Wealth of natural beauty, a multitude of cultural and sporting events, extremely attractive tourist destinations, but also the transitivity of the Republic of Srpska, as one of the main traffic links between Central Europe and the Adriatic coast, are placing this location at the top of the countries in the region, ranked according to the number of tourists annually. Thanks to the quality of the tourist product the Republic of Srpska today is one of the favorite destinations of visitors from different countries of the world, which in the Republic of Srpska see the ideal place for rest and recreation, but also a place where they can have good time. Spa tourism is one of the sectors with the most probable investment opportunities and is one of the main holders of the development of the Republic of Srpska’s tourism.
The climate of high, medium-high and low mountains is convenient for various forms of mountain tourism, winter and summer, and all visitors are guaranteed with the ideal blend of rest and recreation.
Due to its healing waters, the Republic of Srpska has great potential for development in this area, and natural treasures are appealing to numerous visitors from the country and the region. This is precisely why every year the spa centres are the most visited destination of Srpska.
The Republic of Srpska now stands out as a significant destination for adventure tourism, which is attracting more and more foreign and domestic tourists to our region. The most attractive destinations for adventure tourism are certainly the flows of the Vrbas and Tara, then the mountainous regions of Kozara, Sutjeska, Jahorina, Lisina, Ozren and others.
LEGAL REGULATIONS IN THE FIELD OF TOURISM
Wealth of natural beauty, a multitude of national parks, monasteries and other cultural and historical sights, but also far-famous Serbian cuisine attract year after year a growing number of tourists to visit the Republic of Srpska.
According to data from the Republik of Srpska Statistical office in August 2019, 40,264 tourists arrived, which is compared to July 2019 more for 8.5%, and there were 93,229 overnight stays of the tourist. Number of tourist arrivals in August 2019 compared to the same month in the previous year was higher for 5.8%, and the number of overnight stays was higher for 1.7%. From the beginning of 2019, the RS was visited by tourists from various countries such as the US, Estonia, Finland, the United Kingdom, Brazil, India, Japan, China, Malaysia, Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, New Zealand, Australia, Kuwait, Turkey, but also many others.
The Republic of Srpska has great tourism potential and rich natural resources, and among the most represented types of tourism in the Republic of Srpska are: mountain, spa, religious, adventure, eco-tourism and rural tourism.
Foreign tourists from distant lands are the most attracted to water and greenery, while some of the most interesting destinations are the towns of Banja Luka and Trebinje, which are known for their rich cultural and historical heritage, adventure, youth and unforgettable night life as well as for Jahorina the Olympic beauty.
There is a great interest for national parks. The biggest number of national parks, which are particularly interesting to tourists from the United Arab Emirates, are placed in the territory of Foca and Višegrad.
Mountain tourism in the Republic of Srpska has favorable natural predispositions for development because it is rich in high, medium- high and low mountains and diverse climate. We should mention some of its mountains, such as Jahorina, Zelengora, Treskavica, Romania, then Grmeč, t Кozara, Ozren and many others, with enormous forest and hunting wealth.
With its accommodation capacities and the built-in infrastructure for winter sports, mountain Jahorina particularly stands out, which in 1984 hosted the Winter Olympic Games. Jahorina boasts with the most modern system for the creation of artificial snow which covers the entire ski resort. At any time, the perfectly designed ski slopes are linked to the most modern cable cars which transport skiers and snowborders, and their total capacity is around 17,000 skiers per hour. For adventurers and adrenaline enthusiasts, there is also a night ski slope, where new lightining has been built which allows the enjoyment of skiing even after sunset. This ski centre is known for good parties, concerts by the largest music stars in the region, music festivals and theatre performances.
In addition to the winter offer, the Olympic Centre Jahorina can boast with a rich offer during the summer period. Jahorina is abundant with unspoiled nature, evergreen forests, mountain springs, wild horses, mountain trails, numerous herbs and berries. At the time of extreme heat, many guests find moments of leisure in activities that Jahorina offers: the walks of the mountain paths, cycling, mountain biking, panoramic sightseeing of the mountain peaks, the riding of the quads, the children’s attractions, and it is especially popular for preparations with high-altitude athletes.
In the heart of Krajina, outlined by the River Una, Sana, Sava and Vrbas, the mountain Кozara is placed. Kozara is a tame mountain, rich in diverse hunting wildlife, which makes it a hunting reserve in this part of the Balkans.
