Travel

07 May 2020, 07:30 AM
May 7, 2020 - Montenegro Airlines has extended its planned flight suspension until 15th May, but it does not expect to start commercial operations again until June. The Montenegrin national carrier said it is on a mission to bring as many tourists to Montenegro this year as possible, writes Jakov Fabinger for Simple Flying.
 
As part of a wave of airline groundings across Europe, Montenegro Airlines stopped all commercial flights on 16th March.
 
Montenegro was the last European country to record its first case of COVID-19, following the imposition of strict travel restrictions to the country. In February, the Montenegrin Ministry of Health issued a ban for all travel between Montenegro and Northern Italy, and vice versa. It was effectively a ban on Wizz Air and Ryanair from the country.
 
Montenegro Airlines remains grounded, and its current flight suspension is officially in place until Friday, 15th May. On that day, the airline will operate its first flight in two months, to Belgrade Nikola Tesla Airport.
 
However, the Montenegrin national airline told Vijesti that “in light of the latest measures presented by NKT [national coordination body], first flights are expected in June.”
 
Montenegro Airlines does not expect to operate as many frequencies out of Podgorica and Tivat as it had planned for this year. Its first flights would be regional operations. Only in the second phase of its emergence from grounding will it resume flights to its wider international network. Even so, Montenegro’s international network will see “reduced intensity” because of the slump in demand the airline is already recording through advance bookings and its expectations based on negative worldwide aviation trends.
 
Unsurprisingly, the first flight Montenegro Airlines has scheduled is to Belgrade, in neighboring Serbia. However, the date of 16th May is unexpected, since Serbia does not expect to open its airports until 18th May at the earliest.
 
Along with Belgrade, Montenegro Airlines is likely to immediately resume its routes that are least dependent on fragile tourist demand. For example, Ljubljana in Slovenia and Moscow are two routes that are sustained through the requirement that does not rely on tourism.
 
Frankfurt, Paris, and Vienna could also be early routes to resume since Montenegro Airlines acts as a feeder to various major carriers through these hubs. For example, the flights to Vienna from Podgorica leave in the mornings, perfectly timed to connect onto Austrian Airlines’ late morning departure wave. Austrian Airlines and Montenegro Airlines operate a codeshare between Podgorica and Vienna.
 
Last year, between 1st March and 1st June, Montenegro Airlines recorded revenues over €13 million ($14 million). This year it will have been grounded for almost all of this period, which will be a significant blow for the airline’s finances.
 
The airline is now hoping to reduce its losses by generating as much revenue as possible in the summer months when tourists usually flock to its base in Podgorica and seasonal focus city of Tivat. But will the tourists come? What do you think are the prospects for smaller European airlines like Montenegro Airlines? Jakov Fabinger, a Simple Flying journalist following the air industry in Balkan countries, asks at the end of his article.
 
04 May 2020, 17:35 PM
May 4, 2020 - The hotel and tourism company Mimoza from Tivat has not yet canceled reservations for the summer months. But, the season will depend on the epidemiological situation in the country, as well as the region and worldwide. The director of Hotel Pine and Hotel Kamelija, Dragan Bućin said in an interview for the local Radio Tivat.
 
Mimoza had first announcements for both the preseason and the season. The interest in offering both hotels was high. However, due to travel suspension, the preseason failed.
 
"The canceled arrangements are mainly for May and the first half of June, but I have not had any cancellations for July, August, and September. How the situation will unfold and how well the COVID-19 pandemic will affect the summer months will depend on the epidemiological situation. However, as soon as the conditions are created, and the measures are eased, we will put the Pine Hotel in operation," said Bućin.
 
Pine is a small business hotel popular for business guests and has excellent occupancy throughout the year. It is a hotel that could very soon be put into operation with certain cost-effectiveness capacities, Bućin said.
 
It is currently uncertain whether the Kamelija Hotel will open at all this summer. It is a hotel of seasonal character, which exists on organized guest groups - organizing a school in nature and school excursions, the arrival of organized tourist groups, and the stay of sports teams.
 
Bućin emphasized that the company Mimoza retained all employees, but that at the moment, they were unable to hire seasonal workers working in their hotels during the summer months.
 
Wages for the past month have been paid, and the April bill is in the works. They do not know yet whether they will be forced to cut their earnings. They are hoping for assistance from the Government of Montenegro, which has announced financial support for tourism and hospitality companies, which will help pay the wages.
 
Bućin said that Mimoza expects the support of the Municipality of Tivat, both hoteliers and caterers, and anyone whose core business is catering and tourism, working together to mitigate the impact of the COVID-19 epidemic.
 
