Wednesday, 24 November 2021

Dubrovnik Winter Festival Kicks Off This Saturday With a Magical Program

November 24, 2021 - This Saturday the program of the 8th Dubrovnik Winter Festival will begin with the lighting of the first Advent candle and the Christmas lighting in the city, which will last for 40 days.

As Turističke Priče reports, the program of the 8th Dubrovnik Winter Festival event will begin on Saturday, November 27, with the lighting of the first Advent candle. On the same day, the holiday lighting will be turned on, which will complete the magic of this year's holidays for 40 days, and there will be a concert by Nena Belan & Fiumens in front of the Church of St. Vlaho.

The center of events returns to Stradun where the people of Dubrovnik and their visitors will have the opportunity to enjoy six concerts. Thus, on December 11, the group Magazin will perform, and on December 29, Marko Škugor will sing. The celebratory atmosphere on the last day of 2021 will begin at noon when Dubrovnik bartenders will prepare New Year's cocktails in front of the City Café, and the rock New Year's Eve will be prepared by Silente and Vatra with spectacular fireworks at exactly midnight.

Traditionally, on January 1, a waltz will be danced on the Stradun with the Dubrovnik Symphony Orchestra, while the Rišpet klapa will take care of the evening entertainment on the first day of the new year on Stradun.

The charity concert for the Covid ward of the Dubrovnik General Hospital will be held on Monday, December 6, at the Valamar Lacroma Hotel. Music diva Tereza Kesovija, klapa Ragusa and Ženska klapa FA Linđo will perform accompanied by the Dubrovnik Symphony Orchestra. Under the direction of maestro Huta, the DSO will traditionally perform at the Dubrovnik Christmas Concert to be held on Sunday, December 19, and on that occasion soprano Valentina Fijačko, tenor Roko Radovan, vocals Goran Karan, Lucija Pećar and Nikoleta Ivanković and the klapa Ragusavecchia. As for the concerts on Stradun, entry will be possible upon presentation of the EU digital COVID certificate.

From 16 to 19 December, the Dubrovnik Tourist Board, in cooperation with Dubrovnik restaurants, will organize the traditional "Cod Days" when many restaurants will be able to taste the holiday gastronomic treat cod, prepared in various ways.

Saturday mornings will traditionally be marked by the performance of the Folklore Ensemble Linđo with free tourist sightseeing organized by the Dubrovnik Tourist Board, while Saturday afternoons will be reserved for also free, thematic guided tours called "Golden Age of Dubrovnik" organized by the Marin Držić Home.

For the youngest on Friday, December 10, the North Pole Station will open its doors in Lazareti, and Lapad Bay will be enriched this year by the "Colorful Winters" program as well as the Advent train, which will run its small passengers for free every day from 10 am to 4 pm. This year, too, there will be a visit by Moto Mrazova, who will arrive on Stradun on December 26. Last year's novelty Pop-up Kolenda bus will delight everyone who meets it, and passengers will delight the youngest with sweet gifts.

Dubrovnik kindergartens and primary schools will once again decorate the windows of the City as part of the Marin Držić Home project "Advent Calendar on Stradun", and all lovers of good photography, except for the "photo point" location under the Advent wreath on Luža, expect a new one in the Rector's Palace atrium.

Dubrovnik cultural institutions have prepared various contents for the Dubrovnik Winter Festival for all ages, from exhibitions, lectures, and workshops to plays, so the Marin Držić Theater will perform its favorite Nutcracker in November and December in the version of Lada Kaštelan.

All programs of the 8th Dubrovnik Winter Festival will take place in accordance with the current recommendations for the prevention of COVID-19 infection, published by the Croatian Institute of Public Health. To attend the events, it will be necessary to register in advance with the institution or organizer of the event that is planned to visit.

For more, make sure to check out our dedicated lifestyle section.

Thursday, 28 October 2021

Mayor Franković Discusses 2021 Dubrovnik Season, Wants to Keep 1-2 Cruisers Per Day

October 28, 2021 - Was the 2021 Dubrovnik season successful? Mayor Mato Franković weighs in on what worked and what needs to happen to maintain tourism in the Adriatic Pearl. 

