Interreg MED HERIT-DATA event in Mostar
– Workshop for Stakeholders –
Venue: COD Hub Mostar, Kardinala Stepinca bb
Date and time: 28.02.2020. (12.00 h – 14.15 h)
Organizer: Centre for Spatial Research (ICP), Isidora Karan, Igor Kuvac, Goran Dimitric, Marina Glisic
Local partner: COD Hub Mostar
Number of participants/local stakeholder: 11
Sectors covered: university (1), city administration (2), regional tourist agency (1), national agency for cultural heritage protection (1), international organizations (2), NGO sector (2)
Introduction in HERIT-DATA project:
Event started with short introductory word given by Dr Igor Kuvac who welcomed the participants in the front of organizer, Centre for Spatial Research (ICP). After that, Dr Isidora Karan (ICP) gave a 15 minute long presentation about Interreg MED HERIT-DATA project observed within the current trends of tourism development in Bosnia and Herzegovina and the region. She introduced the HERIT-DATA consortium, goals, activities and results to the local stakeholders, workshop participants. Part of the presentation were videos particularly designed for HERIT-DATA project.
In a continuation, Dr Boris Trapara (CHWB- Cultural Heritage without Borders), who is an expert in the field of cultural heritage in Bosnia and Herzegovina, gave 40 minute long lecture about cultural heritage in Mostar. Trapara explained cultural and historical layers of heritage in Mostar, pointed on heritage sites that are not recognized as places of interest and city identity and suggested lines of their revalorization.
Second part of the event was organized as a workshop with the aim to collect data and useful information for the pilot site in Mostar (first buffer zone around the Old Bridge). Workshop was moderated by Dr Isidora Karan (ICP), Dr Igor Kuvac (ICP) and Dr Boris Trapara (CHWB). Three groups of issues were discussed and were corresponding to the groups of indicators that have to be measured in the pilot sites; those were:
- Tourism flows versus cultural heritage sites (tourist flows in the city of Mostar, capacity of existing tourist attractions, heritage that should be included in the existing tourist routs, new cultural routs creation).
- Tourist’ experience versus locals’ experience (tourists’ experiences of the crowded places around the Old Bridge, issues the locals and city administration deals with due to the tourism increment, quality of living in the historic part of Mostar, problems and advantages)
- Infrastructure, services and development models (quality of services in the Old Bridge area, who is responsible and how to improve them; patterns of use of urban space in the historic town of Mostar, gentrification, small businesses; mechanisms for local community empowerment, new roles that cultural heritage may play).
After the moderators explained the workshop proposition and intentions, participants – local stakeholders involved in tourism and cultural heritage management – presented themselves briefly. The discussion started with issue of “Tourism flows versus cultural heritage sites”. It is said that tourism in Mostar is mainly develop around the Old Bridge area that is crowded during the high season. Participants pointed out to the possible new routes and attraction sites as well as existing initiatives of cultural heritage reactivation (in the city and its surroundings). However, they stressed the problem of contested city and fragmented administration. In relation to the issue of „Tourist’ experience versus locals experience versus locals’ experience”, participants concluded that there were no negative effects the tourism development had to the quality of live in Mostar. They did not have information about tourist experience of the historical town during the high season and stated that tourists are mostly seduced by local people hospitality. In the last part of the discussion on “Infrastructure, services and development models”, most of the participants stated that despite the existing policies and programs, tourist infrastructure were developing partially by individuals, which caused problems of rising number of informal and uncontrolled apartments for rent. On the other hand, there is a lack of museum and cultural content and events.
The event finished with short presentation of workshop results and explanation of next steps that will be taken within the HERIT-DATA project and pilot in Mostar.