Wednesday, 03 June 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.


Christmas magic continues in Dubrovnik with the event for the youngest - Christmas Fairytale, organized by the Dubrovnik Tourist Board once again this year as a part of the Dubrovnik Winter Festival. It will be held on December 16th in the Hotel Rixos Libertas Congress Hall, starting at 11 am. The first location for the Christmas Fairytale was Stradun, but is moved to Rixos Libertas due to te bad weather forecast.

The entertaining program which will delight and entertain all visitors, especially the youngest, will include a performance by the Mak Theatre from Zagreb and their play ˝Snježna staza˝ (English: ˝Snow Trail˝), the elves of the Ad Libidum Trio, the Dubrovnik Children's Choir that will sing the traditional kolenda carols. There will be a lot of dance too, with the Dance Studio Lazareti , Le Petite Festival and Little Linđo.

Come and enjoy dance, laughter and a magical program, with four Santa Clauses will make sure that every child receives one of the 1,500 gifts that have been prepared just for them!

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The European tourist group TUI has announced more British tourists in Croatia and Bulgaria next year.

A few days ago, TUI announced that within the crisis plans for Brexit and the expected changes in demand due to the weaker pound, the company increased hotel bookings in cheaper destinations especially in Croatia and Bulgaria.

‘’We cannot control the result of the Brexit negotiations, however, we are making plans in order to successfully overcome any possible disturbances in our operations’’, emphasized Fritz Joussen, the CEO of TUI.

Joussen also added that in case that certain destinations become more expensive for British tourists due to the weaker pound, the demand could be re-directed to cheaper countries, thus, the Group increased hotel bookings in countries such as Croatia and Bulgaria.

‘’British tourists spend on the average £1,000 while on a holiday. We have also recorded a slight decline in demand for distant destinations’’, commented Joussen

According to Eurostat, Croatia is one of the three EU countries that achieved the highest growth of industrial production in the European Union in October 2017.

Eurostat data shows that seasonally adjusted industrial production in Croatia in October rose by 2,7 percent on a monthly level, almost twice as much as it was in September (1,4%).

The highest industrial production on a monthly level was recorded in Ireland (10,6%) and Denmark (2,8%), whilst the lowest figures were recorded in Malta (6,1%), Portugal (2,3%) and the Netherlands (1,8%).

At EU level, seasonally adjusted industrial production grew by 0,3 percent in October compared to September (- 0,5%). The production of non-durable consumer goods recorded the highest growth of 0,7%, whilst the production of durable consumer goods decreased by 1,7 percent.

The industrial production in the EU in October on an annual level rose by 4,2 percent, after 3,6 percent rise in the previous month. October recorded the highest increase in the production of intermediate goods (5,3%) and non-durable consumer goods (4,7%). Energy production almost stagnated.

When it comes to industrial production on an annual level in EU countries, the highest growth was recorded in Ireland (13,4%), Slovenia (10,7%), Poland (10%) and Romania (9,1%). As far as Croatia is concerned, industrial production in October increased by 4,3 percent following a 3,1 percent growth in the previous month.

The decline in industrial production on an annual level was recorded in Denmark (2,3%), Malta (1,4%) and the Netherlands (0,4%).

Dubrovnik was just perfect to watch the newest sequel of the most popular science-fantasy series in the history – Star Wars. Last night was completely reserved for The Last Jedi!

On Stradun, at the same place where the parts of The Last Jedi were filmed, Darth Vader and Stormtrooper took a walk and were a perfect start of the Star Wars journey. The program continued with 3D mapping on the Bell Tower and with the laser and smoke performance at the entrance to Luza.


All this was just an introduction to the real spectacle – the one on the big screen. Fans were very excited to watch the eight sequel of their favourite series, especially when they knew that Dubrovnik can be seen in it. 

In The Last Jedi Dubrovnik plays Canto Bight, a city of many casinos and boutiques. Film director Rian Johnson describesCanto Bight as an environment similar to Monte Carlo with the Bond spirit.