Dubrovnik cannot say that this was a successful season, said Dubrovnik Mayor Mato Franković at a meeting with Dubrovnik-Neretva County hoteliers. The exchange of experiences from the previous season and the best possible preparations for the challenges that the next year and season will bring were the main topics of this meeting, organized by the Croatian Chamber of Commerce - Dubrovnik County Chamber, reports HRTurizam.

Mayor Franković called this season extremely demanding and especially thanked the members of the Tourist Board and Dubrovnik Airport who worked hard on its preparation even when it seemed that there would be no season.

"In marketing and communication activities, we achieved several flights that were sufficient for the needs of Dubrovnik and the surrounding area, given the open capacity. However, when we look at 44% of overnight stays in the City of Dubrovnik compared to 2019, it is not completely comparable because, for example, Valamar decided to keep most hotels closed, which I consider a bad business decision, but also a bad attitude towards Dubrovnik," Franković said at the meeting. 

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs, he added, played a significant role in facilitating the establishment of new air connections with the US and Russia, whose passengers were allowed to obtain one-day visas, which was very important for tourism. He also emphasized that the Croatian Government had allocated more than HRK 500 million for this area to help business people, which ensured that they maintained working.

Commenting on this year's season and the arrival of cruise ships, Franković highlighted how the city and the city economy need cruise ships guests, but with moderation.

“This year, we had the perfect measure, one to two cruisers a day. The city can handle that, and business people can feel it, from restaurants, cafes, guides, museums, walls to bus carriers. So we need cruisers, but not four at a time. So let us continue in this direction," said Franković and pointed out the significant increase in the arrival of private planes and guests of higher spending power.

According to the Dubrovnik mayor, what has been recorded in these few months is good in that it has given business people momentum to survive until the next season. Still, Dubrovnik cannot say how successful this season has been. Therefore, business people should be given support in providing information to the Prime Minister and the Government that the entire Croatian tourism cannot be viewed through the prism of Istria and that Dubrovnik as an air destination is in a much different position.

For more on travel in Croatia, follow TCN's dedicated page.

Monday, 11 October 2021

German TikToker Jackthebackpacker Complains About Croatian Coast

October the 11th, 2021 - German TikToker Jackthebackpacker has publicly complained about the Croatian coast, more precisely Dubrovnik and some of the prices and services there.

If there is one complaint that the Croatian coast gets each and every summer (one of the very few), it's that things are too expensive. While those of us who live here often disagree, because you quite simply need to find the more local and out of the way places and not expect a coffee on the UNESCO protected Stradun to be cheap, the comments keep on coming. The issue of parking continues to be a big one, and most people would agree it's problematic in most coastal cities.

As Poslovni Dnevnik writes, German TikToker Jackthebackpacker, who is otherwise from Berlin, recently arrived in Croatia, more precisely Dubrovnik, but he is not as enthusiastic as many other tourists are about Croatia's stunning southernmost city. He recorded a video and explained what disappointed him about Croatia's tourist Mecca.

Right at the beginning, he pointed out that he thinks this is one of those cities that just wants to get the last coin out of the pockets of tourists and not much else.

"An hour of parking is 5.5 euros, but well, they are kind, so they give you 24 hours for only 65 euros," he said ironically, adding that insanely high prices continue in other services, especially in restaurants and cafes, according to a report on the topic from Vecernji list.

“A portion of french fries is 5.5 euros, a hamburger costs 11 euros, which isn't so terrible, but then again... some coke costs 5.3 euros? What robbery,'' stated German TikToker Jackthebackpacker.

He also complained about the crowds in the city, which are unbearable and which make it impossible to visit everything you want to see.

“This is another big scam - if you want to walk along those famous walls, you have to pay as much as 26 euros! They also have a selfie museum where you can take pictures… Who would even want that?!''

In the end, he said that he what he did like was the prices of fast food restaurants and supermarkets because they are the only places with down to Earth prices - he paid three euros for a sandwich.

