Cikotic: The aim of the voucher is to help BiH tourism

The sale of tourist packages on selected online platforms starts today. Vouchers can be purchased by federal citizens and are subsidized by the federal government, which has made two million marks available for them.

Everything is ready, said Farida Cikotic, Deputy Federal Minister for Tourism. Contracts with platforms following the public invitation of the Federal Ministry for the Environment and Tourism have been signed, instructions for using vouchers have been published on the ministry’s website and will be published on other platforms today.

“The platforms are working at full speed to bring in all the tourist offers from catering and accommodation establishments interested in offering their services,” Cikotic pointed out.

The aim was to increase the usability of BiH with vouchers, improve tourism potential, boost domestic tourism and help citizens who want to travel and be tourists, but also the digitization of tourism in BiH. Cikotic explains that when citizens scroll through the offers already available on the platforms, they learn about destinations that they may not visit this year but will remember them next year.

“Citizens can get the vouchers by entering the portal of any of the three platforms that have met the conditions of the public call: eKupon, OdmoriuBiH and Citydeal, which have so far entered into contracts with providers of catering and accommodation facilities to choose a travel destination. So if you want a package deal,” explains Cikotic.

From the beginning of July, tourist vouchers began to be used in the Republic of Srpska. The Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina approved such a project in June and implementation will start 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 will start on Monday.

Edita Djapo, Minister of Environment and Tourism in the Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina (FBiH), said earlier in Mostar that the FBiH government passed two very important laws at its session, the Tourism Law and the Residence Tax Law.

There has been a lot of talk about the Tourism Act because the Constitutional Court ruled in 2014 that the Tourism Associations Act was not passed in accordance with the Constitution and that this obligation should be fulfilled. In view of the reform agenda, we have decided to merge the Law on Tourism Associations and the Law on Tourism Activities and create a Tourism Law. This Tourism Law was adopted as a proposal by the FBiH government in 2017 and we submitted it to Parliament. At the end of 2019, when it was about to be considered, we received information that it would not happen and that it would be better to pull it out of the parliamentary process and conclude it through public debates, explained Djapo.

She added that they then held a series of public debates with businessmen, the tourism industry and everyone involved in tourism, on the basis of which a new text was drafted, which was approved yesterday and will go to the FBiH Parliament.

We remain committed to the proposal that there is the possibility of founding the Tourist Board FBiH and tourist boards of cantons, cities and municipalities, as many cantons have already passed their own laws allowing the establishment of tourist boards at the local level, She added.

The Residence Tax Act states what residence tax is, who the taxpayers are, who is exempt from paying the tax, and the like. The money collected would be distributed 80 percent to tourism communities, 10 percent to cantonal communities and 10 percent to the tourism association of the FBiH.

Two million BAM to citizens for the holiday

Djapo points out that this year 5 million BAM from the FBiH budget has been allocated to tourism.

With 1.5 million, we met the initiative of 78 members of the House of Representatives, who demanded that this amount be allocated to the Ponijeri ski lift, as it is very old and dangerous for tourists. Two million go as vouchers to the citizens,said the minister.

Given the price increases, we want citizens to spend at least part of their free time on vacation. The 200 BAM voucher will be distributed through internet platforms such as ekupon, kupi.ba, odmoriubih.ba and similar platforms that sell tourist packages within the FBiH, Added Djapoo.

She believes that using these platforms would eliminate discrimination because absolutely everyone who pays by card gets a 200 BAM voucher, while the smallest package costs 250 BAM.

Of course, this program will last until those two million are spent, and no later than December 31 of this year. We help the citizens, but also the economy. I hope this will motivate citizens to visit all the beauties of BiH, she stressed.

In the end, Djapo said that a rural area support program had been adopted and that anyone renting in rural areas and registered in the system could receive support ranging from 1,000 to 20,000 BAM.

The latest program aims to support the development of winter and mountain tourism, for which 100,000 to 350,000 BAM will be allocated,” concluded Minister Djapo, writes BHRT.

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