28 July 2019 - According to the most recent Airports Council International Report on airport industry connectivity, Montenegro occupies the 36th position out of 43 countries whose airport traffic has been analysed. In terms of individual capital city airports, between 2009 and 2019, Podgorica was the fastest-growing capital city airport within the former Yugoslavia based on connectivity, averaging growth of 284%.
The Airports Council International (ACI) published its official Airport Industry Connectivity Report 2019 in June 2019, analysing the evolution of direct, indirect and total airport connectivity between 2009 and 2019. The report provides comprehensive measurement and analysis of the way Europe’s air connectivity has evolved over the past ten years.
The Connectivity Report delves into the dynamics and performance of air connectivity for and across Europe– down to each individual airport that is part of the European aviation system. As such, the different types of air connectivity indexes ACI uses - direct, indirect and hub connectivity – are useful metrics for airports themselves, but also for policy makers who may want to include connectivity data as part of their assessments and decision-making process.
Countries of the former Yugoslavia offer among the fewest connections to passengers travelling by air, both direct and indirect, compared to their European counterparts, according to Airport Council International's (ACI) latest connectivity report for 2019. Although Bosnia has the lowest direct connectivity, it is ahead of Macedonia in terms of indirect and hub connectivity, explain the ExYU Aviation Website. The report states that Montenegrin airports occupy the 36th place out of 43 countries surveyed.
On the other hand, individual capital city airports from across the region have seen robust connectivity growth over the past decade. Between 2009 and 2019, Podgorica was the fastest-growing capital city airport within the former Yugoslavia in terms of connectivity, averaging growth of 284%. It is followed by Skopje at 119%, Sarajevo at 109%, Belgrade at 77%, Zagreb at 73.4% and Ljubljana, which grew 20.4%.
In terms of airport traffic, ACI has also found that “with the cost of travel decreasing in many markets, and a burgeoning middle class growing in emerging markets, passenger traffic growth has remained irrepressible”. Indeed, ACI’s global medium-term forecasts reveal growth in demand for air services between 2018 to 2023 will grow by almost 30%. This means many national governments face the predicament of demand outstripping available airport infrastructure.
Airports Council International (ACI), the trade association of the world’s airports, was founded in 1991 to foster cooperation among its member airports and other partners in world aviation, including the International Civil Aviation Organization, the International Air Transport Association and the Civil Air Navigation Services Organization. In representing the best interests of airports during key phases of policy development, ACI makes a significant contribution toward ensuring a global air transport system that is safe, secure, efficient and environmentally sustainable. As of January 2019, ACI serves 646 members, operating 1,960 airports in 176 countries. ACI uses the report as an opportunity to stress the importance of public policy and regulation in facilitating and enhancing connectivity, which is closely linked to the economic wealth of countries. ACI has called for progress on issues such as airport capacity, the liberalisation of market access, the lowering of navigation charges and aviation taxes and lighter economic regulation for airports.
Read more information on travelling to and through Montenegro at TMN's dedicated page.
27 July 2019 - Kitesurfing has been gaining great popularity in Montenegro in recent years since extreme sports fans can enjoy this activity on the Great Beach (Montenegrin: Velika plaža) in Ulcinj. According to instructor Nemanja Škobić, Ulcinj can be placed within the top three most secure places in the world to master this sporting skill.
Kitesurfing is an action sport combining aspects of wakeboarding, snowboarding, windsurfing, surfing, paragliding, skateboarding and sailing into one extreme sport. A kitesurfer harnesses the power of the wind with a large controllable power kite to be propelled across the water, land, or snow.
One of the windiest and beautiful sandy beaches of Montenegro – the Great Beach has a lot to offer, and because of the growing interest for kitesurfing, the beach now has its kite center. The kite centre instructors and kitesurfing enthusiasts want to share their passion for this sport provide all interested individuals advice formed after a long-term experience. They have a trained and motivated team, modern teaching techniques and the most modern equipment, which all guarantee ideal learning progress in their tailor-made kitesurfing courses.
