The interest of tourists in Montenegro is intense, but there are many factors that will affect the intensity of the season, announced the director of the Association of Private Accommodation Providers Branka Džoganović and added that, despite good announcements, they are cautious in their assessment and expectations.
The interest of tourists in our country is intense. In addition to the promotional activities of the National Tourist Organization (NTO), local tourist organizations (TO), economic associations and diplomatic activities, when it comes to private accommodation, the prices of our facilities, which are significantly more favorable compared to other destinations, have had a significant impact – said Džoganović.
She recalled that the excellent weather and a large number of different manifestations and events had the effect that attendance, since the New Year’s holidays, was higher than in previous years.
However, even now in this pre-season period, infrastructural problems are visible, where we have to ask ourselves whether we will be able to and how we will ensure a comfortable stay for our guests, as well as a normal life for the local population. There are numerous factors that will affect the intensity of the season. In the Association, despite the good announcements, we are cautious in our assessment and expectations – stated Džoganović.
When asked how the prices in private accommodation will move, Džoganović replied that given the situation on the market, seen both locally and globally, where there was an increase in prices in all segments, the providers of accommodation had to set prices accordingly, that would operate profitably.
In order to successfully respond to guests’ requests and fulfill the obligations arising from business, the prices, depending on the reservation period, will be ten to 30% higher compared to last year – specified Džoganović.
According to her, Montenegro is the only country in the world where even 70% of the total number of accommodation facilities is in private accommodation. Most of the capacities are located in four coastal cities, while the capacities in the central and northern regions have been increasing recently.
Local governments, which are also responsible for private accommodation, significantly simplified the procedures and introduced order when it comes to the amount of registration fees. However, in a situation where there are no usable, real statistics, real guest records and strong support for digitization, marketing and education, private accommodation is not even close to realizing its potential – said Džoganović.
Commenting on whether and to what extent the problem of doing business in the gray zone will be solved this year, Džoganović announced that the number of newly registered issuers has so far increased by about 15%.
Although it seems that it is not some progress compared to the estimate of the number of issuers in the gray zone, I personally think that it is and as more specific communication with issuers is made, that percentage will increase. There is still a long list of issues that must be resolved, and as that list decreases, the number of registered publishers will increase – said Džoganović.
She added that the Association of Private Accommodation Providers has become a member of the Union of Employers, so, as she believes, solving the issue of private accommodation will be approached in an even more organized and systematic manner.
When asked how the Association comments on the Ministry of Finance’s announcement to introduce the e-visitor system in Montenegro, following the example of Croatia, in order to obtain more precise data on the number of tourists, Džoganović said that she had high expectations when the first announcements were made that this system will be introduced in our country and that she did not expect that it would take this long to implement it.
If we take into account how many institutions and organizations will draw data from this system, which will enable us to better assess, plan, invest and determine priorities, it is unrealistic to wait this long – Džoganović concluded.