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WTTC Summit 2011 – Montenegro set to be world’s fastest growing tourism economy

Montenegro will be the fastest growing travel & tourism economy in the world over the next ten years with regard to travel & tourism’s contribution to GDP and employment, according to the latest economic impact research from the World Travel & Tourism Council (WTTC) and Oxford Economics.

These findings were released during a press conference at the 11th Global Travel & Tourism Summit in Las Vegas, attended by Predrag Sekulić, Minister for Sustainable Development and Tourism for Montenegro and other representatives from the Ministry and the National Tourism Organisation of Montenegro.

The WTTC/Oxford Economics forecasts also rank Montenegro as being the fastest growing destination worldwide for Travel & Tourism investment growth, as well as placing Montenegro in second place (behind Brazil) for visitor export growth.

“This is the fourth study we have conducted on behalf of Montenegro and the results speak for themselves,” commented David Scowsill, CEO & President, WTTC.

“Our forecasts reflect the huge achievements made by the government and Ministry of Tourism over the past ten years. Significant progress has been made at putting into place a solid policy framework for sustainable tourism development and expansion into new niche markets.”

(Delegates at the WTTC Global Travel & Tourism Summit in Las Vegas)

In 2010, travel & tourism’s total contribution to GDP, including its indirect and induced impacts, was 15.7%. This share is projected to rise to 17.2% in 2011 and to 36.3% by 2021 – an increase of 12.4% per annum over the next ten years.

If the forecasts are proved accurate, this will take travel & tourism’s total contribution to GDP to €1.9 billion a year by 2021 – up from an estimated €593.8 million in 2011.

The trend is also expected to be similar for travel & tourism’s total contribution to employment, estimated at 13.9% in 2010, and which is set to increase to 15.1% this year – accounting for some 26,000 jobs across the Montenegrin economy.

Ten years ago the Montenegrin Government identified travel & tourism as a potential key driver for economic growth and diversification.

Predrag Sekulić, Minister for Sustainable Development and Tourism for Montenegro commented: “Montenegro’s goal is to remain at the forefront of tourism change and our travel & tourism strategy is firmly based on sustainability – economic, social, environmental and climatic. We want to ensure tourism development benefits Montenegrins across the country over the longer term – as well as ensuring an operating environment that is conducive to attracting foreign investment. In order to help us achieve this, we are committed to building on our partnerships with the private sector and international partners.”

A number of new hotel and resort developments are in the pipeline, with several international hotel groups already committed to management contracts. These include Banyan Tree, Kempinski and Hilton International, and negotiations are reportedly underway with Marriott’s W Hotels Four Seasons and other leading brands. Amanreorts is already established in the country.

“In addition to sun & beach tourism, which has been the mainstay of Montenegro’s tourism over the past decade, as well as attracting most of the interest from foreign investors to date, the mountain region of Montenegro is attracting growing attention, and we have recently rolled out a wide range of niche market tourism products, such as hiking and biking, water rafting and mountain treks,” Sekulić said.

WTTC/Oxford Economics forecasts point to an annual increase in Travel & Tourism investment overall of 16.4% over the next decade, reaching a projected €876.4 million, or 50.8% of total investment in Montenegro, by 2021.

The next ten years will see the opening of a number of major integrated resort projects, including the partially opened Porto Montenegro – which is billing itself to be the new Monaco for the Mediterranean mega-yacht community – and the €1.1 billion Orascom development on the Luštica peninsula.

To find out more about the WTTC Summit visit