From February 23rd to 26th in Belgrade, promotion of tourism potential of Kosovo at this year’s International Tourism Fair was conducted by the Serbian Government’s Office for Kosovo.
This event however, was only limited to potentials of Serb-run areas in the former province that in 2008, declared their independence. The office website announced, “The tourist offer, will present the municipalities of Kosovska Mitrovica, Zvecan, Zubin Potok, Leposavic, Gracanica, Prizren and Strpce,” Except Prizren, all the municipalities mentioned are Serb-dominated and run. In 2008, Kosovo declared independence from Serbia to which Belgrade refused to recognize. Although, four municipalities in the far north of Kosovo, next to the border with Serbia, of Mitrovica, Zvecan, Zubin Potok and Leposavic are still under de-facto control by Serbia, and are financed in local security, judicial, health and educational institutions by Belgrade. Spa, mountain resorts and natural resources, including wines, amongst many cultural treasures of Kosovo were presented as mentioned on Serbia’s Kosovo office website. Several wines from the Orahovac vineyard like Decanska Vinica which is produced by the famous Serbian Orthodox monastery monks at Visoki Decani were highly featured in the fair. The small Serbian enclave of Velika Hoca exhibited the largest number of wineries. It is where the locals have made wine for centuries and is labeled as “among the most famous brands of Serbia” by the website. Some “undiscovered pearl for the younger generation fanciers of winter sports” like the presentation of the potential Kosovo health tourism, ski center of Brezovica, spa facilities with thermal mineral springs were a huge part as well. Situated near the Macedonian border and in the southern part of Kosovo, Brezovica is a resort which Belgrade has no control over, but which assets is in continual legal and political battle with Kosovo.