Sowing the seed of Tourism Opportunity
“By doing the work we do, we contribute to the tourism offering, we raise awareness on Prokletije biodiversity, we educate about relicts and endemic species, and we generate additional income for our family. And it all came to be as a combination of my education and my hobbies, at time when I was coming to the age that I thought no real work is ahead of me!”
Since I was a boy I have been passionate about climbing mountains, and I know every corner of the Prokletije Mountains. They have recently become a protected zone of the national park Prokletije. While teaching my students about plants I realized that it would be easier to show them. My students loved the idea. As I spent every spare moment in the mountains, I decided to start bringing plants. I would carefully take the plants from their home in the mountains, making sure their roots were protected, and bring them to the school. That is how my 20 years long work of creating a botanical garden was initiated. Today, I have 350 plant species that are typical for Prokletije right here in my garden.
We offer different services – I guide groups who want to see natural habitat of these plants, we have built a wooden cottage where we offer accommodation, we prepare meals for visitors, and since we have an orchard, we make jams, preserves and brandies, which are my specialty, as I add various aromatic herbs to them. We package these products and we sell them.
As the number of visitors to our zone has just started to grow, we have not yet had significant income from these activities. But we know this will come. What we have created is too special for tourists to miss out on. We are still beginners. But I have no doubts we will be successful. Our garden has been declared as zone of particular importance for natural heritage of Polimlje area.
Milutin Prascevic, Montenegro