When you hear ‘tourism agency’ you probably think about the highly organized trips in big international cities. Green Visions is not your average tourism agency. Green Visions is one of the pioneers of the adventure tourism in Bosnia and the Balkan region. Adventure tourism? Yes! One of the best ways to experience a country is in its wilderness, hiking, backpacking, mountain biking, and rafting. I have had the amazing opportunity to be one of Green Visions interns this summer. My top priority this summer has been to create and implement a social media plan for Green Visions and the Via Dinarica Alliance. Social media is paramount to any business today, but even more so for a tourism agency. For Green Visions, Facebook and Instagram are two of the most important aspects to their social media presence. Both platforms offer the opportunity to promote their business through photographs, which is extremely important for adventure tourism agencies. Photographs are the backbone and can make or break whether potential clients will book with them. It shows potential clients exactly what they will be experiencing and exploring. I have learned a lot about social media over the course of the summer. I have learned of different scheduling applications that will post your content for you, some were useless and not user-friendly while others are so easy to use it was hard to decide which one I should recommend to my supervisor. I have learned how a business works from the inside and that it is always a good time for a Bosnian coffee break.
You might be asking, what in the world does tourism have to do with International Development? Everything. Tourism can fuel a country’s economy but it can also destroy a country’s culture. Green Visions is combining tourism and development work with the local cultures. Green Visions is not just an adventure tourism agency, it’s also a cultural tourism agency. My supervisor, Thierry told me the story on how Green Visions was born. He and a friend were cross-country skiing when they realized they wouldn’t make it down the mountains to Sarajevo before dark. They just happened upon the highland village of Lukomir and knocked on their door to ask to spend the night. Then, Green Visions was created.
Green Visions’ tagline is ‘Giving Back’ and they give back to Bosnia in the greatest possible ways. Because more and more people have been visiting Lukomir, both with organized tours and by themselves, it has to develop while holding onto its’ traditional culture. The largest obstacle? Trash. Before people starting visiting Lukomir on a regular basis there was no need for trash to be hauled out of the village. But now, trash needs to be hauled out and Green Visions is working with the local municipalities to try to work out a trash pick-up for Lukomir. Green Visions lives and breathes its tagline. In every place they conduct tours they are giving back in some way. They ask what the community needs and they find some way to get what they need.
If you’re ever in Bosnia be sure to book a day tour with Green Visions. You won’t be disappointed.