Americans apparently aren’t the ugly tourists in tiny, booming Montenegro
A strong dollar DXY, +0.10% is bringing more American tourists to Europe this summer, including less well-trodden stops such as the tiny former Yugoslav republic Montenegro.
They’re not alone: Chinese visitors are expanding their itineraries, and the Continent’s own improving economic fortunes, including in Germany and France, means that more Europeans are country hopping for weekend getaways — and they like the Balkans.
In fact, Montenegro is becoming so popular there’s mixed reaction among locals whose businesses might thrive on the influx and those early-adopter tourists who worry this “hidden gem” is fully exposed. Last year, 1 million tourists, many filing off of cruise ships anchored in postcard-perfect harbors, visited this nation of just 650,000 inhabitants (the least populous of the former Yugoslavia’s republics), a 19% rise from the year before, the Wall Street Journal reports, citing European Travel Commission data.
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Americans — whose “ugliness” abroad has historically framed local impressions — may be welcome in increasingly crowded Montenegro for some time to come, at least according to one busy local who shuttles travelers along the picturesque coastline in his small boat for €5 (about $6) a ride:
‘We like Americans because they are very generous. If somebody tries to get a cheaper price we know they are probably French.’
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