Cruise Lines International Association (CLIA), the municipality of Kotor and the port of Kotor in Montenegro and the Global Sustainable Tourism Council (GSTC) announced that they will cooperate to conduct a destination assessment in the historic port city.
This announcement comes on the back of a successful season for cruise tourism in Kotor, which is an important cruise port in the Adriatic region.
The sustainability Destination Assessment will be conducted by the GSTC, and co-funded by CLIA jointly with the municipality and port. The assessment process, which includes local stakeholder consultation, will help the city to identify priorities with respect to destination management as well as any potential gaps and key risks.
The assessment will encompass all forms of tourism with the aim of setting the foundation for a sustainability action plan for the city.
Vladimir Jokić, Mayor of Kotor, said “The agreement between CLIA, the Port of Kotor and Kotor Municipality is going to contribute on one side to the raising of the level of services offered by the Town of Kotor and the Port, and on the other, even more importantly, to enhancing the preservation and management of the UNESCO heritage site,the Town of Kotor itself but also its surrounding area. By acting together, we are going to maintain the balance, preserve global cultural heritage but also be unselfish and make it possible for the multitude of visitors to become acquainted to the natural, cultural and historical wealth of Kotor and Boka Kotorska Bay. I believe that by exchanging good practices and by high quality management efforts we will be able to achieve the desired results to our mutual satisfaction.”
Ljiljana Popović Moškov, President of the Board of Directors of the LUKA KOTOR company, pointed out: “The Port of Kotor, as a socially responsible company, is extremely interested in being a partner in this very important project and creating a strategy for the sustainability of Kotor as a tourist destination. Our company wants to raise its services to the highest level of quality that it provides to shipping companies or cruise companies, and this project will help us greatly to do so. Kotor is a city under the protection of UNESCO and I want to express my gratitude to CLIA for recognizing the importance of our destination and including us in what is an extremely important project for us. We expect that this project will be challenging in its creation, but also in its realization, considering that Kotor is a city located in the most beautiful fjord in this part of Europe, has only 22,000 inhabitants, and with close to 500 cruise ship calls annually, bring over half a million passengers to our city”.
But no matter the challenges, the most important thing is that with this partnership with CLIA and the Global Sustainable Tourism Council, we want the same thing: to make Kotor a sustainable tourist destination in the long term. And I am convinced that we will succeed in that.”
Marie-Caroline Laurent, CLIA’s Director General in Europe, said “We are pleased to partner with the city of Kotor for this new study as part of our commitment to responsible tourism. Cruise tourism can be a force for good and brings significant social and economic benefits to communities. It is important that we work together and for destinations to manage tourism responsibly so that they remain great places to live and to visit.”
Dr Ioannis Pappas, GSTC Director for the Mediterranean Region said “As we embark on the groundbreaking journey of the GSTC Destination Assessment of Kotor, it is with great enthusiasm that we recognize the significance of this project, through the partnership between CLIA, the Municipality of Kotor, and the Port of Kotor JSC, underscoring a profound commitment to advancing sustainable tourism practices. This strategic alignment resonates with the core principles of the GSTC and echoes the essence of the symbiotic relationship between industry stakeholders, local governance, and cruise infrastructure — a successful model of a holistic approach to destination sustainability. Following the Ministry of Economic Development and Tourism Government of Montenegro’s decision to join as a Member of the GSTC, the Assessment of Kotor not only reinforces the vision set forth by the Montenegro tourism development strategy 2022-2025 but also elevates the status of Kotor as a responsible tourism destination. It serves as a beacon of inspiration for the global tourism industry as a whole.”
The city of Kotor is recognized as a UNESCO world heritage site. Located in the Bay of Kotor, the city is set against a mountainous backdrop with important cultural heritage sites.
The agreement was announced during CLIA’s Port and Destination Dialogue in Hamburg. The study will start in the coming weeks and is anticipated to be completed in early 2024 in time for the summer season.