"Ćiro - World Heritage Trail": Development of Competitive Local Tourism

In 2020, the Coronavirus pandemic has severely struck all industries, especially the sector of tourism, both globally and in Bosnia and Herzegovina. With the aim of revitalisation of this sector, specifically the promotion of local and outdoor tourism, the European Union and the German Governmensupported implementation of project “Ćiro - World heritage trail” to increase the number of visitors and improve local economy through creation and bundling of contents and offer on the bicycle route along the old gauge railway that connected Stolac, Ravno, Čapljina, and Mostar. The 18-month project plans to expand the tourism offer in Herzegovina, a region rich in cultural, historical and religious legacy, with authentic stories and facts. The project is worth more than EUR 370 thousand with the European Union’s contribution of EUR 300 thousand through the EU4Business project in BIH. The project is implemented by the Regional Development Agency for Herzegovina – REDAH, the town of Čapljina, municipalities of Stolac and Ravno, tourism agency Kula Turist from Počitelj, while the final beneficiaries are small and medium-sized enterprises, tour operators, tourism organisations, associations, local hotels, motels, restaurants and sport clubs.  

As Ivica Sivrić, acting Director of REDAH, pointed - all partners in this project are aware of potentials of the bicycle trail Ćiro but also of tourism sector, which becomes more and more important every year: „The aim is to create a recognisable BiH destination connecting rich cultural and historical tradition with gastronomic and adventure features that will attract visitors and offer a unique experience. All craftsmen, companies and individuals who join the Ćiro value chain will benefit from the project key activities, such as development of a feasibility study and a marketing development strategy, preparation of promotional materials and web sites, improvement of infrastructure and organisation of a promotional bicycle route, as well as a number of other activities that will connect and promote them. This will result in new tourism products, better service quality, creation of new jobs and increased earnings“, said Sivrić. 

With the aim of strengthening BIH’s economy EU4Business, stimulates development of entrepreneurship, export-oriented sectors, tourism and agriculture, as well as rural development. EU4Business is worth EUR 16,1 million, and it is co-funded by the European Union with EUR 15 million and the Federal Republic of Germany with EUR 1.1 million. The EU4Business is jointly implemented by GIZ, UNDP and ILO from April 2018 to March 2022. It is part of the Programme for Local Self-Government and Economic Development in Bosnia and Herzegovina of the German Government.