City authorities expect "50,000 tourists" in Belgrade

BELGRADE -- 50,000 tourists are expected to attend the New Year celebrations this year in Belgrade, head of the city's interim administration Siniša Mali has said.

Mali and Ražnatović are seen during a news conference last week (Tanjug)
Mali and Ražnatović are seen during a news conference last week (Tanjug)

This figure is revised from a previous estimate of 20,000 - and Mali told reporters on Tuesday that the reason was the announcement that folk singer Svetlana Ražnatović would perform at midnight in an open-air concert.

According to Mali, this not only attracted more tourists, but prompted many Belgraders to change their plans and spend New Year's Eve in front of the national assembly building, where the concert will be taking place.

According to him, "big revenues are expected in hotels and from a great number of tourists," while the celebration itself will prove that "a spectacle can be organized with little funding."

"There was no money, there was no budget at all for this purpose," said Mali.

It was announced earlier that the concert would cost some RSD 4.5 million to organize, but that singers and bands taking part would perform gratis.

The event will start at 20:00 CET tonight and continue until 02:00 on Wednesday. Beside Ražnatović, a number of other local folk and pop stars will perform.