One of the strategic directions of the development of Vranje and its surroundings is the investment in tourist potentials of that region, and the genuine pearls among them are Besna Kobila mountain and Vranjska Banja spa resort. In order to "accelerate" investments in this insufficiently popular mountain beauty, the City Administration has formed public company "Skijalište Besna Kobila" and obtained initial funds from the National Investment Plan for infrastructural equipping. But, as the people from the Office for local economic development of city of Vranje point out, significant funds of the private investors, who would enter this project as partners, are necessary for further investments in this mountain.
- The most important in this phase of the project are the investments in roads, electric grid, accommodation capacities and development of ski track on this mountain – Jasmina
Petrović, Senior Expert Associate in the Office for Local Development, pointed out in the interview for eKapija.
When it comes to lodging capacities, the Besna Kobila mountain currently has only "Planinarski dom" at the height of 1460 m above the sea level and this facility has, so far, been used only for accommodation of primary and secondary school students, while the development of hotel complex is in the pipeline. Master Plan for tourist destination Besna Kobila has been designed by consulting company "Horvath Consulting Zagreb". The Plan contains the list of feasible investment projects, the methods for business development in specific branch of economy, such as tourism, as well as necessary legal inputs related to feasibility of investments.
The mountain provides exceptional opportunities for winter sports because the snow stays on the mountain for up to 9 months a year. There is "Nebeski put" at 1,800 m above the sea level, it is unique in Europe and it is suitable for safari bus, jeeping and mountain biking.
The Besna Kobila mountain is connected with spa resort Vranjska Banja, which is situated only 4 km away from European Corridor X, that is, highway E-75.
As Jasmina Petrović explains, the city of Vranje also applied for the funds from NIP for development of spa resort Vranjska Banja.
- There is a hotel in the spa resort and it is under control of the Pension and Disability Insurance Fund. Few years ago, the Fund allotted this hotel to company "Yumco"
to have it finished, but they did not manage to do that in time because of their own financial problems, so that the hotel has been returned to the Fund after numerous disputes - Vranje's media announced.
The Pension and Disability Insurance Fund will resume development of the hotel in 2009. There are also "Stacionar", hotel "Železničar", which is owned by Serbian Railways, Congress Center, owned by company "Simpo", and the Institute for Rheumatism in Vranjska Banja spa resort.
Currently available surface of free building land in Vranjska Banja amounts to 17,000 square meters, while there is also a land at 98,508 square meters for brownfield investments.
The plan of the local authorities is to attract investors to invest in the infrastructure in Vranjska Banja, while the people in the Office for Local Development say that Vranjska Banja could become not only a tourist attraction, but also a very suitable area for development of industry for food production and treatment thanks to favorable climate and, already well-known, resourceful springs with geothermal waters of exceptional quality.
Namely, Vranjska Banja is the warmest spa resort in Europe
with the spring's temperature of up to 98.7 degrees. It enables treatment of posttraumatic conditions and rheumatic diseases. Because of that, over 5,500 tourists from the country and abroad visit this spa resort every year.