The Municipal Committee of the Social Democratic Party of Kotor has come out in favour of introducing excursion fees for Perast, starting next tourist season. They pointed out that particular attention needs to be given to the area, using sustainable regulations to ensure infrastructure and living conditions can be improved.
“In 2018, Kotor Tourism Organisation, in consultation with representatives of the National Tourism Organisation of Montenegro and the Ministry of Sustainable Development and Tourism, considered the introduction of an excursion fee for Perast. In spite of this, for unknown reasons, the former authorities in Kotor did not understand the severity of the situation and therefore did not seek the agreement of the Government of Montenegro. This issue particularly came to the fore due to the unfolding chaos in Perast, a situation from which the town reaps absolutely no benefit,” Kotor SDP stated.
On the other hand, they add that current information from the global tourist market warns that our country is being threatened by so-called overtourism, meaning that there are so many visitors in one location that there is a negative impact on local life and the environment.
“Perast is, after the Old Town, the most visited part of Kotor Municipality, with more than one-third of cruise tourists visiting the town. All visitors from Dubrovnik arrive by bus, along with over half the hotel guests from Budva, Tivat and Herceg Novi Municipalities, where agencies organise excursions,” they state.
The SDP notes that the number of visitors in the Old Town last year was over half a million, whereas in the first seven months of this year alone the figure was 305,000.
“On this basis, by the end of this year, at least 550,000 tourists are expected. This means, calculated for one euro per person for groups of more than five tourists, an income of 550,000 euros. Using these indicators, the income from an excursion fee for Perast would be at least 250,000 euros, which would, on the basis of a specially-designed plan, be allocated solely for the development of local infrastructure and to improve the living standards of locals in Perast,” concluded Kotor SDP.
13 August 2019 - As part of the second call for proposals through the Adriatic-Ionian Transnational Program, the Tourist Organization of Herceg Novi has been granted 122.840 EUR for the implementation of the project WONDER - Child-friendly destinations.
The principal objective of the Project is to increase the attractiveness and competitiveness of destinations from the Adriatic-Ionian Region thanks to a child-friendly approach, aimed at improving the liveability of cities and the touristic offer (governance, environment and services) through the development of new participatory methods. The Project WONDER will tackle: the collaboration between tourism and other related sectors, the development of participative models through greater involvement of children, the private sector and civil society, the support towards sustainable tourism and raising awareness campaigns.
WONDER supports new touristic offers addressed to children and families through the creation of a transnational network of child-friendly destinations, aimed at the sustainability of the tourism sector based on new and innovative participatory methods.
The leading partner of the project is the Municipality of Fano - Italy, and the partners in the project, except the Tourist Organization of Herceg Novi are: Municipality of Cervia - Italy; Velenje Municipality and Novo Mesto Development Centre - Slovenia; Municipality of Western Achaia and Municipality of Preveza - Greece; Observatory for Children and Youth Rights - Albania; City of Novigrad and the Development Agency of the City of Dubrovnik - Croatia.
The project will last for 24 months and will be funded under the second priority of the program (2.1) "Sustainable Region". On the second call of the Adriatic-Ionian Transnational Program, within the priorities of 2.1, for which TOHN applied, support was requested for 125 projects, from which 13 was approved for funding.
Read more about the reasons you should visit the coastline of Montenegro at TMN's dedicated page.
13 August 2019 - Bar's tourist offer is richer thanks to another four-star hotel, the Pearl Beach Hotel, located on the famous sandy beach in Čanj Bay, between Sutomore and Buljarica.
"We are convinced that the Pearl Beach Hotel Resort will be a strong impetus for the rapid development and revival of the Čanj area," said the representatives of the company that owns the new hotel, Šajo Group.
The hotel operates as part of Podgorica based company Šajo Group, which also became the majority owner of Joint Stock Company Recreatours Belgrade earlier this year, reports Vijesti daily. The JSC Recreatours owns the tourist settlement Biserna obala (English: Pearl Beach), Hotel Šumadija in Rafailovići and various hotels located at Kopaonik and near Srebrno jezero (English: Silver Lake) in Serbia.
Located in Čanj, Pearl Beach Hotel features a gorgeous garden, fitness centre, restaurant and bar, a 24-hour front desk, room service and free WiFi service. "With the aid of our business partners, in a relatively short timeframe and with extraordinary efforts, we were able to raise the level of services and accommodation significantly and put into operation 444 accommodation units of the once-neglected tourist resort Biserna obala," the representatives of Šajo Group highlighted.
In an interview for Vijesti daily, Director of Tourism at the Šajo Group, Petar Rakčević said that since the takeover of Pearl Coast to date, the renovation has cost two and a half million euros, and that the company plans to invest another three million by next summer.
