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.
According to Martina Bienenfeld, the director of the Zagreb Tourist Board, the Croatian capital has definitely found its place among the world tourist destinations. Only last year over a million tourists visited Zagreb and the numbers are constantly growing. She added that this significant growth is a result of the continuing joint work of the Zagreb tourism industry, the Croatian Ministry of Tourism and the city of Zagreb. Thanks to numerous events Zagreb has become a year-round tourist destination which does not depend only on the summer season.
Statistical data show that 337,300 tourists visited Zagreb in the first five months this year (an increase by 6% in comparison to 2015) and over 625,000 overnight stays were achieved which is an increase of 12% over the same period last year. The most numerous guests were from the South Korea followed by guests from Germany, USA, Italy and Bosnia and Herzegovina.
This summer the Zagreb Summer Tour 2016, the campaign organized by the Zagreb Tourist Board, offers plenty of interesting events for all visitors and guests; concerts, exhibitions, film and street shows, etc. Also the European Universities Games will be held this July in Zagreb and around 5,000 young contesters from 45 European countries and 250 universities are expected in the Croatian capital.
''We have also launched a promotional video on YouTube presenting all events that distinguish Zagreb from other cities and capitals and so far we have had over 2 million clicks'', added Bienenfeld.
Apart from the cultural and entertainment events, a very important role in the development of Zagreb as a year-round destination is definitely congress tourism. Last year 233 business events were held in Zagreb and already 115 in the first five months of this year. According to data published by ICCA (International Congress and Convention Association) among 373 cities Zagreb has positioned itself as the 64th on that list. This only indicates that Zagreb has become an important destination on the map of the world congress tourism.
As far as accommodation is concerned, Zagreb has 53 hotels, 45 hostels and 1,707 apartments and rooms, a total of 14,466 beds available.
''The Zagreb Tourist Board supports the work of hoteliers, hostellers as well as private renters through our activities. The market law regulates demand and offer so we are pleased to see that the tourism industry has recognized new trends and with its diversified offer has enriched the Zagreb tourist scene'', concluded Bienenfeld.
As a part of the International Opera Arias Festival Tino Pattiera, Dubrovnik Symphony Orchestra will have the concert Cielo e mar in front of the Rector's Palace tonight at 9.30 pm.
Symbolic title of the concert that means sky and the sea shows the theme that connects the pieces that will be performed at the concert. It's all happening at the open space, close to the sea, and the aria 'Cielo e mar' from opera La Gioconda will be played too. It's worth to mention that Tino Pattiera at a peek of his career played a part of Enzo in La Gioconda of A. Ponchielli over hundred times. Other musical works that celebrate the nature in some way will be played too, so the program consists of opera arias and overtures from this operas:
Cosi fan tutte (W.A. Mozart), Rusalka (A. Dvorak), Lovci na bisere (G. Bizet), Tosca (G. Puccini), La Gioconda (A. Ponchielli), Lakmé (L. Delibes), Aida i La Traviata (G. Verdi).
The orchestra will be conducted by the maestro Noam Zur, while the solist will be soprano Liana Aleksanyan from Armenia, mezzosoprano Marisa Martins from Spain, American tenor Hugh Smith and Romanian baritone Ionut Pascu who delighted the audience at the Festival opening.
According to data from the Croatian eVisitor system the first weekend of July in terms of tourism industry was extremelly busy. From the 1st till the 4th of July 371,602 tourists arrived in the country and recorded 1,706,840 overnight stays. On Saturday July the 2nd, a total of 589,015 overnight stays was achieved. On the same day the occupancy rate of hotels in the country was 79.5 percent, camp sites 50.2 percent and 39.3 percent in private accommodation.
The most numerous guests were from Slovenia, Germany, the Czech Republic, Poland and Austria. As far as Croatian destinations are concerned, the most visited were tourist destinations in Istria - Rovinj, Poreč, Medulin and Umag. Dubrovnik was the third most visited last weekend among these Istrian gems.
''Even though we are just at the beginning of the month the first weekend results indicate that we have entered into the main part of our tourist season. The Croatian tourist sector is facing a period of the biggest number of tourist arrivals and overnight stays and is expecting the best tourist results and traffic for this year'', commented Ratomir Ivcic, the director of the Croatian Tourist Board. He also said that he was very satisfied with the results achieved in the first six months of 2016 which showed that Croatia was affirming itself as a tourist destination worth visiting in the off season period.
Statistical figures from the Central Bureau of Statistics (DSZ) have also confirmed the great start the country had to the season. 1.35 million tourists arrived in the period from January till April 2016 which is an increase by 6,1 per cent.
