North Macedonia is surging the travel industry with new visa-free entry policy for 79 countries, including United Arab Emirates, UK and Schengen Nations


Sunday, June 30, 2024

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North Macedonia is a captivating tourist destination that seamlessly blends rich history, stunning natural landscapes, and vibrant cultural experiences, making it an appealing choice for global travel enthusiasts. With its picturesque lakes, such as Lake Ohrid, which is a UNESCO World Heritage site, and its historic cities like Skopje and Bitola, North Macedonia offers a diverse array of attractions for leisure travel. North Macedonia is surging the travel industry with new visa-free entry policy for 79 countries, including United Arab Emirates, UK and Schengen Nations. The country’s warm hospitality and well-preserved traditions enhance its tourism appeal. Significantly, North Macedonia’s visa-free entry policy for citizens from 79 countries simplifies travel logistics, promoting seamless access for holidaymakers, business travel, and corporate travel visitors. This ease of entry encourages a growing influx of international tourists and business professionals, enhancing the country’s standing as a prime destination for both leisure and corporate travel. Whether exploring the ancient ruins, enjoying the vibrant local festivals, or attending business meetings in modern conference facilities, visitors to North Macedonia can expect a rich and rewarding travel experience.

TTW Editor in Chief Mr. Anup Kumar Keshan said: “The implementation of North Macedonia visa-free policy for 79 countries, including Schengen nations, has been a transformative force for the tourism sector. This strategic move has not only simplified the entry process for millions but has also broadened our appeal across diverse travel sectors. Additionally, this policy has invigorated niche travel markets, such as culinary tourism, adventure travel, and wellness retreats, enriching the travel experience and fostering significant economic growth and cultural exchange.”

Schengen Area Countries (90 days)

  1. Austria
  2. Belgium
  3. Czech Republic
  4. Denmark
  5. Estonia
  6. Finland
  7. France
  8. Germany
  9. Greece
  10. Hungary
  11. Iceland
  12. Italy
  13. Latvia
  14. Liechtenstein
  15. Lithuania
  16. Luxembourg
  17. Malta
  18. Netherlands
  19. Norway
  20. Poland
  21. Portugal
  22. Slovakia
  23. Slovenia
  24. Spain
  25. Sweden
  26. Switzerland

European Union but not in Schengen Area (90 days)

  1. Bulgaria
  2. Croatia
  3. Cyprus
  4. Ireland
  5. Romania

Other European Countries (90 days)

  1. Albania
  2. Andorra
  3. Bosnia and Herzegovina
  4. Georgia
  5. Kosovo
  6. Moldova
  7. Monaco
  8. Montenegro
  9. Russia
  10. San Marino
  11. Serbia
  12. Ukraine
  13. UK

Americas (90 days)

  1. Antigua and Barbuda
  2. Argentina
  3. Bahamas
  4. Barbados
  5. Brazil
  6. Canada
  7. Chile
  8. Colombia
  9. Costa Rica
  10. Cuba
  11. El Salvador
  12. Guatemala
  13. Honduras
  14. Mexico
  15. Nicaragua
  16. Panama
  17. Paraguay
  18. Peru
  19. Saint Kitts and Nevis
  20. USA
  21. Uruguay
  22. Venezuela

Asia (90 days)

  1. Azerbaijan
  2. Brunei
  3. Israel
  4. Japan
  5. Malaysia
  6. Singapore
  7. South Korea
  8. Turkey
  9. United Arab Emirates

Oceania (90 days)

  1. Australia
  2. New Zealand

Africa (90 days)

  1. Mauritius
  2. Seychelles

North Macedonia’s GDP and Tourist Footfall

GDP of North Macedonia

In 2023, North Macedonia’s GDP stood at approximately $15.4 billion. This reflects the country’s steady economic growth, driven by various sectors including industry, services, and tourism. The government’s efforts to improve infrastructure and attract foreign investments have been pivotal in bolstering the economy.


Tourist Footfall in North Macedonia

Tourist arrivals in North Macedonia have shown significant growth. In 2023, the country recorded a total of 1,294,365 tourist arrivals. This increase underscores North Macedonia’s rising appeal as a tourist destination, with its rich cultural heritage, scenic landscapes, and historical sites attracting visitors from around the world.

Airlines and Airports in North Macedonia

North Macedonia is well-connected through its two main international airports: Skopje International Airport (SKP) and Ohrid St. Paul the Apostle Airport (OHD).

Major Airlines

  1. Wizz Air
    • Description: A major low-cost airline operating numerous routes from Skopje, significantly contributing to the increase in passenger traffic.
  2. Pegasus Airlines
    • Description: A Turkish low-cost airline offering flights between Skopje and Istanbul.
  3. Air Serbia
    • Description: The national airline of Serbia, providing connections from Skopje to Belgrade and beyond.
  4. Turkish Airlines
    • Description: Offers extensive international routes from Skopje via Istanbul.
  5. Croatia Airlines
    • Description: Connects Skopje with various destinations through Zagreb.

