Hospitality industry has becoming a really profitable line of business in Serbia, which is something that quite a few Serbian businessmen have recognized and decided to expand into this branch. Most hotels, especially the luxury ones, are currently being built in Belgrade.
Petar Matijevic, the owner of the eponymous meat processing company, has recently bought the building that used to house the Jugoexport Company in the very heart of Belgrade which he plans to transform into a four-star hotel.
“The number of foreign tourists has been growing year-on-year, as has the number of business people coming to Belgrade. I am going to transform the former Jugoexport building into four-star hotel that would provide the same luxury as a six-star one. Hospitality industry has a great future in Belgrade, and I believe that it will expand further. We hope that we are going to open our hotel by the year end”, Matijevic says.
Another successful Serbian businessman and the proprietor of Alko Group, Miroljub Aleksic says that investing in hospitality industry does not yield quick turnover but is rather a long-term investment. “The return on investment can happen in 15 year’s time in some cases. Luxury hotels with high prices are an exception to this rule”, Aleksic explains.
Delta Holding, owned by Miroslav Miskovic, has also recognized the potential of hotel business. According to the company’s Vice President, Zivorad Vasic, Belgrade has more hotels than it actually needs at the moment.
“However, once the issues regarding conference tourism in this country are resolved, Belgrade will be able to take up to 10,000 of this kind of tourists. Hotels in Belgrade are the only stable investment because if you have money, depositing it in a bank, with such a low interest rates, is not a good decision. Investing in real estate is also not a bad decision. You will not get a quick return on your investment if you spend money on a hotel because the average overnight stay in a Belgrade hotel costs much less than, in let’s say, Rome or Vienna. However, the construction costs are almost as high as in those cities”, Vasic explains.
The famous hotel chain Hilton is also about to open a hotel in Belgrade.
“Most analysts are worried because investors are rushing to get into hotel business. However, what they need to understand is that hotel business creates new market and new offer in Serbia. The importance of building a Hilton hotel, which we started last year, does not only lie in the amount of money we are investing which is close to 70 million EUR, but also in my wish and the wish of the Hilton Worldwide Company for Serbia to become an anchor of stability in the region. We are creating far more than 300 new jobs because we are going to hire domestic companies and suppliers of Serbian products to work with us which, in turn, will hire more people”, Bojan Milovanovic, a representative of the Hilton Hotel and the Belaga Company says.
(Vecernje Novosti, 07.02.2017)
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