A group of national and international tourist experts have been intensely working on amendments to the Law on Tourism in FBiH for the past several weeks.
Draft of the new federal law should be before the Parliament of the FBiH soon. If it is adopted, it will bring novelties which will open chances for new investments and new workplaces in the country.
“Tourism is one of promising fields in Bosnia and Herzegovina. If this field is regulated properly, it can bring hundreds of millions in the budget of BiH annually,” said Huso Hadžić, Director of the Agency for Cultural-Historical and Natural Heritage and the Development of Tourist Potentials of Jajce.
Tourism in BiH is in a sudden growth, even more in FBiH than in the RS. According to the data of the Agency for Statistics of FBiH, only in the first ten months of 2015 more than 650.000 tourists visited FBiH. That is by 27.3 percent more in comparison with the same period one year before. The number of overnight stays also increased by 33 percent. With the new Law on Tourism in FBiH, these numbers might increase even more. Practically, amendments to the law will bring the federal tourism to the rank of European tourism.
Experts warn that, before anything else, the charges for those who wish to deal with tourism in FBiH must be decreased. On the other side, control of tourist supervision should be intensified. Nowadays, the situation is such that even when tourists pay the tourist tax in FBiH, tourist workers can keep the money to themselves.
“According to the Institute for Statistics, the number of overnight stays grows continuously, but revenues on that basis do not match. It is evident that something is wrong there,” the Employees’ Association of FBiH warned several times. The Ministry of Tourism and Environment of FBiH explains that the new law will prevent this kind of malfeasances. Criteria for those who want to be tourist guides will also be stricter. Those who are not in unique database will not be allowed to guide tourists. Categorization of hotels and other hospitality facilities will also be monitored more strictly – those with four or five stars by federal and those with two or three stars by cantonal inspection.