NewsChallenges in Montenegro's tourism industry: Shortage of workers and administrative hurdles

Challenges in Montenegro’s tourism industry: Shortage of workers and administrative hurdles

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The President of the Association of Caterers in Budva, Aleksandar Jovanović, warns that Montenegro’s tourism industry is on the brink of a labor crisis this season and beyond unless there is approval for importing workers from distant locations.

Conversely, Krsto Niklanović, a prominent Budva caterer, is optimistic about having an adequate workforce this season. However, he highlights the bureaucratic hurdles in obtaining work permits for foreign employees.

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The Montenegro Employers’ Union (UPCG) echoes concerns about the scarcity of skilled workers, particularly in the vital tourism sector. They emphasize the hindrances posed by slow administrative processes and visa-related challenges for hiring foreign labor.

Jovanović underscores the urgency of simplifying procedures for bringing in labor from distant destinations to meet the growing workforce demand. He points out the mismatch between Montenegro’s education system and the needs of the economy, resulting in a shortage of qualified workers in the tourism sector.

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While Niklanović anticipates having enough staff, he expresses concerns about the time-consuming nature of registering foreign workers due to complex administrative procedures.

The UPCG shares these concerns, advocating for the formation of a new coordination team to tackle issues affecting the business environment in preparation for the upcoming summer tourist season.

The association identifies problems such as the scarcity of qualified domestic workers and administrative obstacles in hiring foreign labor. They stress the importance of long-term planning and a strategic approach to address the persistent workforce shortage.

The UPCG emphasizes that problems tend to be identified late in the season each year, limiting the system’s adaptability and effective response.

In conclusion, the UPCG points out significant labor shortages in the tourism and hospitality, construction, and agriculture sectors. They highlight the influx of workers from various countries, including India, Nepal, Bangladesh, and Mexico, to meet the demand.

Acknowledging the rising need in the labor market, the government has increased the number of work permits for foreigners this year across various industries. Last year, 21.45 thousand permits were issued for temporary residence and work for foreigners, and this year, in response to increased demand, the number has been raised by 7.53 thousand permits.

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