The now gone 2019 was more than successful for the Tourism Organization of Vojvodina. In addition to numerous events both at home and abroad, the Days of Vojvodina were organized in Budapest, Pula, Timisoara, Belgrade, Bijeljina and Trebinje. The Days of Vojvodina represent a very significant form of promotion of the tourist offer of AP Vojvodina, primarily because of the direct contact with potential visitors and the opportunity to taste the Vojvodina gastronomy on the spot. Within this event, numerous media campaigns were executed, contacts were signed with key tourism entities, all with the aim of better presenting Vojvodina on the wider tourist market.
The successful promotion of Vojvodina certainly speaks to the increase in the number of visitors. Namely, according to the official data of the Statistical Office of the Republic, the total increase in the number of overnight stays in the first ten months of this year is 4.8%, while the increase in the number of overnight stays by foreign tourists is 9.9%, compared to the previous year. The most visited cities in Vojvodina are Novi Sad and Subotica, while Sombor recorded a record increase in the number of visitors this year compared to the previous year.
What we consider crucial in the year behind us is certainly the opening of a modern Tourist Info Center in January this year. The province has a modern, authentic space, which has become a meeting point for tourists and businesses in Vojvodina, but also a place where tourists can get acquainted with the current tourist offer of Vojvodina. The info center has hosted numerous press conferences and presentations so far. According to statistics kept by Info Center employees, the number of visitors is increasing month after month. Most of the visitors are domestic tourists. When it comes to visits of foreign tourists by country of origin, most come from Germany, followed by China, Russian Federation, United Kingdom, Turkey, Croatia, France … There is also a significant number of tourist visits from far non-European countries, such as New Zealand, Argentina, India, Australia, Philippines, Ghana, USA. Visitors to the Info Center show the most interest in Vojvodina farms, cycling routes, active vacations and wineries. Apart from Novi Sad, they most often choose to visit Vrsac, Subotica, Sombor. Vojvodina specialties leave a special impression on visitors.
As we live in the age of digitalization and modern technologies, it is of great importance to adapt the business to the contemporary market requirements, which is what the Tourist Organization did. For this reason, the Vojvodina Tourism Organization has created a new web portal, www.vojvodina.travel with contemporary design, with numerous features, which enable visitors to find and obtain adequate information related to the tourist offer of AP Vojvodina. This portal gives the user the opportunity to easily and simply get acquainted with various forms of tourism in Vojvodina, natural and cultural values, accommodation, events, as well as current projects in the field of tourism and activities taking place in this field. In addition to the functionality it provides to its users, www.vojvodina.travel also contains new services that will improve the business of the Tourism Organization of Vojvodina. Certainly the most important service is a webinar, which in the coming period will enable the holding of online conferences, seminars, lectures, trainings, presentations, regardless of the spatial distance of the participants. The other service is the Document Management System, which is a very important segment of modern business, when it comes to digitalization. This service will enable business processes to be automated.
What is very important for the improvement of the tourist offer of AP Vojvodina are the projects of cross-border co-operation, within which unique tourist products are formed, which transcend borders, which is especially important from the point of view of today’s modern tourists. In October this year, ViCTour project was successfully completed, which was done in cooperation with the Vukovar-Srijem County, the Vukovar-Srijem County Tourist Board, the European Affairs Fund and the Faculty of Economics in Subotica. This project developed the area of Srem on the Serbian side and Srijem on the Croatian side, and within the project a marketing plan, promo film, holograms, augmented and virtual reality interactive totems, a multimedia guide, an e-book, educations of key stakeholders were created. Another such project, where the Tourism Organization of Vojvodina is a leading partner, is the IDENTIS project, which is being implemented with Hungary’s Csongrád County, with the aim of improving the tourist offer, cultural and natural values in the municipalities along the Tisa River, both from the Serbian and from the Hungarian side. Many projects and seminars have been held in both countries so far. A strategy has been drawn up, which contains, among other things, proposals for routes to visit the area in both countries, in order to form a unique tourism product that will be recognizable in the wider tourism market.
One of the most important events this year was certainly the participation of the Tourism Organization of Vojvodina at the annual general meeting and thematic conference of “NECSTour” networks in Santa Cruz, Tenerife. Namely, the Tourism Organization of Vojvodina is a full member of the network of sustainable regions “NECSTour”, since 2017 and is the only member of this network that is not part of the European Union. This network is significant as evidenced by the fact that NECSTouR network includes regions such as Andalusia, Catalonia, Sardinia, Emilia Romagna, Istria and many others. In this regard, the next NECSTouR Strategic Event will be held in Novi Sad, with the Provincial Government and the Tourism Organization of Vojvodina as hosts. The topic of the event will be “A Better Place to Live, Better Places to Visit” within the European Capital of Culture 2021 and the Youth Capital of Europe 2019. The aim of the event is to apply this topic as a means to address the case study: Capital of Culture – before, during and after this thematic event. This includes promotion of principles, examples of good practice at the destination and more extensive dialogue on the cultural heritage of the destination.
AP Vojvodina has gained a significant place on the European and world tourist map in recent years and has become a recognizable attractive tourist destination, which offers numerous opportunities for holidays. The success was achieved through the joint action of all key entities, starting with the role of the state, Provincial institutions, tourist organizations, local governments, the private sector and all other key actors. We would like to take this opportunity to thank all our colleagues and business associates for successful cooperation in order to bring us more business success and looking forward to even more successful cooperation in the coming 2020.
Merry Christmas and Happy New Year !
Natasa Pavlovic PhD, General Manager, Tourism Organization of Vojvodina
And the team of the Tourism Organization of Vojvodina