Mostar, Bosnia and Herzegovina. International Economy Fair Mostar 2022 officially opened today (5th April) and will last until 9th April 2022. Nearly 800 exhibitors from Bosnia and Herzegovina, Hungary, Croatia, Serbia, Montenegro, Poland, Greece, Italy, Slovenia, Albania, China, Turkey, Israel, and Germany present their potential at the 30,000 m2 exhibition space. Among them is the EXChAngE project team, which presents a new cross-border tourist product – The Blue Card, which allows visits to new thematic routes: Dubrovnik and the Aquarium (HR), Kotor and the Boka Aquarium (CG), the Hutovo Blato Aqua Path, as well as the Mostar Aqua Path (BiH), and attracts more tourists to the area.
At the opening of the fair, the welcome words were delivered by: Mostar Fair Director Ms Dalfina Bošnjak, Mayor of Mostar Mario Kordicć, Prime Minister of the Federation of BiH Fadil Novalić, Zoran Tegeltija, Chairman of the BiH Council of Ministers. Ana Brnabić, Prime Minister of the Republic of Serbia, Andrej Plenković, Prime Minister of the Republic of Croatia, and Péter Szijjártó, Minister of Foreign Affairs and Trade of Hungary, who declared the fair open. Partner country of the 23rd International Economy Fair in Mostar is the Republic of Hungary.
EXChAngE project is implemented by five project partners: The University of Dubrovnik – Institute for Marine and Coastal Research (lead partner), Tourist Organisation of Kotor, University of Montenegro – Institute of Marine Biology, Tourist Board of Herzegovina – Neretva Canton, and Public Company Hutovo Blato Nature Park, Čapljina. Representatives of all partners are present at the exhibition area of the project.
The main goal of the EXChAngE project is to strengthen and diversify the tourist offer through exploring of the cross-border aquatic biodiversity and to enable better management and sustainable use of cultural and natural heritage.
On the new cross-border tourist product – The Blue Pass, Dr Aleksandar Joksimović, director of the Institute of Marine Biology of the University of Montenegro, said: “It is much more than discount voucher for four thematic routes in three neighbouring countries. It promotes cross-border mobility of tourists end exploring cross-border nature and cultural diversity. Each tourist with the Blue Pass ticket will become a member of growing community for supporting sustainable use of the cross-border aquatic biodiversity”.
Bue Pass – EXChAngE
On the exhibition boot of the project new mobile application for Android and iOS platforms – EXChAngE Blue Pass e-guide was launched. With this guide users are discovering a part of the cross-border area Croatia – Bosnia and Herzegovina – Montenegro.
On this e-guide, Mr. Jovan Ristić, director of the Tourist Organization of Kotor, said: “It enables exploring cultural and natural heritage of the region, in particular cross-border aquatic biodiversity. For easy reading and navigation through the content, the guide is structured in sections – each dedicated to one thematic route: Dubrovnik and Aquarium (Croatia), Kotor and Aquarium Boka (Montenegro), Mostar Aqua Path, and Nature Park Hutovo Blato Aqua Path (Bosnia and Herzegovina).”
Each section of the EXChAngE Blue Pass e-guide has four chapters, presenting natural heritage, cultural heritage, one thematic route and transportation to the site. Chapters are structured into thematic topics, keeping as similar as possible outline across the guide.
Implementation period and funding
The implementation period of the project is 15.08.2020 – 14.08.2022, and the total value of the project is 1,686,047.15 euros, of which 1,433,140.05 euros is co-financing of the European Union. The project is implemented through the programme Interreg IPA CBC Croatia – Bosnia and Herzegovina – Montenegro 2014-2020, co-financed by ERDF and IPA II funds of the European Union.