He also stressed the importance of borrowing under favorable conditions of the Investment Development Fund. Mimosa will do its best to find the best solutions and select the best options to ensure the best possible continuation of the business.
 
The Government of Montenegro has announced that the operation of hotels and catering facilities will be possible from 18 May with strict compliance with the prescribed health and sanitation measures.
 
Source: Radio Tivat
02 May 2020, 22:40 PM
May 2, 2020 - The Public Company Morsko dobro (Sea Property) is conducting the necessary field activities and is preparing an application, which will soon be available to all. It will contain all the required data on COVID-19 free beaches as well as other parameters essential for a safe vacation in the current situation, Ivana Lazovic, Morsko dobro PR, told the Radio CG.
 
In the process of mitigation, the National Coordination Body for Infectious Diseases planned to allow beaches to be opened along our coast from May 18 with special sanitary and health security measures. It prompted the Morsko dobro to begin preparing beaches for use during the summer months while taking into account measures to combat coronaviruses that remain in place.
 
“These days, we will be launching a mobile app made using the latest technology in the area. It will cover over 500 Montenegrin beaches with beach shots from almost all corners and with tags tailored to the current situation: COVID-19 Free. Also, the application will contain information on sanitary conditions, safety, temperature, quality of seawater and will provide the possibility of booking a place or some other services offered at these locations,” Lazovic said.

Morsko dobro will also soon define new tenant reliefs

“The first set of measures has already been enacted. It concerns the delay in leasing payments from April to July 1. After the May Day holidays, the Steering Board of the Morsko dobro will announce new benefits intended to mitigate the financial disadvantage expected by tenants of beaches and other areas in the area of ​​the sea property,” Lazovic said.

Morsko dobro Working On Several Projects

The Morsko dobro has been implementing previously planned projects with a total value of EUR 300 thousand. In Boka Kotorska, they worked on the arrangement of promenades and cycle paths, and in Herceg Novi, the famous Novi Sad beach was also reconstructed.
 
On the Grand Beach, near the mouth of Bojana, the Public Company has set up an office building in the shape of a shell, made of natural materials.
 
01 May 2020, 18:07 PM
May 1, 2020 - The tourism and travel sector is most affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. From the experience of some earlier complicated periods, it is an industry that tends to recover rapidly after the crisis is over, which is of utmost importance for economies such as Montenegro, which is a priority branch of tourism, emphasized the director of Tivat Tourism Organization, Danica Banjević.
 
"As for the Tivat Tourism Organization, in cooperation with hoteliers and private accommodation providers, we are preparing for the summer season and the postseason. We will forward them to the National Tourism Organization because we are planning a campaign with them that will be realized as soon as the conditions for this are created.
 
The prices are very competitive at the moment, and we also offer some additional services for booking individual capacities, which I believe will determine a significant number of tourists to make Tivat their summer destination," Banjevic said.
 
The critical question is how and when the borders and airports will be opened, and what procedures must be followed in this regard when it comes to health and safety aspects when tourists arrive at a particular destination.
 
"We have announcements that catering facilities and hotels will be opened on May 18, so in that area, we are expecting those rules and procedures that they must follow when opening their facilities.
The opening of borders and the Airport will not only depend on Montenegro but also on the situation and the opening of borders in other broadcast markets. Indeed, we should think in the direction of some bilateral agreements and the opening of tourist corridors, as we have information that neighboring Croatia is planning," said Danica Banjević, the TO Tivat director. 
01 May 2020, 17:42 PM
May 1, 2020 - When it comes to the expectations of the tourist season in Kotor, there is no reason to be optimistic, Ana Nives Radovic, director of the Kotor Tourism Organization told BokaNews.
 
"Every Sunday we hold a press conference in communication with hoteliers, caterers, travel agencies and come to the information that we pass on to the competent institutions, regarding what are the expectations, what is the number of cancellations and what are the expectations in the sense that we can at least get something out by the end of the year," explains the director of TO Kotor.
 
Ana Nives Radovic does not have much optimism, even when it comes to the next season, because fear will remain the dominant factor when it comes to tourist trips, even for those who do not have problems with their spending power. Security will be compromised, and fear will remain until there is information on vaccine availability, and many will opt out in the coming period, Radovic said.
 
"On the one hand, we have a rather worrying perspective, and on the other, the need to revise many things. First of all, we are in contact with a network of tourism professionals who are particularly dedicated to the current situation and perspectives, using time and developing new strategies related to destinations that are overburdened with tourism, such as Kotor," explains Anan Nives Radovic.
 