“I don’t want to be too negative, there are nice things here, but there are also better destinations. It's insanely expensive!'' concluded Jackthebackpacker.

For more, make sure to check out our lifestyle section.

Tuesday, 10 August 2021

No Beds in Dubrovnik: August Overbooked, High Hopes for September and October

August 10, 2021 - August looks much different in the Adriatic pearl than July, as there are currently no beds in Dubrovnik, apart from a few at the most expensive hotels. 

Dubrovnik, which before the pandemic in 2019 was the most visited city in Croatia with the highest number of tourist overnight stays, suffered huge losses last year due to the corona crisis. Since this is an air destination and there were almost no flights last year, Dubrovnik received the heaviest blow on the Adriatic, but the city is finally full of tourists again. The core of Dubrovnik now shows a much different picture, with full bars, long queues for restaurants, and thousands of people walking Stradun, reports

Official figures confirm this. According to eVisitor data from the Dubrovnik Tourist Board, from 1 January to 7 August 2021, 225,163 arrivals and 809,391 overnight stays in Dubrovnik were recorded. In the same period in 2020, 133,532 arrivals and 426,998 overnight stays were recorded, while in 2019, 870,819 arrivals and 2,615,588 overnight stays were recorded.

A large increase compared to last year was recorded in June when there were 40,038 arrivals and 135,895 overnight stays in Dubrovnik, or 201 percent more arrivals and 210 percent more overnight stays than in the same period last year, said the Dubrovnik Tourist Board. In July 2021, there were 115,323 arrivals and 422,679 overnight stays, i.e., 152 percent more arrivals and 131 percent more overnight stays than in the same period last year.

As for August, from August 1 to 7, 36,750 arrivals were recorded in Dubrovnik, and 149,607 overnight stays, which is 90 percent more tourist traffic than last year.

There are currently 21,038 tourists in the city of Dubrovnik, which is 74 percent of the total tourist traffic on the same day in 2019, and compared to 2020, 68 percent more.

"A significant increase and intensification of tourist traffic was recorded at the end of June and continued in July, and according to the announcements, we expect an increase in the number of arrivals and overnight stays in August. In addition, air traffic continued to increase in August. All carriers increased their operations traffic in August compared to the traffic in July, provided that the positive epidemiological picture continues. Given the absence of the pre-season, we hope that more intensive tourist traffic will continue during September and October to speed up the economic recovery," said the Dubrovnik Tourist Board to Index.

Ante Vlašić, a representative of the Dubrovnik-Neretva County Restaurant Association, told Index that since the second half of July, tourism in Dubrovnik picked up and that they are at about 70 percent of traffic compared to 2019. However, he also mentioned the problems they are facing now.

"As for the work of restaurants, those who can organize their team are doing well, but now a lack of workforce is an issue. Moreover, we are constantly afraid in the media about a possible break in the season, so many colleagues were afraid to hire more workers. Here, the local headquarters demanded the closure for another 15 days longer than the rest of the country. Hence, many seasonal workers decided to work in the north, i.e., in Istria and Kvarner. Also, flights were not running yet, and as the Headquarters defended our work, nothing sounded optimistic and good," Vlašić told Index.

He states that due to these reasons, Dubrovnik now does not have enough workers in the catering industry, so queues are being created to enter restaurants.

"Now, we can't even receive as many guests as we would like because we also have restrictions due to COVID-19. So at the moment, we are missing at least a third of the capacity that we should have, so I hope that these restrictions will be lifted as soon as possible. And we hope that the import of foreign labor will accelerate and we stop talking about closures. We are really scared in the south, last year we didn't have anything to do all winter, we were closed longer than the rest of Croatia," concluded Vlašić.

Index also spoke to representatives of family accommodation associations who said that Dubrovnik is fully booked and that only some of the most expensive rooms in the most exclusive hotels are still available. In contrast, some of the hotels did not even open this year.

