The highest award, the Golden Apple, given out by the World Federation of Travel Journalists and Writers FIJET, got awarded to Novi Sad, in its European Capital of Culture title year. The award was established in 1970, it is awarded once a year to a specific organisation, state, city, or person, in recognition of outstanding efforts in promoting and raising the level of tourism development, and this year it went to Novi Sad.
‘Due to its history, your city deserves the title, because it has always been home to many nations and was the capital of culture, not only in Serbia but also in the former Yugoslavia. We are impressed by the joyful life people of Novi Sad are leading, which means that the political and economic situation in the city is very good. Our organisation was founded 68 years ago when it consisted of just three countries. Now, we are represented all over the world, and we promote tourism, which can be profitable and contribute to a better life,’ said Tijani Haddad, the president of the World Federation of Travel Journalists and Writers, during the award ceremony.
The fact that Novi Sad is a multicultural city that jealously protects and proudly nurtures its rich historical and cultural heritage, is affirmed by foreign tourists who really make it stand out on the map of Europe. Even the statistics bring great news that we can all be proud of – Novi Sad has achieved the biggest number of tourist visits in the last two decades and the records show a constant growth in the number of overnight stays and tourist arrivals, month after month, which further emphasise its popularity, especially now, in the light of the ECoC title.
Therefore, Novi Sad has always been considered a city where culture is nurtured and where culture is a way of life. A lot has changed since this city took the title of the European Capital of Culture. The title brought new artistic energy and new ideas, it put a focus on the cultural scene, and that is the exact quality of the city that many recognise and the reason why they gladly come or return to Novi Sad.
Tourists from all over the world visit Novi Sad, so we have guests from Great Britain, France, Türkiye, India, USA, Albania, Qatar, Bahrain, Lebanon, Iraq, Georgia, Indonesia, Philippines, Japan, Uruguay, Brazil, and Argentina. The data also shows that the European Capital of Culture is most often visited by tourists from Bosnia and Herzegovina, Russia, Croatia, Slovenia, and Germany.
None of this should be surprising, given that numerous international online magazines and daily newspapers have, more frequently, been mentioning Novi Sad in their lists of destinations that should be visited this year.
One of them is the British newspaper Independent, which included Novi Sad as the European Capital of Culture among ten destinations that should be visited this year. Thus, Novi Sad found itself on the list of the most exciting places in the world, alongside the Maldives, Austrian mountains, Canada, India and others. In the article of the mentioned paper, the rich cultural content of Novi Sad, and more than 1,500 events that will be held by the end of the year were emphasised. Moreover, Novi Sad has found itself on the lists of media such as the Evening Standard, Conde Nast Traveller, and BBC, which have already been written about on our website.
Novi Sad has proven that it has a lot to offer and that it deservedly bears the title of the European Capital of Culture. Beautiful architecture, rich historical heritage, and culture are just some of the reasons to visit Novi Sad. In the end, we can only hope for even better results in the upcoming months and years.
Author: Anđela Dalmacija
Photo: Filip Petronijević