The press conference, organized by the Ministry of Sustainable Development and Tourism and the National Tourism Organization of Montenegro in the hotel “Splendid Conference & Spa”, was held in Budva from 15th to 17th November. It was organized for the most important and at the same time the biggest gathering of the German tourist industry – Congress of the German Travel Association (DRV- Deutscher ReiseVerband).
Jürgen Büchy, President of DRV pointed out that he saw the Congress as very successful from the aspect of a larger tourist recognizability of the destination by the German tourist market. Büchy believes that it is important to acquaint those tourists who perceive Montenegro as a destination of mass tourism with the new tourist offer, the new projects and also to present it to those who had never visited it. Based on the first informal talks, Büchy expects that tour-operators and tourist agencies – members of DRV – will include Montenegro in their catalogues. As for the prices, quality and offer, Montenegro is according to him competitive in the world tourism market. He also pointed out that in the following period additional efforts should be made to provide better airline connections with this destination, and that hotel capacities did not represent a limiting factor for the opening of Montenegrin tourist market towards Germany. It is general impression that apart from hospitability of the hosts they have also shown readiness and extraordinary professionalism when it comes to organizing one of the largest events. The Congress itself requires a very complex organizational structure - among other things numerous sessions, seminars and panel discussions whose speakers were some important names in the area of tourism.
Olivera Brajović, Assistant Minister for Tourism Development in the Ministry of Sustainable Development and Tourism reminded that German market was one of the most significant markets at the world tourism level and that at the annual level Germany had over 60 million travels of which about 80% of the total tourism turnover was executed through the members of DRV Association. Characteristic of German tourists are travels throughout the whole year and the Congress itself represents a continuity of good cooperation between the Governments of Germany and Montenegro.
According to Saša Radović, director of NTO, the initiative for this Congress was born during the 2010 “ITB” fair in Berlin and since then a large number of inspection visits of the destination were made and study trips of the media and other promotional activities were organized for the purpose of organizing a DRV congress in Montenegro which would significantly impact the promotion of Montenegrin tourist product in the German market and also have a wider promotional impact. He also said that we had a joint opportunity to present at one of the larger DRV gatherings with over 700 representatives of agencies, tour-operators, airline companies, insurance companies and other entities, natural potential of Montenegro as well as the new capacities and outreaches in the development of tourism without interfering with the working part of the Congress. He also mentioned that the last three congresses had been held in Egypt (2009), Maroco (2010) and Southern Korea (2011) where the congress host countries and Germany later had extraordinary economic cooperation.
During the Congress, tourism industry of Montenegro had the opportunity to acquaint and exchange contacts with the most important representatives of the German tourism industry as well as Montenegrin professionals in the area of tourism through the program of joint training with the colleagues from the German tourism industry.
The DRV Congress attracted the media attention not only in the area of tourism but also in the area of economy and finances and the German public was informed on daily basis by 28 media (FVW Intern. Media Group, ARD, Touristik Aktuell, TravelOne, FAZ, Süddeutsche Zeitung, Handelsblatt, Wirtschaftswoche...). Also the following tourist entities from Germany were present at the Congress: TUI, Thomas Cook, REWE Central Finance, AIDA Cruises / Sustainability, Alltours, Phoenix Reisen, FTI Reisen, OLIMAR Reisen and others, but also influential persons from academic circles who are the experts in the field. A reputable professor Martin Lohman from the Research Institute for Northern Europe at one of the sessions presented trends in tourism until 2030 and highlighted one of the most important preconditions that will keep tourist destinations in the world market sustainable – tourist sustainability and preservation of natural beauty. Moto of this year’s DRV Congress DRV was “Strong Tourism by Sustainability – Are Economic Efficiency, Social Responsibility and Environmental Protection in Balance?”, which was an additional impulse for Montenegro to present itself to the German tourism industry in the right way since the 2020 Sustainable Development Strategy presents the vision of Montenegro – to be at the top of Mediterranean for sustainable development of the destination.
The following entities helped organization of this event apart from the Ministry of Sustainable Development and Tourism and National Tourism Organization: CTU, hotels “Splendid Conference and Spa Resort“, “Mediteran”, “Queen of Montenegro” and “Avala Resort and Villas”, municipality of Budva and TO Budva.
Key factors of further promotion in this market are greater allocation of funds for the work of NTO, increased intensity of promotional activities of the NTO representative office in Frankfurt and organization of study trips of media in the following period.