1689611545 This small Mediterranean country is exploding in popularity with American | phillipspacc

This small Mediterranean country is exploding in popularity with American tourists


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Mediterranean Europe has once again become the playing field for world tourism now that air traffic is reaching pre-crisis levels, and more Americans are feeling the rush to go abroad.

It’s no surprise that countries like France, Italy, Spain and, most recently, Croatia are taking the lead in booking trends, as they’ve always been incredibly popular destinations, but 2023 is seeing an unexpected spark in interest in lesser-known places among vacationers

In fact, American travelers now flock to a beautiful southern country that seemed to have been ignored for years, and it seems that it could be Europe’s next hotspot:

View of the town of Perast, a small medieval town in the Bay of Kotor, from across the promenade, Montenegro, South Eastern Europe, Balkan Peninsula

Tourism in Montenegro is on the rise

Montenegro has always been one of the obscure and least promoted destinations in Europe. After all, it is a small country covering an area of ​​13,812 km², bordered by Croatia, as well as Bosnia and Herzegovina and Serbia to the north and northeast, and Albania to the south.

Throughout its history, Montenegro has been closely linked to its post-Yugoslav neighborsmost notably Serbia, from which it formally ceded only in the late 2000s, becoming one of the youngest sovereign states in Europe, followed only by Kosovo.

However, since its independence in 2006, it has risen to stardom as a major center for tourism in the southeast of the continent, rapidly developing a tourist area along its not-so-extensive, but gorgeous adriatic coastand features on all major Mediterranean cruise itineraries.

View of the city of Kotor and the Bay of Kotor from the top of the Kotor fortress, Montenegro, Mediterranean Europe, Adriatic coast

In recent years, Montenegro’s off-the-beaten-track appeal has also caught up with American tourists, who had found in Croatia the real-life representation of their favorite TV hits and the laid-back, slow-paced lifestyle they craved, until that Croatia become too crowdedand expensive for a sunny getaway.

Montenegro is not far behind either, being a small nation of only 600,000 inhabitants, which receives more than 2 million tourists. annualmainly during the summer period, but it is still nowhere near worrying rates of overtourism from its famous neighbor and post-euro price hikes.

Montenegro fits all budgets

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Picturesque Adriatic village on the shores of the Adriatic Sea, Montenegro, South Eastern Europe, Balkan Peninsula

Montenegro’s main tourist destination, the Bay of Kotor, is famous for its picturesque towns in southern Dalmatia, with Perast and Herceg Novi often appearing on the covers of travel brochures, as well as the city of Kotora walled medieval port similar to Dubrovnik in both culture and character, but less crowded.

Amid the global economic downturn, travelers are becoming more ‘price sensitive’, and privilege destinations that offer better value for money. With the newly euroized economy of Croatia and Western Europe in general becoming more expensive to visit, Montenegro has become a more attractive alternative.

Of course, euros are used in Montenegro, although the country itself is not a member of the European Union, and its adoption of the currency was one-sided and strongly condemned by formal eurozone members, but the cost of living is less burdensome.

Tourist woman observing the island Sveti Stefan Resort in Montenegro, in the Adriatic section of the Mediterranean sea, South Eastern Europe, Balkan Peninsula

On average, the monthly expenses of a single person in Budva, a coastal resort town in Montenegro, average US$695.90 per month no rent.

While this mainly applies to residents, and not tourists on a short-term visit, it gives us valuable insight into daily spending and consumer prices across the country: Budva is one of the best developed in Montenegro and most expensive towns.

Based on non-peer-reviewed data collected by numbering, consumer prices on the Montenegrin coast are 14% lower than in Dubrovnik, Croatia, even though both nations have the same currency in circulation. The restaurants are up to par. 24.5% cheaper so are groceries (11.9%).

It’s not that hard to find affordable accommodation, either, with three-star hotel rooms, bungalows, modest private villas further inland, and B&B stays ranging from US$25 to US$86 per night. Hostels are even cheaper, starting at just US$13.

Clock Tower inside Stari Grad. Kotor Montenegro

You can definitely go cheap in Montenegro, but if luxury is a non-negotiable, you should definitely be prepared to splurge.

It is growing in popularity as an emerging luxury haven, with exciting new openings taking place before each tourist season and an extensive list of five-star properties for high-end clients to visit. choose from.

Overnight stays at all-inclusive resorts in the Bay of Kotor can cost as much as $546 during the summer.

The main conclusion here is: Montenegro fits all budgets.

43% increase in demand among Americans

blue water and city in spila montenegro beach

In a recent study published by the European Travel Commission, which tracks travel trends across Europe, data up to May 2023 shows that most value-for-money destinations are doing well.

These include Serbia, with a 27% increase in demand, the increasingly modern Bulgaria (21%) and then Montenegro in third place (12%).

As Montenegro is the just one of the above to border the Mediterraneanas Serbia is landlocked and Bulgaria sits on the shores of the Black Sea, it is ranked highest Mediterranean ranking destination.

Perhaps most surprising, looking at the ‘substantial growth’ in arrivals from the United States, Montenegro was once again the third most sought after destinationwith a year-on-year increase of 43%, behind only Portugal with 79%, and the Eurasian giant Türkiye (78%).

Montenegrin flag fluttering in the wind on a flagpole on the small island of Our Lady of the Rocks, Bay of Kotor, Montenegro, South Eastern Europe

Along with Serbia, the only Balkan country that hosts year-round non-stop flights from the United States, and Türkiye, Montenegro is one of the best-performing European countries that non-members of the European Union (EU).

This is particularly relevant given that transatlantic flights to non-EU European countries are a rarity, with the exception of Serbia and Türkiye, and that when traveling to Montenegro, Americans must inevitably transit through a third country that receives American flights. , So it is harder to reach.

Unless, of course, they are visiting on a cruise.

Either way, there’s no denying that more Americans are making every effort to visit this magnificent European destination, and it’s now clear that the ‘affordability’ factor plays a big part in reviving Montenegro’s tourism.

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This article originally appeared on TravelOffPath.com