Wednesday, 20 October 2021

Dubrovnik Digital Nomads-in-Residence 6 Months On: Marlee McCormick

October 20, 2021 - In April this year, 10 digital nomads from all over the world came together for the inaugural Dubrovnik Digital Nomads-in-Residence (DNIR) program. As part of European Freelancer Week 2021, TCN catches up with some of them 6 months on, starting with Marlee McCormick from Texas. 

A year ago, the city of Dubrovnik held the first-ever digital nomad conference in Croatia - Dubrovnik for Digital Nomads - as part of European Freelancer Week. The city has made great strides advancing its DN credentials and strategy, thanks in part to the award-winning Dubrovnik Digital Nomads-in-Residence program, which ran from April 23 - May 23. 

 

The program was all the richer for the presence of Marlee McCormick, who broadcast her Dallas radio show each day from the Lazareti coworking space just outside the historic Old Walls of Dubrovnik. Together with husband Jeff, Marlee had a great month in the Pearl of the Adriatic. TCN caught up with Marlee 6 months later to get her current perspective on the program, Dubrovnik and the Croatian digital nomad journey.

marlee-mccormick_9.jpg

1. It is 6 months since you arrived in Dubrovnik for the Dubrovnik Digital Nomads-in-Residence program. Firstly, a brief look back at that month. How was it for you, and how did it change your perceptions of Dubrovnik as a nomad destination?

Is it a cliché to say being selected for the DNIR program was a life changing experience?....because that's really an accurate description.  Being able to live and work in a wonderful and inviting city like Dubrovnik was an opportunity and an experience that will stay with me forever.  My husband and I had been wanting to try living abroad for quite sometime, we just had to wait for the right opportunity and for the kids to grow up and leave the nest.  The pandemic made that dream a possibility and the Dubrovnik Digital Nomad program made it a reality.  Once I started working remotely from home, I tested the waters by taking my show on the road, a week here and there.  Those trips were more of a working vacation, but I learned how to make it work and with good WIFI, I could work from anywhere in the world. 

marlee-mccormick_8.jpg

It wasn't until coming to Dubrovnik that I truly got to experience what it would be like to live and work abroad.  I was able to do a job I love in the U.S. while living as a local in a beautiful European city.  When you add in the facts that I didn't have to get up at 4am for work because of the time difference, had a 10 minute stroll through the old city to the Lazaretti workspace instead of a long commute in traffic, and a postcard view of the Adriatic Sea..... well I would say quality of life just doesn't get any better than that.  My husband Jeff was also working from home and able to join me for our test run at being digital nomads.  Not only did we quickly adapt, we thrived!  Although the DNIR program was only 30 days, we can both see ourselves coming back for extended periods of time and now thanks to Croatia's digital nomad visa, we'll be able to. 

marlee-mccormick_3.jpg

2.  Have you kept in touch with others from the project? Spent any more time in Croatia?

We have kept in touch with the other nomads in our group despite the time differences and the geographic challenges.  Social media is a great way to stay connected.  I consider these people as sort of an extended family.  We were all very different, but each brought something unique to the table and we all got along so well despite our differences in age and backgrounds.  There have been talks of a reunion get-together in the future.  I really hope it happens.  Jeff and I also made friends with people outside of our core group and we look forward to reuniting with them as well.

 

3. It seems that a lot has been happening in the DN scene in the last few months since the program. Zagreb Digital Nomad Week, Digital Nomad Valley Zagreb, the Cross Border Coworking Conference in Budva, Croatia performing strongly in the Nomad List 2021 survey. What changes have you noticed since arriving in Dubrovnik back in April?

In my opinion, Croatia and especially Dubrovnik's foresight to get out of their "seasonal tourism" comfort zone and attract visitors year-round was smart planning for the future.  There is so much more to this community than just a daytrip to the old city for gelato (Although, full disclosure, I do love the gelato in Dubrovnik) during a cruise ship stop.   I really hope we DNIR's helped bring that to light.  I know every situation is different, but compared to where we live in Dallas, Texas, we found the cost of living in Dubrovnik to be very reasonable - options for every budget and lifestyle.  Since returning home I have kept up with happenings in Croatia thanks to Total Croatia News.  Croatia is gaining more prominence on the world stage away from tourism.  Businesses are growing and moving there and I'm excited to see what happens with the transition into the EU.

marlee-mccormick_5.jpg

4. Have you noticed any change in the way Croatia is talked about in the global DN groups you engage with online? In what way if yes?

