Unexplored Treasures of „Via Dinarica“ Presented
On April 25th final presentation of the “Via Dinarica” project was organized by the United Nations Development Program (UNDP), U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) and Association of Adventure Tourism in BiH (ATA). The ceremony took place on Trebević Mountain and was attended by numerous participants and guests from BiH and neighbor countries.
All attendees are united in the project from which the attraction, named best hiking trail in the world doe 2014 in the category “new trail” (“Best New Trail 2014”) by Outside magazine.
The hiking trail Via Dinarica is characterized by its unique natural beauty and breathtaking landscapes. It connects six countries in the region, including Bosnia and Herzegovina. The Dinarica arc is 1000 km long and represents one of the least explored mountain areas in Europe.
As a link of the Balkan countries, Via Dinarica is a platform for development of adventure and hiking tourism, attracting tourists worldwide. This aspiration requires BiH and neighboring countries to jointly act on promoting adventure tourism as a regional product, involving tour operators, and improving and promoting accommodation services and quality of hiking trails.
The Senior Program Coordinator of UNDP BiH, Slobodan Tadić, said that Via Dinarica aims to connect the entire region and that all these positive connections open the doors to tourists in the Dinara mountain range, stretching from Slovenia to Albania.
‘’Our goal was to direct our resources towards the building of a single network by using existing infrastructure for an idea that stemmed from the realization of this project’’, he explained.
Tadić stressed that the project’s goal is the protection of nature, job creation and tourism development.
Besides the promotion of the Dinarics, he noted that UNDP continues to promote rivers, cycling routes and everything else that is necessary to attract tourists.
Acting Director of USAID BiH Alexander Bond added that many have forgotten that in the 19th century, BiH was a primary tourist destination for people across Europe, from as far as England and Germany.
‘’And 20 years after the war, USAID wishes to help BiH through this project to regain the title of a beautiful tourist destination. Via Dinarica is a gem among all the other jewels of tourism that BiH has to offer’’, he added.
Broadly speaking, Via Dinarica is an area with ideal prospects for sustainable economic development.
UNDP and USAID are supporting development and growth of small and family businesses related to mountain tourism in response to a growing demand for mountain guides and instructors, guest houses and hostels, restaurants with local cuisine, indigenous manufacturers of food and drinks, local transporters, etc.
Products and flavors available to tourists visiting Via Dinarica were presented at the event. More than 15 small businesses producing cheese, honey, herbs and natural cosmetics, fruit and vegetable refiners, authentic souvenirs makers, as well as renowned winemakers from Herzegovina had the opportunity to network with tourist agencies interested in including the Trail in their offer.
For more information on project ViaDinarica visit: www.viadinarica.com