European Herceg Novi: 10 Central Strategic Considerations

By , 11 Aug 2019, 12:16 PM Politics
European Herceg Novi: 10 Central Strategic Considerations Copyrights: Tourist Organization Herceg Novi

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11 August 2019 - The following article represents the personal perspective of author Gunther Fehlinger on the 10 central strategic considerations for European Herceg Novi and the views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the views and opinions of Total Montenegro News.

This article is the 3rd in series to contribute to better tourism and economic development by Austrian and European best practices in transport and tourism planning and pricing. For more information about the economic part, read Strategy for European Boka 2020 and for transport and mobility issues, read Smart Mobility Strategy RecommendationsRecommendations from 2018, still fully to be implemented. The 3rd is Smart Mobility 2.0 for Montenegro – the personal perspective July 2019 – with 12 concrete recommendations for European Montenegro. The Austrian author lives every summer since 2006 in Morinj, Montenegro and is an economic consultant for European transition economies.

  1. The Herceg Novi Riveria 2020 – Complete Sea side Pedestrian Walk Verige 65 -IberoStar Nivice

Herceg Novi has one central feature – a central Unique selling proposition – the pedestrian sea side walk from today Melinje to Igalo. It makes night life unique and create the Mediterranean Italian Giro – the night walk in the hot summer nights tourists love and it is the envy of all Coastal towns to have such a long one and it is the central feature of Herceg Novi Riveria. But Herceg Novi is not only that but goes from the Verige to the Prevlaka and it is time to extend the Pedestrian Walk way from the Verige 65 coffee to the Iberostar in Nivice and so create a 23 km long pedestrian walk along the sea side unique along the Eastern cost of the Adriatic Sea and a key feature of the branding of Herceg Novi Rivera. Nobody should need to walk along the Magistrale – walk along the sea! Herceg Novi needs a own branding and the Riveria – the Herceg Novi Riveria is better than being just one of the cities in Kotor Bay! Herceg Novi is more than that an is more than just old town Herceg Novi. Now with Porto Novi and Lazure Marina the assets are there and now build and complete the 5 Star Šetalitse – the main asset from the Verige to the Iberostar in Nijvice. It is possible to do it all along including Kamenari and Bjiela and it will be a major asset for all coastal Herceg Novi. True it in some area there will be the need to make some concession to the Ferry but it is fully possible to build the most amazing coastal promenade along the Adriatic with one great Marina after the after and connect all coastal villages with such a pedestrian zone which can be open for small e-buses as well during the day. It is a new coastal artery connecting Kamenari with Njivice. I will discuss some feature like the Sutorina Ferry port, the future Bilja Marina, the Kamenari Marina in the next items but central is to ensure the Herceg Novi strategic plan makes sure the whole of the Coast is a walk way and this is used as the Central USP Unique Selling Proposition of Herceg Novi – the Riveria of the past is the Riveria of the future and the case for this is the unique Coastal 23 km walk way. The basis was done by the Austrian small-scale railway from Zelenika to Vienna. If that was possible more than a century ago sure a full Rivera Walk is possible for Herceg Novi for all Herceg Novi Rivera Coast! And no take no exception and just do it. And fully connect it from Verige to Prevalaka and include all area in-between. Organise a Coastal Half marathon along. Make sure e-shuttle drive the distance and make this the prime asset for Herceg Novi and market Herceg Novi to the Global Tourism Industry as the city with the longest Coastal Promenade in the World! Or maybe in Europe or only the Adriatic but use this asset as the prime asset!

  1. Time for second Ferry line –Sutorina River Ferry Port to Tivat Airport Ferry Port

Much of the traffic is transit to Albania and Kosovo and Budva and Bar or Greece and beyond. If they anyhow do not want to visit Herceg Novi Rivera nor Kotor nor Tivat it is essential to ferry them off before they enter Herceg Novi – at the new Ferry port where the Sutorina River meets the Adriatic Sea and build a access road and the Ferry port there and agree with Tivat to build a Ferry Port after Tivat City at the river going into the Sea close to the Airport so avoid Tivat city traffic and that road from the Airport to Budva can and will be anyhow extended to 4 lanes. It required some expropriation and change from the Marina Port Sutorina to a Ferry Port in Herceg Novi but it is essential to get this done before more is build making it more expensive because there is no other way to handle the traffic. Best is to extend the Ferry concession to include this line Herceg Novi to Tivat in the existing Concession and if the concession taker does not like it well auction it off and let competition decide which Ferry transit takes. As the existing ferry concession is powerful politically let them have it for now and let DG Competition work this out later. But for sure the transit needs to be on the more expensive longer but more reasonable ferry for Herceg Novi before Herceg Novi City to Tivat after Tivat City.