The Republic of Srpska has a unique national park in Europe, Sutjeska National Park. It contains the forest of Perućica, a thousand years old rainforest. The national park was named after the River Sutjeska, which made its flow through the massive mountain of Zelengora (2,014 m), Lelije, Maglić and Volujak. Tjentište is a place on the coast of Sutjeska, with the motel which has the same name, sports and recreational center, the artificial lake, and because of its beauty, it should not be missed.
In the national parks of Sutjeska and Kozara there are possibilities for investment in hotels and accommodation capacities, i.e. expanding existing and building new hotels and bungalows. The Drina National Park is a newly established park within which borders the building of a new touristic infrastructure is planned.
Fresh air and intact nature, spacious valleys located along the riverbank and thermomineral sources represent a huge potential for the development of the tourist offer of the Republic of Srpska.
Equipped with modern diagnostic and physical equipment, additional sports and recreational facilities, SPA and wellness centers, there are ten spas in the area of the Republic of Srpska, making the overall potential of this area only partially used.
The ancient Romans knew for the healing effects of mineral, thermal and thermomineral sources in the area of Republic of Srpska, who used these natural treasures for healing and rest. The rich tradition in the treatment of various forms of illnesses by using natural mineral waters, was completed later by the Turks and Austrougars, who built objects in these localities that are still part of the spa-recreational complex.
Thermal mineral water sources, with the depth of about 1,000 to 3,000 m and the temperature between 80 ° and 150 °, are now located at over 200 sites throughout Srpska. Enriched with numerous minerals, healing springs are located in the heart of nature and represent an ideal place for the development of health tourism.
In the complex of Višegrad Spa, next to Kadinjine Spa and Gornje Sokolović Spa, located five km from Višegrad, in the east of the Republic of Srpska, there is the Spa “Vilina Vlas”. It is named after the endemic species of fern, which grows on thermominal water springs, rich in radon and with temperature of 34 °.
The healing properties of water originate from minerals and easily evaporable noble gas radon, which gets into the skin and respiratory system, positively influencing the organism. Radon slows down the aging process, reduces pain, raises the general immune system of the organism and favorably affects the skin, endocrine, respiratory and allergic diseases. It is used for the treatment of rheumatic, neurological, orthopaedic, gynecological, geriatric and respiratory diseases, as well as for post-traumatic and postoperative conditions.
In the 16th century century, while the construction of a well-known Višegrad bridge was in progress, on Drina Ćuprija, the builders were digging stone to build the bridge, and they accidentally discovered an abundance of thermal springs. Following the order of Mehmed-Pasha Sokolović, two Turkish baths were made on the site, which served workers and nobles to cure gout, as well as other diseases.
Spa-Recreational Centre “Vilina vlas ” has 66 single and double rooms, as well as suites with a total capacity of 134 beds. There are also two restaurants, a seminar room, a bar, a swimming pool, a sauna and many other amenities.
The spa is surrounded by dense pine trees, as well as the trim-slopes suitable for walks and recreation, and the preparation of athletes.
Guests of the rehabilitation centre “Vilina vlas ” are offered the possibility to become familiar with the slopes of Tara, as well as the cruise on the river Drina by boat from the Višegrad Bridge to the Old ship, the tour of churches and monasteries, and visit to Andrić city and ethno-village Mećavnik.
With its interesting architecture and multi-dimensional tradition of the most famous Višegrad building, the bridge on the Drina, it is still a decoy for a great number of tourists, who certainly do not miss the opportunity to visit the memorial classroom, the house of Nobel laurels Ivo Andric. There is also the city gallery, art and historical treasures of the region.
By building the tourist complex, the possibility of accommodation capacities would be expanded and the tourist offer of the entire region would be improved.
PROPOSED PROJECTS: CONSTRUCTION OF THE TOURIST COMPLEX, I.E. EXPANSION OF ACCOMMODATION CAPACITIES
Project value: 5 million euros
Investment form: Public-private partnership
Spa “Dvorovi ” is located in the north-eastern part of the Republic of Srpska, in the immediate vicinity of Bijeljina. With beautiful parks, pools, comfortable accommodation in the hotel “Sveti Stefan ” and warm hospitality, “Dvorovi ” is the right place for vacation, prevention and treatment of various diseases.
In the immediate vicinity of the spa are Drina and Sava rivers, as are several lakes, which represents a special comfort for tourists and offers numerous opportunities for hunting, fishing and adventure tourism.
Mineral water sources were discovered during the search for oil, 1956, when from the drilling wells in Dvorovi, at the depth of approximately 1,300 meters, water of 75 C ° started flowing out. Subsequent tests found a large degree of minerals in this water, which created preconditions for the construction of a spa complex, hot water reservoir, restaurants, hotels, health department…
Water is sodium-calcium-hydrocarbonated chloride, and it is confirmed that its use produces very good results in the treatment of chronic rheumatic diseases, easier forms of diabetes, chronic gastritis, postraumatic injuries of the extremities and some forms of eczema, chronic gynecological diseases, lumbago, spondylosis spondylitis and lumboistialgia.
