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19. January 2010.
The 47th International Hotel and Restaurant Association (IH&RA) Congress opened in Belgrade this Monday.
Economy Minister Mlađan Dinkić took part in the gathering, to say that Serbia earned around USD 900mn from tourism in 2009, while the number of overnight stays by foreign tourists increased by six percent.
Dinkić also stated that this was “a success in the year of crisis, when many European countries recorded a turnover drop of three percent, but that the influx of foreign currency is still unsatisfactory because it is far below that of comparable tourist destinations”.
He assessed that the congress was a remarkable chance for Serbia to market itself as an attractive tourist destination, adding that the country used to be a much more important destination for congress tourism and that it can become one again.
"In order to recapture our former glory, we need first of all to improve the services offered. Quality, good service, good hosts and a good time are the most important things," Dinkić believes.
The minister announced that on Monday night as part of the congress, a document will be signed between IHRA and the International Labor Organization, which will define the position of employees in these industries.
The congress is attended by IH&RA President Ghassan Aidi.