Slow economic growth and recession in some countries will affect the tourism economy, said tourismologist and professor at the Faculty of Economics and Business Ivo Županović.
During his guest appearance on the Takulin show, he said that last season we had a significant lack of tourists from Russia and China, and that he sees an opportunity for alternative markets.
– For purely economic reasons, it is primarily the Scandinavian and Western European markets where we can make a huge leap forward. We kept our perception, and the best example is Kotor. It has grown compared to 2019, and the guest will always pay for an adequate product. However, we have to take care of traffic accessibility and availability, and on the other hand, this year, recognizing certain markets, we opened a certain number of lines, but we did not have adequate organized tourist traffic. Therefore, I think that this year we have to work much harder on organized tourist traffic, in order to have adequate financial effects – explained Županović.
As he notes, we have a good opportunity for what is written in the master plan until 2025 – that we need to connect the south with the north of Montenegro.
– Now we have a relatively good road from the north to the coast, where it can be reached relatively quickly, either from Kolašin, or from Žabljak. We need to import those two products, not only in the winter period, but throughout the whole season and thus create a product that we would offer in marketing terms – pointed out Županović.
Analyzing tourism as our basic branch, he adds that the stability and sustainability of our macro economy cannot be without a stable tourism industry.
– Tourism should be a leading branch, but not so dominant because it is a service market that is always turbulent and depends on the discretionary income of potential consumers – explains Županović.
According to official data, he says, inflation also spills over into the tourism sector. For accommodation services, he says, we have about 20% inflation, and for restaurants and cafes about 13%.
A big problem, he notes, Is the connection and even misunderstanding between the tourism industry and the academic sphere. When it comes to this sphere, he adds, we have to understand that faculties produce staff who will start from scratch when they are hired, for middle and senior management.
– Secondary schools produce operational personnel. I think there must be a much greater connection there. What I can say from my own experience – four or five top students emerge from each generation. If this cooperation between academia and the tourism industry is only formal, they have to find their own way. There should be greater intention and initiative from both the academic sphere and the tourism industry – explained Županović.
He emphasizes that education reform must also be made in that area.
– Kotor is a predominantly tourist town, but there is no program for a tourist technician in high school. If those children want to engage in tourism, they have to go to Herceg Novi or Budva, which is initially a greater expense and effort for both their parents and themselves – states Županović, local media reports.