Friday, 15 April 2022

Work.Place.Culture. Conference: TCN Interviews Dubrovnik Mayor Mato Franković

April 15, 2022 - In less than a month, Dubrovnik will be in the spotlight in the world of remote work, with the Work.Place.Culture conference convening nomads from around the world to share their wisdom and insights on the future of remote work in the Pearl of the Adriatic. Ahead of the big event, TCN interviewed the Mayor of Dubrovnik, Mato Franković, whose government has been instrumental in making Dubrovnik a mecca for digital nomads in recent years.

Back in July 2020, the city and tourist board of Dubrovnik agreed to a proposal from Saltwater Nomads and Total Croatia News to put it on the map for digital nomads. Following Croatia’s first Digital Nomads conference in October 2020, the city was presented with a program for 2021 that would help attract digital nomads to visit, and stay, in the city. Tanja Polegubic, the founder of Saltwater, proposed a unique event - a digital nomad in residence program. A competition to select 10 nomads from around the world, who would then live in Dubrovnik for a month and collaborate on a plan to make the city more attractive to the digital nomad community. The program was promoted through Total Croatia News and drew global interest. The event came to life in April 2021 with the digital nomads in residence arriving in the city. Over four weeks, the Saltwater program team facilitated a series of workshops involving the visiting nomads, the city, the tourist board, and the local community.


The Digital Nomads-in-Residence program confirmed Dubrovnik as a destination that seeks to position itself beyond conventional tourism during the summer months, but also as a city that can offer more throughout the year and attract different types of visitors. (Photo: Mario Romulić)

This year, and to continue to show that Dubrovnik is on the way to being a hotspot for digital nomads, Saltwater Nomads, the City of Dubrovnik, the Dubrovnik Tourist Board, the Digital Nomads Association Croatia (DNA Croatia), the Croatian National Tourist Board and Total Croatia News will hold the first Work.Place.Culture. conference from May 5 to 7 in Dubrovnik. Work.Place.Culture is the conference which brings work from anywhere to absolutely everywhere. Join remote professionals and destinations from around the world as they inspire a global workforce that has greater location flexibility than ever before, and the destinations which are reinventing to support them through policy, infrastructure, and community.


Additionally, as part of the Work.Place.Culture Conference, the Dubrovnik Tourist Board is launching its official workation program pilot, in conjunction with Saltwater and Sun Gardens Dubrovnik. The winning team will enjoy a 1-week stay (between 1 and 9 May 2022) at the 5 Star Sun Gardens Dubrovnik and have the chance to partake in a specialty workshop – strategy planning, team building, wellbeing, and leadership are among the options available. The all-star team will also present at the Work. Place. Culture. Conference on 5-7 May 2022. Today is the last day to participate. Click HERE to apply.

In recent days, Total Croatia News has presented some of the top panelists who will be in Dubrovnik to share their rich wisdom and knowledge about remote work, in order to present not only the advantages of betting on Dubrovnik as a destination for nomads but also to offer a guide to those interested towards a balanced nomadic lifestyle.

On this occasion, we spoke with the Mayor of Dubrovnik, Mato Franković. Nowhere suffered more in Croatian tourism in 2020 than its most famous destination - Dubrovnik. Located in the far south of the country, it is heavily reliant on flight and cruise ship tourism for the bulk of its tourism business. Unlike more northern destinations in Croatia which were more accessible by car, Dubrovnik was forced to rethink its tourism strategy to deal with the current pandemic realities.


Zrinka Raguz, Mato Franković, and Jelka Tepsić from the City of Dubrovnik administration. (Photo: Grgo Jelavic/PIXSELL)

Rather than sit back and hope for the best, Dubrovnik Mayor Mato Franković took the initiative to position the Pearl of the Adriatic as a prime destination in the emerging digital nomad tourism opportunity. Dubrovnik hosted Croatia's first-ever digital nomad conference in October 2020, Dubrovnik for Digital Nomads, an event organized by Saltwater Nomads with support from TCN, and then the Dubrovnik Digital Nomads-in-Residence program between April and May 2021.

