SARAJEVO, Bosnia (September 26,2008) - Head of the European Commission Delegation to Bosnia Dimitris Kourkoulas, attended earlier this week the opening ceremony of the Conference on Support to Tourism Development in Bosnia in the Bosnian capital Sarajevo. Organised on the occasion of marking the World Tourism Day, this conference gathered all relevant stakeholders to exchange views and to jointly derive conclusions on future actions in tourism sector.
Organization of this conference was a result of a joint initiative by the Bosnian Ministry of Foreign Trade and Economic Relations and the Working Group for Coordination of Activities in Tourism in Bosnia, supported by the Delegation of European Commission to Bosnia that recognized the initiative as a necessary step in the process of further development and promotion of tourism in the country.
Ambassador Kourkoulas reminded that the European Commission supported the development of competitiveness in tourism sector in Bosnia by financing 60 projects with over than 10 million Euros. In addition, last year a comprehensive Mapping Report was produced in order to provide strategic guidelines and recommendation for targeted EU assistance in the future.
Outlining the fact that capabilities of the Bosnian tourism infrastructure need to be strengthened, Ambassador Kourkoulas said that development of tourism sector would contribute to the overall development of the Bosnian economy.
“For the European Commission this Conference is an excellent example that this country in spite of all problems can progress and build better future and European Commission is here to help in these endeavours.”, concluded Ambassador Kourkoulas.
Nevenko Herceg, the FBIH Entity Minister of Environment and Tourism stressed the importance of creating a positive image of Bosnia by promoting it as a beautiful country of rich history based on variety of cultures.
Thematic part of the Conference commenced with the presentation by Dr. Johan Hesse, First Secretary and Head Operational Section Economic Reform and Natural Resources of the Delegation of the European Commission to Bosnia. He presented the findings of EU funded report about assessment needs in the Bosnian tourism.
The conference covered broad spectre of topics relevant for further development of tourism in Bosnia: from the legislative framework and tourism statistics, topics related to the cultural heritage protection and tourist valorisation, significance of branding and marketing in tourism to the brief on priorities in the sector of tourism in Bosnia as recognised by the EU. On this occasion, successful entrepreneurs and/or representatives of the local communities were also given the opportunity to concisely present their initiatives that had significant results, and shared their own views on the successful tourism business models.
The conference was organised with technical assistance of the EU funded project - EU Training and Consultancy (EU TAC).