"Split-Dalmatia County is the first, and Dubrovnik-Neretva County is the second county where more rooms are needed. There are currently no free nights; the latest information for Dubrovnik is that only a few superior hotel rooms remain free, where prices are high. That is now all that is free. Now we hope that this good season will last as long as possible so we can fill September as well, because only then can we talk about earnings. Last year we worked at a loss, and Dubrovnik was completely cut off as an air destination. I want them to work as long as possible. Last year there was no post-season, last year only expenses were covered, there was no income," said Barbara Marković, vice president of the Croatian Association of Family Accommodation.

She also states that it is unbelievable that some people are surprised every summer by the prices in Dubrovnik.

"Dubrovnik is a top destination, I worked a lot in France and Spain, and in some restaurants, the minimum consumption per person is 200 to 300 euros. So Croatia must also have a top destination like Dubrovnik, and what was written for minimum consumption in one place it is not unusual in the world," Marković said.

Nino Dubretić, from the Dubrovnik Accommodation Association, also told Index that the situation in Dubrovnik had changed drastically for the better since July 20.

"Dubrovnik is now sold out. There is a very high demand for accommodation in Dubrovnik, and at the same time, there are not many hotels on the market; you can find a maximum of one or two nights in a hostel or the most expensive rooms in luxury hotels. In addition, some hotels, such as Valamar's three hotels in Babin Kuk, have remained closed this season. On the other hand, some private renters have skipped the season out of caution, fearing corona, and some have turned to long-term rentals. At the same time, some new quality renters appeared, but when everything is added up, it turns out that we are in a small deficit in terms of accommodation capacity compared to 2019. On the islands near Dubrovnik, hotels remained mostly closed because there is no labor force," Dubretić told Index.

He states that the prices from 2019 have returned due to such high demand.

"There has been an overbooking of the destination. By August 20, our occupancy is very high, and we also receive reservations for September and October, and next year, so the situation is slowly normalizing. They are now in trend given the situation and last-minute bookings. Previously, the guest would have booked at least a month in advance and now book a week in advance. Guests decide to travel late because they are waiting to see what will happen. But anyway, now the situation is great, and we hope that it will remain the same in the off-season," concludes Dubretić.

For more, make sure to check out our dedicated travel section.

Friday, 6 August 2021

Cele Dubrovnik Introduces 300 kn Minimum Spend for Table Reservations

August 6, 2021 - An uncommon rule was introduced by the owner of Cele Dubrovnik Gourmet & Lounge, where guests are warned they must spend 300 kuna minimum to reserve a table. While this is commonplace in many destinations worldwide, it's not something Croatians are accustomed to... yet. 

The fact is that the owners have the right to set rules, just as guests have the right to agree with something or not, and look for a place where they can sit without restrictions. However, it was precisely restrictions such as booking a table with a minimum spend in the evening that revolted one Dubrovnik local, reports Jutarnji List.

"There were four of us; we wanted to sit in front of Cele for a drink. I looked at the terrace, all reserved. At that moment, guests got up from one table, so I asked the waitress if it is free now. She said no, the table is reserved, but the minimum consumption is 300 kuna," the Dubrovnik local said.

She was particularly annoyed that four foreigners sat down at the table immediately afterward, and the waitress just removed the reservation sign. "Maybe it was a foreign company that made a reservation," the source added with sarcasm. 

"It's not a pleasant feeling when the waitress weighs you and says in such a tone that 'it's not for you, the minimum consumption here is 300 kuna'. Worst of all, if the four of us could sit down, we would have had at least four drinks, which would surely have been more than 300. This way, with a sarcastic smile, I just turned around and left. In principle, I would never sit there again.

People are really full of it. I rarely go to the City during the year, and even when I do, I can’t have a drink anywhere. Very rude," the local added, who noticed the same practice of reserved tables in the surrounding restaurants.

Last year, when there were no foreigners, these restaurants relied on locals, and now that the season has started, they are no longer worthy.

"Will they now wonder if you are from Germany, America, or Austria, so if you are, you can sit down, and the others can't? God forbid you are Romanian or Czech. Then the local is better. Really funny," concluded the source. 

Jutarnji asked the owner of Cele, Tomislav Ivušić, for a comment, who said that the principle of booking a table is still a matter of business in a private facility.