"Together with the largest tour operators in the world, above all TUI, we are on the path of rapid rebranding and repositioning of the tourist resort Pearl Beach, into one of the best tourist complexes and clubs in Montenegro and beyond," the company representatives highlighted.
They added that the first guests of the hotel are very satisfied with the resort’s offer. “The room was very clean and spacious. Communication with staff was easy going, and everything was as I expected. Food in the hotel is absolutely delicious and I highly recommend Pearl Beach Hotel as a perfect location if you want to stay on the Montenegrin coast,” says a recent review of one of the hotel’s guests posted at the Booking.com website.
Read more about luxurious must-visit resorts in Montenegro at TMN's dedicated page.
12 August 2019 - Ulcinj Municipality will host a handmade products fair entitled Fair Fest – Ulcinj 2019 from 16-18 of August. The grand opening of the fair, with a rich cultural and artistic program, will be held on August 16 at 8:00 pm, reports PR service of Ulcinj Municipality. Members of the local Association of Female Domestic Products Manufacturers from Ulcinj (Montenegrin: Udruženje žena proizvođača domaćih proizvoda iz Ulcinja) will exhibit their products at the fair. The slogan of the Fair Fest 2019 is “Try Local, Buy Local and Feel the Tradition”.
The fair is of great significance for the whole Ulcinj Municipality because it aims to present unique, domestic and traditional products which will appeal to all visitors and tourists. The organisers want people to gather and socialize in order to improve the tourist offer in the city.
“We invite all those interested in coming to take a look at our handmade products and have fun at our festival," states the official invitation of the PR service of Ulcinj Municipality.
Fair Fest - Ulcinj 2019 Fair is an activity implemented under the project "The Feminine Side of Quality", implemented by Ulcinj Municipality in partnership with NGO MogUL, Municipality of Mirdita - Albania and UET (European University of Tirana) Centre from Tirana. The project, which is aimed at the promotion of cross border cooperation on the enhancement of employability through the empowerment of women as wage earners and job creators, is funded by the European Union through the Montenegro-Albania Cross-Border Fund 2014-2020.
Read more about events that take place in Montenegro at TMN's dedicated page.
12 August 2019 - The Kumbor Hotel located in the Kumbor settlement near Herceg Novi recently welcomed its first group of 250 guests from Germany, the United Kingdom, France, and Poland.
The owner of the hotel, Čedo Popović, said that the Kumbor Hotel was built to the highest standards and with the best materials. "The construction of the hotel is not yet fully complete, but the total investment will amount to around 30 million EUR. In terms of content, this hotel could have five stars, "Popović said in an interview for Infobiro.
He also stated that the hotel has signed contracts with tourist organisations so more guests should arrive at the hotel soon, and that and that he expects the hotel to be operational until October or November, until the end of the tourist season.
"This is the first year of operation, but we reckon that because of its location, the hotel can still operate and have guests even after the end of the tourist season," Popović added.
He said labour shortages were a key problem. "I wish that we could find quality employees whose salary would be satisfying for everyone. Still, this is not the case and we have to manage with our former employees that we transfer from the other company," Popović said.
The Kumbor Hotel is a four-star luxurious hotel located right by the sea, in the beautiful town of Kumbor which is known as a charming, peaceful seaside settlement. The hotel has 230 rooms and suites overlooking the sea, a private beach, private parking, SPA centre, outdoor pool, indoor pool, conference room and a-la-carte restaurant. The congress hall can accommodate up to 300 people in a theatre setting.
The interior of the hotel is clean, peaceful, airy and full of light. The designers aimed at modern minimalism with natural materials (wood, stone and cotton), and they made an effort that the colours of the interior reflect the hotel’s surroundings (blue, green - pastel colours). In this way, they enabled Kumbor’s guests to be welcomed with visual and functional comfort upon their entry.
Hotel Kumbor is located less than 5 km from the old town of Herceg Novi; UNESCO World Heritage as the town of Kotor is only 30-minute drive away. Three international airports are just 30-60 minutes away by car.
Read more about places to visit while travelling through Montenegro at TMN's dedicated page.
12 August 2019 - According to the latest report by the European Travel Commission, Montenegro is the 'Star of the Mediterranean' in the first quarter of this year. Cafe del Montenegro reported that Croatian Jutarnji list states that according to the European statistical data, in the first three months of 2019, Montenegro recorded increase by 29% in overnight stays and increase by 49% in tourists.
Experts are warning that Montenegro has serious comparative advantages. Interlocutors of Jutarnji list point out that Montenegro is strong thanks to investment packages.
“Licenses for investors are provided in only several months, as well as a waiver from duties. Besides, fuel for boaters is cheap,” writes Jutarnji.
State Secretary in the Ministry of Sustainable Development and Tourism Damir Davidović said in a statement for Croatian media that in the past 15 years Montenegro has been recording continuous turnover growth.
