The tourism sector has shown steady growth in recent years, making it one of the bright spots on the economic radar of Bosnia and Herzegovina (BiH). Its development may have a significant, positive impact on poor communities in the country, giving young people an opportunity to stay and make a living.
Although hampered by inadequate infrastructure and a shortage of accommodation capacity and tourism services, adventure tourism in particular has been singled out as a sector with great growth potential. With a wealth of natural, cultural and historical heritage, a favorable geographic location, internationally known events, and unique gastronomic offers, BiH has all the pre-determinants to make the Via Dinarica a successful tourism industry story.
To capitalize on the positive results of the previous Via Dinarica program, USAID contributed $999,982 to a follow-on project, called Via Dinarica: Rural Incomes and Sustainable Enterprises. This is a three-year project implemented and co-financed by UNDP, with an additional financial contribution from the Italian Agency for Development Cooperation and the Federation of BiH Ministry of Environment and Tourism.
This follow-on project focuses on assisting local communities along the main Via Dinarica in-country trails and contributing to sustainable livelihoods and economic development through integrated rural tourism development. Target beneficiaries in BiH are local governments and communities situated near the main (Blue, Green, and White) Via Dinarica trails. The project will establish the Via Dinarica corridor in BiH as a community-owned and operated rural tourism product that provides sustainable livelihoods for businesses and communities situated along the trails.