Monday, 25 October 2021
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.


The term bootylicious was first used in 1994, while selfie was in 2002 - what word was first used in your birth year?


The team at online language learning platform Preply have used data available from Merriam Webster to delve into the English language back to the 1950s to discover when these words and phrases were first used in print. 


The research found that loungewear was first used in 1957 and detox in 1973. Text message was in 1977 while phone sex was in 1892. More recent additions include sexting in 2005, manspreading in 2014 and cancel culture in 2016. 


With over 5,400 new words created every year, these are the ones that managed to catch on in everyday culture. 

Take a look at what word was created in your birth year below:



Credit: Preply

Daniele Saccardi of Preply says: “It’s really interesting to see the first print usage of some of these words and phrases that are used in everyday conversation today.


“Many new words or phrases are created by adding a prefix of or suffix to an existing one, which we can see through examples such as sexting, foodie and selfie.


“Language is constantly growing and evolving to fit in with modern society, and we can see that through this research, especially as technology becomes more apparent in our lives.”


New words are often created by a lexiconnoisseur (a person who creates words) however, authors and writers can also be credited. William Shakespeare, one of the most widely recognised playwrights in history invented 1,700 words in his lifetime, including lonely, uncomfortable, elbow and hostile


Here’s how new words are created:

  • Blending - merging two or more words together e.g. Paralympics

  • Clippings - shortening existing words e.g. Sci-Fi

  • Compounding - Adding two words together to create a new meaning  e.g. spray tan

  • Affixation - Adding prefixes or suffixes to an existing word e.g. sizeism

  • Conversion - turning nouns into verbs e.g. adulting 

The direct flight connection from the US to Croatia, or rather New York to Dubrovnik, with United Airlines has proved so popular this year that the company have announced that it will be continued in 2022, reports EX-YU Aviation.

The last flight from Newark to Croatia’s southernmost airport landed last week and immediately the airline announced that in 2022 the first flight would take-off on the 27th of May. Next year United Airlines will connect Dubrovnik to New York four times a week, on Mondays, Wednesdays, Fridays and Saturdays, and the flight schedule has been extended until the 26th of October.


And as the US State Department recently announced that Croatia would be, from December, on the visa-free list this transatlantic route could prove popular with passengers flying in the opposite direction. United Airlines, along with their competitors Delta, introduced flights from the US this year for the first time and at one point in the summer American tourists were the most numerous in the city. And Croatia was clearly not only a reachable destination but also an open one as at no time through the pandemic were borders closed to Americans. In fact, Croatia was one of the only European countries open for business, due to the fact that although Croatia is a full member of the European Union it isn’t yet in the Schengen open border system. This meant that whilst the vast majority of the EU, the Schengen countries, closed their borders unitedly, Croatia was outside of this ban.

And this fact wasn’t lost on United’s Chief Commercial Officer, Andrew Nocella, who stated that “the Dubrovnik service was launched in response to Croatia maintaining open borders for American citizens and residents throughout the coronavirus pandemic, and has performed strongly as a result.” And he added that “And those new markets are actually, some of our top performing city fares, because Croatia and Greece in particular, made it clear to the world that they were open for business. And in fact, our customers responded to it immediately, and our new flights degrees did incredibly well.”

And the General Manager of Dubrovnik Airport, Frano Luetić, stated that “Flights from the US performed well above our expectations. These incoming tourists stay in Dubrovnik, which serves as a base for them to explore other places - nearby islands and Dalmatia, Montenegro and Bosnia and Herzegovina.”

According to the data for the system for registration and deregistration of tourists eVisitor, in Dubrovnik in September 103,224 tourist arrivals and 380,103 overnight stays were realised.

These figures are, somewhat unsurprisingly, a huge increase on the same month from last year. In fact, there were 394 percent more in tourist arrivals and 335 percent more overnight stays compared to September last year. Compared to the record year of 2019, 64 percent of tourist traffic in overnight stays was realized in September.

In September there were 98,693 foreign tourists in Dubrovnik and 4,531 domestic tourists.

Most guests who stayed in Dubrovnik during September were from the United Kingdom, the USA, Germany, France, Russia, the Netherlands, Poland, Croatia, Spain and Belgium.

Currently, 8,262 tourists are staying in Dubrovnik, and most of them are from the United Kingdom, the USA, Germany, France, Croatia, the Netherlands, Ireland, Russia, Spain and Poland.

In September 2021, Dubrovnik Airport was connected to about 50 international destinations with about 40 airlines, and from October 4 it will be connected to about 40 international destinations with about 30 airlines. British Airways, EasyJet, TUI Airways and have the largest number of announced flights. Russia's Aeroflot continues to operate in October, twice a week, while the Dutch KLM will operate five times a week throughout October.