Without a doubt, the Dubrovnik digital nomad program got the world's attention.  The DNIR roadmap is being used by other countries as a model to launch their own digital nomad programs.  I think we all, including the City of Dubrovnik, the tourism board, TCN and of course our champion Tanja Polegubic at Saltwater Workspace can all be proud of what we accomplished in blazing the trail.  My time as a digital nomad was brief and I'm definitely a newbie, but my experience has allowed me to encourage others to take that leap and even give advice to those that already have through a Dubrovnik Digital Nomad Facebook group. 

marlee-mccormick_1.jpg

5. What would you say are the key next steps for Dubrovnik on this journey, and for Croatia as a whole

It's encouraging to see that the city has taken some of our suggestions and ideas to move the digital nomad program forward.  I hope when the pandemic is over and tourism fully returns, that Croatia as a whole will stick with the program to attract more dn's from across the world.  Word of mouth and the sharing of information is the best way to do that.  Total Croatia News has played a big part in that.

marlee-mccormick_10.jpg

6. Your favourite memory/experience from DNIR, and when do expect that Dubrovnik will see you next?

There are so many great memories to choose from - a boat day on the Adriatic with the other DNIRs, dining on Peka at an amazing restaurant owned by two brothers on the island of Korcula, having coffee and people watching at cafes on the Stradun.  One of my favorite memories was interacting with the Dubrovnik cats.  I'm a big animal lover and its a charming aspect to the old city.  I left a little piece of my heart in Dubrovnik.  We can't wait to go back next spring and pick up where we left off.  

marlee-mccormick_4.jpg

For more news and features on digital nomads in Croatia, follow the dedicated TCN section

Wednesday, 20 October 2021

Dubrovnik Digital Nomads-in-Residence 6 Months On: Rob Schubert

October 20, 2021 - In April this year, 10 digital nomads from all over the world came together for the inaugural Dubrovnik Digital Nomads-in-Residence (DNIR) program. As part of European Freelancer Week 2021, TCN catches up with some of them 6 months on, starting with Rob Schubert from the Netherlands. 

A year ago, the city of Dubrovnik held the first-ever digital nomad conference in Croatia - Dubrovnik for Digital Nomads - as part of European Freelancer Week. The city has made great strides advancing its DN credentials and strategy, thanks in part to the award-winning Dubrovnik Digital Nomads-in-Residence program, which ran from April 23 - May 23. 

 

Far from forgetting Croatia, several of the DNIRs have been very active in Croatia. None more so than Rob Schubert, who has been enjoying a lot more of Croatia, including representing the Extra Virgin Digital Nomads at the 4th Olive Picking World Championships on Brac last week. TCN caught up with Rob to reflect on all things nomaddy 6 months on. 

1. It is 6 months since you arrived in Dubrovnik for the Dubrovnik Digital Nomads-in-Residence program. Firstly, a brief look back at that month. How was it for you, and how did it change your perceptions of Dubrovnik as a nomad destination?

The month was simply lovely! The Dubrovnik Digital Nomads-in-Residence program surpassed my expectations in many ways. 

Firstly the organization was fantastic by all involved partners. Together with the local community's participation, this organization provided an encouraging environment for the service design process. Secondly, it was my first time in Croatia, and it opened my eyes. I experienced that Dubrovnik and more areas of Croatia aren't just tourist hotspots (what I normally like to avoid). There is much opportunity and existing facilities to create a perfect environment for middle/long term stays.

2.  Have you kept in touch with others from the project? Spent any more time in Croatia?

Being on the road and having an international lifestyle means you a lot of new people. Usually, people just come and go, but that was not the case for this group. We all have different backgrounds, but the month in Dubrovnik created a strong bond between us. The group chat is still very active, and we have meetups all over the continent.

I was pleased to meet a bunch up North in Estonia and very recently in Croatia again. So yes, I have spent more time in Croatia, and I will be back sooner rather than later! 

rob-schubert_3.jpg

3. It seems that a lot has been happening in the DN scene in the last few months since the program. Zagreb Digital Nomad Week, Digital Nomad Valley Zagreb, the Cross Border Coworking Conference in Budva, Croatia performing strongly in the Nomad List 2021 survey. What changes have you noticed since arriving in Dubrovnik back in April?

