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Year X special edition, 2016 free copy www.nacionalnarevija.com 

TOURISM 2016 Where you have not been yet


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P R O L O G U E CROSSROADS OF THE MODERN PHILOSOPHY OF TRAVELING Publisher “Princip Pres” Cetinjska 6, 11000 Belgrade Tel.: +381 (11) 322 70 34, 322 16 92 www.nacionalnarevija.com princip.press@gmail.com Director and Editor-in-Chief Mišo Vujović Editor Branislav Matić Technical Editor Aleksandar Ćosić Photography Editor Dragan Bosnić Header and cover design Jovan Željko Rajačić Associates Milovan Vitezović, jerej Jovan Plamenac, Bojan Mandić, Dragan Lakićević, Nebojša Jevrić, Olga Vukadinović, Jovo Bajić, Dejan Bulajić, Petar Milatović, Vlada Arsić, Dejan Đorić, Đorđe Srbulović, Mihail Kulačić, Milena Z. Bogavac, Rozana Sazdić, Vojislav Filipović, Saša Šarković, Zoran Plavšić, Hristina Plamenac, Dragana Barjaktarević

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Personality

t’s not bad to have someone to organize your trip. A professional who’ll take care of papers, time, logistics, fulfilling everything that has been agreed (and paid). Someone who indicates the best possibilities and gives creative suggestions. Who is always there if things go wrong and who will spare you from endless roaming and painful mistakes. However, that is perhaps the crucial crossroad of the modern philosophy of traveling. The one where we separate into real travelers and tourists. “Please, be a traveler, not a tourist”, warned Andrew Zimmern already in 1961. “Experience new things, get to know new people and cities and landscapes, feel them, watch behind what’s posing in front of you. These are keys to understanding the world we live in, including ourselves.”

Translated by Sandra Gagić & “Globe Translations“

Secretariat and placement Dragana Dimitrijević, Milenko Vasilić Print “Portal”, Belgrade Office for Srpska “Princip Pres RS” Nikole Pašića 1, 78000 Banjaluka Tel/Fax: +387 (51) 304 360 Office for Australia “Princip Press Australia PTY LTD”, 12/24 Loch Street, 3182 St Kilda West, VIC

Cover page: Spa Center in Vrnjačka Banja (Photo: “Merkur”) Magazine registered in the Register of Public Media of the Republic Serbia, no. NV000385

CIP - Каталогизација у публикацији Народна библиотека Србије, Београд ISSN 1452-8371 = Serbia - National Review COBISS.SR-ID 139201804

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Photo: R. Tamindžić

Marketing Mirko Vujović

Don’t allow yourself to take a turn on the crossroad and end up in a passive flock running after a raised green umbrella of their guideshepherd, squeezing through a crowd of people on a square, center of world tourism. It is a point where personality ends and mass begins. Where the charm and alchemy of traveling ends and tourism confectionary and industry begins. The phenomenon is not technical or external, it’s psychological and internal. In terms of value. “Traveling is more joyful with less luggage”, Saint-Exupery used to say. It’s more important to prepare yourself, not your suitcases, for the journey. Today, when everything is two or three clicks away, it’s very easy. Go to new lands prepared. Take as much as it is necessary from the organizer of the trip, but don’t give them yourself, don’t allow them to be the ideologist of your time. Step out of the flock, let new lands echo in you. In this special edition, National Review is taking us to unusual places, from Victoria Falls to Dead Sea, from Como Lake to Cambodia. Even when traveling to familiar places, we took unusual roads, led by the words of St. Augustine: “Life is a book, and those who don’t travel are reading only one page.” 

SRBIJA  SPECIJALNO IZDAWE  2016.


CONTENTS Panorama 04 PROLOGUE: PERSONALITY 06 ALBUM: TAMED SHREWS

Road Sign 12 FRAME: FAIR 2016 16 HOST: MARIJA LABOVIĆ 20 WELCOME: TOS 24 CITY PROFILE: TOB 28 CATALOGUE: THE OFFER OF SRPSKA 34 VISIT: LISBON 40 DESTINATIONS: COMO LAKE 46 JOURNAL: CRUISING THE MEDITERRANEAN 52 FLOW: VICTORIA FALLS 58 WORLDS: THE DEAD SEA 64 FAR EAST: CAMBODIA

Introducing 72 CONNECTIONS: CITIES TALKING ABOUT THEMSELVES 76 NETWORK: BALKAN ALLIANCE OF HOTEL ASSOCIATIONS 80 RECOMMENDATION: INSTITUTE FOR SPORTS, BELGRADE 84 VENTURES: VRNJAČKA BANJA, THE CITY OF SPORTS 86 LEADERS: DEJAN STANOJEVIĆ 90 ANGLE: “SLAVIJA HOTELS” 92 KNOWLEDGE: BELGRADE BUSINESS SCHOOL 96 STUDIES: “SINGIDUNUM” UNIVERSITY

Partners of the Publication:

INSTITUTION OF STUDENTS VACATION BELGRADE

MUNICIPALITY OF РУМА

VRNJAČKA BANJA

THE BELGRADE BUSINESS SCHOOL

Media partners: RTS - PUBLIC SERVICE OF SERBIA

RTV VOJVODINA - PUBLIC SERVICE

NEWSPAPER SERBIAN PATRIARCHY

THIS MAGAZINE IS PRINTED WITH SUPPORT FROM THE MINISTRY OF CULTURE SERBIA  SPECIAL EDITION  2016

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A L B U M

Photo: Nikola Jovandić

THE NINTH “SERBIAN TROPHY” ON KOPAONIK

Tamed Shrews

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achines are roaring. They summon one another as wolves in the mountain. One bends on the saddle like a caterpillar on the edge of a leaf. The second is hanging on a slope as if on the spider web. The third is bouncing like a rabbit and rushing through muddy furrows. Fresh mud is bursting all over. Suddenly it seems like nothing can be seen through the the window and that this is the end. That even wipers can help. You wait for tumbling, wait for a crash. The machine roars and rushes forward with new determination. These are all powerful and well-prepared machines. Excellent jeeps. Behind the wheels are people who know how to operate such power, and they would not let them derail and be destructive. Our camera is capturing images. “Džipijada” on Kopaonik in 2015 brought together one hundred and thirty crews, as many as sixty foreign. They competed in driving off-road vehicles in three categories: “hard”, ”soft” and “tourist”. It was not easy. On the third and last day, only ten crews remained in “hard” category, and only twelve in “soft”. Serbs and Slovaks were the best. Serbian drivers won the first and second place in “hard” category, Slovakian were the third. Slovaks were the first in “soft” category, and Serbs were second and third. And there was a lot of socializing, sharing experiences and plans for 2016. Everybody took positive impressions and enthusiasm around Kopaonik. “I am always touched at how our peoples, at a deeper level, are similar. If not the same”, says Jaroslav, a Czech. “Names, the vertical, kind of humor, the ideals of justice and freedom. Gatherings on various occasions should be organized as often as possible, even on occasions like this. We should get to know one another as best possible and deal more seriously with our distant past. See, for example, the film Slovenian Apostles.“ (B. M.) s

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F R A M E W O R K

TOURISM FAIR IN BELGRADE, THE BEST STARTING PLACE FOR TRAVEL

Where You Have not Been Yet

This high ranking multimedia event will bring together, for the thirty-eighth time, reputable tourist operators, experts and numerous visitors. As many as 1,153 exhibitors from 53 countries will present their culture, natural beauty and tourist products. The partner country is Slovenia, while Namibia and Malaysia are here for the first time. Accompanying events and fairs will again include the fair of hotel and restaurant equipment, wine and souvenirs

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nternational Tourism Fair in Belgrade, the largest and most important tourism event in Southeast Europe, is an indispensable starting point for people from the tourism industry and visitors. For thirty eight years, at a high professional level in business, attracting increasing number of exhibitors and visitors, the

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SRBIJA  SPECIJALNO IZDAWE  2016.

Fair sets and breaks its own records, satisfying the needs of all participants. With the growth trend in all parameters – from the perspective of organization, content and business, through the closed business deals, to the number of visitors to – the international character and significance of this Tourism Fair is being reconfirmed.


An increasing number of exhibitors and visitors are coming from all parts of the world, with a desire to attend this unique event. This year, under the slogan “Where have you not been yet?”, from February 18 to 21, in six halls of “Belgrade Fair”, it will gather the largest domestic and international tourist organizations, agencies, tour operators, airlines, hotel representatives, mountain resorts, spa resorts , lakes, cities, regions and countries from all continents. As many as 1,153 exhibitors from 53 countries of the world will present their culture and natural beauty. Through attractive programs, the visitors will be first offered early booking arrangements for the upcoming tourist season. In addition to longtime participants and exhibitors that adjust their business activities with this event, new participants and new countries are joining every year. The partner country of the thirty eighth Belgrade Tourism Fair is Slovenia. Under the slogan “Green. Active. Healthy”, it will present its diversity that fascinates tourists: developed mountain resorts, coastal towns, famous thermal spas, congress tourism capacities... Many opportunities for business people and families, especially for lovers of active holidays, in all seasons. This year again, Greece, Egypt, Macedonia, Turkey, Bulgaria, Croatia, Montenegro (...), as well as some faraway countries like Brazil or Indonesia will traditionally promote their tourist offer. New countries at this year’s Tourism Fair are Namibia and Malaysia, countries of great tourism potential and attractions, rich cultures,

Schedule and prices Schedule of events is: Thursday (February 18) from 10:00 to 18:00 h, Friday (February 19) and Saturday (February 20) from 10:00 to 19:00 h, Sunday (February 21) from 10:00 to 17:00 h. Individual tickets price is 300 RSD, and for group visits it is 200 RSD per person.

fascinating geographical diversity and untamed nature, exotic species vegetation and animals. ENCHANTING FROM SERBIA One of the main goals of the event is to present Serbia itself, its traditions and hospitality, natural resources, cultural wealth and attractive tourist destinations with a variety of amenities for relaxation, fun, recuperation, sport, recreation, adventure... Traditionally, visitors will enjoy cuisine from all over Serbia. Under the slogan “Taste Serbia”, Sunday, February 21, is organized as a gastronomic day and will include a comprehensive presentation of Serbia and Belgrade in Hall 4. Domestic tourists are increasingly opting for spending a holiday in their own country. Introduction of vouchers and benefits for staying in domestic tourist resorts has proved to be a good incentive for the development of domestic tourism, and will also be continued this year. At the Fair, people will be able to apply for vouchers and submit applications directly at the postal counter. It is expected that nearly 50,000 citizens will be able to use this right this year.

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Photo: „Belgrade Fair“ Archive


F R A M E W O R K

The city of Belgrade, European metropolis, is the exemplary host of the fair of this rank. Together with the “Belgrade Fair”, it will be the organizer of this entire event. City Break tourism, historical monuments, health and convention facilities, as well as amenities for relaxation and entertainment, make the capital of Serbia seem very attractive to foreign visitors. The Tourism Fair is an excellent opportunity to present this all over again. Tourist Organization of Serbia, at its booth, will organize its traditional quiz for visitors, “How well do you know Serbia”, through Serbian edition of the popular board game “Monopoly”, which will be promoted throughout the world, with prizes for the most successful. Other programs at the booth of the TOS include promotion of vouchers vaučera for holidays in Serbia, with the presence of the Public Company “Post of Serbia”, as well as promotion of website and mobile application “52 Weekends in Serbia”. THE PLACE OF INSPIRATION Simultaneously with the Tourism Fair, another three events will be organized at Belgrade Fair, which complement this event. These are the twelfth International Fair of Hotel and Catering HORECA, seventh Wine Fair “BeoWine” and the twelfth Souvenir Fair. The seventh Wine Fair “BeoWine”, in Hall 2, is the event that attracts the growing interest each year. It brings together the best Serbian and European winemakers and wineries, wine distributors from all over the world, manufacturers

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For hotels, restaurants, cafes Hospitality and tourism are the backbone of the tourism industry, and this segment in recent years is becoming increasingly important for the presentation at the fair. HORECA Fair in Hall 2 will present the latest products and services, as well as trends in operation, supply and functioning of hotels, restaurants and other hospitality establishments.

of winemaking equipment, wine lovers, in short those for whom wine is business and love. In line with the global trend of growth of production and consumption of wine, the Fair promotes wine culture and wine tourism. It contributes to creating the atmosphere for new cooperation and conquering of new markets, encourages the development of viticulture and winemaking. The twelfth Souvenir Fair, in Hall 3, is an unusual sales exhibition. Through authentic products from Serbian territories and materials typical of the various regions from which souvenirs originate, it promotes tourism and traditions of Serbia. Indirectly, it also encourages preservation of authentic activities and crafts. Because of the unique opportunity to observe the entire tourist offer in one place, with fair prices and other benefits, many visitors and travelers are accustomed to booking their trips here. Therefore, before you embark on a new adventure trip, or on holiday to suit your needs, do not miss the Tourism Fair in Belgrade, from February 18 to 21, 2016. It is the place of the best inspiration. s


INSTITUTION STUDENTS’ RESORT “BELGRADE”

Business Unit “Radojka Lakić” on Avala Build on the foundations of a building from the late 1930’s, it is at the same time the seat of the Institution of Students’ resort “Belgrade”. It is located on the most beautiful part of the mountain of Avala, on the outskirts of the capital of Serbia. After it was demolishes in 1999, during the aggression of the North Atlantic Pact against Serbia, the entire building was restored gradually. Today it is one of the most modern students’ resorts in this part of Europe. It provides excellent accommodation, food and the entire range of other services to students, as well as third party users. It consists of two parts:

New building “Avala” On a surface area of 5.357 square meters, it has 158 beds. It has a restaurant with 200 seats, a conference room with 150 seats, seminar room with 2x30 seats, and summer garden with 200 seats.

Annex Its capacity is 73 beds in double and triple rooms. It has a restaurant with 180 seats. 011 3907 946 •

General Ždanova 201, 11226 Belgrade 011 3907 947 • recepcija.avala@usob.rs • www.usob.rs


P R E S E N T A T I O N

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MARIJA LABOVIĆ, ACTING DIRECTOR OF THE TOURIST ORGANIZATION OF SERBIA, FOR “NATIONAL REVIEW”

Growth Maintained through Creativity It is not enough just to build a hotel. Tourism is an experience, impression, attractions, nature, cultural heritage, people, creativity and hospitality. A developed marketing approach is necessary, good quality booking system, and a series of accompanying programs. Modern tourists need extra value. But in strategic terms, of course, the construction and modernization of infrastructure is crucial

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or me, joining the business team of the TOS, which has so far proved its ability to make our country a more attractive destination for both foreign and local tourists, was a stimulus, but also responsibility - says in an interview for National Review Marija Labović, who was appointed the director of the national Tourist Organization at the end last year. – I want to, through joint efforts, through more successful and efficient projects, continue to promote Serbia as an outstanding tourist destination. The TOS is constantly in activities of attracting tourists. The first task was the campaign “Winter Pleases Everyone”. It was followed by promotion of the holiday tourist offer of Serbia. In January, we added activities aimed at foreign guests, through participation in international tourism fairs. As a perfectionist, I believe that the area for improvement of business processes still exist. Which essential elements will you introduce into the Serbian tourism development strategy? Creation of new tourism development strategy is the responsibility of the Serbian National Council for Tourism, the regulatory body of which I am a member. The tasks of the National Council include establishing coordination and communication between all parties involved in the development of Serbian tourism industry,

By: Bane Velimirović ensuring the transparency and accountability in this process, developing tourist products of Serbia and increasing their competitiveness, improvement of the business climate in tourism. My suggestions relate to innovation in creating promotional activities that would contribute to improving the position of Serbia on the map of the European tourist offer. By investing in the development of tools for this kind of promotion, and following the trend of technological advancement, we would be well on our way to stand shoulder to shoulder with developed tourist destinations of Europe. VOUCHERS FOR RETURNING TO OURSELVES A broad campaign of distributing vouchers for local tourist destinations started

Photo: Archive of the TOS, Lazar Lazić, Rozana Sazdić

New promotional philosophy – After several years of negative trend, the TOS has managed to improve the domestic tourist traffic in 2015. Annual increase in the number of domestic tourists by 12 percent is a success, but also an incentive to maintain the growth trend with new promotional activities. Therefore, TOS is again focused on an intensive cooperation with domestic and foreign media, increased presence in social networks, creating and implementing e-marketing campaigns... Another important element is improvement of presentation techniques in foreign markets, such as presentations in international fairs and organizing study tours around Serbia for representatives of foreign media and tour operators. SERBIA  SPECIAL EDITION  2016

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 Palić Lake

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last year, and it is announced that this would be continued in 2016. What are the effects so far and future perspectives of this campaign? The measure of the Serbian government for stimulating domestic tourism has given excellent results. The number of domestic tourists spending their vacation in Serbia has grown, and their stay in selected destinations was significantly extended. With its promotional activities, the Tourist Organization of Serbia has contributed greatly to this campaign, pointing to destinations in Serbia that are not behind those in the countries with developed tourism. The Ministry of Trade, Tourism and Telecommunications continued from January 1, 2016 to distribute vouchers for subsidized vacation of domestic guests. In accordance with this important project of the Government, the TOS will implement its promotional campaigns throughout the year and present numerous tourist attractions in Serbia. In just three and a half months in 2015, 14,000 citizens used vouchers and had 118,000 overnights. This incentive enabled domestic tourists to extend their stay of to 8.5 days. The most frequently-visited destinations are Prolom Banja, Sokobanja, Vrnjačka Banja, Kopaonik, Old Mountain. The competent ministry estimated that 46,000 vouchers will be realized this year. SRBIJA  SPECIJALNO IZDAWE  2016.

