Friday, 27 August 2021

Mala Butiga is Dubrovnik’s New Wine and Food Hotspot

27 August 2021 - Mala Butiga is a brand new shop located in the centre of Dubrovnik's historical district. It is the city's newest and one of the most interesting additions when it comes to wine and food offers.

Across the square from the Great Onofrio's Fountain, Mala Butiga offers an amazing selection of Croatian wine and premium food items. It is a family business and a passion project started out of love for all things local and authentic. It is run by locals with plenty of tourism and hospitality experience that includes running a wine bar and making wines. Mala Butiga aims to be a one-stop shop for foodies and wine enthusiasts alike.


Dubrovnik's historical centre might be brimming with people and activity, but it is hardly a shopper's paradise. There are plenty of options when it comes to stores catering to travellers, but not many offer great quality for a reasonable price. When it comes to local wine and food, the quality of which is one of the major draws for people visiting the area, the situation is not much better. Thankfully, Mala Butiga is here to save the day.

Croatian Wine and Spirits


It is a very easy shop to find when entering the historical centre. As you walk through the inner Pile gate, it sits directly behind the prominent fountain to your right. Inside you will find arguably the best selection of wine in all of the Dubrovnik area. Wines sourced directly from local family wineries fall into a wide range of prices and styles. Some of the best Croatian bottles are on display. In a country where almost all the wine is produced on small scale, it took a long time to create this impressive collection. Knowledgeable staff is on hand to help you find that perfect bottle to take home as a memento of Croatia or to enjoy while on holiday with friends or that special someone. Wines from all four major regions of the country are on display, everything from light sparkling wines to full-bodied reds. You can find other spirits at the shop as well with a smaller, but a great selection of craft beer and a lovely offer of Croatian liqueurs waiting for you.


Local Delicacies Not to Miss

When it comes to food items, the deliciousness within is hard to put into words. Truffle specialties from Istria, prosciutto from various Dalmatian regions, top Croatian olive oil, cheese, cured meats, and hot sauces… all this is just a quick visit away. Mala Butiga is stocked perfectly for those last-minute shopping runs before having to entertain a group of friends at home. It is also perfect for creating instant romantic dinners or stocking up for a nice picnic in the local area. Putting together a quick picnic basket was never easier, nor more delicious. In fact, that just might be the perfect choice for a day out while in Dubrovnik. The store holds some items impossible to find elsewhere in Dubrovnik, so its popularity is bound to rise not just with international travellers, but the locals as well.


Mala Butiga is on a fast track towards becoming one of Dubrovnik’s favourite stores. Make sure you pay it a visit before filling up that free space in your luggage for the return flight and we promise you will not be sorry.

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

For more in-depth information on Dubrovnik, check out our Dubrovnik in a Page section of Total Croatia


Tuesday, 24 August 2021

Dubrovnik, Zagreb Digital Nomad Events Finalists in 2021 Conventa Best Event Awards

August 24, 2021 - Recognition for both Zagreb Digital Nomad Week and Dubrovnik Digital Nomads-in-Residence program, as both are shortlisted as finalists at the 2021 Conventa Best Event Awards in Ljubljana.

The Conventa Crossover Festival of Events and Live Marketing will be held 26-27 August in Ljubljana, Slovenia. The event is the only one of its kind in the region, and every year brings together leading speakers, workshops and in 2021, over 300 MICE professionals. Winners of the Conventa Best Event Award will be announced this Friday at the festival. The 18 finalists, listed on the Conventa event website, include 7 Croatian entries across the B2B, B2C, B2I (internal events) and ‘crossover’ (B2B/B2C) categories.

The Zagreb Digital Nomad Week and Dubrovnik Digital Nomads-in-Residence program entries and all other finalists can be viewed on the Conventa Crossover Best Event Awards website.


To be eligible, events were held between 1 January 2020 to 15 July 2021. The Croatian finalists include Saltwater and TCN’s digital nomad events in Zagreb and Dubrovnik, a Croatian/Slovenian Phillip Morris internal event and four clients of Komunikacijski Laboritorij agency including Porsche Digital Croatia, the Croatian Chamber of Commerce, DOK-ING Robotics and Photomath learning app.

The project co-founder, Gorazd Čad, reflected on the state of the industry to Kongres Magazine, noting “the competition is an indicator of the industry’s condition and enables comparison while showing the way for the future. Judging by the registered projects, the regional meetings industry has a bright future ahead.”

The jury consisted of experts from across Europe’s event sector. Entries were scored on innovation, sustainability, creativity, relevance, results, execution and overall impression.Total Croatia News covered the two digital nomad events extensively in its features on digital nomads. The events collectively reached large audiences on LinkedIn Remote Work groups, digital nomad forums and over 20 media features including Fast Company, Cities Today, Travel Off Path, The Mayor EU, ARTE TV and a number of Croatian media outlets including Slobodna Dalmacija, Vecernji, Jutarnji and HR Turizam among others.

