Ivana Smilović – a senior journalist at The Dubrovnik Times. Born and raised in Dubrovnik, Ivana (or Smile as she is known to all) graduated Media Studies from the University of Dubrovnik. A book worm, coffee addict and want-to-be world traveller Ivana brings her unique local insight, connections and general optimistic and well smiley feel to the Times.
In an interview with Die Welt, Prime Minister Andrej Plenkovic spoke about the fight against coronavirus epidemics in Croatia and at the European level, as well as the reactivation of the economy and the tourist season in Croatia.
As Die Welt stated, tourism is extremely important for Croatia and toruists usually crowd on the beaches of the Adriatic. They asked the Prime Minister about this year's expectations.
- We are optimistic. Of course, we do not expect the same number of tourists as in previous years. The last two years of the season were record-breaking: in 2019 alone, our country was visited by 20 million tourists, mostly from EU countries. Our hotels, holiday homes and beaches are well prepared this year as well. They are just waiting for a signal to start, but in a new epidemiological context – Plenkovic explained.
When asked about the risk of importing the virus again, Prime Minister explained that his and European Commission's most important concern was to harmonize the epidemilogical situation.
-The virus has proven to be a very dangerous enemy. That is why we must rely on the credibility of the data and the responsible behavior of those who cross borders. We don't need only responsible hosts, but also responsible tourists. I believe that the risk can be limited if people will behave wisely. We all just have to be a little more careful – Plenkovic said, among the other things, in the interview for Die Welt, which Government published on their official website.
The Mayor of the City of Dubrovnik Mato Franković and his Deputy Jelka Tepsic met yesterday with representatives of the Dubrovnik Tourist Guides Association and the Tourist Guides Guild to discuss the current situation in the tourism industry and expectations for the continuation of 2020 and the 2021 season. Head of the Department of Tourism, Economy and the Sea Marko Miljanic and the Director of the Dubrovnik Tourist Board Ana Hrnic were also present at the meeting.
Speaking of the consequences of the coronavirus epidemic in the tourism and transport sector, Mayor Frankovic informed the participants about the main conclusions of the meeting with Prime Minister Andrej Plenkovic held last week in Banski dvori. Primarily, given that Dubrovnik is entirely an air destination, the importance of ensuring the preconditions for landing international flights at Dubrovnik Airport was emphasized. One of the important goals is to enable the landing of charter flights as private aircrafts from the European Union and the United Kingdom to Dubrovnik Airport and the entry of mega yachts.
- This season will be far from ideal, we expect the realization of 30 percent of last year's tourist traffic and in that sense I am optimistic that we will achieve that. The goal is for the economy to survive until the spring of 2021 and for the losses to be as small as possible - Mayor Frankovic emphasized. He added that it is not realistic to expect cruise guests by the end of this year.
Direct contacts have been established with global airlines such as British Airways and Jet2com, and negotiations and elaboration of financial parameters are underway, said Mayor Frankovic. He pointed out that the city budget earns 70 percent of funds directly from tourism, and the rest is also indirectly related to tourism, which is why it is financially justified in this situation to invest in a subsidy for international flights.
Deputy Tepsic reminded that the Tourist Board has launched a promotional campaign, and various benefits for this year's visitors are being prepared in the form of discounts for visits to Lokrum, City Walls, Dubrovnik card, as well as free programs of cultural institutions.
The importance of implementing the prescribed protection protocols was emphasized in order to avoid potential infection and endangerment of the currently good epidemiological situation. Tourist guides are still waiting for the recommendations of the Croatian Institute of Public Health.
The company of the City of Dubrovnik - Dubrovacka bastina d.o.o. after a break caused by the corona virus opens its premises in Lazareti and the Bunic-Kaboga Summer Villa for all visitors, in compliance with the epidemiological measures prescribed by the Civil Protection Headquarters of the Republic of Croatia.
From this week in the fourth and fifth nave of Lazareti you can visit the exhibition 'Dubrovnik Caravan Road' by Ana Opalic and David Kabalin, the result of many years of research and artistic reconstruction of the caravan route that connected Dubrovnik with its hinterland and for centuries was the basis of economic and cultural development of Dubrovnik.
In the second nave, visitors can see the exhibition 'Dubrovnik, a Scarred City', a multimedia display of the war destruction and reconstruction of Dubrovnik made on the occasion of the 40th anniversary of the inclusion of Dubrovnik's historic core on the UNESCO's list of protected cultural heritage and the 20th anniversary of its removal from the endangered world heritage sites.
These exhibitions are open from Monday to Friday from 8 am to 4 pm, and from 9 am to 1 pm on Saturdays.
But do you know the history of Lazareti? Check it out here How Dubrovnik was a world leader in dealing with deadly pandemics.
The Chinese tourist monthly magazine Traveler published a story about the history of quarantine, with the greatest emphasis on Dubrovnik and its historical experiences in the fight against various epidemics since the 14th century.
