Sunday, 20 September 2020
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

All roads led to Mali Ston yesterday as the traditional Festival of Oysters attracted crowds from all over the region.

On the day of St. Joseph the oysters of Mali Ston, recognised as some of the best in the world, are presented along with fine wines from the Peljesac Peninsular. Nature’s aphrodisiac was certainly very popular yesterday with hundreds of guests gathered on the seaside promenade in Mali Ston. Oyster farmers from the bay of Ston offered their products at promotional prices and the entertainment was provided by vocal groups and folklore dancers.

Check out our photo gallery from the Festival of Oysters – Eat Oysters, Love Longer

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Photos Ivana Smilovic/The Dubrovnik Times 

According to data from the Croatian Bureau of Statistics (DZS) on electronic communication services relating to phone calls, SMS and MMS as well as broadband internet traffic in the past few years, among all these services Croatia recorded the biggest increase was in internet traffic.

Last year around 8.9 billion minutes were spent on the three largest mobile networks in Croatia, or 1.6 percent more compared to 2015. On the other hand, 2.2 billion minutes or 8.1 percent less minutes were spent in fixed networks.

Furthermore, the data shows that internet traffic in 2016 was around 710 million GB, which was an increase of 200 million GB or 38.3 percent in comparison to 2015. The biggest growth in internet traffic of almost 42 percent was achieved only in the last quarter of 2016 compared to the same period in 2015.

As far as mobile networks and spent minutes are concerned, there were no big surprises; a 1.6 percent growth was stabile at the annual level and continued. Out of the total number of 8.9 billion minutes spent in 2016, little more than 2.2 billion minutes were spent only in the last quarter which was an increase of 2.5 percent compared to the same period in 2015.

On the other hand, mobile networks recorded a years-long decline in the number of sent SMS and MMS text messages. The data show that 9 percent less SMS text messages were sent in 2016 or 2.6 billion, whilst users sent 11.3 percent less MMS text messages, or 15,6 million.

Furthermore, fixed networks recorded a decline of 8,1 percent in 2016; out of the total 2.2 billion spent minutes, 559 million minutes were spent only in the last quarter, which was also a decrease of 7.2 percent in comparison to the same period in 2015.

The decline in fixed networks was recorded both in domestic and international traffic i.e. the decline in spent minutes at the annual level in domestic traffic was 8 percent, whilst in international traffic it was 15 percent.

The stones back, no not the Rolling Stones, but the three stones at the end of the Siroka Street in the historic centre of Dubrovnik.

The iconic stone pillars were removed during filming of the movie Robin Hood: Origins in Dubrovnik to make way for Robin and his merry men. However today they were returned to their original position and once again the view from the Stradun is complete.

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Traditionally marking the annual feast of St. Joseph in Ston and Mali Ston, The Festival of Oysters is the place to be tomorrow from 11am to 4pm. After all Ston is renowned all over the world for the quality of its oysters, so were better to taste “nature’s aphrodisiac” than in the home of the best oysters in the region.

The tasting of oysters and Pelješac wines will take place on the seafront in Mali Ston. You will be able to enjoy the most renowned aphrodisiac alongside a glass of supreme wine of Pelješac at a reasonable price, or rather promotional prices.
Through an all day presentation of Croatian island products, the day will offer a variety of traditional products of the upmost quality. And your day enjoying these traditional specialities from the Adriatic will be a day to remember as Dalmatian music, a folklore performance and raffles will all be organised.

There is another great bonus of this day – the entrance to the Walls of Ston will be free of charge from 9 am to 3 pm.

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Interesting experiment found its way to Croatia– on Sunday, 19th of March, hundreds people in around 30 cities, including Zagreb, will stand united in eye contact. This special event will take place on Trg Bana Josipa Jelacica on Sunday, from 10 am to 3 pm.

- We will share a minutes eye contact with strangers in the heart of our cities and towns worldwide. Your participation in this global event demonstrates that beyond our differences there is love and humanity. You will be representing your country on this incredible day and what happens will forever change the social fabric of the present and future – it's written on the official page of the experiment.

This experiment is organized by Liberators International and it will happen in Croatia for the first time. Last year in October almost 200 cities joined this event.

It will be interesting to see if Croatians and their guests will be willing to share short but intense eye contact with complete strangers. In the time of new technologies, when we are so distant, a small eye contact could be a step to bring us back together. At least for a minute!

Dubrovnik is basking in warm sunshine today as temperatures reached 18 degrees. A warm front is currently hanging over Dubrovnik are set to remain sunny and calm for at least the next seven days.

Up until the end of this weekend the temperatures will stay constant at around 18 degrees. Today the city was a mixture of heavy coats and shorts as the bright sunshine keep people guessing on the right wardrobe.

Check out our gallery from today in the Old City

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On the second day of his official visit to Russia, the Croatian Minister of Tourism Gari Cappelli participated in a meeting of the Association of Croatian Travel Agencies (UHPA) and Russian Travel Agencies (ATOR), where he also met with Alla Manilova, the deputy Minister of Culture in Russia, in charge of tourism.

During the meeting, Cappelli presented the status of tourism in Croatia in 2017, with an emphasis on health tourism and investments in the tourism sector as a significant contribution to the further strengthening of Croatia's tourist offer and services in the country.

On this occasion, Maja Lomidze, the director of ATOR also participated in the meeting as well as representatives of TUI Russia, Coral, Paks, and Russian Express who presented booking figures and interest in Croatia for 2017 to the Croatian Minister Gari Cappelli.
Most tour operators have recorded an increase of early bookings by 20 to 35 percent for Croatia this year, and praised the excellent cooperation with the Croatian Tourist Board (HTZ) in Moscow. They also pointed out that one of the competitive advantages of Croatia is that it is perceived as a safe destination.

Furthermore, the Tourism Minister Cappelli informed the representatives of the tour operators about new investments in the Croatian tourism industry, emphasizing the development of year-round tourism and stronger support to tour operators who bring tourists in the off-season period.

According to data, Russian tourists achieved 119,700 arrivals (+7%) and 879,100 overnight stays in 2016, most of which were realized in hotels and household facilities. The most visited Croatia’s counties by Russians were the Istria County (328,700), the Split-Dalmatia County (192,000) and the Primorje-Gorje County (102,000), whilst the most popular cities were Porec, Umag, Dubrovnik, Rovinj and Opatija.

Dubrovnik has been awarded as the best cruise destination in Europe for 2016. At the SEATRADE Cruise Global fair in the US the city was awarded by the British Cruise Insight magazine as the best destination for 2016. According to the website cruiseline.com, where cruise ship passengers left their impressions and rankings for each destination last year Dubrovnik was chosen as the leading port.

The SEATRADE fair is one of largest such exhibitions in the world and was held from the 13th to the 16th of March in Fort Lauderdale. Dubrovnik tourism industry was represented by the director of the Dubrovnik Tourist Board, Roman Vlasic, who also collected the award.

During 2017 in Dubrovnik 577 cruise ships are expected to arrive in Dubrovnik with around 760,000 passengers. These figures are a slight decrease on last year, around 9 percent fewer cruise ship passengers are expected this year compared to 2016.

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