“In family life, love is the oil that eases friction, the cement that binds closer together, and the music that brings harmony,” once said Friedrich Nietzsche. It has been an emotional week in the Thomas household, a week of reuniting.

One of the toughest sides of a global pandemic is the separation. Yes, we’ve been able to keep in touch virtually, but physical contact can’t be replaced with a Zoom call. But finally after almost two years I felt the embrace of my mother again. Tears of joy and relief. Absence makes the heart grow fonder.

It was a journey, or rather a holiday, that we’ve been planning for a long time. We had missed too many family celebrations over the last two years.

“I’m more than a little nervous about travelling alone,” said my mother on the eve of her journey. Yes, apart from travelling in a pandemic my mother was also coming to Dubrovnik alone as my father had sadly died just before Covid reared its ugly head. It made me think about the billions of other families that had been divided due to the virus.

We had, of course, planned a busy week in Dubrovnik with my mum. In many ways it was strange for her to be out and about in society again. “I can’t remember the last time I saw so many people,” was a phrase that we’d hear a lot over the week. After almost two years at home Dubrovnik probably felt like New York for her. And as she hadn’t been here for over five years everything looked new for her.

Of course we jumped through all the hoops that travelling at this time brings. And ended up spending more on the PCR tests than the actual flights! When she arrived it looked like she had more weight in paperwork than luggage. And just to highlight the absurdity of travel, when she returned home she had to take another test of day two after arrival. But this could be done via post! “What’s stopping you doing the test on another person, or even a dog?” was my question.

From the far reaches of Konavle to the glorious Baćina lakes in the north, we travelled the length and breadth of our county. 24 hours a day together for seven wonderful and unforgettable days.

And clearly I am not the only member of our family with a love for the written word. “This is for you,” said my mum as she dug into her luggage. My father had started an autobiography before he fell ill. It had remained an unfinished piece. However, my mum had been busy over the past two years and had finished the last chapter in his name. Not only had she finished it but she had found a publisher, who had edited and laid out the book. She then had it printed in enough copies to hand out to all the family. Now if seeing your mother after so long isn’t enough of a shock, then receiving a book that your late father had written, and had been completed by your mother, was a shock to the bone (more tears). In these days of blogs, vlogs and posts, there is still nothing as permanent and tactile as an actual book. The pen is indeed mightier than the sword.



We reminisced, we joked, we debated, we ate and drank (thank you Dingač) and above all we laughed. It was so nice to see my mother laughing again after the past period, and it was even nicer to be the one laughing with her. As we plan to have a big family Christmas all together in England this year the final goodbye wasn’t as tearful as it could have been.

“See you in a couple of months,” I said with a smile as she made her way through the airport. And clearly this made the goodbye easier for her. Quality time with our families is something that should never be taken for granted, because time moves so fast. Cherish those moments, as I will cherish that week in the Dubrovnik sunshine with my mother.   

Read more Englishman in Dubrovnik…well, if you really want to      



The Tourist Board of the City of Dubrovnik is once again organizing the eighth Good Food Festival, a gastronomic event for all lovers of good food, which will be held from the 7th to the 10th of October 2021, in accordance with the prescribed measures due to the epidemiological situation.

This year's program will include the traditional Restaurant Week with festival menus, wine tastings, sweet festival offer, gastro tours, culinary workshops in Deša, beer evenings with good street food in the Dubrovnik Beer Company, various themed dinners and more.

Throughout the festival week, from the 4th to the 10th of October, the Restaurant Week will be held, as well as a sweet offer, wine tastings and gastro tours. Diligent chefs from more than thirty Dubrovnik restaurants have created festival menus especially for the Good Food Festival at promotional prices, and you will be able to taste them throughout the Festival Week. Take advantage of this great opportunity and visit restaurants you have never been to before, let Dubrovnik caterers show you how delicious, creative and tempting the dishes from their offers are.

Participating Restaurants: Restaurant Arsenal (City Café), Restaurant Banje Beach - Bistro 49 - Restaurant Blidinje - Cantina Mexicana Chihuahua - Tavern Dalmatino - Pub Dubrava - Restaurant Gusta Me - Bistro Izvor - Café Lazareti - Hotel Kazbek - Hotel Lero (Piano bar) - Restaurant) - Taverna Loggia - Restaurant Lucin kantun - Restaurant Maskeron - Restaurant Mimoza - Hotel More (Restaurant More) - Restaurant Orka - Restaurant Orsan - Restaurant Pantarul - Bistro pizzeria Prova - Hotel Pucić Palace - Restaurant Rhea Silvia (Old City and Lapad) - Hotel Rixos Premium (Umi Teppanyaki) - Royal Hotels & Resorts Restaurant Zoe and Restaurant Castile - Restaurant Sebastian - Sunset Beach Dubrovnik - Restaurant Taj Mahal, Hotel Lero - Restaurant Taj Mahal, Stari grad - Bistro Tavulin - Tavern Vita Bella.

