Friday, 23 February 2024
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

In a notable shift from last year's figures, the city has witnessed a 25 percent decrease in tourist arrivals from midweek through the weekend, totalling 535 visitors during this timeframe.

Domestic tourists comprise the majority of the current influx. Additionally, a diverse range of international guests has chosen the city as their destination, including travellers from Bosnia and Herzegovina, the United States, Serbia, Korea, Montenegro, Kosovo, and Slovenia.

The U.S. State Department has approved the potential sale of Black Hawk helicopters along with related equipment and services to Croatia under a contract estimated at 500 million dollars, as announced by the Pentagon on Friday.

In the statement from the U.S. Defense Ministry's Defense Security Cooperation Agency, it is mentioned that Croatia has requested eight Black Hawk helicopters.

The Black Hawk is a military multi-purpose helicopter used in around 30 countries.

"The proposed sale will support the foreign policy and national security of the United States by enhancing the security of a NATO ally, which remains an important force for political stability and economic progress in Europe. The proposed sale will improve Croatia's ability to deter current and future threats and support coalition operations, as well as promote interoperability with the United States and other NATO forces," the statement says, adding that Croatia will not encounter difficulties integrating this equipment into its armed forces.

The State Department had previously approved the sale of two Black Hawk UH-60M helicopters and related equipment to Croatia for 115 million dollars. Following that, the U.S. donated two more helicopters to Croatia, which arrived in 2022.

 

Ongoing renovation works are underway on the connecting road to the village of Bosanka, which commenced on January 15th, above Dubrovnik on the Srđ mountain.

This pertains to a road segment stretching from the junction with the main coastal road all the way to the entrance of the urban settlement Bosanka, with a total length of 640 metres. The road will be widened in certain places, where the terrain allows, to facilitate smoother and safer traffic flow.

Cesta za Bosanku radovi 4

This narrow road is constantly the cause of traffic jams in the summer months as taxis and vans take tourists to the top of Srđ mountain to admire the views. The road in places is only wide enough for one car and this new project will hopefully alleviate some of the problems. However, this project only includes the stretch of road to the village of Bosanka, and not further to the top of the mountain. This section is probably in worse condition than the one being repaired.

Cesta za Bosanku radovi 7

The current construction, valued at 364,187.96 euros, is being carried out by the company Tehnogradnja d.o.o., with a contracted completion deadline of 70 days.

The road improvement for Bosanka is part of intensified road maintenance works taking place at various locations within the urban area, which commenced in the first half of January.

It's worth noting that the Budget for 2024 allocates 2.4 million euros for intensified road maintenance, representing a 70 percent increase compared to 2023.

Leading holiday rental specialists Ibiza Summer Villas reveal the world’s best islands for party-goers, and two Croatian destinations found themselves in the top ten.

The study conducted by Ibiza Summer Villas has analysed the number of clubs, bars and music venues along with the price of alcohol and opening times across the world’s most popular island destinations.

A new study has revealed that Zakynthos, Ibiza and Pag are the best destinations for a party-filled getaway. And another Adriatic destination is also included in the top ten - Hvar!

Out of the 20 islands analysed, Zakynthos places at the top for all three categories. The island came in at the top for having the highest number of clubs and bars with top ratings, which are sure to have party-goers immersed in the nightlife and daytime party scene of the island.

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Photo - Ibiza Summer Villas

Ranking 2nd best overall is Ibiza which boasts 197 bars that are sure to have tourists sipping on some of the best cocktails the island has to offer. The island’s club offering is nothing short of rad, with its 69 clubs and 27 music venues.

Coming in 3rd overall, the Croatian island of Pag ranked well for its highly-rated clubs (9) that open daily - the consistency ensures that travellers wanting a taste of the island’s nightlife are guaranteed to get it.

Croatian island, Pag, comes in the top 3 for having the best clubs in the world.

Securing one of the top spots in the global clubbing destinations ranking, is the Croatian island, Pag. This island has 9 energetic clubs with an impressive 4.12 average rating. In fact, these clubs operate every night of the week, so that you can party on the island any day of the week. Pag's seven-day-a-week club availability highlights its position as a top-tier destination, catering to party lovers seeking the best nightlife experience.

 

Is Turkish Airlines' Melbourne to Istanbul via Singapore route the ultimate travel pathway from Australia to Dubrovnik?

After years of anticipation, Turkish Airlines is finally making its mark Down Under. With the recent easing of Australia's bilateral air services agreement with Turkey, the airline is gearing up to launch its first-ever Australian route in 2024.

Picture this: Starting March 16, Turkish Airlines will take off from Melbourne Airport, whisking passengers away to Istanbul via Singapore three times a week. But that's just the beginning. The airline has its eyes set on expanding services, and once firmly established, direct flights between Istanbul and Melbourne are on the horizon, all made possible with the acquisition of new, longer-range aircraft.

