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.
Croatia’s impressive 2018 World Cup campaign has certainly led to a stream of positive PR and pages of international media, but it seems it could also motivate foreign investment.
The Minister of the Economy, Darko Horvat, commented yesterday that interest in investing in Croatia was growing and that the football team’s success at the World Cup in Russia meant that the country was much better known around the world.
He said that Croatia had opened its doors to investments over the past few months and that this move could well mean the creation of between 10,000 and 15,000 new jobs over the next five years.
Responding to the journalists’ comments that it didn’t seem as if anyone was lining up to invest in Croatia, Horvat said: “You will see what will happen over the next months in that area.”
A reader of The Dubrovnik Times had a surprise this morning when you noticed this hammock swinging in the morning sunshine between Kupari and Srebreno in Zupa.
It would appear that a tourist doesn’t ned Airbnb or booking.com, just two relatively strong trees and he has his bed for the night. It is however against the Croatian law to camp “wild” and without registering yourself as a guest in the country.
Legendary England footballer and businessman David Beckham is currently on holiday in Croatia and Victoria has been having fun on Instagram.
David and Victoria have recently celebrated their 19th wedding anniversary and the happy couple have decided to live it up a little on the Adriatic coast. The family vacation, which appears to be in the north of the Croatian coast, has given the famous pair a chance to spend more time with their children, 19-year-old Brooklyn, 15-year-old Romeo, 13-year-old Cruz and 7-year-old Harper. And it certainly looks like a happy Beckham family from the joyous photos that have appeared on social media.
One of the highlights of the family swim in the Croatian Adriatic was David slipping off a giant inflatable swan. Victoria uploaded this comical video onto her Instagram account with the comment "Embarrassing dad slide," and "No wonder they sailed off and left him!"
After renting a speedboat the family headed out into the sea and later the boys were spotted on jet skis.
Google will be out on the streets of Croatia this summer to update their Google Maps. From the end of July for two months the special Google cars will be covering many of the roads in the country and recording for their Google Maps “Street View” application which allows users a 360-degree view of all streets.
In a statement from Google they point out that they will do everything possible to protect people’s privacy. Once all the photos have been collected Google will use specially designed technology to blur people’s faces, number plates and other potentially sensitive information.
Luka Modric’s stunning goal against Argentina has been shortlisted by FIFA as one of the goals of the 2018 World Cup. And you the opportunity to help Modric win as the best goal of the tournament is decided by an online poll.
Croatian captain, Luka Modric, has already picked up one individual award for the World Cup in Russia, the Golden Ball for the best player at the tournament. And now he has the chance to pick up another with the best goal of the tournament.
In total 18 goals have been shortlisted and voting is open until Monday the 23rd of July.
Vote HERE to help Luka win the goal of the tournament
After her World Cup adventure the Croatian President is back to work with an official visit to Albanian tomorrow as part of a three-day visit. On Wednesday she will meet with her host, President Ilir Meta, when it is believed the pair will discuss co-operation and the future path of Albania towards joining the European Union.
On Thursday, the president will meet with Albania’s Prime Minister Edi Rama and Parliament Speaker Granit Ruci. Grabar-Kitarovic will also address the Albanian national parliament. And on Thursday she will also visit one of the most important ports for Albania, the Adriatic port of Durres. On this occasion she will present a project, which will include Croatia, Albania and Montenegro, on the problem of waste management.
The Croatian coastline has a particular problem with plastic waste originating in Albania being carried on currents and then choking beaches and ports. Grabar-Kitarovic brought up the issue of pollution in the Adriatic Sea when she met President Meta in Zagreb this January. Expanded details of how this trilateral agreement will function have yet to be released.
The 2018 World Cup brought not only a successful campaign for the Croatian national team but also a much needed boost for the economy. The Croatian Chamber of Commerce have reported that on the eve of matches and on match days the retail sales in the country jumped by between 11 and 15 percent.
“Large sporting events, especially European and world football championships, which are watched by nearly half of the world's population, give significant boost to the economy through increased spending,” the HGK said in a statement.
Much of the spending in Croatia, somewhat unsurprisingly, went on beer, snacks, supporter’s equipment, television sets and travel deals.
"Retail spending increased by between 11 and 15 percent on average compared with the same period last year, especially on the days before matches and on match days," HGK said.
"Turnover in the restaurant industry on match days increased by an average of 10 percent and more. A record was made on the day of the semi-final match against England when turnover increased by 17 percent, while on the day of the final it rose by 13 percent," the HGK said.
The Croatian team has come home to an incredible welcome! The streets and main square of the capital Zagreb were completely packed as the team bus made its way from the airport to the centre to celebrate with the fans.
According to official estimates from the police there were over 450,000 supporters waiting along the streets and when the plane landed the whole country went absolutely crazy. “I haven’t seen scenes like this since Croatia was declared an independent country,” commented one joyous fan. Red and white squares, flags, fireworks and deafening songs awaited the heroes from Russia as they made their way in an open-top bus.
People had arrived from all four corners of Croatia! They had come by bus, taxi, train and many had walked miles and miles just to get a glimpse of the silver medal winners from the 2018 World Cup.
As the Croatia Airlines flight carrying the players entered Croatian airspace it was immediately greeted with a warm message of thanks and congratulations from the air traffic controllers. And as it approached Zagreb Airport three Croatia Air force MIG fighters flew alongside the plane. Upon landing the country went wild. The plane was drenched by two firefighting trucks in a shower of water to show their appreciation.
Absolutely incredible scenes and the official coach still hasn’t made it to the centre of Zagreb…more to come later. So far the coach has been driving for more than four hours and is yet to make the normal 20 minutes drive from the airport to the centre of Zagreb.