Skadar Lake National Park was visited by 127,572 tourists this year, which is 49 percent more than last year, and twice as much as in 2017, said Nenad Ivanovic, the director of the park.
He pointed out that 2019 was record-breaking in attendance, with ticket revenues exceeding half a million euros. As many as 1,500 tourists visit the Lake in one day.
“This year, we have aggressive growth and the postseason is outstanding. The reasons for such a drastic increase in visitors are indeed in a good campaign at international fairs, investments in tourism infrastructure and the introducing of the e-visitor application," said Ivanovic, noting that this number refers only to tourists who cruise Skadar lake, while the real number of guests who visit and individually tour the park is much larger.
Tourists who visited Skadar Lake this year are from many countries around the world, most of them from France and Germany.
"There are very few countries from which there were no tourists. More and more are from the Far East," Ivanovic said.
He adds that the post-season is also very successful and that tourists are expected to arrive by early November.
"In September and October, groups have come who paid for the visit in advance. They come regardless of the weather. In mid-October, we expect a slight decline, and from November 10 there are no more tourists. Let's say we had 800 tourists on Wednesday, September 25th, and our record was 1,500 tourists in one day. In June, we had the smallest growth due to rainy weather," he added.
Ivanovic points out that they must work on improving the infrastructure. Thus, recently they have made a track on Virpazar, which is multi-purpose, and above all, facilitates and enables a safer crossing of the main road and the Podgorica-Bar railway. It is important for security reasons, because now visitors and residents of this place will be able to cross the railway and the intersection safely, and I am sure that it will enable a better valorization of the area," Ivanovic said.
The park management plans to procure two new tourist boats next year. He adds that it is a particular business, since 130 private vessels already operate on the lake.
“There are a large number of locals involved in the business. There are more than 80 locals who own these boats and they have to make some deal with them which is very difficult. National parks have been conceived since their inception as institutions that will improve the quality of life for people living in these areas, ”said Ivanovic.
He also noted that the temporary facilities plan expires at the end of the year and that a new one should be made in the next three to five years.
“We also plan to provide parking spaces, because that is a problem in Virpazar, and it is something that is basic. We will ask for temporary facilities to be leased for a period of three years, not just a year as before. Because if you are the owner of something for three years you have the desire and the will to devote to it, ”explains Ivanovic.
The national carrier of Norway, Sweden, and Denmark - Scandinavian Airlines (SAS) announced yesterday that it would be adding another scheduled service to Tivat, starting in summer 2020.
The service from Copenhagen to Tivat will operate from 1 July to 8 August next year.
Flights will run twice a week, on Wednesdays and Saturdays, with an Airbus A321, providing significantly larger capacity than the aircraft already used by SAS on its regular summer flights from Oslo and Stockholm to Tivat.
October 1, 2019 - Over the next ten years, over 500 million euros will be invested in the further development of the Porto Montenegro resort in Tivat. It was announced by representatives of Adriatic Marinas to specialized journalists on Friday at the Monaco Yacht Show in Monte Carlo.
25 September 2019 - Every year, several tourists get lost in the Montenegrin mountains just because they often go on tours on their own. According to experienced mountaineers, one must respect the laws of the country, as well as its territories regardless of the dangers in the mountains. However, Montenegro still does not oblige tourists to use services of licensed mountain guides, reports Cafe del Montenegro
Last year, there were four cases of rescuing foreign tourists in the National Park Biogradska Gora, while this year, there were two. According to the Director of the National Park Biogradska Gora Marko Vlahović, all these tourists did not use services of professional guides but went off the marked walking trails. No mountain rescue service has been charged ever.
The region, on the other side, has this well regulated. In case a tourist gets lost or seeks a guide’s help, he/she is obliged to pay for this service. Moreover, a group who is coming to a country needs to hire a guide from that country, while in Montenegro tourists still organize climbing tours on their own.
In this regard Vlahović urges the tourists coming to Montenegro to hire a mountain guide who knows the walking tours well as in that way it will be impossible to get lost!