Nemanja Škobić, who has been working as a kitesurfing instructor for ten years on the Great Beach in Ulcinj, gave an interview for Tanjug, where he stated that a large number of locals and tourists have undergone training for the sport.
"In order to master the basic steps, it takes from eight to ten hours of exercise. The course is popular with both children and adults," said Škobić.
He also pointed out that the Great Beach in Ulcinj, which is about 13 kilometres long, belongs to the top three safest places in the world to master the kitesurfing skill, and one of the reasons for this is the vastness of the beach.
"The width and length of the beach, as well as the length of the shallow water areas that do not have coral, rocks, trees, power lines – all create perfect conditions for kitesurfing," said Škobić, adding that the training season usually starts in early May and lasts until the beginning of October. Kitesurfing beginners and newcomers find perfect conditions for fast learning progress by being provided with a wide sandy area (without dangerous riffs or rocks), shallow water and constant side-onshore-winds. However, advanced kiteboarders will also love this beach for its moderate temperatures and a lot of free space to practice new moves.
Škobić also explained that the training process is normally split into several stages, where the basic steps are learned on the sand, and then the individuals head into the sea to master their skills. The training is perfectly adapted to each individual’s needs, no matter whether they want to improve their kitesurfing skills or want to learn advanced moves and tricks.
Read more information about new experiences when travelling through Montenegro at TMN's dedicated page.
According to data on accommodation and excursion tax payments, Kotor this year has been seeing record high numbers of tourist visits.
So far, over 250,000 registered group tourists have visited the town, some 18 percent higher than for the same period last year.
“The number of guests staying in Kotor so far has reached almost 9,700, 3 percent higher than for the same period last year, moreover in June and July there was a significant increase in the number of guests checking in to private accommodation, up as much as 8 percent," stated the Director of Kotor Tourist Organisation, Nives Radović.
The largest proportion of these visitors are tourists from cruise ships, followed by those visiting from Dubrovnik and from other Montenegrin coastal towns.
20 July 2019 - Minister of the Interior Mevludin Nuhodžić recently made an unannounced visit to Debeli brijeg, the main border crossing between Croatia and Montenegro, and on that occasion spoke with Montenegro's border police officers and tourist intending to get firsthand information about the traffic flow at the border at the peak of the tourist season, as reported the Government of Montenegro.
"Today I have made an unannounced tour of the Debeli brijeg border crossing and I was assured that the Border Police officers are doing their job professionally, with great will and with great kindness," Minister Nuhodžić said, adding that the tourists with whom he talked at the border crossing confirmed this.
"This is very important because the border police are the first to meet tourists visiting our country. Tourists told me the same about the work of our police officers - they find them very professional and kind," the Interior Minister stressed.
On this occasion, he praised the police officers who work at high temperatures and in difficult conditions. "Nevertheless, they do their job professionally and kindly and with all the will to show Montenegro's hospitality to tourists," Minister Nuhodžić pointed out.
The security of Montenegro is a fact that tourists especially emphasise as a reason for choosing the country as a holiday destination, Interior Minister Mevludin Nuhodžić noted.
"The number of passengers who crossed the Debeli Brijeg border crossing in the first six months of this year is 20,000 higher than in the first six months of 2018. I asked tourists why they are coming to Montenegro. They told me that one of the reasons is that Montenegro, after joining NATO, is an extremely safe destination, and that they want to spend their holiday in the place where they feel safe and secure. And Montenegro is a safe and secure destination," the Interior Minister concluded.
Read more news about traveling through Montenegro at TMN's dedicated page.
The natural and cultural-historical region of Kotor is among examples of good practice.
Mostar hosted a conference on "Sustainable Tourism and Cultural Heritage", focused on management and tourism at UNESCO World Heritage Sites.
