Here a summary of Ilaria Urbani dissertation, she is has been one of my university mates.
My thesis is about the relationship between international cooperation for development and responsible tourism. First of all, I tried to understand the main features of international cooperation, both positive and negative. Then I analysed the important subject of tourism in our society and tried to understand in which way it could be a good tool for everybody.
To define “responsible tourism” is difficult, there are a lot of different names and the concept could be easily get confused with other concepts, like sustainable, rural, ethnic, social, ecological tourism. I decide to use the term “responsible tourism” because I want to identify tourism which pays attention to the environment and, at the same time, pays attention to the local community. So I analysed my case study: Bosnia and Herzegovina.
There the tourism could be a great tool for the development of the country that, right now, bleeds for unemployment and economic difficulties because of the 1992-1995 war which knocks on the ground the country. I lived for three months in Sarajevo, and I visited many places in Bosnia.
I see projects of Italian and international NGO’s about responsible tourism all over the country. Bosnia has really great tourist resources, beautiful places, the richness of nature, culture and tradition. Unfortunately, the political and the institutional situation in Bosnia is really bad. Tourism needs not only projects from international cooperation which helps the country because they are not enough. Tourism needs cooperation between international cooperation, institution, local communities, private enterprises. I lived for one week in the Canton of Una – Sana in the North-West part of Bosnia: there ICEI in collaboration with ISPIA (Italians NGO’s), is carrying out an important project also about sustainable tourism in this area. There, I saw a local community in collaboration with international cooperation.
There are many difficulties because of the different background but also many good steps toward the development of that area from a touristic point of view. The way is long and difficult but together we can try to change tourism in a good tool for everybody: for us, the others and for Earth.
Would you like to contact Ilaria? Just ask me.