Tuesday, 16 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

'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.”

As the summer sun begins to beckon, travelers seek their next idyllic holiday destination. While Europe's renowned islands lure tourists by the masses, there remains a handful of hidden gems waiting to be explored. Nestled within the remote Mediterranean, Lastovo emerges as a sun-soaked time warp, offering an authentic escape from the bustling tourist trails.

Recognizing its intrinsic beauty and cultural significance, global travel site Big 7 Travel has crowned Lastovo as the 3rd Most Underrated Island in Europe for 2024. In a list curated to celebrate islands off the beaten path, Lastovo shines as a beacon of authenticity and tranquility amidst Europe's bustling tourist hubs.

Dubrovnik Bus Station Reports 8 Increase in Traffic for Q1 2024 1

Photo - Canva

Ranked according to criteria such as tourist footfall, local charm, natural beauty, and cultural significance, Lastovo emerged as a top contender for its untouched allure and genuine hospitality. Visitors to Lastovo are greeted with a warm embrace from the local community, fostering a sense of belonging and connection rarely found in more commercialized destinations.

Tucked away from the spotlight, Lastovo boasts a pristine natural landscape, with over 70% of the island cloaked in lush forests. Its coastline is a tapestry of crystal-clear waters, inviting visitors to lounge on soft-sand beaches or snorkel above vibrant coral reefs in secluded coves. The island's isolation nurtures unique flora and fauna, adding to its allure as a haven for nature enthusiasts.

Yet, Lastovo's charm lies not only in its natural splendor but also in its rich cultural heritage. Ancient stone villages dot the landscape, offering a glimpse into Croatia's storied past. Here, time seems to stand still as locals embrace traditional attire, music, dialects, and customs, preserving a way of life that resonates with centuries gone by.

As travelers seek authentic experiences and unspoiled landscapes, Lastovo stands as a testament to the enduring allure of undiscovered treasures. With its timeless beauty and captivating charm, Lastovo invites adventurers to embark on a journey of exploration, where the essence of Croatia's past meets the serenity of its present.


Positive economic indicators at the Dubrovnik Bus Station continued into 2024, as reported by the Public Company Libertas.

In the first quarter of 2024, the Dubrovnik Bus Station recorded 7822 arrivals and 8699 departures of buses. Compared to the first three months of 2023, this represents an increase of 8%.

Dubrovnik saw an influx of visitors during the Easter holidays, with over 6,000 tourists choosing the historic city as their holiday destination.

According to data from the eVisitor tourist registration and deregistration system, Dubrovnik welcomed a total of 73,866 arrivals and recorded 161,639 overnight stays in the first three months of 2024. This marks a 1% increase in arrivals and a notable 7% increase in overnight stays compared to the same period in the previous year.

Foreign tourists accounted for a significant portion of these numbers, with 55,832 arrivals and 120,919 overnight stays, while domestic tourists contributed 18,034 arrivals and 40,720 overnight stays during the first quarter. Visitors predominantly hailed from Croatia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Germany, the United States, and the United Kingdom.

Accommodation-wise, hotels proved to be the preferred choice for many visitors, recording 62,317 arrivals and 119,845 overnight stays. Private accommodations also saw activity, with 7,473 arrivals and 24,672 overnight stays.

In March alone, Dubrovnik saw 43,699 arrivals and 89,322 overnight stays. Despite a 6% decrease in arrivals compared to the previous year, the city experienced a 3% increase in overnight stays, reflecting the enduring appeal of Dubrovnik as a tourist destination.

Domestic tourists contributed 7,290 arrivals and 15,979 overnight stays in March, while foreign visitors accounted for 36,409 arrivals and 73,343 overnight stays. Once again, hotels were the preferred choice, registering 36,758 arrivals and 67,709 overnight stays, while private accommodations recorded 4,571 arrivals and 13,296 overnight stays.

Easter weekend, in particular, saw a surge in tourist numbers, with 6,314 visitors flocking to Dubrovnik on March 31st. The majority of these tourists hailed from the United Kingdom, Croatia, Germany, the United States, France, Spain, Albania, Ireland, Kosovo, and Slovakia.

"Spring Gourmet Week" - a gastronomic event organized in collaboration with the Dubrovnik Tourist Board and local restaurateurs, reserved for enjoying rich, imaginative, and delicious specialties prepared in Dubrovnik restaurants, is currently taking place and will last continue until the 7th of April.

Some of the various specialties inspired by fresh spring ingredients include asparagus with quail eggs, Dubrovnik-style stew, capon soup, asparagus risotto, and many other dishes designed and created for this year's gourmet experience.

Nineteen catering establishments participate in this gastronomic event, and you can see the complete offer of Dubrovnik restaurants here.

The Voice of Dubrovnik


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