Tag Archives: dubrovnik

Dubrovnik Luxury Travel VIP Fleet in Action.

Dubrovnik Luxury Travel VIP Fleet in Action.

Good news for Croatian tourism, recent Croatian Minister of Tourism visit to London has promising scope that this tourist season, Croatia will attract more British tourists. The fact that the major airline companies has direct flights to newly opened Dubrovnik Airport terminal speaks for itself.

Finally, the airport that city of Dubrovnik deserves. But this in turn is drawing a lot of small privately charted flights which is an excellent news. Dubrovnik Luxury Travel’s experienced agents are 24/7 at your disposal to organize you VIP Airport clearance and VIP Transportation to Dubrovnik Riviera.

It is interesting to note that the Croatian villa owners have recognized the needs of British clients. Konavle region, although it is not close to the sea, the villas have pools but also offer and oasis of peace, vineyards and are ideal for bicycle tracking. Not quite Toscany, one may ponder, but you could be easily mistaken. Gastronomy, wine drinking, closeness to the airport, modern stone villas, Cavtat, idyllic picturesque town that resembles Portofino at bird’s stone throw. In one word, ideal combo to switch yourself off on enjoy Croatia mode. Who knows maybe you fall in love with Konavle in the same way as one of clients did that returning back to London, he insisted on buying “peka”, a huge bell liked lid used to prepare lamb, veal and potatoes. He sprang a challenging task in front of our team members because some things are priceless but one lady decided to give her household peka to our client as a gift. Touching gesture but yet another display of Croatian hospitality at its best. No doubt that new Dubrovnik airport will show the same, even to the greater extent that it was the case before. In Croatia we love to push the boundaries.

Star Wars Episode VIII film crew invades Dubrovnik

Star Wars Episode VIII film crew and actors have invaded the Old City of Dubrovnik. After successfully appearing in the Game of Thrones, Dubrovnik Old City’s main street Stradun has been transformed for the Star Wars Episode VIII movie set. This will significantly boost the city’s tourism industry which may  become new rising star of the film tourism industry. Great news for local businesses too so it was a great pleasure for my part that Intercon got involved with Disney production of the movie, catering for the transportation needs of film crew and actors alike.

Dubrovnik Old City’s unprecedented beauty and that of its surroundings are rather attracting for movie location hunters and this has even prompted the major of Dubrovnik to build a film studio. Does this mean that Dubrovnik is moving in the direction of Hollywood ? Could we possibly witness the sign resembling that of Hollywood seeing the day of light on Srdj Hill above Dubrovnik? Why not say I. Film industry is great for the luxury real estate business and perhaps this is just what Dubrovnik needs to improve further its status as the most luxury destination on the Adriatic coast.

And with the projects such as Gruz Marina, currently being undertaken and that of Golf Srdj Hill about to start, Dubrovnik is starting to resemble the European luxury destinations. What would be the icing on the cake for Dubrovnik’s  prosperity is the establishment of tax haven in the city itself. This in itself would bring the investments and would open a whole range of new opportunities.

How to improve the development of medical tourism in Dubrovnik, Croatia by Srđ Portolan

Srđ Portolan in his capacity as Intercon Dubrovnik Travel & Maritime Agency managing director has taken an example of Singapore as world’s most desired medical travel destination. The success of Singapore story lies in clinics’ investment into modern day medical equipment, highly skilled labor force and readiness of Singapore National Tourist Board to invest into this segment of tourism in the sense that it has recognized its added values as means of attracting health care clients.

Srđ Portolan continues to highlight the fact that it is the added value which counts in promoting a destination. Cultural heritage of Dubrovnik Old City coupled with the areas natural beauty represents the biggest value added asset that Croatia has to offer. On the other side, Srđ Portolan adds, Dubrovnik has a fair share of clinics and one stands out in particular. Marin Med clinic and Dubrovnik private hospital not only that it has the ultra modern technology but it has the world renown doctors especially in the field of plastic surgery, orthopedics, spine minimal invasive procedures as well as yet to be introduced bariatric surgery.

Marin Med Private hospital is a unique of its kind as it offers the luxury of seven specially designed apartments, two of which are equipped to cater for seriously ill patients.

Another issue which can facilitate the development of medical tourism as far as Croatia is concerned as an EU member country is more transparent and if somewhat encouraged implementation of the EU directive on cross border health care. Portolan sees this directive as more of a political rather than economical issue. The political party in power in the countries like UK cannot admit the fact that their national health care systems are over burdened and that sending patients to other EU countries private clinics could be potentially viable solution for the UK tax payers.

The coming into effective functioning of EU directive on cross border health care can significantly improve the figures of Dubrovnik and Croatia’s post and pre season revenues.

