According to the announcements of tourism officials, one of the record summer tourist seasons awaits us, and whether it will be the best depends on the length of the season. For the first three months, the results far exceed last year’s and are close to the record 2019 year, writes Pobjeda.
The announcements, as the interviewees of the newspaper said, are more than good and larger groups are expected already at the beginning of May. The Tourist Organization (TO) Budva is satisfied with the results so far, which show that during the first three months of this year, around 46 thousand guests stayed in all types of accommodation on the territory of that municipality.
As the spokesperson of TO Budva, Tijana Kotarac, said, data from last week show that there are currently around ten thousand registered guests in that city, of which around 3.5 thousand are in hotels.
When it comes to the structure of guests in collective accommodation, the most numerous, according to her, are from Germany, Albania, Bulgaria, Russia, Serbia, China, Italy, Israel, Spain. “According to information from the residence registration system, which refers to individual accommodation, the most numerous guests are from Russia, about 69 percent of the total number of registered guests, followed by Serbia, Ukraine, Turkey, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Germany, Belarus and Israel,” said Tijana Kotarac.
As for expectations, according to the announcements they have received from hoteliers, they expect a good tourist year, which will certainly be contributed to by the announced increase in the number of air connections with important European cities.
“Whether the season will be one of the best depends on how long it will last, but we believe that at this moment it is most important to be well prepared for the large influx that we expect and for all our services to respond to the sustainability challenge facing Budva, as the most popular tourist destination in Montenegro.”, said Kotarac.
They expect the most guests, as in previous years, from the region, especially Serbia and Bosnia and Herzegovina. “That’s why we focus a lot of attention, in terms of promotion, towards these, traditional, markets. On the other hand, for decades, Montenegro and Budva were important and interesting markets of Western Europe, Russia and Ukraine, which, unfortunately, we cannot count on yet. We are pleased that some new destinations are opening, so we can meet tourists from China, Israel and the like more and more often in our hotels. A wide range of diverse markets is only in favor of every modern and developed tourist destination”, announced Kotorac.
At the Budva hotel, which has been operating throughout the year, according to sales director Mić Ivanović, they are satisfied with the business, and the expectations for the next period are also good. “The hotel was open all the time, and during the winter period our attendance was around 40 percent, which is six percent less than in 2019. Compared to last year, we are recording a growth of up to 50 percent. The structure of the guests is mostly from the region and Europe, because we have a lot of conferences. There is no group yet, and that becomes the main problem of work in the winter period, because the conferences are not enough”, claims Ivanović.
He added that the Interest in the “heart” of the season has already started, much earlier this year. “Our hotel is known for last minute bookings when we are talking about the peak season. We don’t have too many given arrangements during the summer, but we are based on individual sales in the months before arrival. According to the demand expressed by the users, a very good season awaits us”, said Ivanovic.
He announced that larger groups are expected already at the beginning of May and June. “Already in this period, we have closed sales dates of confirmed groups”, said Ivanovic, who believes that we will have the best season so far.
He added that guests are expected mostly from the region, Turkey and Israel. “I hope that Kazakhstan and Azerbaijan will start this year as two potentially good markets. “Dubrovnik has increased the capacity of guests from Great Britain, so we also expect an overflow from that market,” said Ivanovic.
As for the prices they planned for this year, they have been increased compared to last year. “I hope we won’t change them until the season,” Ivanovic said.
The PR manager of the Montenegro stars hotel group, Maja Vukićević, claims that in the first three months they achieved the best results since the company was founded. “In the first three months, the Montenegro Stars hotel group achieved a result that not only exceeded this year’s company projections, but was also the best in the first three months of the year since the company was founded. Mostly thanks to the company’s direct promotion and sales, which we have been developing since the foundation, and in the last decade we have been intensively improving by following the latest trends in the development of digital platforms. For the sake of illustration, in February, which is the month during which guests planning vacations mostly stay in winter centers, this year at the Splendid Conference & Spa Resort hotel, 64 percent better occupancy was registered than last year, and as many as 83 percent of overnight stays were made by individuals,” Vukićević stated.
She added that the average occupancy for the first three months was 50 percent, and guests stayed an average of three days. “The fact that we were not limited by sudden changes in the epidemiological situation this year, as in the same period last year, immediately had a positive effect on the segment of congress and wellness tourism. Only this year we started in conditions where we can practically provide a complete offer to clients, to which they responded immediately. So we are once again in a position to offer our clients the most diverse events that are no longer within the framework of conferences and congresses, but also team building, preparation of sports teams, entertainment events, sports and cultural manifestations”, said Vukićević.
She stated that the situation is similar with the wellness segment, which is recovering after practically three years of stagnation. As for the structure of guests in January, with 33 percent in terms of the number of overnight stays, by far the most numerous were locals, that is, guests from Montenegro. “Already in February and March, guests from the region take over the primacy. Guests from Turkey are always at the top. The Geo report will certainly change as we approach the so-called peak of the holiday season, and we expect an increase in the number of guests from the German-speaking countries and Western Europe in addition to guests from the region,” stated Vukićević.
She added that the prices will not be corrected, although, according to her, this is expected in the conditions of rising inflation and related costs. “The fact is that we cannot afford it, because we do not have the strength and stability of the business environment, which would allow us to compete with the destinations in the Mediterranean, which are also the strongest tourist forces. The question of justification, in the conditions of existing air connectivity, road and maritime traffic, but also numerous other problems that are repeated year after year, is not yet an option but a stake in strengthening competitiveness”, concluded Vukićević.