In your opinion, what are the main advantages, and what are the flaws of the current Serbian tourist offer? In my opinion, Serbia has immeasurable potential in terms of tourism, the rich diversity that makes it an attractive destination for the most demanding guests. Our tourist assets are not only city breaks, mountain and spa tourism, gastronomy, ski centers and active recreation, national parks and programs related to cultural and historical heritage. I believe our important assets are spontaneity and hospitality of our people. These are qualities that are equally attractive to both domestic and foreign tourists. Development of destination is a continuous process. It is necessary to follow trends and listen to the needs of tourists in order to maintain continuity of supply and demand. The tourist offer is not just the quality of accommodation or possibilities for excursions, but also good quality travel infrastructure and a number of entities that create the conditions for a good vacation. I believe that the future association of private, public and civil sector in the process of creating offer and in promotional activities will give the right results. NEW RAISING OF THE LADDER What are your expectations from this year’s Tourism Fair in Belgrade?


The Tourism Fair in Belgrade, year after year, has been pushing the boundaries and raising expectations. I believe that this year there will be even more countries, exhibitors and visitors. Efforts invested by the tourism industry of Serbia throughout the year make it possible that, during the fair, visitors can book their trips at much lower prices. It is also a good opportunity for those who want to do business in this part of the region. In Hall 4, where the Tourist Organization of Serbia will also be presented, I expect novelties in the fair appearance among the representatives of local tourist organizations. I believe that the program on the TOS booth be attractive to visitors. How have you designed the appearance of the Tourist Organization of Serbia? In presenting the Serbian tourist offer, special attention will be dedicated to the promotion campaign “Danube and the Water Treasure of Serbia” (which is the main promotional theme of the TOS in 2016), as well as marking the 160th anniversary of the birth of the great Serbian scientist Nikola Tesla. There will be a series of presentations of tourist offers, as well as the rich artistic program. Already traditional quiz for visitors, “How well do you know Serbia” this time will be marked

by the Serbian edition of the popular board game “Monopoly”. We also single out the promotion of vouchers for holidays in Serbia, promotion of the website and mobile application “52 Weekends in Serbia”. It will be an opportunity to present the tourist potentials in a completely new way, using modern technologies. Within this fair, in Hall 3a, the TOS organizes the twelfth Souvenir Fair “Visit Serbia”. Souvenirs from all regions of Serbia will be presented at 70 exhibition booths. Masters of old and artistic crafts will present products made by using traditional techniques, but adapted to the modern needs. Representatives of the Educational Center “Ethno Networks” will present the works of its members. s

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 Ultimate experience: Tasting of Serbian wines


D I R E C T I O N THE PLAN OF THE TOURIST

Rivers and On the Drina near Bajina Bašta

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ORGANIZATION OF SERBIA FOR 2016

Other Treasures

Many Serbian tourism promotional activities will be woven around the film “The Danube in Serbia, 588 Impressions”. Increased presence in social networks has also been planned, as well as a number of creative e-marketing campaigns, caravan “My Serbia” in fourteen cities, and much more

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D I R E C T I O N Photo: Archive of the TOS, Nemanja Dimitrijević, Rozana Sazdić, Dušan Mitić

 Outlook on Uvac  Rafting on the Nišava

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he plan of the Tourist Organization of Serbia for 2016 is clear: attract more domestic tourists, through a variety of programs, to choose one of the destinations in their country as the place for their vacation. All planned activities rely on the strategy of the Ministry of Trade, Tourism and Telecommunications, with the use of incentives of the government of Serbia for the promotion of domestic tourism. The TOS will continue implementing the promotional campaign “My Serbia” in 2016 by organizing a caravan in fourteen cities of Serbia. The campaign will be enriched with new themes. “The Danube and Water Treasure of Serbia” is the main theme of promotion of tourist potentials of Serbia in 2016, according to the plans of the TOS. Nature has been generous to Serbia with waters, showing its creative skills. The network of rivers, from calm lowland to fast mountainous, makes the bloodstream of this country. For the purposes of the campaign, the TOS has prepared promotional film The Danube in Serbia, 588 impressions. The camera has captured magical scenes of the river that connects ten countries and over one hundred million people. It shows the diversity of landscapes and historical sites, presents tourist assets of “Mr. Danube” on its course through Serbia, which is 588 kilometers long. Traveling along the Danube is like a visit to the museum of European history, filled with exhibits of natural treasures and rarities, deep layers of heritage, diverse lifestyles, colorful cultures, events and attractive tourist facilities. The film The Danube in Serbia, 588 impressions invites the viewers to enjoy the charms of this magnificent river, people, abundance, the wine of old masters, ancient stories of the mighty river. This topic will be systematically promoted at tourism fairs in Serbia and the world.

SRBIJA  SPECIJALNO IZDAWE  2016.

Greetings from Serbia In addition to many attractive and useful programs, at the stand of the Tourist Organization of Serbia at this year’s Fair, the visitors will be able to be photographed in a special decor and send “Greetings from Serbia”. The organizer of this attraction is Association “Serbia for Youth”.

The film will compete for awards at several international festivals of tourist film. The promotion will be carried out through advertising, social media, website. Also, study visits of representatives of local and foreign media, as well as travel agents will be organized. TOURIST FORUM IN KURŠUMLIJA In 2016, one of the focuses of the TOS will be to intensify cooperation with domestic and foreign media. Increased presence in social networks and development of e-marketing campaigns have been designed. There will also be other “digital activities”. For the seventh consecutive year, the Tourist Organization of Serbia, in cooperation with the host – this year it is the Tourist Organization of Kuršumlija – organizes the Tourist Forum. Educational sessions and workshops are an opportunity to bring together representatives of the public and private sectors, as well as local tourism organizations from all over Serbia, to enable them to learn about new tools and current trends in promotion of tourist destinations. Sports competitions, as well as exploring the tourist offer of the place where the Tourist Forum is taking place, will be included this year as well. It will be another way of to bring people together and enhance collaboration. The Tourist Organization of Serbia, therefore, opted for a modern and very creative approach to promotion. This is corroborated by a holographic display of tourist attractions of Serbia, which is projected on the façade of the Belgrade City Hall from February 12 to 14, in the days approaching the Belgrade Tourism Fair. The Belgradians and were thus reminded of the “best from Serbia” that is embedded in its tourist offer, but also invited to, at this year’s Tourism Fair in Hall 4, where the stand of TOS will be located, once again renew their knowledge and see everything for themselves. s


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BELGRADE, ALL IN IMAGES

In the Spirit of New Optimism One does not come to Belgrade by accident. Its attraction is millenniums old and famous Today, in the world of marketing, it is expressed through a tourist product. In the past two years, the growth rates in the number of foreign and local guests in Belgrade are expressed in two-digit numbers. And are not slowing down. Accordingly, other graphs are also growing. This is not the result of chance or luck, but of committed and diligent work

By: Miodrag Popović

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he diversity of tourist offer in our city is such that it is simply impossible to list all the attractions (and this is what attracts a modern traveller to visit a place). Or to put it simply: if you live in the interior, visit Belgrade. If you live abroad, visit both Belgrade and Serbia. If you are searching for everything that you could not find in one place, once again, come to Belgrade. All you have to do is give it a chance. Belgrade will make it worthwhile. Belgrade is a city covered in images. In marketing these are called tourist products, but it’s not all about the money, there is something in the memories. Every image that remains in your memory, if you decide to visit Belgrade, will last much longer than the money (although there may be very little of it) you have spent. When it comes to tourism, Belgrade is no longer a minor. When you think about it, or get informed, Belgrade is one of the most ancient cities, which restores itself every year and continues to grow. Your visit today means that the following year, in the same place or elsewhere, you will see the difference in the offer. If this happens, do not forget to rejoice, along with the hosts. This is your success too. One does not come to Belgrade by accident. Its beauty, unfortunately or fortunately, has long been famous. In these

modern times, most of our guests are wellintentioned people, who want to have a good time, see and experience something, and get to know you. When they do this, you understand that you also represent the very best of Belgrade. Be proud of yourself! Belgrade does not have a sea, but it has everything else. How much, it only depends on you. Teach yourself and others something about Belgrade, something you did not know before. Belgrade has good food, and drinks and entertainment are even better. It seems that it is high time that others check these facts together with you. Belgrade is the city of event. Others also have them, also for ages, but those other people say that we do under the same name – we organize better than them. They say that we rejoice the most for our own and other people’s success at

Photo: Archive of the TOB

Congress Tourism Belgrade is also a city where, statistically and otherwise, many smart people live. That is why meetings of smart people from all over the world are most often organized here. We help them to share experiences, but also to, sometimes jointly, and sometimes individually, each in their line of work, come up with new ideas, to contribute to their field of work in an atmosphere different than the one they have at home, to make new deals or renew old ones. This is known as congress tourism.

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sports events, that we are an educated audience that always rewards those who are the best with its sympathies, but also those who are not, if they are trying. We can sing and play well, but we are the best we our guests join us. All these are important or less important reasons why, I know this for a fact, Belgrade, and all of us together with it, should live with tourism and from it. As for me, I am in Belgrade. I enjoy working and I work by enjoying. Maybe we meet somewhere. DELIBERATELY SUCCESSFUL From all the above it is clear that work at the Tourist Organization of Belgrade is not only important and arduous, but also beautiful. In the past two years, we can laud ourselves with success of which, say, the most important are the annual rates of growth in the number of arrivals of foreign and domestic guests, overnights and the average number of days our guests stay. Those numbers always show double-digit growth that does not slow down. In the past two years, from 67 three, four or five-star hotels, we reached the number of 85, indicating the level of confidence of investors in tourism development in Belgrade. The year behind us was marked by the flattering recognitions won by Belgrade tourism. We are officially designated as the third European congress destination after Prague and Istanbul. We received awards as organizers of events, from sports to music. Dozens of foreign articles were published during the year about Belgrade, which was proclaimed one of the most interesting destinations in Europe. For the second year in a row, we have a flattering recognition of the place where you can get the greatest value for money.

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Of course, and first of all, none of this would have been possible if representatives of the City, from the mayor and city manager, to the city secretariats, public enterprises, agencies and institutions had not gotten involved in development of Belgrade tourism. This has created a climate of dynamic development of tourism, by creating new tourist products, better infrastructure in the city, but also thanks to the large number of different events for the organization of which we have been fighting at the European and global scale. Special advantage for the development of tourism in Belgrade is a growing reputation and position of Serbia in the world, political and security stability, the active role that our country has in the creation of opportunities in the region, as well as the dynamic development of large state projects, organization of international gatherings and activities. Development policy of our national carrier “Air Serbia”, development projects such as “Belgrade Waterfront”, capital projects in infrastructure and communications, in less than two years have led to the position that Belgrade had decades ago, while in some aspects it has been developing faster and better than ever. The Tourist Organization of Belgrade is therefore trying, following the dynamic development of both Serbia and Belgrade, by working on the promotion and development of tourist destinations, to design and market new campaigns, increase its visibility and promote Belgrade more and better through the media. That’s why this year again we start in the new spirit of new optimism, promoting a new visual identity of our promotional campaigns, primarily in the region, but also by entering new markets. Belgrade Fair therefore represents one of the most important points of our promotions, which this include even more markets year will. I think that we rightly expect further double-digit growth of Belgrade tourism. Finally, tourism is not only an industry, it is a social phenomenon. And in life, as we know, successful people are not just talented. They primarily work hard, so their success is not the result of chance and luck. Successful people achieve success deliberately. s (The author is the Acting Director of the Tourist Organization of Belgrade)


Restoran Dva Jelena | Skadarska 32 | 11000 Beograd | Srbija | tel: (+ 381 11) 7234 885 | mob: (+ 381 62) 350 002 | fax: (+381 11) 3238 363 E-mail: info@dvajelena.rs | www.dvajelena.rs


C A T A L O G U E At “OK Fest” in “Sutjeska” National Park

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A SHORT OVERVIEW OF TOURIST OFFER OF SRPSKA

Beautiful, Exciting, Authentic From Olympic ski slopes of Jahorina to beneficial Vrućica spa resort. From “Sutjeska” and “Kozara” national parks to the Pliva, the cleanest river in Europe. From rafting on the Tara, Drina and Vrbas to swimming in lakes of Zelengora and conquering the peaks of Maglić and Volujak. From medieval shrines and old aristocratic cities to colorful ethnic villages, wineries and excellent music festivals. One cannot go wrong. Everything is very simple: pack your bags and go

ТУРИСТИЧКА ОРГАНИЗАЦИЈА РЕПУБЛИКЕ СРПСКЕ

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C A T A L O G U E

 Olympic Center on Jahorina

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ountain tourism. In Srpska, this kind of tourism is attractive throughout the year. According to interests of those who love skiing, the Olympic beauty Jahorina is at the front, with over 20 kilometers excellently equipped ski slopes. Tourist offer of Jahorina is not linked only to the winter period. Numerous amenities are offered to tourists during the other months of the year. These are primarily weekend tours in exclusive hotels that include mountain tour programs, active holidays (hiking, biking, walking ...), sports camps, schools in nature, organizing seminars,

Message The Republic of Srpska offers a variety of facilities for all the tourists who visit it. Those who love active holidays, nature, places that preserve and nurture sacred, cultural and historical heritage, those who love healthy food and good people, beautiful landscapes and medicinal water, fans of exciting and authentic, creative and open, will find a lot for themselves here. Every moment spent in Srpska can be filled in a good quality way. Welcome! (Tourist Organization of the Republic of Srpska)

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conferences... Important mountain centers of Srpska are also the smaller ones, like Kozara and Borje, which are particularly attractive as weekend destinations in the winter. Spa tourism. Spa resorts of Srpska attract a large number of domestic and foreign tourists, due primarily to provision of health services and treatment. Rich springs of mineral, thermal and thermomineral water, typical for this area, are ideal for the treatment of different types of diseases (cardiovascular, rheumatic, skin...). Spa centers also offer recreational activities. There are sports facilities and beautiful jogging trails. At the forefront of this form of tourism in Srpska is Banja Vrućica, a healthtourist center, which today is certainly one of the leading health, wellness and congress centers in the Balkans. Adventure and extreme sports. In the past years, the top of the list of tourist offers of Srpska is reserved for raft-


ing, paragliding, hiking, biking, kayaking, canoeing, mountaineering... Those who love adventure and extreme sports can enjoy the rivers, mountains and national parks of Srpska. This country increasingly stands out as an important destination in this form of tourism, for both foreign and domestic guests. The most attractive destinations are certainly the Vrbas, Tara and Drina, then mountains Kozara, Zelengora, Maglić, Volujak, Jahorina, Lisina, Ozren... There are numerous recommendations from foreign portals and agencies, which single out this type of offer in Srpska and rank it very high among the fans all over the world. “Kozara” and “Sutjeska” National Parks. Also very interesting tourist destinations in Srpska. Visitors of these natural oases can enjoy a variety of activities, such as hiking, mountain biking, canyoning... Both national parks are also famous because many turbulent events of recent history took place there, as evi-

denced by monuments, and thus the visit can also be an educational experience.