The impact of the refugee crisis on the state of Croatian Tourism industry sector by Srđ Portolan

Srđ Portolan gives us his account on the current Syrian refugee crisis and the plight of refugees from Irak and Afganistan. Srđ has twofold opinion on the current crisis. In Portolan’s view current recovery of the Croatian economy can hardly sustain the financial help which Croatia has offered to the passing refugees. Furthermore, Srđ Portolan stresses out that the Croats have a big heart and have shown an impressive deal of empathy towards the refugees. Srđ has also expressed his concern about the final destination of the river of refugees: Germany. Portolan has posed an interesting question; Would the arrival of refugees put a burden on the German economy and would Germans keep returning to Croatia for their holidays or would they opt out for cheaper destinations within Spain?

Srđ Portolan believes it, all be it well, that the strongest market of them all is not in the slightest affected by the refugee crisis, that of the UK and he has shared a great deal of optimism that the current redevelopment of both Zagreb and Dubrovnik airports will contribute to the higher influx of American tourists. What Srđ sees as a potential crisis are not Syrian refugees but the potential competition war between Istria and Dubrovnik region. Istria does have 18 hole golf course which is imperative attraction for American tourists while Dubrovnik is impatiently waiting for the realization of Dubrovnik Srđ golf project. Rovinj, a picturesque Istrian town has branded itself like a must visit snapshot destination within Croatia while Dubrovnik had a great strike of luck thanks to the HBO’s The Game of Thrones serial.

As one can well perceive, Srđ Portolan, concludes it is not the impact of the refugee crisis that will influence the state of Croatian tourism, but the actual offer of the destinations within Croatia where Dubrovnik is showing sluggish improvements in the terms of the quality what it has to offer.

The luxury round up of 2014 in Dubrovnik and Croatia

2014 has been yet another successful year in the Croatian tourism industry and once again the Croatian tourism has been a shining star of the Croatian economy. Dubrovnik has performed rather well thanks to the influx of tourists from Great Britain and the Far East, in particular from South Korea. Apart from the fact that Dubrovnik is on everyone’s must see list because of its astounding beauty, it is amazing to learn the fact that the filming of Game of Thrones in the city is also to”blame” for the increase in popularity of this unique city.Game of Thrones film location

As for the luxury segment of the market the new trends contributed to this sector’s good performance, particularly villa rentals. I am extremely glad that this trend is rising and more and more quality villas both in design and decor are being built. This trend has complemented the increase in yacht charters and exclusive private excursions.

The Russian political crisis has partly this season affected Dubrovnik and Istria’s luxury markets but not to the extent of 2013 when some of the Istrian top luxury hotels were half empty during the peak season. Also, Croatia’s joining the EU has to my disappointment shut its door to the Turkish market due to the visa regime. Well, I have also heard this silly unbelievable story that if you are from Dubai and you are willing to come to this beautiful country of ours that you need to apply for your visa in Cairo, Egypt as Croatia does not have a consulate in Dubai.

However, I would like to end this post on the positive note and as I write these sentences, boreas is blowing the sunny streets of Dubrovnik and I am getting warmed up for the celebration of the stradun dubrovniknew 2015 in the most stunning open stage in the whole of the world; Stradun.

Forget Times Square, Trafalgar Square,Red Square, come to Stradun and shout Celebrations after all Let’s celebrate and have a good time!!!

The author of this article is Srđ Portolan, a founding member of Intercon Group of Companies, a board director at Spes Real Estate and Dubrovnik Luxury Travel.

Croatia 365 – opportunities beckon!!!

This morning I have red an interesting article in Croatian daily newspapers “Jutarnji list” which quite rightly examines the opportunities in congress tourism. Interestingly enough it is Croatia’s most photographed city of Rovinj which comes on the top rovinj the largest conference center townof the list. Rovinj has a capacity to host some 20 000 business delegates and it is his proximity to five international airports that makes him popular with the businesspeople from around the world. Next on the list is the Croatian business most favorite: Opatija which is close to Rijeka and is also quite well connected via the motorway with the capital Zagreb. However, I have learnt myself a new “hotspot” word which is Green Riviera, in other words Zagorje region hills which not only offer the opportunities in congress but also in wellness tourism. Add to that sporting activities and gastro-enology offer of Zagorje region, proximity of four Middle Ages renovated castles, ideal for banqueting and incentives, this could be a right new hotspot for the business visitors. But others as well, all those tourists who seekZagorje Green Riviera quiet, relaxing breakaway weekends in one of Zagorje wellness centers and “termes”. Not being far away from the capital Zagreb is yet another advantage why people would choose this region.

