The Year of
The largest and most elaborate campaign of NTO of Montenegro
The Year of National Cuisine campaign was prepared in the second half of 2003 and carried out in 2004, 2005 and 2006. This was the time when Montenegro was part of the state union with Serbia and when the traditional cuisine of Montenegro was still not perceived as an established national cuisine.
The campaign launched under the slogan "Dobro Vam učinjelo" (“Gifts&Flavours of Nature”) was based on the limited availability of the traditional cuisine at the hotels, restaurants, taverns and cafes – it aimed to give the opportunity for guests to taste the meals from the traditional national menu in every tourist town, and at popular prices.
That is why this campaign surpassed the character of promotion and a one-year campaign and gained strategic importance for Montenegrin tourism.
1. It had a major impact on both the quality and profile of the tourism product of Montenegro, defining overall standards and setting up strict control of the adherence to the highest standards in the culinary sector,
2. It clearly defined and enriched the identity of the Montenegro brand,
3. It boosted the development and involvement of one of the most important segments of any national culture – the national cuisine – in the tourism product,
4. It launched the sale of domestic products, “Made in Montenegro”, in the international tourism market,
5. It opened up new entrepreneurial pathways in Montenegro’s economy.
The campaign project encompassed a wide range of activities and, in addition to (1) promotional, it included the (2) culinary and (3) hospitality segments of the campaign.
Under the aegis of the Tourism Organization of Montenegro, an Expert Commission was set up to define the meals positioned as national dishes in the international tourism community. The national menu has defined the types of dishes, ingredients used for their preparation, and the manner and norms of their preparation.
The menu for tourists could not, of course, include some of the national dishes, because of the limitations as to what could be prepared in restaurants, the lack of commercialization in the hospitality industry, the season in which they are prepared in Montenegro, or the unavailability of some ingredients and foodstuffs.
Within the hospitality segment of this project, certain restaurants were selected to participate in the campaign as National Menu certificate holders.
The restaurants, taverns and other establishments offered the national menu in two different forms:
1. As a National Restaurant – those restaurants that had the national menu as their main menu,
2. In the form of a National Menu – in addition to the main menu (fish, Italian, Chinese, etc.), the restaurants offer a special National Menu, comprised of the dishes defined by the Commission.
Since the success of the campaign depended on its execution – the ability of the chefs and food servers to be able to conjure up the most beautiful tastes and traditional aromas of Montenegro, a specialized training course was organized. All potential candidates for the national menu were obliged to send their staff to the seminars, focusing on the development of the necessary culinary and food serving skills.
The communication segment of the campaign, including advertising (videos, ads, brochures, flyers, mini cookbooks, etc.), public relations (press trips, press conferences), sales promotion (trade fairs), events (road shows, etc.), and direct marketing (newsletters), is presented in the slides at the bottom of the page. This campaign is probably the largest and most elaborate campaign ever conducted by the National Tourism Organization of Montenegro.