 Banjaluka, the city center

Hunting and fishing tourism. Srpska has significant offer in this area. Here we should single out the Pliva, one of the cleanest rivers in Europe. It is exceptionally clear and has a specific color. The natural environment makes it a real small paradise. Fly-fishing is the most developed discipline of sports fishing. The thirty-fifth World Cup in fly-fishing in 2015 took place on the Pliva. Religious tourism. Srpska is open, hospitable and welcoming to all wellmeaning travelers who come to the Balkans. Possibilities of religious tourism there are great, and the offer is rich Photo: Archives and attractive. In East Herzegovina, the of the TORS, the Tourist Organization of Trebinje ingovernment of cluded in its offer a visit to medieval Srpska, “Sutjeska” monasteries of this region (Tvrdoš, National Park, Dobrićevo, Longer, Petropavlov MonOlympic Center astery), as well as Church Gračanica of “Jahorina”, Branislav Andrić Herzegovina on the Crkvina hill in the SERBIA  SPECIAL EDITION  2016

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C A T A L O G U E city. In Krajina, there are many jewels of religious heritage, such as Gomionica and Moštanica... Beautiful landscapes of Podrinje are adorned with monasteries Lovnica, Papraća, Dobrun, Sase. The diversity of culture and religion in Srpska is also confirmed by sanctuaries of other religions, such as Catholic Trappist monastery Mary the Star in Banjaluka and the Sacred Heart of Jesus in Doboj, or Osman Pasha Mosque in Trebinje. This live heritage of minority religions is woven into many areas of Srpska. Eco-ethno tourism. This type of tourism, picturesque and appealing, has been gaining in importance in recent years. Ethno villages include a number of very attractive destinations throughout the Republic. The area of Šipovo and its surroundings, for example, has a number of households that have been involved in rural tourism in a creative way. With all the comfort and technological aids of the modern time, contemporary tourists in such environments can feel the charm of authenticity, local flavors and aromas, food and beverage, customs and art of living. Therefore, such destinations are becoming more and more interesting on the tourist map of Srpska.  Andrićgrad in Višegrad

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City Break tourism. Višegrad and Andrićgrad are exceptional cultural at-

SRBIJA  SPECIJALNO IZDAWE  2016.

tractions of Srpska. The growing number of domestic and foreign tourists clearly indicates that this destination is well-positioned even far beyond Serbian countries. Banjaluka and Trebinje also have excellent city break offer. These cities of rich cultural and historical heritage, curious and artistically minded, youthful and playful, can provide you with unforgettable days and nights. Memories worth revisiting. Events. Cultural, sports and entertainment. Numerous and attractive. They bring considerable number of visitors to Srpska. Let us mention the well-known international sports competitions, such as the European and World Championships in rafting, European Championship in Canoeing and Kayaking, International Cycling Race Belgrade-Banjaluka. There are famous music festivals, such as “Demofest” and “Fresh Wave” in Banjaluka, “OK Fest” in Tjentište (“Sutjeska” National Park), “Jazz Festival” on Zelenkovac, International Folklore Festival “Dukatfest” in Banjaluka. There are also important cultural and tourist events such as “The Drina Regatta”, “Višegradske Tracks”, “Dučić’s Poetry evenings”, “Ćorović Days”... We have suggested, it is up to you to choose. It is all very simple. Pack it up and go! s


е ј и б р С и Из срж From the Core of Serbia Врхунске ракије, ограничене количине: шљивовица, кајсијевача, виљамовка, лозовача, траварица, специјална ракија са медом. Superb rakia, limited quantities: Plum rakia (shlivovitza), Apricot rakia (kajsijevacha), Pear rakia (viljamovka), Grape rakia (lozovacha), Herbal rakia (travarica), Special rakia with honey. ”Zlatan breg“  PR Vladimir Vasiljević  Donja Trepča, Čačak „Златан брег“  ПР Владимир Васиљевић  Доња Трепча, Чачак mail: vladimir.vasiljevic@yahoo.com  тел. 063 328757


V I S I T LISBON, THE ENCHANTING LIGHTNESS OF CONTRAST

The Games of the Elusive City

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Only in the past two decades has the Portuguese capital shown a certain, not too strong wish to compete with the world tourist destinations. It still loves its vagueness and its confusing junctures, the touch of the Atlantic and the Mediterranean, glittering of the imperial past and fado of the poor districts. It loves its joyful-sad stories. This is one of those cities that don’t rush to show you everything they have, in order to fascinate you and elicit your money. However, if you know how, you’ll soon see that Lisbon has a lot to offer and that it’s very easy to reach it

By: Radmila Tamindžić

Photo: Radmila Tamindžić and NR Archive

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V I S I T

 Augusta, the most famous street in Lisbon, with triumphal arch at the end Camões Square

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isbon really knew where to make its nest: on the furthest west of the Iberian Peninsula, between Europe, Africa and America, waving from the other side of the pond. It would be no wonder if the position inspired the city on seven hills to begin discovering and conquering the world, and smithing its picturesque colonial history. Although the Portuguese, like all other Mediterranean people, wild and nonchalant, cannot escape the burden of the “golden age” of their history, wealthy, jingling, abundant, when they conquered, plundered, ruled... and the other side of the story, when they fished, fished and only fished. Fortresses, flamboyant palaces, castles and cathedrals built in a unique Manueline style, considered a type of joyful Gothic art, are still present from the times of luxury. The famous Portuguese fado, on the other side, was born from poverty. The melancholic music that appeared in workers’ districts, made famous by Amalia Rodrigues and Alfredo Duarte, in time became an authentic lifestyle of this joyful-sorrowful nation. Lisbon is so lively exactly because it’s like a mosaic of contrasts, the remains of

Moors, then Vasco Lisbon was founded by the Phoenicians around 1.200 B.C. and named Alice, the Safe Harbor. It later became a Roman colony and was then occupied by the Moors in 716, who stayed there more than four centuries. Many houses, mosques and city walls were built during their time. They were followed by the splendor and wealth of the grand naval and colonial power, in the late XV and early XVI century, thanks to Vasco da Gama and discovering the road to India around the Cape of Good Hope. Traces of both periods are visible everywhere in today’s Lisbon.

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a lavishing abundance and obvious chronic lack of financial means. Both day and night, it wiggles like a fish, just caught from the sea, either under the Mediterranean sun, spreading its rays 330 days a year, or under the neon lights of constantly lively squares with acrobats, musicians, dancers, fire-eaters. It’s all colorful, the entire city. It resembles the colorful painted ceramic tiles, which, thanks to the “azulejos” art left by the Moors, cover many facades in the Portuguese capital, even the dilapidated ones with almost wrecked doors and windows. Between them, crossing the streets, are stretched ropes with just washed laundry, under which kids play football, and local bohemians drink beer or the famous autochthonous Porto wine. Lisbon is fine even when things are not going well. It can tell wonderful fairy tales about itself or let others tell them, while it yawns and stretches in the shade of palm or olive trees. Accompanied by fado, of course. TRAM NO. 28 Although many could swear that Lisbon is on the Atlantic coast, it isn’t. It is true that an endless horizon towards America unrolls in its surroundings, from the steep slopes of Cabo da Roca, the most western point of the European continent, where tourists get a certificate about their visit, but the city is about fifteen kilometers in land, on the banks of the wide confluence of the power Tagus river into the Ocean. What a river it is! Even the sea cannot compare with it! As if it requested to have the longest bridge in Europe, 17,2 kilometers long Vasco da Gama Bridge, and the other one, April 25th Bridge, incomparably


shorter, but looking like a twin brother of the San Francisco Golden Gate. Although Lisbon is not really a megalopolis and although only about 700 thousand people live in its metro area, it’s really difficult to circle and describe it. It escapes, scrambles, hides, appears, ascends, descends, deceives, bluffs, enchants, disappoints, seduces... It always requests maximal physical and mental fitness. It is dense, thick, showing off with its squares, monuments, fountains, fortresses, towers, churches, monasteries, museums, parks, belvederes, old city funiculars, vividly painted metro stations, famous tiles with mosaics of white, black and gray stone (calcada portuguesa), labyrinths of narrow, steep and often paved streets, up which the popular old tram no. 28 wriggles through, clattering and squeaking. This tourist attraction connects most of the city’s landmarks, with both its interior and exterior looking as they did more than a hundred years ago, when it was imported from America to replace horse carts. BOHEMIAN AND OTHER NEIGHBORHOODS Incredible how Lisbon shows off with its districts! It’s very proud of Baix (Lower City), the only flat plateau between the hills, including the biggest squares of Figueira, Rossio, Restauradores, Comercio. It is the banking and trade center, dominated by the most famous Rua Augusta street, constantly busy pedestrian zone with numerous restaurants, souvenir shops, expensive boutiques and street entertainers. At its end is a grandiose arch, resembling Arc de Triomphe in Paris.

Through it and over a spacious Comercio  The castle in the Square, with the old royal palace and statfamous Sintra ue of Jose I on a horse, as well as the oldest Comercio Square Lisbon “Martinho da Arcada” cafeteria, always full of tourists, one reaches the banks of the Tagus river. The famous “Santa Justa” lift, resembling the Eiffel Tower, rises in one of the side streets in the middle of Rua Augusta. It goes up to the upper bohemian district Bairro Alto, favorite place of young people, always accompanied by Chiado – Bairro Alto & Chiado – the hedonist center of intellectuals, writers, students... Many universities are located here, the National Theater, numerous bookshops, antique shops, churches, monuments of famous poets, including the one of legendary Fernando Pessoa, who sits in bronze in front of “Brasileira”, one of the oldest cafés in Lisbon. Alfama, the oldest city district, under the Castelo de Sao Jorge fortress, is a special Lisbon story, with many legends around it. It is the pride of the city and attraction for tourists, due to the already mentioned narrow streets through which trams pass, due to dilapidated houses, melodious voices of fado singers, scents of fish, seafood and crunchy pork meat from numerous taverns, and especially due to the fact that Alfama is literally the only

Remarkable Sintra There are a few places around Lisbon recommended for oneday excursions. One of them is Sintra, a must-visit destination about thirty kilometers to the west. As soon as one sets foot in it or rides in a horse carriage through this magical place with green hills and fairytale-like castles of Portuguese kings and aristocracy, it becomes clear why. Sintra, which Ivo Andrić also wrote about, is part of UNESCO-s cultural heritage. SERBIA  SPECIAL EDITION  2016

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V I S I T

Like Rio Another twin rises to the sky on the other bank of the Tagus river: 113 meters high statue of Christ, with hands spread as if wishing to embrace the entire world. It was made looking up to the more famous monument in the most popular city in Brazil, former Portuguese colony, Rio de Janeiro.

 Tram-cable car, transporting passengers from the shore to the fortress and higher areas of the city

part of Lisbon that remained intact after the terrible November 1, 1755 earthquake. The earthquake shocked entire Europe, because it took away 60.000 to 90.000 human lives. King Jose ordered his main minister Marquise de Pombal to completely renew the destroyed city. He did it in a record time, looking up to the French plan for rearranging Paris, with vast squares and streets crossing at a right angle. BELEM, AVENIDA, NATIONS PARK

The Portuguese would be insulted if tourists missed Belem, half an hour’s tram ride from the center. Some of the most important Lisbon monuments of culture and spirituality are located there. Jeronimos Monastery, in a lavishing manueline style, also housing the Maritime Museum. Torre de Belem, watchtower, from which sailors set off to conquering new lands. Museum of the most beautiful luxurious carriages  New railway in the world. A modern Cultural Center station in Lisbon building. A big monument to Portuguese overseas discoveries – Padrao dos Desco“Vasco da Gama” brimentos. This is also where the most Bridge in the capital of Portugal, famous patisserie of Lisbon is located – “Antiga Confeitaria de Belem”, where tourthe longest in ists rush to taste the so-called pastéis de Europe

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Belém, crisp pastry nests filled with cream and dusted with cinnamon, prepared according to a secret, 175 years old recipe. Certainly the most beautiful promenade in Lisbon, resembling Champs Elysees in Paris, is Avenida da Liberdade (Liberation Avenue), a wide, elegant boulevard, with a decorative Portuguese pavement and thick tree alleys. It starts from the Lower City, climbing towards the wide roundabout with a grandiose monument of Marquise de Pombal in its center, on the square with the same name. There is no common city bustle, but there are expensive shops, modest small hotels and discrete café gardens. The youngest part of Lisbon, Nations Park in the northeastern part of the city, was transformed for the “Expo 1998” World Exposition. It is a completely unrecognizable, yet wonderful Lisbon, wide, modern, futuristic, such as the railway station located in this area, such as the “Vasco da Gama” shopping mall, the tower with the same name, pavilions, cable car, Oceanarium, modern art sculptures, fountains... All the words tourists use to describe Lisbon are correct: magical, vivid, loaded with glorious history, romantic, bohemian, openhearted in a Mediterranean manner, natural, wild, relaxed... However, it could also be a bit more professional, try a bit more with all the foreigners that come to enjoy and spend their money. For the beginning, to improve the signs at certain places and translate menus, at least into English. Then slowly continue with other things. 


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D E S T I N A T I O N S

Como Is a Fairytale A LITTLE GUIDE ON HOW TO USE A LAKE

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British poet Shelley considered this Lombardy lake the most beautiful place in the world. So beautiful that it changed his former perception of beauty. Even Da Vinci, Verdi, Mozart, Goethe, Stendhal, Byron and others resist this beauty. Lovely towns on the coast, deep dark blue water, blend of Mediterranean herbs and mountain forests, oranges on the coast and Alpine snows in the heights... All this makes this “lake shaped as a man” exceptional. But Como is primarily “a place where one can embrace the sun with both hands” By: Dragana Barjaktarević

Photo: Dragana Barjaktarević, Archive of “National Review”

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D E S T I N A T I O N S

T

 View of Lecco and Como Lake

wo types of people visit Lake Como. Posers, because someone has long ago put the label “fashionable” on this fairytale scenery, and na­ture lovers, tall cypress trees, palm trees, orange trees, dense conifers, gray and white mountain tops and dark blue or golden lake, depending on the position of the sun, can all fit into a single glance. If you belong to the second group, you must save for quite a long time to be able to stay here. Another option is to find accommodation in a nearby town. Or to stay with a friend in Milan. From the capital of Lombardy it takes only an hour to arrive by train to Como Town, in the south of the lake. Italian trains are punctual, comfortable, mostly clean, and they roar through picturesque landscapes. Thus, we should not shy away from this perhaps less comfortable, but certainly more interesting travel option. AT THE SOURCE OF INSPIRATION Como is a fairytale. You realize this as soon as you get off the train at one of

Name The lake’s original name is Lario, from Latin Larius Locus. However, nobody calls it that, except for an occasional villager. The lake owes its more popular name to the largest town on its coast – Como, and therefore Lago di Como. The name Como, in turn, is derived from the Celtic word camb, which means valley.

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those pretty vintage railway stations in small towns. Dense forest rises above them, and down you can see the winding streets and in them red and yellow houses scattered along the coast washed by the glittering water. Como is a fairytale! In addition to the subtle senses, science also confirms this. It is a glacial mountain lake whose deepest point is located at four hundred twenty meters. Its beautiful dark blue color comes from this great depth. Even the climate here is special, mountainous and Mediterranean at the same time. Due to the mixing of these two influences, palm trees are growing in the cities around the lake, orange and olive trees, and dense coniferous forests on the surrounding mountain ranges. No wonder then that famous painters, poets and composers created their masterpieces on these shores with various treetops and the blue depths: Da Vinci, Verdi, Bellini, Mozart, Goethe, Stendhal, Flaubert, Hemingway, Wordsworth, Byron, Shelley, Manzoni, Eco... British poet Shelley said that Como is the most beautiful place in the world, so beautiful that it changed his former perception of beauty. Even the aristocracy or jet-set, from Caesar to Clooney, did not resist its beauty. They built luxury villas on the banks of Como, raising the price of the lake. Unique nature served as a backdrop to several Hollywood movies: Casino Royale, Back in the Game, Star Wars. If you asked an inhabitant of a small fishing village something


about filming the Star Wars, you would probably get a confused answer that there was no war here. And exactly because of that peace that even Hollywood cannot disrupt, Como is still much more than a set design for American blockbusters and George Clooney’s resorts. Como is primarily a place where one can embrace the sun with both arms. VIEW FROM ALPINE BALCONY Tour around the Lake should definitely start in the town to which it owes its name. If we stick to local interpretation, according to which the lake has a human shape, the town of Como is situated next to its left leg. Train station is near the coast and it is a good starting point for walking through the city. Not far away is the old city core with narrow streets, small squares, Renaissance basilicas, pretty small shops, antique shops, restaurants, everything exactly as you would imagine Italy with your eyes closed. Here is also the Duomo, centrally located, whose façades serve as kind of a chronicle of Como, since the building of the cathedral lasted four centuries. Another walking route is Lario Quay, which has some of the most beautiful villas in the city. During the reign of Maria Theresa and Joseph II, Como’s culture and industry flourished, and rich families began to compete in who would build a more beautiful place on the shore. Some can still be seen today, and the best known is Villa

Olmo, which houses a museum dedicated to Alessandro Volta, the scientist in whose honor the unit of electric potential was named. Perhaps the best way to see the whole town is to climb to the village of Brunate, from where you can see Como and the surrounding villages, lake, layered mountains, until the view is lost in the Alpine snow and the distant haze. The lookout can be reached by cable car, which leaves the quay every fifteen minutes. The ride lasts seven minutes and is very exciting, partly because of the slope of fifty five degrees, and partly because of the panorama that expands from minute to minute. After landing in Brunate, you have another two vertical kilometers on foot to the lighthouse. If your breath has not already stopped from climbing, it will from the beauty, because from this balcony you have the most beautiful view of the lake. Another beautiful lookout is on the Baradello Castle, on the namesake

Monster from the Lake The legend of the Loch Ness monster is widely known. However, Loh Como is also haunted by a mystical creature –a few meters long and covered with scales. It was first seen in 1946, and last in 2003. It is believed that this is a descendant of the first reptile lariosaurus, whose fossils have been found in a cave near the Varena in the 18th century.

