There are few places like Vrnjačka Banja, which has a tradition of tourism dating back a century and a half and is a place where Romans were treated, kings rested, actors, singers and politicians amused themselves and writers created their best works.
With its seven mineral springs, Vrnjačka Banja is a place for medical treatment, rehabilitation, rest and recuperation, and it has become the most visited destination among domestic tourists for the third consecutive year, notes a proud Boban Đurović, president of the Municipality of Vrnjačka Banja.
Despite the fact that you expressed restrained optimism prior to the start of the tourist season, it turned out that there was no need for concern. Is it too early to summarise your impressions?
– We had a few doubts at the beginning of the season, even though we knew that people were eager for travelling and holidaying after the bitter 2020. We had a dilemma over whether people would travel and whether they would choose Vrnjačka Banja after the opening of the borders. However, already during the first days of spring, all doubts were dispelled thanks to the data we received. According to the records of the responsible municipal services, this year – compared to the previous period – the number of foreign tourists has so far increased by 488%. And we are also courageously retaining our top spot when it comes to domestic tourists. These statistics show that our spa town is heading in the right direction and that the path we’ve chosen leads us in the desired direction, we is good for both Vrnjačka Banja and its people.
It is still early for overall impressions, because the season is in full swing. We also have events that we’ve planned for autumn, so we will first render the complete picture, and only then rate the tourist season.
We are proud that, during these challenging times, Vrnjačka Banja has managed to find a way to overcome the obstacles imposed on all branches of the economy worldwide, and tourism in particular. It owes its success to constant investments in facilities, quality of services, security and the health safety of citizens and guests, which the municipal leadership works on constantly, together with the Association of the Tourist Economy.
Although Vrnjačka Banja is Serbia’s queen of spa tourism, your local government is also working intensively to develop mountain, congress, sports and high-budget tourism. What else are you working on?
– Spas are targeted and highly positioned among today’s tourists, precisely due to the possibility of combining natural resources and enjoying the benefits of the modern age. Vrnjačka Banja, with its Central Park covering 60 hectares, mineral springs, wellness facilities and a forest at an altitude of 900 metres above sea-level that’s ideal for hiking, mountain-biking and connecting with nature, is a very specific place. Hoteliers are today creating their offers and directing their active break options precisely towards open spaces in nature.
Tourists have the most varied range of contents at their disposal on Goč mountain, including quad rides, hiking tours, archery, local produce tasting beside Lake Selište, and all of this is organised by a local adventure tourism centre that promises unforgettable fun and a high-quality and creative time.
This season saw the official opening of Hotel Park, our second five-star hotel, with 57 accommodation units, that’s located right on the Vrnjačka promenade
Vrnjačka Banja has in recent years been elevated by major investments that have impacted positively on the development of this Serbian Monte Carlo. This season saw the official opening of Hotel Park, our second five-star hotel, with 57 accommodation units, that’s located right on the Vrnjačka promenade.
Over the course of the last decade, Vrnjačka Banja has managed to delight its visitors with the introduction of new contents with each new season. This season also began with the complete revitalisation of the Central Park, from the thermo-mineral baths to the children’s playground. This investment encompassed the complete arrangement of landscaped horticulture, which Vrnjačka Banja’s parks have always been renowned for, and the revitalisation of evergreen saplings within the framework of floral rotundas in the French Baroque style.
What does Vrnjačka Banja’s inclusion in Serbia’s 2021-2025 National Investment Plan mean for the municipality?
– The positioning of Vrnjačka Banja in the National Investment Plan of Serbia 2021-2025 represents a new space for the development of our area, but also the entire region. The “Gondola” project will connect the Vrnjačka Banja town centre with Goč mountain. This project has regional significance and we expect its implementation to create new opportunities for the development of this part of central Serbia.
Our plan includes the implementation of the “Paradise Mountain Goč” project, with which we are preparing a wide array of offers for all generations
How has the policy of balanced regional development impacted on your municipality? Do you feel that life is better in Serbia nationwide; that our country is developing and being built faster?
– I must mention the new Moravian Corridor Highway, which is also a strategically important project for the entire Raška and Rasina district. We expect its completion to provide an additional impulse to the economic and tourism development of the region. Vrnjačka Banja is also working on the implementation of new projects that will additionally impact on the comprehensiveness of the tourist offer.
Our plan includes the implementation of the “Paradise Mountain Goč” project, with which we are preparing a wide array of offers for all generations. This project includes plush meadows designed as a children’s village, a sunny slope with forest houses, the “Proplanak” recreational complex, the Selište lake of tranquil waters, trails for barefoot hiking, a maze, mini zoo, zipline, adventure park, a viewing point in the shape of a fist etc. We also expect the upcoming implementation of the forest of illusions project, with the construction of an insect and dinosaur park in the very central part, after the children’s playground.
The local municipal leadership has lots of plans, despite the implementation of certain projects having halted during the course of last year, and we are continuing with our tendency to transform this spa town from exactly the point where it ground to a halt in 2020.