Mayor Franković shared with us his thoughts on the Work.Place.Culture conference, Dubrovnik as a digital nomad-friendly destination, the city's initiatives to make Dubrovnik a year-round destination, the 2022 season, and more.

It is almost two years since we met in your office to discuss a new opportunity for Dubrovnik - digital nomad tourism. A lot has happened in your city in this field since then. Tell us about that from your perspective?

Back in October 2020, the City of Dubrovnik hosted the first Croatian conference for digital nomads "Dubrovnik for Digital Nomads". In April and May 2021, the program "Dubrovnik Digital Nomads in Residence" followed, the first of its kind in the world, as part of which Dubrovnik hosted ten digital nomads from different parts of the world for a month, and whose experience helped create the future strategies for this type of tourism, creating a better environment for future nomads who will choose Dubrovnik as their place of work.

Since last year, we have also been actively working on animating the stakeholders of the tourism sector to get involved in projects related to digital nomads, to create a register of offers intended for this specific group of visitors. I think we can conclude that we are on the right track to affirming Dubrovnik as a Digital Nomad Friendly destination.

Last year's Dubrovnik Nomads-in-Residence program was the first of its kind in the world, and it offered a completely different perspective and strategy. What were your main takeaways?

During their one-month stay in Dubrovnik, digital nomads got involved in the life of the community, and based on personal experiences through workshops they made proposals and suggestions on what they wanted from the destination where they live and work, and also gave recommendations for creating a better environment for this form of tourism.

This was an excellent experience because they were able to see all the advantages and disadvantages in a specific place and, based on their own experience, give recommendations for improving the living conditions of digital nomads in Dubrovnik. The proposals referred to the need for organized accommodation for longer stays, organized space for coworking, coliving, and greater involvement in community life. They also expressed the opinion that visitors should be directed to visit other sights outside the historic center, which was also extremely interesting for them.

Dubrovnik seems to be keen to build on these early initiatives, and you have implemented - and are implementing - a range of initiatives to better position your city on the remote work map. Can you give us an overview of initiatives in progress?

Yes, several initiatives are underway. We have already mentioned that we are working on animating the tourism sector to be involved in projects related to digital nomads - from private accommodation to restaurants and shops, transportation, based on which we create a register of offers for digital nomads. The register is constantly updated.

Very soon, a new website called will be promoted, as well as accompanying content and materials, which proves that our city is a leader in creating content to attract and improve the quality of digital nomads. The Digital Nomad Check Point is planned at the TIC Pile of the Dubrovnik Tourist Board, where digital nomads would be able to purchase a special Digital Nomad Card through registration, which includes a number of benefits and all the information that can make it easier for them to find and organize a longer stay in Dubrovnik.

In the past period, we have constantly had projects and programs intended for digital nomads and we are trying to work in this direction throughout the whole year.

Also in early May, the second conference for digital nomads called "Work.Place.Culture" will follow.


(Photo: Grgo Jelavic/PIXSELL)

And so to Dubrovnik 2022, and the new conference - Work. Place. Culture. which takes place from May 5-7. Tell us a little about that, and who the conference is aimed at?

It is a conference that will bring together about 100 participants from around the world, with distinguished lecturers and workshop leaders, aimed at telecommuting professionals and decision-makers, destinations, companies, and service providers in the sector.

The goal is to strengthen the position of Dubrovnik as a Digital Nomad Friendly destination and a direct promotional effect for the city of Dubrovnik and the whole of Croatia to attract more and more people working remotely and looking for new destinations to live and work.

In addition to a digital nomad focus, extending to matters related to all remote professionals means Dubrovnik can continue to gain global media attention as it addresses sustainable tourism and how it relates to issues relevant to multiple industries and policy-setters, globally.

The public-private partnership has been excellent in Dubrovnik, and the city is certainly among the most cited now as a nomad destination. Where do you see Dubrovnik in 5 years in the remote work story?

We see Dubrovnik as an established destination for the year-round stay of digital nomads, especially in that part of the year that is not the peak of the season, and when Dubrovnik really has a lot to offer, from cultural to many other events. We certainly consider this type of tourism to be an important segment in the further development of sustainable tourism and we believe that by persistent work in this direction we will succeed in achieving the set goal.

