New 500 kilometers-long horseback riding trail connects Western Balkans

New 500 kilometers-long horseback riding trail connects Western Balkans

SUBOTICA/SARAJEVO, May 30 (FENA) – The latest Western Balkans tourism attraction – a 500 kilometers long horseback riding trail running from Vojvodina in the north to the Herzegovina region in the south of Bosnia and Herzegovina – was inaugurated today in Subotica.

The so-called Balkan Riding Trail was developed by Fund for Micro-regional Tourism Cluster Subotica-Palić, a beneficiary of the RCC Implemented and EU funded Tourism Development and Promotion Grant Program.

“Equestrian tourism is one of the most popular forms of adventure tourism. It is practiced by some 45 million people in Europe alone and it is expanding. It started spreading in South East Europe in 1980s but, until now, it has not received regional dimension in the Western Balkans,” said Snježana Derviškadić, RCC’s Tourism Development and Promotion Project Team Leader.

“This new Balkan trail will connect to an existing Europe-wide route passing through Hungary and will network 52 farmers and horseback riding clubs, from Vojvodina to the region of Herzegovina, making them part of a regional tourism value chain. This is especially relevant for the families living in remote villages that will now have additional source of income as they start catering to visitors and providing them with services such as food, rest and overnight stay.”

The trail is based on 10 to 20 kilometers long sections and will utilize “Robinson by day, king by night” approach whereby days would include riding adventure through nature and evenings would provide time for leisure and storytelling, i.e. getting to know local culture and way of life.

“We already had experience with developing local equestrian tourism in Vojvodina, mainly around Palić Lake and Subotica. The grant we received through the RCC’s tourism project enabled us to develop a kind of regional cooperation that was missing amongst horse keepers in the Western Balkans and to include local farmers and their families into tourism industry,” said Izabel Lanji Hnis, President of the Fund for Micro-regional Tourism Cluster Subotica-Palić.

“We hope that the regional trail will not only contribute to bringing more tourists to the region but that it will also help make horseback riding more popular in the Western Balkans and that more clubs and farmers will join the trail and make it grow.”