The President of the Sarajevo Canton Tourist Board, Kenan Magoda, warned that due to the lack of visa stickers, the progress and realistic goal of 10,000 tourists from the Gulf countries is in jeopardy.
“Due to, as they stated, security challenges and damage to the state budget, last year the BiH Council of Ministers did not adopt a decision on the abolition of visas for citizens of Saudi Arabia, and as is known, HDZ ministers spoke out against the introduction. Because of such a decision, the arrival of a large number of tourists is questionable, and as an additional problem, there is a shortage of visa stickers in the diplomatic and consular missions of BiH in the Gulf countries,” stated the Sarajevo Canton Tourist Board (TZKS).
The TZ KS warns that this attitude towards tourists from the Gulf countries, who, as is known, have a high paying power, and the targeted blocking of tourist capacities, will primarily endanger the summer tourist season in CS.
“We remind you that something like this is inadmissible while we continue to take major steps towards the recovery of tourism, the contribution of which benefits the entire economy. Before the outbreak of the coronavirus pandemic, in terms of the number of overnight stays, tourists from Saudi Arabia were in third place, and we must not forget that it is the United Arab Emirates and Saudi Arabia are among the top ten markets for BiH tourism. Based on their stay, our society generates significant income, which is best illustrated by statistical data. In the surveys, there were at least 55,000 overnight stays and an average daily income of 700 BAM. TZ KS appeals to the responsible institutions to find a solution as soon as possible to procure the necessary amount of stickers for tourist visas, so that all the requests of citizens of the Gulf countries who want to visit BiH and Sarajevo as the capital this summer, would be realized on time, and our society would generate income of at least 38 million convertibles in the next 4 months. We note once again that tourism is an important service sector or which before the COVID-19 pandemic made up 50.3 percent of the total services,” says Kenan Magoda, president of the TZ KS.