Montenegro set to top tourism growth
Sunday 22 May 2011
Montenegro will be the world's fastest growing travel and tourism economy in the world over the next ten years, according to new research released this week.
A new report released at the Global Travel & Tourism Summit in Las Vegas suggests that the Balkan state, which is the world's newest country (having declared independence in 2006), is set for double digit growth in the coming years.
Last year, travel and tourism contributed 15.7 percent of Montenegro's total GDP, according to the research conducted by the World Travel & Tourism Council (WTTC) and Oxford Economics.
However, by 2021 the forecast estimates that this figure will have soared to over a third - some 36 percent - as the country continues to attract new visitors, with one in every three jobs being somehow related to travel and tourism in the country.
Montenegro's tourist authorities point out that there are already several ambitious hotel projects in the world from brands such as Banyan Tree, Kempinski and Hilton International, with negotiations reportedly underway with Marriott, W Hotels, Four Seasons and other leading brands.
The country is also billing itself as the new Monaco for Russia's oligarchs, with a number of 'integrated resorts' - similar to those seen in Singapore with casinos, hotels, retail and amusement parks in one complex - under construction.
Reports suggest that visitor numbers already rose 2.6 percent in the first quarter of this year, with just under 50,000 people visiting during the period.
Despite authorities' efforts to highlight Montenegro as a nature destination as well as a beach paradise, it would appear that tourists are still heading there for the sun - 71.8 percent of stays were on the coast, said Montenegro's statistics office.
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