The reason for this instructive historical story in Traveler, one of the most popular travel magazines in China, is the current situation with the COVID-19 virus and its impact on tourism.
According to this magazine, Europe has faced epidemics several times in the past, and the entry points of the disease were ports such as Venice, Genoa and Dubrovnik. The very idea of quarantine as a way to fight various epidemics was conceived in Dubrovnik in 1377, when the world's first known health regulations in this regard were adopted.
Along with the illustration, the magazine states that merchant ships spent 30 days in quarantine on the islands of Mrkan and Bobara. Although today Dubrovnik is one of the most famous tourist centers in Europe, Traveler states that the history of the city is extremely interesting, and the decisions made six centuries ago "were wise, reasonable and effective."
-Emphasizing Dubrovnik in the international tourist media as a positive example, with recognition of the knowledge and abilities of our ancestors, is just another wind in the back for the recovery of tourism and the return of life to the time before the epidemic. Therefore, we are happy with this kind of news - said the Mayor of Dubrovnik, Mato Frankovic about the article in Traveler.
Funny and a bit bizzare story comes from the island of Korcula. Couple of days ago, somebody stole chapiters from the Marco Polo House, for reasons unknown.
After noticing that they are missing, the City of Korcula published a Facebook post aimed at the strange criminals.
-We kindly ask the people who stole chapiters from Marco Polo House to return them by the end of this week. Otherwise, the City of Korcula will report the case to the police – they wrote.
The story has a happy ending, shared by the Mayor of Korcula Andrija Fabris. He published a photo of the chapiters that were returned during the night, adding that kind words can make wonders!
Screenshot from the Facebook page of the Mayor of Korcula
Stjepan Hauser, one half of the popular Croatian duo 2Cellos, has published a couple of amazing videos from Dubrovnik at his official Facebook page, followed by almost four million people!
In his suit, but barefoot, Hauser performed Amazing Grace and You Raise Me Up at the Fort Lovrjenac and absolutely delighted his fans and each video has over 200 thousand reactions!
The latest performance takes you to ''walk of shame'' stairs, which are well known to Game of Thrones fans – and they will surely enjoy the theme played by Hauser right there on the spot! But, in case you don't know, these are Jesuit Stairs that will take you to the Saint Ignatius Church.
Enjoy amazing music by this talented cellist combined with amazing shots from Dubrovnik, and let us know which song do you prefer!
Croatian Institute of Public Health has published numerous recommendations today, one of them being focused on spending time on the beach this summer.
As with everything, the most important thing is to maintain hygiene and distance, and all the information must be placed in a visible place.
Hand sanitizers must also be available in visible places. The concessionaire is obliged to provide a person who can supervise the prescribed measures and disinfect the deckchairs several times a day, and obligatorily after a certain guest no longer uses the deckchair. They must also take into account the distance between people.
As it comes to beaches, the maximum number of people is 15 per one hundred square meters. While being in the sea, it is necessary to keep a distance of the prescribed meter and a half.
It is recommended to place trash cans with appropriate lids in all open areas. The Croatian Institute of Public Health will regularly sample and analyze the quality of sea water.
As for the catering facilities within the bathing area, they must adhere to the previously published recommendations. Employees must adhere to prescribed measures, from daily temperature measurements to reporting any sign of illness. Also, their superiors must provide them with education and introduce them to the new rules of conduct.
As part of the celebration of the International Museum Day, May 18th, Museum of Modern Art Dubrovnik (MOMAD) has prepared a rich and interesting program for all ages. The special feature of this year's program is that all programs will be presented virtually, on the social pages of MOMAD.
The program starts at 10 am, with a virtual guide through the permanent exhibition, which can be viewed on the Facebook page of MOMAD (Umjetnicka galerija Dubrovnik / Museum of Modern Art Dubrovnik), and the viewers will get the chance to briefly be introduced to the permanent exhibition by the senior curator at MOMAD, Rozana Vojvoda. In addition to the permanent exhibition, a virtual professional guidance will be organized through the current exhibition of Duro Seder "Sederotonin". The viewers will be guided through the exhibition by the curator of MOMAD Jelena Tamindzija, at 6 pm.
Senior curator of MOMAD Rozana Vojvoda will also present "Transformations of Space" - spatial interventions at the exhibitions of the Art Gallery Dubrovnik 2016 – 2019’’, and the video will be available from noon.
The content for the youngest is also virtual, and will be led by the museum pedagogue Ivona Simunovic. The program for children starts at 2 pm with a small workshop for children "Kartoline" where little creatives will have the task of making a postcard with the motif of the Museum of Modern Art Dubrovnik with drawing techniques. At 4 pm, an online ART quiz for children is also scheduled.
Program # MDM2020 ends at 8pm with the virtual opening of the exhibition "Enrolling the City" whose curator is Jelena Tamindzija, and which will be available from Tuesday, May 19th at the Dulcic Masle Pulitika Gallery.