Intrepid joins USAID to develop sustainable tourism in Bosnia and Herzegovina

Tourists in Mostar, Bosnia Herzegovina

Intrepid Travel is working with The United States Agency for International Development (USAID) to regenerate Bosnia and Herzegovina as an exciting destination at the heart of sustainability within Europe.

USAID’s Developing Sustainable Tourism in Bosnia and Herzegovina (Turizam) program facilitates broad-based, tourism-driven economic growth and promotes social harmony by capitalizing on the country’s rich cultural heritage and natural beauty.

The program, which began in August 2020, is a five-year $20 million project implemented by Chemonics International.

Intrepid has been brought into the project to share its experience in destination and product development, particularly as it relates to sustainable tourism, working with local communities, suppliers and guides on the ground.

“We’re honoured to have been chosen as a key tour operator partner for this project, as expanding sustainable travel options around the world remains one of our key priorities,” said Natalie Kidd, chief purpose officer at Intrepid Travel.

”We’ve been championing this style of travel since our inception in 1989, and it’s so encouraging to see such massive investments and commitments being made towards the development of more responsible travel options.

“Bosnia and Herzegovina is a beautiful country with so much to offer international travellers, and we’re excited to be working alongside USAID Turizam and the Global Travel & Tourism Resilience Council to change the impression of the country and create meaningful experiences.”

In early 2022, representatives from Intrepid Travel travelled to Bosnia and Herzegovina to deliver three workshops about how the company recommends suppliers develop sustainable experiences, in addition to advising how to develop and deliver products to industry standards.

Blagaj Tekija is a Dervish monastery outside Mostar, Bosnia, that’s nearly 600 years old iStock/Freeartist)

“We’re facilitating partnerships that make a difference on the ground. From the local communities to international businesses, this partnership ticks all the boxes. We will share this case study with other destinations across the world to amplify the messaging around how much can be done with public and private partnerships,” shared Laurie Myers, global strategist for the Resilience Council.

“We’re looking forward to a series of programs and experiences to hit the market, including special expedition programs exclusively for Intrepid Travel’s customers,” she continued.

In addition to the advisory role Intrepid has in the project, the tour operator is also releasing a new eight-day Bosnia & Herzegovina Expedition, which is scheduled for five initial departures in 2023.

Highlights of the trip include enjoying a traditional Bosnian meal with locals in Sarajevo, paddling on a white-water rafting trip down the Neretva River and meeting Sarajevo’s only female coppersmith while wandering the cobblestone walkways of the city’s historic cultural centre.

“We’re grateful to play a part in making this beautiful destination more accessible in a way that respects the history of the country, leaves a light footprint and respects and supports the local communities,” said Kidd.

“Though so recently touched by upheaval, the people of Bosnia and Herzegovina are eager to share their culture and customs with travellers, and this new expedition will deliver on that through amazing food, gripping stories and thrilling adventures.”

Featured image: Tourists in Mostar, Bosnia Herzegovina (iStock/heinstirred)

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