The Center for Environment’s application for the role of EuroVelo coordinator for Bosnia and Herzegovina was confirmed at the annual meeting of EuroVelo network representatives preceding the international cycling tourism conference taking place in Izmir, Turkey, from October 11th to 13th.
EuroVelo is a European network of cycling routes, established through the initiative of the European Cyclists’ Federation in collaboration with national and regional partners. It comprises over 90,000 kilometers of cycling routes. Soon, Bosnia and Herzegovina will be included in this network of routes.
After the Center for Environment officially applied to EuroVelo to become the national coordinator for this network in Bosnia and Herzegovina in the middle of this year, the President of the Center for Environment, Tihomir Dakić, had the opportunity to present the development plans for the EuroVelo Sava route, which is currently in the approval process, as well as the association’s work in the field of transportation at the mentioned annual network meeting.
The present delegates voted to establish the EuroVelo Coordination Center for Bosnia and Herzegovina, marking the 24th center within the European network.
“The Center for Environment has been the contact point for EuroVelo routes in Bosnia and Herzegovina since 2010, with discussions primarily centered around EuroVelo Route 8, the Mediterranean route, which, unfortunately, does not pass through our country. However, in 2011, an initiative was launched to analyze the route from the source to the mouth of the River Sava. By 2013, demo tours began from the source of the River Sava in Kranjska Gora, through Croatia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, all the way to Belgrade in Serbia. After three years of these demo tours, a consortium of partners naturally formed from these four countries, led by my colleague Bojan Žižek, President of the Slovenian Cyclists’ Network. On that occasion, we applied to the EuroVelo network to designate the new EuroVelo Route No. 18 as the Sava route passing through Bosnia and Herzegovina. We sincerely hope for a positive response in the near future and the establishment of a new EuroVelo route.” explained Dakić.
Over 45,000 kilometers of EuroVelo routes utilize well-developed cycling paths and low-traffic roads. Their international status aids in fundraising and political support for the continued construction of these routes.
In addition to the associations dedicated to cycling development (Green Visions and Giro di Sarajevo), support for the establishment of a new EuroVelo route in Bosnia and Herzegovina has been provided by the Federal Ministry of Environment and Tourism of the Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina, the Ministry of Communications and Transport of Bosnia and Herzegovina, and an official response is still awaited from the Ministry of Trade and Tourism of Republika Srpska. The support from the entity ministries is of great importance for the development and assistance to the local community in building capacities for the development of cycle tourism along the Sava River.
At the international conference in Izmir, all significant figures in the field of cycle tourism from around the world gathered. The conference was inaugurated by representatives from the City of Izmir, the Turkish Agency for Promotion and Development of Tourism (TGA), and Mehmet Nuri Ersoy, the Turkish Minister of Culture and Tourism.