Using the best experiences of excursion tourism, we need to make a different strategy. The actual situation shows that mass tourism is not desirable and not required and that we should work on what will at the same time be appropriate for the tourism economy and not disrupt the life in the city," Radovic says.
 
Expectations are difficult to speak of when we still do not have information on the opening of ports and the announcement of ships, and the establishment of air traffic in Montenegro and the region. "If traffic is to be partially restored soon, we have certain expectations. Most bookings that had to be made by mid-June were canceled. But numerous arrangements for July and August are still in place, which gives some hope if the epidemiological situation remains stable and allows traffic to be gradually re-established.
 
"Although tourism revenue is key to us, we try to maximize reliance on what is not direct tourism revenue - project revenue, international funds). This year, as well as the next, we will have intensive cooperation with project partners on four large and several smaller projects," explained the director of TO Kotor.
 
When it comes to promotional activities, Kotor TO will increasingly rely on the digital world to match the situation. "The technological possibilities that exist for this are in favor of us because every day there are more and more IT networks through which we can communicate," Radovic concluded.
 
Source: Boka News
15 Dec 2019, 21:05 PM

Bella Boka is introducing its winter timetable for public services from 15th December, with hybrid ferry Graciana running twice daily between the largest towns on the bay - Herceg Novi, Tivat and Kotor.

The first service will leave from Pine in Tivat to Herceg Novi at 9 am, returning from Škver at 10 am.

The first departure from Tivat to Perast and Kotor will be at 11 am, returning from Kotor City Park stop at 12:15 pm. The second departure of the day from Tivat towards Herceg Novi will be at 13:45, and from Herceg Novi to Tivat one hour later. The last departure from Tivat to Perast and Kotor will be at 15:45, returning from Kotor at 17:00, Bella Boka reports.

Tickets from Tivat to Herceg Novi will cost four euros, from Herceg Novi to Perast five euros, and from Kotor to Herceg Novi six euros fifty cents. Tickets from Kotor to Tivat will cost five euros. The winter timetable is also offering something special for the youngest passengers.

For the next three weekends - Saturdays and Sundays until the end of the year - to tie in with Tivat’s New Year programme, ice rink and Bazaar, all accompanied children will travel free from Herceg Novi, Perast and Kotor to Tivat.

Free travel is only offered to children travelling with their parents, whose ticket price will be the same as that for all other passengers. As reported previously, they plan to increase their fleet as of next summer from two to three new eco-boats, which will be equipped with the latest technology. They will also be offering new stops that will be identified after detailed analysis, listening to suggestions from the public.

05 Dec 2019, 10:31 AM
December 5, 2019 - "Cultural Heritage Potentials for Creating Cultural Routes of Montenegro" is the name of the roundtable to be organized on Wednesday, December 11, 2019, from 1 pm to 3 pm at the Solidarity Gallery in the Old Town of Kotor.
 
The NGO EXPEDITIO is organizing the roundtable within the project "ROADS OF HERITAGE - Cultural Heritage Potentials for Creating Cultural Routes of Montenegro." The Ministry of Culture supported it as part of a public competition for the award of funds for projects and programs of NGOs within the call for proposals "The diversity of expressions of the independent cultural scene."
 
The HERITAGE ROADS project aims at improving the presentation of immovable cultural heritage and improving the tourist offer in Montenegro through the affirmation of cultural heritage as a potential for creating national cultural routes, as well as for joining regional and European cultural routes.
 
EXPEDITIO will present the results of the HERITAGE ROADS project, including the recognized potentials of cultural heritage for the creation of cultural routes, as well as publications published within the edition of the Cultural Route of Montenegro. Subsequently, representatives of relevant institutions and organizations from Montenegro and the region will present current practices, initiatives, and activities related to cultural routes at different levels. The round table will be attended by representatives of the Ministry of Culture of Montenegro, who will discuss the current initiatives related to cultural routes in Montenegro. On behalf of the United Nations Development Program (UNDP) in Montenegro, Sladjana Lazarevic will speak on the topic "EuroVelo8 and the Cultural Route - Initiative of the Creative Montenegro - Economic Valorisation and Creative Industries Project." Regional Cooperation Councils (RCCs) on the topic "Activities implemented at the regional level and links to the cultural routes of the Council of Europe" will be discussed by Snježana Derviškadić and Milena Filipović, and Svetlana Vujičić from the Center for Sustainable Tourism Initiatives (CSTI) will present plans for new activities at the local level: Thematic trails for Austro-Hungarian fortresses in the hinterland of Boka Kotorska.
 