  1. A Perast city toll access system for Old Town Herceg Novi

Perast is booming since traffic access is limited and the same will be true for Herceg Novi Old Town. So basically, leave the one-way traffic from Igalo as it is and the MUP (Ministry of Interior) access road is only an exit road for Igalo. At the location where MUP is today build a big parking centre with 5 floors – wont block anybody’s view and there have a shuttle bus system up the Old Town city road with a schlagbaum system only for residents, registered rental parties who need access to their flats but no transit or cars looking for parking anymore. And after the old town well there is the double pass way from which can be a second ring road best as well on a one way basis like in Igalo. Meaning from Meljine roundabout to the Kani Kula exit a one-way ring system but starting from entering in Meljine to leaving at the Kani Kula. And the MUP crossing turn into a roundabout same like in Meljine. Basically, nobody who has no flat rented or as resident needs to drive in Old Town and turn that road into a bus shuttle semi Pedestrian road.

  1. A new Joint Government, MUP, Police and Municipality Service Centre in Suturing

Where to put the MUP then when this will be a parking centre and how to access the Municipality easy when this is restricted traffic zone and how to finance such changes? Simple by building a new joint Governmental service centre along the Motorway in the Sutorina district close to the shopping centre and sport centre to re-locate all existing public service function from Old Town Herceg Novi to the new Center along the Motorway with decent big modern parking and office facilities and located all Government and Municipal functions now in Old Town into that new Admin Centre. This reduces traffic and parking pressure for Old Town and makes live cheaper and easier for employees and customers in one new admin centre and allows to sell the land of today’s municipalities building to one reasonable investor able to attract a new international branding Hotel like Sheraton or Hilton similar to Regency or Chedi – such a hotel is urgent for Herceg Novi and why to have a municipality in Centre a prime location of Herceg Novi with a sea view. Allow them to build 10 floors and include all the area as well the parking up of Post Office and this will pay for the new Admin building at Sutorina.

  1. One Cruise ship per Day for Herceg Novi!

There is big debate for this and please not more than one ship per day but please exact one cruise ship per day for each Dalmatian city which is anyhow rather empty during the day when most people are on beach! And it brings the port and the tourism industry valuable revenues during off time during day and by 5 they are gone back to the ship. How to auction this off is simple in time of block chain and having one per day depends on price of access. Cruiser pay more during season and less in winter and spring but one ship per day is essential to show Amazing Old Town Herceg Novi to the world and make it a great place to have a restaurant, coffee of souvenir shop and no it is not too much but about right for be more successful.

  1. The future of the Bijela Shipyard – a expensive illusion?

Please on the danger to annoy the reader. The Government of Montenegro gave this concession for Damen and Porto Montenegro.

While this is good news please such 20 Million committed investment won’t turn Bijela again into a shipyard. Please this is a project driven the the the Government socialist illusion of great YU industrial capacity which never had an economic basis not in YU not now nor in any possible future. While some service facility might be useful and reasonable the future of Bijela is to be a similar but lower priced Marina like Porto Montenegro and having given it to Porto Montenegro juts helped them to corner the market. They will for sure only invest what is commercially reasonable that means the minimum to keep the Government of their back and do a secondary Marina Port there for Porto Montenegro. Nothing bad with that. But kindly ask them from start to build a Coastal Promenade and allow them to do a second Porto Montenegro and you have much better success in employment and FDI as this will bring 200 Million to Montenegro and allow them the same like in Porto Montenegro in terms of flats and Marina Village and Bijela has the southern sun exposure and end Bijela status as victim of YU industrial megalomania and today semi slum and give it a bright future! There will never be thousands of industrial workers working on building bad quality ships for bloc free countries with no other choice or quality criteria but there will be thousands of jobs in sustainable service industry and all Bijela and with it the Eastern Herceg Novi Rivera will be booming. So, change the concession criteria and allow the Concession takers a commercially more realistic scenario and less industrial nonsense but more concrete tourism future with flats, restaurants, marina and a kind of White Harbour – Porto Bijela – White Harbour in Black Mountains. Bijela has deserved better than just a sad bad side and step sister of Tivat. And be sure this project as now signed will never be what the Government fantasies wishes for. The only case working for Yachts is parking and these super-yachts do not need to be repaired every year and if then for sure not in Bijela but back in Hamburg where they are produced. None of these ships will be ever repaired in Bijela.

