Until recently, the concept of Bosnian nationality mostly pertained to the country’s Muslims, commonly known as Bosniaks. Bosnian Croatians and Serbs looked to Serbia and Croatia for leadership and as the mother nation, and both desired formal unification with either Serbia or Croatia as the Yugoslav state started to disintegrate in the early 1990s. This, of course, spelt catastrophe for the state of Bosnia, resulting in a brutal civil war between all three factions. Finally, the Croatian-Muslim coalition battled the Serbian troops on the ground as NATO bombed the Bosnian Serbs from the air, resulting in the Serbs’ military defeat. Following that, a peace treaty was signed, with the thorough inspection of the US Clinton Administration assisting to clinch the agreement. As a consequence, Bosnia became a federation with a Croat-Muslim unit and a Serb autonomous state. Things have quickly improved since then, but Bosnia’s two regions still have a long way to go before achieving full political and social unity. As of today, Bosnia might be described as a single nation divided into two or three sections. The central government, however, is based in Sarajevo, and there is only one single currency, the convertible mark, often abbreviated as KM. BAM is the worldwide abbreviation.
According to the World Tourism Organization, Bosnia and Herzegovina will have the world’s third highest tourism growth rate between 1995 and 2020.
Bosnia and Herzegovina had 747,827 visitors in 2012, a 9% rise over the previous year, and 1,645,521 overnight stays, a 9.4% increase over 2012. Foreign visitors made up 58.6 percent of the total.
Sarajevo tourism is primarily centered on historical, religious, and cultural elements. It was named one of the top ten cities to visit in 2010 by Lonely Planet’s “Best In Travel.” Sarajevo also won the “Best City to Visit” competition on the travel site Foxnomad in 2012, beating out over a hundred other cities from across the globe.
Meugorje has become one of the most popular pilgrimage destinations for Christians in the world, as well as Europe’s third most significant religious site, with over 1 million visitors each year. Since the alleged apparitions started in 1981, it is believed that 30 million pilgrims have visited Meugorje.
Bosnia has also grown in popularity as a skiing and ecotourism destination. Bosnia and Herzegovina is one of the remaining unexplored natural areas of the southern Alps, with huge swaths of wild and unspoiled environment enticing explorers and nature enthusiasts. Bosnia and Herzegovina was voted the greatest mountain riding adventure location in 2012 by National Geographic magazine. Hikers and mountaineers enjoy the central Bosnian Dinaric Alps, which have both Mediterranean and Alpine temperatures. With three rivers, including Europe’s deepest river canyon, the Tara River Canyon, whitewater rafting is somewhat of a national sport.
The Huffington Post has ranked Bosnia and Herzegovina the “The nation was awarded the “9th Largest Adventure in the World for 2013,” with the country boasting “the cleanest water and air in Europe; the greatest unspoiled woods; and the most wildlife.” The three rivers journey, which purls through the finest of what the Balkans have to offer, is the greatest way to experience it.”
Two entities, two tourism agencies
Because the Federation wants to unify all of Bosnia and Herzegovina and abolish the entities, the Federation’s tourist office provides information on all of BiH, including the RS.
On the other hand, the tourist organization of the Republika Srpska, the entity that politically seeks to preserve the inter-entity boundaries agreed upon in the 1995 Dayton-agreement, exclusively provides information on the Republika Srpska and none about the Federation of BiH.
Some of Bosnia and Herzegovina’s tourism attractions include:
- Sarajevo, the “Olympic City” or “European Jerusalem,” is Bosnia and Herzegovina’s scientific, cultural, tourism, and economic hub.
- Sarajevo’s Vratnik Old Town and Bijela Tabija Fortress
- Our Lady of Medjugorje Shrine, featuring an annual Youth Festival; the location of a Marian apparition and subsequent Catholic pilgrimage destination
- Mostar, often known as the “City on Neretva” or “City of Sunshine,” is home to the UNESCO World Heritage Sites of Stari Most and Old Town Mostar.
- Viegrad is home to the Mehmed Paa Sokolovi Bridge, a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
- Banja Luka, often known as the “Green City,” is home to the Kastel castle and the Ferhadija mosque.
- Una National Park has the waterfalls of the river Una and Biha.
- Jajce, the city of Bosnian monarchs and the birthplace of Yugoslavia, Pliva lakes and waterfalls
- Prijedor, with its Old City Mosque, Kozara National Park, and Bosnia’s biggest World War II memorial in Mrakovica.
