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.
This year foreign tourists have booked their hotel accommodation at favourable prices in the Adriatic much earlier than before and domestic tourists will ''pay the price'' of such increased interest from abroad.
By the end of June when Croatian citizens will have the opportunity to combine two public holidays into a little vacation it will be very hard to find rooms available in the hotels along the Adriatic coastline. Due to a great interest foreign tourists have shown for the Adriatic this year, hoteliers didn't have to adjust their prices to offer ''last minute'' arrangements or discounts for domestic guests so the prices are now much higher than most of Croatian citizens are willing to pay at this time of the year. However, no matter how high the price actually is now domestic guests will hardly find any rooms available this month simply because everything has been booked in advance by foreign tourists.
If you ask the hoteliers in the Adriatic about the booking in June most of them will gladly answer that they are already ''overbooked'' i.e. interest of foreign guests is much bigger than the accommodation capacity available at the moment.
On the other hand, private renters are looking forward to the upcoming public holidays hoping that many domestic guests will come to stay in their apartments. It is estimated that around 180,000 domestic guests will visit the Adriatic in June most of whom will book their accommodation with private renters.
''The fact is that foreign tourists have booked their accommodation in Croatia much earlier than before because they appraised that most of the capacity would be sold to those who are coming to Croatia for the first time this year in order to avoid some other countries. That's why the booking was at a very high level already this winter. My opinion is that this situation will not affect the growth of our statistical numbers as much it will positively reflect on our financial results. Due to this increased interest of foreign guests our tourism employees managed to reach much better prices and income in the tourism industry will be much higher than in 2015. This year in June we have offered the same prices as we did last year, we have made no special offers or discounts. However, the prices will be slightly higher in July and August in comparison to 2015'', commented Boris Zgomba the president of the Association of Croatian Travel Agencies (UHPA).
Even though the start of May was one of the wettest on record the summer is well and truly here now.
With temperatures in the mid twenties and the sea warming up our photographers were out in picturesque seaside town of Cavtat today to capture the June feeling.
Photos by Niksa Duper
The 2016 UEFA European Championship in France has already stimulated advertising campaigns in Croatia. However, this growth will mostly depend on how far the Croatian football team will go in the Euro 2016.
According to the analysis of the advertising trends during the big football championships (2008-2015) the Croatian Association of Societies for Market Communications (HURA) says that during football championships television advertisements increased significantly.
''This increase by 5 to 6 percent has been predicted for the period of one month i.e. during the UEFA European Championship so the overall growth would be to maximum 10 million Kunas'', says HURA.
HURA also states that during football championships the biggest increase of advertising is noticeable in the food and drink industry (ice-cream, meat, beer), telecommunications, finances (banks) and in the car industry. In recent years this increase is also visible in the retail chains. Growth of the “supporters” package products (snacks and beer), cheering props as well as television sales increases drastically.
“The advertising activity usually begins one month before the official opening of the championship which is the most visible with advertisers that have sponsorship and competitions. It will reach its peak in June but in July it will greatly depend on the ranking of the Croatian football team. In the case that Croatia gets knocked out of the Championship the advertising activities will decrease almost instantly,” concluded HURA.
It is estimated that during the UEFA European Championship 2016 in France from the 10th of June until the 10th of July 2.5 million people will watch the football games at the stadiums all over France and more than 150 million people all over the world will watch each football game in live in front of their televisions.
In the world of rugby, when the rugby season 15 is over, everybody knows it's time for rugby 7s. It's a little faster and more attractive version of rugby which will be played this August in Rio on the Olympic games. Rugby 7 is played on the field that has the same dimensions as rugby 15, but only 7 players play, and the games last for 7 minutes in the two half-times with one minute break in the middle. In that way it's possible to play 5-6 games in the day.
Rugby club Invictus Dubrovnik club is at its beginnings and they're trying to show the Dubrovnik audience how dynamic and interesting this sport is, so the club applied to be the host of the Dalmatian championship which is also the qualification tournament for the Croatian championship, on which three best clubs from the South region will play. South region includes all the clubs from Zadar to Dubrovnik and on this tournament 6 rugby clubs will play: Nada Split, Sinj, Makarska Rivijera, Sibenik, Ploce and the host Invictus Dubrovnik.