Filming in Croatia was realized through the measures of the Croatian Audiovisual Center and 286 domestic filmmakers, 10 interns and 120 extras were involved in the project. During the filming Stradun was partly closed and only the firefighters, police and emergency assistance could pass. Most of the scenes were filmed during the night and some parts were shot on the Sea Star ship.







One of the most prominent contemporary photographers, Ahmet Ertuğ, will open an exhibition 'Vanishing point' in Dubrovnik today, December 14th in the Museum of Modern Art Dubrovnik at 7 pm. 

In his long-time professional work, Ahmet Ertuğ uses a unique approach that is consistently traced through his photographic work - architectural elements as a whole detail, whether constructive or decorative.

For the Dubrovnik exhibition, with which he will present himself for the first time to the Croatian audience, 20 photographs of large format of representative interior of buildings photographed in Italy and Dubrovnik were selected.
Ertuğ came to Dubrovnik with his team at the end of September because of the invitation of the Museum of Modern Art Dubrovnik. He was here for six days, shooting early in the morning to avoid tourist crowds and catch the empty and hidden spaces of the City.

With his photography method he reconciles a modern and traditional way of photographing, using hand-made modern versions of older cameras made in Switzerland and Austria, and works are being printed in New York and Düsseldorf. Looking at him as he photographed with a black cape over his head, shooting a photo through the so-called " "Ground glass", the feeling was that he really creates something wonderful.

Works from this exhibition, including five photographs taken in Dubrovnik, will be part of the exhibition that will be shown in France in 2018 and 2019 under the patronage of the "Center des Monuments Nationaux", thus fulfilling the mission of the MOMA Dubrovnik - promoting Dubrovnik's cultural heritage.

Ahmet Ertuğ was born in 1949. After studying architecture in London, he was trained in England, Iran and Turkey. Ertuğ discovered his photography love during his studies, by recording the street life of West and East London. His devotion to photography started after receiving the prestigious scholarship of the Japanese Foundation for Photography of Traditional Japanese Architecture.

Ertuğ’s photography projects of architectural heritage have been published in more than 30 of the most important art books and he had solo exhibitions in Paris, London, New York, Vienna, Istanbul and numerous other locations. He has photographed some of the most important opera houses, libraries and theatres.

One of the largest shipyards in Croatia is to build the first polar cruiser for the leading company for expedition cruising in the Polar Regions the Polar Expeditions Inc.

Last November, in a strong international competition and after months of negotiations and a series of offered tehnical innovative solutions, the Brodosplit shipyard was chosen for building a cruise ship for the Polar Regions i.e. the Polar Expedition Cruise Vessel.

The ship will be built in the class LR PC6 (Polar Class 6) which will be the first cruise ship in the world that has ever been built in this class. It will have 8 decks and host 196 passengers in 95 cabins, while 69 crew members will look after passengers' needs. The ship will be 107,6 m long and 17,6 m wide. It will be powered by two engines with a total output of 4200 kW and will be able to reach speeds of 15 knots.

This cruise ship will be equipped with all necessary system solutions in order to enable its passengers to visit the glaciers above and below the sea level enjoying the view at this unique biological and animal life from the best perspective. The passengers will be accommodated in luxury cabins and suites where ship systems will provide them a safe and pleasant stay.
The design and all technical solutions are the work of the Brodosplit’s experts who have confirmed their key role with this project in positioning the Brodosplit shipyard highly on the list of technical competencies and construction competitiveness.

The ship is to be delivered in 2019.

As from last week, the famous cycling team Bahrain Merida is on the island of Hvar for final preparations for the new season.
One of the world’s best cyclists Vincenzo Nibali is also a part of the Bahrain Merida Pro Cycling Team. Nibali is one of the six riders who have won three most prestigious world races (Tour de France, Giro d’Italia, Vuelta a España).

Together with his team, Nibali is getting in shape for the new season. The team is thrilled with accommodation and roads on the sunny island of Hvar.

Vladimir Miholjević, the renowned Croatian cyclist and the coordinator of the training camp, has played a very important role in the whole project. Recently he became the sports director of the Bahrain Merida Cycling Team and the Tour of Croatia race. Last year Miholjević brought the famous cycling team to Poreč in Istria, whilst this year he managed to bring them on Hvar.