Excerpts from the award entries:

Zagreb Digital Nomad Week
Event description and key objectives

7 days. 7 themes. Plus a 6 month global ambassador project. Zagreb held a groundbreaking event for digital nomads in June 2021, only 6 months after devastating earthquakes in 2020.

The entire city was the venue.

For one special week in June, the capital city drew in remote professionals in person, and reached a global online audience of over 70,000, to cover emerging themes in remote work and highlight lifestyle and experiences in the city.

Zagreb Digital Nomad Week ran from 21 to 27 June 2021, in person and online for a series of 7 themes over 7 days, covering: cyber security, online presence, remote careers, tax & finance, future of work, wellbeing and exploring Zagreb.

There were over 26 speakers, streaming live from Bali to Barcelona, Manly Beach in Sydney, to a coworking space on Zagreb’s British Square, struck by one of the earthquakes.

Dubrovnik Digital Nomads-in-Residence
Event description and key objectives

10 winners. 4 weeks. A once in a lifetime experience.

The Dubrovnik digital nomad-in-residence (DN-I-R) program is a collaboration between the city of Dubrovnik and the global digital nomad community it hosts. It was held from 23 April to 23 May 2021.

Using a co-creation model, the Saltwater program team brought together residents and 10 digital nomads selected as DN-I-Rs. Over a four week period, the digital nomads attended design thinking workshops to create a strategic direction for the city, especially as it adjusts to a more sustainable direction and manages the impact of COVID19.

Winners stayed free in Dubrovnik for 4 weeks to collaborate, upskill and contribute as Dubrovnik’s first special guest Digital Nomads-in-Residence.


The activities in the program were intended to contribute to enhancing the city’s standing among digital nomads globally. DN-I-Rs were expected to engage fully, respect their position and bring their collective expertise to benefit incoming digital nomads and the City. DN-I-Rs received professional development training, participated in workshops and presented their findings on shaping Dubrovnik as a Digital Nomad Friendly city. This was presented at a finale event at the end of the program as a roadmap of quick wins, mid and long term goals.

The program team included design thinking experts and a placemaking strategist. They led representatives from the city and digital nomads ranging from CEOs, radio hosts to writers and a migration scholar.

You can view the full entries for the Zagreb Digital Nomad Week and Dubrovnik Digital Nomads-in-Residence program and all other finalists on the Conventa Crossover Best Event Awards website.

Saturday, 21 August 2021

Jet2 Flights to Dubrovnik Airport Extended through End of October!

August 21, 2021 - Jet2 flights to Dubrovnik Airport have been extended from London Stansted and Manchester until the end of October. 

Dubrovnik Airport is currently connected to about 50 international destinations with about 40 carriers. The traffic intensified in August, and all airlines increased the number of flights, including from British low-cost leisure airline, which announced that they were extending the season to Dubrovnik Airport, reports HRTurizam.

"Dubrovnik - sightseeing and island-hopping adventures through the day give way to evenings of waterfront wining and dining. Dubrovnik’s Old Town takes centre stage, with its network of ancient alleys, pretty piazzas, and terracotta rooftops all wrapped up in grand stone walls. Out of town, emerald islands and secluded coves await. All of this has resulted in increased demand, and in response, and Jet2holidays have made the following additions:

  • Manchester – season extended until the end of October, with three weekly services operating until then, including Saturday and Sunday flights.
  • London Stansted - season extended until the end of October, with three weekly services operating until then.
  • Flights and holidays also available to Dubrovnik from BirminghamEdinburgh, Leeds Bradford and Newcastle in Summer 21," writes Jet2 in an announcement on August 21.

Visitors from the United Kingdom are traditionally among the top 5 visitors in Dubrovnik-Neretva County and the City of Dubrovnik. From July 1 to August 17, they realized 114,622 overnight stays.

"The Dubrovnik-Neretva County Tourist Board independently launched a media campaign in the United Kingdom in late July and early August, and in cooperation with, a campaign was launched to promote destinations throughout our county. If the epidemiological picture continues to be favorable, we can expect visitors from the United Kingdom to achieve good results in 2021. We hope that the extension of flights will enable even better results from this significant market for us," states the Dubrovnik-Neretva County Tourist Board.

Dubrovnik achieved one million overnight stays. The most numerous guests are from the United Kingdom.

According to the eVisitor tourist check-in and check-out system, one million overnight stays were realized in Dubrovnik from the beginning of the year to August 16, 2021, which is an increase of 87 percent compared to 2020. In the same period, in 2020, there were 276,178 arrivals, which is an increase of 73 percent.

