Presentation of the Tourist Potentials of Serbia in the USA
September 5, 2023
Belgrade, 5 September 2023 – The delegation of the Government of the Republic of Serbia, led by the Minister of Tourism and Youth Husein Memić, has a working visit to Florida, USA, where they have participated in a number of meetings and gatherings concerning the improvement of cooperation in the field of tourism and sustainable tourism, and presentation of Serbia as a tourist destination. The visit is organized with the support of the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP).
In addition to Minister Memić, the delegation includes representatives of the Serbian Embassy in the USA, the General Secretariat of the Government, the Chamber of Commerce of the Republic of Serbia (CCRS), and UNDP.
Minister Memić and the delegation have had a number of meetings with political and economic representatives of Miami and Florida, as well as with representatives of local institutions, while they also acquainted themselves with a part of the tourist offer of the region. The delegation spoke with the Mayor of Miami-Dade County Daniella Levine Cava and the Director of Miami International Airport Ralph Cutie. Also, the delegation met the management of the Port of Miami, which is the world’s largest cruise ship port, and one of the largest cargo harbors, as well as the business leaders of Miami-Dade County.
The meetings involved presentations of the tourist potentials of Serbia as well as discussions on potential avenues for improvement of cooperation between the two countries in the field of tourism. During the conversation with Miami-Dade County Mayor Daniella Levine Cava, special attention was dedicated to the promotion of the tourist potential of Serbia in Florida, with a view to exceptional indicators and results that this federal state has in the field of tourism. During 2022, Florida was visited by more than 137 million tourists, almost 85% of this number being domestic, American tourists (tourists from other federal states). Florida has also been a popular destination for tourists from northern states and Canada, especially in winter. It is exactly due to these indicators that Florida may be a partner and role model for development: by promoting its tourist potential in Florida, Serbia would practically enjoy a wider promotion, reaching the entire USA and all the people visiting Florida.
Political and economic representatives of Miami and Florida expressed great interest in strengthening the cooperation with Serbia. During the talks, they emphasized that they see Serbia as a point of connection with the region of Southeast Europe, which offered opportunities for further strengthening of the tourist and general economic cooperation.
At the meetings and during the conversations, Minister of Tourism and Youth Husein Memić especially emphasized that Serbia is dedicated to the development of sustainable tourism. Florida officials presented their own experiences in developing sustainable (or so-called community-based) tourism, which relies on the values of preservation of the environment, local culture, tradition, and authenticity. Bearing in mind the challenges that Florida faces when it comes to climate change, this federal state, as well as all its citizens dedicate much attention to sustainable development and attaining the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
For this very reason, representatives of the business community in Miami found it very important to become acquainted with opportunities for sustainable investments in Serbia, through the presentation of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) Investor Map. This map jointly designed by the UNDP and the Serbian Government, and recently presented in the UN Headquarters in New York, provides potential investors with an overview of sectors and fields for sustainable investment in our country – i.e. those generating profit, while also being in line with the principles of sustainability.
Representatives of the Serbian Chamber of Commerce presented Serbian potential in the fields of nautical, sustainable, and creative tourism. The record number of tourists and popularity of Miami among them originate in this very dedication and unity of the local community, while also being a result of the street art permeating every neighborhood, and the utmost variety of cultures, cuisines, and peoples. Investment, IT, creative industries, tourism, and education could become potential pillars in the economic cooperation between Miami-Dade County and Serbia, assessed the CCS representatives.
In the margins of the official meetings, Minister Memić and the delegation members also spoke with representatives of the Serbian diaspora in Florida. This extensive diaspora also includes numerous successful business persons who expressed their wish to help in further positioning of Serbia.
Continuing their visit to the USA, the Serbian delegation will visit Tampa and Orlando where they will participate in an annual tourism conference. In the margins of this conference, a number of meetings are planned with tourism professionals from the USA and other countries, where especially important would be the meeting with Dana Young, director of Visit Florida, one of the most important tourist organizations in the United States of America.
The cooperation between Serbia and the USA thus far has been oriented towards improving good relations based on equality and mutual benefit. By introducing a direct flight between Belgrade and New York on 23 June 2016, it was made easier, after 24 years, for US tourists to come to Serbia. Also, the introduction of a direct Belgrade-Chicago flight further strengthened the ties between the two countries. Tourist organizations from Serbia have been active in the US market, where they have been promoting Serbia as a tourist destination at fairs and promotional events, through study visits, advertising and promotional campaigns.