Positive results of cooperation between the EU ProLocal Programme and stakeholders from the Nature Park Blidinje on the development of the tourist potential of the Nature Park that could be applied also to other locations in BiH were presented today in Sarajevo.
“By encouraging cooperation and fostering local partnerships both between private and public sectors, and between sectors of agriculture and tourism, EU ProLocal has achieved significant results to enhance tourism offer of the Blidinje Nature Park,” said Karin Hörhan, EU ProLocal Programme Manager.
EU ProLocal lunched a concept of “green tourism” encouraging local production and environment protection, and supported a number of successful initiatives for its implementation. Some of these initiatives are: a specially developed reusable waste bag, a Park clean-up drive involving three municipalities, and a specially designed initiative of creating the Basket of typical locally produced and grown products, that gathered local agriculture produces. The project also improved the joint promotion of the touristic potential of this region. “By improving the offer of this natural park we want to complement tourism offer in Herzegovina, and thus make a strong impact on the overall tourism development in BiH,” added Hörhan.
Today’s event marked a successful completion of the activities that assisted the development of a tourism value chain of Nature Park Blidinje implemented within the EU ProLocal Programme. EU ProLocal supports local self-government and economic development in BiH and is funded by the European Union with nine and German Government with four million euro.
Andrea Vera, Head of Economic Development, Infrastructure and Natural Resources Section at the EU Delegation to BiH underscored that the EU has continuously supported development of tourism as one of the fastest growing sectors in BiH.
„Turism in BiH has a very big potential that has not yet been reached. Thus, through EU ProLocal, we support promotion of the country’s tourist potentials, strengthening the role of small and medium companies and local producers, development of competitiveness and, most importantly, creation of new jobs. This project is just one example of EU support to tourism in BiH. Few months ago, we launched EU4Business Programme which also has a window of support to tourism and will certainly contribute to further development of the tourism development in BiH, ” said Vera.
Chairman of Association ‘Green Ways’ from Mrkonjić Grad, Boro Marić said that the experience from Blidinje and instructions for the „green tourism” are being applied in implementing ‘greening’ measures in the Krajina region. „We are now in the process of selection of initiatives with a potential to attract tourists connecting natural beauties, rural resources and local gastronomy,” explained Marić.
During today’s presentation the products from the Basket of typical agricultural products from Blidinje were also exhibited.