Friday, 22 November 2019
Ivana Smilović

Ivana Smilović

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.


The weather is beautiful and it really benefits Croatian hosts that are taking care of around hundred thousand guests currently vacationing in Croatia. Last Saturday, there were 95,400, with 35 thousand arrivals on that day. In recent days, the most numerous visitors are local guests, as well as Slovenians, Austrians, Germans and tourists from Great Britain. There was a similar structure of guests a year ago at this time, but with almost 24 thousand less tourists - writes.

Therefore, the tourist year is coming to an end with much less stress than it was in the pre-season and even during the peak in July, which marked a lack of guests compared to the seventh month of 2018.

Otherwise, only in October until yesterday a great number of 1.03 million tourists was registered, making 3.5 million overnight stays. This year's tenth month, dominated by Germans, Croats, British, Austrians and Slovenes, is up 11 percent from last year's arrivals and overnight stays. This month brought another record. According to the eVisitor system, which contains tourist traffic realized in the commercial and non-commercial segment and nautical charter, last Friday amazing number was recorded: 19,722,582 arrivals with 106,162,242 overnight stays, which exceeded tourist turnover in the whole of 2018.

The majority of overnight stays were made by tourists from Germany, Slovenia, Austria, Poland and Italy. Most nights were spent in Dubrovnik, Rovinj, Porec, Split, Medulin, Umag, Vir, Mali Losinj. Family accommodation, which generated 38.8 million overnight stays, is the winner. Hotels enrolled 24.4 million and camps 18.8 million overnight stays.

In the past week in the area of Police Administration of the Dubrovnik-Neretva County there were 16 traffic accidents, in which two persons got heavily injured, nine persons got light injuries, while there were eight traffic accidents with material damage.

By carrying out traffic control measures, police officers have taken 926 repressive measures against the perpetrators of traffic offenses, out of which 660 measures taken due to speeding, 23 measures due to improper overtaking, 32 measures for improper stop and parking, 68 measures because of non-use of the seat belt, 19 measures against drivers who were driving the vehicle under the influence of alcohol and 16 measures because of using mobile phone while driving.

Delegation of Guangzhou City Public Security Office Officially Visited Dubrovnik-Neretva Police Directorate last week. 

The goal of the visit is a further, even better co-operation, as well as the stay of Chinese police officers in Dubrovnik as part of the Safe Tourist Season project, which certainly contributes to better communication between Croatian police officers and Chinese tourists, but also enhances the sense of security of Chinese tourists, which is also a primary objective of the project.

As part of the visit, members of the delegation, led by Guangzhou Deputy Chief Public Security Director Wendong Yio, met at a working meeting with the Chief of the Dubrovnik-Neretva Police Department, Ivan Pavlicevic, and his closest associates.

Chief Pavlicevic presented the security situation, the way of work and the structure of the Police Directorate, with a focus on the issue of Chinese citizens visiting the region of Dubrovnik-Neretva County. Specifically, in the last few years, this Police Directorate has seen a steady increase in the number of Chinese nationals, with nearly 50 thousand visitors in the last year. He also pointed out that these are tourists with who they record a very small number of events and appear mainly as victims of crime, and no cases were recorded that they were perpetrators. Pavlicevic emphasized that Dubrovnik has been on the list of the safest tourist destinations for years, as well as the whole of Croatia, which is one of the deciding factors when choosing a tourist destination.

Sunset is earlier than usual than in the last couple of the months because of the clock change, so the Lokrum boat schedule had to adapt! One of the first stops for all the tourists in Dubrovnik, just a short boat ride away from the Old City of Dubrovnik is still well worth a visit. Peacocks, rabbits and beautiful nature will make you feel like you are in heaven.

The boat will operate from 9 am to 4 pm and the new schedule started yesterday, on Sunday, October 27th. Don't worry, that's still more than enough time to have fun on Lokrum!

boat schedule lokrum 1

Spanish low-cost air carrier Volotea has announced a new route from Sicily to Dubrovnik for their summer 2020 timetable – Avioradar reports. The Palermo - Dubrovnik flight will operate once a week on Wednesdays, from July 8th to August 26th, 2020. 

At the same time, Dubrovnik - Bari route will have increased flight operations. During the peak of the season in July and August, another flight will be added to the weekly schedule, on Mondays. However, Volotea has removed flights from Bergamo to Croatia in their timetable for the next year. After two years, the flight operations on both Bergamo - Dubrovnik and Bergamo - Split routes are probably canceled.

