We are taking big steps towards the jubilee year of 2023, the year in which the 20th anniversary of the existence and work of the Tourism Organization of Vojvodina will be celebrated. Behind us are numerous promotions in the country and abroad, fairs, conferences, promotional campaigns, cross-border cooperation projects, excellent cooperation with tourist entities, organizations, public state and provincial institutions, media, which together with us contributed to Vojvodina being recognized as an attractive tourist destination on the wider tourist market. We are proud of the fact that tourism in Vojvodina is no longer a potential success, as was the case 20 years ago, and today we are already talking about tourist products that are recognized by both domestic and foreign tourists. That tourism in Vojvodina is on an upward trajectory is also evidenced by the data of the Statistical Office of the Republic of Serbia for the first ten months of this year, where an increase in the total number of arrivals in the AP Vojvodina by 62.2% and an increase in the total number of overnight stays by 29.7 % compared to the same period of the previous year is recorded. The increase in the number of foreign tourist arrivals in the same period is as much as 124.8% compared to the first ten months of the previous year, which indicates the fact that Vojvodina is recognized as an attractive tourist destination on the foreign market as well.
This year was marked by numerous promotional activities of the Tourism Organization of Vojvodina, all aimed at better positioning and increasing the competitiveness of Vojvodina on the tourist market. Since the beginning of the year, the Tourism Organization of Vojvodina has participated at the International Tourism Fair in Budapest, Belgrade, Banja Luka, Bratislava, Lukavac, Bijeljina, London, Novi Sad and Kragujevac, as well as in the event Tour de Fruška in Vrdnik, Vinofest in Vršac, Days of Tourism in Niš, and World Tourism Day in Ada Ciganlija. In 2022, the Tourism Organization of Vojvodina took part in numerous conferences, "Vojvodina in 2022", "Summer 2022", "Youth and Heritage - Tradition and Future in the Cross-border Region - HERINFUTUR", "FITA 2022" in Tunisia, "FoodTalk 2022 ", a study trip to Southern Styria, the Tourist Forum of Serbia, the Vojvodina Tourism Summit, the "Open Balkans" Summit, the Danube Business Forum, the Belgrade Tourist and MICE Forum. The Days of Vojvodina event was organized in Budapest, Banja Luka, Trebinje, Bijeljina, Timisoara, Ljubljana and Portorož.
In october, the Tourism Organization of Vojvodina, in cooperation with the Provincial Government, the Municipality of Irig and the Association of Winemakers, organized a promotional tour for the media to announce the Fruška Gora wine walk event Walk & Wine 2023, the organization of which is scheduled for 2023. The event was organized on the territory of the municipality of Irig. It is an event that will unite wine tourism and active vacations and contribute to the improvement of tourism on Mt. Fruška Gora.
In 2022, the Vojvodina Lunch - the Irresistible Tastes of the Flatlands campaign continued, the aim of which is to brand the unique gastronomic offer of Vojvodina and increase the competitiveness of the province's tourist products on the wider tourist market. As a continuation of the campaign, a second printed exclusive edition of Vojvodina lunch cookbook was created, where traditional Vojvodina cuisine is presented in an inspiring and creative way, suggesting locations where you can enjoy it. The web portal is part of the mentioned campaign www.vojvodjanskirucak.com - it actually represents a comprehensive database of catering establishments on the territory of AP Vojvodina, where you can enjoy authentic Vojvodina food. The portal also contains recipes for idishes of Vojvodina cuisine.
Since the beginning of this year, the Tourism Organization of Vojvodina has been a participant in the COSME project, called SMARTER AOE, whose goal is to introduce innovation and digitalization in the sector of small and medium-sized enterprises in tourism, all through transnational cooperation. The projected duration of the project is 30 months, while the partners in the project are Iskriva - Slovenia (the leading partner in the project), Result d.o.o - Slovenia, Mura Tehcnology Park - Slovenia, Business Incubator BIOS doo - Croatia, West Pannon - Hungary, Institute for Strategic Studies and Forecasts - Montenegro, the Association of Hotel Industry of Romania - Romania, and Bulgaria - Romanian Chamber of Commerce - Bulgaria. The project complements the results of the European AoE Bike Trail and Amazing AoE projects, which together try to improve the socio-economic situation of the European Amazon (AoE), a tourist destination in the area of UNESCO biosphere reserve, in 5 countries, through which the Mura, Drava and Danube rivers flow, and where SMEs in tourism face a lack of cooperation, digital skills and opportunities for innovation. The project will encourage digitalization and innovation that will result in better efficiency and quality of services, higher revenues and a smaller environmental footprint, enabling tourism SMEs to grow and innovate despite limited resources.
The two decades of existence of the Tourism Organization of Vojvodina have been marked by numerous activities for the promotion and improvement of AP Vojvodina offer to tourists. In the coming year, numerous activities are planned, the promotion of offers to tourists at fairs in the country and abroad, the organization of Vojvodina Day, the continuation of the Vojvodina Lunch campaign, the organization of "Fruška Gora Wine Walks 2023", participation in cross-border cooperation projects, numerous campaigns in digital format, and numerous other promotional activities, all aimed at increasing awareness of this part of Serbia. We expect further work on the awareness, creation, enrichment of tourist products, harmonization with contemporary trends in tourism as well as the principles of sustainability.
We face numerous challenges in the field of improving tourism in the Province, but the synchronized action of all factors, both from the public and private sectors, is key to increasing the quality of the tourist offer, increasing the visibility of the Province's tourism products, and better positioning Vojvodina as a tourist destination on the wider tourist market. Therefore, with the synergy of all actors, support, and understanding, we can contribute to the improvement of Vojvodina's offer to tourists and increase the competitiveness of the Province's tourist products.
The director of the Tourism Organization of Vojvodina, Nataša Pavlović PhD and the team of the Tourism Organization of Vojvodina wish you a merry Christmas and happy New Year!