Montenegro: can it develop a medical travel sector?

A recent International Health Wellness and Spa tourism conference in Montenegro identified options and risks for a developing medical travel sector in the country.

The Government of Montenegro has said medical and health tourism is one of the driving forces of the country’s tourism industry, with both great potential as well as challenges.

The country needs to decide if it wants to highlight low prices such as in Thailand, India, and Turkey or quality such as in Switzerland and Germany.  At present, it is more focused on the former.

The latest European Union report about Montenegro says that political criteria, political tensions, polarisation, the absence of constructive engagement between political parties and the failure to build consensus on key matters of national interest has continued and has caused two governments to fall on votes of no confidence.

The proper functioning of Montenegrin institutions has been affected by political volatility, government instability and tensions within the ruling majorities, stalling decision-making processes and reform implementation.

On economic criteria, Montenegro has made progress and is developing a functioning market economy. After experiencing a sharp recession in 2020, the economy recorded a strong rebound in 2021 and kept growing at a steady pace in the first half of 2022.

Relations with Serbia remain challenging but both sides are signalling more willingness to reset relations and work toward addressing open issues. In general, Montenegro actively participates in regional cooperation.

Montenegro’s visa policy is not fully aligned with that of the EU.