Branding and promoting our region as a joint tourist destination
In May 2018, we facilitated a debate in Podgorica focusing on opportunities and challenges to regional cooperation on tourism. Aleksandar Dedović, Director of ALFA Centar and Board Member of The Balkan Forum
moderated the dicsussion with participants from Montenegro, Macedonia and Kosovo:
- Damir Davidović, State Secretary, Ministry of Sustainable Development and Tourism, Montenegro;
- Ana Nives Radović, Tourism Agency in Kotor;
- Sanja Golubović, Caffe Montenegro;
- Milo Radonjić, Centre Ville in Podgorica;
- Vlado Srbinovski, NGO Balkania, Macedonia; and,
- Virtyt Gacaferri, Balkan Natural Adventure, Kosovo.
The topic of the debate was: “How can we maximize the benefits of the tourism season in the Western Balkans.” Key questions posed to the debate participants included:
How can we better:
- Link and promote regional tourism?
- Link and further strengthen connections between local producers and coastline businesses (hotels, restaurants, and other businesses)?
- Promote mountainous and coastline tourism and other attractions/historical sites?
- Better enhance investment opportunities during and beyond the touristic season?
- Further strengthen transport linkages and address any existing barriers?
Participants concluded that:
- the economic power can be expanded through regional tourism initiatives that celebrate the cultural heritage and diversity of the Balkans and through strengthening the infrastructure in the region that connects individual countries.
- Such initiatives will provide financial profits in rural and urban areas throughout the region and strengthen ties among people.
- The Balkan region is widely recognized for its impressive shores, gastronomic heritage, cultural traditions and agricultural products that attract hundreds of thousands of visitors each year.
- The region is to use these opportunities to achieve better public education on the potential benefits of joint tourism and initiatives that are environmentally, economically and culturally sustainable.
- Improvement of regional infrastructure creates conditions for better regional tourism, including transport routes for facilitating the movement of tourists, regional initiatives for education and training, and easier cross-border migration for job seekers.
The Balkan Forum will continue to organize such events in the future in order to foster an open discussion for a closer collaboration in the region in the field of tourism.
The video-debate was followed by the Radio Television Crna Gora