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Improvement of waterway passenger traffic in the Republic of Serbia

Tatjana Matić, Minister of Trade, Tourism and Telecommunications – article for the fifth newsletter "Ports&Marinas"

The fact that the European inland waterway network has been actively used by a fleet of almost two million vessels, starting from rowing boats, sailing boats and large motor yachts, speaks in favour of the need for a systematic and planned approach to this activity.
The upward development trend of nautical tourism in recent decades is a reliable indication that the market is showing increasing interest in the most attractive tourist locations on river banks and in the coastal hinterland. The assumption is that in the forthcoming period, the demand for nautical tourism products and services within the entire European Danube region will continue to increase so Serbia needs to be more significantly involved in this market and take an active part. This primarily refers to investing in infrastructure and superstructure which will provide conditions for receiving and serving the needs of individual vessels, which are increasingly present in our sector of the Danube. In addition, in order to improve this tourist product, it is also necessary to provide charters (rent-a-boat service), which are quite poorly represented in our country.

For these reasons, in accordance with the Action Plan of the Strategy, The Ministry of Trade, Tourism and Telecommunications has started to revive the nautical economy in the Republic of Serbia through investment programs that stimulate activities to rebuild the existing and build new nautical and supporting infrastructure and superstructure as an important segment in our country's nautical offer. This primarily refers to the more intensive expansion of the network of marinas, piers and moorings for recreational (individual) vessels, as well as the completion of existing and the opening of new international passenger terminals.

Further activities are certainly aimed at improving the competitiveness of nautical tourism in Serbia on the international market, which would provide positioning of nautical products and platforms for activities in the field of international cooperation with the countries of the Danube region.

Activities to improve waterway passenger traffic in our country are based on the Memorandum of Understanding in the field of nautical tourism in inland waterways, signed by the Ministry of Trade, Tourism and Telecommunications and the Port Governance Agency, which recognizes the importance of investing in construction and opening new international passenger terminals and marinas.

The complete text of Minister Tatjana Matić will be published in the sixth annual Bulletin of the Port Governance Agency.