- Tuzla’s salt lakes,, birthplace of Meša Selimović
- Canyons of the Neretva and Rakitnica rivers in Upper Neretva
- The Trebizat river and the waterfalls near Kravice and Kocusa
- The Buna and its spring, as well as the ancient village of Blagaj
- The Lower Tara River Canyon is Europe’s deepest canyon.
- Sutjeska National Park, which includes the Peruica old forest (one of Europe’s last two surviving primeval woods) and the Sutjeska river canyon.
- Počitelj a historic village
- Mount Bjelašnica and Jahorina were utilized as venues for the XIV Olympic Winter Games in 1984.
- Neum is a seaside city in Germany.
- Doboj and its castle from the 13th century
- Stolac’s Begovina area and Radimlja tombstones
- Visoko, the city of Bosnian aristocracy and royalty, the ancient capital of the Kingdom of Bosnia, and the purported location of Bosnian pyramids
- Prokoško The lake near Fojnica
- Tešanj, is one of Bosnia’s oldest cities.
- Bijeljina is well-known for its agriculture and the ethnic hamlet of Stanišić.
- Lukavac is home to Modrac Lake, Bosnia and Herzegovina’s biggest manmade lake.
- Travnik, Ivo Andri’s birthplace and former capital of Bosnia and Herzegovina
- Jablanica, the Museum of the Battle of Neretva, and the Old Bridge were all demolished by the Yugoslav forces during World War II.
- Ostrožac Fortress is a 16th-century Ottoman Empire-built castle that was subsequently extended by the House of Habsburg.
- Gornji Vakuf
- Konjic, Tito’s subterranean nuclear bunker is shown.
Bosnia and Herzegovina is situated in the western Balkans, bordered by Croatia (932 km or 579 km) to the north and west, Serbia (302 km or 188 mi) to the east, and Montenegro (225 km or 140 mi) to the southeast. It features a 20-kilometer-long (12-mile-long) shoreline that surrounds the city of Neum. It is located between the latitudes of 42° and 46° N, and the longitudes of 15° and 20° E.
The country’s name is derived from the two territories of Bosnia and Herzegovina, which share a hazily defined boundary. Bosnia and Herzegovina share approximately four-fifths of the country’s northern territory, while Bosnia and Herzegovina share the remainder in the country’s southern territory.
The majority of the nation is mountainous, including the middle Dinaric Alps. In the northeast, it reaches the Pannonian Plain, while in the south, it borders the Adriatic Sea. The Dinaric Alps typically run southeast-northwest, becoming higher to the south. The highest point in the nation is the mountain of Magli, which stands at 2,386 meters (7,828.1 ft) and borders Montenegro. Kozara, Grme, Vlai, vrsnica, Prenj, Romanija, Jahorina, Bjelanica, and Treskavica are among the most important mountains.
In all, almost half of Bosnia & Herzegovina is wooded. The majority of Bosnia’s forest regions are located in the country’s center, east, and west. Herzegovina has a drier Mediterranean climate and karst terrain. Northern Bosnia (Posavina) has extremely rich agricultural territory along the Sava River, and the region is extensively cultivated. This agriculture is located on the Pannonian Plain, which extends into neighboring Croatia and Serbia. The country’s coastline is just 20 kilometers (12 miles) long, and it wraps around the town of Neum in the Herzegovina-Neretva Canton. Despite the fact that the city is bordered by Croatian peninsulas, Bosnia and Herzegovina has a right of access to the outer sea under international law.
Sarajevo is the capital and biggest city of Bosnia and Herzegovina. Other significant cities in Bosnia and Herzegovina include Banja Luka in the northwest area known as Bosanska Krajina, Bijeljina and Tuzla in the northeast, Zenica and Doboj in the center, and Mostar, the biggest city in Herzegovina.
- The Sava is the country’s biggest river, and it defines the country’s northern natural boundary with Croatia. It drains 76 percent of the country’s land area into the Danube and subsequently into the Black Sea. As a result, Bosnia and Herzegovina is a member of the International Commission for the Protection of the Danube River (ICPDR).
- The Una, Sana, and Vrbas rivers are right tributaries of the Sava. They are situated in Bosanska Krajina’s northern area.
- The Bosna river gives the nation its name and is the longest river entirely enclosed within it. It runs across central Bosnia and Herzegovina, from its headwaters near Sarajevo to Sava in the north.
