The international tourist port in Smederevo, which got a port operator last year, will handle its first boats in 2019. Despite the announcements saying that tourist boats would be present here in 2018, the port is still not operational.
– We've been slowed down by numerous lengthy administrative procedures. We also hoped that boats would be here now. This year, there have been several promotional arrivals, but we expect the full capacity beginning with next season – says Ljubomir Sujeranovic, the manager of the port operator, the consortium of business entities Djerdap Usluge Kladovo and Emporio Tim Belgrade.
According to him, the sailing permit has been obtained, and port staff is now to be appointed.
Plenty of time and money has been invested in infrastructural equipping of the port and the meeting of international standards of the water transport of passengers.
– We expect the port to be fully utilized from March 2019, when the nautical season officially begins. Tour-operators are very interested in having boats arrive to the Smederevo port. What follows is a marketing promotion organized in cooperation with the city, so as to promote the tourism of Smederevo as well as possible – Sujeranovic says.
The manager of the port operator says that around 1,000 passenger boats pass by Smederevo a year, which is a great tourism potential.
The Ministry of Trade and Tourism has secured this port worth RSD 25 million. It operates under the patronage of the Port Governance Agency, which chose the port operator, the aforementioned consortium, at a tender last year. The lease agreement was signed for a period of ten years.
New port location?
In the next couple of years, the cargo port is expected to be moved from the city's center. At the same time, as we've learned, the tourist port might also get a new location, closer to the Smederevo Fortress, so that tourists would be provided with a simpler access to this medieval fortification, the most popular highlight among tourists.