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D E S T I N A T I O N S hill that rises above the town. It is easier to reach, on foot in half an hour, following the signs through the Spina Verde Park. ROMANTIC AND GOLD COAST The shoreline stretches is one hund­ red and seventy kilometers long. Tourists mostly visit only a small part of the western fork around the towns of Como and Bellagio, which is called the Romantic or the Gold Coast. However, as you approach the north of the lake, towards smaller and more peaceful places, those for which you do not need a list of attractions to be thrilled, you will realize that only there the coast becomes romantic and golden. From Como you can continue by train, bus, car, bicycle, ferry, boat ... All depending on where you are heading: Cernobbio, Laglio, Menaggio, Varenna, Gravedona. When you search on the Internet “Lake Como” images, among the first images that appear is that of a town with facades in warm colors and green blinds. This is Varenna, a fishing village with narrow cobbled streets that lead down to the lake, small beaches, promenade along the coast, restaurants overlooking the various shades of green

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Silk Museum Among other things, you will be able to see the reconstruction of the chemical laboratory with all the equipment from the 18th century or, say, to admire samples of the finest fabric.

and blue. And in them, in addition to the inevitable Italian pasta, you can try some even more local specialties, such as polenta baked with goat cheese or lake fish, caught that very morning, of course. Just like Como, you can look at Varenna from two perspectives. You can put your feet in the lake while eating lemon granita or pistachio ice cream, and you can climb up to the Vezio Castle, located on a hill above the city, and from this peaceful height see and breathe the dark depths, save them somewhere inside and later retrieve them when necessary. When you open the map, you will see that Lake Como has quite an unusual shape. It resembles an inverted letter Y, and locals say it has the shape of a person – one leg is Como, the second Lecco, nose is Domaso, buttocks Bellagio. And if we were to go into details, we might add - Como has the shape of a man with the soul of a poet. s


INSTITUTION STUDENTS’ RESORT “BELGRADE”

Business Unit “Ratko Mitrović” on Zlatibor It includes several high category facilities, built in the 1980’s and 1990’s. They were rebuilt and refurbished in accordance with modern standards. They are only a half kilometer away from the center of Zlatibor, in beautiful pinetree forest, and they offer exceptional conditions for rest and recreation. There is great interest among students for staying here. They also offer services to external customers. The complex consists of four facilities:

Villa “Srbija”,

On a surface area of 2.015 square meters, with 39 beds. It has a restaurant with 250 seats (four stars), seminar room with 50 seats, and summer garden with 150 seats.

Villa “Lovćen”,

On a surface area of 3.238 square meters, with 141 beds.

Villa “Zlatibor”,

On a surface area of 1.276 square meters, with 88 beds, with sports fitness club.

Villa “Romanija”,

Congress center, with two rooms with 250 seats each, surface area of 1.920 square meters, and with 58 beds. 031 841 369 •

Ulica sportova bb, 31315 Zlatibor 031 841 791 • recepcija.zlatibor@usob.rs • www.usob.rs


Д Н Е В­Н И К

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TWELVE DAYS ON THE “COSTA SERENA”, CRUISING THE MEDITERRANEAN AND EASTERN ATLANTIC

An Unforgettable Voyage

From Savona, passing Marseille, through Barcelona, Cadiz, Tangier, Lisbon, Valencia, Rome… An entire little city travels and lives on the line between the sea and the sky, between coastal cities, which eternally welcome and see off. It’s a powerful and profitable machinery. The ships cruising all around the world altogether have more than ten million passengers at a time. A country the size of Greece Text: Božo Majstorović and NR Press

F

riday, January 16, 2015. The voyage begins in Savona, a small harbor city about fifty kilometers from Genoa. Towards Marseille and then further. We sail calmly and silently all night, without stopping in Marseille, until we dock in Barcelona. Saturday, January 17, 2015. We take a taxi at the dock and head to the old Barcelona port, two kilometers away. Its symbol is the monument of Christopher Columbus, who sailed off from this place to his long journey over the Atlantic. The replica of his ship was then also anchored in the main street of La Rambla, starting from Columbus’ monument. Summer gardens and colorful shops are on both sides of the

street, full of everything, from souvenirs to Barcelona football club jerseys. Barcelona is a real pearl among Mediterranean cities. It is hard to say anything that hasn’t been said about it yet. More than three decades ago, during my first visit to Barcelona, I watched a bullfight in the famous “Arena”. It’s still in its place, but no longer a battlefield of cruel bullfights. It was the time when the “Nou Camp” stadium was being constructed for the summer Olympics. Sunday, January 18, 2015. We have been on the open sea all night. The silhouettes of mountains and settlements indicate that the Spanish coast is not far. We catch a glimpse of white snow on the mountains. SERBIA  SPECIAL EDITION  2016

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 The door of the Mediterranean, door of the Atlantic: Gibraltar

Photo: Archive of NR, Josip Šarić


D I A R Y  Casablanca in mist

The dawn is foggy, morning cloudy, clear skies in the afternoon. A light storm the following night. Waves land on the water like white gulls. The wind speed is 100 kilometers per hour and the gigantic ship is rocking gently. Monday, January 19, 2015. During night navigation through the Straits of Gibraltar, towards the Atlantic, the wind somehow remains behind us in the Mediterranean Sea. The horrible and sometimes moody ocean greets us a bit sleepy, without wind or waves. Around nine in the morning, we enter the port of Cadiz, illuminated by the sun. It is an ancient little city on the far west coast of Spain, in Andalusia, not far from the Portugal border. It is believed that Cadiz was founded 3.000 years B.C. First it was Phoenician, then Greek, Roman, Moorish, Visigoth, Arabian… It accumulated its wealth due to trade between Spain and Latin America. Traces of Arabian Islam are still visible in the city, with gurgling fountains and murmur of Sufi poetry. No, it’s not an illusion: even the cathedral bell tower resembles a mosque minaret. There are numerous Moorish and Baroque edifices. Santa Maria is one of the oldest parts of the city. Tourists are amazed by the botanical garden on the very coast, with enormous tree trunks, impossible to embrace even with five or six spread hands. The magical trees remind of wonderful wooden sculptures. The streets are paved with dark macadam, and a special vehicle cleans them with water mixed with detergent, rarely seen anywhere else in the world. Many houses in Cadiz are made of porous stone. There are many more things we’d like to see, but we must go. The white ship is waiting for us. Tuesday, January 20, 2015. Sailing during the night again, now towards the coast of northeast Africa. The sea can be calm in January. The ship slowly enters the port of Casablanca, bathing in the sun.

No Remarks Although critical by nature, for all these days spent in the traveling city, we had absolutely no remarks. Everything is functioning impeccably. Perfect passenger cabins, restaurants, supermarkets, pools, playgrounds, theatrical plays every night, disco clubs and dancing halls.

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Recently most famous for the film with the same name, made in the war year of 1942, starring Humphrey Bogart. After Alexandria, Egypt, it is the biggest sea harbor in north Africa. Through our cabin windows, we see people rushing to work. Enormous cranes are quietly sitting in the harbor, with necks as long as giraffes’ when sensing danger. A new, grandiose edifice made of desert sand colored marble stands out among the thousand mosques of Casablanca. It is a mausoleum dedicated to Hassan II, third biggest and most significant temple in the Muslim world. Wednesday, January 21, 2015. We sai­ led out of Casablanca at nine in the evening and at around seven in the morning entered Tangier. In the far north of Morocco, immediately next to the western entrance of the Straits of Gibraltar, this is the second most important harbor in Morocco, especially for trade between Morocco and Spain. Its population is more than nine hundred thousand and leaves an impression of typically Moroccan style, with an inevitable medina and narrow, steep streets, numerous small hotels and charming shops, selling handmade souvenirs. While sailing from Tangier towards the north, to Portugal and Lisbon, in the afternoon, a rainbow suddenly appeared in the open space between the blue sky and sea. Five or six big ships are waiting for customs control in the border waters near the Straits of Gibraltar. We are subtly gliding through the eastern Atlantic. Thursday, January 22, 2015. We were calmly sailing during the night and around nine in the morning arrived to Lisbon. So this is Lisbon! Ancient city on seven hills, like Rome or Belgrade. Capital of Portugal and furthest west capital city in Europe, as well as one of the most beautiful in the world. It is in the northwest of Portugal, on the Atlantic coast, where the river Tagus, the longest in the Iberian Peninsula (1.007 kilometers), flows into the ocean. (Our notebook is full of Lisbon. However, since others, who spent more time there, will deal with it in this edition of National Review, we are going further, leaving behind this beautiful city, dreaming of distances for centuries, huddled at the edge of the ocean.)


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D I A R Y Friday, January 23, 2015. Ever since we set off from the furthest point of our cruise, Lisbon, the sea has been calm. For the second time, we are sailing night-day-night-day, until noon. We meet six or seven large ocean ships in the Straits of Gibraltar, loaded with gigantic containers. Goods from various parts of the world, probably mostly those “Made in China”, enter Europe this way. At the European coast, which is nearer than the African, we can see the city-state Gibraltar, with its “sugarloaf ”, similar to the one in Rio de Janeiro. Saturday, January 24, 2015. Valencia. We immediately think of the football club, writer Guillen de Castro, wondrous composer Rodrigo, or (why not) tennis player David Ferrer. Valencia is the third largest and most important city in Spain and one of the five or six most significant destinations of this tourism superpower. Shuttle buses drive from the harbor, where our “Costa Serena” cruiser docked, with about five thousand tourists and staff, to the city center. Having arrived to this old Mediterranean city, with many cultural and historical layers, with numerous squares, fountains, temples, one doesn’t know where to start. The Science and Technology Museum complex is a city within the city. Diego Velasquez, Titian, El Greco, Goya, await us in the Museum of Fine Arts. Nearby are Fallero Museum, Prehistory Museum of Valencia, Bullfighting Museum. Biopark, Botanical Garden, Aqua Park, Royal Gardens, Turia Riverbed Gardens. Buildings, melodies and tastes we’ll never forget. There is plenty of everything except time. Because the white ship is waiting for us again.

 Valencia

Millions There are more than two thousand cruiser ships in the world. Each of them has a capacity of more than five thousand passengers. It means that more than ten million people can travel on all cruisers at the same time.

Sunday, January 25, 2015. We are sailing at night. Somewhere on the imagined line connecting Barcelona and Rome, we divert from the Spanish coast and sail off towards the east. We leave the enchanting shores and snow peaks of Spain. With a sharp turn, the cruiser is directed towards the pass between Corsica and Sardinia. Already near the Italian boot, near according to the measures of the open sea, it turns more to the south, towards the western Rome port, Civitavecchia, where we arrive at nine in the morning. Monday, January 26, 2015. We take a taxi with a family of Slovenian tourists, 40 Euros per person, and set off towards the eternal city. Light rain is following us, for the first time since the beginning of our journey. The taxi driver, and a tourist guide, shows us a photo map with eleven most important landmarks of Rome. Fountain di Trevi (throw a coin for good luck), Spanish Square, Pantheon, Colosseum, Vatican… We need an entire lifetime, not just one text, to understand and describe Rome. A city great people, such as Crnjanski and Andrić, have already written about in our language. While driving from one landmark to the other and later back to the port, the driver softly sings well-known canzones and opera arias. We ask him if this is also included in the sky-high price, and he laughs. No, he says, it’s on him. Tuesday, January 27, 2015. From Civitavecchia to Savona, the point where our beautiful circle would be completed, we sailed exactly twelve hours. A beautiful bronze mermaid, half fish, half girl, still stands in the port terminal. She’s waiting for us. We leave the cruiser, the fourteen-storey building, in which an entire small city is traveling. There are more than two thousand such ships in the world. It’s no wonder. The impressions are unforgettable. 

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F L O W “NATIONAL REVIEW” ON THE ZAMBEZI RIVER AND VICTORIA FALLS

Thundering Smoke

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It is a wondrous place, one of the most beautiful in the world. The great river suddenly plunges into the canyon, more than a hundred meters deep, revealing its terrifying force and beauty of its wild nature. The water dust veil rises up to five hundred meters high. We turn on the wipers on the helicopter. Zambia is on the other side of the canyon. In the middle of the iron bridge, we straddle the yellow line, state border. Completely wet on a sunny day. We will soon leave this place, but it will never leave us

Text and photo: Sonja Lapatanov

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e could easily say that the story of the Zambezi river is the Monument to Dr. story about Africa. In the lanDavid Livingston guage of the Lozi people, its name means the heart of everything, and in the language Hotel “Victoria of the Tonga people, great river, which Falls” from 1906, in suits it perfectly. The Zambezi, with the Edwardian style nickname Besi, is the fourth longest river in Africa (after Nile, Congo and Niger). Three and a half thousand kilometers long, it has the most forceful stream. From its source in Zambia, growing powerfully, it flows towards the southeast, and enters the Indian Ocean through its broad delta in Mozambique. It rises in the Zambezi Source National Forest, in a marshy area, on a 1.500 meters high plateau, in the immediate vicinity of the triple border with Congo and Angola. Zambezi has an enormous basin. It flows through eastern Angola, Zambia and Mozambique, a part of its flow touches Malawi, while another makes the border with Namibia, Botswana and Zimbabwe. Near the cities of Livingston, Zambia and Victoria Falls, Zimbabwe, it plunges into a more than a hundred meters deep hole, creating Victoria Falls, the most powerful in Africa and one of the greatest natural wonders of this continent. The great river waters the entire southern part of central Africa. It is navigable in three long routes, divided by rapids and Victoria Falls. From the South African metropolis Johannesburg, I started off to Zimbabwe, to a small city Victoria Falls, the starting point for visiting the famous Victoria waterfalls. Considering the importance of the waterfalls and the size of the airport we landed on, I expected a bigger city. However, Victoria Falls, or Vic Falls, as they also call it, is made of several streets, a business center, numerous tourist agencies, a church, a shopping mall, sports  Victoria Falls

Old Charm “Victoria Falls” is now one of the leading hotels in the world, known as “The Grand Old Lady of the Falls”, member of the exclusive “Leading Hotels of the World”. Its architecture, pleasant restaurants and dining rooms, salons, terraces for having an afternoon tea or cocktail, furniture and soft carpets, pool and wonderful garden, flowers and fishponds, fountains and a fantastic view of the waterfalls, have a specific charm. All this together makes this luxurious colonial heritage enchanting.

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equipment shops, a pharmacy, a bakery, an internet café, alcoholic beverage shop and many warty pigs, who freely wander, dig and grunt around the city. Their favorite places are wide concrete pipes, located under the driveways. It seems that this is their habitat. Some of them had unusually long bristles on their neck and back, resembling horse mane, something I didn’t notice in my previous encounters with these animals. Having in mind the bad experience from Uganda, when a big warty pig attacked me, I remained at a safe distance from them. EDWARDIAN STYLE The story about the little city begins in 1855, with the arrival of missionaries and Dr. David Livingston to the waterfalls, to the place Mosi-oa-Tunya, which, in the language of Kololo people, means the smoke that thunders. Livingston was much less poetic, and named this spectacular place Victoria Falls, to the glory of the British queen. The reports he sent initiated interest of tourists. The first souvenir shop was opened already in 1903, while more serious tourism started developing in 1905. This is when the iron bridge over the Zambezi canyon was completed, for the “from Cape to Cairo” railway. The first guests arrived to “Victoria Falls” Hotel in 1906. Built at the very beginning of the XX century, in an authentic Edwardian style, this five-star hotel vividly tells its visitors about the colonial period in Zimbabwe. The rooms I peeked in breathed with the past times, regardless of the discrete presence of air-conditions, ventilators, TV sets, safe deposits and hair dryers. The colonial style rooms, with a wonderful view of the Zambezi canyon, included refined elegant furniture, in warm beige and dark colors, making us feel as if we had returned back to the past. Muffled thunder was heard in the hotel too. We could see a massive white pillar of “water dust”, resembling a large genie from the lamp, rising up. The guide told me to be patient, because the water pillar would soon change its color. And really, at dusk, the departing sun colored the water dust into the most beautiful shades


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of pink. When it got dark, we could only hear distant rumble and sounds coming from the nearby jungle. The next day I set out to Victoria Falls National Park, enlisted as the UNESCO world natural heritage site. Not without a reason. The beauty of the waterfalls is impressive. Astounding. One can see elephants, buffaloes, warty pigs, zebras, giraffes, antelopes in the National Park, crocodiles and hippopotamuses in the river. Some careless and inexperienced hippos sometimes tumble to the bottom

Distances and Adrenaline A view of the bridge connecting Zimbabwe and Zambia opens from the “Victoria Falls” Hotel terrace. There is also a sign indicating that Cape Town is 1.647 and Cairo 5.165 kilometers away. The hotel is an excellent starting point for exploring Victoria Falls and the rainforests surrounding it. Walking with the lions in the jungle, where they live freely and carelessly, was very exciting. Flying in a helicopter above Victoria Falls, with the water dust climbing to the cabin, was a special experience. Beneath us was a unique landscape and climax of the raw force of the Zambezi river.

