Mr Ljajić: Working Group for spas, first to come is Kuršumlija

Minister of Trade, Tourism, and Telecommunications Rasim Ljajić has said that Serbian Government has again formed the working group for privatisation and tackling the issue of spas, and that there is an interested investor in the Kuršumlija spa.

In the interview given to Beta agency he said that one meeting has already been held for the working group, discussing the issues of the Kuršumlija spa which is, as he assessed, in a catastrophic state, with years of being non-operational.

“A group of people managing the Lukovka and Prolom spa is interested in making the Kuršumlija spa up and running. We delegated tasks to certain institutions how to tackle the property-legal relations in that spa, so that it could start the process of property sale”, says Mr Ljajić.

He has stressed that it could be a successful model to be applied to other spas and rehabilitation centres in Serbia as well.

He has added that the working group tends to resolve the issue of Kuršumlija spa as soon as possible, so that the interested investor could invest the funds and make that spa functional.

Mr Ljajić has underlined that it is necessary to make a mix of various investment models for spas, since no classic sale will be applied, adding that the government is preparing various models of strategic partnerships.

“Where there is a clear interest to maintain the purpose of a spa, and use the new funds to encourage competitiveness and improve the offer, the government will enter the business”, he said.

He estimated that the current state where nothing can be changed is unsustainable and everybody is suffering a damage, stating that spas are one of three key resources in the touristic offer of Serbia.

Serbia, as he has added, has more than 300 thermal springs and over 30 active spas which can become functional with the investment.

He has assessed that it is likely that spas could be one of the most important touristic offers of Serbia, and that the further growth of tourism in Serbia will be also based on medical tourism.