“In 2019, we opened 27 new hotels, 24 of which are four or five-star hotels. Three projects worth 3 billion euros are currently underway – Luštica Bay, the resort town with a marina near Kotor, Marina Porto Montenegro, and Portonovi project,” pointed out Davidović.
He also said that Montenegro had 43.000 overnight stays in collective accommodation facilities. Investors are offered favorable tax conditions. The VAT on hotel accommodation is 7%.
Davidović stated that Aman group was operating in Montenegro. Aman group is managing hotels on Sveti Stefan and the same investors are planning construction of another five-star hotel, as well as the highest-category hotel in Žabljak.
Read more news about traveling through Montenegro at TMN's dedicated page.
Almost 40,000 tourists are in Herceg Novi, which is 4 percent more than in the same period last year.
According to data from the local Tourism Organisation, this is also a season record for this year, which has seen lower tourist numbers due to a drop in private accommodation stays.
There are still slightly fewer guests staying in private homes than last year (31,260), representing a reduction of two percent, Radio Jadran reports.
Hotels continue to see a rise in numbers with 8,640 tourists, representing an increase of as much as 32 percent, registered as staying in this category of accommodation.
Herceg Novi. Photo: Boka News
The three registered campsites have recorded only 109 guests in total, representing a slight drop of two percent on last year.
Only 959 of the guests registered in Herceg Novi were from Montenegro. Others are foreign visitors from the region, Russia, Scandinavia, the UK, and other EU countries.
Employees at the Montenegrin airport will be able to use four electric vehicles to transfer regular passengers from the plane to the terminal building, as well as to transport workers.
This will help them to perform their duties much quicker, particularly in summer when the airport serves around 40 planes a day.
Tivat Airport. Photo: Boka News
“For the first time at Tivat Airport, we have electric vehicles, two four-seater, and two eight-seater, made by Italcar, Torino. I believe that we will significantly improve our service to business passengers, and make it easier for our employees to carry out their regular jobs,” Airport Director Danilo Orlandić wrote on his Facebook profile.
Airports in Montenegro are among the 200 busiest in the world during the first half of this year. Eleven airports from former Yugoslavia have been ranked among these top two hundred, out of which one is in the top 100. Montenegrin airports Tivat and Podgorica, are place 166 and 175 among the busiest.
Belgrade's Nikola Tesla Airport has been ranked 94th on the list as the busiest of the eleven with 2,612,981 passengers, 27,879 departures and 8,786 tons of cargo carried between January and June. It was ahead of London City, Vilnius and Tbilisi but behind Bergen, Thessaloniki and Bilbao. as data from the International Airport Council (ACI) show, EX-Yu Aviation News reports. EX-YU Aviation News was launched on June 1, 2008, with the aim of bringing together commercial aviation news from the former Yugoslavia. Ever since, the site has become the go-to place for news from the region and is updated on a daily basis with fresh articles available from 09.00 Central European Time.
Zagreb Airport took 116th place with 1,529,281 passengers, 19,206 departures and 4,069 tons of cargo. Although better than Tirana, Chisinau and Florence, it fell behind Treviso, Wroclaw and Verona.
Split Airport continued to improve its position among European airports, becoming the 131st busiest airport on the continent in the first half of the year.
It was followed by Dubrovnik (134th), Skopje (135th), Pristina (136th), Ljubljana (146th), Podgorica (166th), Sarajevo (173rd), Airport Tivat (175th) and Zadar, which occupied 184. place.
Of the major European cities, Sarajevo had the least passenger traffic, while London, Paris, Amsterdam, Frankfurt and Madrid were the busiest on the continent.
Although the number of passengers at all eleven airports in the former Yugoslavia in the first two hundred in Europe increased during the first half of the year compared to the previous year, all registered a decrease in the amount of processed cargo, with the exception of Skopje.
Over ten thousand people have been recently enjoying a stay in Kotor, around five percent more than in the same period last year, said the director of the local Tourist Organisation, Ana Nives Radović.
She added that this is never a real indicator of how close to capacity they are, as year on year there is both more hotels and private accommodations.
“Statistics, however, do show that occupancy is at the same level as last year. On the other hand, in Kotor, there is greater awareness of tourist registration, particularly in private accommodation. It’s extremely laudable that owners of accommodation recognise that they have a responsibility to register guests, and on this issue Kotor is number one in Montenegro,” stated Radović to Skala Radio.
She mentioned just a few of the newest features of Kotor, which this year is second on the list of best and most interesting cruise destinations in the Eastern Mediterranean. It occupies the same spot in the list of top 15 European destinations this year.
Radović believed that the praise speaks for itself, but the most important way for tourism employees to improve business is by listening to tourists’ comments.
“One of the main complaints is the noise in some places in the Old Town, and then there is the issue of cleanliness, or rather lack thereof, particularly regarding beaches and bathing spots. Most problematically, there is a lack of litter bins,” said Radović.
