Benchmarking trip to Montenegro and Italy, 4th of June to 8th of June 2012
A delegation of 19 from all project partners visited Montenegro and Italy to benchmark the structure of public-private partnership and cross-border cooperation on the Southern Adriatic coast line. The participants of the trip had a busy schedule with visits to the University of Montenegro's Faculty of Tourism and Hotel Management, National Tourism Organization Montenegro, Bar's local tourism organization Visit Bar and the municipality of Mesagne - Lead Partner of the EU-funded, cross-border tourism development project Turgrate2.
Kirsi Hyvärinen and Biljana Bozovic from National Tourism Organization Montenegro
Apart from being busy with meetings, a side program was organized for the trip's participants, enabling them to benchmark and experience Montenegro's rapidly growing tourism industry. The trip's program included (amongst others) a visit to a new luxury marina development "Porto Montenegro" in Tivat.
Yachts docked at Porto Montenegro.
A menu from one of the newly opened cafes in Porto Montenegro.
It is easy to see who their main target group is.
Also, Bar's medieval old town was explored with the aid of a local guide, giving plenty of opportunity to participants to compare guide training and skills in Northern Europe and Russia to those observed in Bar.
After a night in the ferry from Bar, Montenegro to Bari, Italy, a visit to the municipality of Mesagne - Lead Partner of the Turgrate2 project was organized. As Turgrate2 shares similar attributes as BART, learning about their experiences, challenges and opportunities was of great importance and benefit for all participants.
All in all, the trip provided its participants with ample opportunities to learn about tourism in Montenegro and Apulia - opportunities and challenges, good practices and bad practices. It gave insight into the challenges of a small country finding and maintaining its economic stronghold, different approaches to service culture and a variety of viewpoints on cross-border tourism development.