This summer we have focused on analysing the potential for CIM to develop income generating activies through ecotourism in Sanski Most.
After two months of research we have found the following:
There is good reason to assume that a tourism agency in Sanski Most will be profitable. Data shows that there is huge potential for tourism in Bosnia and Herzegovina, especially for outdoor and ecotourism due to the country's beautiful natural resources. CIM can make use of the growth of the tourism sector and of the natural wealth of Sanski Most and its surrounding areas to start a tourism business that offers activities like hiking, cycling and canoeing.
The BiH tourism industry has been growing throughout the past 10 years with ongoing positive trends. The growth rate of tourism from 2002 to 2012 was 5.85%, including negative growth rates in the years 2009 and 2010 caused by the global economic crisis. However, there is high potential for further growth, as the tourism potentials are not fully used yet. At the moment tourism in BiH composes only 0.2 % of the total European tourism. The World Tourism Organization estimates that BiHs overall tourism market growth potential exceeds 10 % annually through 2020. Such a high growth potential is estimated for only three tourism destinations in the whole world. As very promising for the development of tourism in BiH are regarded, amongst others, ecotourism, spa tourism, ski and moutain tourism and adventure tourism. Potential for all of these activities can be found right on our door step, all over Sanski Most and the surrounding area.
For the next few months until the end of the year, we will focus on:
– analysing tourist offers in the area of Sanski Most to estimate competition in that sector
– clearly outlining the tourism business
– estimating the possible economic impact in Sanski Most
– calculating a budget
– developing a strategy how to adress potential tourists
– making a more concrete risk analysis and developing strategies how to adress these risks
In August 2014, we held our 11th annual Peace Camp. 16 people took part in workshops aimed at understanding conflict, dealing with the past, and shaping Bosnia's future. From dealing with trauma, to envisioning a different Bosnia and Herzegovina, we saw youth between 17 and 33 years old change their understanding of the conflict, attitudes and behaviours. These young people are now equiped with skills to further reach young people in their own communities and facilitate peacebuilding activities. Below is an analysis of how change took place in this year's Peace Camp.
Friendships with "the other"
The majority of participants had 10 or fewer friends from another ethnicity/religion, but thanks to PC those numbers changed to participants saying they had more than 10 friends from another ethnicity/religion after PC, and one respondent who had no friends of the other before PC stated "Now I have two of them"
Do you think there will be another war in BiH?
Optimism about the country's future increased after the week. Before PC, people believed there would be another war (and NO ONE thought that Bosnia was definitely out of danger for another war). After PC, only 2 people answered "yes," that there would be another war, while the rest said no, or maybe.
Are better interethnic relationships possible? How?
-"Yes of course [better interethnic relations are possible], but we have to accept other religions" - "It is necessary to learn about our differences in a way so they don't look like a threat." - "Getting to know young people from other ethnic groups."
7 respondents specifically cited increased communication and understanding - including through actually meeting and getting to know people from the other side - to help interethnic relations.
How do you deal with personal conflict?
Before Peace Camp (herein after referred to as PC), most participants said they'd try to talk out conflict, while 2 said they were angry and silent and then just let it go. After PC, all respondents cited talking/dialogue/nonviolent communication as a means of dealing with personal conflict.
Reduced Fear/Increased Trust in "the other"
Before PC, participants were mixed about spending time in a place where another ethnicity was the majority. One person said they "strongly disagreed" that they would be comfortable in that situation, while 3 others said they were "undecided." However,after PC, no single individual would be uncomfortable spending time in a town or city where they were the ethnic minority.
This year's Peace Camp would not have happened without your generous support. Thank you once again for all your donations and support of any kind. The best time to make donations to our project is on bonus days, when they get matched. The next bonus day is on October 15th!
Our 2013-2014 Peace Camp has ended and we have been busy preparing for this year's training.
We trained twenty young Bosnian people from across the country in overcoming trauma, stereotypes, and conflict, and empowered them to go back to their home communities to apply the learning by further facilitating peace activities. Each participant planned and implemented around 20 hours of workshops, and those who were the most active and keen to be involved in peacebuilding work in the long run, will be returning to the Camp this year, to help co-facilitate some of our workshops, this resulting in them becoming qualified trainers of trainers.
Our next Peace Camp will be held on the 24th of August. We have recruited 20 more young participants. Based on feedback, we always try to improve at least one aspect of the training every year. In order to better evaluate our impact, we are now evaluating the participants both at the beginning and the end of the training, in order to be able to better measure the change that takes place in the 7 day training. We will then continue to monitor and evaluate progress as per usual throughout the year.
This summer we also hosted two evaluators from globalgiving who came to help us improve our communications, reporting, and social media skills. We now have a new reporting strategy in place, and we will aim to get better at communicating the impact of training peace camp participants in their own communities.
So far this year, you have helped us raise over $1000. Thanks to everyone who supports our cause, be it financial or not.
The CIM Team