The transition from over-tourism to sustainable tourism is a long journey, but one on which you have embarked. What other initiatives are in place to encourage that trend?

There are a number of initiatives through our Respect the City project.

Determined to turn Dubrovnik into a leader in sustainable tourism in the Mediterranean area, in 2017 the City of Dubrovnik started to develop the strategic project Respect the City. We began tackling the difficult challenge before us through different measures of relieving traffic congestion and implementing smart city solutions. In a relatively short period of time, we began managing our destination, and are now heading toward sustainable tourism, to the great satisfaction of visitors and citizens alike.

Since a significant portion of problems with over-tourism is related to cruise ships and daily visitors, City reached out to CLIA, the world's largest cruise industry trade association. In cooperation and in common interest City managed to make adjustments in the short term and started to work toward a long-term solution which basically means meticulous planning of cruise arrivals/departures daily, weekly, and annually.


(Photo: Grgo Jelavic/PIXSELL)

Dubrovnik integrated smart city solutions: a web platform predicting the number of visitors in the Old Town on a given day, smart parking, a Dubrovnik Card application for visitors, web cameras on city roads, car-sharing project.

The action plan includes also mid and long-term measures, some of the mid-term are sustainable urban mobility plans and urban development studies, Dubrovnik electric boat trams, and long-term plans include olicentric urban development, new roads, and tunnel investments.

How do you view the 2022 season, and what can we expect from the Pearl of the Adriatic this year?

The City of Dubrovnik and its partners, primarily the Dubrovnik Tourist Board, Dubrovnik Airport, and the Port Authority, are continuously working to promote the destination through marketing activities directed at our traditional emitting markets. Since the beginning of the crisis caused by the coronavirus pandemic, we have been managing the destination and all processes in a sustainable way, and that is the reason why the 2021 season was also successful.

The 2022 season brings some new challenges. None of us can influence the intensity and course of the war in Ukraine, but we have undertaken the necessary preliminary work, all in our power, to make the coming season a success. These spring scenes of the streets of our city filled with visitors, that we have witnessed in recent days, are certainly encouraging. It is ungrateful to predict anything in these conditions, but I believe that if the war in Ukraine does not escalate, we could achieve the figures from 2017 or 80 percent of the results in 2019. In general, in 2022, Dubrovnik will continue to build its path of destination of sustainability and excellence for each of our guests.


(Photo: Mario Romulić)

Today is the last day to register your team to participate in a luxury workation in Dubrovnik, and you can do so through this LINK!

You can download the full programme of the Work.Place.Culture Conference in Dubrovnik here.

Work. Place. Culture. is a collaboration between the City of Dubrovnik, Dubrovnik Tourist Board, Saltwater Nomads and TCN, with support from the Digital Nomad Association Croatia and Dubrovacka Bastina. Zagreb Digital Nomad Week is a partnership between Zagreb Tourist Board, Saltwater Nomads, and TCN. 

To learn more about magnificent Dubrovnik, check out the Total Croatia Dubrovnik in a Page guide, in partnership with Sun Gardens Dubrovnik.  

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

Sunday, 3 April 2022

Dodik says Dubrovnik's Concern About Trebinje Airport Project Should be Ignored

ZAGREB, 3 April 2022 - The Serb member of Bosnia and Herzegovina's state presidency, Milorad Dodik, said on Sunday he did not care what the local government in Dubrovnik thought about the construction of an airport at Trebinje, adding that no attention should be paid to that.

Commenting on the letter which Dubrovnik Mayor Mato Franković had addressed to the Chairman of the Council of Ministers of Bosnia and Herzegovina, Zoran Telgetija, asking for suspension of all plans to build the Trebinje airport before assessing the environmental impact of the project, Dodik told the press in Banja Luka that the mayor of Dubrovnik should simply be ignored.

"It's as if someone from Rudo (a small town in eastern Bosnia) wrote a letter to US President Joe Biden," Dodik said.