Following presentations, a discussion is planned on the potential of cultural heritage for the creation of national cultural routes in Montenegro, as well as the next steps in this field.
30 Nov 2019, 12:45 PM

November 30, 2019 - State Secretary in the Ministry of Sustainable Development and Tourism, Mr Damir Davidović, welcomed Mexican ambassador to Montenegro, Mr Marco Antonio Garcia Blanco to discuss improving the cooperation between the two states.

 

Mr Garcia Blanco hailed Montenegro’s achievements in tourism and pointed out that Montenegro and Mexico could establish high-quality strategic cooperation and exchange in the domain of tourism.

Ambassador acquainted Mr Davidović with the “Tianguois Turistico” trade fair which is taking place in March of 2020 and he said Montenegro’s presentation was very welcome. Mexican tourists see our country and as very exotic and attractive destination and are very interested in it.

 

Mr Davidović acquainted ambassador with the activities which are underway in Montenegro, and with current policies and goals in the area of tourism. He said that cooperation with the South American market would have positive effects on Montenegro’s overall development.

“Tianguis Turistico” is the most important event in the tourism sector in Mexico. It gathers entrepreneurs, hoteliers, tourism agents, tour operators and specialized media of tourism economy from over 80 countries in the world. It is seen as a professional, dynamic and highly productive international event that provides interaction of interested parties. It will be held in 2020, in Yucatán.

Text by CDM on November 29, 2019, read more here.

To read more about travel in Montenegro, follow TMN's dedicated page.

29 Nov 2019, 23:50 PM
November 29, 2019 - Villa Galeb in Igalo, the former residence of Josip Broz Tito, lifelong president of the SFR Yugoslavia, was opened to tourists five years ago. Interest in this intriguing building is growing year by year. From June to the end of October this year, with about four and a half thousand visitors, ticket sales generated EUR 12.5 thousand in revenue.
 
Villa Galeb is open for visits all year round, but only for groups of ten or more people. Visitors can see the premises where Tito met with his associates and guests, watched movies, one of the apartments where his close associates were staying, as well as his, and his wife Jovanka's apartment, the most exclusive parts of Tito's Villa. Old furniture has been retained in most of the building. So right next to the entrance, there are still 51 armchairs for members of the Central Committee in the congress hall where the former Federal Executive Council sat.
 
Visitors come from all over the world, mostly from countries from the former Yugoslavia, Western Europe, and Russia, but also from New Zealand, Canada.
 
Alen Filipovic, a Villa Galeb guide, said that this summer's visit included the Prime Minister of an African country with his family, as well as German and Austrian ambassadors who could not agree on whether Herta Hess, Tito's second wife, was German or Austrian.
 
Filipovic points out that visitors are most interested in Tito's cabinet and that they stay there for the longest time. The guide tells tourists the curiosities and anecdotes from Tito's stay in Igalo, such as when he "escaped" his security, which later found him at a family home in Igalo drinking brandy with his host.
 
Tito has visited this Villa four times, the first time it was built, and the last time on April 15, 1979, when a catastrophic earthquake struck Montenegro. He and his entourage toured the entire Riviera that morning and appealed to the republics of the former Yugoslavia to help Montenegro. He spent the night before leaving in a tent, left Igalo on April 16 and return to Belgrade. His wife, Jovanka, was at the Villa Galeb only once.
 
Another residence was built for Tito in the municipality of Herceg Novi - the Lovcenka villa in the former Military Hospital in Meljine. However, he never stayed there. When the complex of the Center for Military Medical Institutions in Meljine, where Lovcenka is located, bought a consortium led by the Atlas Group, the Villa was planned to be demolished due to, as explained, "instability and slippage of the terrain." It is still there, and in recent years it has housed the Azmont Studio Center, which is working on a project for the Portonovi tourist complex in Kumbor.
 
Villa Galeb was built in 1976 after his first visit to Herceg Novi. One of the main reasons for the construction was the mild climate and proximity to the  Dr. Simo Milosevic Institute and extraordinary medical and therapeutic services that greatly influenced Tito's improved health status. The Villa was designed by Milorad Petijevic, an architect from Herceg Novi, and was built in just six months.
 
In about 5,600 square meters of living space, there are several apartments, a restaurant, a bar, a lounge, a study, a kitchen, the therapeutic area. Villa Galeb has a mineral water pool, mud and pearl tubs, a section for hydro, electro and Chinese therapy, and a trim hall.
 
In addition to his famous blue apartment and fireplace, Tito spent most of his free time in a movie theater where he used to enjoy relaxing watching cowboy movies in the evenings, and occasionally held concerts for him. The Villa also houses an atomic shelter made in case of war. 
 
