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.
The $200 million mega yacht, Faith, dropped anchor in the Bay of Zupa this morning and it could well be the floating base of one of the up and coming stars of Formula 1. Faith is owned by one of the richest Canadians, Lawrence Stroll, believed to be worth $2.6 billion. Stroll made his fortune in the fashion industry, investing in such brands as Tommy Hilfiger and Michael Kors, and is now the co-owner of a Formula 1 racing team, Racing Point F1 Team.
And this is where the Dubrovnik and Formula 1 driver connect. From photos taken this morning by the website zupcica.hr it would appear that Lance Stroll is on-board. Dressed in a wetsuit Lance, if indeed it was Lance, spent a morning diving in Cavtat.
Green Sail, a Croatian non-profit organisation that deals with sustainable tourism within the nautical sector, has launched a virtual clean-up campaign, Green Sail Takes 5! to honour this year’s World Oceans Day which is globally celebrated on 8 June.
Green Sail has called for a global movement to help protect our seas and oceans in no more than 5 minutes. The campaign is encouraging everyone to take a short break on 8 June, no matter where a person lives in the world, collect 5 pieces of waste and post a photo of their clean-up on social media using the hashtag #GreenSailTakes5.
Every year, on 8 June, people from all over the world get together to celebrate our seas and oceans. By celebrating World Oceans Day, we are reminded of the major part our seas and oceans play in our everyday lives, the important resources they provide us with and our personal connection to them. It is a day reserved for raising awareness around the integral role our waterways play in the story of sustainable development.
Considering that 90% of the waste found in our seas and oceans comes directly from land-based sources, every piece of waste from the mainland, regardless of its size, can have a huge effect on the health of our waterways. Whether it is thrown directly into the sea, blown from landfill into drains and rivers, or transferred through sewer pipes from everyday household items, it is precisely our seas and oceans that become the final destination for trash. By removing land-based waste for just 5 minutes during this campaign, any participant can indirectly make a great contribution to the cleanliness of our waterways and help our seas and oceans stay healthy.
With the recent global pandemic at the forefront of campaign planning, Green Sail wanted to initiate a joint eco-action, mobilising the international community and tourism industry to work together. Although Green Sail as an organisation has been organising several local clean-ups in the past, this is its first worldwide virtual movement, making it easy for anyone to get involved regardless of their location. The #GreenSailTakes5 campaign connects like-minded participants in an online community which facilitates the movement’s virtual and international elements, allowing local communities and individuals all over the world to participate whilst respecting their countries safety regulations.
Participants are encouraged to make this year’s World Oceans Day as simple or as large as they are able to! This is a great opportunity to get together with family, friends, neighbours, colleagues or even get involved as an individual to collect at least 5 pieces of rubbish from a local area. For each person that Takes 5, there will be five less pieces of trash that could end up in our seas and oceans.
Anyone can get involved by joining Green Sail’s Facebook Group, where useful information on how to participate in the clean-up is shared regularly and participants can communicate prior to the event. The group has already been joined by like-minded people from Croatia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, the United Kingdom, the United States, Australia, New Zealand, Mexico, Spain, Germany, Slovakia, the Czech Republic, Romania, Bulgaria, Greece, Hungary, Estonia, Cambodia, etc. who are committed to participate in the challenge to help protect our seas and oceans!
At almost 100 metres long the mega yacht “Faith” certainly caught the eye this morning as she dropped anchor in the Bay of Zupa, near Dubrovnik.
The impressive yacht is owned by Canadian billionaire, Lawrence Stroll, who has a reported wealth of $2.6 billion, and made his fortune leading the fashion brand Michael Kors. And Stroll also has interests in Formula 1 as a part-owner of the team SportPesa.
With accommodation for 18 guests and a crew of 32 this seems like a rather elegant way to self-isolate and according to some reports it dented Stroll’s bank balance to the tune of $200 million.
Over the past 24 hours in the Republic of Croatia there have been no new cases of Covid-19, meaning that the total number of people who have contracted the virus since the pandemic began remains at 2,246.
So far, 67,297 people have been tested, of which 602 were tested in the past 24 hours.
There are 17 people in hospital and out of that number 4 patients are on a ventilator.
The total number of people who have recovered has increased by 11 to 2,088. And the total number of people who have passed away is 103.
The Health Minister, Vili Beros, reported on Tuesday that in Croatia the current epidemiological situation as "more than satisfactory".
And commenting on the overall positive situation across Croatia Beros commented, "It did not happen by accident, the National Staff gave faith to the experts and in the synergy of all," emphasizing that the good results were achieved thanks to the citizens, the experts, the politicians, the government and the media.
And there can be no doubt that Croatia has handled the Covid-19 pandemic impressively. Football has returned, cafes and restaurants are open, travel across the country is possible, hairdressers have been working for weeks, the list goes on. Life is almost back to normal, it could be argued that 90 percent back to pre-Covid-19 times, with one of the final pieces of the jigsaw being the hardest to solve, the tourism industry.