I attended the Cross Border Coworking Conference in Budva, and I was very charmed by the presentation given by the tourist board of Dubrovnik. Not only were they able to very clearly explain the outcomes of the Digital Nomads-in-Residence program, but they shared new developments to attract digital nomads. To me, this is a confirmation that Dubrovnik and Croatia are serious about developing a sustainable economy/society where digital nomads are warmly welcomed. 

charlie-brown_3.jpg

4. Have you noticed any change in the way Croatia is talked about in the global DN groups you engage with online? In what way if yes?

Yes, I notice a big difference! Significantly more people talk about Croatia in both online and "offline" groups I am part of. Of course, I always have seen great images and heard great stories from Croatia, but now the communication is also about the digital nomad infrastructure. Articles often support the new communication. Lately, I got sent a Dutch item about Croatia as a digital nomad destination.

5. What would you say are the key next steps for Dubrovnik on this journey, and for Croatia as a whole

Croatia created a great buzz with the introduction of a digital nomad visa. The eyes of digital nomads are aimed at Croatia, and locals start to understand what these new types of travellers are. To have a significant impact and create an attractive environment for digital nomads, it's key to keep the momentum of this program going. With follow-up programs like the ones mentioned above, it's reassuring to see that outcomes keep developing.

Consequently, I think it's key to keep pace with development. With most of the Asian countries still closed, more digital nomads are thinking of European destinations. So this is the right time for Dubrovnik and Croatia to amaze other digital nomads with the welcoming infrastructure. 

6. Your favourite memory/experience from DNIR, and when do expect that Dubrovnik will see you next?

rob-schubert_1.jpg

Picking a favourite of such a fantastic experience is difficult. There were many great days! Yet there was one evening that particularly comes to mind now. It was a sundowner on a beautiful rooftop in the middle of the old town. Energized by the company of this great group and fresh mussels from Ston (and some watermelon), this evening presented great conversations and many moments of laughter. 

I first-person heard about the developments and plans Dubrovnik has for digital nomads. As soon as these are in place, I have a perfect "excuse" to come back and try them out. See you soon!

 

Rob was part of a very international and all DNIR extra virgin digital nomad team which came a creditable 5th at this year's world championship. They were joined by fellow DNIRs Alyssa from California, Charlie from Wales, Sam from England, and coach Tanja from Australia.

For more news and features on digital nomads in Croatia, follow the dedicated TCN section

Monday, 18 October 2021

Dubrovnik Digital Nomads-in-Residence 6 Months On: Charlie Brown

October 18, 2021 - In April this year, 10 digital nomads from all over the world came together for the inaugural Dubrovnik Digital Nomads-in-Residence (DNIR) program. As part of European Freelancer Week 2021, TCN catches up with some of them 6 months on, starting with Charlie Brown from Wales. 

A year ago, the city of Dubrovnik held the first-ever digital nomad conference in Croatia - Dubrovnik for Digital Nomads - as part of European Freelancer Week. The city has made great strides advancing its DN credentials and strategy, thanks in part to the award-winning Dubrovnik Digital Nomads-in-Residence program, which ran from April 23 - May 23. 

 

Far from forgetting Croatia, several of the DNIRs have been very active in Croatia. None more so that Charlie Brown, who together with husband Sam, have been enjoying a lot more of Croatia and its excellent wines, as well as representing the Extra Virgin Digital Nomads at the 4th Olive Picking World Championships on Brac last week. TCN caught up with Charlie to reflect on all things nomaddy 6 months on. 

1. It is 6 months since you arrived in Dubrovnik for the Dubrovnik Digital Nomads-in-Residence program. Firstly, a brief look back at that month. How was it for you, and how did it change your perceptions of Dubrovnik as a nomad destination?

It was excellent, on many levels. It was such an exciting project to be a part of, from meeting other digital nomads to learning more about Croatia and the untapped potential for remote workers. Dubrovnik was to be honest, never on my list of destinations to visit as a digital nomad, but that has changed. During my month I found it filled with excellent people, excellent experiences and beautiful scenery. 

charlie-brown_4.jpg

2.  Have you kept in touch with others from the project? Spent any more time in Croatia?

Yes! In fact I just spent a week with two of them in Split and I saw another every week during a month in Barcelona. 

And yes, I've spent a lot more time in Croatia; Hvar and Zadar straight after the program, and I returned to Split in September. I'm heading to Zagreb next week and Istria a couple of weeks after that; it seems I want to explore every nook and cranny (and with the islands, there are a lot of them) of this country.

charlie-brown_5.jpg 

3. It seems that a lot has been happening in the DN scene in the last few months since the program. Zagreb Digital Nomad Week, Digital Nomad Valley Zagreb, the Cross Border Coworking Conference in Budva, Croatia performing strongly in the Nomad List 2021 survey. What changes have you noticed since arriving in Dubrovnik back in April?

