On the International Danube Day (June 29, 2017), the International Conference 'Sustainable Tourism Development in the Danube Region - New Perspectives' , was held in Belgrade, organized by Ministry of Trade, Tourism and Telecommunications of Serbia, World Tourism Organization (UNWTO), German Society for International Cooperation (GIZ) and the Danube Competence Center (DCC). In addition to the representatives of Serbia, it was attended also by the guests from Bulgaria, Romania, Slovenia, Montenegro, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Macedonia, Hungary, Slovakia, Moldova, Austria and other countries.
Opening the Conference with the objective of laying the policy and strategic groundwork for the development of joint sustainable tourism products and marketing platforms in the Danube Region, Mr. Rasim Ljajić, Deputy Prime Minister of the Government of Serbia and the Minister of Trade, Tourism and Telecommunications of Serbia, points out for Serbia "The Danube is one of the three top priority destinations with the highest possible potential, not only within tourism, but also the economic development of all districts, regions and cities, through which the Danube flows. More than 40 localities at the entire Danube course are under UNESCO protection and more than 30 National Parks, which makes the Danube 'The European Amazon'. Mr. Ljajić also announced the construction of three new harbors at the Danube during this year.
All Conference attendees, led by Mr.Taleb Rifai, UNWTO Secretary-General, highlighted the need "To work hard on the infrastructure advancement, in order to let the Danube become the cooperation symbol among the regional countries. The Danube is a huge potential that should be used by Serbia". It was also discussed about the development of sustainability skills, transnational cooperation, innovations and strategies, investments and promotion of the Danube region at other markets.
At the Conference with the key issues "Investing in People - Bridging the Skills Gap", "Development and Promotion of the Danube Transnational Tourism Products" and "Bringing Heritage to Life through the Creative Industries", the key challenge issues faced by the tourism sector at the Danube were also discussed, the investment attracting methods, the tourism influence on the new jobs creation, how to promote the local culture, how to develop the supply chains, connecting manufacturers, consumers and tourism resorts.
Looking at the data showing the tourism that participates in the global economics with about 10% in the global GDP that more than a billion and 250 million tourists travel all over the world, that tourism participates with 30% of service exports in the world, that each eleventh employee in the world is employed in the tourism branch, Ms. Marija Labović, CEO of the National Tourism Organization of Serbia (NTOS), points out "This is the right moment to turn attention to the importance of sustainable tourism for Serbian tourism. And as regarding the Danube potential, Serbia does not use it as much as it could. We know many cruisers come to Serbia and pass through it. And we should motivate those tourists to extend their staying".
The Conference form part was also signing of Private Sector Commitment to the Global Code of Ethics, signed under presence of Mr. Taleb Rifai and Ms. Renata Pindžo, Assistant Minister of Trade, Tourism and Telecommunications of Serbia also by the representatives of YUTA, HORES and several most important hotels in Serbia. The Conference attendees visited also the Court Complex in Belgrade, sailed on the Danube visiting the Golubac Fortress, Donji Milanovac, the locality Lepenski Vir and other locations.
Ministry of Trade, Tourism and Telecommunications
Department of tourism