Croatian President Kolinda Grabar-Kitarovic received the Fulbright Lifetime Achievement Award on Saturday in Washington, pointing out that she honors this recognition, which is a "privilege and pleasure" that she dedicates to her family and her country.

Grabar-Kitarovic was a Fulbright student from 2002 to 2003 at the graduate program in International Relations and Security Policy at George Washington University in the United States.

-I can't even describe how much tonight's event means to me - the Croatian president said, noting that she was a girl born on the "wrong side of the Iron Curtain" who dreamed of other places where people had freedom of choice, where they could speak and express freely their beliefs without being persecuted.

- This award inspires me not only to look back, but to think about the present and especially the future. What we need today more than ever is true leadership and vision – Grabar Kitarovic said, presenting her own concept based on the experience with Fulbright, and at work, she said, in various places in the world, "from her own country to war zones."
Among other things, she emphasized the importance of courage that generates change, the importance of trust, spoke of the Three Seas Initiative, and emphasized the empowerment of women.

-Women are still unequal. Although we have achieved a lot, discrimination and abuse of women and girls and the denial of their rights are still widespread. This applies to all women, regardless of where they come from, how old they are or what they do. But don't look at women as victims alone. They are a source of strength and change - Grabar-Kitarovic said.
She added that in addition to her duty as President of Croatia, her beloved country and her homeland, she is proud of her duty as the head of the Council of Women of World Leaders.

-There is so much ahead of us, but only if we will have confidence in ourselves and be ambitious – Grabar-Kitarovic said.

Along with the Croatian president, this year's award went to journalist Melissa Block and architect James Polshek.

The Fulbright Lifetime Achievement Award honors Fulbright alumni whose distinguished careers and civic and cultural contributions have sought to expand the boundaries of human wisdom, empathy, and perception. Recipients of the Award show exemplary commitments to creative leadership and liberal education. The Achievement Award was first presented in 2000.

Peljesac Bridge - the largest and most significant project currently funded in the European Union, worth 526 million euros. This is a demanding, strategic project and one of the most important infrastructure projects in the country.

The 2.4 kilometer long, 55 meter high bridge with 4 lanes will need 33,700 tons of steel. The bridge goes across the Bay of Mali Ston between Komarna and Brijesta at Peljesac in Dubrovnik - Neretva County.

The bridge is a full time job and the workers are building it through all day and night because the whole project should be completed in 2022. With this camera from the small town of Komarna you can follow the construction of this most important project in Croatia. Follow this link and watch the construction. 

Valamar Riviera is launching the "1,000 Valamar Trees" initiative, the largest green initiative of this kind in Croatian tourism. As part of the initiative, Valamar will plant a minimum of one thousand new trees annually in its destinations along the Adriatic coast. With this initiative, Valamar wants to emphasize the value of sustainable tourism and enverionmental protection as the criteria for creating new value and long-term quality of tourism in Croatia.

Already in 2019, more than a thousand trees and more than 50 thousand different seedlings such as tall shrubs and perennials will be planted in Valamar hotels, resorts and campsites. The initiative will continue since Valamar intends to plant at least thousand trees a year and continue intensive care for the protection and restoration of native plant species in its destinations. In addition to planting trees and plants, Valamar also continuously cares for the health of its existing plant stock, which includes over 30 thousand trees from Istria to Dubrovnik.

"As a tourism lider in Croatia, with the initiative of 1,000 Valamar trees, we make our direct contribution to protecting the environment in which we operate and live. We have a responsibility to deliver new value in a way that will preserve and develop our highly valuable natural resources for future generations. We invested about 22 million kuna in Green Valamar, of which almost seven million kuna in horticulture alone. I am also pleased that our employees are glad to participate in our tree planting actions - said Ivana Budin Arhanic, Vice President of Business Development and Corporate Affairs at Valamar Riviera.

The "1,000 Valamar trees" initiative is a continuation of the development of the Green Valamar Corporate Social Responsibility Program, within which Valamar has been systematically implementing environmental activities for years. It reduced greenhouse gas emissions by as much as 65 percent. For the past six years, Valamar has installed 5,200 square meters of solar panels. Also, last year Valamar completely discarded plastic straws from use in its hotels and camps.

Valamar works to raise the environmental awareness of guests, staff and the wider community, which includes actions to clean up the Adriatic Sea and the coast, in which many sports associations participate every year. The resorts also have Travelife certification, which confirms the sustainability of operations to the highest international standards. As many as six Valamar camps have been awarded with the prestigious EU Ecolabel certificate this year, making them one of the most sustainable tourist resorts in Europe.

The Voice of Dubrovnik


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