Sarajevo, the capital of Bosnia and Herzegovina and host of the Winter Olympic Games in 1984, is an important winter tourist destination that is regularly visited by a large number of guests and tourists from many countries.

During their visit to Sarajevo, guests will be particularly enchanted by the natural beauty of Bosnia and Herzegovina and the mountains around Bosnia and Herzegovina’s capital.

Due to the rich offer of Bosnian cuisine and quite affordable prices, Sarajevo is also one of the important centers of winter tourism in the Balkan region.

Mountains are a special attraction

The mountains Bjelašnica, Igman, Trebević and Jahorina are, however, during the winter season a special holiday attraction for visitors and tourists from the countries of the region and other parts of Europe. The Olympic mountain Bjelašnica is full of both domestic and foreign tourists these days.

Hadi Žonlagić from Sarajevo points out that he always feels wonderful when he comes to Bjelašnica, where, he says, he spends his holidays and skis every winter.

“It’s really great here, I have a season ticket, I spend time in Bjelašnica every year. They are really trying here, there is less snow, but the cannons are working, so it’s great now. All in all, you can ski well,” he said.

He mostly comes to Bjelašnica with his family and friends.

“I’m here the whole vacation from the beginning to the end of January. During school I come every weekend, as much as there is snow and I spend time here,” he added.

Maida Ćatović also points out that she comes to Bjelašnica every year with her friends to ski and enjoy the wonderful winter ambience of the Olympic beauty.

“It’s beautiful, sunny weather. Today is much nicer than it was, the season has started, it’s snowing, so we’re having a great time. I mostly come with my friends, since my parents can’t always come, but I come with my friends to we hang out and ski,” said Ćatović.

Enola Haverić from Bar from Montenegro also decided to enjoy the beauty of Bjelašnica this winter.

“Bjelašnica has changed a lot, the skiing has improved a lot, there are more cannons, more passability, better trails, so we expect this season to be better than the last and that each next one will be even better,” said Haverić.

There are also many ski schools in Bjelašnica whose instructors work hard with many children to teach them to ski.

A lot has been done in Bjelašnica in order to improve the tourist season. Access roads were built, infrastructure was created that visually gives the Olympic beauty her identity and restores her Olympic spirit, and the conditions for non-skiers have been improved so that they too can enjoy the charms of this BiH mountains.

Ski ticket prices for this season are also affordable, so day tickets for adults are 47 BAM, day tickets for children from 6 to 12 years old are 30 BAM, and for those over 65, a day ticket this year costs 39 BAM.

Night skiing this season for children from 6 to 12 years old is 10 BAM, for those from 13 to 18 years old 25 BAM, adults must pay 30 BAM, and those over 65 years old 25 BAM.

Judging by the visits at the very beginning of the winter season, it is safe to say that Bjelašnica will be a real winter hit this year as well.

The director of the Sarajevo Canton Tourist Board, Haris Fazlagić, pointed out that the most important thing is that the snow has fallen and that the real winter has come.

“We all expected this. We had spring weather for the New Year holidays, we were worried about the winter season, about our Olympic beauties, Igman and Bjelašnica. However, winter came, snow fell, so hopefully it will be successful and this winter season. January is a holiday month, there will be a lot of skiing, a lot of reservations. Sarajevo of course has a lot to offer every day. According to our information, new apartments are opening in Bjelašnica, there is a lot on offer,” said Fazlagić.

He reminded that the Sarajevo Canton Tourist Board stimulates and co-finances good projects that promote tourism through public invitations.

“In Bjelašnica there is music every day and an ice rink, and the same will happen very soon in Igman, because tourists and their families who come besides skiing want to do something, to go outside, to have ‘outdoor’ events and that’s what we we stimulate so that our tourists have as fun a stay as possible,” said Fazlagić.

The Canton Sarajevo Tourist Board states that all previous records of tourist arrivals and overnight stays have been broken.

“December was extremely good, which means that Sarajevo, the Tourist Board, we are all doing a good job together. The month of December broke all records. We know that for the first nine months, in economic terms, in terms of income from tourism, we exceeded the record year of 2019. Sarajevo is progressing in every segment in tourism,” said Fazlagić.

Previous records broken

During 2023, the largest number of tourist arrivals and overnight stays in Sarajevo Canton was recorded compared to all previous years, and as expected, all previous statistical records were broken.

“During December 2023, we recorded an increased number of arrivals and overnight stays compared to all previous reports for the same month,” shows the latest statistics recorded through the application on the basis of which the CS Tourist Board records statistical trends, which includes, among other things, data on registered arrivals and overnight stays in Sarajevo Canton.

During the entire year 2023, 665,593 arrivals and 1,487,477 overnight stays were recorded in Sarajevo Canton.

From January to December 2023, the number of guests increased by 34.9 percent compared to the same period in 2022. In the same period, the number of guests increased by 0.01 percent compared to the same period in 2019.

During the last year, there was also an increase in the number of overnight stays by 26.2 percent compared to the same period in 2022, as well as an increase in the number of overnight stays by 2.8 percent compared to the same period in 2019.

The CS Tourist Board stated that in December 2023 there were 57,064 guests and 121,611 overnight stays. The number of guests for December 2023 compared to the same month in 2022 increased by 35.1 percent. The number of guests for December 2023 compared to the same month in 2019 increased by 37.4 percent.

The number of overnight stays for December 2023 compared to the same month in 2022 increased by 40.8 percent. The number of overnight stays for December 2023 compared to the same month in 2019 increased by 39.9 percent.

According to the structure, foreign guests dominate, and most of them are from Austria, Croatia, Serbia, Montenegro, China, Germany, Turkey, the USA, Slovenia, the United Arab Emirates and Saudi Arabia, AA writes.