Coming back to the Adriatic coast again, Sibenik is stealing the limelight of the congress tourism industry and its favorite hotspot of Vodice.

Last but not the least, it is Dubrovnik and that picturesque hamlet of Cavtat and it is Adriatic Luxury Hotel’s Croatia who is an absoluteHotel Croatia Dubrovnik leader in the congress tourism branch in the area with the capacity to host some 1200 delegates. Proximity of the new Tuscany; Konavle region which offers a great deal when it comes to sporting and incentive activities such as biking, quadding, four wheel vehicles driving or simply lounging back in one of its traditional cuisine restaurants and sipping your “vino” and enjoying your food, “peka” being my favorite.

The author of this article is Srđ Portolan, a founding member of Intercon Group of Companies, a board director at Spes Real Estate and Dubrovnik Luxury Travel.

Dubrovnik and its future perspective in tourism industry.

Before I embark on writing these lines I would to point out that by no means am I an expert in the field that is to say that I hold no masters degree in tourism management. What I do have is first class information, gathered through association with people who work in Dubrovnik tourism industry, present and those who have done so for the past 30 years.

The so called new economy has developed at the speed of light, accompanied with the new technologies and the internet has made the planet Earth a rather small globe.

As the author of these lines, throughout my life, I have lived in London, Barcelona, Aix en Provence and Moscow at the end of the last century. Every time when I was asked where did I come from and when I answered Croatia what would follow would be that famous question which would resonate for me in the annoying way : “where was that?”. On the contrary, when the answer was Dubrovnik what would follow were the nods of approval and smiles on people’s faces with that famous sentence.” Oh I was there”, “Beautiful city”. Say noDubrovnik Old City Carmen more I thought to myself as I was admiring the power of panel advertising on London Underground tube stations. Only these days at the beginning of the 21 century there are millions of Dubrovnik panels on the internet and with direct channels of selling planes, hotels, villas for holidays, the scopes are enormous up to the point that the people as far as Brazil jump on their planes and come holidaying to Croatia and Dubrovnik.

The opinion of the locals regarding the future of their city is divided. While some recognize the need for progress and see imminent the construction of new five star hotels, real estate villas and apartments others strongly oppose it. A typical example was a golf project on Srdj Hill overlooking Dubrovnik when the calls were being made that this was an eco genocide which had the makings of a luxury villa real estate project. For all I know the owners of the “pastures” were paid promptly, in other words someone invested their time and money and personal reputation not only to earn money but to bring money to Dubrovnik. Golfers are people with huge disposable income and they choose to stay in modern urban accommodation. Now when I think that there are only six golf courses in the whole of Croatia and four of them are in Istria my maths is telling me that we are lagging behind. Golfers are also highly educated business people and they more often than not choose to host their incentives and business conferences in places where they can play golf. I am not a member of golf lobby but I just follow the logic that arrival of rich clients would make space for quality content in the Old City. Think of all high quality restaurants, Dubrovnik Old City St Mary'sart galleries, clothes boutiques, jobs in the construction industry, jobs in the service industry. And let me get this straight to you. If anything we need high quality real estate projects if we are to sustain the development of our tourism industry in the future. As I have outlined above, times have changed. With the arrival of globalization and new technologies the competition has increased and people with high disposable income got used to being “pampered” around the globe. So even if they are to fall in love with views over the island of Lokrum and the Old city while they are staying in the hotels such as Excelsior, Argentina or villas such as Victoria, Agave, Glavic,Dubrovnik and Sheherezade these rich clients cannot purchase a modern urban villa so that they can repeatedly return to Dubrovnik and Croatia.

Dubrovnik Luxury Travel  has teamed up with Spes Estate, Dubrovnik’s most reputable real estate agency.

Srđ Portolan, DLT’s member of the management board has signed business co-operation agreement with Mr Frano Bezić of Spes Estate Dubrovnik. Mr Bezić stressed out that luxury travel and real estate go hand in hand as they complement each other. Clients arriving to view houses on sale and apartments on sale in Dubrovnik are serviced by the likes of Dubrovnik Luxury Travel and vice versa. Currently there is a huge land development in Dubrovnik’s most favourite quarter Ploce on sale, 52 000 m2 with planned construction of modern day villas. Mr Bezic stressed out that among luxury travel holidaymakers there are always successful businesspeople, potential real estate buyers and investors alike.

