Within the support of the European union and the German Government to the development of the local economy in BiH, Blidinje Gastro Festival was held on 16 and 17 November 2018 in Masna Luka. Promotion, tasting and sale of local products, workshops and thematic discussions were some of the events featured at the festival with the objective of promoting local tourism.
Blidinje Gastro Festival was hosted by the Municipality of Posušje in cooperation with the Association Visit Blidinje as part of the project “Development of Tourism” aimed at strengthening municipal capacities for development of tourism and creation and promotion of their tourism offer. The project is co-financed by the European Union and German Government as part of the joint programme for local self-government and economic development in BiH – EU ProLocal.
Equipping and transforming Masna Luka into a promotional event hub for this region was one of the successfully completed project activities.
“The EU supports local economic development in BiH through support to SMEs and better cooperation between communities in the tourism and agri-food sector. This should also boost growth and employment opportunities for the rural population,” said Vesna Grković Programme Manager for SMEs and Local Economic Development in the EU Delegation to BiH and added “At the same time, it is important for BiH to improve the business environment at the local level, to make it easier to register a business, obtain permits, etc.“.
The Festival was also used as a platform for the promotion of products locally produced by exhibitors from Posušje and neighboring municipalities, Blidinje Nature Park and members of the Association Visit Blidinje and Tourism Cluster Herzegovina, and provided numerous networking opportunities.
“As we are aware of the great potential for tourism in Nature Park Blidinje, we are investing enormous efforts to create a network of small producers and craftsmen with the intent to make joint presentation of their products and services on the market a reality. The tourist offer presented in such a manner should mirror the tourist offer not just in Blidinje but in Posušje in general. Blidinje Gastro Fest also gave us an opportunity to do that,” concluded the Head of Posušje municipality Branko Bago.
EU ProLocal Programme is funded by the European Union in the amount of EUR 9 million and the German Government in the amount of EUR 4 million and is implemented by GIZ.