The conference was opened by the Director of UNESCO’s Regional Bureau for Science and Culture in Europe, Ana Luiza Thompson-Flores and the Mayor of Mostar, Ljubo Bešlić.
During the session on “Examples of Good Practice”, the Secretary-General of the National Commission for UNESCO of Montenegro, Milica Nikolić, spoke of the Montenegrin experience regarding the Natural and Culturo-Historical Region of Kotor, and maintaining their status on the UNESCO List, primarily based on the Action Plan for the implementation of the Istanbul Decision of the World Heritage Committee.
Among the presentations at the conference were experiences and management challenges in a time of increasing tourist pressure in the entire region, which brings with it negative consequences like sudden and uncontrolled urbanisation, change to the local way of life, and the influence these have on exceptional universal values of the region.
Further speakers at the conference included the Mayor of Dubrovnik, Mato Franković, a representative of the city of Split, Jasna Jerkov, a representative of Crete Region, Dimitros Mikelogianis, and representatives of UNESCO Siniša Šešum and Peter DeBrine.
18 July 2019 - A new five-star hotel Ānanti Resort, Residences & Beach Club, opened in the Reževići settlement on the Budva Riviera, in the presence of numerous guests from Montenegro and abroad, reports RTV Budva.
The officials of the Municipality of Budva – Budva’s Mayor Marko Carević, the director of the National Tourism Organization Željka Radak Kukavičić, and the investor of this luxury resort Stalbek Mishakov, addressed the guests, and, by cutting the ribbon, they ceremoniously opened the new resort.
Ānanti Hotel is a 5-star luxury resort in Montenegro that offers a large selection of independent villas — encompassing exclusive and spacious villas and residences complimented by a plethora of amenities including a beach, a signature Asian-fusion restaurant, kids club and fitness centre – all nested in the quaint and charming inlet of Reževići.
Inspired by Asian and Middle Eastern luxury, the essence of the five-star brand is to provide the ultimate enjoyment and happiness to all its residents and guests. According to the hotel’s owners, every step of the journey in Ānanti, from checkin to check out, is meticulously crafted to offer a carefree and relaxed stay.
The environment of the Reževići area, where the hotel is located, is ideal since the residence is surrounded by untouched nature with spectacular views on the sea. The complex is only a few dozen meters away from the Hotel’s exclusive beach. Nothing interferes with the privacy of the guests’ holiday since the hotel offers a comfortable and silent atmosphere.
The management of this hotel stated that they are satisfied with the hotel's occupancy, and announced the construction and opening of the spa centre for the next year.
Find more information about the resort, take a look at the hotel's offer and book your stay at the official website of the Ānanti Resort, Residences & Beach Club.
18 July 2019 - Kotor took the second place on the list of the most attractive eastern Mediterranean destinations for cruise travels created by Cruise Critic, the leading cruise reviews and information site which hosts the largest cruise community in the world.
According to the reviews of the users of the services of companies that organize cruise trips, Kotor is in second place, immediately after Venice. The news was officially announced by the team of the world's leading website for the evaluation of this type of cruise trips - Cruise Critic, which is visited by more than six million people each month.
The second place on the Top-Rated Eastern Mediterranean Destinations 2019 list is Kotor's best achievement in the history of this rating, since the best result so far has been reached last year, when the city occupied the third place, reports Tourist Organisation of Kotor Municipality.
The users of the services of companies that organize cruise trips evaluated the city from different aspects, and out of a total of 722 ratings, 573 indicate that the experience of passengers during their stay in Kotor was excellent, 210 very good, 55 average, 13 poor and 14 bad.
In the comments, as a reason for the excellent results, Kotor visitors said they were delighted with the city's historic core, port services and the view from the city walls, and some called this the best family journey in life.