He said he did not know why the letter was being given attention at all when the only interlocutor to the authorities in Bosnia and Herzegovina was the Croatian government and not the Dubrovnik city administration.

In his letter, Franković reminded Telgetija that the airport would be built in highly porous karst terrain only eight kilometres from the source of the River Ombla, which supplies Dubrovnik with drinking water.

Trebinje, a town of barely 30,000 inhabitants, is about 50 kilometres away from the airports at Mostar, Dubrovnik and Tivat.

For more, check out our dedicated politics section.

Thursday, 17 March 2022

Hotel Gruž Transforms into Dubrovnik's First Retirement Home in 51 Years

March 17, 2022 - Works on reconstructing Hotel Gruž into a home for the elderly and infirm, the first retirement home in Dubrovnik in 51 years, are progressing well.

"Amid the corona crisis and the lack of workforce, a smaller delay is justified, which will not affect the key dates we have set for the home's opening, which is the fall of this year. Furthermore, after the completion of this construction process, we are about to announce a tender for equipping the entire space, so I hope that in the next month and a half to two months, we will announce the tender and start arranging the building itself," said Dubrovnik Mayor Mato Franković for

The Home for the Elderly and the Infirm in Gruž will be managed by the future retirement home under the General Hospital, for which a building permit has recently been obtained.

"Unified administration, unified institution, and therefore lower costs. What our goal is, of course, is that both homes enter the network of homes, which would mean a much better price than the commercial price that these homes would have if they were not part of the homes network," said Mayor Franković and thanked the director of Hotel Gruž d.d. Vido Raič and project manager Vedran Kosović on their dedicated work.

Project manager Vedran Kosović from IGH points out that most of the reinforced concrete structures have been completed, only a small part of the construction in the northeastern part remains.

"The roof's construction is also finished, and the installation of tiles is in progress. Rough works on the terrace have been completed. Only the completion of the northeastern part of the building and the excavation for the engine room towards Andrije Hebranga Street remain. We will finish that in 15-20 days, and then the focus is on the facade and the completion of the interior works," said Kosović.

The upgrade and conversion of the building, which is underway, will provide functional and comfortable space divided into five floors, designed to accommodate 48 retirees in 32 accommodation units. Six hundred ninety square meters of the existing building were retained, and about 620 square meters of additional space were upgraded.

For more, check out our lifestyle section.

Wednesday, 2 February 2022

Film Crews in Dubrovnik with Nowhere to Eat and Drink? Mayor Urges Cafes and Restaurants to Open

February 2, 2022 - With film crews in Dubrovnik arriving for the Amazon series Jack Ryan this month, is the Adriatic Pearl ready?

At last week's City Council session, Dubrovnik Mayor Mato Franković reminded that filming of foreign productions would soon begin and that film crews have nowhere to go for food & drink because almost all restaurants are closed in winter, reports Dubrovacki Vjesnik.

Recall, the new season of the Jack Ryan series will film in Dubrovnik this month, with about 300 people participating in this project. The Amazon Prime series is based on Tom Clancy novels and features John Krasinski as Jack Ryan. 

The mayor told the councilors:

"If we observe the winter period, the city is empty when guests come. And that isn't good. Restaurants don't work for us. We have a big film production coming up in early February, and they have nowhere to eat. The first cruiser is coming to us on February 2, and almost everything in the historic core is closed. We must set clear rules that a certain number of tenants in urban areas cannot be closed; that is, not all can be closed simultaneously. Let them agree together. Or we will arrange an even-odd system," Franković threatened.

"I think that some people confused the situation a bit because with the end of socialism and communism and social ownership, the time of planned economy ended in the 1990s and we entered the period of free trade and free business, i.e., the market," said the president of the Dubrovnik Caterers Association Ante Vlašić commenting on Franković's statement during the recent session. 