Today is the 4th of July, or for Americans – Independence day. Independence Day of the United States, also referred to as the Fourth of July or July Fourth in the U.S., is a federal holiday commemorating the adoption of the Declaration of Independence on July 4, 1776, by the Continental Congress declaring that the thirteen American colonies regarded themselves as a new nation, the United States of America, and no longer part of the British Empire.
It is said that the Republic of Ragusa, a merchant republic centered at our Dubrovnik, was first of the foreign countries to recognize independence of the United States. According to Wikipedia, sources differ on when the recognition took place: some travel guides and tourist portals claim that Ragusa was the very first country to recognize the United States as early as 1776a document whose copy was presented to U.S. Vice President Dick Cheney in 2006 reportedly puts the date at 1783,while the Council of American Ambassadors claims that the recognition was extended during the term of the second President of the United States, John Adams, thus between 1797 and 1801.
'Legends of Lokrum' is the name of the exhibition that has been opened this weekend as a part of British week on the beautiful island of Lokrum that is situated just 600 meters away from Dubrovnik.
Templars have been a real attraction on Saturday, while they were walking to Old Port where they took a boat with the visitors and went to the exibition opening. There, everybody got a real treat: journey to the past at the multimedia exibition by Ivana Dabrovic. Exhibition brings the story of Richard the Lionheart, as well as Benedictines, their life, costumes and also the curse.
Exhibition is located at the basement of the Benedictian monestery and it's opened every day from 9 am to 8 pm. Entrance is free.
Dubrovnik is constantly having great tourist numbers but now also has an increase in tourist traffic in first six months and in June as well, when Dubrovnik had 133.467 tourists, what is two percent higher than June 2015. There was 467.828 overnight stays what is one percent higher compared to June 2015 and the most numerous guests were from UK, USA, Germany, France, Finland, Sweden, Australia, Spain, Croatia and Ireland.
By the avaliable data of the eVisitor system, in the first six months Dubrovnik achieved record-breaking results in all types of accomodation. There were 364.887 arrivals, what is six percent more than at the same time last year. During the first six months of 2016 there was 1.156.943 overnight stay, which is five percent increase comparet to 2015.
Top list of the countries that provided tourists in Dubrovnik in the first six months of 2016 are: UK, SAD, Germany, France, Croatia, Finland, Spain, Sweden, Korea and Ireland.
Premiered in June 2015 at the Perforations Festival, The Stranger project produced by BADco. will be performed at the 67th Festival, on 15 August at Revelin Fort Terrace. That will be the first time that this Croatian performance group, which is considered to be an internationally significant artistic phenomenon, appears at the Dubrovnik Summer Festival.
The Stranger project, using Camus’s antihero Meursault, provides a view of the social and systemic hypocrisies that are hidden behind relationships based on transparency. This stage reading of The Stranger focuses on three dominant images borrowed from the novel: the situation of confession, prison, and the moment of the murder itself as the point where all of the novel’s forces accumulate.
The director is Goran Sergej Pristaš and the dramaturgy and text author is Goran Ferčec. Credits for the choreography and performance go to Nikolina Pristaš, Zrinka Užbinec and Ana Kreitmeyer. Live music is performed by Sinkauz brothers.
Since its foundation in 2000, BADco. systematically focuses on the research of protocols of performing, presenting and observing by structuring its projects around diverse formal and perceptual relations and contexts. Reconfiguring established relations between performance and audience, challenging perspectival givens and architectonics of performance, problematizing of communicational structures, makes BADco. an internationally significant artistic phenomenon and provides one of the most differentiated performance experiences.
Contemporary performance practices at the 67th Festival are also represented by the Zagreb Dance Company and their performance of the piece „Anything” by the famous Spanish choreographer and dancer Daniel Abreu, on 6 August. This guest performance is realized through Croatian Dance Network.
Festival audience will also see the new piece by one of the most prominent and active European choreographers and the artistic director of the SNG Maribor Edward Clug - Prélude à l'après-midi d'un faun. Ščedrin’s „Carmen“ choreographed by Valentina Turcu is a complementary part of this ballet diptych which will take place at the ruins of the Benedictine monastery on the Island of Lokrum, 15, 16 and 17 July.
It was a lovely weekend to be on the beach in Dubrovnik, with temperatures in the thirties and endless blue skies the city’s beaches were full.
The long-term forecast shows more unbroken sunshine on the way and the next week should see temperatures soaring even warmer.
Check out our photo gallery of the atmosphere on the iconic Banje Beach in Dubrovnik.