The InterContinental hotel group (IHG) is already present in Montenegro, namely in Herceg Novi, Tivat and Podgorica. By the end of the year, as they announced, the opening of the InterContinental hotel in Čanj is expected, in cooperation with the Celebić company.
As they announced from this group, the entire tourism in Montenegro is already competitive or at a higher level than the neighboring countries, but for further development it is necessary to increase the air availability of the country as soon as possible.
Senior Director for Development in Southern Europe of IHG, Hilko Versteeg, told Vijesti that the biggest step forward is to increase the number of flights and air destinations to Montenegro.
– That is extremely important. This is probably one of the areas where Montenegro still has to catch up with some of the competing locations, because you have new airports in Zagreb, Belgrade and Ljubljana. In the end, a large part of tourists come via airlines – said Versteeg.
He reminded that the airport In Tivat does not have night flights, so it is limited, but it is a chance where Montenegro can still grow a lot, to have more flights and connections.
– You are lucky because Montenegro is a small country, so it almost doesn’t matter where you land – said Versteeg.
The IHG group is present in Montenegro with the hotels Iberostar in Herceg Novi, Regent in Porto Montenegro and Voco in Podgorica, and the plan is to open an InterContinental in Čanj by the end of the year in cooperation with the Čelebić company.
Versteeg announced that Montenegro, as well as the group itself, benefits from IHG’s operations.
– Nobody is perfect, not even us, but the message I want to send to the authorities is that the IHG group is dedicated to Montenegro. We want to grow further, because we think there are many more opportunities for that. I think that Montenegro positions itself as a special tourist offer compared to other countries. The demand we receive makes Montenegro an attractive alternative destination in our opinion, in the sense that clients want a different experience and that’s why we are very satisfied with what we get here – said Versteeg.
When asked what the authorities should do to raise the level of tourism in the country, he replied that Montenegro has already done an excellent job.
– I think that, looking at tourism as a whole, Montenegro is already relatively better than most neighboring countries. So I think that in that sense, Montenegro has already done an extremely good job. Are there options for growth? I think you know, every country can always improve certain areas. Maybe it’s a better promotion of wine, traditional dishes and drinks that are phenomenal in Montenegro – stated Versteeg
When asked what is most important for a tourist to be satisfied, he answered that it is communication, that is, the level of service and security, and that Montenegro meets both criteria.
– Not everything has to be 100% perfect. You know, I think the level of service that you get and the security is what a lot of people are looking for. And those are two things that I think Montenegro possesses. It’s that little hub where you feel immediately safe when you arrive and have good communication with the staff. In Montenegro, everything is at a short distance, so I think that satisfies many people who come here – said Versteeg.
He added that more and more people want “experiential tourism” or a vacation from work, which exists in Montenegro. There is also an opportunity to improve ski areas, as was done in Kolašin.
– What I especially like in Montenegro are the coastal areas, which are first of all incredibly beautiful and you have an incredible sea and beach, but you managed to preserve that, there is no mass tourism, which you can see in Spain for example – said Versteeg .