The sweet festival offer is offered by Gianni Confectionery, Hotel Lero Piano bar, Pool & Lobby Bar of Hotel Lapad and Libertas Terrace & Lobby Bar. Choose an interesting gastronomic tour through a walk through the city that will introduce you to the specialties of Dubrovnik cuisine or a wine tasting in Bakus and Škar wine bars.

GOOD FOOD FESTIVAL 04.-10.10.2021

Find all the restaurants and menus here 

207,558 passengers passed through Dubrovnik Airport in September this year, as many as 166,000 more passengers compared to the same month last year! Dubrovnik Airport has released its statistics for September, and the airport recorded a significant increase in passenger numbers for the sixth month in a row, reports Croatian Aviation.

Exactly 207,558 passengers passed through Croatia’s southernmost airport this September. Last year 40.952 passengers used the airport and in 2019 405.924 passed through the airport. It was predicted that this year’s figures would be closer to the figures from 2019 than last year, and that has certainly proved to be the case.

From the first of January to the 30th of September, a total of 787,590 passengers passed through Dubrovnik Airport, while in the same period last year there were only 306,949.

dubrovnik airport passenger numbers 2021

Given that Dubrovnik will be well connected to a number of European destinations in October, a significant increase in the number of passengers on a monthly basis is expected, and Dubrovnik Airport will approach the number of one million passengers by the end of this year. This landmark looked almost impossible at the beginning of the year.

Dubrovnik Airport was one of the most affected by the crisis caused by the global pandemic last year, but in the summer flight schedule this year it was well connected with a number of European and world destinations, especially with daily flights to Moscow, as many as 8 flights a week with two major American airlines, United Airlines and Delta Air Lines between Dubrovnik and New York. These transatlantic flights, the only such flights in the whole of Croatia, will soon come to an end.


During September 2021, there were 176,558 tourist arrivals in the Dubrovnik-Neretva County, which is an increase of 316 percent compared to the same period in 2020. In September 2021, there were 866,847 overnight stays, which is 213 percent more overnight stays than in the same period in 2020.

Most overnight stays were made by guests from Germany, the United Kingdom, Poland, the United States, Croatia and France.

From the beginning of the year to the end of September, 4,867,620 overnight stays were realized. Compared to the same period in 2020, 77 percent more overnight stays were realized, while compared to the same period in 2019, 60 percent more overnight stays were realized.

In hotel accommodation, from the beginning of the year to the end of September, 1,311,249 overnight stays were realized, which is 117 percent more than in the same period in 2020, and compared to 2019, 41 percent of turnover was realized.

From the beginning of 2021 to the end of September, 2,439,442 overnight stays were realized in household facilities, more precisely 66 percent more than in the same period in 2020. Compared to the same period in 2019, 69 percent of overnight stays were realized.


September was a busy month for Dubrovnik and the tourism industry were more than pleasantly surprised at the number of guests in the city. According to official data there were around 101,000 tourist arrivals in Dubrovnik in September and 580,000 overnight stays were achieved. Now clearly any comparison to the chaotic 2020 are difficult, but these figures represent four times as many tourist arrivals as last year.

Once again the most numerous travellers in the city were Brits, followed by tourists from the USA, Germany, France and Russia. Ever since travel restrictions were made simpler for British tourists they have been the most frequent visitors to Dubrovnik. And as they are set to get even easier, and indeed cheaper, from the beginning of October when the need for expensive PCR tests is phased out and lateral flow tests are allowed. This easing of restrictions should attract even more Brits to travel in October, meaning another bumper month.

In the first three quarters of this year around 450,000 tourists arrived in Dubrovnik, and close to 1.7 million overnight stays were recorded. Whilst this may sound impressive it is in fact only 44 percent of the tourist traffic from 2019. However, it must be said that 2019 was a record year for tourism in Croatia, and this year the preseason months were almost empty. The season really started in earnest in the middle of July.

There are currently around 8,000 tourists in Dubrovnik, with the majority coming from the UK, the USA, Germany, France, Croatia and the Netherlands.


The Voice of Dubrovnik


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