Players of the Invictus Dubrovnik have played in the rugby 7s tournaments twice, but now they have couple of more experienced players from the area and they will perform for the first time on the tournament in which compete the clubs with praiseworthy history, as are favorites Nada from Split, Sinj and Makarska. However, guys have fallen in love with this sport really quickly and they are looking forward to playing in front of the domestic audience and showing them the new Olympics sport to the potential new rugby players from Dubrovnik and the area.
Recently the new trainer entered the Invictus team, who lives and work in Cavtat, so this will be the good opportunity to see where the domestic guys are and how to improve the club. The trainer is Petra Druskovic, who has the Master in Kinesiology and former player of Croatia in the rugby 7s, who was recently the trainer of the of the young forces of the rugby club Nada Split. She is also the first female rugby judge in Croatia.
Tournament will be played on the football field in Gospino Polje on Saturday, July 11, with the start at 2 pm when the group phase of the competition starts. Semifinals start from 4:40 pm while finals are at 6 pm. All who have any interest are invited to the Gospino polje, to meet with the new Olympic sport and enjoy how some of the best rugby players in Croatia are toppling rivals and destroying prejudices.
Australian Times, Britain’s only media outlet specialising in connecting with Australians living in the UK, has published a list of 5 off the beaten track (but easy to get to) European summer escapes and two are in Croatia! Orasac and Plitvice Lakes have found their place on the list with Lyon, France, Zarautz, Spain and Kotor, Montenegro.
We are glad that someone has discovered our little pearl, Orasac, located just around 15 kilometers northwest from Dubrovnik, between Zaton and Trsteno.
- The turquoise water is deep but calm in the little beach cove. And, there is a stone sea wall from which the kids (and big kids) launch themselves into the sea. A small beachside café offers visitors breezy panoramic views over the Adriatic Sea and a seafood cuisine that is fresh and delicious – writes the author of the article, adding that it's easy to go from Orasac to Dubrovnik, as well as to visit Elaphiti islands.
Dubrovnik is the star of many videos and when you write its name in the Youtube search bar it's hard to tell which one to watch first. Every now and then we accidentally click on something special, as it was this 360° Dubrovnik tour by VR Gorilla. While you're guided by the voice of the narrator and, as usual, watching the video, you can click on the arrows and look around you! The video was made last August, but don't worry, everything is pretty much the same.
VR Gorilla is an Amsterdam based virtual reality production studio that aims to create the most immersive, enthralling experiences imaginable. If you're having a hard day and you're dreaming about the trip, maybe this is a perfect solution for you before you actually pack your bags.
The popular website Budget Travel has chosen Dubrovnik in their list of the most affordable destinations for 2016. In their recently published list entitled “26 Affordable Alternatives to Pricey Vacation Hot Spots,” the website points out that Croatia is a cheap alternative to more established holiday destinations.
“Croatia is just a hop across the Adriatic Sea from Italy, but the savings are ample,” writes the website adding that “the rolling hills and loads of sunshine are terrific for relaxation.” Budget Travel then picks out Dubrovnik as a must see destination and mentions the fact that the popular series Game of Thrones was filmed at various locations around the city.
Read the article here
Odien Group from the Czech Republic as one of the leading investors in the real estate sector plans to invest 10 million Euros in Croatian tourism in the next few years.
According to the online newspaper Poslovni.hr after taking over the Le Meridien Lav hotel and marina near Split in 2015 the Czech company has planned to invest two million Euros in a resort in Podstrana near Split this year and another eight million Euros in the next three years in order to strengthen the position of this luxury tourist complex in the tourist market.
Odien Group knows well the Croatian market mainly through their travel companies. Čedok travel agency was the first in the former country of Czechoslovakia to operate bus tours to the Adriatic coastline.
Michael Saran the managing partner of Odien Group annonuced that was only the beginning of their investment in Croatian tourism and the real estate business due to which the company would open an office in Zagreb by the end of this year. ''Although tourism has been our strategic investment, our investment interest in Croatia is not limited to tourism, which is why we decided to open an office in Zagreb. From Zagreb we will run not only operations in Croatia but in Slovenia and Montenegro’’, commented Saran.
He also added that they halted some of their investments in Turkey due to the geopolitical situation in the world and emphasized that was not the only reason why foreign investors showed interest to invest in Croatia. ‘’They see a large potential for investment especially in the tourism industry. That is why we are here’’, concluded Saran.