That there is more hunger than ever to attract digital nomads. I was part of the Cross Border Coworking Conference in Budva, Montenegro and it was amazing to see and hear what other countries are doing to appeal to digital nomads, not just DN visas but also welcoming communities, co-living situations and co-working spaces. I was also delighted to hear about how Dubrovnik has implemented our recommendations, from opening new co-working spaces to DN-friendly accommodation.

charlie-brown_3.jpg

4. Have you noticed any change in the way Croatia is talked about in the global DN groups you engage with online? In what way if yes?

I see it crop up as a recommended destination more and more. Reasons are usually amazing scenery, good value, particularly as we head towards winter, and friendly people. 

charlie-brown_1.jpg

5. What would you say are the key next steps for Dubrovnik on this journey, and for Croatia as a whole

I always think this time of year is an excellent time for Croatia to be attracting DNs. so in the very short term, I would make the most of that. Accommodation is cheaper and more plentiful, there is hiking, skiing, and other outdoor pursuits to be done and the opportunity to rest and re-charge in the quietness of the winter. Beyond that, continuing to build on things DNs want and need. Good quality and value accommodation (it's great to see DNA Stay has just launched), building communities, and co-working.

charlie-brown_6.jpg 

6. Your favourite memory/experience from DNIR, and when do expect that Dubrovnik will see you next?

There were a few post-beer nighttime swims that were pretty awesome. And just being able to socialize with a like-minded group of people - the first time most of us had been able to do that in a sustained way for over a year. I will be back in Croatia in Spring 2022, and Dubrovnik will for sure be seeing a bit more of me!

 

Charlie and Sam were part of a very international and all DNIR extra virgin digital nomad team which came a creditable 5th at this year's world championship. They were joined by fellow DNIRs Alyssa from California, Rob from the Netherlands, and coach Tanja from Australia.

If you are in Split on Wednesday and want to see if Charlie really can drink that much wine, she and Sam are doing what promises to be a fun presentation about life on the road at Zinfandel. More details here

60256b4e0aa929472e17466b89dca932_XL.jpg

For more news and features on digital nomads in Croatia, follow the dedicated TCN section

Sunday, 17 October 2021

Dubrovnik Digital Nomads-in-Residence Giving Back at European Freelancer Week

October 17, 2021 - European Freelancer Week kicks off tomorrow, with participants in the Dubrovnik Digital Nomads-in-Residence taking part in events in both Split and Dubrovnik.

It is a year since the first-ever dedicated digital nomad conference in Croatia. Dubrovnik for Digital Nomads was held this time last year as part of European Freelancer Week, an event delivered by Saltwater Nomads, TCN, the City of Dubrovnik, and Dubrovnik Tourist Board.

croatia-digital-nomad-destination_12.jpg

One of the highlights of the conference was the virtual presentation by Kashlee Kucheran, co-owner of the influential Travel Off Path website and community, which is dedicated to travel information for remote workers. You can read Kashlee's subsequent interview with TCN in full here, but one of the quotes of the conference - and I will confess that it surprised me a little - was in Kashlee's slide above, that Croatia was the Number 1 Digital Nomad Country in her opinion. 

croatia-digital-nomad-destination_4.jpg

Fast forward a year, and it appears that a growing number of nomads are beginning to agree with her, as Croatia was named the second-most liked country by users of Nomad List in a major survey recently

There is no conference in Dubrovnik for this year's European Freelancer Week (but watch this space for 2022), which runs from October 18-24, but there will be plenty of activity for participants of the award-winning Dubrovnik Digital Nomads-in-Residence program, which was delivered by the same team in April this year. 

Saltwater Nomads will be offering a week of free coworking in Split, as well as hosting what should be a very entertaining evening of good food, wine and conversation with Charlie and Sam Brown, two of the stars of the DNIR programme. 

Charlie and Sam Brown: from couple to colleagues to competitors (but still a couple!)

British digital nomad couple Charlie and Sam Brown talk about how they sold everything they own, from their successful wine business (voted the best Independent Wine Shop in the UK!) to their house for a life on the road.

They are now both freelance writers in the same field, so have gone from being colleagues to competitors.

