Saturday, 25 June 2022
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

Zagreb Airport is experiencing a very busy 2022 and has already welcomes the millionth passenger of the year. In May Zagreb Airport welcomed the millionth passenger for 2022 and in the first five months of this year a total of 1.006.473 passengers.

When compared with the record breaking tourism year of 2019 these figures for May this year represent a decrease of only 16 percent.

 

“I only wish I had thought about it earlier. If I had opened a company seeing flags I’d have made a bomb,” joked a friend of mine in London.

Yes, my fellow compatriots will all have headaches and hangovers this week, but broad smiles, after a long weekend of celebrating the Queen’s 70th Platinum Anniversary. And what a celebration it was! With more flags than I have ever seen in my life.

The big concert, although there were several, was watched by around 13 million on the BBC, that was around 75 percent of the people watching TV that day, amazing figures. And what an incredible concert that brought the hairs up on the back of my neck.

And in the crowds live at the big concert were 5,000 front line, key workers, such as nurses, doctors, police men and women and firefighters, who were given free tickets to attend. That’s a nice touch.

Just to highlight how popular the Queen is in the UK a survey carried out a month before the celebrations showed a 92 percent approval rating for the Queen. Those are figures that can’t be matched by any world leader. The four-day event gave an immeasurable boost to the nation, which could probably only be beaten by England winning the World Cup, and there’s not much chance of that happening. Although she did present the World Cup to the winning England team in 1966, so just maybe she’ll give them some luck for this year’s championship.

From February 1952, at the tender age of 25, she has been on the throne. Just seven years after World War 2 ended. And yes, her first prime Minister was indeed Sir Winston Churchill. That makes her the longest serving British monarch.

In that time 14 Prime Ministers and 14 US Presidents have come and gone. She has been at the helm of a nation for almost as long as NATO and the UN have been around and much, much longer than the EU. And this longevity has bred stability.

From being the first female member of the royal family to join the army, and yes she both drove and maintained vehicles at the end of the war, to visiting over a 100 countries, including Croatia and Dubrovnik in 1972, and of course she walked down Stradun.

If you were wondering how much all these lavish celebrations cost the answer is £28 million, which is the grand scheme of things is really next to nothing. The Times reported that the figure of £28 million was enough to “run the National Health Service for about two hours.” And just to get some perspective the additional public holiday is estimated to have cost the county around £2.4 billion.

Street parties, sporting events, church services and parades were all held in honour of the Queen over the long weekend.

On a personal level I unfortunately have never met the Queen, although I have been fortunate enough to meet several members of the royal family. I do however, have something in my home that was touched by her. One of the proudest moments in my life was when I was made Honorary Consul for Great Britain and Northern Ireland in Dubrovnik. And to actually officially take up this position I have a document (a very large parchment) actually signed by Her Majesty. And it is obviously one of my most prized possessions.

And it has been the human stories coming out of all the celebrations that have been so touching. The Queen has sent over 300,000 congratulatory cards to people celebrating their 100th birthdays, and over 900,000 messages to couples marking their Diamond (60th) Wedding Anniversaries. It has been a monumental weekend for the Brits. A weekend that made my mother cry on numerous occasions.

And I’ll leave the final words to Her Majesty, "I continue to be inspired by the goodwill shown to me, and hope that the coming days will provide an opportunity to reflect on all that has been achieved during the last 70 years, as we look to the future with confidence and enthusiasm." God save the Queen!   

Read more Englishman in Dubrovnik…well, if you really want to

 

We have seen all kinds of weird positions in recent seasons from young tourists looking for the “best” location to take that Instagram photo, from hanging off the Old City Walls to dangling from cliff faces, and this latest one was a roof climb.

Yes, we want to get that ideal memory of your trip to Dubrovnik, however there are firstly much nicer places to do a photo shot, and secondly climbing over someone’s roof not only puts you in danger but also isn’t good news for the roof.

This photo was sent in by a reader of Dubrovacki Vjesnik.

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The photo contest "I love my county" in 2022 is over, and the expert jury selected the best photos that amateur and professional photographers sent for the seventh year in a row to help tell the story of the beauties of Croatia.

The president of the expert jury this year was the celebrated photographer Mare Milin. Along with Mare, the best photographs were decided by Franc Moscard from Istria, Petra Vadlja from Međimurje and Davor Pavić from the Split-Dalmatia County.

"The projects we are launching within the Croatian Union of Counties as the umbrella organization of all counties are primarily aimed at cooperation and promoting the interests of all units of regional self-government, regardless of their differences. Apart from geographical ones, the diversity in old customs, way of life, traditional values makes a unique whole that we can see through these photographs. That is why every year we choose colleagues from different counties as members of the jury - we get new views and learn from each other," said the president of the Croatian Association of Counties, also the prefect of Brod-Posavina County, Danijel Marusic.

The jury selected 21 photos - one from each county, and in addition to that category, participants could compete in two more, the photo with the highest number of votes collected via Facebook within the volimzup.hr application and the best photo taken by drone.

The most votes, almost 2,000, were won by the photograph Imaginary Tent, by Dorijan Delost from the Primorje-Gorski Kotar County. The best drone photo was also taken in the Primorje-Gorski Kotar County, and it is the Marina Punat by Vladimir Bogovčić.

