Via Dinarica, a mega-hiking and walking trail that connects natural and cultural sights in the Dinarides, is recognised as a great development opportunity and potential, primarily for Bosnia and Herzegovina; above all, it is a natural wonder that offers nature fanatics and people who wish to see the… other side of the Balkans top pleasures on a silver platter.
On Wednesday, May 16, the ambassador of the Republic of Italy to BiH, Nicola Minasi and Deputy Resident Representative of the United Nations Development Program (UNDP BiH), Sukhrob Khoshmukhamedov, signed a €1 000 000 worth contract which will be used for the promotion of tourism on Via Dinarica route (in Bosnia and Herzegovina. The whole mega-trail, is 1930km long and connects all former-Yugoslav republics from Slovenia to Kosovo -Albania included- and vice versa. Most of the hike is marked but certain parts of it in BiH, Montenegro, Albania and fYROMacedonia need signage).
With this contract, a beginning of the new phase of the Via Dinarica project is marked, and it represents the continuation of improvements on this unique tourism offer in Bosnia and Herzegovina.
“The goal of the project is to improve tourism in BiH that offers the real opportunities for growth and opening of the new job post, especially for young people”, Minasi said.
He added that BiH has great potential and this project will be a perfect example for the exploitation of it. Minasi expressed the hope that this project will attract even more tourists to BiH, including tourists from Italy.
Via Dinarica was included in the National Geographic list in 2017 as one of the world’s best destinations for nature lovers. According to Sukhrob Khoshmukhamedov, the Italian government’s investment will allow further development of tourist offer and capacities.
“The tourism sector is one of the fastest growing in BiH, and the Via Dinarica project is an integrated tourism product, thanks to the donations provided by the Government of Italy”, Khoshmukhamedov said.
He expressed the hope that the project will contribute to the social and economic development as well as the improvement of the quality of life of Bosnians. The Via Dinarica project, implemented by UNDP, contributes to the reduction of economic, social and regional inequalities in BiH through the promotion of a unique regional tourist destination.
The total value of the new phase of the project is € 1.3 million, of which the € 1 million is paid by the Italian government and € 300,000 by the UNDP. The first phase was co-financed by USAID (1 million dollars) and it is implemented in co-operation with partner institutions: the Ministry of Foreign Trade and Economic Relations of BiH, the Ministry of Environment and Tourism of the Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina and the Ministry of Trade and Tourism of Republika Srpska.
In the second phase, work will be completed on capacity building of municipalities for the provision of tourist services, and besides the so-called White Path, the project will include all other paths.
The Via Dinarica part that runs through BiH ‘crosses’ three lines: the Green, White and Blue. Green leads through forests in BiH, is intended for family mountaineering and recreation, Blue goes to the southeastern part of Herzegovina, and connects that region with the Adriatic Sea.
The White Path, which leads to the peaks of the highest mountains in the country, is the most interesting for thru-hikers, adventurers, high mountain mountaineers and all those who are eager to be “introduced” to untouched natural beauties, mountain peace and tranquillity…. / IBNA