After returning home, it seems that the current state of the world is more like the Balkans than in the heart of the region!
Hustle and bustle of the Baščaršija in early summer day is reminiscent of the old days. Multiculturalism of Sarajevo is mixed with multiculturalism of its visitors, among which dominate organised groups from the former Yugoslavia and Asia. To the city in tourism sense returned positive Olympic spirit, which once exceeded all stereotypes of the Balkans and left the impression that the Winter Olympics in 1984 were the best ever. Legendary Vučko is omnipresent at jewellery stalls, where you can also find other Yugo-nostalgic souvenirs. Sarajevo is the soul, the heart, and all sorts of Balkans stereotypes 100% concentrated in one place.
When we returned with a colleague from a business trip in SE Europe a positive experience dominated. More than a few years ago when the head was swarmed by the image of the region burdened by stereotypes. Simplified negative and even contemptuous view of the region was being hit by positive feelings at the sight of beautiful nature and immensely hospitable people. Far from the image of the fanatical tribal warriors from the nineties and stereotypes of antipode to the developed Europe. Waste of Europe, the European periphery, caecum of Europe, a region of mythical tribal conflict, these and other fatalistic impressions impart a touch of mystery, where you can experience a variety of bizarre situations. A true European adventure-safari in which only Indiana Jones with friends would be happy.
In reality, after 20 years of bloody conflict it seems that life is slowly returning to normal and the infrastructure is also getting better. Even in Bosnia highways and high-rises are built by speedy pace despite the crisis. After returning home, it seems that the current state of the world is more like the Balkans than in the heart of the region. Especially when you get back to Slovenia where in the week of absence it happened a lot, including the conviction of former Prime Minister. Wherever you look disasters, clashes of protesters with the police and the global banking system, the state shifts, the fight against tycoons. This all sounds and reads like a real Balkan novel. Balkan against this now looks surprisingly calm. War of the mid-nineties halted the development of the region, and although it sounds cynical, it was ensuring the authenticity which was in the West rejected a decade or more ago. The region is once again exciting and desirable to tourists.
To the region also returned tourism meetings optimism. If you ignore all the capitals of new states of the region, the heart of meetings has been Dubrovnik region since time immemorial. The spirit of the medieval Republic, which had in terms of trade dominated a large part of the Balkans is back in terms of tourism. “Economic” entrepreneurial spirit has brought world-class meetings and events and players from the premier league of meetings. Dubrovnik represents a civilized European part of meetings offer, its antipode is paraphrased wild inside of the region. One without the other can not get on. The region has in comparison with others exceptional cultural and natural potential. On the other hand, the main problem is still accessibility and in some cities of the region lack of proper meetings infrastructure. However, the situation has radically improved. This is provided by private investors, which in turn open up new hotels, international hotel chains are coming, the region is discovered by both regular and low cost carriers.
Dualism between Europe and the Balkans, with all the antagonism is a part of the European identity that fresh and full of new energy invites conference organisers to rediscover it. The more we are running away from this identity, the more we return to it as an interesting motif for convention and tourist travel. It seems that the congress organisers and ordinary tourists are learning about this subject again. Immediately after the rockers and celebrities, which for a long time have been aware of it and have been living from it and live well. For example Balkan Madonna Severina.