Montenegro: A New Leader in the Tourism Sector

Montenegro is a Balkan state along the Adriatic Sea. It is located in southern Eastern Europe. The capital of Montenegro is Podgorica. It is the world’s newest country after declaring the independence only in 2006. Tourism and agriculture are the two main industries of Montenegro. Aluminum is the main export from Montenegro.

The World Tourism and Travel Council (WTTC) has published its Travel and Tourism Economic Impact for the year 2011 on Montenegro. The latest report from WTTC ranks Montenegro as number one country out of 188 countries in the world for growth in travel and tourism industries. Implementation of the master plan for tourism in 2001 has been successful with Montenegro featuring in WTTC list in 2006. Master plan emphasized on privatizing hotel, open sky policies etc. Investors have invested over 350 million Euros for modernization of hotels.

Another report released in at Global Travel and Tourism Summit in Las Vegas predicts that Montenegro will experience a double digit growth in the next few years. The Balkan state will be the fastest growing travel and tourism economy in next ten years.

The WTTC report estimates that travel and tourism will be directly contributing for 8.1% of Montenegro’s entire GDP in 2011. It will indirectly contribute for 17.2% of GDP in this year. The World Tourism and Travel Council estimates show that the direct and indirect contribution of travel and tourism industries of Montenegro will be 14.8% and 36.3% respectively. The direct contribution number includes the direct spending by tourists and spending by government towards the maintenance of tourist attractions. The indirect contribution number takes into account broader impact of tourism. In the current year of 2011, almost 90% of the tourism spending is expected to be for leisure purposes. Rest is expected for business purposes. Regionally Montenegro comes at the second spot in terms of the travel and tourism contribution to GDP in percentage terms. Croatia’s tourism sector contributes to 11.6% of total GDP of the country.

The strategic location of the country along the Adriatic Sea acts as a bridge between Mediterranean and central Europe. This acts as a catalyst for tourists and foreign direct investment in the country. Every one job in three jobs is related to tourism sector. Several ambitious hotel and hospitality projects are underway in Montenegro. Negotiations are going on with several biggest brands in the world for investment opportunities. Montenegro government is working towards the elimination of administrative hurdles for the investment from foreign countries. The country is working hard to earn a name itself of the new Monaco of Adriatic Sea. The constructions of several casinos, hotels, parks etc all in a single complex are underway. According to reports, number of people visiting the country during the first quarter of the year 2011 has seen increase by 2.6%. According to Monstat, number of tourists increased by 5.3% compared to last year. The period from January to August saw an increase of 7.3% year over year. Most of the foreign tourists were from Serbia and Russia. But in order to sustain the tourism growth achieved in the last few years, the government of Montenegro must make tourism a significant part of the economic growth. It should take tourism sector deep down to the regional level.