Welcome to Bollywood, Welcome to Dubrovnik – Croatia

After the HBO’s cult series The Game of Thrones, hugely successful Indian film industry Bollywood which hails its name from its center Bollywood Empire studiosof Mumbai and makes the important piece of the Indian Hindi language based industry is coming to Dubrovnik. According to the article which has been written in today’s Croatian daily “Jutarnji list” one of India’s most popular actor Shah Mukr Khan is set to star in the movie titled “Fan” The shooting has already started in Mumbai and is set to continue in Dubrovnik in the year 2015. Indian outbound tourism industry is becoming increasingly popular and this move will boost Croatia as a destination onto the Indian Travel market. The sources from the Croatian daily “Jutarnji list” claims than on every one hundred employees from the movie industry comes another two to three hundred in the building, travel, tourism and hospitality sectors.The film segment of the tourism market itself is set to net 60 million HRK alone in the forthcoming year and this is without extra revenue generated from tourism and hospitality sectors.

Only HBO’s new production of the Game of Thrones with filming taking places in Dubrovnik, Split and Sibenik is set to bring 43 millionGame of Thrones film location HRK.

We at Dubrovnik Luxury Travel welcome the arrival of Bollywood glamor and look forward to service Bollywood film crews be it regarding their Dubrovnik accommodation, Dubrovnik transportation, Dubrovnik yacht charter needs or perhaps finding new exotic Dubrovnik film locations.

The author of this article is Srdj Portolan, a founding member of Intercon Group of Companies, a board director at Spes Real Estate and Dubrovnik Luxury Travel.

Advice on where to book your hotel in Dubrovnik: Old Town vs Lapad

Holidaymakers are starting to gather their ideas which destination to choose for the forthcoming 2015 holiday season. Croatia is continuing to rise in its popularity and Dubrovnik is a must see destination on holidaymakers’ lists. Looking at the hotel accommodation Dubrovnik is growing in its luxury accommodation segment offer. In my view in order to taste Dubrovnik in its most “organic” way then Adriatic Luxury Hotels is your best bet for the simple fact that both hotels Excelsior and GHV Argentina offers

Hotel Argentina
GHV Argentina

spectacular views over the Old City and the island of Lokrum. Many would go automatically for Excelsior,personally I would prefer Argentina because in my view it is more cosier. Both hotels are situated in Ploce area of Dubrovnik and are a pleasant walk to the Old City where all activity during the summer season takes place. You will not regret if you even pay a bit extra but then again if you are an early bird you are bound to find a really good bargain.

One thing you ought to bear in mind is that Dubrovnik is a small city and that the public bus service works well. On the other hand Dubrovnik Palace is situated in a very secluded spot of Lapad

Dubrovnik Palace
Dubrovnik Palace

peninsula. What is more bus no 4 will get you in less than 15 minutes to Pile Gate. Uvala Lapad promenade is just a 15 minutes stroll where all the restaurants and bars are situated. So if you book Dubrovnik Palace what you get are the best of the both worlds. You came to Dubrovnik to visit Old City, you are staying in a five star hotel that is positioned in the best part of Lapad peninsula. You will get a better bargain than at Excelsior or Argentina and you still profit from the spectacular views of St Andrews lighthouse and Elaphiti islands.

The author of this article is Srdj Portolan, a founding member of Intercon Group of Companies, a board director at Spes Real Estate and Dubrovnik Luxury Travel.

From the island of Lokrum Dubrovnik, Croatia via Canary islands to Mexico with love.

Recently a client of ours insisted on booking Villa Victoria for the end of May 2015. As it may have been expected it was fully booked. My guess was that the views and the value for money price were determinants when it came for opting out to rent Villa Victoria. And there is one view in particular that intrigues the visitors of Dubrovnik, that of island of Lokrum. So you may wonder what onLokrum3 heck has this island to do with Canary islands and Mexico. Well the story starts in 1203 when the island of Lokrum became official domicile of Benedictine monks who cared for it until 1808 when they were forced off the island. As they were leaving Lokrum, they circled it and the curse on any future owner of the island. The Latin saying inscribed over the entrance to the abbey says: Small things create harmony, big things disharmony and this was the case for archduke Maximilian, the brother of the Austrian and Hungarian king Franz Joseph who acquired the island in 1859 and built himself a residence as an extension to the abbey with immaculately designed gardens. He brought on the island a family of peacocks from Canary islands. As he was declared the Emperor of maximilianMexico he met a tragic end being shot by Zapatta revolutionaries. In the meantime the island was inherited by his wife Charlotte who in the meantime was declared insane. Her brother Belgian king Leopold II ensured that Austrian princess Elizabeth gets the island after his nephew committed suicide.

In 1959 the island became natural reserve with a rare species of cactus trees, eucalyptuses, magnolias, agaves being plated there from Australia and South America.

What is interesting to note that no visitor is allowed to sleep on the island during the visiting season which lasts from April to November. The island is reachable in the 15 minutes ferry ride from Dubrovnik Old city port.