Tourism with double-digit growth rate

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In the three quarters of 2015, the number of tourists in Macedonia is increased by 11.2 percents. The data of the State Statistical Office show that in the period from January to September this year, the country registered 5.6 percents more domestic visitors and 15.4 percents more foreign visitors. In nine months, Macedonia was visited by total of 672 thousand 286 tourists, writes Lider.

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At the same time, encouraged by the fact that tourists are retained in the country in the long term, signal that enrich the tourist offer, hence the number of overnight stays in the first nine months of this year increased by 9.1 percents, with positive 13.4 percents the part of foreign tourists.

What was the growth movement this year?

The first month of the year began with increase in the number of tourists by 6.4 percents compared to the same period last year, for the next month already achieved growth of 9%. Followed in March, the month in which was registered a minimal decline, in April to note powerful growth of 17.6%. The number of tourists in May increased by 7.4%, in June to have positive of just 1%, according to well-informed as result of developments in Kumanovo “Divo Naselje”, which contributed part of the arrangements to be canceled. Fear of the tourism sector that the season could collapse proved to be misplaced. As a result of the rapid reaction of the Government and measures taken to restore the country’s image as safe tourist destination, Macedonia continued high rates of growth, and to finalize more than successful summer season.

One of the most successful seasons in summer centers

Ohrid, Struga, Prespa and Dojran left behind one of the most successful tourist seasons. The increased number of tourists and bring increased revenues, and now measure winter season.

-In the summer tourist season exceeded the number of overnight stays last year, despite several troubles. We started to make preparations for the new season, and sold and arrangements for the New Year holidays. We believe that Ohrid and Struga will be well met the holidays, says the president of Hotham, Krste Blazeski.

-We as local government are committed to continuously popularization of promotional and other activities that enrich the tourist offer and bring more visitors. It slowly works. The number of guests coming in Ohrid constantly increasing and expanding the list of countries from which tourists come, said the Mayor of Ohrid, Nikola Bakracheski.

The government continues its policy of subsidizing

For 8 years the number of tourists is increased by 100% fantastic. Macedonia was promoted as a hit destination. Subsidies and cheap flights have increased interest, investments in new facilities in infrastructure improvements.

-We pretty much invested in promotion, giving subsidies for tour operators and new airlines, but investing in new content in whatever they need to tourists and that could draw their attention, in order to choose Macedonia as their tourist destination. We will continue our efforts and what we have promised. We have investments in tourism, said the Prime Minister Gruevski.

The Government decided to continue with the measures are working. Next year will increase subsidies to attract tourists from 25 to 65 euro for guests from Israel, Italy, France, Spain, Austria.

-We believe that with these decisions of the Government to increase subsidies to attract tourists from foreign countries will resume positive and continuous growth of tourism and other branches associated with it, especially if we consider that the analysis made by the operators of these countries, there are serious possibilities that we will have growth in the number of tourists from countries that increase subsidies, explained spokesperson Aleksandar Gjorgjiev.

Subsidies have already been given for the Benelux countries, Scandinavia, Russia, Ukraine, UAE, Japan, China, India, and the countries of the region.

The whole set of measures, from the tourist zones to cheap flights to the reduction of VAT for tourism, modernization of airports, are positioning Macedonia on the world tourist map.

-With the decision to subsidize the flights of low-cost companies, Macedonia with direct connections is connected to major cities in Europe and the world, while it was bitter problem recruiting tourists from big cities, explains Sonja Bibanovska from the Association of Hospitality and Tourism the Economic Chamber of Macedonia.

In accordance with the Strategy for Tourism Development to 2020, projections are tourism revenue to reach 5% of GDP.