Following managing editor, Angela Audretsch's visit to Montenegro last year, I was invited back to see how the various developments at Porto Montenegro, Dukley Gardens and Lustica Bay have grown in the past 12 months. After visiting a number of other regions along the Adriatic throughout the year, including Turkey and Croatia, it is apparent that the eastern Med is pulling out all the stops to bring UHNW clients and yacht owners away from the usual milk run and into new cruising grounds.
After the idea of developing a high end luxury marina in Montenegro was born back in 2007 through the team at Porto Montenegro, the entire region has grown and flourished. As a result, there have been a number of other investors arriving into the region to capitalise on the unspoilt waters, historical towns and incredible touring grounds on offer. Oliver Corlette, managing director at Porto commented to me "our aim is to become a nautical centre and year round home port for superyachts that choose to stay with us. Whilst still taking baby steps, we're seeing plenty of growth with 250 berths currently filled and the second phase to bring this up to 400-700 by next summer."
And although the team at Porto were one of the first on the scene a number of years ago, it seems a trend has begun with more and more flocking to the shores of the eastern Med and Adriatic. Speaking with Canadian Colin Kingsmill, head of sales and marketing for Dukley Marina, who has made a home in the region for the past five years shared his own thoughts on the burgeoning region. "I think the region on the whole is really growing, and certainly here in Budva, we're looking to instill the beliefs of our American investor who is incredibly committed to the project, the region and the people." With Camper & Nicholsons Marinas putting their own name behind the brand by welcoming them in the 1782 Club, Kurt Fraser, sales and marketing director for the Group shared that "we're looking to become the first point of entry for owners entering the Adriatic. Following the final sign off from the local government and our investor, we aim to break ground next year and hope to be on schedule for completion by 2017."
Luštica Bay is yet another luxury development project looking to lure guests to their villas, 176 berth marina, 18-hole golf course, and hotel. Phase one is currently on schedule for a completion date of 2017 and is being carried out by the team at Orsacom Development Holding that has built a reputation on developing high end real estate properties, marinas and leisure facilities throughout Egypt, UAE, Jordan, Oman, Switzerland, Morocco, and the UK. CEO at Luštica Bay, Darren Gibson explained that their reasoning for coming to the region were for "its potential, natural beauty and exclusive location, making it simply irresistible."
With such a high number of investors and interested parties putting their time and money behind the tiny region of Montenegro, it's apparent that the infrastructure and country on the whole will be undergoing plenty of growth in the next few years. As Kingsmill concluded, the region is readying itself for "the adventure seekers, those early adapters that are always keen to be a part of something new and exciting as it's happening. And we're thrilled to be able to be a part of it."