However, once you find your guide, be sure to check out a hiking break in Northern Montenegro, where the tour is focused around the town of Pluzine, which is located in north-western Montenegro and is the center of the Piva region. A certain part of this cruise takes place through the Piva Canyon, which will take your breath away just by taking a look at its size and height. The two-night full board stay takes place in traditional cabins made of wood and stone, which are located in an eco-resort overlooking the Piva Lake, making this an excellent opportunity to relax, breathe in loads of fresh air and get your thoughts away. Also, many different culinary specialties of Montenegrin cuisine are included in this offer, featuring all three main meals, as well as a driver/guide, a hotel pickup and drop-off, some local taxes and all activities provided by the programme.
Due to local demand, the Elettra solar vessel, owned by Bella Boka, has added two new stops, at Muo and Dobrota. The new Perast-Prčanj-Dobrota-Kotor-Muo route began operations on Monday at 13:30. Departure from Muo is at 10:00.
"Elettra, our solar boat, has welcomed students, teachers, and workers in Tivat Municipality as part of European Mobility Week, promoting solar energy and sustainable development. This was indeed our "tour for a clean Boka!"
Yesterday, we were very pleased to welcome children and teachers from Ivo Višin Elementary School in Prčanj. The children were delighted and even briefly had the chance to helm Elettra themselves," Bela Boka reported.
General Manager of Bella Boka, Ricardo Bonetti, announced that the lines would remain running on Boka Bay throughout the winter months, as was the aim of the project.
Airports of Montenegro has chosen Airbus to launch night flights at Tivat Airport, states Chair of the Board of Directors, Dragoljub Bulatović.
“Insisting on the significance of night flights at Tivat Airport, we were fortunate to attract such a significant company as Airbus. We believe that we will reach a positive outcome as regards procedures for night flights, and we are convinced that this is one of the key issues for the further development and future of Montenegrin airports, including the new and greater value in the context of the forthcoming international tender for selection of concessionaires,” stated Bulatović.
For a decade already there has been a constant demand for additional traffic slots at the airport, the company reports.
“Night flights to the most significant inbound markets allows in effect the creation of a new airport on existing infrastructure, new income for both the airport and the tourist economy, and the creation of several dozen new, quality jobs in Tivat. The development of an alternative night airport to Podgorica is of not only economic, but also strategic importance for our country,” he said.
Montenegro is set to remain a leading air travel destination over the coming decade.
“The Board of Directors and Management will do everything necessary to ensure that once experts from Nav Blue-Airbus have successfully completed procedures from their side, we can begin night flight operations as soon as possible in Tivat,” concluded Bulatović.
16 September 2019 - According to records published by the Ministry of Sustainable Development and Tourism, there are 453 hotels in Montenegro with 43.639 beds. Nearly 55% account for four-star and five-star hotels. This year, 38 high-end hotels have been opened, and there will be even more.
As representatives of the Ministry said, categorization procedure helps achieve one of Government’s goals – creating conditions for the improvement and raising the quality level of catering capacities.
One of the key measures defined by the Reforms in the Area of Tourism Agenda is the development of new and improvement of the existing accommodation facilities. The most important activity in that context is defining models for the enhancement of the construction of four and five-star hotels, reports CdM.
"There are currently 25 five-star hotels in Montenegro. One hundred seventy-nine four-star hotels, whereas others refer to one to three stars," said the representatives of the Ministry.
Analysis of the current state of affairs of hotel structure takes into consideration the fact that the Strategy adopted at the end of 2008, when the many-year-long economic crisis started, has severely affected the investment projects in Montenegro.
"However, despite such ambiance, we are very satisfied with the structure of our hotels now, as the number of high-end hotels exceeds the projections envisaged by the Strategy," said the representatives of the Ministry.
Raising the offer quality in hotels and other catering facilities achieves the strategic goal of the development of tourism in Montenegro- high quality, all-year-long tourist offer.
"In that context, Government is focused on creating conditions for enhancing the development of catering services, as the most important segment of the tourism product," said the representatives of the Ministry.
With the aim of raising competitiveness level and creating conditions for the extension of the season, Ministry has been implementing the project of the establishment, improvement and control of the quality level of hotel facilities as well as other accommodation facilities.
Commission of the Ministry of Tourism is in charge of the categorization of catering facilities.
"Commission for categorization of catering facilities conducts the categorization procedure and assigns the category depending on the organization, equipment and maintenance of the facility, type and quality of services and other categorization criteria," explained the representatives of the Ministry.
Read more news about traveling through Montenegro at TMN's dedicated page.
