A new tourist offers and employment opportunities for people with disabilities created

The remains of old forts and cities for centuries tell the story of the life of ancestors marked by successes and failures, victories and defeats, and arouse the curiosity of many tourists. The fortresses of Mamula, Grabovac, Vrmac and Arza in Boka, the fortress of Duke Stjepan Kosača, Dvrsnik, Daorson and the Old Town of Vidoški in Herzegovina are just a small part of the rich historical heritage that united Bosnia and Herzegovina and Montenegro through the Fort-Net project within the IPA II Cross-Border Cooperation Program. Arranging thematic trails in the mentioned places is just one of the activities that will contribute to greater attendance of these places and the development of the local community.

“Modern tourists want to learn something, get an education, have a new, individual experience and feel the soul of a place. The Fort-Net project is a great example of international cooperation with a positive outcome and an example of how to cooperate in the future,” said Marko Jankovic from Tourist Organization of Kotor.

The results of the “Amusing Museums” project in BiH and Montenegro have shown how important is the use of modern technologies in the interpretation of historical heritage to attract new, especially young visitors. With the introduction of the new service, which enables the experience of battle through virtual reality, the number of visitors to the Museum “Battle for the Wounded on the Neretva” Jablanica has doubled within a year. Each visitor now has the opportunity to “participate” in the famous battle, rescue the wounded, witness the demolition of the bridge on the Neretva … Interpretation in the Museum has been further improved by using audio guides, tablets, LCD TVs and modern sound systems.









“Given that the Museum primarily promotes anti-fascism, as one of the foundations of modern civilization, we are grateful for the fact that the project has enabled our mission to be more visible and recognizable in the wider community,” said Azra Đelmo, director of the “Museum of the Battle for the Wounded at Neretva” Jablanica.

Other results of the IPA II Cross-Border Cooperation Program Bosnia and Herzegovina-Montenegro, which is based on natural and cultural heritage in border rural areas has repeatedly contributed to improving the quality and diversity of the tourist offer of these countries, bringing together and creating better living conditions for citizens living in the area, and confirmed their strong commitment to the process of European integration.

One of the trump cards of cross-border development is cycling tourism. Pleasant climate and fantastic landscapes bring many cyclists to this area every year, which now expects 16 new, marked bike trails in BiH and Montenegro, along with the rest areas and places to see.

At the very top of the cross-border tourist offer is authentic rural tourism, whose offer and capacities have been significantly strengthened through two projects: “Katun Roads” and “Rural Tourism for Mountain Destinations”. Of particular interest to the public was the project “Tourism, Adrenaline and Rafting Adventure (T.A.R.A.)”, which aims to develop and promote the cross-border area of Plužine from Montenegro and Foča in BiH as a unique destination for active tourism.

In addition to improving the tourist offer, thanks to IPA funds, significant progress has been made in improving conditions in cross-border areas in order to create new opportunities for work, employment and motivate people to create better conditions for themselves and the community. Persons with disabilities (PWDs) also had the opportunity to start new or develop existing independent businesses within the IPA II Cross-Border Cooperation Program Bosnia and Herzegovina – Montenegro (2014-2020). The development of Start-up is just one in a series of activities of the P.O.W.E.R project: Creating new opportunities for work, employment and professional rehabilitation of people with disabilities, which with the financial support of the European Union, in the amount of 459,776 euros, was realized within the program.

Among the beneficiaries of this project is Rubina Džanović, owner of the Rubi Milk farm near Fojnica.

“After realizing how beneficial the stay in the countryside is for me and my health, we decided to start producing healthy food. Ruby Milk has become a recognizable brand thanks to the quality of products we bring to market. With the help of the P.O.W.E.R. project, we have provided moto-cultivator with connectors, which is of vital importance to us. Now we mow the grass and transport fodder for our cows and calves. In addition, we cultivate the land with a moto-cultivator so that we can plant vegetables,” said Rubina.

An additional opportunity for independent business in the border areas of BiH and Montenegro, to start a family business in beekeeping for as many as 40 people with disabilities, was achieved thanks to financial support in the amount of 200,000 euros.

Despite the existing legal and normative frameworks, prejudices and stereotypes remain a major obstacle in the employment process of persons with disabilities in Bosnia and Herzegovina and Montenegro. The seriousness of this situation is evidenced by a survey whose results show that almost half of the surveyed people with disabilities believe that the main reason for unemployment is the opinion that employers will not or do not want to hire PWDs. Therefore, additional work is needed to improve institutional protection against discrimination against persons with disabilities, as well as to raise awareness of their rights and opportunities.

For this purpose, four professional programs for the education of adults with disabilities and five educational programs/curricula for non-formal training were prepared, and positive changes were introduced in the lives of 21 people with disabilities, who were given the opportunity for internships and increased competitiveness in the labour market. For all those who want to follow in their footsteps, information on employment opportunities and vocational rehabilitation of people with disabilities is available on the website zaposliosi.org.