Villa Galeb is designed for an extremely comfortable stay of 30 guests with the possibility of using medical and rehabilitation services. It has hosted, among other things, many world statesmen, as well as public figures.
 
Tito's Villa hosted Safia Gaddafi, Helmut Schmidt, Sirimavo Bandaranaike, Sri Lanka's prime minister, Huari Bumedien, president of Algeria, and in 1978 a young Prince Charles was on a one-day visit.
 
This remarkable building has been operating within the Institute since the late 1980s. Ten years ago, the Villa was rented by a Russian travel agency Travel Center from Moscow. The first year guests were high-class tourists from Russia. Among others, the Russian cosmonaut Alexei Leonov, Bulgarian businessman Petar Mazukov and many others spent the summer here. Leonov also met with Tito, and still thinks he was a great statesman.
 
Text by Slavica Kosić
27 Nov 2019, 12:45 PM
November 27, 2019 - Hotel Regent Porto Montenegro has been awarded the "Best Marina Hotel" in the world, according to the editorial team of the prestigious Russian Prime Traveler magazine.
 
"It is an honor to receive this award on behalf of the staff and management of the Regent Hotel here at the historic Dom Smirnov building in downtown Moscow. It comes as a crown and endorsement of the high-quality service we nurture at the Regent Hotel, combining traditional Montenegrin hospitality with international postulates of superior hospitality, exceptional nautical design, and sophisticated architecture," said Elena Ljiljanic, Senior PR & Marketing Manager at Hotel Regent Porto Montenegro.
 
The award ceremony is being held for the fourth time this year as a result of a joint initiative between Prime Traveler magazine and the Prime Concept concierge agency. Prime Traveler Magazine is a monthly luxury magazine featuring articles about the world's best hotels and considered a trendsetter in luxury tourism and discovering new destinations for its readers.
 
The magazine's circulation is 45,000 and is distributed to private clubs, embassies, VIP lounges at airports, banks, and the best hotels, restaurants, and sports clubs in Moscow.
 
Prime Concept Concierge Agency is an exclusive 24/7 club that offers luxury travel organization services to Russia's business, cultural, and political elite. The jury is composed of editors of Prime Traveler magazine, members of the Prime Concept Club, as well as leading figures of the Russian economy and show business.
24 Nov 2019, 20:33 PM
November 24, 2019 - Montenegro has generated €1 billion and €16 million in tourism revenue in the first eleven months of this year, the director of the National Tourism Organisation Željka Radak Kukavicic told Nova M. According to her, this indicates that the upcoming winter tourist season will be hugely successful.
 
The year slowly coming to an end was more than successful when it came to tourism. According to the latest data, over two million tourists visited Montenegro in nine months and over 13.4 million overnight stays were recorded. A positive trend was also observed when it comes to finances.
 
"By November, according to the Central Bank, tourism revenues reached one billion and 16 million euros, while tourist tax revenues exceeded the figure of 9 million, which is a million and a half more than last year."
 
It also indicates that the upcoming winter tourist season will be hugely successful, says Radak Kukavicic. The season at the ski resorts will start soon, and this year's offer will be more substantial and more vibrant. If weather permits, the season will run until April 1 or 15.
 
"From the very beginning, there will be a ski resort in Kolasin, Zabljak, Berane, Rozaje, and the Vučje Ski Center. On December 14, we will officially open ski resorts in Kolasin, followed by other ski resorts, which will open the winter tourist season with a rich program."
 
How much has our country progressed as a tourist destination?
 
"Progress is evident; we have been recording it for decades in the tourism sector. We are witnessing that these are double-digit growth rates and that Montenegro is at the top of the list by the World Tourism Organization and the European Commission for Tourism when it is about its growth."
 
Adriatic Properties intends to build a new hotel in Zabljak, where Durmitor used to be. How significant are these foreign investments for promoting our country as an elite tourist destination?
 
"Something we will be proud of in Montenegro, especially when it comes to northern Montenegro.
 
The opening of the Durmitor Hotel in Zabljak by a brand that already manages hotels on the Coast will surely be one more quality in Montenegro and a message for other investors who have their brands in the coastal region to open hotels of that and similar categories in the north of Montenegro."
 
Radak Kukavičić pointed out that our country is well on its way to becoming a year-round tourist destination with an offer during all 365 days.
 
The National Tourism Organization, in cooperation with the local as well as the Ministry of Sustainable Development and Tourism and the Tourism Economy, promotes our country in regional and European emission markets and emphasizes those markets with which we have functional aviation connectivity.
 
Source: Nova M
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