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Why in Bosnia and Herzegovina? – or how all began…

In search for some information about Bosnia and Herzegovina you could conclude that the problems in Bosnia are like a cross-sectional sample of the sphere of activities of all aid organisations throughout the world – a country of minefields1,2,3, expulsion4, misery among refugees, hostility towards the homecomers5,6, the infliction of unspeakable cruelty on women and children during war7, poverty and hopelessness, corruption8, endangered natural treasures9,10, an apartheid system in many schools11,6 and at work6,12, organised crime, nationalists, war criminals profiting from those circumstances6, a rate of unemployment over 40% and an evaporation of international interest 12 years after the end of the war…
(For more detailed information simply go on the “links” menu bar).

It is certainly not an environment for a wilderness resort in the luxury category. But that is exactly what we are proposing!

Since the end of 2004, we have been working on WildernessResort, which will be established in Eastern Europe. There you can still find large tracts of natural land, populated by wolves, bears and lynx. The core of our provision is “muscular” outdoor activities. We do not dispute the fact that many a hotel resort is taking up this trend. But there is a fundamental difference in coming across the tracks of a squirrel or those of wolves and bears, whether riding, cross-country skiing or snowshoe walking and in letting raw Nature allow you to breathe in deeply, far away from ski lifts, residential areas and roads. And any similarity certainly ends when it comes to sleigh dog teams, white-water canoeing or our tracker team.
Our provision is filled with the challenge of genuine original experience. This also applies to our concept of wellness, culinary arts or personal coaches.

It was in April 2006, when we were asked to present our resort concept to the embassy in Berlin. To tell the truth, we had the same prejudices as you may have. Why a five-star resort in a war zone? Why allowing 1½ years of development work to evaporate in a cauldron of conflict?
We already found it reckless enough, pushing through a national park with adjacent lodge, together with the local population and probably against the concerted interests of the timber, paper and hydropower lobby and of whomever else besides, before it was once more too late. But perhaps our previous approach had not gone far enough.

We could still change alter our prejudices. Bosnia possesses natural treasure which is unique in Europe. Wild rivers of drinking-water quality abounding in fish, large populations of wolves and bears and landscapes of incredible beauty.
And what about the effects of the war? Making a snap decision, we obtained our own impression of the situation on the spot, in autumn 2006. On our tour of around 1 000 km over Bosnian roads, we got to know extremely friendly people, unbiased towards foreigners. As a tourist you do not have the feeling that the people are going to go for their throat at any moment.
But there is another side to it, too. Everywhere there are mine warning signs at the side of the road. Everywhere, ruined houses shot to pieces recall the horrific images of the most recent war, and the white markers of the Muslim graves testify to the ethnic conflicts.

Bosnia is largely unknown as a tourist country or is even seen in a negative light and also does not have a destination with great appeal. WildernessResort brings this appeal with it and aims to see that high expectations and hopes aroused in the population groups are not disappointed in the actual area, by creating a modern tourist infrastructure.

One thing is beyond a doubt – right now Bosnia needs “lighthouse projects”. As a tourism project which attracts attention, WildernessResort should have the potential to provide the initial internal and external spark to set things in motion.

So again: Why in Bosnia and Herzegovina? Because we were becoming aware of the fact that WildernessResort could be capable of much more than of giving wealthy, stress-burdened holidaymakers a perfect wilderness experience…
Keeping that in mind, Bosnia and Herzegovina is just perfect!