Cikotic: The purpose of the voucher is to help tourism in BiH

The sale of travel packages on selected online platforms starts today. Vouchers can be purchased by Federation citizens and are subsidized by the Federation government, which has allocated two million marks for this purpose.

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

“Platforms are working at full speed to introduce all tourism offers of food and accommodation establishments that are interested in offering their services,” Cikotich pointed out.

The goal was to increase the usability of BiH with vouchers, improve tourism potentials, promote domestic tourism and help citizens who want to travel and be tourists, but also digitization of tourism in BiH. Cikotić explains that while scrolling through the offers already available on the platforms, citizens are introduced to destinations they may not visit this year, but will remember next year.

“Citizens can receive the vouchers by entering the portal of one of the three platforms that have fulfilled the conditions of the public invitation: eKupon, OdmoriuBiH and Citydeal, which have so far concluded contracts with providers of places of eating and accommodation to choose a destination, that is, a package a deal they want”, Cikotich explained.

From the beginning of July, the use of tourist vouchers in the Republika Srpska began. The Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina approved such a project in June, and implementation will begin 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 starts on Monday.

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

There is a lot of talk about the Tourism Law because in 2014 the Constitutional Court said that the Law on Tourism Societies was not adopted according to the Constitution, therefore this obligation must be fulfilled. Regarding the reform agenda, we have decided to merge the Law on Tourism Companies and the Law on Tourism Activities and create a single Law on Tourism. This law on tourism was adopted by the government of BiH in 2017 as a proposal and we sent it to the parliament. At the end of 2019, when it was due to be watched, we received information that it would not pass and that it was better to withdraw it from the parliamentary procedure and finalize it through public hearings, Japo stated.

She added that they then held a number of public debates with businessmen, the tourism sector and all tourism stakeholders, on the basis of which a new text was drawn up, which was adopted yesterday and is going to the parliament of FBiH.

We still adhere to the proposal that there is an opportunity to create a Tourist Board of the FBiH and tourist boards of cantons, cities and municipalities, since many cantons have already passed their own laws that allow the creation of tourist boards at the local level, she added.

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

Two million BAM to citizens for a holiday

Japo points out that 5 million BAM have been allocated for tourism this year from the budget of the FBiH.

With 1.5 million, we met the initiative of 78 delegates in the House of Representatives, who requested that this sum be set aside for the ski lift of Ponijerie, as it is very old and dangerous for tourists. Two million will go as vouchers for citizens,said the minister.

Given the increase in prices, we want citizens to spend at least part of their free time on vacation. The voucher worth 200 BAM will be distributed through internet platforms such as ekupon, kupi.ba, odmoriubih.ba and similar platforms that sell travel packages within FBiH, Japo added.

She believes that the use of these platforms will eliminate discrimination, because absolutely everyone who pays by card will receive a voucher of 200 BAM, and the smallest package is 250 BAM.

Of course, this program will continue until these two million are exhausted and no later than December 31 of this year. We will help the citizens, but also the economy. I hope that this will motivate citizens to visit all the beauties of BiH, she emphasized.

In the end, Japo said that a rural support program was adopted and that all those who are renters and registered in the system in rural areas will be able to receive assistance from one thousand to 20 thousand BAM.

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

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