In the mid-2000s, a year before the referendum on independence, Montenegro launched an intensive multi-annual advertising campaign entitled “Montenegro Wild Beauty” on the global TV network “CNN”, and its European counterpart, “Euronews”.
We were informing the global business and political elite about the existence of a small, extraordinary, very beautiful and unique country named Montenegro.
Given that we had limited resources available, we focused only on several forms of communications and media: advertising on only two TV networks, sales promotion targeting tour operators at the major travel shows and exchanges in Europe, together with PR focusing on the media outlets of Western Europe.
Aware of the inability to develop a wide palette of communication media, the kind large tourist destinations have, we offered a special publication entitled Montenegro EXPLORER to the Ministry of Tourism and the National Tourism Organization as a solution to the problem of introducing the destination, as well as the development of likeability and preferences towards Montenegro.
It was a full-colour, 150-page magazine published in English and German. A magazine in form, with the contents of a visitor’s guide, Explorer was published in late autumn with a circulation of 15,000 to 20,000 copies. It included a lot of news, stories, overviews, city guides and a large database.
Montenegro Explorer had two target markets – the professional readership abroad, and the end users, foreign hotel guests in Montenegro. It was read abroad by tour operators and travel agents, media professionals, business people and members of the administrative and political establishments. It was distributed at the largest travel shows in London, Berlin, Paris, Moscow, Milan, Prague, and by direct mailing. In Montenegro, it was present in the rooms of all 4 and 5 star hotels, at selected restaurants, beaches and shops, and distributed to diplomats, representatives of international organizations, companies and media outlets.
The presence of Explorer in the local market has significantly contributed to the development of identity and self-awareness of the destination and the selection and promotion of the best segments of the tourism industry. To be published in Explorer, in the form of news item, story, cultural or gastronomic review, was a matter of great prestige in the domestic tourism sector.
Abroad, it offered the simplest response to a great number of questions from tour operators and media outlets about Montenegro, motivated by the rapid rise of the destination.
Its fundamental tasks were to inform and create affection.