EU4Business project has launched today a Call for Proposals to support development of the tourism sector in BiH. The fund for tourism worth € 1.5 million is available via grants for partnerships dealing with the development of touristic products, access to international markets and utilisation of information and communications technology (ICT).
Beneficiaries are Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises, entrepreneurs and tourist operators, with focus on women and youth. The deadline for applications is 1 July 2019.
Acting Head of Cooperation of the Delegation of the European Union to BiH Nicolas Bizel underlined that the European Union continuously supports tourism sector as one of the fastest growing sectors in BiH. “The EU has supported development of tourism sector in BiH with some € 7 million allocated for competitive niches such as adventurous tourism, eco zones, cultural and natural trails. By supporting promotion of the country’s tourist potentials and strengthening the role of small and medium companies and local producers, we develop competitiveness and, most importantly, enable creation of new jobs“, said Bizel.
The two funding priorities supported by the EU4Business project are Cultural Tourism related to UNESCO Heritage proclaimed tangible and intangible sites and Outdoor Tourism along Via Dinarica Green Trail. Eligible are tourism partnerships consisting of three or more partners, out of which at least one should be from the private sector. Financial grants range from € 80.000 to €300.000 per project. A contribution of at least 20% of total eligible costs is required by applicants. The projects can last between 8 and 18 months.
GIZ Project Manager from the EU4Business project Nils Wetzel underlined that the full economic potential of the tourism sector in BiH has not yet been realized. “Compared to other countries in the region, BiH is still at an early stage of tourism development. With the support of the EU, there is an opportunity to change this. More than 30 local businesses will improve their tourist offers, which should result in an increase in sales and income, and in more than 50 new jobs”, said Wetzel.
EU4Business project is worth €16.1 million and it is jointly funded by the European Union (€15 million) and the Federal Republic of Germany (€1.1 million). The project strengthens BiH capacity for generating growth and employment through development of competitiveness and innovation in selected sectors. Overall, €10 million is available in grants. The EU4Business project is jointly implemented by GIZ, ILO and UNDP, between April 2018 and March 2022.