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.
Michael Taylor arrived from London to Dubrovnik on March 2nd and was supposed to return to Great Britain at the end of March, but the situation with the corona virus kept him in Dubrovnik. For many years, Taylor has been coming to Dubrovnik on average twice a year, where he stays for a month in one of Dubrovnik's five-star hotels. Last year he visited Dubrovnik three times, and the last time was during the Christmas and New Year holidays. His favorite time in Dubrovnik is during the off-season, when it is quiet, without crowds, and the weather is still nice.
This tourist was visited at his temporary home in Dubrovnik, the Hilton Imperial Hotel, by the Director of the Dubrovnik Tourist Board, Ana Hrnic, who gave him a gift to keep as a memory of Dubrovnik.
Taylor said that he was very happy to be in Dubrovnik during a time like this. He feels safer than in the UK, where, he said, there are a lot of deaths from COVID-19. Taylor is in no hurry to return to his home mostly because of safety, but also because of the cleaner air, the more beautiful landscape, the friendly mood of the people of Dubrovnik. He is grateful to everyone for their help and kindness during his stay. He was first housed in the Dubrovnik Palace Hotel, where he enjoyed the view of the Reefs, then in the Excelsior Hotel where he watched the island of Lokrum from his balcony, and now stays longest at the Hilton Imperial Hotel, where he sits, reads and admires on his balcony overlooking the Lovrijenac Fortress and the Old Town.
Taylor walks daily to Gruz, visits the green market and continues to Lapad Bay. While doing so, he began to meet acquaintances with whom he always talked from a safe distance. As soon as the hair salons opened, he was among the first to have an appointment for a haircut. Yesterday he felt especially happy because the cafes are open, so he can also enjoy coffee. Now, he says, he has everything he needs!
Slovenians are very interested in visiting Croatia after the announcement of the relaxation of measures due to the good epidemiological situation in both countries, but the Slovenian government emphasizes that a bilateral agreement should first be reached between the two national public health institutes and the two police offices – Poslovni.hr reports.
As it's stated in the article, Slovenian corona crisis spokesman Jelko Kacin said at a government press conference on Monday that experts from the Croatian Institute of Public Health and the Slovenian Institute of Public Health are meeting today to reach an agreement on the possibility and the necessary protocols.
The consular department of the Slovenian Ministry of Foreign Affairs is flooded with phone calls from those who want to come to Croatia as soon as possible, especially owners of real estate, boats and caravans. They are primarily inquiring about the technical details of going to Croatia and returning to Slovenia after that, given that the provision on mandatory seven-day quarantine after returning from abroad is still in force in Slovenia - said Kacin.
As Poslovni.hr writes, Kacin added that the Slovenian side is considering the possibility that those who go to Croatia over the weekend, or for a shorter period lasting a maximum of 72 hours, can be allowed to return to their home country without mandatory quarantine or self-isolation, if they adhere to prescribed epidemiological measures on both sides.
Kacin assessed Croatia's decision to allow Slovenian citizens to enter as a welcome "political" message from the Croatian side, expressing the desire for as many Slovenian tourists as possible to come to Croatia, but warned that it was not yet operational, as an agreement between the two national institutes for public health and two polices must be made.
That could happen very quickly, so it is better to wait a few days with the trip, Kacin warned.
In addition to the agreement on the level of the institutes of public health, it is necessary to reach an agreement between the two polices on the border crossing protocol, in order to avoid possible differences in the interpretation of the agreement, said Kacin.
Slovenia expects that, when an agreement is reached, not only owners of caravans, cottages, houses and ships in Croatia are welcome, but their families and members of their household too.
In the past week in the area of Police Administration of the Dubrovnik-Neretva County there were eight traffic accidents, in which five persons got heavily injured, four persons got light injuries, while there were two traffic accidents with material damage.
By carrying out traffic control measures, police officers have taken 454 repressive measures against the perpetrators of traffic offenses, out of which 211 measures taken due to speeding, 19 measures due to improper overtaking, 93 measures because of non-use of the seat belt, seven measures against drivers who were driving the vehicle under the influence of alcohol and 18 measures because of using mobile phone while driving.
With the third phase of going back to normal life in Croatia which starts on Monday 11th, one of the most visited and significant places in Dubrovnik – the Dubrovnik City Walls will start working again.
The well-known Walls of Dubrovnik closed their doors to the public almost two months ago, on March 19th, so this is great news! Since it's still not clear what will happen to the season and how many tourists will be able to arrive to Dubrovnik, we are sure that the citizens will use this opportunity to visit the City Walls, especially if they haven't done that for years.
