A worrying decrease in the number of domestic and foreign tourists, as well as overnight stays, show the official statistics for the period January / July 2021 compared to the same period in 2019, before the corona pandemic. This decrease is the largest compared to all countries in the region, which points to the conclusion that the measures for positioning the country as a destination on the international tourism market are the weakest of all countries in the region, and the loss of tourists and overnight stays is the highest, according to the Hospitality Association. and tourism at the Economic Chamber of North Macedonia.
According to the Association, the Macedonian tourism sector is in poor condition and still needs support. Predictions are that he will recover slowly. The decrease in tourists and overnight stays for 2021 is expected to be around 60 percent, and in 2022 to be approximately 40 percent if the approach and policies are not changed. Market renewal and performance achievement from 2019 is expected at the earliest in 2023 and at the latest by 2025.
“The period January – July 2021, unlike the first seven months in 2019, records an average decrease in the number of tourists by 80 percent and 77 percent of overnight stays in traditional markets – Austria, Netherlands, Poland, Belgium, Turkey. The decline in tourists and overnight stays from neighboring countries is slightly milder, by 57 percent in the number of tourists and by 51 percent in the number of overnight stays. According to the type of tourist places, there is a similar dramatic decline in turnover, with the highest decrease in the number of tourists recorded in Skopje, 53 percent, followed by lake tourist places with a decrease of 44 percent and spa tourist places with a decrease of 35 percent. The smallest decline in the number of tourists was recorded in the mountain resorts that were visited by 22 percent fewer tourists. “A positive trend is observed only in the rental of houses and apartments for vacation, as well as overnight stays,” said the Association.