Investing in the diversity of tourism in rural areas is important to increase employment, preserve local heritage, culture and promote natural landmarks. That is why the European Union provides financial support to BiH municipalities for the development of tourism in rural areas.
The project, under the slogan ‘Discover BiH through villages’, funded by the European Union with more than 180,000 euro, was implemented in 7 municipalities located in the wider Sarajevo area. The project brought together Kreševo, Fojnica, Vareš, Ilijaš, Sarajevo Stari grad, Sarajevo Center and East Stari grad to help reduce unemployment and increase the development of rural tourism as one of the generators of the rural economy in BiH. The presence of the European Union through such projects assists local communities to channel already existing potentials into sustainable development and new forms of economic organization.
On Friday, 27 September new tourist brochures and maps were presented in Kresevo describing 4 thematic routes in the 7 mentioned municipalities: the most beautiful villages, local authentic food producers, 10 light family hiking trails and simple cycling trails in the northern Sarajevo mountains. The event was attended by designers, coaches, volunteers, owners of rural households and inns, representatives of municipal authorities and other actors involved in the project.
In addition, the project enabled the creation of a cluster for rural tourism “Mala Sela“, to help develop educational activities and exchange of views to increase the professionalization of the sector.
Citizens’ associations are currently main actors in animating rural territories in BiH. The project strengthened the links between associations, their technical capacities and visibility in the field of rural development. Stronger networks have been established between the 7 municipalities that will help to create tourism arrival packages by promoting their destinations.