Development of tourism potentials, strengthening of the local economy and sustainable investments are necessary for stable economic growth of Bosnia and Herzegovina. The European Union has recognized numerous potentials throughout Bosnia and Herzegovina and supports projects that seek to present all the natural and cultural wealth of Bosnia and Herzegovina in the best possible light.
The “Feel Kozara” project, which is being implemented within the EU4Business project, supports the development of domestic tourist potentials in the municipality of Prijedor and the introduction of new sports, tourist and gastronomic facilities on the mountain and in the Kozara National Park. The project holder is the Agency for Economic Development of the City of Prijedor “PREDA PD”, which together with local partners is implementing the project.
Milena Gnjatović Simatović, Project Manager, points out that the goal of the project is to start building an integrated approach with a focus on increasing the satisfaction of Kozara visitors, but also in an effort to improve the local economy, environment and quality of life of the local community. “The project will support the connection of functional tourist content and experiences in nature. The end users are micro, small and medium enterprises, including tour operators, tourist agencies, local restaurants, hotels, motels, sports clubs and associations. Increasing tourist activities in the Prijedor region would should lead to the preservation of jobs and employment, and thus higher revenues in the tourism sector and other related economic sectors, ” emphasizes Gnjatović Simatović.
One of the partner organizations in the implementation of the project is the Mountaineering Association “Klekovača” from Prijedor. Draško Zgodić from PD Klekovača explains that it is very difficult for them to realize all the ideas that contribute to the greater interest of tourists in the offer of Kozara. ‘The Feel Kozara project certainly means a lot to us because as an amateur sports association we have very limited funds that we can invest in some new facilities, so those funds mean a lot to us because we will be able to equip some hiking trails in Kozara and the Mountain Lodge itself. We will equip the kitchen and have the equipment to cross these hiking trails. It is something that we could not get on our own, ‘ said Zgodić.
In addition to introducing new contents for the visitors of Kozara, a lot of work is being done on branding the characteristic autochthonous culinary offer of this region. Cicvara, an old folk dish, will get a new look in the restaurant “Bijele vode”, which, thanks to the “Feel Kozara” project, equipped the kitchen for new challenges and guests, says Vladislav Mirković. ‘By participating in the Feel Kozara project, we not only got the equipment, but we also created a series of activities to improve the offer and define the process during cooking. We are going in the direction of building the Kozarska cicvara brand. The project also provided us with professional training where we are working on bringing traditional cuisine, modern cooking style and traditional dishes closer. With this step forward, our restaurant becomes a gastronomic destination with an authentic offer of goat cuisine, ‘says Mirković.
The European Union supports the EU4Business project with the aim of strengthening the BiH economy, encouraging the development of entrepreneurship, export-oriented sectors, tourism and agriculture, as well as rural development.