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Bosnia and Herzegovina’s first 14 Most Beautiful Villages have been chosen!

The label Most Beautiful Villages is a concept launched by the French association Les Plus Beaux villages de France in 1981. Its mission is to preserve and enhance its member villages’ heritage, to increase their popularity and thus promote their economic development. The concept was expanded with the creation of the Federation of the Most Beautiful Villages of the Earth in Gordes, France. The initial gathering brought together the national networks of The Most Beautiful Villages of France, Belgium, Italy, Japan, and Spain. This concept was later adopted by other countries such as Germany, Switzerland, Japan, and Lebanon.

After the public call and selection procedure, in May 2022, USAID’s Developing Sustainable Tourism in Bosnia and Herzegovina (Turizam) supported the Association for development of rural tourism in BiH – Alterural based in Sarajevo to lead the roll-out, launch, and management of “The Most Beautiful Villages of Bosnia and Herzegovina” label. With the technical support of USAID Turizam project, Alterural defined the eligibility criteria, the Quality Charter and the methodology/process for the initiative Most Beautiful Villages of BiHand created the Quality Commission composed of experts in architecture, heritage, rural development, landscape and geology was established in order to be able immediately to star evaluating the received applications. After finalizing the evaluation process, the first 14 villages have been selected and included on the list of the Most Beautiful Villages of Bosnia and Herzegovina.

The awarding of the label is not an end in itself, but rather the start of a permanent collaboration between the Association Alterural and the labeled villages. The Association with Turizam support, through its experts, will now be available to give recommendations in matters of heritage protection and the development of a sustainable tourism offer. It will also launch common actions between all labeled villages to address common issues and challenges and promote label membership. The Association Alterural will support the planned capacity building and training activities, as well as promotion of the selected villages. As the promotion of the designated villages increases, it is anticipated that they would experience an increase in the number of tourists, which they should be capable of handling effectively.

The main goals of MBV project are:

  • To preserve BiH villages by recognizing their natural and cultural heritage, as well as by suggesting to the local communities policies aimed at conservation.
  • To promote BiH villages by raising awareness about their natural beauty and unique cultural heritage
  • To develop BiH villages by strengthening their presence on the local and European tourist map and thus contributing to the socio-economic development of rural areas
  • To offer new economic opportunities and an alternative to youth leaving rural areas.

Watch the video about 14 selected villages, included in the list the Most Beautiful Villages of Bosnia and Herzegovina:

Most Beautiful Villages of BiH

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