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Cultural heritage as a development potential of BiH tourism

Bosnia and Herzegovina is a country rich in cultural heritage, natural beauty, tourist facilities, and it is a crossroads of many cultures and civilizations. Culture and tourism have always been closely linked. The era of globalization, digitization, massively available information and tourist content has led to the fact that modern tourists focus more and more precisely on the cultural identity of the area they plan to visit.

Aware of the increasingly demanding needs and interests of tourists, partner organizations from Bosnia and Herzegovina, Croatia, Serbia, Slovenia, Greece and Italy joined together with the aim of promoting and valorizing cultural heritage. This is how the PRONACUL project was born.

Adriatic Area

It is an international project that promotes and improves the management of cultural heritage under the protection of UNESCO, for the purpose of developing sustainable tourism and a transnational strategy for the joint promotion of the entire Adriatic area as a tourist destination.

The project holder is the Zasavje Regional Development Agency from Slovenia, and the Entrepreneurship and Business Association LiNK from Mostar, as one of the partners, focused its activities on the improvement and promotion of two cultural heritage sites in Herzegovina – the UNESCO-protected Stećak Necropolis of Radimlja in Stolac and Dugo Polje in Jablanica, where in the previous period activities were carried out to strengthen capacity, networking, equipping the locality, and promoting the tourist offer.

In this regard, a promotional tour ” Experience culture/ Doživi kulturu ” was organized in Jablanica, which began with a visit to the “Battle for the Wounded on the Neretva” Museum, where a multifunctional smart board was installed, which will be used for access to digital tools, international platforms, and general presentation and promotion of tourist potential.

On this occasion, the application “Experience Jablanica” was officially presented, through which visitors can get all information about the tourist offer of the region in one place, including information about cultural monuments, outdoor activities, accommodation facilities, events…

– We have mapped more than a hundred local resources that are important for sustainable development of tourism, and our goal is that every visitor to Jablanica can get all information about the tourist offer in one place, including information about accommodation facilities, gastronomic offer, cultural monuments, natural beauties, outdoor activities such as hiking, cycling, kayak tours… I would, first of all, emphasize cultural tours, that is, Dugo Polje necropolis, which has a new offer. As part of the project, new furniture was acquired and our goal is to promote the necropolis so that tourists can enjoy it more within the Blidinje Nature Park – emphasized Alisa Gekić, director of the LiNK Association.

Azra Đelmo, director of the “The Battle for the Wounded on the Neretva” Museum, pointed out that the installation of a smart board containing the “Experience Jablanica” application is extremely justified because the Museum is the tourist center of the municipality of Jablanica.

Medieval Bosnia

– We can see it best by the number of visitors. We believe that this year the Museum will come to life in the true sense of the word. When it comes to Dugo Polje necropolis, we can be satisfied with visits. Of course, we don’t have exact data on the number of visits, but what we see on social networks confirms it – emphasized Đelmo.

After the visit to the Museum, there was a tour of Dugo Polje necropolis, where a cultural and artistic program was held on Medieval Bosnia and stećak as a cultural treasure of Bosnia and Herzegovina. With Mak Dizdar’s words, a cultural and artistic performance by young people from Jablanica, and a tasting of traditional dishes from the region, the participants of the promotional tour truly experienced the culture of this region.

The entire content for visitors was previously improved at necropolises. Necropolises have been decorated and enriched with new benches, tables with canopies, solar lighting, and numerous other contents. Garbage bins were also installed, and regular garbage removal was ensured in order to protect and preserve the natural environment of the necropolis.

The implementation of the PRONACUL project is carried out within the framework of the ADRION Program financed by the European Union and it will last until September of this year, and the total value of the project is 1,770,348 euros.