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Empowering Women and Preserving Heritage Through a Cultural Tourism Initiative

Women from various Serbian towns visited Tuzla and Sarajevo to engage in a cultural exchange and learn about traditional crafts, as part of the EU-supported "Together for Cultural Tourism" project

Women from Loznica, Sremska Mitrovica, Inđija, Ruma, and Šid, in a collaboration between NALED and Etno mreža, visited Tuzla and Sarajevo to explore the local crafts and traditions, part of the “Together for Cultural Tourism” project, backed by the European Union. This two-day study visit aimed to foster cross-border cooperation and cultural tourism between Serbia and Bosnia and Herzegovina.

Participants learned about the workings of the Bosnian Handicrafts – BH Crafts association, planning future activities and organizing workshops in Tuzla and Loznica to enhance skills and connect with similar groups across the border. These workshops are designed as multi-day events allowing women to showcase their work to local governments, tourism agencies, diplomatic circles, and potential donors.

The visit heralded the creation of joint Serbian and Bosnian tourist products to be unveiled at a combined exhibition by next March, featuring cross-border motifs and symbolizing the successful collaboration and shared tourism potential of both nations.

In its first year, the project engaged over 200 women in educational programs, workshops, and information sessions, helping them to design, present, and promote new products within local tourism organizations and art studios, and at regional craft colonies and cross-border exhibitions.

Launched in March 2023 across 18 municipalities and cities along the Serbia-Bosnia and Herzegovina border, the “Together for Cultural Tourism” project aims at socio-economic empowerment of women and marketing handicrafts as tourist offerings, with NALED, Etno mreža, and Bosnian Handicrafts executing the project, co-funded by the European Union under the IPA II Cross-border Cooperation Programme Serbia – Bosnia and Herzegovina 2014-2020.

The initiative, “Together for Cultural Tourism – Cross-border Cooperation for Enhanced Socio-economic Development and Preservation of Traditional Crafts,” seeks to revitalize ancient crafts and domestic industries, restoring their economic and cultural significance and engaging younger generations in workshops to sustain cultural heritage.

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