In Montenegro investments in tourism focus on luxury

The Travel & Tourism industry in Montenegro has an interesting incidence on the Country’s economy. As reported by the World Travel & Tourism Council in its “Travel & Tourism Economic Impact 2017”, in 2016 the tourism direct contribution represented 11% of GDP, namely 421.2mn euros. This is expected to grow up to 810.9mn euros in 2027, namely 15,3% of GDP. The total contribution, including the indirect and induced ones, was 846.4mn euros, namely 22,1% of GDP.

As reported to Twissen by the National Tourism Organization of Montenegro (NTO), this destination offers several attractions, from the classical “Sea & Sun” on the Adriatic coasts, to the inland active holidays. The “Travel & Tourism Competitiveness Report 2017” of the World Economic Forum underlines that Montenegro is 72nd out of 136 analysed Countries for tourism competitiveness. In particular, the destination can count on government policies which prioritise the tourism sector (15th), organised tourism infrastructures (28th) and strong air transport infrastructure (54th). On the other hand, weaker points are the lack of an efficient destination brand marketing strategy (99th) and a partial closure towards the internationalisation (105th). As reported by the European Travel Commission‘s last quarterly report, during the first months of 2017 the Country registered a peak of international tourists from Japan (+139,2% of overnights) and France (+104,3%). According to the Euromonitor International, this increase can be related to the concerns towards terrorism in destinations like Turkey. Following this trend, the Government of Montenegro is increasing the promotion in these markets.

The preservation of the natural landscape and the development of slow and sustainable tourism are the basis of the tourism development plans of the Country. In 2008, the Government adopted a Tourism Development Strategy, valid until 2020, which prioritise the sustainable development of the inland infrastructure.
The NTO reported us that the Government is also focusing on the enhancement of a niche tourism offer, towards the construction of luxury accommodations and services. One of the current projects is the re-development of an abandoned complex in Kumbor which will be a resort, thanks to a deal with an oil company of Azerbaijan. The project is worth 250mn euros of investments, which are going to finance the construction of 150 luxury tourist accommodations, representing the first One & Only resort in Europe.
On Lustica peninsula, Orascom Construction Industries will build a 1bn euros complex made by 8 hotels, 1600 apartments and 750 private villas, which includes every kind of service.
In Porto Montenegro, a previous military base has been converted into a marina, with the capacity to welcome up to 370 luxury yachtes.
In the capital Podgorica, an historic hotel in the city centre will be turned into a 5-stars-Hilton, with a foreseen investment of 20mn euros. Further investments are planned in Kolašin and Ulcinj.
Festivals are planned to support the spring and summer season: cultural and fashion events along with food & wine and music festivals. Relevant examples are the Brodefest (in May), food & wine festival in the fishing village called Pržno, the Servantes and Octet Days (June), historical re-enactment focused on music, the Street Art Festival (June), and the Mountain Bike Marathon between Serbia and Montenegro (June-July).

According to the UK Foreign Travel Advice, Montenegro has a low internal crime rate. However, the Organisation recommends to pay attention, as also this Country is affected by a general alarm due to international terrorism.

At Twissen we observed that Montenegro, as a tourism destination, is enhancing the luxury segment, creating business opportunities to develop new tourist products. The openness towards foreign investments is attracting resources while increasing the capacity of the local tourism supply.