They'll be talking about everything Life on The Road, from giving up everything they own in their mid-thirties when most of their friends were settling down, to the challenges (and advantages) of travelling as a couple, to what it's like working together, then against each other...

highres_499496391.jpg

Meanwhile in Dubrovnik two of the very active contributors to the DNIR programme from the local Dubrovnik community, Vesna Celebic and award-winning photographer, Ivan Vukovic, will be hosting a wine night at D'Vino under the topic - Fearful + Fearless Freelancers with lessons from Dubrovnik. 

Details of all the events here

For more news and features about digital nomads in Croatia, follow the dedicated TCN section

 

Friday, 15 October 2021

Zagreb, Dubrovnik in Top 10 New Europe Congress Destinations, Hvar & Split Feature

October 15, 2021 - From Venice and Baku and Mosocw and Istanbul, where are the best congress destinations in New Europe in 2021? Many are in Croatia, it seems. 

After the devastation of the pandemic on the congress industry in 2020, events are slowly getting back to a semblance of what they were pre-pandemic, although there is obviously a long way to go. 

But it seems that Croatia is more than ready to meet the demand. The 2021 Meeetings Experience Index (MTLG - MEETAOLOGUE) was published recently, a comprehensive analysis of 118 congress destinations in 'New Europe', nad there was a very strong showing by a number of Croaita's congress destinations.

MTLG defines New Europe as:

The answer to this question is something of an unsolved conundrum. A clear definition of New Europe doesn’t exist, the most general definition being that these are the countries of Eastern Europe that were once behind the Iron Curtain. Technically, this means 24 countries of Eastern Europe, adding Greece and Turkey to them. In our Editorial, we include the fresh, energetic and lesser-known European destinations in New Europe.

best.JPG

There was a particularly good showing for Zagreb and Dubrovnik. Zagreb was named 5th best destination overall, as well as third in the category of large congress destinations, with Dubrovnik coming in 7th. 

cat.JPG

It seems that Croatia's niche is perhaps in the medium sized category, where no less than 4 Croatian congress destinations featured. Dubrovnik topped the list, followed by Split in second, Opatija in 5th, Rovinj in 7th, and Sibenik in 8th. 

hvar-congress-destinations.JPG

And there was good news for the island of Hvar as well, which came second in the category of small congress destination. 

This is what they had to say about Zagreb:

A great congress future awaits Zagreb. It is well established in the international congress market and in addition to Ljubljana and Belgrade, it represents the future backbone of the continental meetings industry of the region. All three cities are progressing steadily on the charts of developed meetings destinations; the final breakthrough of the entire region is intertwined and dependent on the marketing of major regional congress cities in the international market.

About Dubrovnik:

Dubrovnik is the flagship of regional tourism and is commonly the first association of meetings organizers we meet daily. It is the closest in the region to renowned Mediterranean convention destinations Cannes and Monte Carlo. The modern and well-equipped centres at hotels such as Dubrovnik Palace, Excelsior, Bellevue, Grand Villa Argentina, Importanne Resort, Dubrovnik President, Valamar Lacroma and Radisson Blue are all great for hosting a variety of events. Well-developed is the entire conference infrastructure including destination management and creative agency scene. The city is safe and one of the tourist icons of the Adriatic and justifiably the most painted tourist skyline with unprecedented experiential diversity for conference guests.

About Split:

Among the Adriatic congress destinations Split has become serious competition to Dubrovnik in the last years. The main disadvantages of the destination are bad cooperation between the service providers, lack of air traffic connections to key markets and not enough destination marketing. If Split gets a real convention centre in the future, it could become one of the leading congress destinations in the Mediterranean. New and excellent hotel capacities, good road connections to Europe and wonderful surroundings, with islands offering numerous incentive programme opportunities, all bolster this proposition. Split is still one of the most unexploited congress destinations in the Mediterranean.

About Hvar:

None of the more than 1,000 Croatian islands has such karma and recognition as Hvar. Definitely, a “must” Croatian destination, right behind Dubrovnik. Distance from the mainland gives it a touch of boutique smallness. On the beauty of the island, reminiscent of the Garden of Eden, there is no point in wasting words, since there is no shortage of various urban legends and superlatives. Among other things, it used to be called Austrian Madeira. In Hvar, the urban has been coexisting with the rural for centuries.

About Opatija:

Opatija is without a doubt the ultimate meetings destination. Why? Because few destinations provide such a rich assortment of luxury accommodation in such a small area, whilst Opatija provides 33 hotels offering over 2700 rooms and more than 50 meeting and conference halls along the 3 km of the coastline. At the beginning and the end of the Opatija Riviera, there are two boutique hotels that contribute to the exclusivity of Opatija.