She added that traffic congestion wasn’t so much a problem for tourists, but for locals who feel it most in the high season.
“There is a longstanding problem of unresolved and overlapping responsibilities between the Municipality, Morsko Dobro, Kotor Utilities Company and the Directorate for Planning and Development of Kotor. This is particularly a problem when it comes to maintenance of promenades along the sea, benches, fixtures, and public lighting,” said Radović.
Due to the lack of clear information as to who is in charge and responsible for which work, locals and tourists often turn to the media and the Tourist Organisation.
Radović highlighted the problem expressed at the start of the main tourist season in Kotor, which is parking for an even higher number of tourist buses.
“This reached a peak when there was a change in the local authority in Kotor, and there was no coordinating body to monitor the tourist season, because it had not been established for this year by the former authorities,” stated Radović.
She believes that such a body should be in place throughout the year, as Kotor generally relies on excursion and cruise tourism.
Since there had been no local assembly sessions, no decision had been made to collect a fee for the economic use of cultural goods, or a fee otherwise collected from tourist buses.
“Because of this, we lost a significant sum daily, some several hundred euros, with only one bus paying a 15 euro tax. Already in March, a large number of agencies were asking where and to whom they should pay the fee,” Radović stated.
When it comes to tourist buses, we also have a problem of stopping, parking, holding, noise, crowds and a lack of alternative locations, all at a time when the tourist season is already well underway.
“Kotor Tourist Organisation managed to inform the agencies of where the buses should be, maintain contact with them and announce all the arrivals to all those for whom the unresolved situation and confusion could be a reason to not return to Kotor,” concluded Radović.
09 August 2019 - The only cave in Montenegro open for organized visits, the Lipa Cave near Cetinje, with 2 km of passages, halls and galleries, is one of the greatest tourist attractions in Montenegro. Even if you are taking a walk through only one of its parts, it is still an unforgettable experience.
The entrance to Lipa Cave is located near the famous Belvedere viewpoint, some 30 km away from Budva and Podgorica, at the entrance of Cetinje and Director of marketing and sales Milena Raičević says that this is favorite location of tourists and explorers, as CdM reports.
“The beauty of Lipa Cave has been well known since ancient times. Great figures of Montenegrin history, Petar II Petrović Njegoš and King Nikola particularly praised its authentic beauty. Lipa Cave was discovered much earlier, before Njegoš. And even back then, people had access to the cave. Famous explorers and scientists from the 19th century left documents about their researches, cave ornaments and motives,” pointed out Raičević.
A whole kilometer of the main cave hall is available for visitors these days. The illuminated pathway is around 600 meters long and is surrounded by untouched cave parts. There are two types of organized cave tours. Both tours start with a little train ride to the parking at the entrance to Lipa Cave.
“Visitors are accompanied by experienced and well-trained guides. They are specialized in cave tours and know everything about its history. Ticket prices depend on the type of tour. The price includes: train ride, tour guide, insurance and parking, sometimes equipment,” said Raičević.
The Cave is available for visits starting from April, two times a day - at noon and at 2 PM. From May to October tours begin at 10 AM, 11 AM, 1 PM, 2 PM and 4 PM.
“Visitors can choose between Cave tour and Extreme tour. Visitors are mostly interested in the first one. It lasts for 60 minutes. It's not very demanding and we recommend it to families with children. Lipa Cave Temperature is 8 °C - 12 °C. Visitors should take jackets and appropriate shoes. This basic tour does not require special equipment,” stressed out Raičević.
Ticket for the adults costs 10,90 EUR, for children under the age of 5 it costs 1 EUR and for children under the age of 15 years old it costs 6,90 EUR. Family visit package costs 29,90 EUR.
“Extreme adventure is scheduled in advance. The difference between these two tours is the fact that extreme adventure starts with visitors descending down to the cave using a rope and they tour around 1 kilometer of cave channels and passages. Before they start the adventure, visitors get special equipment,” stated Raičević.
This two-and-a-half-hour tour costs 50 EUR per person. For children aged between 5 and 15, it costs 25 EUR.
“Safety of our visitors comes first. There have not been any accidents ever since the Cave opened. The part of the cave used for tours is arranged in accordance with the highest world standards in the arrangement of speleological structures,” stressed Raičević.
However, Lipa Cave offers even more - there is wine and juice tasting in the cave bar. In addition, visitors can enjoy short classical music concerts organized in one of the largest cave halls – the Hall of Njegoš.
The number of visitors to Lipa Cave is increasing every year. Visitors are mostly foreigners.
“On Trip Advisor page, we are in the first place according to the impression of visitors, the main tourist attraction in Cetinje. That is a great success,” concluded Raičević.
For more information about Lipa Cave please visit their official website.
Read more news about traveling through Montenegro at TMN's dedicated page.