07 September 2019 - Works on the Bar-Boljare motorway are all going according to plan, and the first layer of asphalt surfacing was laid on September 6th on the 500 metres section of Moračica Bridge, stated the Public Relations Service of The Government of Montenegro.
According to the official data provided by the Government, each construction segment is done in accordance with the planned design and modern execution procedures. The motorway construction works are overseen by Monteput, Ingerop, DKTP and competent laboratories.
In terms of the first layer of asphalt surfacing, which was laid a few days ago, the work was complete in three layers 7+7+4 cm thick and is made of polymer modified bitumen. The first BNS layer was completed on September 7th, when 950 tons were installed.
The construction of the motorway will significantly reduce travel time, since people will travel 30-40 minutes from Podgorica to Kolašin instead of an hour and a half as they do now. Also, high-quality and secure roads can bolster road safety even though this issue has been quite complex in terms of factors that affect the level of safety. “Having in mind that the priority Smokovac–Mateševo section represents an alternative to the route from Podgorica to Kolašin (the canyon Platije), the need for its construction is even greater,” said Veselin Salamadija, a specialist in traffic engineering and president of the Group for the transport of passengers and goods by road in the Chamber of Commerce of Montenegro, in a recent interview for CdM.
As TMN previously reported, the most expensive bridge on the highway priority section, Smokovac-Mateševo, is the Moračica bridge, and the construction cost is estimated at around 74,5 million EUR, said the representatives of the Ministry of Transport and Maritime Affairs of Montenegro. When complete, Moračica will be 360 metres long and 23,4 metres wide. Five pillars will support it. The range from the bottom of the Morača riverbed to carriageway construction will amount to more than 200 meters.
First highway section is expected to be finished in the middle of 2020.
07 September 2019 - The Android and iOS mobile application Klik Podgorica enables citizens and tourists to get information on city and rail traffic, cycling, catering, sports facilities, health care facilities, culture and history of the capital of Montenegro in a faster and simpler way.
The application facilitates mobility, and the project corresponds with the Capital's efforts to digitize urban transport and other amenities.
“We are witnesses that every day that we all increasingly rely on the opportunities offered by modern technologies. By affirming these ideas and projects, we believe that we are responding to the needs of citizens to have all the necessary information on city traffic, cycling, history and culture of the capital, catering, parks and picnic areas, sports facilities, health care facilities and rail transport,” says the statement of the PR Office of the Capital.
The information provided by the Application is also of great importance for tourists, whose number is increasing each year in Podgorica. “Therefore, we can speak about the tourist valorisation of this project and give it the epithet of a digital guide through the Capital. Also, what is most significant is that such projects are convenient for citizens for they contribute to the citizens’ comfort by affecting better quality of traffic and the overall mobility,” explain the representatives of the PR Office of Podgorica.
In Montenegro, over 70 per cent of the population owns a smartphone. This means that they have the ability to carry the information offered within the application with them in their pocket. According to the the office of the Mayer of Podgorica, Ivan Vuković, this aspect is extremely important because in that way, the platform of the application can be built in accordance with what is important to the citizens of this city, but also to tourists.
The map includes all bus stops within the city, as well as 900 kilometres of bus lines on an electronic map.
The application contains a relevant database of catering facilities. It is possible to select a catering facility by category. It is also possible to search which catering establishments allow pets, which have access for people with disabilities, where it is possible to make a card payment. The app features rich cultural, historical and religious content. All these information can be found within the application itself, through 80 facilities and the option to do further research and even enter the data for new facilities.
A special attention was dedicated to cycling, and the developers outlined all the cycle paths within the Capital. Sports facilities marked within the application are searchable by sports, and it is also possible to search whether you are interested in indoor or outdoor playgrounds. The rich content of parks and picnics is an interesting category and individuals can search them by which parks and picnics have children's playgrounds, trim tracks, sports fields, and exercise equipment.
Health care facilities located in Podgorica, such as pharmacies, clinics, polyclinics, health centres, health offices, laboratories, emergency centres, can be searched in accordance with category they belong to. Individuals can easily get information on work hours of these institutions and their specialties. Both banks and ATMs can also be found easily by using the application.
The complete Application has been translated into English, which is a great benefit for tourists visiting Podgorica.