About Rovinj:

If at the destination you have owners who have clear goals and who look at congress tourism strategically, then in a short time you can do a lot. It is possible to revitalize the old factory premises and build a superior conference hotel. Maistra in Rovinj has undoubtedly left its mark. Taking into consideration the geographical location of Rovinj as one of the closest Mediterranean congress destinations for Central and Western Europe, the future of this industry is guaranteed. Missing is only a convention bureau, which would know how to step out of corporate governance of the destination and would be able to serve as attorney of the meetings industry. Otherwise, forecasts of mayor Sponza that Rovinj will be more exclusive than Dubrovnik, can be realized.

About Sibenik:

Šibenik very rarely raises any association with the meeting industry. In the process of transition from an industrial city into a tourist destination, it has not yet asserted its image among competing cities. Despite this, it is a fact that it has excellent conditions and is somehow considered to be a hidden jewel of the Croatian congress offer. For ease of accessibility, it may be a suitable location for small association conferences as well as a variety of incentive programmes.

Regarding the methodology, Kongres Magazine explained the criteria assessed:

The Meeting Experience Index is one of the most complex destination evaluations that is not only based on the number of congress events but delves deeper analytically. The methodology addresses all key meetings industry segments and thus all key MICE products. 75 evaluation criteria are used to determine the final destination score. That is why the Meeting Experience Index has become the bedrock for selecting destinations for meeting planners.

All destinations are evaluated based on fieldwork and thorough research of individual criteria with the objective to come as close as possible to the real situation. Moreover, the editorial board of Kongres Magazine strives to present up-to-date information that is objective and transparent. Each year, the destination scores are revised and corrected with timely information.

You can see all the results on Kongres Magazine's website.

Monday, 11 October 2021

United Airlines Flights to Dubrovnik Extended to October 26, 2022

October 11, 2021 - United Airlines flights to Dubrovnik have been extended until the end of October next year!

After an extremely successful summer season in which United Airlines launched a route between New York and Dubrovnik (from July to early October), they have announced more flights to Dubrovnik Airport next summer, reports Croatian Aviation.

United introduced a regular line between Dubrovnik and New York in early July this year. Three flights a week were announced which quickly increased to four times a week from the beginning of July to the beginning of October this year.

Encouraged by the great interest, the airline has already announced the continuation of traffic between Dubrovnik and New York in the summer flight schedule next year.

Unlike this year, next summer, United Airlines plans to launch the first flight between Dubrovnik and New York at the end of May (May 27, 2022). This summer season, the last flight was at the very beginning of October, and for next year, United plans regular operations until the very end of October (October 26, 2022). Thus, this line will be in traffic for a full two months longer next summer compared to this season.

Unlike United, Delta Air Lines, which also operated regularly between New York and Dubrovnik this summer, has not yet released tickets on this route for next summer season. If this route doesn't relaunch, United may increase its capacity to Dubrovnik, either by introducing a larger type of aircraft or by increasing weekly rotations.

With the announcement that Croatian citizens will no longer need visas to visit the USA from December 1 this year, and with 8 weekly operations between Dubrovnik and New York this summer, another regular line from the United States to Croatia may be announced for next summer season, concludes Croatian Aviation.

For more information about flights to Croatia, follow the dedicated TCN section.

To learn more about Osijek Airport, click here

Monday, 11 October 2021

Dubrovnik: Panel Debate with Citizens on Future of Europe

ZAGREB, 11 Oct 2021 - As part of the Conference on the Future of Europe, the Ministry of Foreign and European Affairs on Monday held, in cooperation with the Spanish Ministry of Foreign Affairs, European Union and Cooperation, a panel debate on the EU's future global and regional role.

The panel debate was held at Dubrovnik's Lazzarettos buildings, once used as a quarantine station during the Ragusa Republic era.

The aim of the panel debate, entitled "Preparing for tomorrow: The European Union's Global and Regional Role," was to encourage discussion, particularly among young people, on the EU's geopolitical and strategic issues.

The European Commission Vice President for Democracy and Demography and the co-chair of the executive committee for the Conference on the Future of Europe, Dubravka Šuica, underscored that it was essential to talk with citizens because of new technologies and digitization were changing democracy.