The first three places, according to the expert jury, were taken by the following photos -

1. Blurred, Mary Crnković Pilaš - City of Zagreb

2. Herd keeper, Antonio Oršulić - Dubrovnik-Neretva County

3. Snow Chapel, Goran Lončar - Vukovar-Srijem County

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Blurred, Mary Crnković Pilaš

2. ČUVAR STADA Antonio Oršulić

Herd keeper, Antonio Oršulić

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Snow Chapel, Goran Lončar

 

Support for the introduction of the euro in Croatia fell by seven percent in a year, according to a Eurobarometer survey, which shows that Croats are most afraid of rising prices and think that the Kuna will go down in history as part of its identity.

Eurobarometer on Friday presented the results of a survey conducted in April on citizens' attitudes towards the introduction of the euro in member states that do not yet use the common currency.

In Croatia, 55 percent of respondents said they were in favour of the introduction of the euro, which is seven percent less than last year, when the euro had the support of 62 percent.

According to the survey, Croats are most afraid that the euro will lead to an increase in prices, 81 percent of them.

Almost half (49 percent) think that the introduction of the euro will have negative consequences for Croatia, and 45 percent that it will have positive consequences.

Only 37 percent of respondents think that Croatia is ready for the euro, and 58 percent that it is not.

57 percent of Croats believe that the country will lose part of its identity with the introduction of the euro, and 42 percent will not, the survey showed.

The highest support for the introduction of the euro was recorded in Romania 77 percent and Hungary 69 percent, and the lowest in Bulgaria and the Czech Republic, 44 percent and Sweden 45 percent.

Of these seven countries, only Croatia has met all the criteria for joining the Eurozone. The final decision of the EU Council is expected in July, and from 1 January 2023, the euro will become the Croatian currency.

 

From tomorrow you’ll be able to spend longer on the beautiful island of Lokrum as the sailing schedule for the last boat back from the island to Dubrovnik has been extended until 8:00pm

From Saturday June 11 the new summer timetable comes into effect. The first boat of the day leaves the old port of Dubrovnik at 10:00am and sails every half an hour. The trip to Lokrum lasts around 15 minutes, and now with the last ship leaving at 8:00 you’ll have longer to top up your tan or dip in the Adriatic.

lokrum boat schedule

The heavens opened yesterday with a summer storm flooding the Old City of Dubrovnik. It had been forecast and had been expected but when it finally came, it really came.

The thousands of tourists in the city tried to take shelter from the downpour and kept their fingers crossed that the clouds would break. The rain started in the early morning hours, accompanied with thunder, and finally stopped at around 2:00pm.

Thankfully the north wind started blowing overnight and the clouds have cleared, with the forecasters predicting that summer is back on track and this weekend will once again see temperatures in the low thirties.

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Austrians are very interested in holidays in Croatia, where they have surpassed 2019 by 4 percent so far this year with more than 1.3 million overnight stays, and such trends are expected to continue in the main season, Croatian National Tourist Board Director, Kristjan Staničić said on Thursday after a meeting with Austrian partners and media in Vienna.

In Vienna, the meeting was organized by the Croatian Tourist Board (CNTB) and its representative office in Austria, and on that occasion the Croatian tourist offer was presented. Along with Staničić, the meeting was also attended by representatives of the Ministry of Tourism and Sports, the Dubrovnik-Neretva County Tourist Board and the Association of Unique Croatian Hotels Stories, as well as the Croatian Ambassador to Austria Daniel Glunčić.

According to the CNTB, the event in Vienna brought together 20 Austrian journalists and representatives of the most popular media, who, in addition to tourist results from that market, were presented the trends and position that Croatia wants to occupy in that market.

"Austria is one of the most important markets with a significant impact on overall tourism results in Croatia and therefore we are pleased that this market has achieved results above the record 2019. We are back to pre-pandemic trends and believe that we will keep excellent indicators from Austria", Stanicic emphasized.

Among the long-term goals in this market, he pointed out the growth of tourist arrivals throughout the year through shorter weekend trips and attracting more guests of different age groups, especially young people.

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The CNTB notes that the Austrian media were interested in the difference between the tourist offer of Istria and Dalmatia, the importance of gastronomy in the overall offer, where you can best hike in Croatia, which islands have the most interesting tourist offer and facilities and more.

Representatives of the Association of Unique Croatian Hotels Stories explained that in Croatia they gather accommodation facilities for consumers who appreciate special, unique experiences and seek high quality service, and the Dubrovnik-Neretva County Tourist Board commented on the imminent opening of the Peljesac Bridge.

From the partners from the Austrian market, they met with the representatives of the tour operator TUI, Gruber Reisen and Mondial, about which the director of the Austrian CNTB branch Branimir Tončinić says that the partners are very satisfied with the sales results for this year.

“Croatian destinations in Austria are in great demand and this year we can expect a strong contribution to the overall results from that market. So far, Austrians have spent the most nights in Istria and Kvarner, but we expect the strengthening of tourist traffic from that market in other Adriatic counties and on the continent of the country", said Tončinić.

Positive trends are confirmed by many market researches in Austria, including that of the Austrian Automobile Club, according to which Croatia is the leading foreign destination on the Austrian market and leads the top list, which also includes Italy, Greece, Germany, Spain and Turkey.

 

The Voice of Dubrovnik

THE VOICE OF DUBROVNIK


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