Medical tourism has the potential to evolve into a leading tourism product

Podgorica, (MINA-BUSINESS) – It was concluded at an event hosted by the Chamber of Commerce (PKCG) that medical tourism in Montenegro had good prerequisites for evolving into a leading tourism product, which depended on numerous factors such as natural resources, institutional development framework, international trends, and competitive environment.

According to a survey on the current situation in and potential for development of sustainable and medical tourism in Montenegro, presented at a meeting of the Medical Tourism Coordination Board, the development of medical tourism would enable not only the diversification of the tourism products but also a year-round tourism activity.

Chairperson of the Medical Tourism Coordination Board Marina Delic said that this survey had been carried out in cooperation with the Ministry of Science and Technological Development by the Innovation Working Group for Sustainable and Medical Tourism, a working body of the Council for Innovation and Smart Specialization, which is part of the S3 National Implementation Framework.

“This is an important endeavour, and I am happy to see that medical tourism has become one of the priority areas of smart specialization,” said Delic.

She said that the survey had been conducted for the first time in Montenegro, with the aim of obtaining data related to sustainable and medical tourism, thus further stimulating the unlocking of the full potential that Montenegro had for the development of this sector, and its comparative advantages that had been recognized as such in strategic documents.

Acting Director-General of the Directorate for Innovation and Technological Development at the Ministry of Science and Technological Development Marijeta Barjaktarovic Lanzardi stated that, in 2019, Montenegro had become the first non-EU country to have applied a completely new methodological and strategic approach to smart specialization.

She added that this approach defined how science and innovation could support its priorities and guide them in the right way.

“Sustainable and medical tourism is one of those priorities, and its implementation has been the biggest challenge throughout the process, primarily due to the COVID-19 pandemic,” said Barjaktarovic Lanzardi.

Coordinator of the Working Group for Sustainable and Health Tourism Jelena Zvizdojevic said that data was the foundation for making any decision, as without quality data, it was impossible to discuss the development of any field, including sustainable and medical tourism.

According to her, the survey was carried out from 20 February to 30 March this year, and it included all local self-governments, local tourist boards, non-governmental organizations, and chambers from the healthcare sector.

She said that medical tourism had the potential for further development in Montenegro, adding that over 80 percent of the respondents had partially or fully agreed that there were potentials for the development of medical tourism in almost all municipalities in Montenegro.