"We want citizens to be involved, not just for elections but during this opportunity too, to state their ideas which will be examined on a multi-lingual digital platform which is the heart of the conference. They will participate in European and local panel debates which will be followed by a large plenary conference and its conclusions will be presented to the presidents of the European Union's three main institutions," Šuica explained. 

She added that there was a gap between politicians and citizens and that citizens needed to feel that they can create European policies.

"Citizens need to be active because our future depends on them. Young people aged between 16 and 25 in particular because they are creative and they will live that future. Naturally, older citizens can help too. This is the EU's preparation for a new generation, but with them," she said.

She mentioned that more than 3.5 million EU citizens had registered with the multi-lingual digital platform but underscored that so far citizens had not acquainted themselves sufficiently with that complex project.

Spain's State-Secretary for the EU Juan González-Barba said that he expected the most from young people in the panel debate because it mostly concerns their future.

For more about politics in Croatia, follow TCN's dedicated page.

Sunday, 10 October 2021

Best Nudist Beach in the World is on the Island of Lokrum

October 10, 2021 - Up to 100 nudist beaches and bathing spots around the world were evaluated in a survey conducted by the My Dating Adviser portal, in which the island of Lokrum ranked first for its quality and accessibility, and is thus considered the best nudist beach of the world.

As many as 100 nudist beaches and bathing places around the world were evaluated in a survey conducted by the My Dating Adviser portal, in which the island of Lokrum came first as the best nudist beach, reports Turističke Priče. The quality of the beach, safety, weather, and the price of the hotel were evaluated, and Lokrum received the best evaluations for the safety and quality of the beach.

Lokrum is the closest to the historic city center of Dubrovnik, and centuries of rich history, legends, and stories, the magic of the sea and nature renew old loves or bring new ones. But apart from that, Lokrum became famous after the Game of Thrones series. Lush vegetation, intoxicating scents, and the song of crickets "played" the gardens in the Game of Thrones where "those of pure blood" ruled. Numerous tourists walked the trails walked by Khaleesi and her powerful host Xaro Xhoan Daxos. And while on the island, you can also sit on the  Iron Throne, which is located in a Benedictine monastery

On the list of the 100 best nudist beaches, Lokrum is located above the beach Spiaggia della Lecciona from the Italian province of Lucca, and the Australian beach Maslin Beach .

In the description of the beach, My Dating Adviser states that if you spend time in Dubrovnik, the island of Lokrum is a great place to visit, only 10 minutes away by ferry and that it is a small, uninhabited island, which provides a haven for nudists.

''Here you can enjoy the impeccable landscape, national parks, and clear sea. The island consists mainly of rocks, so be careful with pieces of stone. This island also has a natural salt lake where you can relax like a jacuzzi'', the text explains about the now considered best nudist beach in the world.

In addition to Lokrum, this list includes three other destinations from Croatia: Punta Križa on Cres in 13th place, then Valalta near Rovinj in 16th place, and Sovinje Beach in Tkon in 21st place, which was rated the best in the beach quality category.

Nudist beaches in Croatia have been popular for a long time now. The country with such an abundance of hidden bays and beaches is nothing short of perfect for all those looking to get in touch with nature on their holiday. For more about the history of nudist beaches in Croatia and detailed information, be sure to check Total Croatia's guide here.

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

Thursday, 7 October 2021

Unofficial: Jennifer Walsh Out of Coma After Fall from Dubrovnik Balcony, More Details from Police

October 7, 2021 - Fresh details about the terrible accident of Jennifer Welsh, the 22-year-old British tourist in a coma after falling from a Dubrovnik balcony.

This article has been updated at 15:30 on October 8 - see below.

After British media reported the story of Sara Walsh launching a GoFundMe campaign to raise money for her sister Jennifer after a horrific accident in Croatia, more details are emerging about the incident. 

Ms Walsh had apparently fallen from a balcony on Saturday, October 2 while on holiday in Dubrovnik and was left with a bleed on the brain, two skull fractures, a broken collarbone, a punctured lung, broken ribs and a fractured wrist. According to the GoFundMe campaign launched, she did not have travel insurance, and an initial appeal for £30,000 (which has now increased to £35,000) has met with big success, with £32,507 pledged at time of writing. 

Curiously for a story of this nature, it did not appear at all in the Croatian media until this morning, some 24 hours after being reported in the UK. Also a little strange were the almost complete lack of details about the case, with the only source of information being the GoFundMe appeal and some social media posts from her sister. 