- The Drina runs across the eastern portion of Bosnia and creates a natural border with Serbia for the most part.
- The Neretva is Herzegovina’s main river and the only significant river that runs south into the Adriatic Sea.
Bosnia and Herzegovina is part of the Boreal Kingdom and is shared by the Illyrian province of the Circumboreal Region and the Adriatic province of the Mediterranean Region. The World Wide Fund for Nature classifies Bosnia and Herzegovina’s area into three ecoregions: Pannonian mixed forests, Dinaric Mountains mixed forests, and Illyrian deciduous forests.
Hot summers and frigid winters; short, chilly summers and lengthy, severe winters in high elevation regions; warm, wet winters near the coast.
Bosnia and Herzegovina had a population of 4,377,000 according to the 1991 census, but the 1996 UNHCR unofficial census indicated a drop to 3,920,000. The country’s demographics have shifted as a result of large population movements during the Yugoslav conflicts in the 1990s. Political disputes rendered it difficult to conduct a census between 1991 and 2013. A census was scheduled for 2011, then for 2012, however it was postponed until October 2013. The 2013 census reported a total population of 3,791,622 people in 1.16 million households, which was 585,411 less than in 1991.
Bosnia and Herzegovina has three ethnic “constituent peoples,” Bosniaks, Serbs, and Croats, as well as a variety of minor communities such as Jews and Roma. Bosniaks make up 50.11 percent of the population, Serbs 30.78 percent, Croats 15.43 percent, and others 2.73 percent, according to data from the 2013 census published by the Agency for Statistics of Bosnia and Herzegovina, with the remaining respondents not declaring their ethnicity or not responding. The findings of the census are being challenged by the Republika Srpska statistics agency and Bosnian Serb parties. The census issue centers on the inclusion of non-permanent Bosnian citizens in the numbers, which authorities in the Republika Srpska reject. Eurostat, the European Union’s statistics office, determined in May 2016 that the Bosnian statistical agency’s census methodology is in accordance with international guidelines.
According to the 2013 census, Islam is the majority faith in Bosnia and Herzegovina, accounting for 51 percent of the population, with the vast majority belonging to Sunni Islam. 46 percent of the population identify as Christian, with the Serbian Orthodox Church accounting for the largest group, accounting for 31 percent of the population (of whom the majority identify as Serbs), followed by Roman Catholic C According to a 2012 study, 54 percent of Bosnian Muslims are non-denominational Muslims, whereas 38 percent practice Sunnism.
Bosnia is faced with the twin challenge of reconstructing a war-torn nation while also implementing transitional liberal market reforms to its previously mixed economy. One legacy of the previous era is a strong industry; under former republic president Demal Bijedi and SFRY President Josip Broz Tito, metal industries were promoted in the republic, resulting in the development of a large share of Yugoslavia’s plants; S.R. Bosnia and Herzegovina had a very strong industrial export-oriented economy in the 1970s and 1980s, with large scale exports worth millions of dollars.
Agriculture has been done on privately held farms throughout the majority of Bosnia’s history; fresh food has historically been exported from the country.
The Bosnian economy changed dramatically as a result of the 1990s conflict. GDP dropped by 60%, and the loss of physical infrastructure wreaked havoc on the economy. The Bosnian economy continues to confront significant challenges since most of its manufacturing capacity has yet to be rebuilt. Figures indicate that GDP and per capita income grew by 10% between 2003 and 2004; this, together with Bosnia’s decreasing national debt, are negative trends, and high unemployment (38.7%) and a significant trade imbalance remain causes for worry.
The currency board controls the national currency, the (Euro-pegged) Convertible Mark (KM). Annual inflation in 2004 was 1.9 percent, the lowest in the area when compared to other nations. The foreign debt was at $5.1 billion as of December 31, 2014. According to the Bosnian Central Bank of BiH and the Statistical Office of Bosnia and Herzegovina, the real GDP growth rate in 2004 was 5%.
Bosnia and Herzegovina has made significant improvement in recent years, moving from the lowest income equality rating of fourteen out of 193 countries to the fourteenth highest income equality rank.
According to Eurostat statistics, Bosnia and Herzegovina’s PPS GDP per capita in 2010 was 29% of the EU average.
The International Monetary Fund (IMF) announced a $500 million loan to Bosnia to be provided via a Stand-By Arrangement. This was supposed to be authorized in September of this year.