Sunday, 20 September 2020
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.


The Croatian government this week gave its consent to the State Assets Ministry to sign with the Avenue Ulaganja investment company an annex to a contract on the Kupari 1 tourism development project, defining new deadlines for submissions of a letter of intent from the new hotel operator and physical planning data.

In March 2016, the government signed with the bidders Avenija Ulaganja and Avenue Osteuropa a contract the realisation of Kupari 1, a project estimated at over HRK 700 million. Under the contract, the investor was supposed to submit by September 2016 physical planning data to Zupa Dubrovacka Municipality and a contract signed with the hotel operator to the relevant ministry. Since the investor failed to comply with its obligations, project realisation has not even begun, said State Assets Minister Goran Maric.

Initially, Avenue Ulaganja planned for Kupari 1 a partnership with the Marriott hotel chain and the Ritz-Carlton brand, but the operator cancelled and the investor announced a letter of intent with a new operator.

The investor has agreed to all the changes and a contract was signed in early March, Maric said, adding that the annex provided for cancelling the contract if the investor failed to comply with the deadlines.

“If you rub his nose it’s good luck and it’s a sign that you’ll come back to Dubrovnik in the future,” is apparently the reason why thousands upon thousands of tourists grab this famous Dubrovnik playwright by the nose, well his statue, every year.

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The statute of Marin Držić, famous for writing tragic comedies and often called Dubrovnik’s Shakespeare, used to be location in the Babin Kuk suburb of Dubrovnik but was replaced outside of the theatre bearing his name some years ago. And since his arrival in the heart of the Old City the “legend” or “myth” that rubbing his nose brings luck has been born. “I have never heard of this before, look at his nose it has turned yellow,” commented one local restaurant owner. Yes, this new myth seems to have arisen from nowhere.

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And not only is his nose being rubbed but also tourists often jump in his lap for a selfie. We can find no evidence of where this legend actually appeared from, but any reason for tourists believing that they will visit Dubrovnik again can’t be a bad thing. Just don’t rub his nose too hard.

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Even though the Adriatic is a refreshing 16 degrees Celsius it didn’t put off a few brave swimmers on the Banje Beach in Dubrovnik today.

With the summer around the corner this beach will be a magnet for tourists and locals in the warmer months, but today these few swimmers had the beach, and the stunning views, to themselves.

Check out our photo gallery from today

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Chinese Southeast European Business Association (CSEBA), in cooperation with the premium event company Meritum komunikacije, the Silk Road Chamber of International Commerce (SRCIC), the City of Dubrovnik, the Ministry of Tourism of the Republic of Croatia, the Croatian National Tourist Board, and the Ministry of Sustainable Development and Tourism of Montenegro, is organizing the Silk Road Tourism Conference on April 24-26 at Sheraton Dubrovnik Riviera Hotel in Dubrovnik.

The Silk Road Tourism Conference is becoming the largest and most important business event that brings together top Chinese and regional businessmen in order to strengthen cooperation in tourism and other related industries. The importance and seriousness of this event confirms the fact that besides business representatives from Croatia and the region, this conference will be attended by top Chinese tour operators, International Chamber of Commerce of China which networks hundreds of chambers of commerce on the Silk Road, Chinese investors, and other stakeholders that follow tourism industry.

A clear indication of the interest of the Chinese business community in this region, among others, will be attendance of Wang Shuai, founder and CEO of iYat, China's largest nautical company that promotes high class tourist packages for the Chinese yachtsmen in the world with its 10.000 yachts. Precisely, Shuai is coming to Croatia to expand cooperation with local businessmen after he had seen nautical potential of our coast during his visit last year. Even though regional countries have a great interest in this gathering, it was Croatia who strategically “jumped” due to its geographical position and the power it has in the tourism segment.

Besides respected guests, Chinese and regional businessmen, we'll have the highest representatives of the Silk Road Chamber of International Commerce (SRCIC), an organization that connects hundreds of chambers of commerce on the Silk Road and whose CSEBA is a full member. This organisation is a business club which strengthens the exchange between Western countries and China with its targeted activities and it affects on the speeding up of business processes in order to strengthen investment, expand business and stimulate the arrival of Chinese tourists on the Adriatic. – says Mario Rendulić, the president of CSEBA, that showed with the investment of 30 million in Krapinske Toplice which options are „opened“ by strengthening the cooperation with Chinese businessmen.

