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Development and Marketing of Destinations
Emerging from Conflict

Speaker

Jovan Popesku

Panel Remarks

BASIS FOR THE FUTURE TOURISM DEVELOPMENT IN SERBIA

The circumstances for tourism development in Serbia in the period 1989 - 2000 were very specific comparing to the tourism business practice in the world. The decrease of the tourist flow, particularly foreign, as well as the decrease of foreign currency income generated from tourism is the obvious indicator of the causes and the consequences regarding the condition and position of Serbian tourism industry, especially hotel industry.

The basis for the return of Serbia as a tourism destination to the international tourism market were established by the return in the membership of the international institutions and by normalizing the relations with the key international factors, and also by the overall results of the democratic changes. These results obviously affected Serbian tourism and caused the changes in its volume and structure.

Specific characteristics of sustainable development, as a new paradigm of global tourism development underline the importance of studying and implementation of all these elements in the context of tourism development in Serbia. The ultimate goal would be coordinated and balanced, that means sustainable tourism development in regard to all participants in that process and environment in general.

The current situation of Serbian tourism, potentials for tourism development and strategic goals of tourism development imply that it is necessary to change the image/position of Serbia as a tourist destination on the international tourist market.

Re-integration into the global economy and preparation for eventual accession to the European Union (EU), are now prime foreign policy driving forces for Serbia. International tourism has been recruited to play a significant role in this process - both in terms of image reinforcement and as a vehicle for international 'normalisation', collaboration and benchmarking. However, Serbia's positioning strategy still has much potential for development, having been constrained by a combination of lack of finance, experience and expertise coupled to lingering regional (and global) instability.

International Institute for Peace Through Tourism