A warm spring welcome to your new edition of The Collection – the ultimate guide to the finest offers covering lifestyle, destinations, real estate, high-end products and so much more – bringing our region to the world and the world to our region. Moving about the coast in particular, hospitality facilities are busily dusting off the outdoor settings for what is promised to be a bumper tourist season for us all. This is proven by the general interest in The Mediterranean reported globally, feedback from winter tourism fairs and the promising bookings to date.
All good news? Well, we are about to be stress tested yet again regarding our ability to provide trained staff in all areas of hospitality where the issue is exacerbated each year by the surprise of the demand by authorities. A restauranter in Dubrovnik, reported in the local press recently, announced that he expects to pay up to EUR3,000 per month net for a fully qualified customer-facing representative at his high-end restaurant this year, to attract the right calibre person. Ironically, our region reports some of the highest unemployment rates in Europe yet so many organisations are struggling to fill roles.
The free movement of employees in our region will need to be addressed as there are plenty of qualified people in our region, but they are in the wrong place – and the EU / Schengen misbalance is making the full use of our combined ability to offer our traditionally famous ‘warm welcome’, more challenging each year. As a side note, the issue now extends beyond hospitality, but many areas are suffering from a lack of expertise locally – areas such as graphic designers, public relations experts, and diverse roles such as search engine optimization specialists, all of whom are as scarce as hen’s teeth, as the English idiom says.
Moving on, the real estate market in Belgrade, Dubrovnik and the Bay of Kotor continues to boom, and we cover many of these shining light projects in this edition. Global concerns highlighted in recent months regarding bank liquidity in Europe combined with inflation and the great unknown in our ever-changing world, make looking forward to the 2nd half of 2023 challenging, even for a clairvoyant.
We are excited to witness the opening this summer of St. Regis Belgrade, which will completely enhance the tourist profile of Belgrade. Equally exciting is to see Park Residence Sarajevo – a premium living project, where work has begun on the most luxurious residential project in Bosnia & Herzegovina.
In this edition, we also present the list of 10 ‘must-visit places’ when in Slovenia, with thanks to our friends from Quintessentially Adria. Golf is often referred to, tongue in cheek, as a great way to ruin a nice walk, however, is the well-known tourist season extender which has eluded us to date until now, where a par excellence course is coming to Lustica Bay in Montenegro.
Of course, for your convenience in planning your multicountry itinerary to experience our world-class regional offer, where we have everything for everyone in one package, we introduce the region’s best hotels, shopping experiences, restaurants and too much more to include here. So, please dive into this edition and enjoy the remarkable journey.
Thank you to our readers and our partners who have allowed us to continually grow, even in times of strong headwinds. Your support is our encouragement to continually strive for ingenuity and ever-improving quality in each edition. In the background, we are working intensively on digital development and significantly growing our visibility through the Issuu and Press Reader applications. We are broadening our base to also feature education in the region, weddings and specialized shopping experiences. We will also soon launch our plan to issue awards, locally and internationally, to service providers who deserve to be recognized for their contribution towards the offer which we present to the world. Finally, we are always open and welcoming to any input from readers and partners to allow us to continually evolve and improve. Please contact us if you would like to provide input.
THE COLLECTION – SPRING/SUMMER EDITION 2023
Miodrag Spahić, Director,
The Collection Magazine