GSSE officials have visited Montenegro to discuss the 2019 Games ©EOC

Officials from the Games of the Small States of Europe Association (GSSE) visited Montenegro, which will host the 18th edition of the event in May 2019.

During the visit, GSSE secretary general Angelo Vicini underlined the opportunity that is presenting itself to Montenegro.

"These Games will be a great opportunity for Montenegro, not just from the point of view of sport but also tourism," he said.

"In addition to the Presidents of the Olympic Committees, the Presidents or Ministers of the countries participating in the Games will be present.

"They will take the opportunity to meet during the Games and will be talking not only about sport, but also about political and economic issues, and possibilities for cooperation between states."

Montenegrin Technical Committee member Igor Vušurović echoed Vicini's sentiments and confirmed an invite had been sent to International Olympic Committee President Thomas Bach.

"It will be his first official visit to Montenegro, which is a great honour for us," he said.

"As hosts, we have to make sure that the aspect of our hospitality and tourism is shown in the best light and we need to present our country in the most favourable way."

Thomas Bach has been invited to the Games of the Small States of Europe ©Getty Images
Thomas Bach has been invited to the Games of the Small States of Europe ©Getty Images

GSSE Technical Commission President Jean Pierre Schobel said he was impressed by Montenegro's preparations for the event.

"We have had meetings with the local Organising Committee and representatives of the Montenegrin Olympic Committee," he said.

"They are doing a good job and have prepared a strong document with all the technical details.

"We have seen some of the venues where competitions will take place.

"Some are already at an international level, while for others they need to make additional efforts to reach the required standard.

"I'm sure that next year everything will be in order and will be ready for the Games."

The biennial Games of Small States of Europe is being held in Montenegro for the first time with events taking place in Budva, Podgorica, Bar, Cetinje and Tivat from May 27 to June 1.

Teams from countries including Liechtenstein, Monaco, Andorra and San Marino are expected to send a total of 1,500 athletes to the event, where they will compete across a range of sports including rowing, volleyball, basketball and shooting.