Bijela is still the poorest city of Herceg Novi and why not allow Bijela to have its Porto Novi like Kumbor? With that the sea side Promenade from Njivice to Verige will turn reality. So, start listening you your investor and do not dream the dream of past glory never ever that successful nor glorious. YU industrialisation was a pipe dream funded by blackmailing Western taxpayers afraid of YU turning fully towards the east and poor block free nation consumer and your own people have to buy 3rd category industrial goods and machinery and all at crazy costs for the environment which now European taxpayers have to invest billions to somehow rescue all over Eastern Europe and former Yugoslavia. And once you have a working business case with Marina and flats please why not keep on building parking spots for Yachts and flats for rich people if it works? And if it works in Tivat why please shall it not work in Bijela?

  1. Porto Kamenari – just between Bocara and Kamerari Ferry Port.

Time to build the Porto Kamenari between Boćari and the Ferry terminal and turn that 2 old stone houses into the center of that now Stone Porto and take the old Port Master House down from where it blocks the road and ferry off loading and re-locate it to this Stone Porto and all sides are happier, The land owners, the people of Kamenari, the police and Ferry Operator and the tourist and transit passengers.

  1. The Adriatic Highway or the Adriatic Speedway?

I have written so much about it hard to believe nobody is listing. In Simple terms, please in the own 2020 the Government Infrastructure and spatial plan you have it all right. There needs to be an Adriatic Ionian Highway INLAND – from Trebijne to Nikšić to south of Podgorica to Shkoder and a real highway European standard and one north which for purely internal electoral reasons you build first while nobody will use it for a long term in any meaningful quantity justifying the most expensive project ever in Montenegro history. But Ok it is done and all infrastructure is helpful so hopefully it will help to connect Republic of Kosovo to Bar and then at least it is fine. But now because the Government is out of financial funding limits you want to cancel the real highway connecting EU Croatia with EU Greece and your coast with all the real 510 Million EU consumers interested and capable paying for good accommodation? And you want to join EU or Serbia? Really? Get this straight! And no, a new coastal upper Highway in the hills above the Bay of Kotor for a billion is not a good idea if there is no highway for transit and Diaspora! So what needs to be done is to build the Adriatic Highway inland and build the upper highway above the main coastal village as I have outlined in Smart Mobility for Montenegro with specific Upper Coastal Village bypasses but not a transit truck lane with 3 lane speedway with a view destroying the only asset you really have in Montenegro of European significance – your coast. So build upper village roads at the main coastal town Herceg Novi & Zelenika, Bijela, Risan, not in Kotor nor Morinj, but in Tivat, Budva and Bar but not as transit trucks speedway but to develop the upper hills for touristic settlement along the new roads and build more accommodation with views and access by these roads and yes to share the burden of traffic equally between coast and upper road but none of them as transit roads. Everybody who want to go to Pogorica, Kosovo, Greece or Albania has to use the Inland Adriatic Highway and not the pay toll coastal roads. Why pay toll because you the role model for all these coastal roads is the Herceg Novi Border to Trebinje 3 Euro road concession on which basis all such new roads have to build and financed. Or do you have the 3,4 billion EUR to build all and with EU and EIB funds you won’t be allowed to destroy the environment of the coast not build mega bridged in UNESCO protected bay. Try the Chinese but without tolling that won’t happen either.

