BH TOURISM

BiH records Significant Increase in Tourists’ Arrivals and Overnight Stays

According to statistics, better days for tourism seem to be coming. There has been a significant increase in the number of tourists.

The number of visits and overnight stays increased by about 50% compared to the pandemic 2020, the exceptions, of course, were January and February, because the previous year at that time there was no talk of lock down, and these were obviously, somehow , measures respected.

During the last year, a total of 498 thousand 90 tourists visited our country, and by June this year already 328 thousand 624. Compared to last year’s 212 thousand visits until June, this year there was an increase of 54.4%. The largest number of visits were made by tourists from Serbia, Croatia and the United Arab Emirates, which is a constant in the last five years. One million and almost 236 thousand tourists spent the night here last year, while this year there was an increase of 49.5%, due to the mitigation of measures to combat coronavirus.

In the first half of last year, 130 thousand and 40 tourists visited the Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina, while in the same period, as many as 203 thousand visits were recorded. In Republika Srpska, there was an increase compared to 2020, because during the last year, RS was visited by almost 2 hundred thousand tourists, of which in the first half 77 thousand and 440. This, as early as June, as many as 122 thousand 153. Brcko District recorded data until April and an increase in the number of visits was recorded in March and April compared to the previous year.

If the situation remains stable, improvements are expected to continue, and the number of visits will be at least doubled. What may be a problem is the spread of a new wave of coronavirus and the re-enactment of restrictive measures.

In Medjugorje, where the International Youth Festival ”Mladifest” was held from August 1st to August 6th, about 20 thousand people stay every day, but this does not reflect on the repair of the tourist season, which, judging by the situation on the field, was lost this year as well.

The president of the Association of Tourism and Hotel Management in Medjugorje, Davor Ljubic, explained that half of the capacity in Medjugorje is empty, even though a festival is being held that brings together young people from about 80 countries from the world, Klix.ba writes.

“When it comes to the most of the countries that presented themselves at this year’s Mladifest in Medjugorje, there are only a few representatives,” Ljubic told.

He mentioned that in front of the church in Medjugorje, there are thousands of people every day, many of whom are guests who do not sleep there.

“Before the outbreak of the pandemic, during Mladifest, over 50.000 overnight stays were realized, which filled the capacities not only of Medjugorje, but also of Mostar, Siroki Brijeg, Ljubuski, and other surrounding places,” Ljubic recalls.

Now, according to him, of the guests staying in Medjugorje, the most represented are Poles and Ukrainians, but there are no Lebanese, Irish, Croats, and Italians, who have always been the main guests of this tourist place.

“The situation is very bad and I once again recall the famous story of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, which was not able to put Bosnia and Herzegovina (BiH) where it belongs, to be on the green map in Europe. We are on the red map for Italians as well as for most European countries, which means that people who come from our country have to go to quarantine, and that is a big blow to our tourism, ” the interlocutor emphasized.

He pointed out that in the whole story of the pandemic, tourism in Medjugorje suffers the most and it is the biggest loser in the region and beyond. What is even worse, there is no way out of this difficult situation.

E.Dz.

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