The Croatian National Tourist Board has prepared four new videos for social networking activities on gastronomy, natural beauty, active tourism and culture, through which it continues to implement the excellently accepted new communication concept #CroatiaLongDistanceLove. Promotional activities in the coming period will take place in the four segments, and the first published video was on the subject of Croatian natural beauty.
The second video, published today, brings amazing Croatian landscapes! The video carries the title 'Croatia's cultural beauty is as diverse as it's stunning landscapes' and it's truly breathtaking. Watch it below!
Customs officers of the Service for Mobile Units Vukovar prevented the smuggling of 2,480 pieces of protective masks and 97 pieces of various colognes.
Carrying out intensified surveillance measures, the customs officers of the Service for Mobile Units Vukovar found at the Bajakovo border crossing a large amount of protective masks and colognes that the driver of a truck with Turkish license plates tried to bring into the EU customs territory, without filing a customs declaration for commercial goods.
For the committed misdemeanor, the offender was fined in the amount of 30 thousand kuna and a hundred kuna for the costs of the proceedings, while the goods that were the subject of the misdemeanor were confiscated.
Croatian Minister of Tourism Gari Cappelli and Italian Minister of Cultural Heritage, Activities and Tourism Dario Franceschini held a video meeting about measures and plans related to tourism and the current situation with the COVID-19 pandemic. The ministers also discussed enabling tourism movements with the development of travel procedures, which was also discussed during the video conference of the ministers of the EU member states in charge of the tourism sector, held last week.
- Croatia and Italy are two friendly neighboring countries and therefore quality cooperation is extremely important to us in the current situation, not only because a large number of Croatians live and work in Italy and vice versa, but also because of our connection in terms of tourism and economy. The Italian market has always been one of our most important markets, and due to the current situation, the joint cooperation of all EU countries, especially tourism leaders, is more important than ever in establishing better financial frameworks for tourism within the EU and establishing standards and procedures to balance health and stabilization of Europe's tourism market. Our initiative is to introduce a common Travel Protocol at EU level with mutually harmonized regulations, with individual countries agreeing bilaterally as needed. In this context, considering the development of the situation within individual countries, it could be considered when the borders would be opened and how to make the whole process more efficient and faster - Minister Cappelli emphasized during the meeting.
Minister Franceschini stressed that all countries are considering the best possible solutions for the activation and stabilization of the tourism market, both domestic and foreign, and emphasized the importance of finding a common solution at EU level in terms of further measures that would contribute to security in the tourism, which would certainly primarily refer to hygiene regulations, etc. Both ministers agreed on strengthening the importance of tourism at the EU level as well as the financial opportunities offered for tourism. Ministers also discussed a possible upcoming meeting to discuss further action depending on proposals to be prepared at member state level in the future.
According to data from the eVisitor system, in 2019 there were almost 1.2 million arrivals and almost 5.5 million overnight stays by guests from Italy in Croatia. It is the market that made the most overnight stays after Germany, Slovenia, Austria and Poland. According to the Croatian National Tourist Board, the revenues generated by tourists from Italy in Croatia in 2019 are estimated at around one billion euros. Italian citizens mostly travel within Italy, while 15 to 20 percent of trips are made abroad.
One of the most watched Belgian commercial television companies - VTM, published a two-minute video in its evening news on Tuesday, in which Croatia was highlighted as a "corona free" destination. As they said, some countries, such as Croatia, Greece and Portugal, are reported to be in a very good situation with the coronavirus pandemic, and all it was accompanied by shots from the beautiful Croatian coast and islands from the latest Croatian National Tourist Board communication concept #CroatiaLongDistanceLove.
-Former Belgian Genk footballer Frane Bucan commented on the current situation in our country for Belgian television, emphasizing that Croatia organized excellent defense against the coronavirus and that Croats were extremely disciplined in implementing all prescribed measures - said the Director of the Croatian National Tourist Board Representation in Belgium Ivan Novak.
Also, the world-renowned fashion magazine Paris Vogue on its Facebook profile, which is followed by more than 5 million followers, posted a photo of a ski jump at Kolovare Zadar swimming pool with the description "A sunny afternoon in Croatia sounds ideal right now".
The author of the photo is the famous photographer Cameron Hammond, who described the creation of this idyllic photo as follows: -Many ask me if the scene was directed. My wife Rachel and I visited Zadar for the first time and spent hours watching children jump into the sea. Rachel went for a swim and stopped to get a better look at the ski jump, and I just caught her with a camera.
Croatian National Tourist Board Director Kristjan Stanicic is pleased with recent news about Croatia in prestigious foreign media.
-Positive announcements are extremely conducive to the image of our country as a safe destination and increase Croatia's visibility on the tourist map of the world. We hope to continue the positive trends, but also the arrival of guests in our country when all the necessary conditions are fulfilled for that - Stanicic commented.