Wednesday, March 21, 2007


Beautiful country, great coast, great mountains, nice people. One of the major incomes of the country is based on tourism, to develop tourism, Montenegro invested a fortune to CNN ads, expected number of tourists this year is 1.1. million, almost double of its population. Montenegro is inviting people (customers) to the country “but” forgetting some basic rules.

I am approaching to this matter purely on management and marketing point of view, through my experience.

Before coming to Montenegro I was living in Romania and I have a lot of friends in Romania as well as in my country, Turkey. They all want to visit Montenegro after hearing the things I tell them and seeing the beautiful pictures I sent to them.

Yes, they want to come, but how? They need a visa, since Montenegro is the youngest republic in our world, there aren’t Embassies yet. As a matter of fact I do not think that it would be feasible to open embassies in 193 countries when I consider the costs.

So, how are those people whom we invited through advertising on which we spent a lot of money, will be able to come either as a tourist to spend money or as a businessman who will invest?

OK, the ones I know get their visas because the ministry is very cooperative, but what about the ones who does not know anybody in the country?

A friend of mine for whom I got a visa that should be given in the airport, arrived a few days ago. Since the custom’s officer in the airport did not have receipts for the payments we had to go to a Bank which is 2 km away the airport but unfortunately the bank was closing after 14:00h. So, we went back, explained the situation and a very helpful officer said that if we paid him the amount he would deposit it to the bank. THIS IS WHAT IS CALLED A GOOD CUSTOMER SERVICE. (By the way I am sure that it was done because my friend collected the receipt from the office on the way out.)

Please, be careful, Montenegro is loosing customers and do not forget, one unhappy customer tells his experience to 10 potential customers. Also, to gain back a lost customer costs seven times more compared to gain a new customer.

My suggestion would be to issue visas at the entry point by the immigration officers who are properly equipped and informed.