Budva – High prices of hotel accommodation and the problems which were present in this year’s tourist season are the reasons of cancellation of Neckerman, but on the other hand we have maintained and increased the number of arrivals from Polish, Hungarian, and Belgium market. From Montenegrin ministry of tourism, however, they say that even though just the thought of a German guests, most important on Montenegrin coast, are coming in fewer and fewer number, provokes a great scare in tourist employees, we have to be ready for cancellations of those who are not ready to pay certain amount of money for quality which Montenegrin hotels offer.
According to the words of PR of the Ministry of tourism Jelena Paovic in Montenegro during this season from the total number of foreigners about 50% of tourists came from EU countries, that is 1/3 from the countries of the West, North and Central Europe.
– Montenegro used to be dominated by the markets from Germany, and Great Britain from which we had more than 80% of foreign tourists. Today the situation is different because we also have significant number of guests from Scandinavia, France, Italy, Austria, Slovenia, and also Great Britain from whose market we expect growth of over 30%. This market is considered to be more demanding that the German market – noted Paovic for Vijesti.
She added that the tour operators are very important for a tourist destination but not the determining factor when we are talking about Montenegro.
– Nekcerman is a tour operator which mostly has offers for middle class and it has problems with other tourist offers not just with Montenegrin one. That has to do with the recession in German economy and in many other elements. Still, the German operators, and especially the giants like TUI and ITS, and also a large number of specialized operators are very important for Montenegro. Our state cannot and will not become, with all due respect, a destination like Antalya, Costa Brava or Lido di Jezolo beside Venice where you can find a package of 15 days all-inclusive for 400 euros. that is not the tourist strategy of Montenegro, but instead it is the creation of a tourist destination with diverse tourist offer of the Coast, of National parks, mountains, Active vacation, Culutrally – Historical heritage and all those advantages which make Montenegro competitive and different from other destinations which will be visited by tourists throughout the whole year – said Paovic.
He however mentions that in some hotels there is still room for the operators such as Neckerman where the state, with the help of Montenegro airlines, but nor without the full support and participation of hotelkeepers, have to take certain action for the arrival of as many tourists from Germany as possible.
Certain hotelkeepers, if they want such guests which fill their hotels before and after the main season should question their price policy – said Paovic.
She said hat often “one can hear unjustified statements about the Russian market for which the entire world is fighting”.
– Those are very desirable guests in the most elite destinations in the world. Such is the case in Montenegro too. That the German tour operators are well aware of that proves the fact that ITS has its own special firm in Russia and they take a great number of tourists from there all over the world, including Montenegro – said Paovic.
Representative of Neckerman for Montenegro, Budva agency Alfa tours confirmed that that tour operator has increased the number of arrivals from polish, Hungarian, and Belgium market.
– Last year we has 4.500 guests from Germany and this year that number is about 1.500 to 1.700 guests until the end of the season, which is a big drop. The reason for that can be found in the fact that certain hotelkeepers gave increased the prices of their accommodation, which the German market cannot accept. We have the increase of the number of guests when we are speaking about Neckerman international, but I believe that in 2009 we will get back the German market – said the owner of the agency Marko Djuric.
President of the MTO Branko Diki Kazanegra said that Neckerman has left Montenegro because they are not earning money, and that is the only reason.
– They don’t love more or less Montenegro than they have loved it when they had here 30.000 passengers. Before the war events German market made 50% of the total number of foreign guests who came to Montenegro. However, that number is dropping hugely now and the primacy is being taken over by the Russian market. Tourism is globally the fastest growing business branch. The growth of the life standard, especially in countries with millions of people such as Russian, China, India, Indonesia has provoked the significant increase of demand. Only China, according to some records, has dollar millionaires as Montenegro has citizens, so the demand from those markets is growing in two digit year rates. Those markets are hungry for offers, especially of those offers which are not limited in visa regime barriers. And for now they are ready to accept the high price for lower quality. That represents a great danger for the countries in which, like in Montenegro, tourism is in critical phase of development, that is on the crossroad. The markets which used to be on the level of a statistical flaw – Russia, Ukraine, Belarus, today represent main markets from which we have the organized arrival of 50% of foreign tourists. At the same time, the markets which used to have primacy such as Germany, England, Scandinavia are stagnating or, like German market, are significantly dropping in relevant and absurd amounts – concluded Kazanegra.
WE DON’T WANT RUSSIANS TO GET ENOUGH OF US
There is a question which we can ask. Why the Russians, Ukrainians and Belarus are suddenly falling in love with Montenegro and why some others are loving it less? How much that has to do with the soul mate Slav soul, Orthodoxy, historical brotherhood relations etc? I think I got the answer to that question few months ago in Moscow: world leader in organization of congresses, seminars, a firm with the headquarters in Dubai has organized a meeting which was attended by 200 biggest Russian companies. They had in the offer destination according to their choice, and among them was Montenegro. I was bemused by the fact that those highly rich companies weren’t interested to organize congresses in France, England, Spain, Italy, or Greece, but they were interested to organize them in Turkey, Egypt, Montenegro, or Croatia. The answer was more than simple – they are interested in those countries for which you don’t need a visa. Potential partners didn’t know anything about Montenegro except that it is located in the Mediterranean, on the “warm sea” but they had no idea about our historically close relations. As they used to buy shoes of Cetinje firm Kosuta, because there were no Italian shoes, Vinjak from the village was good for them because there was no French cognac, now I am afraid they are buying our tourist product because Italian and French ones are hardly available for them. I am afraid that our tourism, when the situation with the visa regime gets changed, will have the same situation as Kosuta;’s shoes in the past – warned Kazanegra.
In the European tourist market some significant changes occurred in the last few years. Montenegro should not follow the example of Antalya or Costa Brava says PR of the ministry of tourism Jelena Paovic.
SPEED UP THE NEGOTIATIONS WITH CHEAP TRANSPORTERS
Jelena Paovic says that the continuation of the dynamic development of Montenegrin tourism, among other things, means the decrease of dependence from tour operators.
Dropping out of one of the air transporters from Germany is a sign that we should continue and speed up the negotiations with low cost air companies in order for them to start flying towards Montenegro as soon as possible with which our dependence from tour operators would get decreased on one hand, and on the other hand we would encourage the arrival of individual tourists, like Monaco, Sardinia, and even Croatia in the last few years – explained Paovic.