It has been more than a decade since the conflicts ended in Southeast
Europe and the guns were silenced.
People of the former Yugoslavia now try to live in peace and co-operate at
Certain crisis areas still exist, but the general recovery of relations is
visible in politics, the economy and culture.
Still, there are lessons to be learned, and this is why war tourism
attracts many who want to know more about the republics formed after the
break up of Yugoslavia.
In Croatia, the main war sight is Vukovar. Positioned in the east of the
country, Vukovar was heavily shelled and bombarded during the 1990s.
The Ovcara gravesite on the outskirts of Vukovar was the biggest execution
site in Croatia during the Homeland War -- more than 250 people were
"The first time I went to see Vukovar, I could not sleep. I cried at the
mass gravesite. It is too emotional," said Ivan Muzic, who visited earlier this
year. Many visitors share this feeling, he said.
Thousands of refugees from Vukovar escaped the besieged town, and some of
them never returned home.
Vukovar was reintegrated peacefully in 1998. The UN transition authority has initiated a reconciliation process, but the wounds of war are still visible in the town of 30,000 people.
Zoran Sesto and his wife Zrinka run Danubium Tours Agency in Vukovar.
They've been organising war tourist groups since 2007.
"The guests from Croatia want to know more about Vukovar, while the foreign
tourists we receive here mostly come from the Danube cruise ships," Sesto
"Those tourists are mostly elderly, and their interest in the war history
and war events is very detailed as some of them still remember WWII," Sesto
said. "Now they see a town that has gone through similar destruction, but only
20 years ago."
"They [tourists] take pictures of the buildings that were destroyed during
the war," Sesto said.
One subject is Vukovar's water tower -- which remains standing as a
symbol of the conflicts.
Though war tourism may be attractive to tourists and profitable for a
country, not much is being said about it. Tourist professionals point out that
marketing this brand of tourism would be taboo, since the scars are still
"We tell the story of facts, not politics," explained Sesto.
"We tell our visitors what has happened here without any bitterness in our
voices, without pointing our finger at anybody," he said.
"Our aim is to show what happened here, but we also want to say that there
are new kids in town that will preserve the memory of what happened without