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Tourism Association of Bosnia and Herzegovina
1) Please tell something about your organization and your key achievements & benefits you provide.
Tourism Association of Bosnia and Herzegovina has been created with the general idea of the promotion of Bosnia and Herzegovina at an international market (fairs) as the agreement between the Tourism Association of the Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina and the Tourism Organization of Republika Srpska (tourism is on the entity level in accordance with the Dayton Peace Accord).

2) What are the top 3 most valuable benefits visitors can expect if they plan a visit to the destination and organization you represent?
Bosnia and Herzegovina is in accordance with what is now most valuable in terms of global tourism trends: rich with cultural and historical heritage (according to the most recent analysis of the perceptive of the regional countries this segment is the main motivation of visits to B&H), untouched nature (eco-tourism) areas splendid for adventurous tourism (rafting, winter tourism, paragliding, hiking), etc. Major cities are ideal for city-breaks. They are brimming with cultural-historical and sacral monuments.
3) Most of our readers are vegetarian. They don’t eat meat, fish or eggs. Do you have facilities for vegetarian food near the popular tourist destinations?
Bosnia and Herzegovina is in general known as the “gourmand” paradise and table usually holds meat (different types) therefore vegetarian restaurants are scarce but can be found in major cities.

4) Which are the websites in English that gives information about destination and various tourist attractions?
http://www.bhtourism.ba

5) Do you find that Asian Indians visit often visit the destination that you represent?
According to the official statistics not many, nevertheless the number is growing each year.

6) Do you provide an online facility or blogging platform for visitors to leave their experience?
At bhtourism no. Perhaps there are other tourist web portals that do provide such service. We usually have questionnaires at the Tourist Info Centres which are concise but do provide detailed insight into visitors’ experience, his/her (di)satisfaction with the offer, services and similar. These serve for internal analysis and help us form general proposal for the enhancement of the tourism sector and services.

7) What opportunities do you provide to experienced travel & hotel entrepreneurs to invest? Is there any website or Govt. agency responsible for channeling investments?
http://www.fipa.gov.ba – Foreign Investment Promotion Agency

8) What advertising & marketing method you use to reach out to potential tourists and investors? Which medium is the most effective medium?
In accordance with our budget and tasks regulated by law, we promote Bosnia and Herzegovina as a travel destination in general through international fairs, press conferences, media (contacts with journalists), printed materials and DVD and CD editions which promote either the entire country or certain regions or selective tourism and web portal which provides detailed information.

9) Has the current global economic downturn impacted the flow of tourists? How are you dealing with this situation?
In December we had a downturn on flow of tourists but in general we had an increase of over 4% in terms of arrivals and nights in Bosnia and Herzegovina in comparison with 2007.

10) What does most visitors and guests enjoy the most when they visit your destination?
In addition to what was mentioned under 2. visitors to Bosnia and Herzegovina like the spirit of the people. Cities across the country are well connected with intercity busses and major cities with the surrounding natural sites are easily reachable within a day. Sarajevo, the capital of Bosnia and Herzegovina is usually the starting point especially when travelling with plane (www.sarajevo-airport.com). Sarajevo is perhaps best known as the host of the 14th Winter Olympics in 1984 therefore the Olympic mountains (Jahorina, Bjelasnica, Igman and Treskavica) still remain one of the most popular tourist sites. Bjelasnica mountain also holds several eco-villages where people preserved traditional way of living, wear traditional attire and dance traditional folklore dances. Mostar (in Herzegovina) is another famous city due to its Old Bridge which was unfortunately ruined during the most recent war 1992 – 1995 but was rebuilt to resemble the old one (from the Ottoman period). Mostar and the Old Bridge and the Old Town nested around the bridge are must-visit sites. As we mentioned above hospitality and spirit of B&H people is well known. They always come up with good ideas and never enough creativity. Best example is Tuzla. They bild comlex which is unique to Europe, Pannonica lakes. Artificial salty lakes are cerated on the base of the Pannonica sea. The complex also containes sports fields, archeological park, salt waterfalls..etc.More detailed info about sites: see below

11) What are the most popular festivals or events for general tourists?
International Festival Sarajevo

Sarajevo Winter 2009 – February

Sarajevo Film Festival, August

Sarajevo Jazz Fest , November

Mostar Dives, July

Sarajevo Bascarsija Nights, July

Pocitelj – Art Collony, June

Sarajevo MESS, October

Sarajevo Teatarfest, May

Bihac – Una Regata, July

Summer on Vrbas, July

Youth Festival Medugorje, August

12) Which are the popular trade-shows, conferences and events for travel professionals?
CALENDAR OF EVENTS

Foreign Trade Chamber

Official page: www.komorabih.ba SAJMOVI (Calendar of Events)

Organizers of many fairs in Sarajevo

13) Which are the websites for associations representing hotels, tour operations and travel agents?

Both are available in Bosnian:

Association of Travel Agencies of B&H:

Association of Hotel and Catering Industry of B&H:

14) What is the best way an American visitor can plan a trip to your destination?

Those who prefer individual trips can check out the web portal www.bhtourism.ba which will give them insight in what to see and do. Getting there (General description about the ways that a traveller can reach the country)

By Sea: If you are a ferry person, check the ferry companies

Websites: SEM, Jadrolinija, Adriatica Navigazione

By Air: Sarajevo International Airport offers daily flights to several European cities which are well connected to the parts of the world.

Web: www.sarajevo-airport.ba
E-mail: info@sarajevo-airport.ba

By Rail: The Bosnian railway traffic is connected with some European cities, like: Zagreb, Budapest, Ploce and Belgrade (Sarajevo – Doboj – Belgrade).

Web: www.zfbh.ba
E-mail: info@zfbh.ba

By Road: - Green card and driving licence obligatory. For more info contact:
BIHAMK – Bosnia and Herzegovina Auto Club. If you are calling from Bosnia, please dial +387 33 1282
Or you can contact Tourist Info Centre +387 33 22 07 21 or 24 and they will check information for you.
Visa information: www.mfa.gov.ba – Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Bosnia and Herzegovina
 

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