SARAJEVO, March 21 (FENA) – In the preparations for the upcoming tourism season with all the limits posed by Covid pandemic measures, a special interest of guests comes for destinations without crowds, family vacations that enable privacy and guarantee epidemiological measures, in one word – safe destinations. Such a concept of summer or weekend vacations in nature, in rural households and holiday homes can be found throughout BiH, and the Union for Sustainable Return and Integration in BiH has been working on the establishment, promotion and branding of such capacities for several years.
“In 2015, through the project ‘BH Village’, we identified the needs in 1,091 local communities to help returnees and displaced persons to put the capacities of their households, agricultural development, food production in the function of rural and eco-tourism, which is increasingly in demand in the world, especially now at the time of the coronavirus pandemic,” says in an interview with FENA the president of the Union Mirhunisa Zukić.
An upgrade of these activities is the implementation of a new project “Holidays without luxuries and stars”, which is funded by the Embassy of the United States and is aimed at promoting rural tourism through capacity building and promotion of rural households in BiH, with special emphasis on the employment of young people and their more efficient competitiveness in the labor market.
In recent years, this type of tourism has been recognized as a strategic economic sector in BiH, in Europe and beyond and could be a significant resource for the economic empowerment of people living in rural areas.
“The local population in BiH is not trained enough to perform these activities and has no experience to initiate this process independently. Our organization has identified a large number of interested families who have accommodation facilities but need help to start a business, connect with local travel agencies and the diaspora.
Based on the expressed interest of residents, municipalities and available capacities, the Union has recognized the potentials in this area and designed activities to increase socio-economic opportunities and reduce further migration,” says Zukić.
The goal of the project activities is to reduce the basic causes of migration, precisely through the economic strengthening of young people from rural local communities, to improve living conditions through self-employment in rural and agro-tourism. In this context, she says, that they conduct education on the models of rural tourism.
“Traditional hospitality of the people in BiH, the ‘open doors policy’ for all travelers, and even more the openness of heart and soul for guests, are recognized as a special quality for foreign tourists traveling through BiH.
The values of untouched nature, mountain and rural landscapes are the right holiday destinations that are recommended especially in the time of coronavirus. The special value of the tourism offer that we presented on the website ‘BH Village’ (BH selo) is in the authenticity of the content provided by picnic areas, rural households, ethno-villages, apartments, villas and guest houses,” concluded Zukić.