Department of Tourism
The education of students for tourism in Serbia started in 1962 when the postgraduate studies of tourism were set up at the Department of Geography in the Faculty of Natural Sciences and Mathematics of the University of Belgrade. Nine years later, the Institute of Tourism and Spatial Planning was established with the Department of Tourism. In 1976, the Institute and the study group were transformed into the Department for Tourism of the Faculty of Natural Sciences and Mathematics, which ceased to exist in 1991.
Since 2007/08, the studies of Tourism were renewed within the Faculty of Geography of the University of Belgrade. The studies are conducted at three levels: undergraduate academic studies, graduate academic – masters studies and doctoral studies.
The Department of Tourism is one of the five departments of the Faculty of Geography. The Department is the key factor and the organiser of educational and scientific work in the domain of tourism. The first manager of the Department of Tourism was Prof. Srboljub Stamenkovic from its founding to the autumn of 2010.
The Department of Tourism is responsible for issues of organization and enhancement of teaching at undergraduate, graduate (masters) and doctoral academic studies.
In 2012 the Faculty of Geography, through the Department of Tourism, joined the Danube University Network in Tourism, initiated by the non-governmental organization The Danube Competence Centеr. The main intention of forming the mentioned university network, which includes over a hundred universities from the Danubian region, was to network the knowledge, experience and information, to launch the joint research and exchange research results, link the educational sector and tourism operators, and to improve educational plans and services provided to students.
In 2012 the Faculty of Geography, through the Department of Tourism, joined the initiative for preparation and proposing the project Cross-cultural tourism, within the international TEMPUS VI programme. Nine European universities headed by the University of Novi Sad are involved in preparatory activities related to this project.
Since its foundation till today the members of the Institute have actively participated in a range of scientific and professional gatherings dedicated to tourism and geography, held in Serbia or abroad. On the occasion of the fiftieth anniversary of education of tourismologists in Serbia, initiated at the Department of Geography at the Faculty of Natural Sciences and Mathematics in 1962, the Institute for Tourism, in cooperation with the Tourismologists’ Association of Serbia, Department of Geography and Tourism of the Faculty of Sciences from Novi Sad, the Geographical Institute “Jovan Cvijic” – SASA and the National Tourism Organisation of Serbia, organized the scientific conference “Problem and Practice of the Development of Tourismology in Serbia”.
In 2015 the Department of Tourism, together with the Tourismologists’ Association of Serbia, plans an international scientific conference “Theory and Practice of Tourism Development in the Countries of South Eastern Europe”, and the initial preparations for the organisation of such gathering are already underway.
The Deparment of Tourism has, among its activities, an intense cooperation with professional associations, associations of tourism industry and tourism organisations, such as YUTA (National Organization of Travel Agencies), Tourismologists’ Association of Serbia, student organization “Mladi za Turizam” (Youth for Tourism), tourism organisations of Serbia, South Western Serbia, Vojvodina, Belgrade etc., with the aim of exchanging experience and information, launching joint research, connecting theory and practice of tourism development, and creating conditions for doing student practice and volunteering work in order to enhance their employment opportunities at the end of their studies.
The basic focus and direction for future activities of the Department of Tourism are based on the fact that geography is a fundamental science due to its straddling the natural and social sciences, which is also the strongest argument for geographic fundamentality of tourismology. Only in geographical terms can tourismology explain the connection between the human nature and the need for tourism motivated by health and recreation, that causes mass movements towards tourist and recreational areas. Tourism can prosper nowadays but the social and political circumstances were not so favourable at the time of its creation. This science and its theoretical and practical activities should constantly keep in touch with the relevant state authorities, regions and municipalities. Such interweaving of ideas, needs and possibilities will create opportunities for a more ambitious consideration of developmental problems of Serbia, Europe and the world as a whole. In accordance with their available capacities and possibilities, the Department of Tourism, and the Faculty of Geography as a whole, will seek to make appropriate contribution to achieving those goals.
Head of the Chair
Ph.D. Marija Belij, assistant professor