Major Airports

  1. Skopje International Airport (SKP)
    • Location: Situated east of Skopje, the capital city.
    • Description: A modern airport with a terminal consisting of two floors, catering to a significant volume of international passengers.
  2. Ohrid St. Paul the Apostle Airport (OHD)
    • Location: Near the town of Ohrid, a popular tourist destination.
    • Description: Serves as a gateway to the picturesque Lake Ohrid and other tourist attractions in the region.

Railway Connectivity

North Macedonia’s railway network connects major cities and towns within the country and provides international links to neighboring countries such as Serbia, Greece, and Bulgaria. The rail system supports both passenger and freight transport, making it a crucial component of the country’s infrastructure.

Key Routes

  1. Skopje to Belgrade
    • Connects the capitals of North Macedonia and Serbia, facilitating travel and trade.
  2. Skopje to Thessaloniki
    • Provides access to Greece’s major port city, enhancing both tourism and commerce.

Benefits for Visa-Exempt Travelers

Travelers from 79 countries can enter North Macedonia without a visa, greatly simplifying the travel process for holidaymakers, leisure travelers, business travelers, and those on corporate travel. The efficient connectivity through Skopje and Ohrid airports, served by airlines like Wizz Air, Pegasus Airlines, and Turkish Airlines, ensures seamless access for international visitors. This ease of entry promotes North Macedonia as a prime destination for global travel, enabling visitors to enjoy its rich cultural heritage, natural beauty, and modern amenities with minimal travel barriers.

Top MICE Trip Advisors in North Macedonia

  1. Vispo Travel
    • Description: Specializes in organizing meetings, incentives, conferences, and exhibitions with a focus on personalized service and local expertise.
  2. Explorer Travel & Tours
    • Description: Offers comprehensive MICE services including event planning, logistics, and on-site management for corporate clients.
  3. Fibula Air Travel
    • Description: Provides tailored solutions for business events, corporate retreats, and incentive travel, leveraging extensive local knowledge.

Top Touristy Places in North Macedonia and How to Reach Them

1. Lake Ohrid and Ohrid Town

Description: Lake Ohrid, one of Europe’s oldest and deepest lakes, is a UNESCO World Heritage site. The town of Ohrid, situated on its shores, is known for its historical sites, including ancient churches, a medieval fortress, and the old town with its beautiful architecture.

How to Reach:

  • By Air: Fly to Ohrid St. Paul the Apostle Airport (OHD). From the airport, it’s a short taxi ride to the town.
  • By Car: Ohrid is accessible via the A2 motorway from Skopje, approximately a 2.5-hour drive.
  • By Bus: Regular bus services operate between Skopje and Ohrid.

2. Skopje

Description: The capital city of North Macedonia, Skopje is known for its mix of modern and historic architecture, vibrant nightlife, and cultural landmarks. Key attractions include the Skopje Fortress, the Memorial House of Mother Teresa, and the Old Bazaar.

How to Reach:

  • By Air: Fly to Skopje International Airport (SKP), located about 23 kilometers from the city center. Taxis and airport shuttle buses are available.
  • By Car: Skopje is accessible via the A1/E75 motorway.
  • By Train: Skopje is well connected by rail to major cities in neighboring countries.

3. Matka Canyon

Description: Matka Canyon, located near Skopje, is a stunning natural site featuring steep cliffs, caves, and the Matka Lake. Popular activities include kayaking, hiking, and exploring the Vrelo Cave.

How to Reach:

  • By Car: The canyon is about a 30-minute drive from Skopje city center.
  • By Bus: Local buses from Skopje to Matka are available.

4. Mavrovo National Park

Description: Mavrovo National Park is known for its beautiful landscapes, including mountains, forests, and the Mavrovo Lake. It’s a popular destination for skiing in the winter and hiking and biking in the summer.

How to Reach:

  • By Car: About a 1.5 to 2-hour drive from Skopje via the E65 and A2 roads.
  • By Bus: Buses from Skopje to Mavrovo are available, though less frequent than car travel.

5. Bitola

Description: Bitola is known for its historical sites, including the ancient city of Heraclea Lyncestis, Ottoman-era architecture, and the vibrant Shirok Sokak street lined with cafes and shops.

How to Reach:

  • By Car: Approximately a 2-hour drive from Skopje via the A1 motorway.
  • By Train: Regular train services run between Skopje and Bitola.
  • By Bus: Frequent bus services connect Skopje and Bitola.

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