"It's the same everywhere in the world; only Croatians haven't learned about it. When there is a high demand at night, tables are reserved. You can’t sit at a table with two juices for three hours. We introduced reservations solely because of that, and not to assess whether someone can spend or not," explains Ivušić and adds that the owner has the right to say that the tables in his facility are reserved. 

"This rule is on weekends after nine in the evening. Depending on where you sit, you can book a table if your minimum spend is 300 to 500 kuna. I don't know what's in dispute here? That’s the rule; if it doesn’t suit someone, they don’t have to sit there. You can't occupy the whole table for 30 kuna for hours because you have learned to sit and watch who passes by on Stradun. That happens nowhere in the world," Ivušić said.

He was asked if this rule applies exclusively on the weekend.

"Every day is a weekend for us now. After 9 pm, all tables are reserved, and with the reservation, there is a minimum spend," says Ivušić.

"Why doesn't anyone comment on how every morning for the last ten years Croatians can enjoy hot drinks for 10 kuna at Cele? And someone is offended because imagine, they can't sit on Stradun and watch passers-by for three hours drinking tea or coffee?

This is not to belittle someone as a guest. We have such a rule in the evening, and it is normal everywhere in the world. May all of us come to this type of business because only then will we be able to talk about real tourism," the Dubrovnik caterer concluded. 

For more, follow our lifestyle section.

Tuesday, 3 August 2021

Airline Destination Dubrovnik Only at 50% of 2019 Tourism Numbers for July

August 3, 2021 - Airline destination Dubrovnik isn't recording the record tourism numbers as the rest of Croatia. And there is one big reason why. 

While many Croatian destinations are recording tourist figures significantly closer to those from 2019, southern Croatia is still lagging behind. Thus, Dubrovnik realized only 50 percent of tourist arrivals in July compared to the record 2019, reports 

"According to the eVisitor tourist check-in and check-out system, there were 115,323 arrivals, and 422,679 overnight stays in Dubrovnik in July 2021, i.e., 152 percent more arrivals and 131 percent more overnight stays than in the same period last year. At the same time, foreign tourists realized 107,729 arrivals and 396,215 overnight stays, while domestic tourists realized 7,594 arrivals and 26,464 overnight stays. Compared to the record 2019, 50 percent of tourist traffic in arrivals and 53 percent of tourist traffic in overnight stays were realized in July," the Dubrovnik Tourist Board announced.

Such figures in the south are not really surprising. During the COVID-19 crisis, many guests decide to travel with their vehicles for safety. Dubrovnik is the southernmost destination that is not connected well by car, and it is necessary to pass the corridor through Neum. The Adriatic pearl thus remains an air destination. 

According to the Dubrovnik Tourist Board, most guests who stayed in Dubrovnik during July were from the USA, France, Germany, Croatia, Poland, Russia, the United Kingdom, the Netherlands, Ukraine, and Austria. It is also worth mentioning that direct lines from the USA to Dubrovnik were introduced at the beginning of July, which probably influenced the guests from the USA to take first place on the list of those who visit Dubrovnik the most.

According to the Dubrovnik Tourist Board data, the current tourist turnover is at 72 percent concerning the same period of the record 2019, which best describes the tourist situation in Dubrovnik. Namely, the beginning of July did not look particularly promising. Still, the situation improved sharply after the planes started flying from the USA and the opening of the British market, which is extremely important for southern Croatia. Namely, the British are Dubrovnik's most loyal guests.

But when looking at the situation in the first seven months of this year, it doesn’t look particularly satisfying. In the first seven months of 2021, Dubrovnik-Neretva County realized only 31 percent of arrivals and 43 percent of overnight stays compared to the same period in 2019. Such results are conditioned by the poor tourist performance of Dubrovnik, which achieved 23 percent of arrivals and 27 percent of overnight stays compared to 2019, but also the surrounding area, which predominantly affects the tourist results of the county. The President of the Dubrovnik County Chamber, Nikolina Trojić, believes that the reason for these figures lies in guests' structure and the destination's character.

