October 23, 2019 - The Tourist Organization of Kotor will propose a strategy seeking a different way of regulating excursion tourism. Kotor is visited annually by about half a million travelers who, apart from paying the excursion fee of 1 euro, have very little or no extra-board consumption.
Low tax rates and small excursion spending are not enough to improve the existing urban infrastructure and create a better life for the people of Kotor. The question is whether the city needs this kind of tourism, Ana Nives Radovic, director of the Kotor TO, told Infobiro:
"With so many excursions and the problems that excursion tourism creates to the city, we need to rethink and think about whether just one euro per guest is enough for us, whether the city can still cover everything with that money. We are already talking about more than half a million people who are circling the city and spending very little money, or minimal benefit to the city, saying that this form of tourism is desirable," Radovic said.
Kotor is facing high-paying markets where there is already a well-established culture and habit of traveling and spending. These are tourists from the UK, USA, Scandinavian countries, France, and other Western European countries.
"The plan of the Tourist Organisation and cooperating tourist economies is to concentrate on these markets, to reduce the number of arrivals of those guests from whom the city comes only in the form of excursion fees and deficient consumption. It is a great task for Kotor and all the local institutions to devise a smart, rational, and long-term strategy. We want to create a long-term strategy to make tourism in the city sustainable, ensuring for Kotor not to become a destination that anyone will sooner or later avoid," she explained.
First of all, Kotor has to be a pleasant environment for its inhabitants, who are very much affected by this, because there is a growing number of those who openly ask why they have so many tourists:
"Together, it creates a huge number and burden for the city, the city's infrastructure, and it affects the growing concern of citizens, who, as someone who lives and spends time here, not only owe us answers, but also a better and more enjoyable life. The city must be not only tailored to tourists but also tailored to citizens," Radovic said.
Ultimately, even if the increase in prices did not contribute to the relief of the city, Kotor would have a tax revenue that could be further invested in urban infrastructure, which would improve the quality of life of citizens.
"Is it justifiable to have an excursion fee of one euro, since with this number of guests who come and with so much tax we can do very little to improve the infrastructure of the city, that is, the city benefits from it? Kotor is facing a great challenge when it comes to creating a strategy, not only for tourism development but also for development and lifestyle in the city in the future in general," she concluded.
Ana Nives Radovic said a record number of overnight stays and visits were achieved this year, because only in mid-September, after paying the tourist tax, they reached the entire last year's collection amount.