It’s a well-known fact that good road infrastructure contributes to tourism. However, the investment in this type of infrastructure can yield up to four times in return in towns that are considered tourist centres.
According to the Ministry of Construction, Serbia will experience a real infrastructure boom this year. In addition to the completion of works on the eastern and southern branches of corridor 10 and on sections of Corridor 11 from Obrenovac to Preljina, to new motorway segments are also under construction – the Preljina-Pojate section on the Morava Corridor and the motorway segment in the direction of Bosnia and Herzegovina (the Sremska Rača – Kuzmin section). The works on corridors 10 and 11, according to the ministry, will have been completed by the summer, when the construction of two new motorway segments should start.
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“The Morava Corridor is an investment worth 800 million euro, and the length of this motorway segment will be 110 kilometres. Apart from the Corridor 10, this transport corridor is the second most important corridor in Serbia because it practically connects towns in central Serbia – Kruševac, Kraljevo Trstenik, Ćićevac, Vrnjačka Banja, Čačak and Kopaonik. Half a million people live in this region and there are 30,000 small and medium-sized enterprises and tourist centres here. All of them expect to financially benefit from the Corridor. Unlike corridors 10 and 11 or the motorway towards Bosnia that connect us with the region, the Morava Corridor will connect Serbia proper, i.e. the western and eastern part or corridor 11 and 10,” the Ministry of Construction says.
“Substantial workforce and equipment are engaged in the construction of this corridor. Small and medium-sized enterprises become very active when transport corridors are in function. Our estimate is that, for example, during the construction of Corridor 10, over 20,000 people were engaged as contractors and subcontractors. This could boost our GDP by a few percentages while the construction works are in progress. Once the corridors are completed, the traffic frequency will increase which, in turn, will boost our GDP by between 4% and 6%,” the Ministry underlined.
The works on the section Sremska Rača – Kuzmin are due to begin in June this year, which also officially marks the beginning of the construction of the motorway that would connect Serbia and Bosnia and Herzegovina.
Bearing in mind that the construction of the 22km-long Ruma – Šabac motorway segment and the 55km-long Šabac-Loznica section should start by the year-end, this also means better times for tourism in Serbia.
The director of the National Association of Travel Agencies of Serbia (YUTA), Aleksandar Seničić underlines that without proper infrastructure there is no tourism development.
“Following the construction of corridors 10 and 11, many of our tourist centres will become more accessible to guests. For example, it will be much easier to reach Zlatibor, but also Golija via Novi Pazar, once the Corridor 11 segment Preljina-Požega is built,” Seničić adds.
According to him, the financial significance of motorway construction is a well-known fact.
“The World Trade Organization has calculated that every invested dinar in the tourist infrastructure yields four times in return. Have a look at Bulgaria which built a motorway to its coastline. Considering the income from roadside spending, the toll, various service and tourist activities, the money spent on building this motorway returns four-time yield every year,” Seničić says.
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