"Dubrovnik and its surroundings are a dominant airline destination, and we know that this market segment is more difficult to recover. The main market for the Dubrovnik area for years was the United Kingdom, which participated with 30 percent in overnight stays. It will be significant in improving tourist numbers, but it is not easy to make up for the absence of the British with any other market overnight. Also in the top ten destinations are three overseas, which were also more or less absent due to the pandemic," Trojic explains.

However, this year's results indicate a slightly better season than last year, where the number of arrivals in Dubrovnik in the first seven months of 2021 was higher by 65 percent and the number of overnight stays by 78 percent.

"The basic question is how long it will last. It has been known that September has been the month with the best occupancy and financial results in Dubrovnik for years. However, there is still concern whether the fourth wave of the pandemic will stop such good bookings and announcements. If that happens, Dubrovnik will have to seek state support again to preserve employment, to preserve the core of the economy," Trojic says.

The owner of a travel agency and an occasional transport company, Vesna Lukić, believes that the decline also occurred due to the absence of cruiser arrivals, at least in the number in which it was common.

"Whether we consider cruisers desirable or not, it is obvious how much they had an impact on the percentage of visitors to Dubrovnik. Even ships coming to Dubrovnik do not sail at full capacity again, so with the decline in arrivals and reduced passenger capacity, bubble groups have played a role," says Lukic, who notes that the number of flights to Dubrovnik is also negligible compared to other airports in Croatia.

"The fact that a direct flight connects Dubrovnik with the USA is great for the promotion of the city, but unfortunately, one swallow does not make spring, so even those few flights do not make a season," Lukić believes.

He also notes that Minister Brnjac stated that we could not compete with Malta because they are primarily an air destination, and we are a car destination with which she disagrees. He says the issue is not well resolved either.

"In the last few days, we have witnessed abnormal crowds at the border crossings that surround us, so this statement is even more incredible. Guests who wait for hours in traffic at extremely high temperatures will certainly not take with them from vacation what we would like but will return indignant and with recommendations not to go to Dubrovnik," Lukić notes.

As he says, the number of entities that depend on tourism in Dubrovnik-Neretva County is huge; the number of visitors is not enough for everyone to find 'their place under the sun,' and without the expected (and desired) income another difficult winter is coming. Therefore, her predictions are not at all optimistic.

"We are a destination that is still guided by the policy that we are beautiful, and that is why our guests come, and that still works on the principle of tourism as we had in the early '80s, so this scenario is expected," Lukić said and believes that southern Croatia needs strong changes in terms of tourism and radical changes. Otherwise, it could easily happen that the 2022 season will not be much better.

For more on travel in Croatia, follow TCN's dedicated page.


Saturday, 10 July 2021

Dubrovnik Summer Festival Will Have Its Grand Opening Today

July 10, 2021 - Everything is ready for the start of the Dubrovnik Summer Festival in the walled city, which opens tonight. Take a look at what the latest rehearsal looked like and more details about the event.

By raising the Libertas flag on the city bell tower and with the verses of the Hymn of Freedom in front of the church of St. Vlaho, the 72nd Dubrovnik Summer Festival will be officially opened on Saturday night, reports

Over the next 47 days, until August 25, nearly seventy drama, music, dance, folklore, and other programs will be performed at fifteen stage and ambient locations.

The opening ceremony is directed by Hrvoje Korbar and features the Dubrovnik Symphony Orchestra under the direction of maestro Stjepan Vuger, percussion ensemble Percussion Club and Folklore Ensemble Linđo with the participation of the Festival Drama Ensemble, which will be joined by acting and dance students from the Zagreb Academy of Dramatic Arts.

Attendance at the ceremony will require an EU digital covid certificate or other valid evidence of vaccination, a negative test result, or recovery from infection.

The drama program of the festival will also include two premieres. The first is 'Out of Yourself', the work of Nataša Rajković, Ivan Penović, and the acting ensemble, as part of the EU project 'Port of Dreamers'. As part of it, the Games will also feature the play 'Celebration' of the Slovenian National Theater from Maribor by Ivor Martinić and directed by Jan Krmelj, and the play 'Under the Same Roof' directed by Ivana Janošev and co-produced by the civil society organization Kulturanova and Újvidéki Színház, a minority Hungarian theater. from Novi Sad.