In a further review of Franković's statements, the president of the Dubrovnik Caterers Association added:

"I am sorry that some people still do not understand that if they dictate business conditions, they must take full responsibility for the conditions and manner of business and the overall consequences, or all profits and losses resulting from these decisions. If the City needed something like that, it should not have rented the premises it owned, but set up a company and work 24 hours a day and be open 365 days a year. By the way, he bought UTD Ragusa anyway to continue with catering. But it is not possible to take a huge rent for the premises owned by the city company UTD Ragusa and run the business yourself! The city has enough of its own space in which it can open as many restaurants and cafes as it wants if it considers its role in society. But, then the question arises whether the City is the infrastructure and service of citizens or the City is the owner of all events and activities and everything that happens in this area? Do you think that none of the fellow caterers would work if they had financial justifications and opportunities to work?" Vlašić asked:

"Many times so far, when those who worked in the winter were not paid the rent for public areas, people worked. But that was at a time when we could work in the summer and “set aside” some of the money so we could take the risk during the winter. But now, after two years of restructuring, with huge debts from HBOR and HAMAG, we are not able to gamble with our own lives and businesses. If this great film crew needs a restaurant, believe me, they have already contacted some of the restaurants that will be 100 percent adapted to them, and therefore it is completely unnecessary to involve the city, especially those who do not understand how the market and business work," added Vlašić.

For more, check out our lifestyle section.

Thursday, 16 December 2021

City Becomes Majority Owner of Dubrovnik Port Company

ZAGREB, 16 Dec 2021 - The City of Dubrovnik has become the majority owner of the Dubrovnik Port company with a 51.32% stake, mayor Mato Franković said on Thursday, calling this important for the company's future and the management of the city's port area.

The city previously acquired a 48.75% stake in the company and has become the majority owner after the city-owned company UTD Ragusa acquired another 2.75%. At a general shareholders' assembly on 22 November, Dubrovnik Port was authorized to buy 8.99% of its shares from the Atlantska Plovidba shipping company.

The mayor told the press that today was a historic day and decision for the future of Dubrovnik Port and the management of the city's waters.

"In recent years attempts were made to devalue Dubrovnik Port and award the cruise ship terminal project to another company. That would have made the port's future questionable and now we have changed all that."

Franković said that after 15 years the obligations to the government had been fulfilled and that, together with it, a procedure was launched to award a concession for the construction of a cruise ship terminal in the port. He hopes Dubrovnik Port "will soon get a priority concession."

The company's director Željko Raguž said the next step, in order to get the concession, is to amend the urban plan with regard to the city's port.

He said Dubrovnik Port would end 2021 with a profit of over HRK 2 million (€266,000).

For more, check out our dedicated politics section.

Monday, 22 November 2021

Agreement for Procurement of 18 Buses Signed in Dubrovnik

ZAGREB, 22 Nov 2021 - An agreement was signed in Dubrovnik on Monday for the procurement of 18 new buses for Dubrovnik's public transportation bus company, worth almost HRK 38.7 million (€5.16 million) of which 85% will be provided by the European Union.

The Libertas bus company will, thus, renew its fleet with two articulated low-floor buses, six mini low-floor buses, seven mini urban-suburban buses, and three midi suburban buses. As many old buses will be taken off the roads.

Mayor Mato Franković announced that traffic around the historical old town will soon be restricted to vehicles of local residents and public transport.

"I believe that visitors to the city will choose Libertas as the simplest and easiest form of transport to the historical old town," said Franković.

The bus company's director, Franko Mekišić, said citizens will directly feel the benefit of the procurement because the buses meet the newest standards and ecological norms.

"This will reduce the overall age of vehicles from 12 to 9 years. We currently have 110 vehicles, 80 of which are in use. We are intensively working on absorbing certain EU funds in the coming period to procure more buses," said Mekišić.

For more on politics, follow TCN's dedicated page.

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.

Wednesday, 15 September 2021

Racism in Dubrovnik? Mayor Mato Franković Responds to Actress Gabrielle Union

September 15, 2021 - Mayor Mato Franković sent a letter to famous American actress Gabrielle Union, responding to a story in her new memoir that details racism in Dubrovnik when she visited in 2019.