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of the waterfall. The river is the habitat of numerous fish species, caught by the locals in shallow rapids with long woven baskets. It is just one of many proofs that, “where the smoke thunders”, the untamed river represents the source of life and the strength controlling it. A group of dancers in traditional costumes welcomed us at the parking lot in front of the National Park entrance gate. Smiles full of shiny white teeth. Following the rhythm of drums, the dancers sang and moved their nicely shaped chocolate bodies, decorated with colorful feathers. The guide gave us raincoats and we set off, through the moisture felt in the air, towards the most beautiful waterfalls in the world and one of the biggest tourist attractions in the south of Africa. THE BIGGEST WATER CURTAIN IN THE WORLD The river is almost two kilometers wide above the waterfalls, but the “mouth


of the waterfalls” continues spreading, year after year, millimeter by millimeter. Swooping down over a wide and more than a hundred meters high basalt cliff, from a calm river, Zambezi turns into a thundering waterfall. It continues its path in wild torrents, through dramatic zigzag gorges, until it finally calms down again far downstream. Victoria Falls are the biggest water curtain in the world, preserved in its natural form. A spectacular sight, whose beauty and splendor provokes astonishment towards the river and force of nature. In that place, Zambezi makes a natural border between Zambia and Zimbabwe. Small islands appear during low water level, separating the water mass into several smaller waterfalls. During such months, the structure of the basalt cliff and gorges become visible, testifying about its geological history. In the rain season and a bit after it, pillars of water dust rise up to five hundred meters into the air, and can be seen from miles away. At the peak of the rain season, the water mass floods the small islands and plants in front of the waterfall, and more than five hundred million cubic meters of water rushes over the cliff, into the deep, narrow gorge. The water veil above the cliff is often so thick, that one can only have a glimpse of the powerful waterfalls. Millions of tiny water drops fall over you even in the dry season. I was as wet as a drowned rat. A real jungle grew around the waterfall, due to high humidity. Plants are flourishing, various kinds of lianas and orchids, making a habitat for numerous bird and butterfly species. I’m searching for rainbows appearing when the sunlight reflects through the water veil. They say one can hardly resist such a photodelight. With certain fear, because of the slippery ground, I approached the belvederes offering a divine view of the waterfalls and gorges. RETURN TO WILD BEAUTY Opposite from Livingston’s statue, in the immediate vicinity of Devil’s Cataract, there is a belvedere for enjoying the view of the entire length of the water-

Livingston A bronze statue, commemorating Dr. David Livingston, who revealed this place to the world in 1855, was erected in the Victoria Falls National Park, on the Zimbabwean side of the river. The statue is an inevitable detail on photos made by tourists from all over the world.

fall. Black and white photos made in this place in the early XX century are considered historical. We move further towards the east and let go to the astonishing sights and deafening noise. Through a veil of millions of water drops and rainbows, waterfalls appear one after another, in their entire beauty and power: Main Falls, Horseshoe Falls, Rainbow Falls. Then, from the Danger Point belvedere, a view opens to Armchair Falls and Zambian Eastern Cataract. The road further takes us to the iron bridge, connecting Zimbabwe and Zambia, from which the madly daring ones go bungee jumping. After arriving to the bridge, I found out that I can enter Zambia without any problems, but couldn’t return to Zimbabwe without a visa, which takes at least three days to get! Thus I couldn’t pass the narrow Knife’s Edge bridge, a journey including being soaking wet and having an unforgettable view of the Eastern Cataract and Main Falls. From there, one can also see the Boiling Pot, entirely deserving its name. I was most disappointed with not being able to see the Devil’s Swimming Pool, at the very edge of the waterfall, where the river is calm and one could bathe without fearing of being washed away into the canyon. Ok, perhaps some other time. I made a dear friend at the iron bridge, an artist from Zambia creating wooden souvenirs. I symbolically crossed over to Zambia with Marius, and then put my feet on two sides of the yellow line, resembling the state border. Saying goodbye, the kind artist gave me a juju, a small black wooden doll, a good luck charm that makes wishes come true. The force and magic of Victoria Falls captivate and radiate. The feeling has been with me for a long time. The only thing I could wish from juju was to return there one day and let myself go to the wild beauty once again.  SERBIA  SPECIAL EDITION  2016

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 Iron bridge that connects Zambia and Zimbabwe


W O R L D S

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LIVE MEMORY OF THE DEAD SEA

Images from the Mysterious Land You are above time and below the level of the world sea. Not far from the place where he this humanity was baptized. In this sea filled with sunken worlds, you cannot sink. You can lie down in the water and read a book. Warnings are clear. You’re safe as long as you’re disciplined. And there are still many attractions in the Hashemite Kingdom that deserve attention, from Aqaba, the only coastal town, to Mount Nebo, and mystical Petra

Text and photo: Josip Šarić

T

he only “deceased” who can provide indescribable pleasure and leisure to people is – the Dead Sea. The morbid name and bizarre landscape at first do not promise much, but we should rarely accept the first impression without reserve. So let’s start from the beginning. One usually learns about the Dead Sea for the first time in elementary school geography class. Those who have slept through that moment will encounter it during one of the usual lists of tourist places on the globe that are somehow and that must be visited before the traveler himself takes the first part of that name. Devotees of the written word in the search for new knowledge will encounter data on the Dead Sea when browsing some interesting encyclopedias. Those more knowledgeable, eager for more knowledge, will put down the travel guide and an encyclopedia on the shelf, take the passport into their hands and go to this timeless place, to these shores dried in the sun. The first step and the first dilemma – The Dead Sea is shared by Israel, Palestine and Jordan. You must choose the side from where to arrive on its shores to ensure that the journey is not filled with anything but pleasure. It would not be advisable, in a travelogue, to deal with the ethnic-religious-political-military maze that move peoples of the Middle East are going through, and we immediately chose the lesser known and at that time certainly

more peaceful Jordanian side. Although we have said that we would not get involved in politics, we cannot completely escape it. It must be said that Jordan is a kind of buffer zone in a very unstable political environment, between Israel and Saudi Arabia. Those who are informed about the situation in the Middle East know what that this can mean that we would not elaborate this subject.

 Beach at the Dead Sea Camel herder in Wadi Rum Desert

IN THE SEA OF GLOWING HOLLOWNESS The Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan is situated in a rather inhospitable geographical environment. The largest part of the country is covered by desert and barren rocky ground. The fertile and arable land stretches along the Jordan River, which year after year, for reasons that we will mention later, is getting smaller, as if its fate is to eventually turn into a desert stream. Arrival at the shore of the Dead

Medicinal and Dangerous The mineral composition of the water has a powerful healing effect on certain skin diseases, such as psoriasis, and thus a good part of the tourists who are spend their holiday on the shores of the Dead Sea are in search of health. However, the same composition of water has its negative effects. Therefore, those who neglect the aforementioned warnings and stay in the water longer than the recommended time are at risk of having their whole body covered in red spots and ending up in the hotel clinic.

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W O R L D S  Mysterious Petra, the city of disappeared Nabateans In Bethany, the place where Jesus was baptized

Sea from the direction of Aqaba, the only coastal city in Jordan, involves several hours journey through rocky hills and sandy-gravel plains. Settlements are scarce, with a small population, modest houses and the question that, hovering in the air above them, is a real enigma for every traveler – what do these people do for a living? This question becomes more obvious when we approach Bedouin tents surrounded by the sea of glowing hollowness stunted and small herds of skinny goats that graze searching for a rare blade of grass. Almost imperceptibly at first, we begin descent into the largest land depression on Earth. The thought that the surface of the world sea lies somewhere on the horizon, as many as 429 meters above the ground over which we are moving is a bit scary. Such thoughts are interrupted by the view of the glassy oasis in front of us – the Dead Sea. Completely calm water reflecting only an occasional white cloud as a plump sheep on the blue of the sky, gives the water even more somber look. Marine biologists say the salinity here thirty times higher than the salinity of the Mediterranean Sea, which does not allow any other form of life to thrive in those dark depths except for a few strains of bacteria. There is no vegetation, no planktons, no fish, no birds to hunt them, no fishing hamlets so typical for other world seas. The coast, shiny white from salt deposits, is completely deserted and makes an unbreakable bond with bizarrely quiet environment. Murmur and laughter and reveal the first signs of life only on the beaches of the hotel resorts, but by looking at the sign with serious warnings, one seriously asks himself what it is that causes such commotion. Because the sign clearly states: “Warning! Lifeguard is not on duty. Children under 12 years must be supervised by an adult. Diving is prohibited Swimming far from shore is not recom-

Nebo and Petra Mount Nebo with Moses grave and mystical Petra, the city of the vanished Nabataeans who, with their architectural skills and great masonry works, left a legacy to the next generations as a memory of themselves and their skills – these are special stories that only enrich a completely different kind of experience from the journey to the Dead Sea.

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mended. It is recommended to swim on your backs. Do not allow water to get into your eyes and mouth.” And the last warning is the most unsettling: “Swim at your own risk.” As if all this were not enough, verbal warnings say that you should not stay in the water longer than twenty minutes, then you shower with fresh water and take a break, and then go for another round of swimming for maximum ten minutes, and that is all that is allowed for one day. SEA LIKE THIS IS NOWHERE TO BE FOUND Bearing in mind all the warnings, entry into the water looks more like a punishment than the beginning of great entertainment. Only when your body begins to float uncontrollably, and attempt to swim starts to look like clumsy wiggling around in weightlessness, we realize that we are indeed in a unique place in the world. Reading newspapers while floating on water has become a standard event. It shows the strength of salinity, which does not allow a body to sink. But only after we satisfy our curiosity and lick the water, the meaning of those alarming warning signs becomes clear. The mildest impression is that as you are given acid to taste and only then you become uneasy at the thought of what would happen if you tried to uncontrolledly dive, a common activity when you swim in all other seas. However, for disciplined swimmers, the adventure at the Dead Sea will be a living memory of a unique experience. The Dead Sea is not the only place worth visiting in the country where almost every step is inextricably linked with the historical events with far reaching consequences for the modern world. We are reminded of the times described in the Old Testament by a rock formation that is believed to represent the rebellious Lot’s wife. God’s wrath turned her into a pillar of salt on the shores of the Dead Sea, when she looked back at the burned Sodom, from which she had escaped with Lot and daughter. Far away, on the north shore of the Dead Sea, the biblical Jordan River empties into it, on the banks of which one of the places that marked 2,000 years of human history is situated. Bethany is the


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 Two images from Aqaba, the only Jordanian coastal town

place where Saint John baptized Jesus, simultaneously giving this place holiness and historical immortality. Rushing toward its mouth, during the past millenniums the waters of Jordan have changed their course, and now a place of Jesus’ baptism is not far from the present-day riverbed. The border between Israel and Jordan runs in the middle of the river bed, only a few meters wide, and exactly at that point we encounter the commercialization of religion that calls for modesty, restraint and renunciation. On the Israeli side, a tourist complex was built in stone, glass and steel, from which visitors come in groups, most notably Russians, to be baptized in the holy waters of the Jordan. On the Jordanian, the situation is much more modest and visitors have available only an ordinary wooden platform from which they can step into the holy river. However, even the Jordanians have not remained immune to the cash flows, and for a hefty sum of money they fill with water the old river bed at the site of Jesus’ baptism, so that those eager for an authentic experience could be baptized at that exact location. Maybe it is a coincidence, maybe not, but most numerous among them are visitors from Russia. Anyway, the visitors on the Israeli and Jordanian sides are often filling plastic bottles with muddy water from the narrow and shallow riverbed, carrying

Dying of the Dead Sea Due to the smaller inflow from the Jordan River, as well as the evident increase in mean annual temperature at the global level, the Dead Sea every year loses more water than it receives. Its level is drastically reduced and according to some ominous forecasts, in about 40 years, it could happen that nothing is left of the Dead Sea, except for a plain salty pond.

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them back to their homes, as an unbreakable bond with part of history. And the river, like any other, lives its life and does not care about the political and border disputes. With time, moves to on one side or the other. On its banks, armed soldiers are watching over, as if they will at some point, instead of the elated tourists see the those who, two millennia ago, brought glory to the place. TRACES IN THE DESERT, OLD AND NEW Life in the harsh climatic conditions, with little rainfall and high temperatures, defined the way the people relate to the famous river. Uncontrolled irrigation with water from this river in the territory of Israel, but also Jordan, led to the fact that less and less water flows into the Dead Sea every year. Occasional flows that form during heavy precipitation are not sufficient to compensate for that loss. In modern times, the Dead Sea and its coast are the only source of raw materials such as potassium carbonate (potash) which is used in the production of artificial fertilizers, soap and glass. Production of potash is one of the few forms of industry that Jordan has. Revenues that in many surrounding countries make Jordan the dream come true, come from tourism, but there is also an unexpected source. Certain funds are coming from some of the world’s great powers that would like the already mentioned status of the buffer zone between Judaism and radical Islamism to be preserved in the future. We should not forget the Wadi Rum desert, on the sands of which the hooves of the camel of the famous Lawrence of Arabia once rattled.


This is one of the still living bonds with Britain as a former imperial power, which had its own interests in the Middle East. There is a weakness of today’s Britons regarding the fact that both the former and the present king’s wife come from the Great Britain. It would be unforgivable not to mention the Aqaba, the only seaside town that Jordan has. It is situated on the shores of the Red Sea and offers great opportunities to the fans of diving, and hedonists who are looking for good food. Squeezed along the state border, near the Israeli city of Eilat, the peace of Aqaba is occasionally disturbed by roars of jet aircrafts and explosions. The visitors cannot figure out where the sound is coming from, but it certainly testifies to the mutual “display of power” of neighboring countries. One bizarre business move is connected with Aqaba, at least according to the stories that circulate among the locals. Former Jordanian King Hussein offered to Saudi Arabia an exchange – about 5,000 square kilometers of desert, for about 15 kilometers of coastline. Jordan has too much desert, so

On the Tourist Map Jordan is definitely a country of friendly and smiling hosts who will burden their guests with the not very peaceful and peachy everyday life. As a country that offers a unique experience, it is worth to be pinned on any tourist map of attractive destinations. Unfortunately, the latest military-political developments in Jordan’s immediate geographical surroundings are not in favor of the hosts and the hospitality with which they welcome their guests.

the loss of these few thousand square kilometers was negligible compared to the length of the seashore obtained. On the other hand, Saudi Arabia has about 2,640 kilometers of coastline, and they would not feel the loss of these fifteen kilometers. But the Saudis did what the Jordanians had not – they sent geologists to the surface of the newly obtained territory, who discovered new deposits of oil. So, Jordan, which only had oil in that area, was left without any oil, and Saudi Arabia, which floats on oil, received new deposits. The question of who benefitted more from this exchange will get the right answer only in the future. s

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Beauty from the Ashes DANTESQUE JOURNEY THROUGH CAMBODIA

From magnificent heights of the Khmer Empire in the 14th century to the horrific national and historical collapse in the last quarter of the 20th century, the fate of this unusual country is woven. In only four years of their regime, the Khmer Rouge (1975-1979) liquidated one fourth of the population and brought the country to ruin. But, in the past two decades, Cambodia is rising again. It is visited annually by more than four million tourists. The most famous destination is Angkor Wat, the sacred complex from the period of the Empire, then genocide museums, the capital Phnom Penh and fascinating beaches of Sihanoukville Text and photo: Ivana Ašković

