Nurturing authenticity of Zlatibor through modern tourism – Gold Gondola

The public enterprise "Gold Gondola Zlatibor" is concluding this year with exceptional results, setting new standards in tourism and enhancing its offerings through an extraordinary concept of nature retreat. At the beginning of the year, the 500,000th passenger was celebrated, and now the gondola is halfway to the millionth passenger, counting more than 750,000. Besides breaking records, the gondola went a step further this summer by creating free activities at the interstation and the top of Tornik, named "Anti-stress summer on the Gondola." The same pace continues into the winter season, with new activities planned. At the end of the year, projects were presented as part of the development of a new concept for Zlatibor, with Gold Gondola at its core: a new gondola branch from Tornik to Pribojska Banja, the development of the top of Tornik, and the Golden City on the shore of Ribnica Lake. Preserving the nature, tradition, and culture of the Zlatibor region, along with continuous social engagement, has become synonymous with the business of Gold Gondola.

"We are satisfied with the ending year and can truly boast excellent results, as we made an effort to make each month different from the previous year. During this year, we launched new services - the edible souvenir "brunch in the air" and romantic journeys, which had a tremendous impact. Many companies wanted to offer these experiences to their employees as part of team building, as well as to business partners. We explored new spaces along the Gold Gondola route and included them in our offerings for organizing sports and entertainment events, as well as activities for companies through corporate gatherings. This is one of the important activities we engaged in during the past year, and I hope the results will come in the next year and beyond. We worked extensively on improving infrastructure and facilities at the stations, opened a new hospitality facility at the top of Tornik, prepared a children's playground, and a series of activities lasting throughout January, focusing on children and snow activities," said Bojana Božanić, the director of "Gold Gondola Zlatibor."

The past year was marked by numerous socially responsible activities, with a particular emphasis on ecological actions aimed at environmental preservation, representing one of the fundamental values of this enterprise. Through symbolic actions, Gold Gondola aims to raise public awareness about the responsibility of each individual in preserving the natural environment. Guests want to escape from urban environments to beautiful mountain landscapes without using their cars, and the gondola allows them to do so while preserving and nurturing the environment. Social engagement also extended to working with children, offering them educational and entertaining content during the summer and autumn breaks.

"We always provide free rides for children from economically disadvantaged backgrounds, people with disabilities, and those coming from more vulnerable areas (children from Kosovo and Metohija), as well as various other categories of passengers. As a public enterprise, we strive to be socially responsible by participating in various activities within the territory of the Municipality of Čajetina. Our motivation is to have as many people as possible ride the gondola and enjoy the beautiful scenery, and the financial benefit follows. I would highlight the marking of Breast Cancer Awareness Month, which has already become a tradition every October at Gold Gondola. In collaboration with the counseling center 'Jefimija' from Užice and the Association 'Woman Beside Woman,' we raise awareness about the importance of health care, and we, as employees, strive to apply these tips. This year, we marked the International Day of Digital Detox for the first time, wanting to show how it is to enjoy nature without a mobile phone, and we will continue in that spirit," emphasized Božanić.

In the technical sector, regular monthly, annual, and semi-annual inspections were conducted, respecting the service intervals based on the number of working hours. Gondola representatives collaborated with partners from France and Austria, organizing study visits to France for employees to learn about the operation of the cable car in the "Three Valleys" ski resort. They had the opportunity to acquire new knowledge and skills, which they applied to their work at Zlatibor's gondola. Visits to the fair in Innsbruck became regular, and exchanges of experiences on a seasonal basis were established with Ski Resorts of Serbia and the Olympic Center Jahorina, as well as stronger cooperation with gondolas in Skopje and Kotor.

"During this year, we took care of our employees, guided by the belief that our guests will be satisfied if our employees are content. We made an effort for colleagues to be satisfied with their work and the equipment they use, offering various training sessions, workshops, and team-building activities. The goal is to provide them with opportunities for improvement and to make them comfortable in their workplaces. We believe that a team consists of people who will give their best if we provide a stimulating environment where they can excel. We live in a time of rapid changes, shaping increasingly specific forms of tourism, so it is necessary for our employees to be ready for new trends and ways of working. The gondola is a modern company that opens space for the professional development of its employees, and continuous education is an integral part of our business," added Božanić.

This year, the gondola organized a series of promotional events, open-air cinemas, matinees at the intermediate station, corporate gatherings, as well as the presentation "New Zlatibor: Vision of the Future" and the conference "Leader with a Soul" in collaboration with the Municipality of Čajetina, the Tourist Organization of Zlatibor, the Tourist and Recreational Complex of Zlatibor, and the Association of Citizens 'Zlata.'

"We went a step, if not more, further compared to the previous year with our content, activities, presentation, and preparation. We announced the season in early December, leaving space for Zlatibor guests to organize their free time, and according to information from hotels, this will be an exceptional season. In addition to the gondola ride, our visitors can enjoy sports activities on Mondays, Tuesdays in the fantastic view from the top of Tornik with discounted warm drinks at the Gondola Bar, Wednesdays feature children's workshops, Thursdays offer entertainment called 'Brush and Glass' with painting under the guidance of an academic painter and serving Zlatibor specialties, and weekends will have daytime parties. In the absence of snow, we will organize other sports activities. The expansion of the souvenir shop with attractive, unique, and high-quality souvenirs is planned, where everyone will be able to find a memento to their liking. Additionally, from the beginning of the year, a souvenir shop will start operating at the starting station. This part of the route will undergo a completely new look, as it will feature a ticket office, souvenir shop, sports equipment store, and a catering facility all in one place. Abundance of content, art, entertainment, music, and sports falls under the umbrella of Gold Gondola in collaboration with our institutions and public enterprises because we all represent Zlatibor and collectively provide experiences to make it interesting for the guests. We hope to go at least two steps further than this in the coming year, and we have prepared such a budget," concludes Božanić.

The desire of Gold Gondola is to create a new experience of Zlatibor from a natural perspective, opening up space for innovative entertainment programs for all generations, especially for business people in need of an escape from the hectic daily routine. The gondola route has become the path of vision for the development of modern tourism.


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