Thermomineral water treats various forms of rheumatic diseases in a calm clinical and laboratory phase, degenerative rheumatic diseases, conditions following injuries and surgical procedures on the locomoric apparatus, discussion hernees, non-operable and postoperative conditions, scoliosis and kifoskoliosis, diseases of peripheral arterian vessels, pastares and paralysis of peripheral nerves, mild skin diseases, caries prevention and stomach diseases, bile and bile ducts.
The city of Bijeljina is an important intersection of travel routes, including the most important proximity of the Rača border crossing and the link with neighbouring Serbia.
Spa “Dvorovi ” with its natural resources is one of the most important health-tourism potentials in Semberia, but also in the Republic of Srpska.
PROJECT PROPOSED BY THE MINISTRY OF TRADE AND TOURISM
Spa “Dvorovi” drafted the project “The development program for the construction of the complex of the spa “Dvorovi”
The project implies:
-Construction of the new spa and accommodation capacities
-15 million euros
Investment form: Public-private partnership
In the north-western slopes of the Kozara Mountains, at a distance of 20 km from nearby city centres, spa “Mlječanica” is situated, surrounded by nature and rich in healing sources. In harmony with natural resources, equipped with modern technology and professional staff, the special hospital for physical medicine and rehabilitation ” Mlječanica ” is far from the nearest town of Kozarska Dubica 14 km and from Prijedor 25 km.
From ancient times, the local population recognized the positive medical effects of the water rich in sulphur, and bathe in it to treat different illnesses. Healing properties of the source of the spa “Mlječanica ” have also been recognized by the Austro-Hungarian authorities, which carried out the first source logs and analysis of water, but more serious hydrogeological research and analyses begen only in the seventies of the previous century.
The Center for Physiatrics, rehabilitation and health tourism “Mlječanica ” opened their doors for all users in July 1978 offering a wide range of quality services. Since then, it has been doing business with great interest in patients and high percentages of successful treatment.
Quality exploitation of the gifts of nature and professional medical staff very quickly upgraded spa “Mlječanica” into the Institute for Physical Medicine, rehabilitation and balneoclimatology, which became one of the most important spas in the Republic of Srpska.
Sulfable-sulphuric mineral water, according to many assumptions is 5,000 years old and it is used with success in the treatment of inflammatory and degenerative rheumatic diseases, neurological diseases, post-traumatic and postoperative states, the diseases of peripheral of blood vessels, skin diseases, and by its effect shows the success of treatment in other areas.
The users of the spa service “Mlječanice ” can use their free time for extratherapeutic activity, sport, going on a picnic or visiting entertainment vanues that this institution organizes weekly.
Available accommodation capacities of 147 beds, having 17 beds in the semi-intensive care section, and the rest in the central building and bungalows within the hospital, “Mlječanica ” is now hosting guests from the entire area of the Republic of Srpska.
In the upcoming period, by the construction of the complex, as stipulated, future users should have at their disposal the complex with hotel capacity of 150 seats, indoor and outdoor swimming pool with sanitary water, and sports courts. The expansion of the capacity of the therapeutic block is also planned, which would have a hyperbaric chamber.
In the east of the Republic of Srpska, near the city centre of Srebrenica, there is a famous site of Guber, natural wealth, potential and as locals often call it “The soul of Srebrenica “. Located at 560 m above sea level, surrounded by four-kilometer of deciduous and evergreen forests, along the two-mile slope, 48 sources spring up.16 of them are scientifically examined and proven for the presence of medicinal substances.
The medicinal effects of the Srebrenica mineral springs were known two millennia ago, since records in 220 were written on the remains of the large Roman bath at the Sase locality near Srebrenica. The first thorough analysis of the water on Guber’s sprins was conducted in 1894, when this jewel of Srpska was claimed as one of the best iron-arsenic natural springs of our continent.
That the Guber’s healing properties have a long tradition and were recognized at the time of the Austro-Hungarian administration, the witnesses is the fact that Black Guthera’s water was at that time bottled and sold across Europe, Africa and America. The company “Matoni ” from Vienna only during 1901 exported the record of 236,544 bottles of Guber water to the world market. Guber water from the hot spring Black Guber in 1956 was pronounced as a cure.
