Through IRF’s endorsement, the Una Regatta will become a globally recognized whitewater rafting event
The International Rafting Federation (IRF), the official umbrella International Sports Federation for national rafting organizations worldwide and world governing body for rafting, is cooperating with USAID’s Developing Sustainable Tourism in Bosnia and Herzegovina to support the 48th International Touristic Una Regatta in Bihać, Bosnia and Herzegovina, which will be held from 27 to 30 July 2022. Through IRF’s endorsement, the Una Regatta will gain a prominent position in the international marketplace, attracting more international rafting enthusiasts and thus contributing to the development of local sustainable tourism, while Bosnia and Herzegovina will further cement its position as a global adventure water sports destination.
The Una Regatta is one of the most significant traditional outdoor events in Bosnia and Herzegovina, a country blessed with numerous spectacular whitewater rivers, with the emerald river Una considered the most beautiful one. The Regatta starts in the village of Martin Brod close to the magnificent Štrbački Buk waterfalls, continues through the pristine environment of National park Una on to the regional centre of Bihać and finishes in the charming small town of Bosanska Krupa. Besides rafting, the regatta incorporates a series of events such as diving and blobbing competitions, traditional games and musical performances.
The IRF has worked with the organizers of the Una Regatta to raise its safety standards in accordance with its Guide Training and Education (GTE) system. Furthermore, the IRF will globally launch its Rafting Operator Accreditation (ROA) at the Una Regatta, supporting Bosnia and Herzegovina’s ambition to become the country with the largest number of ROAs in the world, and thus position itself as a prime destination for attractive, safe and enjoyable whitewater rafting.
IRF President Joseph Willis Jones, who will personally attend the 48th International Touristic Una Regatta, stated: “I am finding it to be an amazing project. And the IRF is going to be fully behind moving it forward to help promote it, to potentially bring it to the rest of the world, to help people understand that rivers like this are rare and fragile and beautiful, and they have a place that can provide recreation. Nature has it all and it can provide it all for you. So I see this project as a wonderful opportunity for everyone and certainly for the IRF to get involved in.”
NP Una director Amarildo Mulić added: “IRF’s support for NP Una and the 48th International Touristic Una Regatta is very significant for us as the organizers of this traditional and oldest event of this kind in BiH and the region. The significance of this support is particularly reflected in the promotion of the upcoming Regatta through IRF’s channels and platforms. We share the commitment to continued long-term cooperation with the aim of protecting and preserving natural values and popularizing rafting and outdoor tourism in BiH and the world”
“Whitewater rafting is a fast-growing, eco-tourism sector globally and BiH’s beautiful rivers will make the country a ‘must-visit’ destination for eco-tourists if the country manages and protects its natural resources,” said USAID Mission Director Courtney Chubb. “USAID is proud to support that effort by helping to develop the Una Sana National Park management and visitor plan and collaborating with the park and the International Rafting Federation to raise the safety standards and profile of the Una Sana Regatta.”