Bosnia and Herzegovina is a tourist destination with exceptional natural beauty, cultural and historical values and favorable climatic conditions. It is also one of the few European countries that can boast of centuries of intersected cultures, religions, and traditions, which is an added value for the creation of specific tourism products.
Another advantage is its geographical location – located in the heart of Europe, which shows the potential to attract tourists from all over Europe within a three-hour flight. BiH has three National Parks, two Nature Parks, extremely modern accommodation facilities that are rated very high, but also unique and traditional. We can and want to talk much more about advantages and potentials of Bosnia and Herzegovina as a tourist destination.
In the first ten months of this year, 808,268 tourists visited Bosnia and Herzegovina, which is 87.1 percent more and 1,914,453 overnight stays, which is 74.5 percent more than in the same period last year. After the catastrophic pandemic year, the epidemiological picture in 2021 related to the COVID-19 pandemic is improving day by day, and number of tourists in Bosnia and Herzegovina is increasing every day.
In every current crisis, it is necessary to recognize the opportunity, and if possible, with help of international partners to create greater and more comprehensive prospects for further quality tourism development and improve and increase the attractiveness of BiH as a recognizable tourist destination in European and the world market.
At the right time, the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) is launching a five-year project to develop sustainable tourism in BiH, the “Tourism” project, worth $ 20 million. This project is becoming a driver and a wind behind the creation of conditions and predispositions for excellence of tourism in BiH and for the path towards the creation of Bosnia and Herzegovina as a world-class tourist destination in the post-pandemic era.
Through its activities, “Tourism” supports the recovery of tourism industry in Bosnia and Herzegovina from the negative effects of the pandemic and puts it on a strong path of growth towards a sustainable tourism economy. Among other expected results, the project will increase tourism revenues and hotel reservations, strengthen the country’s competitiveness as a tourist destination, boost more than $ 40 million in private investment, and create more than 3,000 new tourism-related jobs.
One of the key preconditions for creating excellence in tourism is the Tourism Development Strategy of FBiH. In the past year, the FBIH Chamber of Economy, together with the Federal Ministry of Environment and Tourism, worked intensively on drafting the Strategy, and the Draft FBiH Tourism Development Strategy for 2022-2027 is prepared.
The approach to development of the strategy relied on four pillars and reflects the value chain nurtured by “Tourism” project, in order to improve the competitiveness of this industry. To achieve this, some of the key challenges and weaknesses identified in the World Economic Forum’s Travel and Tourism Competitiveness Index have been taken into account. The World Economic Forum (WEF) ranks Bosnia and Herzegovina, as the least competitive country in terms of travel and tourism, ranked 105th out of 140 countries in the world, accounting for almost 98 percent of global trade and tourism GDP.
The Travel & Tourism Competitiveness Index (TTCI) is based on four sub-indices, which include a favorable business environment, trade and tourism policy and favorable conditions, infrastructure, natural and cultural resources.
This approach will seek to transform the tourism industry by creating a more competitive and resilient destination with a harmonized regulatory environment, improving the quality and diversity of products and experiences, professionalizing human and institutional capacity and creative branding and promoting destinations to higher profit visitors.
Since the FBIH Chamber of Economy recognized the project as an ideal partner for the role of private sector leader, and in previous work participated and consulted by the Government to work on various development strategies, throughout the drafting process, the Chamber represented the so-called Coalition for Tourism Competitiveness and as such led the private sector in workshops organized and held throughout the FBIH.
In parallel with the work on the FBiH Tourism Development Strategy, the FBiH Chamber of Economy is recognized as the best promoter of tourism and tourist destinations of the Federation of BiH, and as such is responsible for one of the largest promotions of FBiH tourism potential, digital campaign to improve tourist destinations on the largest and most famous platform of its kind Trip Advisor.
Since the collection of photo and video materials, PR texts, campaign launches and many other activities around this large and extremely important campaign for Bosnia and Herzegovina are currently underway, we will introduce you to other activities that the FBiH Chamber of Economy is doing in the following editions.