The healing properties of the Guber water are tied to a different geological origins and the wealth of this area colored with metals such as silver, lead, zinc and iron. Well- known Guberian hot springs after the precipitated water ponders through numerous cracks and mining cavities, where it collects and dissolves different minerals, which give it unique quality and beauty.
Minerals contained in the waters that come out in this neighborhood with their healing effects exceed the most famous mineral spas of Europe.” Mali Guber”,” Očna voda”, “Ljepotica” are the most famous springs according to the effects that they produce on the users of this water.
“Mali Guber” contains twice as much iron and large amounts of calcium and magnesium from “Crni Guber”. Its iron concentration in the hot spring “Mali Guber” is close to concentration of mineral springs at the Levico Spa in Italy. It is characterized by continuous temperature 12, 4C °, exceptional clarity, without color and sour taste. Water is enriched with iron, a certain dose of arsenic and other rare metals.
“Očna Voda” is one of the largest of the Srebrenica medical springs, and because of the high concentration of iron, as well as other elements, this spring is placed in the third place of European mineral resources. “Očna voda” helps and works in various forms of mucous membranes, the conjunctivitis and the sight improvement.
“Ljepotica” is a spring which is, due to its influence on the beauty of the face and skin, particularly popular among the family of the prettier sex. Washing with this water makes the complexion prettier and healthier, the skin of the face cleaner, and the use of this water brings healing and permanent removal of acne and other irregularities on the face.
With its mineral specificality and unique beauty of the environment, the healing sources of Guber represent balneological and tourist attraction. The uniqueness of the mineral composition of the water that springs on the hot springs of Guber lures the visitors, so its significance in spa and health tourism is of utmost importance.
The construction of the spa-recreational complex, which represents a great perspective of the development of Srebrenica and tourism in this area, is still looking for investors and waiting for the construction.
In search of a place where they will unleash their thoughts, rest the body and spirit, the resort Guber located in the heart of nature, surrounded by the rich crowns of deciduous and evergreen forests, is an ideal place for a holiday of numerous inhabitants of Srebrenica, but also tourists looking for natural beauty spots.
Using the current scientific knowledge about the healing potentials of Guber springs, as well as the beauty of the natural environment and the advantages of the site, the plan is to work in the next period to promote health tourism and in cooperation with investors, through the construction of accommodation capacities, leisure and recreation facilities, increase the exploitation of the gifts of nature.
Surrounded by hills and meadows filled with deciduous and evergreen trees, this pearl of nature is located at a distance of 18 km from Novi Grad in the north-western part of the Republic of Srpska.
The healing properties of “Lješljani ” were discovered in the Roman period, and the proof of its oldest application dates back from 1878. When the Austro-Hungarian miners first tested this mineral water in Vienna. Numerous legends among the locals are evidence about the multi-use of healing waters in the treatment of various forms of illness, one of which is bound to the extraordinary discovery of the healing properties of this spring.
Locals believe that the discovery of healing waters is bound to an anecdote of a local, which occurred in the distant past. The villager left its sick horse, because of the inability to find a suitable remedy to give him, in the forest of Potkozarje. However, after a few days of bathing and staying in the healing mud of “Lješani” the horse returned completely healthy.
Scientific analyses, which confirmed the people’s beliefs, were conducted in 1990 by drilling deep up to 672 m. Research has shown that the amount of water is nine liters in a second, and constant temperatures from 31 to 35 degrees Celsius. These characteristics have not changed until today.
Natural water from the spa belongs to sodium chloride, hydrocarbonate, hypothermal alkaline water with a PH value of 11.85. This miraculous water cures increased gastric acid, ulcer, bile disease and bile passages, affects the reduction of cholesterol in the blood, and facilitates pain due to rheumatism and vein disease.
In search of a medicine for skin diseases, especially psoriasis, many people from the entire region come to the village of Lješljani for years. Many visitors, who after learning about the beauties and benefits of the region, are witnessing the miraculous effects of the springs and muds of the Lješljani from the south-western slopes of Kozara Mountain.
In the next period, in cooperation with investors, the government of the Republic of Srpska plans to build a spa-recreational complex, which will represent a sanatorium and excursion site. Furthermore, due to mineral waters, which are solely a gift of nature, and the specifics of the terrain, nature and greenery, this area attracts domestic and guests from neighboring countries. The plan is not to spoil natural beauties but to build a functional sanatorium, as well as an oasis for all nature, peace and tranquility lovers.
Due to the proximity of the mountains Kozara and Grmeč, and the River Una, which itsfascinates visitors with beauty, this area is very appealing to tourists.