Photo: Grgo Jelavic/PIXSELL

The second premiere will be 'The Lion's Head', based on the novel of the same name for the first time by Ivan Salečić, adapted by playwright Marijana Fumić and directed by Aida Bukvić. The plays "Hamlet", "Mara and Kata" and "Grižula" will be shown again, and the Student Theater Lero will perform the play "Jugo" by the author and director Davor Mojaš.

The music program of the festival will include, among others, the Percussion Club, the HRT Choir and Jazz Orchestra, Lovre Marušić, Julija Ležnjeva with the ensemble La Voce Strumentale, Eva Šulić with the chamber ensemble of the Dubrovnik Symphony Orchestra and quartet, Martina Filjak, Felix Klieser, Andrej Bielow, Lawrence Brownlee with Vesna Podrug Kossjanenko, Petrit Çeku, Goran Filipec, Richard Bona, Alfred Rodríguez.


Photo: Grgo Jelavic/PIXSELL

The unique music program "Dubrovnik on the music cliff" brings performances by Lovro Mercep, Marija Grazio, and Dubravka Separovic Musovic.

The festival will close with an opera gala concert by the HRT Symphony Orchestra conducted by Ivan Repušić with Diana Damrau, Nicolas Testé, and Roko Radovan.

According to the financial plan, the budget of the 72nd Dubrovnik Summer Festival is almost 8 million kunas, which is 1.5 million more than last year.

The audience will follow the performances by maintaining a physical distance from one seat with the obligatory wearing of face masks.

The Pearl of the Adriatic for some, King’s Landing for others, walled city Dubrovnik is UNESCO World Heritage Site perfection for all. Tips for travel, food, accommodation, sights & things to do can be found in Total Croatia's Dubrovnik in a page. Read it here, now in your language!

For more on travel in Croatia, follow TCN's dedicated page.

Tuesday, 6 July 2021

Over 8,000 Tourists in Dubrovnik Recorded During First July Weekend!

July 6, 2021 - Things are finally picking up in the Adriatic pearl, with over 8,000 tourists in Dubrovnik recorded during the first weekend of July!

According to the eVisitor tourist check-in and check-out system, 40,038 tourist arrivals were recorded in Dubrovnik in June 2021, while 13,297 arrivals were recorded in June last year, with 135,895 overnight stays in June 2021, while there were only 43,795 in June 2020, reports Dalmatinski Portal

Most guests who stayed in Dubrovnik during June were from the USA, Croatia, Russia, Germany, France, Poland, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Ukraine, Slovenia, and Austria. According to the Croatian National Tourist Board's report for nautical activities, 2,223 arrivals and 16,337 overnight stays were recorded in June, which confirms the growth of the nautical season compared to June last year, when 859 arrivals were recorded, with 5,704 overnight stays, reports.

Excellent tourist results, as well as intensified tourist traffic, were recorded during the first weekend in July, when 8,199 guests stayed in the city, compared to the first weekend of July 2020, when 2,778 guests stayed in the city. Most guests currently staying in Dubrovnik come from the USA, France, Germany, Poland, Croatia, Russia, the Czech Republic, Spain, Bosnia and Herzegovina, and Ukraine.

Currently, 32 hotels have been opened in Dubrovnik, and the opening of more hotel capacities has been announced by mid-July. Dubrovnik Airport is directly connected to about 40 destinations until mid-July, and direct flights with the United States began last weekend, a big step in recovering Dubrovnik's tourism.

According to the Visitor, from 1 January to 3 July 2021, 79,433 tourists stayed in Dubrovnik, and 256,821 overnight stays were realized. Most guests were from Croatia, the USA, Germany, France, Poland, Russia, BiH, Ukraine, Serbia, and Slovenia. From the total number of tourists from 1 to 3 July 2021, 43,767 guests stayed in Dubrovnik hotels, where 122,161 overnight stays were recorded, while 26,409 guests stayed in private accommodation in the stated period of time, achieving 98,010 overnights.

