The planes will leave London’s Gatwick airport headed for Niš once a week, while British holidaymakers will arrive via two agencies: Thompson and Balkan Holidays.
Serbia’s tourist organization has spent 74,000 euros in the past two years to try and put the leading Serbian ski resort back on the map of European winter destinations.
The decision to spend 15,000 euros advertising in Thompson Ski clearly paid off, since the number of British tourists rose by 12 percent in the first eight months this year, to 10,966 visitors.
“Serbia is getting more and more popular, but is still not putting in as much effort as Bulgaria, which has the image of a fun and cheap destination”, Milan Danilović, one of Thompson’s managers, says.
“Borovec for instance targets the British clientele seriously, they opened a number of pubs, and soon after, 90 percent of their guests were British. Kopaonik is a serious ski center, but the quality of accommodation is problematic”, Danilović says.
He added that Serbian tourism’s major shortcoming was the lack of information offered to tourists from abroad. Quality, free brochures, maps and internet sites dedicated to Kopaonik are few and far between.
“When you search for ‘Kopaonik’, you get only a few links to sites, the best of which are done by enthusiasts. The information on them, however, is not updated regularly to include data such as, temperature, snow cover, traffic, prices, etc. It’s unbelievable that there is no online camera to show Kopaonik goings-on in real time. Potential tourists should be bombarded with information”, Danilović concludes.