100,000 expected on anniversary day
The head of Medjugorje’s tourist board foresees busy days around the anniversary of the apparitions on June 25. We cannot expect the record number of pilgrims for last year’s anniversary repeated, but ten percent less would be fine, and right now we are awaiting 100,000 people, he says.
The 31st anniversary of the apparitions in Medjugorje will be celebrated over a number of days with about 100,000 pilgrims in the village on June 25th, the anniversary day. This is the expectation of Zeljko Vasilj, head of the Tourist Board of Medjugorje-Bijakovici.
“We would be happy if there were about ten percent less than last year. In saying so, we must be realistic and objective because last year was special, the 30th anniversary. Therefore, there were 30 percent more pilgrims in Medjugorje throughout 2011, and so for the last anniversary” he tells the local news portal Brotnjo Online.
“Realistically speaking, such an anniversary can not be repeated this year. We would be pleased if the number of pilgrims was like in 2010. So far we are expecting about 100,000 pilgrims from around the world for this year’s anniversary” Zeljko Vasilj says.
“Expecting more would be unrealistic because the 31st anniversary falls at an inconvenient time, with June 25th at the beginning of a week, so that many pilgrims will come on the eve of the anniversary celebrations, due to work commitments. Thus, for these three to four days hundreds of thousands of pilgrims from all continents are expected to attend.”
Zeljko Vasilj further informs that the number of beds in Medjugorje increases by an estimated 1,500-2,000 each year – and that Trieste will join the growing group of Italian airports that offer flights to Mostar, 30 kilometers (20 miles) from Medjugorje.