Several hundreds of tourist facilities, i.e. hotels, apartments, villas and similar facilities throughout Montenegro have been advertised for sale, according to data from websites for the sale of real estate. These data should worry the authorities, considering that tourism has long stood out as the main economic branch in the country that generates the highest revenues.
Most of these hotels are sold on the coast, and their prices vary between a few hundred thousand euros and up to several million. The dean of the Faculty of Business and Tourism in Budva, Rade Ratković, agrees that the situation in the strongest economic branch is not ideal, stating that the situation is getting more complicated every year.
– According to the data I have, there are about 500 hotels in Montenegro, and probably some of the hotels offered on the ads are duplicates, but even that is a large number. We are dominated by small hotels, and I am not surprised by offers for the sale of these facilities, because we have had major problems with destination management for a long time, which are increasing year by year – says Ratković.
Ratković also states that, for more than three decades, we have enabled the construction of secondary housing, that is, in our tourist structure, large hotels make up only 10%.
– All the rest are so-called individual and private accommodation, and most of them are apartments, that is, apartments and houses, which is a completely wrong tourism and urban policy. Therefore, 90% of low-quality accommodation dictates the quality of tourism, and that is why our tourism product is slowly losing. For example, Greece has about 80% of accommodation capacity in hotels, Cyprus has 100%, Spain 68, and we only have 10. Another problem is our indecision towards which market to turn, for us, Western European countries accounted for 35% of the total number of tourists in 2019. , and in other countries it was up to 70 or 80% – points out Ratković.
According to Ratković, our tourist product is weakening due to the very short season, and that until relatively recently we were considered an affordable destination, especially for tourists with deeper pockets.
– Now, when it comes to retail trade, we are among the most expensive in Europe, more expensive than Germany or Switzerland, which is a consequence of the arrival of a significant number of tourists in the apartments. We have little real tourism, it lasts very short and It is difficult to do profitable business in such circumstances. Individual entrepreneurs cannot go to the organized market, and almost no one encourages the networking of tourism capacities in our country – says Ratković.
Ratković points out that due to all these circumstances, it is no wonder that employers decide to sell their capacities, because they cannot operate profitably.
– In 2021 alone, we had about 50 million losses, and this led to worker dissatisfaction, lower wages, and even employers could not guarantee them high wages, precisely because of the losses. Also, many buildings have been built recently, nature is being destroyed, and this must be stopped – says Ratković.
Ratković also says that in addition to the large number of ads for sale, he is not optimistic that there will be significant interest in buying those buildings.
– Our economy is in crisis, we don’t have a clear strategy, and as long as this is not our priority, there will be no progress. We manage the destination badly, the policy in that direction is bad. Our hotels have a quality offer, the service in some hotels is sometimes better than in more famous destinations, but our destination management is not open to the strongest western markets – concluded Ratković.
The editors of Dan newspaper contacted some of the sellers of these facilities, but they were not in the mood to talk.
Zaliv and Bar lead in the number of ads
Herceg Novi stands out as one of the cities where a significant number of hotel capacities are for sale, where as many as 45 hotels have been put up for sale. Also, as many as 36 such facilities were advertised in Kotor, while 28 were advertised in Tivat. As many as 51 facilities were for sale in Budva, while 105 and 25 tourist facilities were advertised for sale in Bar and Ulcinj. This, it seems, is a consequence of the decades-long turning of the coastal region to tourism and the increase in the construction of apartment buildings. Real estate prices on the coast have risen dramatically since the beginning of the war in Ukraine.