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NewsChallenges and strategies: Budva's tourism industry adapts to shifting dynamics

Challenges and strategies: Budva’s tourism industry adapts to shifting dynamics

Despite the general increase in tourist interest in Montenegro, Budva is facing challenges in reduced visitation this year, especially due to the departure of Ukrainians and Russians who lived in Budva. The decrease in the local population has resulted in lower attendance at hospitality establishments and tourist attractions in the city.

This dynamic represents an additional complex factor affecting the tourism industry in Budva and instills uncertainty among tourism professionals. All of this indicates that careful consideration of strategies for the revitalization of tourism in this area is needed. The lack of flights further complicates the situation, making it difficult to plan and organize the tourist season. This year, most likely, the majority of guests will be from the region.

Expectations and Plans

In light of the current challenges, representatives of Hotel Pobjeda share their expectations and strategies for the upcoming period. Mića Ivanović, Assistant General Manager of Hotel Budva and Sales Director, as well as Jovan Vukalović, Director of Lighthouse Hotel in Herceg Novi, share their views on the current state of tourism, expectations, and plans to attract guests during the pre-season.

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Ivanović stated that it is currently the holiday season, and they have directed their energy towards preparing and adapting the hotel for the season. What concerns them are delays in advance payments, which indicate uncertainty. However, with certain marketing actions, they managed to maintain sales at the level of the previous year. They also notice that the reduction in the number of Russians and Ukrainians in Budva has a certain impact on sales points in the hotel along the main city promenade.

“Currently, we have a lot of construction work in the hotel. This is a period when things are being tightened, and the facility is infrastructureally prepared for new major challenges. Occupancy is at the level of last year.

Compared to 2023, many Russians and Ukrainians have left Budva, so that difference is felt at the sales points in the hotel on the main city promenade, but for the hotel, it does not make a difference. The months ahead bring uncertainty and a great struggle. This year we already have delays in advance payments, creating a sense of insecurity,” emphasizes Ivanović, adding that they have many partners they have been collaborating with for many years and have received information that interest in Montenegro as a destination is increasing, but unfortunately, for Budva, it is declining.

Despite the challenges they faced, they managed to make significant progress in terms of sales. Thanks to targeted actions and marketing campaigns, they have raised sales to the level of the previous year, although with a slight lag.

“The projected prices for this year are at the level of the previous one. I believe it is just a period of calm, and already in March, a stronger promotion of the destination begins, with as many flights as possible. Without that, we cannot expect a good season.

We are glad that the problem of traffic congestion and the famous road from Tivat Airport is finally being addressed. The boulevard being built is a good sign that we have finally tackled the biggest problems. Also, the fact that the reconstruction of the entrance to Budva and the construction of a roundabout near the main post office are underway, reducing congestion,” emphasizes Ivanović, adding that unfortunately, their hotel is now suffering because the main city promenade has been converted into a traffic road without any warning or information.

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