“The cruise into Kotor is breathtaking as you are surrounded on both sides by huge moutains, very much like the Norwegian fjords but with full sun. The town itself is fortified with cobble stone streets and quaint shops. The locals are very friendly and the atmosphere is tranquil. We will definitely return here for a short break very soon. The price of food and drink is very low compared to Dubrovnik and everywhere else,” said one of the critics. They added that the tours were “amazing” and that they were ”blown away by Kotor and Perast’s beauty and serenity”.
The first place on the list of destinations in the east of the Mediterranean is still Venice, then Kotor followed by Dubrovnik, Split and Rhodes.
Read more information on the reasons you should visit Montenegro for your next holiday at TMN's dedicated page.
As of yesterday, management of parking spaces on both sides of the entrance to the Perast has been taken on by private hotel company Conte.
Parking booths are now displaying new prices, with a day ticket for a car now costing five euros, and 24-hour-parking 15 euros. Day tickets for buses now cost 20 euros.
Dissatisfied locals have been speaking out, saying that the prices are inappropriate and that they won’t solve the parking problem.
Besides the high parking costs, they highlighted the unresolved issues of preferential parking for locals and their guests, as nearly everyone is now in the business of apartment lettings.
One local, who preferred to remain anonymous, was disappointed with the new situation, saying that tourists renting an apartment in Perast for four days would, according to the new pricing, have to pay an utterly unreasonable 60 euros for public parking, although Public Enterprise Sea Property promised that the car park would remain public as it has been until now.
He added that it was unrealistic that a tourist visiting Perast for one hour should pay the same 5 euro fee as those who stayed for a whole day.
Locals stated that they had been intensively discussing a possible blockade of the vehicle route bypassing Perast in protest, until a suitable solution for all can be found with the new leaseholder and relevant authorities.
16 July 2019 - Bad weather in May and June affected the number of tourists and the tourist season in Kolašin in private accommodation in particular. However, the hotel capacities occupancy rate is quite high, according to CdM's report.
Tourist employees in the town on the Tara river hope that August will bring good weather and more tourists.
“We have to admit that bad weather has considerably affected the number of tourists. The occupancy rate of hotel capacities is high thanks to the reservations made in advance. According to the weather forecast, better days are coming and I am sure this season will be better than the previous,” said the Director of the Tourist Organization Kolašin Aleksandar Vlahović.
According to him, it is difficult to provide accurate data about the number of tourists and make comparisons. Private accommodation providers fail to register guests on a regular basis and there are many unregistered facilities offering accommodation services.
“Competent municipal services are familiar with this problem. We are working on eliminating it,” said Vlahović.
Guests are charged a fee of 0,80 EUR per night. This fee is the basis revenue of the local tourist organization.
“In the past period we have done a lot of things: we have created a website, produced accommodation catalogues, tour guides, we have developed maps… However, as long as there is a problem of unregistered accommodation, we can hardly count on big events in our town,” concluded Vlahović.
Director of the Tourist Organization Kolašin also announced the Alternative Theater Festival which is taking place from 26 July to 20 August, Bjelasica Ultra Trail race from 16 August to 18 August and a bicycle race on 25 August. Vlahović also hopes that Kolašin will be a host of many other cultural and sports events.
Read more news about traveling through Montenegro at TMN's dedicated page.
The first solar and hybrid trimarans for passenger transport in Boka Kotorska will be officially launched at 7 pm on Pine boardwalk in Tivat, as announced from the United Nations Development Program UNDP.
The minister of Sustainable Development and Tourism, Pavle Radulović, minister of Transport and Maritime Affairs, Osman Nurkovic, the representatives of UNDP Montenegro and the representatives of Bokelian municipalities will participate in the ceremony.
As highlighted, the solar vessel Elettra and hybrid Graciano are part of the Bella Boka project, and have been built by the same company, with the support of the Ministry of Sustainable Development and Tourism, the Chamber of Commerce and the United Nations Development Program.