Dubrovnik Mayor Mato Franković sent an open letter to famous American actress Gabrielle Union, who in her new memoirs recalled an unpleasant racially conditioned incident she experienced during a summer vacation in Croatia, reports Slobodna Dalmacija

"Dear Ms. Union, I was quite surprised by your statement that during your stay in Dubrovnik you had an unpleasant experience where you, I quote 'experienced a large amount of hatred and threats of violence,' as you say, in a club full of racist symbols and neo-Nazis who were present.

On behalf of the City of Dubrovnik, the people of Dubrovnik, and myself, I express my strongest condemnation of such a statement and outrage at any messages of hatred and violence. Dubrovnik has always been an open city where racist segregation clubs have never existed. Dubrovnik is a city that actually has a single nightclub that is one of the best clubs in Europe.

Dubrovnik is a city of highly tolerant people, culture, and history that has been developed on the Dubrovnik cliff for more than a millennium. That is why we are surprised by such a primitive and individual act.

Moreover, we are proud that our rich history is adorned by the fact that the Republic of Dubrovnik banned the slave trade in 1416, long before the United States did so, even though the republic's main economic branches were maritime trade. As in many ways, the people of Dubrovnik were already ahead of their time in respecting human life and human rights. The notion of ‘freedom’ (libertas, libertà) is one of the key motives in the political tradition of old Dubrovnik that has survived to this day.

I believe that you are aware that your statement on the isolated case has caused great damage to Dubrovnik and all its citizens, who will get the impression that they belong to a system of values that Dubrovnik and its citizens have never inherited. Dubrovnik, on the contrary, is a city that has always accepted all people, and our fellow citizens treat everyone like good hosts. Therefore, your recollection about the event that you stated happened two years ago took us by surprise, especially because there is no such club as you describe in Dubrovnik.

Therefore, dear Mrs. Union, I again express my regret for the isolated incident that happened to you in our city. I apologize to you and at the same time emphasize that Dubrovnik has always been and will be in the future a city of freedom, equality, and respect for all," said Dubrovnik mayor Mato Franković.

Namely, Union was in Dubrovnik two years ago with actress Jessica Alba at NEM. In her memoirs, “We're Going to Need More Wine,” she recalled a ‘terrifying’ racist incident she experienced in Dubrovnik. The actress reportedly got into what she thought was a gay bar with a group of friends, but after looking around, they realized they were surrounded by people they perceived as ‘neo-Nazis’ who immediately threatened them.

"I have never experienced such a level of hatred and the threat of physical violence," Union recalled, adding that the group followed them down the street as they left.

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

Sunday, 11 July 2021

Mayor Mato Franković Invites All Brits to Dubrovnik from July 19

July 11, 2021 - Dubrovnik Mayor Mato Franković has invited all Brits to Dubrovnik from July 19, when self-isolation measures are lifted for amber list countries.  

Dubrovnik Mayor Mato Franković gave a statement to Times Radio in which he invited the British market to vacation in Dubrovnik this summer, reports HRTurizam.

Namely, the UK authorities have made a new decision for the travel of their citizens, according to which from July 19, those returning from countries from the "amber list" and are vaccinated with two doses or are under 18, will no longer have to self isolate for 10 days after returning to the country, which includes returning from Croatia.

For Dubrovnik, the decision is critical given that it is the British market that holds the leading position in the number of tourist arrivals in the city.

"This is great news, and we see that a lot of European countries are going in that direction. Of course, we still need to be careful about the presence of the Delta Variant, but with both doses of the vaccine, people can be free to travel and enjoy. I must also say that we started direct flights with London even before this decision of the UK government and that the plane was full," said Mayor Franković in an interview with journalist Carole Walker.

She was also interested in what measures are in force and what the situation is in Dubrovnik today.

"Everything is open, masks should be worn indoors, and for clubs that gather more visitors, there is a rule of entry with a negative test or both doses of vaccine received," the mayor explained.

He also invited the British to come to Dubrovnik because they are having a warm summer and no crowds at the moment, so this time is an opportunity for a nice and pleasant vacation.

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.

For all you need to know about coronavirus specific to Croatia, make sure to bookmark our dedicated COVID-19 section and choose your preferred language.

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


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