Musa: Dramatic drop in tourist arrivals and overnight stays in Mostar and Sarajevo

Musa: Dramatic drop in tourist arrivals and overnight stays in Mostar and Sarajevo

MOSTAR, October 4 (FENA) – Bosnia and Herzegovina cannot expect increased number of foreign tourist arrivals for at least another two years at the level it was before the coronavirus pandemic, which is even optimistic given the situation we have now, Nataša Musa, President of the Board of the “Sarajevo Navigator” Foundation told FENA.

“We have made the initiative ‘Holidays in BiH’ in cooperation with the tourism industry in order to somehow start the process of returning tourists, which are short-term measures to automatically turn to the domestic and regional market. But realistically speaking, we cannot expect the return of tourists at the level it was before Covid-19 for at least two more years. Some tourism workers are of the opinion that this will not improve in the next five years, so we have no choice but to pressure our state to do something about it,” said Musa.

According to her, the competent institutions in Bosnia and Herzegovina have not done much.

Musa points out that in destinations where so-called mass tourism has operated, such as Mostar and Sarajevo, the decline in arrivals and overnight stays at the end of the 2020 season will be dramatic.

“The drop in overnight stays and arrivals in BiH at one point was about 98 percent, and I guess it will be more than 80 percent by the end of the season. A little was done over the summer, there were some activities, but I think that Mostar and Sarajevo are the two destinations that have suffered the most due to the consequences of Covd-19 pandemic, so we have to be prepared for a very long and difficult period. As a destination of mass tourism, I would also mention Medjugorje, but I assume that the recovery for this place will be a little faster because tourists come here for different motives,” Musa considers.

She added that Jajce, Bihać, Trebinje and Neum are positive stories in tourism in Bosnia and Herzegovina this summer.

She pointed out that BiH has incredible tourist capacities, but even more potential.

“What the market is ready to offer is maybe only 30 percent compared to 70 percent of what BiH has, but it is still not valorized or safe for a visit. As one example, I would give stećak tombstones that are like some medieval wonders, scattered all over the country and often located in amazing natural environments. This is not valorized in a way that attracts tourists and tells the story of BiH, which has a lot of interesting places to see,” said the President of the Board of the “Sarajevo Navigator” Foundation.

Speaking about the loss of jobs in the tourism sector in BiH, Musa stated that data for Sarajevo are alarming.