Wednesday, 12 December 2018
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.


Recent data from the European statistical office (Eurostat) show that among the EU member countries Croatia recorded the biggest decline in the unemployment rate in August, 2016 in comparison to the same month last year. However, its unemployment rate is still one of the highest in the European Union.

The seasonally adjusted unemployment rate according to the methodology of the International Labour Organisation (ILO) in Croatia recorded a slight drop from 13 percent in July to 12.9 percent in August, reported the European statistical office.

In last year’s August the rate of unemployment was 16.6 percent, which means that Croatia, according to the data available from the Eurostat, recorded the biggest drop in the unemployment rate on an annual basis among the EU countries.

However, Croatia is still among the three EU member countries with the highest unemployment rate. The group is led by Greece with the unemployment rate of 23.4 percent in June, followed by Spain with 19.5 percent.

On the other hand, the lowest unemployment rate among the EU member countries in August was recorded in the Czech Republic (3.9 percent) and Germany (4.2) percent.

According to the data from the European statistical office, there were 237,000 unemployed people in August in Croatia, or 3,000 people less than the previous month. In comparison to the last August, this number decreased by 79,000 people.

According to the annual report from the Adventure Travel Trade Association (ATTA), Croatia is the leading destination for the development of adventure tourism in the region of Eastern Europe and Central Asia.

Croatia topped other countries in the region primarily thanks to the large resources needed for the development of adventure tourism upon which many open air activities can be developed such as bird watching, hiking, rafting, rock climbing, caving and paragliding.
The ATTA is the leading Association consisting of around a thousand agencies, tourist boards and investors in adventure tourism. Apart from the Croatian Tourist Board, a dozen of Croatian tourist agencies are members of the Association.

As the leading country in the region of Eastern Europe and Central Asia, Croatia is followed by Turkey, Armenia and Kazakhstan. Furthermore, this is the first time that the ATTA included regional classification in its annual Index of Development of Adventure Tourism (ATDI), which has put Croatia in the focus of consideration for investors and agencies in this rapidly growing segment of tourism.

The world market of adventure travel which includes outdoor activities, touring cultural and natural attractions, is worth around 263 billion US dollars with an increase of 65 percent only in the period between 2009 and 2012. For comparison, the world market of cruise travel is worth around 120 billion US dollars.

It is not known how much the Croatian market of adventure tourism is worth, but it is known that the most developed activities are cycling, hiking, rafting and kayaking at sea. ‘’The adventure tourism is a great chance for small businesses, self-employment and the regional development, but also an opportunity to extend the season’’, emphasized Zeljko Klemen, the owner of the agency Huck Finn which has been on the market for almost 20 years.

What happens when you combine thumping house music from Fedde Le Grand and the jaw dropping beauty of Dubrovnik...this happens!

Matija Škalić and Matej Matijevic spent two weeks producing this amazing video of one of the world’s most popular DJs, Fedde Le Grand, when he arrived in Dubrovnik to perform in the Revelin Festival in the Culture Club Revelin.

A journey through the historic streets of the Old City of Dubrovnik with the sounds of house music seems a perfect fit.

The biggest low-cost airline in the world, Ryanair, is expanding its operations in Croatia. According to information from the Irish airline two new weekly flights between Zadar and Copenhagen will be introduced from the 3rd of July next year. The new flights will operate Mondays and Fridays and come after news that Glasgow will also have new connections from Zadar next year.

This new service to Copenhagen from Ryanair will help to make 2017 another growth year for the budget airline in Croatia. Ryanair expects to carry over 315,000 passengers on its flights to Zadar next year.

Summer has just finished and according to Huffington Post, this is the best season to travel. They've published an article with the cities to visit now or as they call them – autumn escapes. In this article Dubrovnik is mentioned as the first city worth a visit, while there is still some sunshine left. 

- Dubrovnik is at its best once the summer crowds and cruise ships have gone; the cafes on the pedestrianised Stradun serve the best gelati in Croatia, and the sea on golden Banje beach is still warm enough for a dip – writes the author of the article and we couldn't agree more, even though we weren't so brave to jump into the sea these days.

They also add that the tourists should visit War Photo Museum, which charts the dark days when the city was under siege during the War of Independence in the early 1990s and to carry a warm coat, so that they can eat outside at Restaurant 360, the city’s hippest eaterie (how they call it), with wonderful views of the historic walls.

Other destinations that are mentioned are Seville, Prague, Budapest, Marrakech, Nuremberg, New York and Montreal.

After the mega popular TV series Game of Thrones which was filmed in Croatia brought heaps of free tourism promotion for the country, new TV projects are on the horizon.
A few days ago a mega-yacht Sirocco with the crew of the popular “Below Deck Mediterranean” reality show arrived in Split in complete secrecy.

“Below Deck” is an American reality television series on the Bravo network from NBC Universal that debuted on the 1st of July, 2013. “Below Deck” chronicles the lives of the crew members who work and reside aboard a mega-yacht during charter season. It shows the crew as they deal with their personal issues in order to make their professional careers work. Each episode features a different group of guests.

The previous seasons of the Below Deck series were filmed in Americas and Greece but producers of the show decided to film one season in Croatia this year.

Members of the crew are handsome young men and women who work on a yacht and serve extremely wealthy American guests who are more than happy to pay around 200,000 pounds (2 million Kunas) for a week on this yacht. During the filming on the Adriatic just the cost of the yacht was 10 million Kunas. On weekends the yacht sails into various ports like it did in Split where cameras followed the crew members around the city and its restaurants and night clubs.

The Below Deck Mediterranean series from Croatia will be broadcasted throughout America and 70 countries all over the world for months. Each episode will present the natural, historical and cultural beauties of Croatia, from the river Krka in the Sibenik-Knin County to Dubrovnik including Dalmatia’s islands.

Aerial photos of Dubrovnik using drones are always fun to look at, they give you a different perspective of the city and the region. But what about an aerial photo from a little higher up!

This photo was taken by a NASA satellite on the 13th of September a little before nine o’clock in the morning. It gives a unique view of the city and also goes to show that there wasn’t a cloud in the sky.


Croatia as a world tourist destination is well known for its attractions - natural, historical, cultural and others. But perhaps it is less known that it has a few musical attractions.

Last week the city of Vukovar in eastern Croatia enriched its offer with a new attraction - a musical fence which plays the national anthem of Croatia.

The musical fence is a gift of the Krapina-Zagorje County to the city of Vukovar. It is part of the Science Park, a unique project that was launced in this very county earlier this June in honor of the celebration of 220 years of birth of Antun Mihanovic, the author of the Croatian national anthem ''Lijepa Nasa Domovino'' (Our Beautiful Homeland).

The new musical attraction in Vukovar consists of 35 vertical stainless tubes which produce a unique melodic sound. All visitors regardless of their musical knowledge and skills can play the first musical bars of the national anthem by beating the tubes with music mallets starting from the left to right.

The musical fence is not the only musical attraction in Croatia. The city of Zadar on the Adriatic coast is well known for its award-winning Sea Organ which has been popular since opening in 2005. It is an architectural object and an experimental musical instrument, which plays music by way of sea waves and tubes located underneath a set of large marble steps.

In 2006, the Sea Organ was awarded with the prize ex-aequo of the fourth edition of the European Prize for Urban Public Space.




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