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istorical extremes of this country are situated in the beautiful, tame and fertile area of the Indo-China Peninsula, in Southeast Asia, which is on side surrounded by the Gulf of Thailand, part of the South China Sea, on the west and north with Thailand and Laos, and with Vietnam to the east and south. Natural attractions and fascinating history of this country have contributed to tourism in the 21st century growing into one of the most important economic sectors of Cambodia. With over four million tourists a year, Cambodia has become one of the most attractive destinations in this part of Asia. Created from two older Indianized states Funan and Chenlan, Khmer Empire began a series of conquests in the ninth century. This has created the most powerful political force in this part of the peninsula which, with its center in Angkor, flourished until the 15th century. The magnificent culture of Angkor is reflected in the famous temple complex, the forgotten mystical beauty overgrown with roots of tall trees that

we recognize from movies Tomb Raider and Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom. In the 15th century, Angkor is conquered by the Thais and this marks the beginning of the dark middle ages of Cambodia during which the country was reigned by numerous weak Khmer rulers from the new capital of Phnom Penh, and Vietnam and Thailand gradually seized parts of their territory. Of the former 53 provinces, Cambodia has retained only 21. In the early 19th century, Cambodia lost its national sovereignty and was placed under the joint suzerainty of its two powerful neighbors, Thailand and Vietnam. To save Cambodia from assimilation, King Ang Duong accepted the protection offered by the French colonial authorities,

 Traditional Cambodian architecture

Koh Rong For those who want to experience the complete step away from civilization, near Sihanoukville is the island of Koh Rong, with even less urban elements. Traditional bungalows without electricity, phone, Wi-Fi, are surrounded only by white sand, turquoise waters, pristine tropical plants and timeless tranquility. SERBIA  SPECIAL EDITION  2016

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and in 1863 and Cambodia officially became a French protectorate. In World War II, the territory was occupied by the Japanese, and in 1945, the young king Norodom Sihanouk issued the declaration of independence and proclaimed the free Kingdom of Kampuchea. VIETNAM WAR AND AMERICAN BOMBING In the 1950’s and 1960’s, Cambodia maintained foreign policy of neutrality. However, in the mid-1960’s, the eastern provinces of Cambodia served as a base for the North Vietnamese army, then in war with South Vietnam, which was supported the United States. As the Vietnam War continued, in 1969 the US started bombing the eastern part of Cambodia. These attacks lasted fourteen months, and they greatly contributed to the destabilization of the country, creating internal political turmoil that would eventually culminate in the emergence of the Khmer Rouge. In the military coup of 1970, the proAmerican general Lon Nol takes the power and Cambodia becomes a US ally in the war against the Viet Cong. A few months later, the Khmer monarchy was abolished and the Khmer Republic declared. The new government, with the support

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of the United States, demanded that the Vietnamese communists leave Cambodia immediately, but the Viet Cong forces, for which it was crucial to retain their safe zone and supply lines, attacked the eastern Cambodia and occupied most of the territory, reaching almost to Phnom Penh. The newly-conquered territories were placed under rule of Vietnam trained communist group, led by Pol Pot, the man responsible for some of the most horrific crimes in history. THE KHMER ROUGE The Khmer Rouge, led by Pol Pot (Pol Pot, alias, an acronym of “Political Potential”), ruled Cambodia from 1975 to 1979. During their regime, the country changes its name to Democratic Kampuchea, and was ruled by the Khmer Communist Party, one of the most brutal forms of communist rule in history. In less than four years of their regime, the Khmer Rouge committed horrific crimes against citizens of Cambodia, trying to achieve the notorious idea of agrarian reform and ethnically pure Khmer country, where they killed some two million people. Bearing in mind that Cambodia then had close to eight million inhabitants, this regime liquidated a fourth of its population.


Shortly after coming to power, the Khmer Rouge officially abolished money, banks, private property, forbade practice of religion, closed all hospitals and schools, and relocated the entire population from Cambodian cities to the countryside, where they were forced to work in agricultural communes. Anyone who opposed this policy was declared an enemy of order and liquidated. In addition to the old aristocracy and social elite, intellectuals who were considered to be “soiled” by Western culture, and therefore reactionary bourgeois ideology, were the special target of the regime. The Khmer Rouge also conducted a brutal ethnic cleansing against minorities, such as Chinese and Vietnamese. It is believed that in less than four years of Khmer Rouge rule, partly from physical liquidation, or as the consequence of hunger and diseases, 20-40 percent of the country’s population was liquidated. The regime eventually weakened out of fear from internal coup, and this was reflected on their relations with Vietnam. At the end of 1978, Pol Pot started the so-called Third Indochina War, in order to restore the previous Khmer territory from his eastern neighbor. Despite the support of China, Vietnam easily defeated the Khmer Rouge, and Pol Pot’ regime collapsed in 1979.

ANGKOR WAT Temple complex Angkor Wat (“City of Temples”) is the largest religious monument in the world. Originally built as a Hindu temple, before the end of the 12th century it evolved into a Buddhist temple and the capital of the Khmer Empire. This complex represents the pinnacle of the classical style of Khmer architecture and today is a symbol and a major tourist attraction of Cambodia. Its architecture reflects the ancient temple of cosmology – the top terraces of organized structures that gradually narrow, with five towers shaped like lotus flowers, symbolizing the sacred Mount Meru, abode of the gods. Angkor Wat is today the most important national symbol of Khmer culture and the people of Cambodia. Its picture is on numerous state symbols, including the national flag and the bill of 500 Riel. THE KILLING FIELDS There are numerous sites in Cambodia where the Khmer Rouge kept, tortured and killed civilians, and these places are known as the “Killing Fields”. One of the most famous is “Choeung Ek” where, after the fall of the regime, a number of mass graves were discovered with SERBIA  SPECIAL EDITION  2016

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 Angkor Wat (“The City of Temples”), the most important national symbol of Khmer culture and the peoples of Cambodia


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around 9,000 bodies. This place, which can be reached from Phnom Penh by a about fifteen kilometers long dusty road, is now a genocide museum, a memorial daily visited by hundreds of tourists. In the center of “Choeung Ek” is a Buddhist stupa which, behind the glass window, stores the bones of liquidated opponents of the Khmer Rouge. Many bones were smashed, and many skulls are remarkably small, skulls of children. Our guide on this Dantesque journey through the rings of hell is a kind, thin, tired man of thirty something, whose father was killed by the Khmer Rouge, just because he had a college degree, and thirty members of the extended family. In many districts they were also killing children, in order to “cut off the evil at the roots.” Fortunately or unfortunately, he survived. We pass by photos and detailed descriptions of horrors, through craters overgrown with grass that used to be mass graves, next to the sign “Do not step on the bones,” the tree against which they smashed children. It is clear that we have just witnessed a history class that gives you more questions than answers, in which you have learned far more than in any history book that you’ve read so far. We leave this place in silence, confused with our own thoughts, and quietly travel back down the dusty road through the suburbs of Phnom Penh, back to the present. PHNOM PENH The capital and largest city of Cambodia is situated on the banks of the rivers Tonle Sap and Mekong. Phnom Penh has been the capital since the French colonial period, and today it is the economic, industrial and cultural center of Cambodia. Formerly known as the “Pearl of Asia”, one of the most beautiful French colonial towns in this part of the world in the 1920’s, Phnom Penh, together with Siam Reap and Sihanoukville is the most important tourist destination in Cambodia. Founded in 1434, the city is known for its alluring colonial architecture, magnificent historical sites, day and night markets, restaurants, bars and nightclubs. Aromas and flavors of Asia, traditional and colonial architecture and the gentle charm of the local popu-

Tough Questions in the Place of Horror Walking through “Choeung Ek” open air genocide museum is a tremendously emotional experience. We think about what horrors can a man can do to another man, what kind of ideology can justify the torture and extermination of millions of people, whether and how the evil in people can ever be eradicated, whether that same evil exists in each of us and is just waiting for an opportunity to flourish, or whether it is always “someone else”. We wonder how a nation manages to incorporate the horrors of its recent history into its national and personal identity and move on. How do they see themselves? Are we different from them?

lation attract thousands of tourists daily  Images from life to this Mecca of Southeast Asia. in Cambodia CELESTIAL DANCERS It is believed that the Cambodian dance and drama evolved from ancient religious ceremonies, such as funeral rites and rituals that were part of animistic cults, while later developments are under strong influence of Indian myths Ramayana and Mahabharata. From the 6th century, the dance is mentioned in connection with the temple offerings, and the girls who performed these meditative, sensual dances are known as Apsaras, heavenly dancers. The tradition of classical Cambodian dance and drama was interrupted during the period of the Khmer Rouge when, between 1975 and 1979, about 90 percent of all traditional Cambodian artists disappeared. After the fall of the communist regime, those who survived started establishing art colonies to reconstruct from memory and restore their sacred art traditions. One of them was Norodom Buppha Devi, the prima ballerina of the Cambodian Royal Ballet. Largely thanks to her,

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 Taxi station


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 Cambodian sea and coast have all the attractions of first rate tourist destinations

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as well as the small number of surviving artists, choreographers and dancers were able to revive the old tradition and return Cambodian dance to its rightful place on the world stage. Classical Cambodian dances can now be seen in many tourist areas, especially in Siam Reap and Phnom Penh.

Cambodian coast of is one of the few remaining places in the world that offers a sufficient level of comfort for the modern traveler, but which has not been destroyed mindless globalization and urbanization that are systematically destroying some of the most beautiful places on this planet.

PARADISE BEACHES AND GLOWING PLANKTONS

CROCODILE SKEWERS AND FRIED SCORPIONS

Kilometers-long sandy beaches, paradise islands and warm sea attract more tourists to this country of unorthodox extremes. Sihanoukville is one of the most beautiful places on this coast, especially Otres Beach, along which are tucked small charming hotels with restaurants built in the traditional spirit that visually almost do not disturb the unspoiled nature. This is an idyllic place where you can spend all day sipping young coconuts, eating fresh fruit and just caught fish and seafood prepared in creative ways, walking for miles by white sand, swimming in the warm sea and in the evening watching a spectacular sunset over the open sea. And in the evening, as in the famous film The Life of Pi, you can enjoy the unreal experience of night swimming, with fluorescent planktons glimmering on the sea surface.

Food in Cambodia deserves a separate chapter. In this country that has been diligently and intelligently developing tourism, there is something for every taste. All tourist places are full of small restaurants offering everything, from traditional Cambodian cuisine and cuisine of neighboring nations – Vietnam and Thailand, to Chinese food or continental food for western tourists who do not want to change their habits, such as Italian or French cuisine . One of the most famous local dishes is amok – fish, chicken or other meat in a sauce of coconut milk, with local spices, served in a coconut shell and eaten with rice. Lok lak – also different types of meat in a spicy sauce similar to curry. There are also various types of noodles, soups and other dishes that allure with their appearance, aroma and taste.

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Cambodia is known for its specialties intended fort a small number of the bold ones, those who are not squeamish, like to try everything and have a strong stomach. Here you can found grilled snake or crocodile skewers, frogs prepared in different ways, mostly crispy fried, various fried insects, larvae and worms, as well as the creative culinary combinations such as, for example, the steak in a sauce of red ants, donuts with tarantula, fresh salad with a scorpion, spring rolls with crickets, empanadas with feta cheese and tarantula, mixed insects curry, and many other specialties mainly designed for tourists who are curious and bold enough to try something like that. And to talk about it afterwards. PEOPLE Whenever we travel to distant countries, visiting cultures seemingly so different from ours, people often leave the strongest impression. First, we see only the differences, after that similarities, and then, after a number of observations and comparisons in which we often appear as strict judges looking down upon

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others, we realize how much we are, in spite of all cultural differences, so inevitably the same. True understanding of other cultures starts somewhere around that moment. The Cambodians are nice, quiet, attentive, friendly people with a smile for everyone. We have not managed to ascertain whether the sorrow that we see in that smile is just our personal projections of what we know about them, or actual pain coming from the depths of those child-like, playful eyes. Probably a bit of both. Knowing that only thirty years ago, a quarter of the population was killed in the auto-genocide, that then everyone who lives in this country now has lost many close and dear people, you wonder how much mental strength is needed for every smile and affectionate gesture with which they welcome you. Their smile is the smile of Mona Lisa. The smile of people who, despite everything beautiful and sublime that this country has created, have put their greatest collective and personal tragedy on the market, as a tourist product. As a reminder, a lesson in history, and a cry for understanding. To never forget. s


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APPLICATION OF “TELEKOM SRBIJA” AS AN IMPORTANT ELEMENT OF TOURIST OFFER

Cities Talking about Themselves “We wanted to apply innovative solutions in our core area of business to improve the user experience when visiting one of the cities in Serbia”, says Marija Bošković, Director of PR Department of “Telekom Serbia”. “In this, we provide an additional incentive to local communities to seek solutions that, in an interesting way, combine technology, modern communication and history”

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he long-term project “City Talking” of “Telekom Serbia” was launched with the idea to stimulate local tourism organizations to promote the use of modern technology, in order present their city and its cultural and historical heritage to potential visitors, in a modern and innovative way. As a company that provides these services, and also as a reliable partner in the local community, “Telekom Serbia” has initiated this project so that visitors of the major cities in Serbia had faster and more interesting access to the local sights and monuments. Thus, they have developed applications for mobile devices that, in a very attractive way, present the most important cultural and historical sites in

Belgrade, Novi Sad and Sremski Karlovci, Niš and Kragujevac. “Mtel Montenegro”, a daughter company of “Telekom Serbia”, has also developed application “Montenegro Talking”, which is bringing historical and cultural facilities in Montenegro closer to visitors. “City Talking” is a long-term project of “Telekom Serbia”, which aims to put another city on the virtual map of Serbia every year, and it expands the existing applications of cities with new contents. In this way, the application “Belgrade Talking” with nearly 50,000 downloads, in 2015 received a new content in the form of tour “Belgrade underneath Belgrade”. In addition to the usual tourist offer of the capital that this application provides, this tour SERBIA  SPECIAL EDITION  2016

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 From application promotion in Kragujevac  Marija Bošković at the promotion in Belgrade


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 “Kragujevac Talking”: demonstration of some possibilities Promotion of the route “Belgrade underneath Belgrade” in application “Beograd Talking”

is a guide for those who want to explore dungeons, caves and other underground sites underneath the capital. The tour “Belgrade underneath Belgrade”, realized in collaboration with journalist and writer Zoran Nikolić, author of the book with the same title, is a call to everybody to open the doors of some of the greatest mysteries of the capital – was there a tunnel that connected the Belgrade Fortress and Zemun, why was a well built near the monument to Vuk Karadžić, what is hiding in the caves underneath Tašmajdan Park... In addition to the three largest cities in Serbia, Belgrade, Novi Sad and Niš, whose applications for some time represent a common way for tourist visits, the next city to get its application is Kragujevac. The first capital of modern Serbian state, named after the bird kraguj that inhabited the surrounding forests, Kragujevac is also important because the first constitution was written and adopted in it and, and the most important state institutions were founded there and – gymnasium, printing house, theater, Lyceum, the court. IN AUGMENTED REALITY These free applications offer visitors a completely different experience of the local attractions through the basic historical data, photos from the previous period, audio narratives, anecdotes and less known historical facts. The chosen location described in such a way is very easy to find during the actual walk through the city within the “Augmented Reality”. A special functionality of “Augmented

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Reality” is what makes the application “City Talking” unique, making it stand out from similar mobile applications intended for promotion of tourism in the cities. Recognizing the current location of the visitor, the application offers sightseeing of nearby attractions. It is sufficient to direct the smart phone toward a nearby building, and the phone camera will display icons showing information about the direction in which the building is located and its distance. When the user selects the desired location, the story about this site opens up, as well as photos of its former and current appearance. – I think that we have accomplished something unusual, having a mobile application serve as an incentive to look away from the screen of our phone and pay attention to the buildings that offer us a lot of interesting stories – says Marija Bošković, Director of PR Department of “Telekom Srbija”. She adds that the company was guided by the idea to provide the users with easy and fun tour of cultural and historical sites in major cities and surrounding areas. – We wanted to apply innovative solutions in our core area of ​​business to improve the user experience while visiting some of the cities in Serbia. In this, we provide an additional incentive to local communities to seek solutions that, in an interesting way, combine technology, modern communication and history – says Marija Bošković. For all curious visitors of the cities that are on the map of the project “City Talking”, applications are available in Serbian and English, for devices with “Android” and “iOS” operating systems. s


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In Common Interest BALKAN ALLIANCE OF HOTEL ASSOCIATIONS

Business associations from Serbia, Bulgaria, Macedonia, Albania, Montenegro and B&H are creating a new environment and raising standards, shaping the Balkans as a complex tourism brand. It is expected that, at this year’s Tourism Fair in Belgrade, it will be decided to move the headquarters of the Alliance from Ohrid to the capital Serbia

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he importance of “strategic alliances” and their immediate benefit are increasingly coming to the fore. They are also growing in number, at the national level and beyond. Linking with related businesses, building and achieving

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joint plans, all this goes beyond the framework of narrow interests. An example of such business cohesion of the Balkan Alliance of Hotel Associations (BAHA), founded in Ohrid in 2005, as an expression of the aspirations of the Balkan


hotel associations to overcome narrow national frameworks and to promote themselves in the world as tourist destination. In addition to the Business Association of Hotel and Hospitality Industry of Serbia, other members of this alliance are similar associations from Macedonia, Bulgaria, Albania, Montenegro and Bosnia and Herzegovina. Branko Krivokapić, a member of the Board of Directors of BAHA, points out that evident among tourism workers of the Balkans is desire for closer cooperation and connections, which allows the creation of a new business environment and raising of standards: – Above all, there is an attempt to, as effectively as possible, represent the common interests and, in step with this, to raise the general tourism rating of the Balkan region. The immediate goals are easy to recognize. This is primarily the promotion and development of tourist offer and provision of services, through the introduction of new rules and higher operating standards. In accordance with this, it was necessary to establish the “Rules of Professional Conduct” and adapt them to European standards in this field. This has opened up the possibility of closer cooperation with international tourist organizations, as well as with scientific and educational institutions in this area, where educational upgrade is necessary throughout the process.