Why Melbourne, you ask? Well, aside from being a bustling metropolis, it's also home to the largest Turkish community in the nation, making it the natural choice for Turkish Airlines' Aussie debut. But this isn't just about the local connection – it's a game-changer for Australian travellers, providing a convenient gateway to Europe. Imagine being just a one-hour and 25-minute flight away from Athens, Greece, or a one-hour and 50-minute hop to the enchanting Dubrovnik, Croatia.

And here's the kicker – flights from Melbourne to Istanbul are up for grabs at jaw-dropping prices, starting from as low as $1,477 for an Economy return. So, is Turkish Airlines' Melbourne to Istanbul route the travel hack you've been waiting for to unlock the wonders of Dubrovnik and beyond? With the promise of seamless connections and enticing fares, it just might be your best route yet.

 

Global travel site Big 7 Travel has officially released the 'World’s Most Instagrammable Places 2024'. The annual hashtag tally, which is now in its 6th year, analyses locations that hold the most “gram” appeal.

How did Big 7 Travel choose the winners? Via a comprehensive scoring system that analysed the number of hashtags and TikTok views per destination, sample survey results of Big 7 Media’s 1.5 million audiences, and from their global editorial team.

Dubrovnik has been named one of the Most Instagrammable Places in the World for 2024 with 3,006,100 hashtags and 461,400,000 TikTok views.

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Photo - Canva

Dubrovnik came in at 46th position on the new list and Big 7 commented that “The Pearl of the Adriatic, one of 2024’s top destinations, and a shooting location of the blockbuster Game of Thrones – Dubrovnik is undoubtedly one of the most Instagrammable places in the world. The city is a walking museum, with buildings that are over 700 years old, meandering cobblestone streets, and the iconic City Walls.”

And the top of the list for 2024 was London with an impressive 162,737,992 hashtags on Instagram and 107,600,000,000 on TikTok. Paris came in second place and making up the top three was New York.

Interestingly, Dubrovnik was the only city in Croatia that made the top 50 most Instagrammable places for 2024.

The full list includes 50 destinations on nearly every continent; from major cities such as Istanbul, Paris and Tokyo. Other Instagrammable places in the Top 50 to add to your ‘must-visit’ list include; Bergen in Norway, Masai Mara in Kenya and Wadi Rum in Jordan.

 

The Dubrovnik-Neretva County Tourist Board is participating at the FITUR fair in Madrid as a co-exhibitor at the stand of the Croatian Tourist Board, covering an area of 68 m2.

The fair is taking place from January 24th to 28th, 2024, at the exhibition space of Fiera de Madrid. Alongside the Dubrovnik-Neretva County Tourist Board, co-exhibitors include the Tourist Board of Split-Dalmatia County, the Tourist Board of the City of Zagreb, Abacus Tours, Adriatic DMC, Katarina Line, Maistra, and Travemo Club DMC.

The first three days of the fair are exclusively dedicated to tourism professionals, while the last two days are open to the general public.

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Photo - Dubrovnik-Neretva County Tourist Board 

This year's partner country is Ecuador, with over 130 countries from around the world presenting at the fair.

In 2023, Dubrovnik-Neretva County was visited by 59,510 Spanish tourists, generating 151,696 overnight stays, representing a 20% increase in arrivals and a 21% increase in overnight stays compared to the previous year.

 

The Croatian National Bank has issued a gold and silver coin "Trsat Dragon," featuring commemorative motifs representing the sculpture "Trsat Dragon" as part of the cultural heritage of the Republic of Croatia. The gold coin is released with a denomination of 100 euros, while the silver coin has a denomination of 4 euros.

The artistic design of the gold and silver numismatic coins is credited to Natalia Danysz. The "Trsat Dragon" gold and silver numismatic coins will be available for sale starting on January 24, 2024, with a limited quantity of no more than 100 pieces for gold numismatic coins and no more than 5,000 pieces for silver numismatic coins.

Zlatnik Trsatski zmaj scaled

Photo - HNB

The numismatic coins will be sold by the Croatian Minting Company Ltd., and the initial selling price is expected to be around 2,350.00 euros for the gold numismatic coin and approximately 40.00 euros for the silver numismatic coin excluding VAT. The selling price at the time of purchase will depend on the fluctuations in gold and silver prices in the open market.

Interested citizens can acquire the "Trsat Dragon" numismatic coins from January 24, 2024, and information about ordering and purchasing more coins can be found on the Croatian Minting Company's website.

 

The Voice of Dubrovnik

THE VOICE OF DUBROVNIK


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