Why Slow Tourism?
I love exploring places. I love finding out the stories about those places from local people wherever I am, (and that's best done normally, by non professional tour guides).
The absolute best stories, are told over local meals in off the beaten track locations. Are told by people actually living the experience, in places that are NEVER ever mentioned in tour package itineraries, or even on trip advisor.
I hate rushing when exploring.
I want to have that maximum flexibility to "go where the story takes me". To deviate from the planned route. To not have to worry about being back at the bus by x o'clock.
I also want to give back, directly, to the local economy by:
Buying from small producers and shops.
By not staying in "chain hotels".
By travelling in old rickety buses, rather than modern AC equipped machines, owned by international companies.
By eating traditional food in small backstreet bistros and restaurants.
This is where the concept of slow tourism comes in.
Slow Tourism can also seriously help areas and locations from suffering the hugely negative effects of "over tourism". Think Venice (Italy), Dubrovnik (Croatia) and Kotor (Montenegro).
Why Bosnia and Herzegovina (BiH)?
But this potential is rife for abuse by tourism strategies that will result in over tourism in not too many years.
Think short term gains over longer term sustainability.
Think Quantity over Quality.
In fact the city of Mostar is already starting to smart from some over tourism effects. I am not sure how many 60 seater coaches arrive from nearby Croatia every day during the season, but it's considerable.
Sarajevo is building crazy resorts for a Middle East consumer base looking for "somewhere cheap".
Banja Luka, the second biggest city in BiH, is watching developments closely it seems.
Over the coming months and years I hope to document this through my blog, vlog and podcast channels.
I hope you'll join me on the journey.