The lack of manpower is a key problem of the tourism industry, it was assessed at a conference organized by the Montenegrin Tourist Association (CTU).
The president of the CTU, Žarko Radulović, said at a press conference in the Splendid Hotel that if the arrival of workers from distant countries is not approved, Montenegro will not be able to count on an income of EUR 1.3 billion this year, but, as he warned, will be worse than last year.
We have a dozen hotels that have turned away a significant number of guests and thus jeopardized their reputation, because they do not have workers to open their hotels. Hotels with four and five stars are thinking of re-registering as motels, in order to do their work more easily – said Radulović.
He stated that Montenegro does not have bilateral agreements with Nepal and promised that no one from that region would come.
They told us to raise the wages of the workers. They know our balance sheets and can see how much salary we can give. We cannot raise wages. This year we are working for the next, if we give up this year, next year we won’t have even half of what we have – said Radulović. Radulović pointed out that if the guests are not satisfied this season, next year, as he said, they will experience a collapse.
If the season breaks this year, if tourists are not satisfied with the service, he will convey the message ‘Don’t go to Montenegro’ and we will experience a crash next year. Is there a greater symbolism, on Labor Day, we talk about work? We understand the problems of the people who work at the counters, but we do not understand that organizational changes cannot be made, the number of counters can be increased – said Radulović.
The Chairman of the Board of the Association of Tourism and Hospitality of the Chamber of Commerce (PKCG), Ranko Jovović, reminded that they have been trying to solve the problem for years.
We are advocating for the introduction of a permanent seasonal worker, and that would solve this problem as much as possible. We need a permanent seasonal worker. Things need to be speeded up, we must quickly find a solution for a permanent seasonal worker – said Jovović. The president of the Budva Catering Association, Aleksandar Jovanović, announced that as a state we did nothing to prevent this.
The biggest problem here is the administration, in order to import labor from abroad. We would be happy if we could provide labor here. We advertise, but few or no one responds. Salaries in tourism are higher than in other fields. Chefs’ salaries are twice as high as the Prime Minister of Montenegro or ministers – said Jovanović.