“We are looking forward to spending these few days together. There will be some hard work of course, but also enough time to strengthen the bonds between us, to welcome our new members and also to have fun and to enjoy these last free days before the beginning of the next season,” commented Vladimir Miholjević before coming to Hvar.

Apart from Miholjević, the training camp was organized thanks to the support of the Hvar Tourist Board, the hotel group Sunčani Hvar Hotels, the city of Hvar and the Split-Dalmatia County Tourist Board.

The training camp began last week on the 6th of December and will end on the 19th of December 2017. During media days, from the 13th to the 16th of December, journalists and photographers from all over the world will join the team on Hvar and have a unique opportunity to spend some time with Bahrain Merida athletes, to interview them and to even ride bicycles side by side with them.

Some of the team’s sponsors will also join the athletes and staff, spend some time on Hvar, and give final inputs about the new equipment that the Bahrain Merida Team will use in the new season.

The traditional Christmas reception was held at the Croatian Embassy in London on Tuseday, December 12th, organized jointly by the Tourist Board of Dubrovnik, the City of Dubrovnik and the Dubrovnik Airport.

After the traditional Dubrovnik Christmas carol – Kolenda, performed by Dubrovnik musicians Dzivo Brcic and Josip Pende, the hosts spoke to the guests with short speeches. The event was attended by around eighty guests.

Croatian specialties and local wines were served, all prepared by the British company Taste Croatia, which imports Croatian products on this market. In addition to the musical performance of Kolenda and other acclaimed Croatian and Dubrovnik songs of the renowned Dubrovnik musicians, Dzivo Brcic and Josip Pende, an interesting play was presented to the guests – ''Small talks by the Dubrovnik Greats'' (Ruder Boskovic and Marin Drzic). The actors were students of 3rd grade of Dubrovnik Gymnasium, Karlo Krilanovic and Antonio Mustahinic.

Croatian Ambassador in the United Kingdom, Igor Pokaz, highlighted the importance of Dubrovnik as a popular destination for the British vacation. He also said that he personally could recommend Dubrovnik for vacation because he has been spending his summer holidays on the Dubrovnik island of Sipan for 11 years now.


Director of the Dubrovnik Tourist Board, Romana Vlasic, emphasized the great importance of the British tourism market for Dubrovnik. The Brits are traditionally on the top of the list of the most numerous Dubrovnik visitors. She spoke about the success of Dubrovnik, which achieved record tourism results this year, with a large share of British guests in overall achievements, expressing the expectation that the links between Dubrovnik and London will continue to increase and that the number of British people visiting Dubrovnik will continue to grow.

British tourists in the first eleven months of this year made 181 272 arrivals and 874 174 overnight stays, which is 21 percent increase in arrivals and 17 percent increase in overnight stays compared to the same period last year.

Dubrovnik Airport Director, Roko Tolic, thanked in particular to aviation companies, highlighting British Airways as a very important partner of Dubrovnik Airport, which maintains all-year air lines with Dubrovnik. He also added excellent results of the Dubrovnik Airport, which is extremely important for Dubrovnik, because 70 percent of Dubrovnik's guests are flying guests.

Deputy Mayor of Dubrovnik, Jelka Tepsic, pointed out the publication of the Financial Times, where Croatia is ranked seventh in the world for its attractiveness for new investments, and in the same edition it is emphasized that it is also a very attractive filming destination. Particularly Dubrovnik – for example, today is the premiere of the eight sequel of the Star Wars-The Last Jedi, which was partly filmed in Dubrovnik last year. Deputy Mayor emphasized that Dubrovnik is a highly successful tourist destination, which is faced with great challenges as well, therefore the city administration has undertaken activities aimed at better organization when it comes to cruise ships.

At the reception, there was a draw for the two tickets of Croatia Airlines (London-Dubrovnik-London) and a free stay at Hotel Kazbek in Dubrovnik. The lucky winner is James Stewart, journalist of The Sunday Times.

The Voice of Dubrovnik


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