From January 1 to August 16, 2021, most tourists in Dubrovnik were from France, the USA, Croatia, Germany, the United Kingdom, Poland, Russia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, the Netherlands, and Ukraine. Furthermore, most tourists were from France, the United Kingdom, Germany, the USA, Croatia, Russia, Poland, the Netherlands, Spain, and Italy in the first half of August. Currently, in August, most guests in Dubrovnik are from the United Kingdom, followed by guests from France, Germany, the USA, Russia, Italy, Croatia, Poland, the Netherlands, and Spain.

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

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

Friday, 20 August 2021

Dubrovnik UNESCO World Heritage Management Plan: First in Croatia

August 20, 2021 - The Dubrovnik UNESCO World Heritage Management Plan is the first management plan for the world heritage in Dubrovnik and the first of its kind in Croatia.

The City of Dubrovnik has obtained the Ministry of Culture and Media's consent to entrust the implementation of the Management Plan of Dubrovnik's Historical Entity to the Institute for Dubrovnik's Reconstruction. This fulfills one of the legal steps that precede the appointment of the ZOD as the main coordinator of the plan's implementation, which is envisaged in the activities listed in the Plan's text, reports HRTurizam.

Following this decision, the Dubrovnik mayor, Mato Franković, was presented with a Proposal to conclude the "Dubrovnik Old Town" UNESCO World Heritage Management Plan to the Public Institution Institute for Dubrovnik's Reconstruction. According to the City of Dubrovnik, the conclusion will be on the schedule of the next City Council session.

Namely, the Institute for Dubrovnik's Reconstruction successfully drafted the plan, which the City Council unanimously adopted in the previous convocation. Furthermore, the appointment of the ZOD as a legal entity at the head of its implementation will establish a continuous management system that will ensure that all challenges are addressed, which are defined in the Action Plan through the priority levels of implementation to preserve the outstanding universal value of the heritage.

The "Dubrovnik Old Town" UNESCO World Heritage Management Plan is the first management plan for the world heritage in Dubrovnik and the first of its kind in the Republic of Croatia. Although drafting the Management Plan arose from the instructions of the UNESCO-ICOMOS World Heritage Committee and Reactive Mission 2015, drafting the document itself began in July 2019. It was based on an extensive participatory process, which defined goals and priorities. As a result, an action plan has been developed to implement strategic activities, together with monitoring indicators to measure the implementation of objectives and activities.

"Dubrovnik Old Town" UNESCO World Heritage Management Plan 


The purpose of the World Heritage Management Plan is to provide a long-term management system that will preserve the quality, originality, and integrity of the recognized world heritage and components that confirm outstanding universal values while maintaining the quality of life and active multifunctional use of the city center.

The management plan covers the entire heritage area, its contact zone, and the associated environment.

The strategic activities of the Management Plan are asset management and capacity building; protection, preservation, and maintenance; sustainable development; tourism management; and traffic management.

You can read the entire management plan here.

For more, follow our lifestyle section.

Wednesday, 18 August 2021

Flights to Croatia: Ryanair Zagreb Boosts Operations, Blue Air Split and Dubrovnik Routes

August 18, 2021 - The latest flight news to Croatia as the Ryanair Zagreb base boosts operations on two lines, and Blue Air Split and Dubrovnik routes are on the horizon. 

The newly launched Ryanair Zagreb base will boost operations on two routes from September 1, reports Ex Yu Aviation

Namely, the airline will operate four weekly flights to Charleroi compared to the existing two, while there will be four weekly rotations to Gothenburg compared to the existing three flights a week. 

Furthermore, Ryanair will station a second jet, the Airbus A320, in Zagreb from September 1, thus launching nine new routes. 

Ex Yu Aviation reports that Romanian low-cost carrier Blue Air will run seasonal flights from Bucharest to Split and Dubrovnik in 2022. The new routes will work from June 23 and June 28, with two flights per week on the 189-seat Boeing 737-800 aircraft.

The airline is introducing seven new routes next summer, with Split and Dubrovnik included. 

Eurowings has also announced that it will introduce its third route to Zagreb Airport, a year-round flight between Dusseldorf and Zagreb, which was canceled in 2019. The route will run on Tuesdays and Saturdays beginning August 31.

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

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

Sunday, 15 August 2021

Poco Loco Cocktail & Tapas Bar – Your New Favourite Spot in Dubrovnik

15 August 2021 - Poco Loco Cocktail & Tapas Bar is no longer a new name in Dubrovnik's hospitality scene. This bar-turned-restaurant has occupied the central location of Buniceva Poljana Square for quite some time now. This square in the heart of the city's historical centre is a popular nightspot. It sits behind the Cathedral of the Assumption of Mary and is a hit with locals and foreigners alike.

