Skadar Lake National Park was visited by 127,572 tourists this year, which is 49 percent more than last year, and twice as much as in 2017, said Nenad Ivanovic, the director of the park.
He pointed out that 2019 was record-breaking in attendance, with ticket revenues exceeding half a million euros. As many as 1,500 tourists visit the Lake in one day.
“This year, we have aggressive growth and the postseason is outstanding. The reasons for such a drastic increase in visitors are indeed in a good campaign at international fairs, investments in tourism infrastructure and the introducing of the e-visitor application," said Ivanovic, noting that this number refers only to tourists who cruise Skadar lake, while the real number of guests who visit and individually tour the park is much larger.
Tourists who visited Skadar Lake this year are from many countries around the world, most of them from France and Germany.
"There are very few countries from which there were no tourists. More and more are from the Far East," Ivanovic said.
He adds that the post-season is also very successful and that tourists are expected to arrive by early November.
"In September and October, groups have come who paid for the visit in advance. They come regardless of the weather. In mid-October, we expect a slight decline, and from November 10 there are no more tourists. Let's say we had 800 tourists on Wednesday, September 25th, and our record was 1,500 tourists in one day. In June, we had the smallest growth due to rainy weather," he added.
Ivanovic points out that they must work on improving the infrastructure. Thus, recently they have made a track on Virpazar, which is multi-purpose, and above all, facilitates and enables a safer crossing of the main road and the Podgorica-Bar railway. It is important for security reasons, because now visitors and residents of this place will be able to cross the railway and the intersection safely, and I am sure that it will enable a better valorization of the area," Ivanovic said.
The park management plans to procure two new tourist boats next year. He adds that it is a particular business, since 130 private vessels already operate on the lake.
“There are a large number of locals involved in the business. There are more than 80 locals who own these boats and they have to make some deal with them which is very difficult. National parks have been conceived since their inception as institutions that will improve the quality of life for people living in these areas, ”said Ivanovic.
He also noted that the temporary facilities plan expires at the end of the year and that a new one should be made in the next three to five years.
“We also plan to provide parking spaces, because that is a problem in Virpazar, and it is something that is basic. We will ask for temporary facilities to be leased for a period of three years, not just a year as before. Because if you are the owner of something for three years you have the desire and the will to devote to it, ”explains Ivanovic.