ECONOMY

New state sees rise in tourism

PODGORICA – Montenegro expects the 2007 tourism season, its first since becoming independent last year, to be its best one yet with an estimated 1.1 million tourists flocking to its azure beaches, officials suggested. Tourism makes up some 10 percent of Montenegro’s GDP, which posted growth of 8.2 percent in 2006. According to forecasts made by the World Tourism and Travel Council (WTTC), tourism is expected to generate some -508 million this year, rising to -1.8 billion in 10 years’ time. «We are on our way to breaking last year’s record by 10 percent,» Sasa Radovic from Montengro’s National Tourist Organization (NTO) told reporters, declining to give a revenue forecast. The increase would make the season Montenegro’s best since 1991, when war broke out following the breakup of Yugoslavia and put Montenegro off limits for international tourists. The nation of some 650,000, the world’s youngest independent republic, has attracted great investor interest, especially in tourism and real estate, since voting to leave its union with Serbia in May 2006.