One of Croatia’s most popular destination, Dubrovnik on Croatia’s southern Adriatic coast, has recorded a record 2012 tourist season, reported its Tourist Board on Thursday.
There were 697,600 visitors to the picturesque stone-walled city in 2012, 10% more than in 2011. 649,700 of those were foreign tourists, with the largest group coming from the United Kingdom. The amount of Brits to visit Dubrovnik grew 39% on 2011 figures.
The next largest group were the French with 7% growth, followed by the Germans with 17% growth in 2012. Tourists from the USA, Spain, Russia, and Sweden also significantly grew last year.
Tennis is obviously a different beast than football. The likelihood of a Serbian football fan draping a flag in front of Luka Modric or Joe Simunic looking for them to sign it after their team had just been beaten at Maksimir stadium on 22 March is probably non-existent.
But that was the case in the Australian city of Perth yesterday after Australian-Croat Bernard Tomic had just disposed of Serbian Novak Djokovic 6-4, 6-4, to give Australia a 1-0 lead in the Hopman Cup. During a signing session after the match, Tomic happily signed a Serbian supporters flag, perhaps the Serbian fan was so used to Novak winning that they got confused.
There was drama on the ski slopes of Zagreb’s Sljeme mountain ahead of the start of tomorrow’s 9th Audi FIS Ski World Cup – Vip Snow Queen Trophy, when Swedish skier Nathalie Eklund narrowly avoided tragedy after she sliced her neck with her skies during a freak accident after practice this afternoon.
After completing her first round of training, Eklund slipped whilst she was in her ski boots and carrying her skies whilst walking the last few metres of the course. Eklund fell onto the sharp blade of her ski, slicing a 5cm wound on her neck under her chin in the process, reported Jutarnji list.
“We got a huge fright, if the cut had been a few centimetres lower, it could have ended in death,” said one Swedish trainer.
If they are not writing articles about the Croatian coast and telling its readers to visit, then they are writing about its football stars. British daily The Guardian have named Dinamo Zagreb’s 16-year-old Alen Halilovic in its list of the top 20 transfer window targets this January.
“A wonderful talent – nicknamed “the Balkan Messi” – the attacking midfielder became the youngest ever player in a Champions League match in October. He is also the youngest debutant in the Croatian league and the youngest goalscorer. The Dinamo sporting director, Zoran Mamic, said recently that “everyone at the club is convinced he will become one of the best in the world” but he is still young, as he displayed with an awful, naive dive in a game this season,” wrote The Guardian, adding that Manchester City, Manchester United, Chelsea, Real Madrid, Inter, and Juventus have shown interest in his services. The Guardian say Halilovic could be sold for a possible fee of £9m.
The Dubrovnik City Council has given its citizens a late Christmas present. From 1 January 2013, Dubrovnik citizens flying to the Croatian capital Zagreb will have the cost of their air ticket subsidised by the council.
Dubrovnik city council will pay 125 kuna (16.50 euro) for one-way tickets from Dubrovnik to Zagreb, and 250 kuna (33 euro) for return tickets, after the council made the decision at its latest meeting.
Croatia’s beautiful Adriatic coast was not the only place to experience a boomer tourist season in 2012. There were 675,707 tourists visiting Zagreb in the first 10 months of 2012, up 5.7% on the previous year as Croatia’s capital gains in popularity among tourists. Tourists from most overseas nations grew in 2012 – but none more so than those from Israel and China.
14,754 Chinese nationals visited Zagreb, up a massive 45% on 2011. But still it was not the highest growth recorded in 2012, there were 12,305 tourists from Israel to Croatia’s capital, up 47.8% on the previous year.
There were 11,292 visitors from Korea, up 37.8%, whilst there were 24% more Turks visiting Zagreb in 2012.
Germany still provided Zagreb with the largest number of tourists, 47,865 (up 11.7%), followed by the US with 30,861 (up 9.5%), and Austria with 28,274 (up 13.1%).
Police in the Croatian capital Zagreb have charged a 31-year-old man for the murder of his twin brother after a New Years Eve party turned bloody, writes portal 24sata.
Police say that the man died from a single stab wound to the heart at 4:30am on New Years’ Day. At the time of the murder a 23-year-old women, reportedly the girlfriend of the deceased man, was also in the flat that she shared with the two brothers.
Police have not revealed a motive for the killing and have removed a computer, knives and a gun from the flat as investigations continue.
One of the world’s biggest opera stars is coming to Croatia to perform. Mezzo soprano Elīna Garanca, who grew up in Latvia, will hold a concert at the Vatroslav Lisinki Hall in Zagreb on 21 January as part of her European tour.
Elīna Garanca (36), who studied in Vienna and the United States, has performed on world stages as Carmen in Bizet’s Carmen, Charlotte in Werther, and as Octavian in Strauss’s The Knight of the Rose. In 2008, she made her debut at the Metropolitan Opera in New York as Rosina in The Barber of Seville.
It will be Garanca’s first performance in Croatia.
Watch genius Croatian duo 2CELLOS do a rendition of Rihanna’s hit “We found Love”. The tune is on their latest album in2ition, which Luka Sulic and Stjepan Hauser will perform around the world when they tour this year.