Private Accommodation Providers in Montenegro, recently, as a representative of Association, I had the opportunity to talk in Budva with Juan Garrido, the UNWTO agent for tourism recovery programs from the consequences of the covid pandemic. Considering 20 years of experience on such projects, among others in Cambodia and Vietnam, he understood all the complexity of the accommodation providers position, illogicalities, open questions.

We started the conversation with his rather enthusiastic statement that almost 70% of overnight stays are realized in private accommodation at the state level. He repeated it a couple of times. I watched him and thought “that’s what a professional is, he immediately understood the point, and more than half of my providers don’t think like this. No one has taken it seriously for decades, neither at the local nor at the state level. I did not find it necessary to mention occasional, sporadic, seasonal attempts.

He was quite surprised by the information that for the providers of private accommodation, at the time of the Covid pandemic in 2020, was no support programs. At the very beginning, because there was no Association that would represent the interests, and the existing tourist associations dealt with their focus groups, and later there was no money in the budget.

He assessed as correct the thinking that we need to be better organized at the local level, there must be statistics, a more precise base of both,  issuers and capacities in order to be able to design support programs. In these conditions, it is extremely difficult to define the budget needed for all activities and measures that we, as an Association, have proposed for the Action Plan within the new Tourism Development Strategy, because it is not known how many of us there are.

The whole of Montenegro is like one big national park. As tourism is our main economic branch, we have great opportunities for faster recovery through regional connection of capacities, defining specifics, organizing activities. This is a way to reduce seasonality and more evenly sell capacity by region.

With the announcement of the introduction of new digital solutions, simplification of the registration procedure, reduction of expenditures by state, it is possible that better times will come for accommodation providers n Montenegro. We can be sure of this because we make 70% of the realized nights. When we work, everyone around us works. That is why it is important that you participate in empowering the community. Be our Partner on this road.

Branka Džoganović

Founder and Director of Association of Private Accommodation Providers in Montenegro