World-renowned magazine National Geographic included BiH last year as one of the top adventure destinations, especially in mountain biking. The Sarajevo Olympic Bike Park, as a new tourist product, will certainly revive the Olympic Mountains during the summer months.
Many tourists who visited BIH said they were impressed with what they had the chance to see, but also that on the international market there is little information on BiH tourism and its offers, and that it is necessary to improve the promotion of tourism potential in BiH, to have a well planned and implemented promotional marketing campaign on the international market.
In this regard, the Association for Tourism and Hospitality of the BiH Foreign Trade Chamber discussed the current problems in the tourism industry of BiH at the last Assembly of the Association in May, and concluded that it is necessary to create tourist maps and a calendar of fairs, to initiate procedures to shorten to the deadline for obtaining a visa to enter BiH and to introduce municipal tourist boards due to the lack of functionality of cantonal and entity tourist organizations.
Also, it is necessary to have a common appearance of the BiH tourism industry in foreign markets and to reduce the interest rates for different types of loans from commercial banks to investment and renewal of tourist facilities.
Also, it is necessary to start a procedure for harmonization of BiH legislation with EU rules, such as treating tourism as an export, according to a new release of Infokom, the Gazette of the BIH Foreign Trade Chamber.
Member of the Assembly of the Association of Tourism and Hospitality of the BiH Foreign Trade Chamber Luka Prkačin, Director of the Hotel Sunce from Neum, the opinion is that not enough attention is being paid to the economy, especially tourism.
According to the statistics of the World Economic Forum, in tourism BIH takes 90th place in a list of 140 countries throughout the world, and in Europe BIH is at the very bottom of the list. Of the 42 countries, a country that is less competitive in tourism is Moldavia.
“When it comes to tourist offers, BiH significantly lags behind what is offered in other places. The budget allocations for tourism in BiH in percentages are among the lowest in the world. Since this was not a priority in the development strategy of BiH, then special results in this industry should not be expected’’, said Prkačin. He added that tourism can take a significant share in the total GDP of a country and would quickly and efficiently acts to alleviate the crisis in BiH.
“In order to achieve better results in tourism, it is necessary for the government to become aware of the importance that tourism can have on other industries and invest extra effort in the allocation of funds for infrastructure or investment in road, rail, and air communication. Hotels on the sea and the mountains were mostly constructed during the 1980’s. Many are devastated, there has been no investment in its reconstruction, and they do not offer today what guests are requesting. In many hotels, the ownership structure has still not been resolved, and this is a big problem for its functioning. Therefore, it is necessary to complete privatization as soon as possible’’, said Prkačin, and conveyed by Infokom.
(Source: Dnevni Avaz; Photo: bh-travel.net)