Representation, support, organization The Balkan Alliance of Hotel Association represents its members before the relevant national and international bodies, making an effort to actively participate in the adoption and improvement of legislation in these areas. Finally, the Alliance undertakes the organization of seminars and other professional meetings at national and international level.

Launching of this initiative is in line with the assessment that the Balkans is becoming very attractive on the world tourist map. Unique promotion of Balkan tourism potential, the people from this alliance believe, is more convincing in the world market than isolated appearances of national tourism associations. That is why the Balkan Alliance of Hotel Associations is recognized as a secure point of support for a number of organizations in the field of tourism and hospitality industry, globally respected and influential. This opens up real possibilities for a growing influx of guests to the Balkans and to brand this region as “a challenge that offers unique discoveries – from the rich history, through the specificities of individual cultures and traditions, to the great entertainment and fun.” FACING THE CHALLENGES OF GLOBALIZATION In the Balkan Alliance of Hotel Associations, Serbia is represented by the Business

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Photo: Đorđe Čubrilo

  Hotel Complex on Kopaonik, Serbia


N E T W O R K Association of Hotel and Hospitality Industry (HORES). Krivokapić reminds that this association has existed for nearly half a century, and is now up to the task of creating economic and legal framework for the development of hotel and hospitality industry in Serbia. – Our Association aims to bring together hoteliers, restaurateurs, casinos, but also educational institutions in this area, as well as others interested in joint promotion and development of tourist activities. We wish to increase the competitiveness of our members, at national and international level. We insist on creating a more conducive business environment, in order to present and protect common interests. HORSE is also actively involved in market research, as well as service user demands, according to which it defines the courses of action. It organizes joint appearances at fairs, is involved in publishing activity, and is constantly pointing to the need to adapt the education system to the immediate needs of hotel and tourism industry. HORES Academy was founded with this goal, which trains staff in accor-

dance with modern standards in this area. The Association also provides its members with legal and economic advice, as well as assistance in applying for projects with the EU funds. All this points to the need to promote common interests, as well as to strengthen competitiveness and operating efficiency in facing the challenges of globalization. In its long existence, HORES has matured as an active association, gaining an increasing number of members. From former 15, it now has over 200 members. It has over 180 hotels, motels and other accommodation facilities, as well as numerous providers of hospitality and tourism services. It is a member not only of the Balkan Alliance of Hotel Associations, but also the International Association of Hoteliers and Restaurateurs. Due to its exceptional activities and plans that are constantly expanding the sphere of HORES activities, is has been proposed to move the seat of the Balkan Alliance from Ohrid to Belgrade. A decision on this will be made at the Tourism Fair in Belgrade, from February 18 to 21. s

www.guesthousevida.com vidasoba@gmail.com  +381 11 30 50 650 +381 65 530 50 62

Newly opened hotel “Guest House Vida” is situated on the Ibar highway, at the entrance of Belgrade, right next to Ada Ciganlija, Košutnjak, the Fair and the Bridge on Ada. Our offer includes seven modern double rooms. Our apartment contains additional salon, gallery and family apartment (possibility to connect two rooms). Guests can also use a yard with a garden where they can have breakfast or rest. Each room has air conditioning, mini-bar, flat TV and free wireless internet. Garage can be used for an extra charge of five euros per night. Breakfast is included in the price. The villa is suitable for business and family guests, but also for tourists who want good quality service in a friendly and cozy atmosphere.

FREE WIFI


R E C O M M E N D A T I O N

INSTITUTE OF SPORTS AND SPORT MEDICINE OF SERBIA, THE BEST INSTITUTION OF ITS KIND IN SOUTH-SLAVIC AREAS

Center of Sport and Health

Whether you practice sports professionally or passionately, or simply as a means for a better and healthier life, this is the place for you. You can entrust your health and psycho-physical abilities, with the assistance of top experts and the most advanced equipment, and on this basis to have your personal exercise and training plan designed. And there are many other amenities, tailored to refined hedonism and elite health tourism

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traveler in Belgrade can find everything – cobbled streets on which sound of violin echoes, modern buildings of steel and glass, burning asphalt in which the ever faster pace of the big city constantly impresses itself. Not far away from it all, on a hill, hidden among the trees of Košutnjak, there is a complex of the Institute of Sports and Sport Medicine of the Republic of Serbia. Former habitat of deer, resort of princes, kings and dukes and the place where they held qualification races for the Olympics back in 1912, is today known as the place that you leave healthier, stronger, faster and better. Here, in the heart of the forest, which is the official monument of nature, where the air is

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almost a mountainous and the chirping of birds is the most dominant sound, guests from all over the world can have a unique experience. The Institute of Sports and Sport Medicine of the Republic of Serbia is the leading institution in the South Slavic areas in the field of sports and sport medicine. It is a kind of home for athletes of all categories – the world champions and those who practice sport a means for a better life. In one place, on the total area of 43 hectares, there is “Trim” Hotel, surrounded by a complex of indoor and outdoor swimming pools, athletic stadium, outdoor and indoor handball and volleyball courts, playground for mini golf, units for reha-


bilitation and physical medicine, centers for medical and motor testing. Stay in this new complex will make you forget the stress of urban life, remember those wonderful fairytales from your childhood, all those stories about mountain fairies and good forces that give life to people and things. The forested and hilly landscape stirs the imagination and calms the soul. A variety of sports activities, which are an integral part of the offer of the Institute and carried out under professional supervision, will show you your own potential, qualities and hidden capacities. In “Trim” Hotel you will enjoy comfortable accommodation and beautiful interior. In winter, you will feel a special charm sitting in an ambient whose main elements re glass and wood, with the glow of fire from the fireplace, overlooking the snow-covered forest. Summer offers a different atmosphere, because the hotel garden is on solid ground, under the shade of perennial trees. Skilled chefs will ensure that every meal is excellent, based on healthy diet, with the ability to adapt to the specific wishes and needs of guests. IN THE COMPANY OF CHAMPIONS At the Center for Sports Medicine, you will be greeted by doctors with enviable academic achievements and experience. It is quite possible that Milica Mandić, Olympic champion in taekwondo, or Ivana Maksimović, vice champion in archery at the Olympics in London, will be standing next to you, while you are filling

out the form at the reception desk. Or you may be in the company of another world champion. The examinations that you can undergo here, all in one place, to be sure of your health status, include: • Laboratory blood work • Anthropometric measurements • Cardiology examination • Anamnesis • Examinations by system • Postural status: examination of the spine, chest and feet • Functional testing of the respiratory and cardiovascular system • Dental exam. With all the examinations you will get an advice from specialists, who you will be able to continue to consult on everything related to your health ability for sports. You will also have available experts in psychology of sport who will be happy to accommodate you if you express a desire to undergo psychological tests, or if just have concerns about a healthy body and a healthy spirit. In addition to them you will be met by experts at the Center for motor testing, the best of its kind in Southeast Europe. You will be able to determine your motor and functional abilities through specially designed tests that are carried out with the most advanced measuring equipment. The tests include all aspects relevant to the diagnosis of the training level and the identification of risk factors. These include: • Laboratory tests • Measurements on isokinetic dynamometer SERBIA  SPECIAL EDITION  2016

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R E C O M M E N D A T I O N  Some of the facilities in the refurbished Sports Village “Karataš”

• Direct assessment of cardiovascular endurance • Kinematic analysis of postural status and movement (QualiSys system). UNDER PROFESSIONAL SUPERVISION

Photo: Archive of the Institute of Sports and Sport Medicine

After the tests, you will receive expert advice on how to proceed. More importantly, you will get a personal training plan based on your medical condition and your motor skills. You can also ask for a personal trainer, who will make sure that such a training plan is implemented at the highest possible level. You can implement the training plan, tailored specifically for you by the best doctors and sports specialists, to help you achieve your maximum, at one of the facilities of the Institute. There is a modern gym and the instructor. For those looking for fresh air and exercise in nature, the right choice will be athletic stadium – the open-air racetrack, completely surrounded by vegetation, will help you run or walk faster and easier, again and again creating a sense of victory over yourself. Tennis courts and a playground for mini golf will complete your sports day, giving it the aristocratic touch of white sports. In immediate vicinity are open courts for handball, volleyball, basketball. For these sports you have indoor courts at the Institute’s Hall of Sports, including the indoor pool. The pool offers various programs, from recreational swimming to special fitness programs in water. If you want a soft substrate and Eastern peace, the right place for you is the hall for martial arts and yoga. In case your body needs recovery and additional preparation for sport activities, there is the Institute’s Center for Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation. Upon the recommendation of a specialist, there can undergo one of the following treatments:

Day and night The complex of the Institute of Sports and Sport Medicine in Košutnjak has five swimming pools of different sizes and depths, to make your swimming and relaxation in the water unforgettable. At night, under the stars, the pool takes on a completely different look. The sound of the forest, clean air and the beautiful blue of the swimming pool will relax all your senses.

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• Electrotherapy • Ultrasound therapy • Magnetic therapy • Laser therapy • Shock wave therapy • Vacuum therapy • Mechanical lymph drainage • Massage. At the foot of the hill, surrounded by trees and flowers, there is the outdoor swimming pool complex “Košutnjak”. Directly buried into the hillside, these pools harmoniously blend with the surrounding terrain, creating the feeling as if you are in natural bodies of. MODERN SPORTS VILLAGE ON THE DANUBE However, if you want a river and mountains, the Institute of Sports and Sport Medicine can offer you “Karataš”, “sports village” on the bank of the Danube. This largest multifunctional sports center in the region is situated in the municipality Kladovo, behind the “Iron Gate” and close to “Đerdap” National Park. In nature, imbued with the mysterious shade of eastern Serbia, you can indulge in kayaking, sailing and rafting. On the surface area of fifteen acres, there are outdoor and indoor courts for more than twenty sports. On the outdoor courts, you can engage in athletic disciplines, tennis, handball, basketball, volleyball... When the air from the Danube becomes too sharp, you can hide inside the shooting range, bowling alley or climb the artificial rock in a closed room. Accommodation facilities are more recent and older. In any case, they provide a unique atmosphere for more than 400 guests who can choose between a conventional facility of modern architecture, or one of the existing bungalows. Good sleep and sports activities will be rounded off with excellent healthy food that prepared at “Karataš” restaurant. The Institute of Sports and Sport Medicine of the Republic of Serbia offers a really unique kind of rest and recreation. This is the most professional center for sports, health and nature in South Slavic region. Come and visit us, feel the magic of the forest, water and fresh air – you will return faster, stronger and healthier. s


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V E N T U R E S

VRNJAČKA BANЈA FOCUSED ON NEW AMENITIES

The House of Serbian Sports Construction of the National water polo center and the National Volleyball Development Centre will begin this year in the famous spa resort. These are joint ventures of these national sports federations, Vrnjačka Banja municipality and the Government of Serbia. When they are finished, together with the existing sports infrastructure and good tradition, Vrnjačka Banja will become one of the most important centers of Serbian sports and sports tourism

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n addition to health and event tourism, as well as natural beauty, Vrnjačka Banja is increasingly shifting its focus to sports tourism. Various sports and recreational facilities here are quickly gaining momentum. Along with the promotion of good results of national teams, clubs and athletes on the international scene, sport becomes a competitive advantage of in domestic and international tourism market. In addition to a number of those who practice sports as recreation, Vrnjačka Banja, is a great place for the preparation of professional athletes. There are a large number of sport events now traditionally hosted by Vrnjačka Banja. There are also a large number of those

Champions Clubs and courts of Vrnjačka Banja have shaped the top athletes in many sports. For example, Vladimir Đukić was the center of the Football Club “Partizan” and national team of Yugoslavia. Igor Gočanin, a water polo national team player, took the gold at the Olympics in Seoul. Volleyball player Srećko Lisinac is the best middle blocker in Europe. Aleksandra Drenovak is the captain of the boxing team of Serbia and she participated in the Olympics in London. Jelena Trifunović is a national handball player of Serbia. Verolјub Kosovac will lead at this year’s Olympics in Rio the Qatar’s national handball team, the world vice-champions, as their coach. (...)

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who started developing their sport talents in this very place, and then reached the global heights. From “Games Without Frontiers” at Vrnjačka Olympic pool in 1990, through major water polo and handball qualifying tournaments for European Championships, boxing “Golden Gloves”, world table tennis tournament “Serbia Youth Open”, to the International women’s WTA tennis tournament “Vrnjačka Banja Open” and the Olympics of the third age... While Vrnjačka Banja was developing for a century and a half as a modern spa and health resort, sport was an inalienable part of the city. Today, Vrnjačka Banja has a good sports infrastructure. With enough accommodation capacities and favorable climate conditions, as well as the local management that has directed the development of this city towards sports tourism and large-scale projects in the field of sport, “the queen of Serbian tourism” is slowly becoming a “house of Serbian sports”. In recent years, the Municipality of Vrnjačka Banja has managed to establish cooperation with almost all Serbian sports federations and create conditions for the preparation of national teams and clubs before important international competi-


tions. Thus, this place was used for preparations by male and female handball team of Serbia, men’s volleyball team, basketball players of “Zvezda” and summer basketball camp of this club, the Serbian national teams in taekwondo, aikido, boxing... The citizens of Vrnjci had the opportunity to watch top Serbian athletes from the bleachers of the sports hall that was named after the famous basketball ace Vlade Divac, and small sports stadium (the popular “Cube”), the Olympic swimming pool, tennis courts “Karović”, football stadium “Paradise”. One of the oldest sports courts in Vrnjačka Banja, the center of sports and cultural events, the “Cube” has recently received a new look. The most advanced tartan flooring was mounted, suitable for professional and recreational sports. WATER POLO AND VOLLEYBALL DEVELOPMENT CENTERS The national water polo training center is a joint project of the Government of Serbia (Ministry of Youth and Sports) and local self-government of Vrnjačka Banja.

The project envisages that the swimming pools from the Belgrade “Arena”, where the European Championship in water polo recently took place, are permanently placed in Vrnjačka Banja. The construction is planned to be completed by the end of June 2016. Vrnjačka Banja will thus soon become a second home to Serbian golden “Dolphins”, a center where future generations will have the opportunity to develop their talents to the global peaks, in the best conditions. Implementation of the project of the National Volleyball Development Centre will also begin this year. It will be located near the House of Water Polo. This is a joint project of the Volleyball Federation of Serbia, the Municipality of Vrnjačka Banja and the Government of Serbia, which has already provided funds for these purposes. For successful cooperation in the creation of the National Volleyball Center, President of the Volleyball Federation of Serbia and the European Volleyball Confederation Aleksandar Boričić handed to Boban Đurović, President of the Municipality of Vrnjačka Banja, the trophy “Volleyball Connects”. s SERBIA  SPECIAL EDITION  2016

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 Swimming pool from Belgrade “Arena”, mounted for the European Championship in Water Polo 2016, will be transferred to the National Water Polo Center in Vrnjačka Banja

Photo: Archive of the Municipality of Vrnjačka Banja


L E A D E R S

Firm Steps of Development DEJAN STANOJEVIĆ, PhD, DIRECTOR OF “MERKUR” IN VRNJAČKA BANJA

Behind this first-class institution is another very successful business year. The all-inclusive “Roman Spring” Spa Center was opened and, the largest in this part of the Balkans. Business facility “Ekonomat” was opened, new well on the „Snežnik” was commissioned, Wellness Center “Fons Romanus” was renewed and rejuvenated. The Center of Medical Aesthetics also had excellent results. The number of foreign guests has significantly increased. The work on a big new project, opening of the four-star building of “Romanija”, is just starting

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lot was achieved in “Merkur” during 2015 – says Dejan Stanojević, PhD, the director of this eminent institution of health tourism in Vrnjačka Banja, in an interview for National Review. – We implemented the planned activities and achieved the defined goals. The business year was certainly a success, which can be seen in the financial result. What were your most important achievements and development ventures in this period? This summer, “Merkur” pleasantly surprised all the guests and citizens of Vrnjačka Banja with a new attractive amenity – exclusive Spa center “Roman Spring”, the largest in this part of the Balkans. “Roman Spring” has united all “Merkur’s” centers in the building Thermo-Mineral Bathroom and combined the use of world’s most advanced equipment with superior medicine and centuries-long tradition of mineral water treatments. Within the Balkan Spa Award, “Roman Spring” is the winner of the award The Best Health Spa Center in the Balkans. Last summer, “Merkur” implemented a number of significant investments: it opened a new facility “Ekonomat” on the area of 415 square meters, which includes business space with offices, meeting rooms, and numerous auxiliary areas. This has contributed to the advancement of business of “Merkur”, and enabled more efficient work organization.

