Discovering Bosnia and Herzegovina through its countryside

Unique landscapes, traditional dishes and crafts, local hospitality and rich cultural heritage are contributing to making rural tourism ever more popular in Bosnia and Herzegovina. The European Union supported the organization of a two day conference aiming to promote rural tourism in Bosnia and Herzegovina and the region and discover the area through the countryside.

„Bosnia and Herzegovina has great potential and there are numerous possibilities for developing new tourist routes, promoting local traditions and customs which support creation of new jobs. Future economic growth has to take into account the protection of environment and make sure that all of our efforts are sustainable,“ said Emmanuel Mouriez, Head of Cooperation Office of the French Embassy in Bosnia and Herzegovina.

The project included seven municipalities in the vicinity of Sarajevo (Kreševo, Vareš, Ilijaš, Fojnica, Sarajevo Centar, Sarajevo Stari grad i Istočni grad) and helped improve their cooperation and strengthening of a sustainable model of rural economy. Peer exchanges and support from partners from the European Union, contributed to the development of a pilot rural tourism cluster with four new destinations in order to make this area more visible and attractive for tourists.

Representatives of municipalities included in the project expressed their gratitude for the opportunity to cooperate and together strengthen the capacities of the local communities.  „Municipality of Fojnica is becoming more visible as a remarkable micro touristic destination in the last four years. We are happy to see here today representatives of other organizations which were involved in the project because all of us need to work together. I am pleased you have recognized and included our local community and for recognizing and paying respect to people from rural communities across Bosnia and Herzegovina,“ said Sabahudin Klisura, Mayor of Fojnica.

Nature, clean air, culture, historical buildings and cultural heritage are essential in attracting tourists and caring for the rural environment. The European Union is encouraging sustainable development of tourism and assisting in providing conditions for sustainable development which will protect the environment and the citizens in order to preserve local identity, traditions and customs.

The conference, organized within the project „Building-up countryside tourism destinations around Sarajevo to diversify the rural economy“ gathered representatives of development agencies, universities, rural tourism business owners and tourism offices and agencies who agreed that experiencing homemade food, farm produce and getting acquainted with the rural labour are essential in contributing to development of the rural areas and preserving their local character and nature.