Predrag Jelušić: We Create New Tourist Activities
Bathing sports for specific visitor groups such as day-trip, family, pet-friendly, nudist bathing spots, and bathing spots for sports and recreation are going to be categorized in each coastal town.
“Even though it is small, the Montenegrin coastline is recognizable throughout the world by its uniqueness; its gorgeous coastline always takes visitors’ breath away. Our vision is to boost economic activity on the Montenegrin coastline by staying up to date on trends in tourism in other competitive Mediterranean tourist countries, focusing on creating new values and offering some new beach activities, but also preserving our coastline’s wild beauty,” says Predrag Jelušić, Manager of Public Enterprise for Coastal Zone Management in Montenegro. PE Coastal Zone Management was established in 1992 with the aim to manage the coastal zone in order to provide protection of the area and to ensure its proper adaptation and sustainable development. His accomplishments have been recognized beyond the borders of Montenegro—Jelušić has received the Best Manager in Tourism Award and he thinks of this recognition primarily as an award for the success of his team of employees who have devotedly worked on achieving ambitious aims.
Maintaining High Standards
What would you say are the greatest accomplishments of PE Coastal Zone?
– Owing to the PE Coastal Zone Management and cooperation with the non-governmental sector, international institutions and entrepreneurs whose visions relied on the experience of developed countries, without disregarding the specific features of our nature, Montenegro has managed to preserve and improve the activities it offers at its beaches, it has built new forts and seawalls, protected its cliffs, reefs and estuaries. Nowadays, more than 400 bathing spots are equipped in line with almost any international standard in beach management, and a high level of safety is ensured. Every one hundred meters there’s a lifeguard stand where more than 540 licensed lifeguards are present. The requirements we lay down include many other standards including cleanliness at all beaches. Also, 50% of available space at each bathing spot has been freed up for tourists who only need a towel and a beach umbrella to enjoy the sea and the sun. In coastal areas where there are not that many natural beaches, using the public-private partnership model PE Coastal Zone Management supports the construction of new beach areas in a recognizable Mediterranean style equipped according to the highest standards.
For years in a row, Montenegrin bathing areas have been receiving the Blue Flag award. Which part of the Montenegrin coast boasts the largest number of such beaches?
– This year, a prestigious international ecological award—the Blue Flag—is raised at 30 Montenegrin beaches. This number is really impressive considering the length of the Montenegrin coast and makes up the highest percent beaches with the Blue Flag in relation to the number of Blue Flags on the Mediterranean. However, the largest number of Blue Flag can be spotted at Budva’s beaches—as many as 13.
Which beaches would you recommend to the young people? Which beaches are family-friendly and which are pet-friendly?
– According to the 2019-2023 Sustainable Beach Management Strategy, we will provide additional categorization of bathing spots in line with tourist trends and demands. This was, we’re going to have bathing spots for specific visitor groups such as day-trip, family, pet-friendly, nudist bathing spots, and bathing spots for sports and recreation. There are going to be specific standards and requirements in terms of equipment. Nowadays, the Great Beach in Ulcinj is an ideal destination for young people and active vacation which includes kite- and wind-surfing, while the mysterious Bay of Kotor, little fishing towns and bays are the best choice for family vacations. Budva offers visitors club beaches with parties in the sand during the day and at night.
What are the must-see places in Montenegro?
– The one-of-a-kind Ada Bojana and the peace visitors can find in fishing houses along the right bank of the Bojana River, active vacation which includes kite surfing on the Great Beach, distant beaches in Budva—Drobni pijesak, Reževići, Crvena glavica within easy reach Saint Stephen Islet, Saint Nicholas Island and Jaz Beach, which is impossible to avoid, and cruising round the Bay of Kotor and exploring the small romantic beaches and islands rich in cultural and historic heritage.
What nook on the Montenegrin coast do you personally find most appealing?
– The lovely little beaches and bays, mostly on Saint Nicholas Island in Budva and in the Bay of Kotor, but also the long sandy beaches of Ulcinj.
PE Coastal Zone Management has been monitoring seawater quality since 1996. Results of the tests examining the quality of seawater at 100 public bathing spots areas along the Montenegrin coast conducted by the Institute for Water Biology from Kotor for PE Coastal Zone Management have shown that seawater at bathing spots in Montenegro is of exceptional quality this season too. It is safe to drink, and it is also safe for swimming and recreational activities. Seawater quality along the entire coast has significantly improved in the past few years, and to a considerable extent, the reason for this lies in the fact that sewage infrastructure and wastewater treatment plants have been built in almost every coastal town.