Macedonia; in Hospitality and Tourism in Transition in Central and Eastern Europe: A Comparative Analysis – Vodenska M. (Ed.)

Sekulovska, Mirjana and Marinoski, Naume and Nestoroska, Ivanka and Risteski, Michael (2018) Macedonia; in Hospitality and Tourism in Transition in Central and Eastern Europe: A Comparative Analysis – Vodenska M. (Ed.). In: Hospitality and Tourism in Transition in Central and Eastern Europe: A Comparative Analysis. Cambridge Scholars Publishing, Newcastle, UK, pp. 261-295. ISBN 978-1-5275-1120-0

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Abstract

The territory of the country measures 25,713 km2. In the north it borders Serbia and Kosovo, in the west Albania, in the south Greece and in the east Bulgaria. It is situated between 40o 51’ and 42o 22’ north latitude and 20o 27’ and 23o 05’ east longitude. The population that permanently resides in this territory, according to the last census is 2,022,547 inhabitants from diverse ethnic groups. The Macedonian population prevails with approximately 64% of the total number, but multi-ethnicity represents a solid basis for a rich ethnographic capacity which is included in the tourism offer of the Republic of Macedonia (Marinoski, 2008a). The city population is 59.78% of the total population. The economy experienced a radical change in its conditions. The most significant structural change in the economic system was the transition from socialist self-governing to capitalism, which led to a change of ownership from social to private and a clear determining of the title of ownership. Economic processes emphasised privatisation as the basis of the transition process. Unfortunately, the transition was implemented in a way that many companies and economic systems from the real sector were made bankrupt and liquidated and the overall economic conditions instead of being promoted, demonstrated a remarkable reduction in their development. The downturn of the economy meant that tourism development could not be supported. The decline of the population’s standard of living affected the mobility of domestic tourists and the decline of the domestic tourism market. Furthermore, it is a fact that these processes of liquidation contributed in the Republic of Macedonia to the increase in unemployment. A large number of employees in the industry lost their jobs so they were forced to be engaged in other activities. Gross Domestic Product (GDP) is an important indicator of the economy of the Republic of Macedonia. According to data of the State Statistical Office derived from the annual accounts from business entities and other sources, the gross domestic product in 2014 amounted to 525,620 million denars or 9,727 million US $ while compared to 2013 it increased by 4.7%. The real growth rate of GDP, compared to 2013 was 3.5%. The final expenditure in 2014, compared to 2013, increased by 1.9% and in the structure of GDP it accounted for 86.8%. The share of exports of goods and services in GDP in 2014 was 47.8% (State Statistical Office of the Republic of Macedonia, n.d.a). Tourism resources of a natural and cultural character are abundant in the region. The natural values have basic, complex and complementary features. Mountains represent exceptionally significant tourist potential. The hilly to mountainous area accounts for 92.2% of the country’s surface area. The average height of the country is 1,404 m above sea level. The country is mountainous with the highest peak measuring 2,764 m. There are 34 mountains on which there are 6 major winter sports centres. Equally attractive are the 14 larger gorges and canyons. As well as inactive volcanic landscapes there is one active solfatara. The climate is generally continental, whereas in the mountains it is a mountain climate and towards the open space of the Aegean and Adriatic Seas the climate is Mediterranean. The Republic of Macedonia is landlocked, but there are tectonic, glacial and artificial lakes. The river network consists of three major river basins whereas thermo-mineral springs represent the basis for locating 8 spa centres. There are plant species that are characteristic for the Mediterranean and the Euro-Siberian regions. Forest areas and forest land form a total of 1,288,915 hectares, or 50% of the country’s complete territory. The most significant protected areas are the 3 national parks. The wildlife which forms the base for hunting activities is represented by mammals (mammalia) and birds (aves). There are a total of 47 registered hunting associations, which have their own hunting areas. Nine major fishing centres are located by the rivers as well as on the shores of tectonic and artificial lakes (Zikov & Vasil, 1997). Cultural tourism resources are represented by a rare abundance of archaeological sites that date back to the Palaeolithic, Neolithic, Eneolithic, Bronze and Iron Ages, as well as to the period of ancient Roman culture, to the early Christian period and to the Middle Ages. Churches and monasteries are a real treasure and an important destination for visitors. They date back to the IX and XIX centuries. Mosques date back to the XIV and XIX centuries. Secular architecture is represented by the built fortified cities, towers, bridges, bazaars, inns, baths and palaces, cultural monuments in the form of urban architecture and distinguished urban settlements and individual houses, monuments and memorials – landmarks from recent history, museums and cultural