NewsNavigating Montenegro's tourism landscape: Winter challenges and optimistic outlook for summer

Navigating Montenegro’s tourism landscape: Winter challenges and optimistic outlook for summer

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In late February, Montenegro saw a decrease of approximately 15% in tourist numbers compared to the same period last year, as reported by the National Tourism Organization (NTO) to the RTCG portal. The revenue from residence tax for the initial two months of this year was about 18% lower than the corresponding period last year, according to the NTO.

While the NTO expressed satisfaction with New Year holiday visitation, they pointed out that the absence of snow impacted the commencement of the ski season, affecting the overall success of the winter season. The NTO stressed the importance of enhancing infrastructure and diversifying the tourism offerings in the upcoming period to better prepare for future seasons and weather conditions.

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“Our objective is to establish a sustainable winter tourist destination capable of attracting guests even in the absence of snow,” affirmed the NTO.

Citing data from Monstat, the NTO highlighted that January witnessed 49.36 thousand arrivals in collective and individual accommodation, reflecting a decrease of approximately 16% compared to the same period last year. Additionally, there were about 384.2 thousand overnight stays, marking an 18% reduction compared to the corresponding period.

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Drawing on unofficial data from local tourist organizations regarding tourist traffic in municipalities, the NTO reported that as of February 29 this year, Montenegro welcomed 18.7 thousand tourists. This represents an achievement of 85.74% compared to the same period last year and an 87.11% increase compared to the corresponding period in 2019.

The NTO clarified that Montenegro’s winter tourist season comprises two parts: one related to the New Year holidays and the other to the ski season. While the first part of the season was successful, with rich programs along the coast, the insufficient snowfall hampered the start of the ski season, impacting the overall success of winter tourism.

Regarding complaints, the NTO mentioned that their call center typically receives more calls during the summer tourist season related to complaints and suggestions. Notably, recent inquiries were primarily about the operating hours of tourist registration counters, while summer complaints revolved around scooter usage on promenades, overcrowding, and loud music.

Despite the challenges, the NTO remains optimistic about the upcoming summer tourist season. Results from a recent survey in the tourist industry showed that 95% of respondents have high expectations for this tourist season. Although comparisons with previous years are challenging, there is a growing interest in Montenegro, spanning various tourism segments such as active, rural, luxury, and MICE tourism.

From the NTO’s promotional standpoint, they assured they would be well-prepared for the summer tourist season. Participation in various fairs across cities and allocating a substantial budget for digital channel promotion, alongside continued engagements with media, tour operators, and influencers, underscore their commitment to maintaining a robust tourism industry.

The NTO aims to be a proactive partner in the tourism sector, contributing to problem-solving and enriching the tourism offerings within their jurisdiction.

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