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.