"The Bella Boka project - Sustainable water transport by solar trimarans in Boka Kotorska will establish public transport through the Boka Kotor Bay, which will positively influence the problem of congestion in road traffic, especially during the summer season, when due to traffic jams the ride from Kotor to Herceg Novi takes an hour and a half, up to two hours. By ships, the duration of this journey will be halved, " the UNDP pointed out.
The total value of this project, unique in the Mediterranean, is €4,259,000, while co-financing through the UNDP project for Low carbon tourism in Montenegro amounts to 150,000 euros.
"The project will also help reduce the level of harmful gas emissions, including CO2, and offer visitors an exciting and inspirational ecological experience, but also support the development of Montenegro as an environmentally friendly tourist destination. There are plans to build four more hybrid vessels, with a capacity of 60 people per ship and five fully electric vessels of 30 persons per ship," emphasized UNDP, concluding that this project revives the tradition of using waterways in Boka Kotorska for the transportation of citizens and tourists, which has been almost forgotten during the past decades.
Adventurers and friends Damjan Vukicevic from Herceg Novi and Bojan Aleksic from Belgrade sailed into Herceg-Novi City Port yesterday evening with their catamaran "Dedalus Adventures" after a full circle around the world, which lasted almost two years.
The welcoming event in the harbour and the truly deserved recognition for this kind of accomplishment by the two adventurers were made by Damjan's family, while the port of Škver featured the City Music of Herceg Novi, the highest representatives of local authorities and citizens. They followed Vukicevic’s and Aleksic's first steps on the Herceg Novi mall 715 days after the "Dedalus Adventures" sailed off from Skver with applause.
"I knew they had prepared a welcome, but I have never dreamed that they would it in such a way," said Damjan after he got off the boat and greeted his family and friends. Speaking about their way journey from the Adriatic, through the Mediterranean, the Atlantic, the Caribbean, the Pacific, the Indian Ocean, until their return to the Mediterranean and back to the starting point – Herceg Novi Škver, Damjan and Bojan emphasized that it was an experience you can only have once and the one that completely changes you, not only because you remember it, but because it leaves an indelible mark.
"We planned to go a little longer, to sail around Sri Lanka, but when we arrived there we saw that there were some 200 ships going to the Red Sea with no fear of pirates, so I decided not to be a coward and then we went upwards and shortened the way. That part was somehow the most critical for us because there were pirates, but we got away. We did not have other big problems; several times we broke a sail and there were some minor failures, but that was all resolved and we were able to see how true sailors are solidary. Whoever we met on our way would give us support, everybody would help us out, as well as we would help them," Damjan says. He points out that it was impressive to get to know all these areas through which they were passing, but that the greatest impression has been left by the people they met on their way.
"First of all, people you meet on this path could never be forgotten and they leave the biggest impression. Somehow, the most beautiful thing to me was over the Pacific, and all the islands there. The truth is that it takes time to sail because you need a minimum of five days for each island, but people are so hospitable and they accept you incredibly well, they call you to their house to eat, ask where you are from and they want to hear more and more, which is really impressive," Damjan explains.
And while Damjan and Bojan sailed and met new areas and people, the family in Herceg Novi was not so good as they kept waiting for news from these two adventurers.
“I counted the months and days when he would come back. He would let us know where and how he was, and he would sometimes say what he had experienced, and then there would be no sleep for me until his next call, but now that he came back I'm happy and I can sleep peacefully," says Branka, Damjan's mother.
The president of the Municipality of Herceg Novi, Stevan Katic was also at the welcoming event to "Dedalus Adventures" catamaran at Skver. He said that the undertaking made by Damjan and Bojan is quite rare, and that it makes everyone proud. He concluded that it is nice to be a citizen of the city whose flag flew around the whole planet.
The two friends - adventurers Damjan and Bojan, as they said, will now take a rest and connect with the soil, so that they can definitely sum up the impressions, and maybe in ten years, they will repeat their feat.