centres, theatres, universities and major libraries, cultural or sports halls and archives. Ethnographic values and traditions include architecture, traditional economic activities, crafts, food, folkloric clothing as well as folk songs and dances. The most important events are the cultural, entertainment, sports, economic and scientific events. The political structure of the Republic of Macedonia has undergone significant changes. The country went through different political systems. After the Second World War, it was a part of the Yugoslavian federation, so the policies were mainly made at the central level whereby the republics aligned their decisions to the federation and suggested their own individual policies to the Central Committee of the Communist Party and to the bodies of the federation. The political system was characterised by statist and socialist characteristics although the beginnings of the self-governing system were introduced in 1953. Significant changes occurred in 1974 when the self-governing system adopted a greater decentralisation and increase of the individual powers of the republics. During this period the Republic of Macedonia gained more autonomy. There was an improved decentralisation of power towards the local level so that the municipalities also became a significant political structure within the country. Starting from 1980, the Republic of Macedonia entered a transition period which resulted from the breakup of Yugoslavia. It was the only Yugoslavian republic that peacefully gained its independence. Since 1991, the country has been an internationally recognised state and a member of the United Nations (UN). In 2001, a military conflict occurred that was relatively quickly resolved by the signing of the Ohrid agreement. This agreement, among other solutions, allowed minority communities to participate according to the representation of the overall population in the state administration. The administrative-territorial structure of the state underwent significant changes which were in line with the autonomy and transition of the self-governing system towards the capitalist system. The separation of the legislature from the executive and the judicial authority was guaranteed by the constitution. The single party system transformed into a multi-party system and the rule of law was established. State governing was a parliamentary democracy. The highest legislative authority was the Parliament in which representatives were elected by parliamentary elections. It elects the Government of the Republic of Macedonia. The President of the country is elected by direct elections, leads foreign policy and is the commander-in-chief of the armed forces. The Ministries, besides participating in the decision-making of the government through its ministers, also have regional and local departments in major community centres through which operationally they implement state policies. The local departments for self-government in the country have an important place in the economic and social development of the country. They decide on the local infrastructure and its improvement as well as on the adoption of spatial and urban solutions that are of great importance for the development of tourism. The bodies of local self-government are managed by the mayor who is elected through local elections. The mayor presents his plans and their implementation to the Council which adopts these documents. The council members are also elected through local elections. In a political sense the local departments for self-government are autonomous in their decision-making. At state level, they are organised into the Association of Local Government Units – ZELS, which plays a significant role in inter-municipal cooperation as well as presenting to state institutions when they have common interests. At regional level, regions exist in which all municipalities are grouped. They are managed by Centres whose executives are elected by representatives of the units for local self-governance. They also enable the balanced economic development of the Republic of Macedonia and they do not have executive authority. In a political sense, numerous changes have taken place in the Republic of Macedonia. The country went from a socialist to a capitalist system, public ownership changed into private ownership, and the federal structure transformed into a unitary state. The country also had many turbulent periods of gaining independence and military conflict in order to establish a multi-party system and a general policy towards Euro-Atlantic integration processes. The legislature is separated from the executive and judicial autonomy. Representatives are elected through parliamentary elections as members of the Council which is appointed by the Government of the Republic of Macedonia. The President is also elected through presidential elections. Regions are established as functional territorial administrative units. The decentralisation processes in an administrative sense, are realised by the Mayor and the Council for local governance who are also elected through local elections.

Item Type: Book Section
Subjects: Scientific Fields (Frascati) > Social Sciences > Other social sciences
Divisions: Faculty of Tourism and Hospitality
Depositing User: Prof. d-r Michael Risteski
Date Deposited: 26 Apr 2021 12:49
Last Modified: 26 Apr 2021 12:49
URI: http://eprints.uklo.edu.mk/id/eprint/6369

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