CSEBA points out that the reason why they decided to organize such a high-profile business meeting was the success of the 1th Silk Road Tourism Workshop held in early February in Krapinske Toplice. They were also encouraged by the expected strong investment impulse and the fact that Chinese company China Road and Bridge Corporation (CRBC) has won the bid for the construction of the Pelješac Bridge.

A special emphasis of a three-day conference will be on nautical, health and cultural tourism topics. SRCIC will present their plans for Croatia and the region, while the Silk Road Fund, which will invest in several countries in our region, will as well present their work.

Tourism potentials and characteristics of Croatia are still relatively unknown in China. Croatian tourism sector should get well prepared for the reception of Chinese guests who differ in cultural specifics and the way they're using Chinese communication platforms that we should become familiar with. Tourist promotion in PR China requires great organizational and cost-effective efforts, that's why one of the goals of this gathering is to bring as many relevant Chinese partners as possible to Croatia and the region. It is important to note that a pre-contract about the recording of the first Chinese movie in Croatia will be signed during the conference. Programme of the Silk Road Tourism Conference may be found on the following link

The Dubrovnik Times has teamed up with the specialised Dubrovnik real estate agency Krešić Properties to bring you a selection of interesting properties in and the around the Dubrovnik region. Over the next few months we will feature a property every two-weeks, from stone cottages, seaside villas, apartments and luxury retreats. Whether you are after that Adriatic home of your dreams or looking to move into renting property this is the feature for you.

Dreaming about finding a place in the Mediterranean sun with spectacular views, this is the property for you. Location, location, location…and what a unique location this glorious apartment has. Overlooking the historic Old City of Dubrovnik, the turquoise Adriatic Sea and the oasis that is the island of Lokrum. The only problem will be dragging yourself away from the balconies, yes there are even two balconies.

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The Dubrovnik suburb of Ploče is one of the most sought after districts in the entire region, and it is easy to see why. For not only are the views from this area by far the best in the city but you are also within easy walking distance of the UNESCO World Heritage Site. Beaches, restaurants, hotels, shops, in fact all the amenities you’ll need are well within your reach. And as the apartment also has its own dedicated parking space you can leave your car at home and stroll to the golden beaches.

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This spacious apartment is a 90 metres squared and includes two balconies, a parking space, a well-fitted kitchen, light and airy living spaces and beautifully decorated bathroom and two large bedrooms. The entire apartment is decorated in tasteful colours and as it is south-facing you’ll have sun all day, even through the winter.

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Catch the early morning sunrise from your own private balcony, and when the sun moves further south head out onto the main balcony for a spot of lunch. With the busy Adriatic Sea directly in front of you you’ll never need to turn on the television, you have your own Mediterranean entertainment on your doorstep.

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Ideal as a summer base, a buy-to-rent option or a permanent home, this rare Dubrovnik opportunity has it all in abundance. Properties in the Ploče area rarely come onto the market and when they do they are generally snapped up relatively quickly, this sun-kissed apartment will certainly not be on the market for long, take the chance now to reserve your viewing. Once you’ve seen it you’ll be bowled over.

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The series continues in two weeks’ time with another stunning Dubrovnik property.

Interested in more info on this property contact Krešić Properties

Key features
Location – Ploče, Dubrovnik
Price - € 489,000.00
Living area - 90 m2
Number of bedrooms - 2

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All the tickets reserved for Croatian football fans for the group stages of the 2018 World Cup in Russia have been sold. Croatia will play Argentina, Iceland and Nigeria in the group stages and the dedicated fans have already bought all the available tickets. If you don’t have a valid ticket for the matches, then don’t travel to Russia.

Speaking to the media the ticketing manager for the Croatian Football Association, Nikša Martinac, said that “All the tickets for Croatia’s group matches in Russia are sold out. The Stadiums in Kaliningrad, Nizhny and Rostov are completely sold out in all sections.”

At least 5,000 Croatian fans will be at every game, as the allocation given by FIFA is 5,000, however many more could actually be in the stadiums as the organisers are reporting that all three of the stadiums are completely sold out. The first game to be sold out in Croatia’s group was the game between Croatia and Argentina. Croatia kick off on the 16th of June against Nigeria in Kaliningrad.