Follow the latest on flights to Croatia HERE and the latest travel updates and COVID-19 news from Croatia HERE.

For more on travel in Croatia, follow TCN's dedicated page.

Friday, 2 July 2021

Dubrovnik Mayor Cites Vaccinations as Crucial in Current Situation

2 July 2021 - Dubrovnik Mayor Mato Frankovic appeared on the N1 network’s central news show Dnevnik. In his interview, he was mostly focused on the current situation in Dubrovnik's tourism.

Dubrovnik is a world-famous destination and has been for quite some time. But, the city also lacks other notable industries contributing to the local economy. With the current situation on the city’s most important travel market, that of the UK, it is clear things are not looking great for Dubrovnik.

Frankovic reflected on the difficulties of getting guests from the UK at the moment. He did emphasize concerns over the Delta strain of the COVID19 virus that seems to be dominant in Britain. In his words, opening towards the British market this year needs to be slow and careful. In a couple of days the first British Airways flight of the season is coming to Dubrovnik from the UK. British Airways has been one of the most important airlines for Dubrovnik’s post-Homeland War tourism boom. This year, many in Dubrovnik are eager to see the company back at the local airport.

Fight for Tourism Numbers

The main goal for this season, according to Frankovic, is getting the number of fully vaccinated people up as soon as possible. In his words, we might be facing another abrupt end to the tourism season if the vaccination numbers don’t improve. The mayor also said over 47% of the general population has had vaccinations and around 30% of people have antibodies already. This will not suffice, according to him.

As reported on N1’s official website, Frankovic ultimately stated: “By vaccinating we are keeping the economy alive and putting bread on the table of each Croatian family. I am calling upon the moral responsibility of all those involved in the business.”

Quite dramatic from Dubrovnik's mayor as the city enters July and sees the beginning of direct flights from USA. Still, considering the city streets, beaches and restaurants are still half-empty, it comes as no surprise he is getting anxious about Dubrovnik’s tourism and hospitality numbers.

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Monday, 28 June 2021

Dubrovnik Mayor Mato Frankovic Praised by CLIA's Kelly Craighead

June the 28th, 2021 - Dubrovnik Mayor Mato Frankovic has been praised by the Cruise Line International Association's director Kelly Craighead as Croatia's southernmost city sees cruise tourism make a gradual but steady return to its waters.

As Morski writes, Kelly Craighead sent a letter to Dubrovnik Mayor Mato Frankovic in which, among other things, she thanked him for his engagement because the City of Dubrovnik, despite the ongoing coronavirus crisis, stood firmly by this organisation.

''The coronavirus pandemic has brought some new challenges to everyone, but I'm glad that we've continued our cooperation during this time, which is why I'm sure that we will soon be able to intensify our joint efforts in responsible and sustainable tourism management in this destination,'' said Craighead, noting that sustainability remains very much a priority on the CLIA's list.

''We're really pleased that we managed to restart our operations around the world, including in Dubrovnik,'' she writes, thanking Dubrovnik Mayor Mato Frankovic and his team for their engagement and role they played in restarting the business of cruise companies operating in Croatia, which is the result of lifting the ban on passenger ships operating as international cruises in Croatian ports. The above was Dubrovnik Mayor Mato Frankovic's own initiative.

In her letter, the leader of the umbrella and largest association of the cruise industry, which represents 95% of the total market, states, among other things, that the city administration headed by Mayor Frankovic and Deputy Jelko Tepsic is a longtime partner of CLIA.

''We're proud of the Cooperation Agreement we signed back in July 2019 and everything we have achieved together so far, and the partnership and cooperation between CLIA and the City of Dubrovnik is a model for us successful destination management and engagement with local communities, we aren't going to miss the opportunity make it public,'' wrote Kelly Craighead.

In conclusion, Craighead is pleased that the cruise industry will in part contribute to the economic recovery of Dubrovnik and she thanked Dubrovnik Mayor Mato Frankovic for being a strong advocate of the interests of his city, sustainable tourism and for remaining a friend of the CLIA and the cruise industry as a whole.

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