anchor away from prying eyes in the centre of Dubrovnik and has found a sheltered spot near the Peljesac Peninsular.

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A rather nice spot for afternoon cocktails - Photo Mark Thomas 

 

 

If you were wondering why the road are empty, the free parking spaces abundant and some of the shops closed, well today the 15th of August is a public holiday in the Republic of Croatia.

The 15th of August is the Feast of Assumption, one of the most important days on the Catholic calendar and an important national holiday in Croatia. The celebration of the Feast of Assumption on is given the special solemn significance.

Assumption Day is celebrated on or around August 15 in many countries, particularly in parts of Europe and South America. It is also called the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary, the Dormition of the Most Holy Mother of God (in the eastern countries), or the Feast of the Assumption.

Due to this holiday all institutions, banks, many businesses and shops will be closed all day. However, in most tourist destinations shops, restaurants, cafes and travel agencies will work as normal. Some larger supermarkets will also work shorter working hours than normal.

 

World-renowned German model Heidi Klum (46) is currently on a Croatian cruise with new husband Tom Kaulitz (29) on the elegant yacht Christina O.

Klum and the 17 year younger Kaulitz married in secrecy on the 22nd of February in Los Angeles, but ten days ago they tied their vows again on Capri and jumped aboard the Christina O for a late, or second, honeymoon.

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Just Married - Photo Instagram 

Tom is a guitarist, singer-songwriter and keyboard player in the band Tokio Hotel, and according to various reports in the media the couple met through a mutual friend in the States.

And they are certainly travelling, or rather cruising, in style on board the luxurious Christina O, built in 1943 and once owned by the Greek rich man Aristotle Onassis and his wife, Jacky Onassis, the widow of the assassinated U.S. President John F. Kennedy. The impressive boat is 99 meters long, with 39 crew members taking care of guests, and a weekly charter costs a staggering 670,000 euros.

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Taking a dip - Photo Instagram 

Klum has been filling her social media with photos of the cruise and a rather provocative one in a “boob” float with the caption “Topless posing for my husband.“

It appears that the couple sailed close to the island of Mljet on the cruise and then onto Hvar where the ship was last spotted.

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Messing about on the water - Photo Instagram 

The Tokio Hotel guitarist and music producer, who works on the US-Germany relationship, is marriage Klum is his second and for Heidi this is her third after being married to the hair stylist Ric Pipino and the British singer Seal.

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The happy couple - Photo Instagram 

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