Podgorica – Basic task of the National tourist organization is to create and promote Montenegrin tourist product, which will be attractive and demanded on the market during all 365 days in a year, and at the same time flexible enough to implement quickly the changing trends on the world market. The potential which is seen in pervasion of various diversities on a very small area, we have – said in an interview for “Vijesti” the new director of the National tourist organization Sasa Radovic.
National tourist organization is financed from the budget, and mostly from the intended incomes from the charged residential tax, where 80% goes to local tourist organizations, and 20% to NTO. A part of the funds, which is meant for promotional activities abroad, comes from the strategic partnership with tourist economy which has the clear interest of its promotion through this partnership.
What is that something that makes the Montenegrin offer original compared to the other countries, and how will you sell the good things that we have?
-It is important to build a good image, of course on a real basis, and then it practically sells itself. You have a similar situation with the world well-known clothes brands. You just need to maintain them unique, quality, prestigious, and then again recognizable. With its coast, mountains, canyons, national parks, lakes on such a small space, Montenegro, for sure, has a chance to soon become a brand which provokes the perception of a beautiful, safe, unique destination, which has established a balance between the developmental, social, and strategic aspect.
Have you done the researches from which countries usually the tourists who are ready to spend their money, who are the most demanding, and which tourist are not a desired clientele, come… Are you afraid of the invasion of Russians, and what type of clients are they?
The research of the market is one of the principal tasks of the NTO. Based on that we get the information about the expectation of the potential tourists from Montenegro, about the habits and needs of our guests, about the critiques and praises. That helps us to identify the target groups to which we are constantly striving for, and the nationality is for sure not a criteria. After that, based on the results which we get, we are defining the activities how to attract the demand at the target groups which are interesting to us. Even the payment capability is not the only criteria. Let’s say, that the markets are important for us, as well as the guests who are avoiding the top of the season, and are enjoying in the winter sun on the coast, or in the mountain air during the summer.
A tourist from the west can not be too thrilled with a luxurious hotel, but probably intact nature, ecology, winter cottage up to which he ha to walk, clean air can leave a great impression on him. Are you seriously thinking about how big profit can be taken at the expense of the mountain tourism?
Mountain tourism in all its shapes is in our focus this year. That is in accordance with the trend in Europe. As an example I would state the principal award, which one of the most influential German magazines “Sonntag Actuell”, recently gave to the program “Mountains of Montenegro” among 300 other suggestions from all over the world. The program includes the trekking through Bjelasica and the visit to summer pastures with the tasting of traditional Montenegrin mountain specialties. The award was given on a solemn ceremony, during the period of holding of the Fair CMT in Stuttgart. The thing for which a modern guests strives for is that after an actively spent day in the intact nature, walking, cycling, or rafting, he can come into a luxurious hotel which offers him a wellness and spa contents for complete refreshment and relaxation. The fastest we answer to that demand the benefit will be bigger, firstly for the local citizenship of that area.
What are the planned activities of NTO for the winter season which is in effect?
At the moment numerous activities are in progress in NTO. Parallel with the organization of the traditional manifestation “Hot winter in the hills” which has for a goal enrichment of the offer of our winter centers, we are working on an intensive international promotion in the European countries which are our main emissive market. We have behind us the onsets at the fairs in London, and Vienna, and we will go to the ones in Brussels, Prague, Moscow, and Berlin. In all that we are not neglecting the traditionally loyal guests from the region, who will still have an important role in the season and out of season period. The continuation of the positioning through the global TV networks and through advertising in some of the leading magazines is also planned.
The reorganization of the national tourist organization is in plan. What the change is about, and in which centers will you have the agencies?
As the things globally in tourism are changing we have to have a modern and efficient organization, with competent, innovative people, who are working in an organized way towards the creation of the “brand name” Montenegro, and its adequate promotion through modern exemplary marketing methods and PR activities. Except the stuff strengthening, we have the implementation of the IT technologies through the creation of WEB portals, strengthening of the cooperation with the Government and civil sector, clear division of the jobs, and jurisdictions with the Ministry of tourism and protection of environment, connection with the private sector, promotion of the cooperation with the local and regional tourist organizations. These organizations on a local level have the key role in creation of the products which are immediately being offered to the guest. During the next year we will start to open agencies abroad, with a tempo which will be dictated by the financial situation, and according to the schedule which is determined by the importance of the emissive market.