  1. No to the Verige Bridge

Have you even been in Istanbul close to the Bosporus bridge? Have you been at Brenner and followed the European transit debate? Do you really want a bridge over the Bay of Kotor? No. Nobody in his or her full mind wants that. Nor will a tunnel ever be feasible economically here in the European coastal periphery. There is no economic case for such investment and the additional traffic it might generate will only harm tourism not help it. What else than the Bay of Kotor you have that make you special? The is a lot of great coast in Europe in Croatia, Albania and Greece with much better beaches than Montenegro, much better services and infrastructures and the same sun shining for the tourist and better activities prepared when it is raining. It is the Bay of Kotor that a European brand and not Budva nor Herceg Novi nor Bar nor Ulcinj – those are great town only know to the Balkans and will stay like that. Only Kotor as a brand has a European reach – still in shadow of Dubrovnik as a global first-rate brand but well that helps Kotor as reference and so develop that brand better and no do not spoil it with a bridge. Anyhow nobody will fund it anyhow and you won’t ever have the funds as all goes into the Northern Highway but so sure it is bad idea in principle and practise so leave it.

  1. Fancy ceding Luštica to Tivat Municipality? Better establish the BokaKotorskaAgency

As you have major success with Porto Novi in the Herceg Novi northern side of the Bay of Kotor but little to no with the Herceg Novi part of Luštica and it seem really neglected while the Tivat part of Luštica is booming and some might consider it time to change of municipal borders in Montenegro.

Why not Chedi Luštica to Tivat and receive part of Kotor like Morinj and Risan and the Crkvice Hills and Tivat to receive the Lastva Coast which Kotor was all neglects and all really justified but all will not happen as this is very contentious. So how to work better in the European style together between the 3 Municipalities that share the task to administer and develop this great Bay of Kotor, Luštica Peninsula and Orjen-Zirkiva and the Kotor Mountains and all the coat towards Budva. Obviously there so much which needs to be done together and clearly there is so little common ground and cooperation between Tivat, Kotor and Herceg Novi and no changing the border is not the solution but the European way is to create a BokaKotorPublicService&Planning, Investment&Markting Agency owned by all 3 and tasked to coordinate the Herceg Novi aspects of public planning, service, investment and Marketing and Touristic Development and the the Government of Montenegro to be clearly in this as well and do the planning and implementation together, united and serious much better in European manner. Call it BokaKotorskaAgency with 4 partners and a clear list of tasks. Clearly infrastructure planning, waste water and waste management, investment promotion, tourism and traffic planning, spatial planning, regional cohesion and rural re-vitalization of the hills and mountains, international marketing effort work much better. This is key as the only real international brand of significance will be Kotor Bay. And inside such a marketing effort under the main global brand Kotor Bay can then the 3 sub brands Herceg Novi Riveria, MaritimeTivat and StonePalastPerast be developed. But not more and not alone. In global marketing terms it is Kotor and Kotor only and in real better public service you need to work better united between all 3 Municipalities and the central Government. Please that mean no political merger nor the end of competing between the municipalities for investment and tourists and central the Government and EU funding but the right mix , right level and reasonable mix between competition and cooperation between municipalities in one common region is key for better service, more investment and better results for investors citizens, consumers, domestic and tourists and it is more rewarding for municipal leaders, employees and local politicians when everything works much better and less need for head ache and mutual blame gaming and infighting. Success breed success and a mutual upwards moving double spiral or helix towards ever higher levels is possible and visible already in all Boka but such a BokaKotorAgency shared and cared by all 3 Municipalities and the the Government is much better than discussing new border and neglecting the out regions of each municipalities or a big debate on changed municipal borders. Ask the EU to co-fund it and offer EUD Podgo a seat on the board. The EU is very much about joint regional development and this is what is needed in the Bay of Kotor.

This article is the 3rd in series to contribute to better tourism and economic development by Austrian and European best practices in transport and tourism planning and pricing. For more information about the economic part, read Strategy for European Boka 2020 and for transport and mobility issues, read Smart Mobility Strategy RecommendationsRecommendations from 2018, still fully to be implemented. The 3rd is Smart Mobility 2.0 for Montenegro – the personal perspective July 2019 – with 12 concrete recommendations for European Montenegro. The Austrian author lives every summer since 2006 in Morinj, Montenegro and is an economic consultant for European transition economies.

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