The mobile application and web platform presenting the most relevant information relevant to Podgorica citizens and tourists was created as a partnership project of NGO Mladiinfo Montenegro, Studio Lasso, Telenor Foundation and the Capital.
Read more information useful while travelling through Montenegro at TMN's dedicated page.
03 September 2019 - According to the representatives of the Airports of Montenegro, the capacities of airports in Podgorica and Tivat will be expanded soon.
Director of the Airports of Montenegro, Danilo Orlandić recently announced the expansion of Podgorica Airport capacities, as well the Terminal 2 expansion at Tivat Airport. According to Orlandić, Podgorica Airport will be expanded by 1,000 square meters, and it will have six new check-in counters.
The Airports of Montenegro will complete several expansions at both the airport in Podgorica and Tivat to cope with continuous passenger growth.
In an interview for CdM, Orlandić explained that the topic of night flights at Tivat Airport is of great importance, and that two renowned companies have expressed interest in the implementation of the project – Paris Aéroport and Airbus.
"We had one public call. We have been contacted by three of the world's most serious players. However, as they do business under Anglo-Saxon law, we were not allowed to carry out the tender because of the legal formalities. Afterward, we initiated a negotiating procedure with the Ministry of Finance without launching a public call. We received offers from two major companies (Paris Aéroport and Airbus). We will decide in the next few days, "the chairman of the Airport of Montenegro said.
Tivat Airport night flights, according to the existing estimations, might be launched within a year or a year and a half. Orlandić emphasized that the newly-built Terminal 2 at Tivat Airport has already brought many benefits: “The construction of the Terminal 2 at Tivat Airport cost around 4 million USD and we will pay it off by the end of the next summer season.”
The company plans to expand Terminal 2 at Tivat Airport by about 300 square meters next year.
Montenegro, as confirmed by Orlandić, now has excellent airline connections. Still, the head of the Airports of Montenegro announced new airlines and even more connections in the future.
He says that it is too early to confirm what the new destinations are, but he says there is a plan for a connection with Scandinavia, and it is possible that a direct airline will also be established with Amsterdam.
Orlandić also pointed out that the announcement of the Concession Act for Montenegrin Airports does not mean that the investments and service improvement at the airports in Tivat and Podgorica will seize. "On the contrary, we will achieve more and get better results. We will work every day as if there was no concession process," said Orlandić, emphasizing that Montenegrin Airports are state-owned and that ACG management will act in accordance with Government decisions.
01 September 2019 - Hong Kong Tatler, the essential guide to the luxury lifestyle in Hong Kong, recently placed Budva, Montenegro on the top of the list of destinations for a luxurious last-minute trip!
Hong Kong Tatler Magazine that covers everything from the best events and most glamorous people, to fine dining, international fashion and luxury travel wanted to inspire its readers to take advantage of the remaining sunny summer days and organise a last minute trip to a luxurious destination. In fact, Tatler based the destination research on famous people’s holiday getaways, and the very first recommendation is Aman Sveti Stefan Resort in Budva!
While exploring Montenegro, one of Hong Kong society's brightest young stars and a social media phenomenon, Eleanor Lam (better known as Elly), fell in love with Aman Sveti Stefan, the charming seaside hideaway resort with lush grounds and stunning sea views.
As Tatle reported, Eleanor Lam is always on the move, and a highlight from her myriad summer jaunts was Budva, a medieval town in Montenegro. She stayed at the Aman Sveti Stefan, an exclusive resort atop a private island that used to be a fishing village in the 15th century.
Pink-sand beaches, crystal-clear waters and rugged, pine-cloaked mountains form the untamed backdrop to Aman Sveti Stefan, in one of Europe's last corners of truly wild beauty – Montenegro, managed to charm the young star. Eleanor loves exploring exotic destinations, and the stroll along the shoreline, Queen’s Beach, the scallop-shaped bay considered Montenegro’s finest, left her breathless as she managed to take some gorgeous photograph on site.
Lam also couldn’t resist revealing more beautiful locations in Montenegro, as she visited a peaceful, authentic place with delicious Montenegrin cuisine, Rijeka Crnojevića. Swimming in a pool with a gorgeous view over the Skadar Lake, Ellie posted a picture on social media, saying that she could get used to the picturesque sites Montenegro has to offer.