Even though Croatia is geographically located near to Italy, the heart of the Covid-19 outbreak in Europe, and has land borders with several other countries it has managed, through ultra-strict measures, discipline and an apolitical approach to be weeks ahead of many more developed countries in the world. And this very fact is now proving a barrier on the road to tourism. In many ways Croatia is waiting for some of its most important travel partners to catch up.
The Croatian National Tourist Board is conducting a large promotional campaign "The Vacation You Deserve Is Closer Than You Think" in seven European markets, in Slovenia, Austria, Germany, Hungary, the Czech Republic, Slovakia and Poland.
The campaign will be active during June and July, and is carried out by intensive advertising on social networks Facebook and Instagram, advertising on YouTube, placing ads through the most watched TV channels, the most read portals and newspapers in each market and through outdoor advertising on billboards and digital panels. Promotional materials and ads created for advertising are adapted to all six language variants and include tourist products that are best accepted in certain markets and are the motive for the arrival of guests at this time of year, namely sun and sea, nautical, natural beauty, active tourism through cycling, camping, but also the cultural offer. As part of the campaign, a new promotional Youtube converter video of 30 and 15 seconds was created, which will be used for advertising on online and offline channels in these markets.
"The first reactions to the launched campaign are extremely positive and we believe that they will encourage our traditionally loyal guests from the surrounding markets to spend their holidays in our country. Along with the campaign we are communicating, on a daily basis, to numerous partners, tour operators, agents and tourists through the network of our representative offices the latest information on the possibilities of crossing the Croatian border, readiness of accommodation facilities to receive guests, epidemiological guidelines on beaches, swimming pools and restaurants. With each new day, optimism is slowly awakening and I believe that ultimately our tourist traffic during June, July and August will be much better than we hoped a month ago at the height of the crisis caused by the Covid-19 pandemic,” commented the director of the Croatian national Tourist Board, Kristjan Stanicic, noting that when good epidemiological conditions and a positive atmosphere for travel are created, the same campaign will be launched in the markets of Italy, France and the Netherlands.
We remind you that in the markets that are primarily air destinations for Croatian tourism, such as Great Britain, Scandinavia, USA, Canada, China, South Korea, the campaign is conducted through the online platform Enjoy The View From Croatia.
The Czech Republic on Monday, after presenting a system for classifying countries by coronavirus risk, announced it would allow travel to and from abroad from June 15.
The threshold puts 19 European countries, mostly central, eastern and south-eastern, in the lowest risk category, under the new system of color-coding countries, while placing travel to and from the UK and Sweden in the riskiest category.
The Czechs have lifted most measures against the spread of Covid-19, while restaurants and hotels will open in full on May 25. But tourism is suffering, and quarantine measures have hit the economy, and only business travellers from the European Union, people in transit or students have been allowed to enter the country.
The Czechs will be able to travel without restrictions to neighbouring countries, Germany, Austria, Poland and Slovakia, and Hungary, Romania and Bulgaria are also on the "green" list. Other safe countries include Croatia, Greece, Cyprus, Switzerland, the Baltic countries, Finland, Norway and Iceland.
Citizens of these countries will be able to enter the country without showing a negative test for Covid-19, Health Minister Adam Vojtech said on Twitter.
The government has placed France, Spain, Portugal, Italy, as well as Ireland, Denmark, the Netherlands and Belgium on its orange list, allowing Czechs to travel to those countries without restrictions. However, the citizens of these countries will have to show a test for Covid-19.
The UK and Sweden have been placed in the most risky red category, meaning both Czechs returning from travel and citizens of those countries will have to be tested for the virus.
The Czech Republic had less than 100 new cases of coronavirus daily for most of May. So far, 9,286 cases of coronavirus infection have been reported, 6,642 people have recovered. The number of deaths is 321, which is a small number compared to Western European countries.
The number of new cases of Covid-19 in the Republic of Croatia over the past 24 hours is zero! This means that the number of people in Croatia who have been infected with the virus since the pandemic began remains at 2,246. In fact, there have only been three new cases of Covid-19 in Croatia in the past week.
So far, 66,695 people have been tested, of which 290 people were tested in the last 24 hours.
There are 22 people in hospital. Out of that, 4 patients are on a ventilator.
The total number of people who have made a full recovery is 2,077, which is 5 more than yesterday’s total.
The total death toll since the Covid-19 pandemic began is 103.
There have been no new cases of Covid-19 in the Dubrovnik – Neretva County in the past 24 hours.
Of the 8 samples taken yesterday, all are negative.
Since the beginning of the Covid-19 pandemic, 3,084 samples have been sent to Zagreb for analysis.
At the Dubrovnik General Hospital, the number of hospitalized patients positive for Covid-19 hasn’t changed and 2 people are in the Infectious Diseases Department of the hospital.
There are 3 people in the self-isolation, and in the last 24 hours no violation of the self-isolation measure was found.
The headquarters of the Civil Protection Directorate of the Dubrovnik – Neretva County continues to appeal to citizens to adhere to all prescribed measures from the Croatian Institute of Public Health and the Civil Protection Headquarters of the Republic of Croatia.