 

After asking a few contacts in Dubrovnik what they knew, I was surprised that nobody had heard about the incident at all. I checked with the British Embassy, who repsonded immediately:

“We are aware of a UK person being hospitalised in Dubrovnik and we have offered consular assistance.”

I called the Dubrovnik police, who were able to give me an update. 

The police confirmed that Ms Walsh had fallen from a Dubrovnik balcony, as reported. This happened at about 20:00 last Saturday in a private apartment. It was not the one she was renting, but one rented by two British citizens.

The apartment was in the popular Ploce area of town, very close to the historic old town.

ulaz_ploce_6.jpg

(Ploce Gate, entrance to the old town of Dubrovnik - Dubrovnik Tourist Board)

She fell about 3.5 metres and unfortunately landed on her head. She was immediately transferred to hospital and has been in a coma. 

The police are treating the incident as an accident for now, but their investigations are ongoing, and they will make more information available as things are confirmed. The police had no comment when I asked if alcohol was involved. They wanted to convey the facts as they have been established so far. 

I asked if her parents were with her. The police had heard that they were, but referred me to the hospital for more information on that and her current condition. 

Some encouraging - but unofficial - news has just emerged with regard to her condition, as reported by local portal Dubrovacki Vijesti:

-When she was brought to the hospital, the condition was critical, she had a very difficult operation with an uncertain outcome, but in the end everything ended well. She is awake, but after such severe injuries it all takes time, the operation was difficult, demanding and time consuming. Although complications are still possible, it is out of danger, but it will certainly have consequences. She has a long recovery ahead of her - Dubrovacki finds out unofficially.

Update on October 8, 2021 - Dubrovacki Vijesti has also just published a little more detail about the night the accident happened in an update to the story. According to this Dubrovnik portal, Ms. Walsh was not actually staying in Dubrovnik, but in Zupa close by. She was attending a party at the rented apartment of friends (there is a photo of the apartment in the link in the previous sentence). While standing on the terrace, she dropped something off the balcony. When she tried to retrieve it, the tragic accident occurred, and she fell 3.5 metres, as the police stated above. 

There has been a fantastic response to the GoFundMe campaign, which has now reached £35,259, thereby meeting the £35,000 target.

Wednesday, 6 October 2021

Dubrovnik Voted in Top 5 Cities in the World by Conde Nast Traveler

October 6, 2021 - Kings Landing to some, Pearl of the Adriatic to others, Dubrovnik to others, but one of the world's top 5 cities at the 2021 Conde Nast Traveler Readers Awards. 

It really is one of the most stunning cities in the world.

And more than 800,000 readers of presigious Conde Nast Traveler appear to agreee. 

Dubrovnik has been voted in the top 5 cities in the world.  

Each year, readers weigh in on their favorite international cities, big and small, and it’s always exciting to witness which trending locales can rise to the top and compete with the old stalwarts. As the world has begun to reopen, the results of our 34th annual Readers’ Choice Awards survey reflect the kinds of places you longed to visit when you couldn’t travel and the ones you returned to first once you could. Over 800,000 of you filled out our survey, and while we’re always curious about where you’ve been and where you’re going, we’re especially excited to learn about the truly memorable cities that sparked your imagination and stayed with you when your next trip seemed out of reach. Here are the cities you loved most this year. 

Here is what the 2021 Conde Nast Traveler Awards had to say about Croatia:

5. Dubrovnik, Croatia

Dubrovnik saw a massive spike in tourism after being featured as the filming location for King’s Landing in Game of Thrones, and while you won’t find any mad kings (or queens) here in real life, the beauty of this city at the edge of the Adriatic is very real. Wander the limestone streets and walk along the ancient city walls, or take a short ferry ride to the island of Lokrum. Here, you can hike through the botanical garden, catch a glimpse of the wild peacocks, and climb to the top of an abandoned 11th-century monastery for stunning panoramic views.

Dubrovnik was beaten only by San Miguel de Allende, Mexico, San Sebastián, Spain, Salzburg, Austria, and Siena, ItalySan Miguel de Allende, Mexico, San Sebastián, Spain, Salzburg, Austria, and Siena, Italy. See the full list here.

Dubrovnik's recognition mirrors Croatian love among Conde Nast readers:

Croatia Makes Condé Nast Traveler's 2021 Top 20 Countries in the World

Conde Nast Traveler Votes Hvar Best Island in Europe (Again!), 6th in World

To learn more about Dubrovnik, check out the TC Dubrovnik in a Page

Page 16 of 208

Search