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Rural Tourism Development in Montenegro

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Montenegro’s Ministry of Sustainable Development and Tourism has published the Program of rural tourism development of Montenegro with the Action plan for the 2019-2021 period.

Ministry of Sustainable Development and Tourism (MSDT), starting from the guidelines defined in the Strategy of Tourism Development by 2020, is determined in its intention to create opportunities for the development of rural areas in Montenegro by adequate strategic policies and continuous activities. Current tendencies on the market and characteristics of tourism demand influence favorably onto development of rural tourism, which is confirmed also by World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) that emphasizes that market trends in tourism are moving in favor of rural tourism. One of the most important trends is diversification onto tourism market. Increased interest in the demand for rural areas is contributed by a life-style of, primarily, urban population.

Tourism plays a key role and records increasing trends in the economy of Montenegro, which is indicated by the data showing that tourism counted for almost 24% of GDP in 2017. The full picture is completed by the data about direct employment in tourism that makes 7.6% of the employment in Montenegro, i.e. total (direct, indirect and induced employment), which makes over 19% of the total employment in Montenegro.

From this reason, tourism in Montenegro is considered to be a priority and strategic economy branch that has a potential in its individual segments for further development. On the other hand, what is evident is that the wealth of natural and cultural heritage of Montenegro in its rural areas, vicinity of mountains and the sea has raised an interest in different segments of tourism demand that requests something new and something authentic. In this term, there are conditions being created for the development of segments of an innovative and relatively new tourism offer – rural tourism areas in Montenegro. Rural tourism creates conditions for satisfying the needs of an increasing number of tourists that aspire to a healthy life-style and seek experience that considers pleasure in nature, traditional cuisine, hospitality of husbandries/households in rural areas, enjoyment in tradition and preserved customs and other authentic sensations.

Recognizing the potentials of rural areas of Montenegro in terms of the development of authentic tourism products, potentials of rural tourism, and additionally the need to systematically define the area of rural tourism at the national, regional and local level, MSDT brought a decision in 2018 to design The Program of Rural Tourism Development of Montenegro with The Action Plan 2019-2021 (PRTD 2019-2021). PRTD 2019-2021 starts from the standpoint that that rural space and attractions should not be considered in a narrower sense only as a resource for tourism development, but also as a potential for the development of local communities and rural areas of Montenegro through active participation of different subjects in the area of rural tourism and entrepreneurship development in this area along with a clearly defined system of development and incentives at the national, regional and local level. Therefore, the strategic objective of rural tourism development is directed toward the development of diversified and authentic rural tourism offer of Montenegro that will create a basis for the improvement of population’s standard of living in rural area and cease the depopulation of rural areas.

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