In addition to the effective treatment of diseases, the spa water is also efficient in agriculture, and there is a possibility of using it for spraying fruits and vegetables. For these reasons, research is still in the plan in order to to serve the farmers.
On the slopes of Mountain Majevica, surrounded by wooded hills from the north, west and south side, while on the east side extends the flatlands, all the way to the Drina River, 24 km away from Zvornik, the spring of mineral water Vitnički Kiseljak is situated.
The area surrounding the springs is enriched with greenery and ecologically preserved environment, while the flow of Jasenica River gives nine springs which produce various mineral waters of quality, healing properties and taste unique in Europe.
The waters were discovered at the end of the 18th century and the beginning of the 19th century. They were given the name according to the order of their discovery and process of the source from one to nine. The presence of potassium, sodium, calcium, magnesium, iron, aluminium, manganese, chlorine and numerous acids that make water medicinal is determined by expert analysis of the quality and composition of water.
The medicinal effect of water that is made in Kiseljak has proven successful in the treatment of various diseases such as stomach acorn, sugar diseases, blood, respiratory inflammation, kidney disease, bile and bile-optic disease, damage to the arterial circulation.
The location is still lacking in spa and recreational complexes, accommodation capacities, sports activities and other activities.
Vitnički Kiseljak is 15 km far from Loznica, 24 km far from Zvornik, 45 km far from Bijeljina, and located in the nearest border belt with Serbia, and it represents a crossroads of important travel routes, which is why the number of visitors is increasing.
In addition to mountain and spa tourism, the offer of religious tourism is always attractive in Srpska, where the emphasis is placed on eastern Herzegovina, namely Trebinje, since this town has been included in a tourist tour of middle-aged monasteries, such as Tvrdoš, Dobrićevo, Duži, Petropavlov Monastery and Hercegovačka Gračanica.
The most important in the development of adventure tourism is the flows and surroundings of the Tara and Vrbas River, which enable a combination of various sporting activities.
The tourist offer in the last few years at the very top include adventurous and extreme sports such as rafting, paragliding, hiking, biking, tandem jumping with a parachute, kayaking, canyoning, mounteering and many others. The Republic of Srpska now stands out as a significant destination for adventure tourism, which is attracting a growing number of foreign and domestic tourists to our region. The most attractive destinations of adventure tourism are certainly the flows of the Vrbas and Tara, then the mountainous regions of Kozara, Sutjeska, Jahorina, Lisina, Ozren and others.
For the past years, the eco-ethno offer of the Republic of Srpska increasingly grows in its significance. The most attractive destinations of this type are ethno-village Stanišići, near Bijeljina, and the increasingly popular area of Šipovo and its surroundings, which thanks to numerous rural households and their friendly hosts is becoming a more and more interesting location on the tourist map of the Republic of Srpska. A rich offer of rural tourism from the village of Ozren, where visitors can enjoy the quiet and cozy surroundings of the country households, which offer them their services. Moreover, there is a very attractive picnic site, located between Banja Luka and Prijedor, eco-centre “Ljekarice “.
Rural tourism in the Republic of Srpska with 2,600 villages has great potential, which is not best developed. The expansion of this vision of tourism is under way, and progress is visible from year to year, especially in the municipality of Šipovo and Mrkonjic Grad.
Great potentials the Republic of Srpska has even when it comes to hunting and fishing tourism. Through the Republic of Srpska one of the cleanest rivers in Europe, called Pliva, flows. It is exceptionally bright, has a specific colour and represents a real small heaven on earth, especially for sports fishermen in the discipline of fly fishing. Right on this river in 2010, the European Championship was held in fly fishing.
Special investment opportunity is seen in the area of expanding high category capacities in large city centres such as Banja Luka, Trebinje, Foča, Višegrad and East Sarajevo.
With a trend of accelerated development, in accordance with the potentials provided by the Republic of Srpska, there is a possibility of investment of domestic and foreign investors in congress tourism. The Republic of Srpska lacks halls with 300 seats in which increasingly popular congress tourism would be realised.
Institutional support, finantial incentives, subventions, tax exemptions - all aim to build better business environment for you.
The Republic of Srpska is rich in natural and other significant resources that represent great potential for each investor. No matter the industry.
Position is important. Good connection with the rest of Europe makes it much easier to build a business in the Republic of Srpska.
Investors in the Republic of Srpska have an equal position as the residents. Aside from that, they have many more valuable benefits.
Tourism is a growing industry. The Republic of Srpska is an attractive location for tourists and yearly-growing numbers confirm this statement.
The workforce is a significant factor of success and one of the biggest advantages of growing a business in the Republic of Srpska.