The Croatian tourist industry is not heading towards mass tourism, but integral development, sustainability and quality, which is why there is growing demand for Croatia, Tourism Minister Gari Cappelli told Hina in an interview. "This year we expect a 7% increase in tourism turnover over 2017 and tourism investment to increase to nearly a billion euros. This will certainly further improve service quality, in which we have been making progress every year, especially with regard to high-category hotel accommodation," Cappelli said. He said that Croatia was becoming increasingly interesting to investors, so that about 40 new or newly-renovated hotels were expected to open this year, much like last year.

The minister noted that tourism was having a great impact on the economy as a whole, as indicated by the latest report by Standard and Poor's ratings agency, which upgraded the country's credit rating, and last year's article in The Financial Times which ranked Croatia seventh among destinations with the highest potential for tourism investment.

Speaking of booking for this year, Cappelli said that early booking and high early occupancy was yet another proof of how popular Croatia was as a destination. "We are improving our position in the world, including in remote markets from where more and more tourists are coming and where we have been increasing our promotional activities, especially in Japan, China, South Korea, the United Arab Emirates and elsewhere. These markets are offering the biggest opportunities for tourism turnover growth, which is why this year we are planning to open HTZ (Croatian Tourist Board) offices in Shanghai, Seoul and Los Angeles, and possibly a consulate in Abu Dhabi, as the first step towards opening an office."

Cappelli said he also saw possibilities for further tourist trade increases and development of year-round tourism in this year's expansion of flight services to Croatia, thanks to which tourist trade was increasing already in the pre-peak season and the airports recorded increases in the number of passengers of about 20 percent in the first months of this year compared with last year.

 "We are following the trends and are trying to stay abreast, and I should say, immodestly perhaps, that we are leaders in some aspects. Our eVisitor system has been globally recognised as a technological innovation for more effective monitoring of tourist numbers, for which we have received an award from the World Tourism Organisation," the minister said.

Asked if, considering the excellent announcements from world markets, he expected the problem of over tourism, Cappelli said that Croatia was developing its tourist industry on the principles of sustainability. "We are planning and developing selective forms of tourism based on full quality and destination management involving all stakeholders," he said, citing gastronomic tourism, cycling tourism, health tourism and nautical tourism. "We are encouraging tourism businesses financially and logistically to innovate their services by creating additional attractions that will draw in visitors all year round," he added.

For the first time in ten years, the Tourism Ministry, in cooperation with the sector, has embarked on thoroughly changing the three key laws governing tourist boards, tourist tax and membership fees with a view to developing the tourist industry, professionalising the system and giving greater importance and autonomy to local government.

Cappelli says that these changes are not cosmetic but seek to ensure an effective legal framework for all those concerned. In this context he recalled that Croatia had launched an initiative to establish a Tourism Fund at EU level. "It may sound unbelievable, but tourism does not have its working body within the European Commission, unlike 20 or so other sectors, and therefore it is not directly financed," he said.

The Fund would provide finance for tourism infrastructure, small and medium enterprises in the tourist sector, and training. "We have already received support from many EU members for this and we expect a large number of member states to sign the declaration to this end. We have also received an encouragement in a recent recommendation from the European Parliament to open a financial line for tourism in the next multiannual financial framework," Cappelli said.


Could the renowned Deep Purple guitarist, Roger Glover, be performing a free concert in Dubrovnik this summer. It might sound like an incredible story but it might just come true.

The Dubrovnik musician, Ibrica Jusić, was recently introduced to the Deep Purple legend in Switzerland and took the opportunity to invite Glover to Dubrovnik this summer, reports Jutarnji List.

“I talked about our future musical collaboration,” commented Jusić. Adding that all real musicians speak a unique language and understand each other no matter what music genre they prefer.

“I used the opportunity to propose to my new acquaintance to come to Croatia in the summer and to see all the beauties of our country, and I have invited him to visit me in Dubrovnik, on my steps, on which I will perform for the fifty-fourth time in a row,” said the Dubrovnik musician.

And so the locals and tourists to Dubrovnik might have a surprise this summer. “The whole story was very interesting to him,” concluded Jusič. Could we see the Deep Purple legend actually performing on the streets of the Old City this summer? It would certainly make a special memory for guests in the city at that time.

The Voice of Dubrovnik


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