The sale of tourist packages on selected online platforms starts today. Vouchers can be purchased by citizens of the Federation, and they are subsidized by the Government of the Federation, which allocated two million marks for this purpose.
Everything is ready, said Farida Cikotic, Assistant Federal Minister for Tourism. Contracts with platforms that met the public invitation of the Federal Ministry of Environment and Tourism have been signed, instructions for using vouchers have been published on the website of the Ministry and will be published today on other platforms.
“Platforms are working at full speed to bring in all the tourist offers of catering and accommodation facilities that are interested in offering their services,” Cikotic pointed out.
The goal was to increase the usability of BiH with vouchers, improve tourist potentials, promotion of domestic tourism and assistance to citizens who want to travel and be tourists, but also digitization of BiH tourism. Cikotic explains that, while scrolling through the offers that are already available on the platforms, citizens get to know destinations that they may not visit this year, but will remember them next.
“Citizens can get the vouchers by entering the portal of one of the three platforms that met the conditions of the public call: eKupon, OdmoriuBiH and Citydeal, which have concluded contracts so far with providers of catering and accommodation facilities, to choose a destination, that is, a package deal who want”, explained Cikotic.
From the beginning of July, the use of tourist vouchers began in the Republika Srpska. The Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina approved such a project in June, and implementation will begin today. However, there are many citizens who do not know how and in which area they can use vouchers.
In June, the federal government made a decision and provided 100,000 tourist vouchers worth 200 marks each. The implementation of the project starts on Monday.
Edita Djapo, Minister of Environment and Tourism in the Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina (FBiH), said earlier in Mostar that the Government of the FBiH passed two very important laws at session, the Law on Tourism and the Law on Residence Tax.
”There has been a lot of talk about the Law on Tourism because in 2014 the Constitutional Court said that the Law on Tourist Boards was not passed according to the Constitution, which is why this obligation had to be fulfilled. With regard to the reform agenda, we have decided to merge the Law on Tourist Boards and the Law on Tourist Activity and create one Law on Tourism. That Law on Tourism was adopted by the FBiH Government in 2017 as a proposal and we sent it to the Parliament. At the end of 2019, when it was supposed to be considered, we received information that it would not pass and that it was better to withdraw it from the parliamentary procedure and finalize it through public debates,” Djapo stated.
She added that, after that, they held a series of public debates with businessmen, the tourism sector, and all participants in tourism, on the basis of which a new text was drafted, which was adopted yesterday and goes to the FBiH Parliament.
”We still adhere to the proposal that there is a possibility of establishing the FBiH Tourist Board and tourist boards of cantons, cities, and municipalities because many cantons have already passed their own laws that allow the establishment of tourist boards at the local level,” she added.
The law on Residence tax says what the Residence tax is, who are the taxpayers, who are exempt from paying the tax, and the like. The money collected would be distributed to 80 percent of tourist local communities, 10 percent to cantonal communities, and 10 percent to the FBiH Tourist Board.
Two million BAM to citizens for vacation
Djapo points out that 5 million BAM have been set aside for tourism from the FBiH Budget this year.
”With 1.5 million, we met the initiative of 78 delegates in the House of Representatives, who demanded that this amount be set aside for the Ski Lift on Ponijeri, given that it is very old and dangerous for tourists. Two million will go as vouchers to citizens, ” said the minister.
”Given the rise in prices, we want citizens to spend at least part of their free time on vacation. The voucher in the amount of 200 BAM will be distributed via internet platforms such as ekupon, kupi.ba, odmoriubih.ba and similar platforms that sell tourist packages within the FBiH,” Djapo added.
She believes that using these platforms would eliminate discrimination because absolutely everyone who pays by card will receive a voucher of 200 BAM, while the smallest package is 250 BAM.
”Of course, this program will last until these two million are spent, and no later than December 31st this year. We will help the citizens, but also the economy. I hope that this will motivate the citizens to visit all the beauties of BiH,” she emphasized.
In the end, Djapo said that a program to help rural areas had been adopted and that all those who rent and are registered in the system in rural areas will be able to receive assistance from one thousand to 20 thousand BAM.
”The last program is to support the development of winter and mountain tourism, for which 100 to 350 thousand BAM will be allocated,” Minister Djapo concluded, BHRT writes.