The Zenica-Doboj Canton (ZDC) recently got the Law on Tourism, which regulates the area of performing tourist activities and the area of establishment, financing, and operation of tourist boards. Law uniquely regulates planning and development of tourism, conditions, and methods of carrying out tourist activities and tourist entities for the area of Zenica-Doboj Canton.
The field of tourism in this canton has not been regulated since 2015, when the Law on tourist communities and promotion of tourism in the Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina ceased to be valid. The Law provides for the establishment of the Tourist Board of the Zenica-Doboj Canton, which, according to Zlatko Jelic, the Cantonal Minister of Economy, should come into existence by the end of this year.
– The Government of Zenica-Doboj Canton, at the session held on August 11 of this year, determined the Proposal of the Decision on the establishment of the Tourist Board of Zenica-Doboj Canton and referred it to the parliamentary procedure. We believe that at the next session of the Zenica-Doboj Canton Assembly, it will be adopted in order to continue with the registration of the Tourist Board and the start of its work – said Jelic.
Moreover, he emphasized, the establishment of municipal and city tourist boards was made possible, which was not allowed by the previous legal solution.
– In order to coordinate the activities between the Tourist Board of ZDC and the tourist boards of municipalities/cities, the formation of a Tourist Board is prescribed, which will consist of the director of the cantonal Tourist Board, directors or authorized representatives of municipal/city tourist boards, i.e. municipalities/cities, and one representative of the Ministry of Economy – said Jelic.
According to him, the Law on Tourism does not prescribe the obligation of business entities to pay membership fees to tourist associations, which was one of a series of parafiscal levies that additionally burden businessmen. In the budget for this year, funds in the amount of 100,000 BAM are provided for the work of the Tourist Board of Zenica-Doboj Canton.
– This is the part where we took care not to create new levies for our businessmen. Before the law was passed, we started the process of supporting the field of tourism, that is, the tourist potential, and also our catering facilities through investment in equipment to improve their business and raise their service to a higher level – said Jelic.
According to him, the planning and development of tourism in this canton is aligned with all planning documents, and the new law will result in by-laws that should be adopted within a year, as well as the Tourism Development Strategy of the Zenica-Doboj Canton.
The adopted Law on Tourism is a big step towards the regulation of this area in Zenica-Doboj Canton, which will lead to faster development of tourism and utilization of the potential that exists in this canton.
The fact that at the beginning of August, Minister Jelic signed contracts on the allocation of funds to entities that have exercised the right to subsidize tourism infrastructure and superstructure projects in this canton speaks volumes on how serious they took the opportunities and advantages brought by tourism.
Funds in the amount of 300,000 BAM were allocated through a public call, and the ministry will co-finance the projects of four citizens’ associations and 16 economic entities. The maximum amount of funds for citizens’ associations is 10,000 BAM, and for economic entities 20,000 BAM.
In addition, he signed contracts with seven municipalities and cities on the financing of tourism infrastructure and superstructure projects, for which 200,000 BAM was allocated. Funds were approved for the cities of Zenica and Zavidovići, and the municipalities of Doboj Jug, Olovo, Usora, Breza and Vareš.
Another public call for the collection of applications for the approval and allocation of incentive funds intended for subsidizing tourism infrastructure and superstructure projects was also published.