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Montenegro votes for independence, rise in tourism expected

On May 22, Montenegro held a referendum to vote on independence from Serbia. The vote passed by a 55.4 percent majority. Since the vote, many European and other countries have declared their support, and some sources speculate that Montenegro could be a separate nation by July. As an independent nation, Montenegro hopes to gain entry into the European Union (EU), which would likely boost its economy. Read the latest on the referendum and its outcome.

What does this mean for travelers other than a potential new passport stamp? Montenegro is a small territory that depends on tourism to support its economy, and according to the Associated Press (AP), closer ties to the EU could result in a tourism boom with the amount of Western visitors doubling this year. And hopefully, people who have stayed away due to an unstable political situation will be more likely to visit. Countries, like Croatia, that have gone down a similar path have hit the ranks as one of the new "it" travel destinations.

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For travel information, visit the Montenegro tourism website, which is already expressing the territory's independence.

Also, Eastern European tourism in general, particularly in the Balkans, has been gaining popularity and yet may still be more affordable than parts of Western Europe. Read more in SmarterTravel's special report feature, Ten underpriced and on-the-rise European cities.

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