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Tourism outlook: Montenegro and Croatia face opportunities and challenges

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Based on early bookings, tour operators’ announcements, and hotel occupancy rates in the pre-season and throughout the year, expectations are high for an exceptionally successful tourism season, possibly even setting new records, according to Petar Golubović, director of the Center for Tourism Research and Development.

Speaking on TVCG’s Dobro jutro Crna Goro, Golubović stressed that a very promising season lies ahead.

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He pointed out the significant number of new hospitality and hotel establishments that have opened in Montenegro, as reported by the RTCG portal.

Golubović highlighted that certain hotel chains have already recruited a substantial workforce, including individuals from distant countries such as Nepal, Indonesia, and the Philippines.

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Meanwhile, Barbara Marković, president of the Croatian Family Accommodation Association, joined Dobro jutro Crna Goro via Skype to discuss Croatia’s expectations for the upcoming season.

Marković noted that the pre-season is gradually filling up, with bookings extending into the ninth and tenth months of the year, indicating the potential for a successful and high-quality season.

However, she acknowledged significant challenges in Croatia’s private accommodation sector, particularly concerning workforce shortages. Marković explained that the tourism industry has recognized this issue and is taking proactive measures, including importing additional workers. Despite these efforts, Croatia still faces deficits in workforce capacity, particularly during peak tourism seasons.

Marković highlighted that many guests in Croatia originate from countries like Nepal and emphasized the competitive advantage of the cleaning fee for apartments in Split, which stands at 20 EUR.

Golubović echoed the sentiment, emphasizing that such favorable conditions contribute to the migration of workers to Croatia from neighboring countries, particularly when compared to Montenegro’s cleaning fee for apartments, which ranges from eight to ten EUR.

He suggested that Montenegro may lag behind in the organization of private accommodation, lacking the collaborative efforts seen in Croatia’s hospitality sector.

In summary, while both Montenegro and Croatia anticipate robust tourism seasons, challenges such as workforce shortages persist, particularly in Croatia’s private accommodation sector.

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