Medjugorje, Where Have All the People Gone?
By Michael K. Jones

Article Date, September, 2013. Since the Medjugorje apparition began in June of 1981, the influx of pilgrims has grown and grown. There are estimates of millions and millions who have journeyed to  Medjugorje but this year numbers are way down over previous years.

The two Medjugorje events that bring the largest amount of pilgrims to Medjugorje is the anniversary of the apparitions and the following "Youth Festival." This year the crowds just were not there say's one owner of a guest rooming house (called a pansion.) Another owner of a 50 bed pansion tells Medjugorje USA, "this year so far from January to August, we have only one group of pilgrims in 2013. Without help from family in another country, I could not feed my children." 

The lack of tourism is believed to be the result of outrageous travel prices and world economy that seems to be on a downturn. An American pilgrims tells us that he went with a group of pilgrims to Rome in 1989. He tells Medjugorje USA, "We spent a day at the Vatican and 8 days in Medjugorje with meals and guide. Leaving Medjugorje the group went back to Rome where we spent another day with lodging over night at a beautiful hotel on the Mediterranean Sea which included an authentic Italian dinner. The entire pilgrimage including airfare, busses and taxes was $1260.00. Just to go to Medjugorje in 2013 now costs over $3000.00 from the U.S. and in some cases this does not included airport taxes. Who can afford to that?" 

With so many hotels and pansions in the surrounding Medjugorje area, owners are struggling to make loan payments. In a panic pansion owners are lowering costs to the pilgrims hoping pilgrims will come back. One owner tells us, "If things don't improve, many hotel and pansion owners will loose their property because they are unable to make loan payments.