Porto Montenegro, and the country as a whole, is bored of playing second fiddle to the more famous ports and marinas of Europe such as those of the French Riviera or the Balearic Islands. With interest in the Balkan country having increased anyway over the recent years such as soaring mooring costs in Italy and other European Union nations and a low cost of fuel, Porto Montenegro is setting its sights on being a haven for the super rich and their extravagant vessels. By keeping the clientele in the higher income bracket they aim to preserve as much of the region’s natural beauty as possible by avoiding tacky high rises and over population: as has happened with so many European port towns.
Porto Montenegro has a long history of tourism, and especially of the sailing variety, however Western European attention dropped following the Balkan war and the majority of the industry has been occupied by Russians. The various new additions planned for the port and surrounding area aim to appeal to its previous clients and renew what was once a popular sailing destination.
The renovations will aim to improve facilities of all kinds within the port and its surrounding areas, including: various up market hotels such as Four Seasons and a five star port-owned development, a variety of new restaurants and a doubling of berths from 245 to 490. Within the new hotel complex we are expecting to see a range of accommodation options, ranging from hotel rooms to rent, right up to €7 million penthouses for sale, as well as private beaches and several swimming pools to appeal to their wealthy market. This extravagance is present across many aspects of life in Porto Montenegro: from palm trees imported from Uruguay and cafes stocked with pastries flown in from France, to a berth that can fit the world’s second biggest yacht: Eclipse.
The natural beauty of the Kotor, one of the towns that Porto Montenegro serves, includes a mini-Dubrovnik style old town with limestone walls dug from the very mountains it stands in front of. It is this traditional beauty and style that is feared could be lost if this redevelopment does not go as planned. It is important that the investors and planners of the renovation don’t get carried away and maintain Porto Montenegro’s elite status however given that most of the investors have their own mega yachts moored in the harbour already, it isn’t in their interest to let that happen.
It is a risky objective to focus on such a niche market with so many other yacht charter destinations such as the French Riviera, Turkey and Spain having so many options for the super rich already. However, with rising costs and the ever present economic crisis, billionaires may just be looking for a new home for their floating palaces in a place that has tax free fuel, cheaper mooring fees and unmatchable facilities and services.