Neum, Bosnia and Herzegovina’s only coastal town, is gaining popularity not only with local tourists, but also visitors from Serbia.
Serbian tourists usually spend their summer vacation in Montenegro, Greece or Serbia. However, the travel restrictions imposed by countries across the globe in an effort to curb the COVID-19 pandemic mean that Serbian nationals cannot travel to many countries at all, or they must present negative PCR tests at the border. Considering the high prices of testing for travel purposes, this can become a costly affair, especially for families.
Many Serbian tourists are therefore deciding to spend their summer vacation in Neum. Bosnia and Herzegovina has no travel restrictions for Serbian nationals. With local tourists flocking to Neum as well, beaches in the small coastal town are overcrowded, as are hotels, bars and restaurants.
This is raising concerns among many citizens as well as experts who warn that this could lead to a new surge in COVID-19 infections. Most tourists do not comply with recommendations of health experts. Many do not wear face masks, and there is almost no physical distancing at all.
While the popularity of Neum as tourist destination may be good for the local economy, it certainly poses a danger for the general public.