Dubrovnik is not a young destination. This city has been a travel hotspot for decades and an important port for international travellers for centuries. With this in mind, the offer of local restaurants and bars is quite substantial. However, the sheer number of hospitality businesses does not always automatically mean there is enough diversity on offer. When it comes to the wine and dine scene of the city, most of it is divided between more or less serious restaurants and generic bars featuring rather uniform drinks lists. Thankfully, the winds of change are blowing, and we see fresh ideas slowly but surely taking centre stage. Poco Loco Cocktail & Tapas Bar is a great example.

New Restaurant to Watch in Dubrovnik


Poco Loco has been a popular bar and a less than popular restaurant, but it entered 2021 thoroughly different with brand new management. As a result, it is now one of the city's most interesting wine and dine locations. Under the watchful eye of the manager, Marin Nanić, who amassed quite an impressive experience in the fields of hospitality and tourism, Poco Loco is sure to please even the most discerning customers. Fresh forces in the kitchen came out with an exciting menu featuring a mix of international and local favourites. The food offer is perfect for those looking to grab a quick bite on the fly, as well as those looking to enjoy a slow dinner in one of the city's most vibrant corners.

Food and Drinks at Poco Loco


Guests can enjoy a wide range of tapas-like starters. For example, Viska Pogaca, bread with sautéed anchovies and tomato, is a traditional dish of Vis Island. It is absolutely delicious but difficult to find in local restaurants in Dubrovnik. Octopus ragout is one of their specialities for main dishes and provides a great follow-up. Fresh, locally sourced ingredients and simple recipes produce dishes that are delicious, colourful and textured. Dishes are selected to offer as much freshness and diversity as the setting itself. With this in mind, it would be hard to decide if the show's real star at Poco Loco is the food or the drinks on offer.


You will not go wrong with a lovely selection of Croatian wines from various regions that make up the wine list. There are some wonderful examples offered per glass, so you don't have to worry about food pairing that can be quite limited if you order a bottle to share. However, Poco Loco's cocktails are something special. The cocktail list perfectly sums up the philosophy behind this restaurant and bar. It is imaginative and energetic. It offers plenty for those looking for some all-time favourites but rewards handsomely those willing to try new things (think: The Black Jack). Do not miss enjoying a refreshing cocktail at Poco Loco, either as an aperitif or an after-dinner drink.

Don’t Miss It


With its delicious and interesting food, creative drinks list and location known as one of the most entertaining spots in the city, Poco Loco Cocktail & Tapas Bar should be on your radar regardless of whether you are going out as a couple or a group of friends. Poco Loco is a perfect choice for those wishing to experience Dubrovnik's zest for life. It is a place that will give you plenty of energy and will want only your curiosity in return. So plan your visit at the start of your Dubrovnik holiday as you will surely want to come back.


For all information on Dubrovnik you might need, check out Dubrovnik in a Page on our Total Croatia website.

For more content like this, follow 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, 31 July 2021

Dubrovnik Shines in Major CNN Feature on Quest's World of Wonder

July 31, 2021 - Dubrovnik's impressive wooing of the important US market continues with a big feature on CNN's World of Wonder with Richard Quest. 

Of all the tourism promotional campaigns undertaken by Croatia over the last 12 months, few have been as targetted, or as successful as Dubrovnik's attempts to woo tourists in the United States. 

Traditionally among the best guests to the Pearl of the Adriatic, the pandemic interrupted their regular visits, but the city has been working hard to promote its beauty, heritage and culture over a period of time. 

Dubrovnik was aided by the fact that Croatia was the only EU country which was open to American tourists last summer, a message brought home to American audiences through a series of feature stories on ABC News last summer, including one on Good Morning America, which was watched by 12.5 million people. While many Americans may not have been ready or able to travel last summer, the message of a stunning Adriatic historic town openly welcoming Americans stuck home.  

A targeted 3-month campaign in Spring promoting Dubrovnik in 73 US airports reinforced the message, and it was not long before not one, but two major US airlines - Delta Air and Uniited - announced direct routes to Dubrovnik from New York for the summer season, with Delta increasing weekly rotations due to strong demand before the inaugural flight.

Popular CNN braodcaster Richard Quest arrived in June to spend some time in the city, including an interview with Dubrovnik  Mayor, Mato Frankovic, on the city's welcome to American tourists during the pandemic. 


That story went out in early June, but this week saw the release of an excellent extended feature on Quest's time in the city on the popular Quest's World of Wonder, getting to know it up close through the company of local tour guide Ivan Vukovic. The 24-minute show is available on the CNN website by clicking on the image above.

To learn more about the destination, check out the Total Croatia Dubrovnik in a Page guide

Page 18 of 208