9. Sarajevo Business Forum – The tourism potential of the region is the offering of diversity
"The City of Sarajevo is ready to be a partner to everyone who decides to invest here," Sarajevo Mayor Abdullah Skak said at the opening presentation before the start of the program on the second day of the 9th Sarajevo Business Forum, opened by panel"Tourism as a leading development opportunity for the region of Southeast Europe – Tourism as a Rapid Growth Opportunity for SEE ". Skaka promised investors that the City will provide free legal aid to make investments easier and stressed that Sarajevo is experiencing a tourist boom, where, with a steady increase in the number of tourists, hotel occupancy in the city is higher than 80%.
According to the data of the World Tourism Organization of Bosnia and Herzegovina, it is at the very top of the scale on the increase in the number of tourists, while according to the rate of tourist growth, South East Europe is one of the top 10 tourist destinations in the world.
"We are very happy that we have a significant number of business people here at SBF, where more than 30 are present. As business people, we had the opportunity to travel around the world, and I have to point out that after we've seen everything, we have concluded that this is the most beautiful place in the world and it's worth investing here. Bahrain and the countries of the Gulf, I encourage them to come here, "said Jawad Alhawaj, president of the Alhawaj group, and the president of the Bosnian-Herzegovinian-Bahrain Society. He recalled that this is his sixth visit to our country, and that there are all conditions for the development of tourism, especially family and health, with spa centers, but that in order to attract more foreign tourists, it is advisable for big hotel chains to come to BiH, like Hilton and Sheraton because it is a guarantee of safety for foreign tourists. As a competitive advantage, he highlighted the beautiful environment, the water potentials, the kindness of people and the historical heritage.
In addition to promoting the region as an attractive tourist destination, the panel discussed the significance of joint participation of countries in the region in the creation of tourism projects.
"When they come to Sarajevo tourists from distant Asia, from Indonesia, Malaysia is interested in the whole region and I think that the real power lies in connecting the Balkan countries. Regional branding, joint appearances at tourism fairs should be the next step, "said Aida Terzic, the owner of the Nature Hotel on Trebevic, who has many years of experience in the travel agency, pointing out that it is the pinnacle for investment in tourism right now because it will certainly bring money .
"In tourism, machines can not replace people, and more countries in the region, if they are enlarged, have a better prospect of development. I will not only outline the economic benefits but the linking between countries at a friendly level where cultural exchange is significant, "said Takahiko Makino, regional tourism advisor at the Japan International Cooperation Agency – JICA. He shared positive experiences from the Japanese market where five countries linked and promoted tourism potentials, not countries individually, but the region said that the countries of the South East Europe region should recognize where their market prospects are in relation to the world.