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Another important investment is commissioning of new well on “Snežnik”, one of the four most famous springs in Vrnjačka Banja. With this investment, “Merkur” has shown its leadership also in the approach to treatment of its patients, as well as in creating conditions for the development of health and tourist resources of Vrnjačka Banja. Therefore, “Merkur” today is not only a well-equipped and internationally recognized health resort, where excellent doctors and natural medicinal factors together contribute to health. Merkur” is also a great place for those who are looking for relaxation, total rest and revitalization, or physical activities for preventive purposes. The place where “Health is Awakened” in many ways. NEW EUROPEAN CONCEPT OF SPA RESORTS “Roman Spring” brings together five former centers. What has been accomplished with this? By bringing together centers in the building of Thermo-Mineral Bathroom into the big a unique Spa Center, we enabled many more people to use the services of the “Roman Spring”, and contributed to its becoming the main Spa center of Vrnjačka Banja. All major European spa resorts are abandoning the concept of investing in own spa and wellness facilities,


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L E A D E R S but it is envisaged that the facilities would provide accommodation and food services, and everything else would be implemented at the central spa facilities. “Roman Spring” fits into this idea of a large and unified spa center, which is available to all visitors of Vrnjačka Banja. Wellness and spa facilities at spa resorts are different from other spa complexes in one very essential component: mineral water. In Vrnjačka Banja, “Roman Spring” is the only one that uses the thermal water all segments of the spa. Also, a major reconstruction of “Merkur’s” Wellness Center has been completed. What effects do you expect? Our Wellness Center “Fons Romanus” was the first of all Serbian spa resorts to receive a complete makeover last year. The first phase of the reconstruction was completed in July, after which the turnover doubled against the same period in 2014. The second phase was realized in December. The Center has gained in functionality, the rooms are brighter, and enjoyment of our guests is now more complete. It now offers a series of other services that enriched the offer and created conditions for the servicing of a bigger number of people. With its new look, our Wellness Center now enables enjoyment of sauna park, swimming in the pool with thermo-mineral water, relaxing on the beach of Vrnjačka Banja, benefits of the salt room, meditation. There is also a series of new and interesting spa amenities, such as Goč Whirlpool, Kneip’s Creek, a replica of an old Banja beach... “Merkur” has become an important center of health tourism far beyond the borders of Serbia? Modernization of business in all segments, as well as adaptation of all amenities in line with demands of modern guests, brings an increasing number of foreign tourists to “Merkur”. In 2015, this number increased significantly against 2014. We had 48 percent more overnight stays than in the previous

Recognitions and Awards Of all recognitions awarded to “Merkur” in 2015, we may single out the “Brand Leader Award”, handed out to Dejan Stanojević, Director of this Special Hospital. The project “Roman Spring” has received the “Best Medical Spa” Award. “Merkur” was also a laureate of Jubilee Award “Golden Tourist Heart”.

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year. The number of arrivals of foreigners increased by 52 percent compared to 2014. Guests from abroad come to “Merkur” for treatment, relaxation and aesthetic programs. The majority of them are from the South Slavic countries (Montenegro and Bosnia and Herzegovina), Russia, Bulgaria, Cyprus. An increasing number of guests come from the European Union, China, USA. In 2016, we plan to bring groups from England, the Baltic countries, Norway and Sweden. A BREAKTHROUGH NAMED “ZERONA” Your company has made some major breakthroughs in the area of medical esthetics? The Center of Medical Aesthetics achieved remarkable results in 2015, under the management of Dr. Danijela Karamarković. The center has included in its offer another contemporary device, green laser “Zerona”, the most effective device for the elimination of fat cells and cellulite. Currently the only one in Serbia, “Zerona” laser has achieved amazing results in all patients who were in the programs of the center. We introduced modern anti-aging treatments, which give excellent results in the fight against aging, alleviating wrinkles, and in achieving other aesthetic goals. Dr. Kristina Davidović, an international educator in the field of anti-aging, is the holder of these programs. “Merkur’s” philosophy has remained the same: being healthy is enjoyable, it is healthy to enjoy? Both health and enjoyment. “Merkur” has long recognized the significance of wellness and spa programs as prevention. And has included them in its health programs. Combining these elements with most advanced medicine, modern equipment, trained staff and natural factor, is the mosaic that in many ways awakens health. What are the backbones of your plans in 2016? Works on another big “Merkur’s” project will begin in February 2016: opening of “Romanija”, a new four-star facility, to the satisfaction of all future commercial guests. This will be another step toward achieving the vision of “Merkur’s” leadership position in providing medical and hospitality services, in Serbia and beyond. s


A N G L E

JELENA SMILJANIĆ, MARKETING AND SALES MANAGER IN “SLAVIJA HOTELS” IN BELGRADE

The Fruits of Healthy Competition In only one year, the number of beds in Belgrade hotels increased by about one thousand. Still “Slavija Hotels” have maintained trend of about 150,000 overnight stays per year. They also improved other services. Despite the ongoing talks of “imminent privatization”, the management and employees are idle. They do what is in their power, and this, as we can see, is not a little

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y the number of overnight stays, year 2015 has exceeded expectations – says Jelena Smilјanić, Marketing and Sales Manager of “Slavija Hotels” in Belgrade, summarizing the past business year. – The number of beds in our capital was increased compared to the previous year by 1,000, which is really an impressive number. However, we have managed to keep our standard hotel occupancy that we are used to, which is, at the average, about 150,000 overnight stays per year. In addition, we have improved other services and generated revenue from them, which is most evident in the area of ​​food and beverages. By paying attention to demands, in addition to regular boarding meals for hotel guests, we also offered daily menus for our fellow citizens. They could come and enjoy good cooked meals at really affordable prices, which proved to be a good move. At the end of the year, as we achieved

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100% occupancy, with four New Year’s parties that were tailored to all guest profiles. Therefore, I think that 2015 was indeed a good business year for us. You mentioned the opening of new hotels in the capital. How do you deal with that sharp competition? The past few years were certainly marked by a boom in the hotel industry in Serbia, especially in Belgrade. Many new quality hotels were opened, boutique and garni, which were in high demand, as well as several hotels with international signature that can only have a positive effect on any destination. Just the fact that they are opened makes a destination internationally recognizable. It could not have a bad effect on us. We have had a good market position for a long time. In addition, the newly opened hotels were mostly higher category hotels, while


most of our accommodation facilities are ranked with one star. We actually offer affordable accommodation for budget and backpacker tourists, at hostel prices, but with all the privileges of hotel services. We are still the leading hotel for accommodation of excursion from the country and the region, because we have the ability to provide comfort to both children and other guests at the same time, without them disturbing one another during their stay. WHAT YOU CAN DO WITH YOUR HANDS Are you planning renovations? It is well known that “Slavija Hotels” are state owned. Since I arrived, a little more than four years ago, there has been an ongoing talk that the hotel will be privatized just this year. I heard this story had also existed much earlier, before my arrival. Under such conditions and business climate, which is repeated year after year, it is difficult to justify any decision on big financial investments. And time is running. In this situation, my strongest impression was last year’s voluntary work action “We love our hotel, we love our guests”, organized at the initiative of the management and employees. In accordance with their abilities, the employees themselves decorated hotel rooms at their sole discretion. I would not trade these two decorated floors for any five-star hotel in the world. Is there another hotel in the world where you can sleep in the room for which you can say was painted by the reception manager himself, head of sales, head of security? Or that it is the product of the hotel employees who wished to do something nice for their hotel and their guests? I hope this year we will continue in this direction.

For the Business World – Our “Slavija Garni Hotel” has been transformed, changed its name, but still provides good quality personalized service to guests from the business world. Among them are still many foreign companies and representative offices, in recent years more and more tourists from the region who come with their own vehicles and want find accommodation in the city center at a reasonable price.

this place at this moment. What do you expect in 2016? I am sure that we will continue in the same direction, trying to achieve even better results. The demand is certainly there. However, besides the things that we can expect and plan, those that are impossible to predict also happen every year. Thus, we had floods in May 2014, and we have overcome them together in the best possible way. (I remember how, in only a few days, my hotel turned into a modern refugee center, with 300 people from flooded areas, rescuers, doctors, Red Cross, psychologists, volunteers, animators, actors who entertained the children...) Last year was marked by refugee crisis. I hope that the trend of such unpredictable events will not continue in 2016, as this significantly affects the sensitive hotel business. s

Privatization – will it finally happen this year? You tell me? The Privatization Agency has been abolished, and new working bodies are now being set up to take over the unfinished tasks. In any case, like in all previous years, we must continue to work as if it will never happen. If the people who work here had believed in these stories even for a second in the past ten years, I believe you and I would not be sitting in SERBIA  SPECIAL EDITION  2016

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 Jelena Smiljanić


K N O W L E D G E

Staff for the New Era

MANAGEMENT IN TOURISM, STUDY PROGRAM OF BELGRADE BUSINESS SCHOOL

One of the great modern phenomena and a powerful economic sector, tourism today requires staff ready for all its complexity. In Serbia, a country that is still expecting a boom of tourism, it has a special significance. Getting into the center of things, Belgrade Business School has designed a study program that will bring the right answers to these needs By: prof. Milena Nikolić, PhD

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ourism is a multidimensional activity which, in modern times, attracts the attention of many researchers. They are, among other issues, dealing with the effects of tourism in economic and social development of many countries. Tourism has, in fact, become a kind of SRBIJA  SPECIJALNO IZDAWE  2016.

socio-economic phenomenon, an integral part of life of the large part of the world’s population. The need for tourism has become almost existential need of modern man. Everyday environment make people tired, nervous, eager for change. A break from everyday life is needed, an escape


Prof. Dr. Milena Nikolić

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K N O W L E D G E from daily routine, it is necessary to leave the permanent residence, experience something new. This expected pleasure is today one of the main generators of tourist travels. It leads to the concentration of tourists in tourist areas. In these places, for the purpose of satisfying the needs of tourists, new relations are very quickly established very quickly, primarily economical, new economic and non-economic activities develop, and new forms of demand appear. In addition to these, dominant economic relations, wider social relations are also established, namely relations between tourists and the local population, as well as relations between the tourists themselves. Tourism is a complex system made up of a number of subsystems. The basis of tourism economic activity consists of hotel and hospitality industry, transport, tourism and travel agencies, retail, crafts and various types of communal activities. Accordingly, it is not difficult to conclude that tourism is one of the most resilient parameters of the increase in gross domestic product, investment potential of the economy and determining the character of the work from the standpoint of productivity. TOWARDS GROWTH AND DEVELOPMENT

Photo: Archive of BBS

There are numerous attempts to breakdown the course of development of tourism into phases, which is very difficult. Distribution of tourist movements in four stages is the most common. The first stage is antiquity, when the movements took place that only resembled tourism. The second stage covers the period from the beginning of the 19th century to World War One. The time of tourist progress brings organized forms of travel, receptive forms of tourism and

Managers in tourism In Belgrade Business School, Tourism Management is a threeyear study program. In addition to basic lectures, it enables training of students (future employees in tourism) through encounter with a number of guest lecturers and practical work, especially in a large number of eminent tourist agencies. Upon graduation, students obtain the title of professional manager in the field of tourism.

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the tourist market, as well as the emergence of professional organizations for the conducting of tourist activities on a commercial basis. The third stage of development is the so-called mass tourism, from World War One until 1950. The fourth stage occurs in mid-20th century and continues to this day. At this stage, tourism becomes an inseparable part of the economic and social system. It becomes part of the national economy, element of social and cultural policies of every country, as well as a very important political phenomenon. It assumes the character of dynamic psychophysical recreation with gaining knowledge of other regions and peoples, global cultural and historical heritage and the like. The increasingly pronounced forms of tourism today are annual vacations, excursion tourism, spa, health, social, cultural, hunting and congress tourism. At this stage, tourism goes from “the realm of necessity” to the “realm of freedom”. On the tourist map of the world today, Serbia is one of these new “empires of freedom”. Serbia is a country where civilizations, cultures, religions, climates and landscapes meet and intertwine. The Pannonian Plain in the north, fertile river valleys and hills of Šumadija in the central part, mountain ranges crisscrossed with gorges and caves in the south. In line with the continuous development and expansion of tourism, and therefore the need for new education and professional personnel, Belgrade Business School has introduced a new study program: Tourism Management. This program has been accredited and the first generation of students enrolled in 2014/2015 academic year. It is anticipated that future tourism development will be marked by specific tourist products, facilities and activities aimed at specific, narrower segments of demand, the so-called “market niches”. As this is a sustainable form of tourism, Belgrade Business School makes emphasis exactly there, in the perspective of further development and training future staff. s (The author is the head of the study program Tourism Management at Belgrade Business School)


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S T U D I E S

ACTIVE INTERNATIONAL SCIENTIFIC ACTIVITY at “SINGIDUNUM”

In the Heights of the Profession

Fifty works from thirteen countries have been accepted for “Sitcon 2015” Conference, organized at this University, he accepted. There is great interest this year. In April, the International Scientific Conference “Synthesis 2016” will be held at“Singidunum”, about the application of information and communication technologies in the global business

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ingidunum” University is known for the continuous improvement of curricula, following global trends in education, participation in professional and scientific conferences and cooperation with industry. Its mission is transfer of knowledge and creation of experts who will contribute to the advance”Singidunum” ment of economy, profession and science. University At the end of September 2015, “SingBelgrade, idunum” organized the first international Danijelova 32 www.singidunum.ac.rs scientific conference in the field of tourism and hospitality. Sitcon 2015 Conference + 381 11 3093 220

By: Rozana Sazdić

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(Singidunum International Tourism Conference) was attended by a large number of professors, scholars, students and representatives of the tourism industry, as well as teachers of secondary vocational schools, as the conference had been included in the database for professional development of employees in education. More than fifty works from thirteen countries have been accepted for “Sitcon 2015” Conference, and the same interest is expected this year as well. In addition to the exchange of professional experiences, it


Recognition In its many years of work, according to prof. Dr. Milovan Stanišić, President of the University, “Singidunum” has won numerous awards. One of the latest is the award “My Choice” (in the category of development of science and education), awarded by the Association “My Serbia”, with the support of the Chamber of Commerce and the City of Belgrade. On behalf of students, professors and employees, the award was received by prof. Dr. Mladen Veinović, rector of “Singidunum”.

will be a platform for scientific dialogue on tourism, one of the fastest growing industries in the world. SYNTHESIS CONFERENCE Preparations are currently in progress for the International Scientific Conference Synthesis 2016 (International Scientific Conference on ICT and e-business related research), which will be held at “Singidunum” from April 22-23. It will be a good opportunity to present the latest developments and research results in the following thematic frameworks: Internet and perspectives of development, Advanced Computing and Cloud Computing, Cryptography and Data Security, Energy Efficiency and Distribution Systems, Geo-

graphic Information Systems, Advanced Sys Predrag tem Engineering, ICT in Teaching of Foreign Obradović, Languages, Electronic Business, Electronic PR manager Banking, Electronic Commerce, Online Mar“Singidunum“ keting, E-Administration , ICT in tourism and hospitality, ICT in Physical Education Prof Mladen and Sport. Veinović, PhD, The importance of this conference is Rector manifold. The development of information and communication technologies has imProf Slobodan proved and expanded business on a global Čerović, PhD, scale. All accepted papers will be pubDean of the lished on the conference portal (each will Faculty of Tourism be assigned a DOI number, a reference to and Hotel Google Scholar). Compilation of works will Management also be published, and several of the best works will be submitted for publication in Serbian Journal of Electrical Engineering, Photo: Archive category M24. The papers should be sent of “Singidunum”, in English, and can be presented via oral R. Sazdić presentation or poster session. s

Always More In this school year, “Singidunum” received another new generation of freshmen. Like every year, they were offered by an even wider range of study programs: Business Administration, Informatics and Computing, Information Technologies, Electrical Engineering and Computer Science, Software and Information Engineering, Physical Education and Sports, Sports Management, English Language, Tourism and Hotel Management. The tenth generation of students was enrolled in the master studies, and eighth in doctoral. Enrollment of foreign students has also increased.

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