The Danube inland waterway transport and its role in Serbia’s economic development

J. Milanković, D. Pavić, J. Đorđević, A. Dragin, S. Đukičin Vučković, M. Mészáros


The Danube river waterway, i.e. the Pan-European Corridor VII, is considered as one of the most significant transport corridors in Europe. It runs through ten countries, including Serbia (the Serbian part of the river is 588 km long), which is why it is one of Serbia’s priorities to develop inland water transport. The system of waterways provides a viable alternative to roads and rail systems. Moreover, it is crucial for regional development. The Danube River offers excellent opportunities for freight, passenger and tourist inland water transportation. However, the navigability potential of the Danube River still remains largely underrealized in Serbia: despite the high quality of waterways, inland water transport accounts for only 4.7 % of the total transport.
This paper deals with the advantages of inland navigation and the major characteristics of the Danube waterway in Serbia. In Serbia, the Danube is mainly used for freight and passenger transportation and for the development of nautical tourism. There are a number of important projects that are currently being implemented in Serbia, such as the construction of new port facilities and marinas. The paper also discusses the negative factors impeding regional development in the sphere of waterways and water transport in Serbia, primarily the lack of funding for maintenance and improvement of the river’s navigability.


Danube; inland waterway; Serbia; transport; sustainable regional development; tourism

Full Text:



Štetić, S. (2007). Special Forms of Tourism. Belgrade.

Milanković, J. (2015). Danube as a Transport Artery and Axis of Development in the Republic of Serbia (PhD thesis). Novi Sad: Faculty of Sciences, Department of Geography, Tourism and Hotel Management.

Dragin, A., Jovičić, D. & Bošković, D. (2010). Economic Impact of Cruise Tourism Along the Pan-European Corridor VII. Economic Research. 23(4), 127–141. doi: 10.1080/1331677X.2010.11517438

Radmilović, Z., & Maraš, V. (2011). Role of Danube Inland Navigation in Europe. International Journal for Traffi c and Transport Engineering, 1(1), 28–40. Retrieved from

Rissoan J. P. (1994). River-Sea Navigation in Europe. Journal of Transport Geography, 2(2), 131–142.

Wiegmans, B. W., Masurel, E. & Nijkamp, P. (1999). Intermodal Freight Terminals: An Analysis of the Terminal Market. Transportation Planning & Technology, 23(2), 105-128. doi: 10.1080/03081069908717643

Mihić, S., Golušin, M. & Mihajlović, M. (2011). Policy and Promotion of Sustainable Inland Waterway Transport in Europe-Danube River. Renewable and Sustainable Energy Reviews, 15(4), 1801–1809. doi: 10.1016/j.rser.2010.11.033

Dragin, A. (2010). International Cruising the Corridor 7. Novi Sad: University of Novi Sad, Department of Geography, Tourism and Hotel Management.

Dragin, A., Dragin, V., Košić, K., Demirović, D., Ivkov-Džigurski, A. (2017). Tourists Motives and Residents Attitude towards Cruisers. In: Southern and Eastern Europe 2017: Tourism and Creative Industries: Trends and Challenges: 4th International Scientifi c Conference, Opatija, Croatia, 4–6 May 2017. Vol. 4 (pp. 133–144). Opatija: University of Rijeka, Faculty of Tourism and Hospitality Management. doi: 10.20867/tosee.04.42

Demonja, D. (2012). Th e Importance of the Danube Strategy for Tourism and Culture Development of the Croatian Danube Region. Geographica Pannonica, 16(3), 112–125. doi: 10.5937/GeoPan1203112D

Vujko, A., & Gajić, T. (2014). Opportunities for Tourism Development and Cooperation in the Region by Improving the Quality of Tourism Services-the ‘Danube Cycle Route’ Case Study. Economic Research-Ekonomska istraživanja, 27(1), 847–860. doi: 10.1080/1331677X.2014.975517

Dragićević, S., Mészáros, M., Djuridjić, S., Pavić, D., Novković, I., & Radislav, T. (2013). Vulnerability of National Parks to Natural Hazards in the Serbian Danube Region. Polish Journal of Environmental Studies, 22(4), 1053–1060. Retrieved from

Lukić, D., Berjan, S., & El Bilali, H. (2018). Indicators of Tourism Development of the Serbian Danube Region. R-Economy, 4(1), 30–37. Retrieved from


Copyright (c) 2018 J. Milanković, D. Pavić, J. Đorđević, A. Dragin, S. Đukičin Vučković, M. Mészáros

Сertificate of registration media Эл № ФС77-80764 от 28.04.2021
Online ISSN 2412-0731