30,000 Chinese tourists visited Sarajevo in 2018

Chinese tourists visited Sarajevo

People visit a museum on the movie “Valter (Walter) Defends Sarajevo” in Sarajevo, Bosnia and Herzegovina (BiH), April 6, 2019. A museum based on the movie “Valter (Walter) Defends Sarajevo” was opened on Saturday here in the capital of Bosnia and Herzegovina, bringing back memories of 1970s when the movie was wildly popular, as well as values of anti-fascism and unity of the former Yugoslavia. (Xinhua/Nedim Grabovica)

A museum based on the cult movie “Valter (Walter) Defends Sarajevo” was opened on Saturday here in the capital of Bosnia and Herzegovina, bringing back memories of 1970s when the movie was wildly popular, as well as values of anti-fascism and unity of the former Yugoslavia.

During the opening ceremony, Sarajevo mayor Abdulah Skaka pointed out that the museum symbolizes anti-fascist values that the city of Sarajevo has, and which are worth of respect.

It was stated that the museum is dedicated to the film and the historical personality of Vladimir Peric Valter, a famous member of the Movement of Resistance and antifascist figure from the World War II.

The museum will be especially interesting for visitors from China, for some two billion people have watched the movie “Valter Defends Sarajevo” since 1973 in China, Jasmin Durakovic, director of the museum, told Xinhua.

Nermin Muzur, director of Canton Sarajevo Tourism Association, highlighted the importance of the museum for visitors from China in an interview with Xinhua.

Muzur said some 30,000 Chinese tourists visited Sarajevo in 2018, a great increase over a year before thanks to the visa-free regime that entered into force in May 2018, and tourism promotions.

“We believe that opening of the museum will definitely contribute to a greater number of Chinese tourists visiting Sarajevo,” Muzur said, adding that there was already a 20 percent increase in the arrivals of Chinese tourists in the first two months of this year.

People visit a museum on the movie “Valter (Walter) Defends Sarajevo” in Sarajevo, Bosnia and Herzegovina (BiH), April 6, 2019. A museum based on the movie “Valter (Walter) Defends Sarajevo” was opened on Saturday here in the capital of Bosnia and Herzegovina, bringing back memories of 1970s when the movie was wildly popular, as well as values of anti-fascism and unity of the former Yugoslavia. (Xinhua/Nedim Grabovica)

“The museum is designed in a way to be attractive to all generations. There are elements of wax figures, scenography, music and multimedia. These are all interconnected to be more interesting for the youth as well,” Durakovic told Xinhua.

He added that they are planning a geo-mapping of locations where scenes in the movie was filmed as well as of various statues of Valter in the city of Sarajevo, and will launch a “Valter Defends Sarajevo” touristic route in May this year.

“We are currently negotiating to do a remake of the film with Chinese film directors, and there is a major interest in China for doing it,” said Durakovic, adding that he will be travelling to Beijing at the end of April to negotiate with Chinese directors.

“Valter Defends Sarajevo” is more than a museum for three friends who travelled more than 500 kilometers to meet in Sarajevo after 26 years.

“We had our dreams, our life, and the museum has managed to connect us and this was the reason for me to cross 280 kilometers to meet with my friends and to make photographs here, as we used to do before,” Olivera Filipovic told Xinhua, saying that this cult movie brought back the desire to stay and live in BiH.

“Valter Defends Sarajevo is a movie that we have been living our whole life, we grew up with it, and all that we saw today at the museum has evoked the memories,” said Filipovic.

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