Results of survey in tourism industry26.04.2017.
Gračanica/Graçanicë as touristic destination is becoming famous and attractive on the global tourist map. The major contributor to this fact is Gračanica monastery (14th century) which is listed on UNESCO World Heritage List. Due to Gračanica monastery, tourists are staying in Gračanica/Graçanicë only couple of hours, because the monastery was only stopover destination. However, in 2016 ladnscaping of the archeological site Ulpiana was done and it was declared as archeological park, whereby Gračanica/Graçanicë from tourist resource gains another tourism product. It further influenced on retain of tourists and on increase of turnover in accommodation facilities and restaurants within the Municipality of Gračanica/Graçanicë. With the construction of new attractions and creation of new touristic products, planned within the Tourism Development Strategy, the tourist offer of Gračanica/Graçanicë will expand. In this way, the additional content will be provided which is essential for tourists retain longer than few hours in Gračanica/Graçanicë.
Another very important factor which influenced on better turnover to accommodators in 2016 is increase of investment in tourism development by the Municipality of Gračanica/Graçanicë, Royal Norwegian Embassy, USAID AKT LS and Swisscontact. In 2016, TOG has implemented 12 projects and with constant work on promotions and development of sustainable tourism we contributed to the increase on the number of tourists. Around 25.000 tourists has visited the Gračanica/Graçanicë in 2016. TOG`s projects and activities which has direct impact on the increased number of tourists are: organization of a knight festival SHIELD, tour operator study visit FAM TRIP, promotion at International Tourism Fair in Belgrade, brochures (tourist guide book, intangible cultural heritage of Municipality of Gračanica/Graçanicë, tourist map) and good cooperation with tour operators from region.
The events organized in Gračanica/Graçanicë has the positive impact on the increasing number of tourists to most of the accommodation facilities in Gračanica/Graçanicë, while the impact in other villages in municipality is lower. Beside the TOG, a great contribution to tourism development was given by Culture Center of Gračanica, which implemented a large number of events in the past year, including the three most important: Vidovdan ceremonies, documentary film festival Grafest and theatre festival “Joakim Vujić“.
These studies included eight accommodation facilities, eight restaurants and six cafes and pizzerias (22 accommodators in total). The total number of employees is 280. Concerning that on the territory of Municipality of Gračanica/Graçanicë do not exist secondary tourism management and hospitality school, the most of accommodators (68%) requires the capacity building trainings in order to improve the quality of services. According to the accommodators opinion, the most urgent and most necessary is waiter trainings, since that they are in direct contact with the tourists/guests. Besides that, the most of them also requires trainings for the receptionists, chef and management. 50% of the surveyed accommodators are willing to invest in employee’s capacity building trainings and they are willing to employ new skilled employees with the certificate. In accordance with these conclusions, the Tourism Development Strategy of the Municipality of Gračanica/Graçanicë contains concrete activities and Action Plan with regards to the improvement of accommodation facilities, tourism personnel capacity building and improvement of the services. The Tourism Organization of Gracanica will be focused and give its best efforts to solve the above mentioned issues.