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  • Albanian Tourism

    Posted by franksupa on May 30, 2007

    Albania – Europe’s last secret!”
    Albania – Yours to discover!”

    The potential analyses showed that Albania could use its own resources to the interest of tourism much more than it has actually done.Albanian Outsourcing

    The sector strategy describes the strategic concept of tourism development by giving the strategic directions and the development of tourist products in order that Albania be a future tourist destination in the international tourist market for attracting the foreign tourists. The attraction of foreign tourists in Albania will influence for functioning of tourism sector in Albania based on the same principles that the world tourism industry operates, too.Albanian Outsourcing

    Referring to the current situation, the existing structure of the hotels in Albania (mainly those of the coastline area) corresponds to that of a capacity with up to 20 rooms. Hotels of this size are not able to work with bigger tourist groups organised in package tours by the western operators. Such hotels capacities match only the demand of individual clients or small-organised groups of tourists.Albanian Outsourcing

    The new accommodation capacities recommended to be developed have been calculated to meet the demand of foreign markets (not including the demand of the ethnic Albanians) according to the forecast of the projected overnights as on the desired number of beds per accommodation structure, as well as on the international standards required by these markets. Also, the areas suggested for the development of such capacities fulfil the requirements of tourist segments of international market. Albanian Outsourcing

    The demand coming from the domestic and ethnic Albanian tourists (those living outside Albania), will be fulfilled through the existing capacities and other new capacities to be defined further on and develop for affording such a demand.

    For this purpose, the directions put forward in this Strategy aim at assuring that Albania highly maximises the sectors potential and grows tourism in a way that is sustainable: culturally, socially, environmentally and economically. Albanian Outsourcing

    The tourism strategy will therefore:

    ·

      • assist the sector to manage growth in a way that ensures long-term sustainability
      • provide ways manage conflicts between increasing tourism growth and environmental, social and cultural values that are important to Albania and its visitors
      • provide the appropriate structure within which industry investment and profitability can be facilitated and maximised (clear responsibilities and cooperation)
      • reduce overlaps and gaps within the sector
      • secure commitment and funding to tourism from central and local government
      • make it easier for operators and investors to do business in the sector
      • provide cohesion to strategic directions and strategies

    For this purpose, this strategic concept needs further ongoing and profound discussion amongst tourism officials and programming of the Action Plan by them.

    F The Action plan will be completed with the terms of responsibilities, time frames and cost estimates as well as the financing sources.

    · F Several topics will develop further, such as detailed description of strategies for tourism target groups like business tourism or national tourism or for selected tourism regions.

    · F It is recognised that many of the necessary measures and actions are required to be worked on continuously over several years in order to yield the desired results. It is crucial that the different stakeholders within the tourism sector start working together to generate an implementation process. Changes and development are needed to ensure that quality services and products demanded by the guests are delivered to the benefits of all.

      1. Pre-Conditions for Albanian Tourism Development

    The following pre-conditions are necessary to achieve the objectives and realize the application of the necessary strategies in order to achieve these:

      1. Principals of Sustainable Albania Tourism Development be accepted on all levels of planning

    · Sustainability is a key factor for the tourism development in Albania Tourism. Only an environment-friendly development process shall be the basis for an economically successful tourism development.

      1. Albanian Basic infrastructure

    · The limited infrastructure is a major problem for a quick tourism development in most regions in Albania. The main international Airport in Rinas near Tirana and Durres has to comply with international standards. An additional airport in the South has to be set up for civil use (charter flights) in the future.

    · For the international tourism market charter flights will be of utmost importance in the future. An efficient garbage and sewerage system is indispensable to keep the areas clean and attractive and thus ensuring a sustainable development. The handling of construction waste must also be improved. Connecting streets, water and electricity supply are also essential issues.

      1. Clarification of ownership of land and buildings

    · The clarification of ownership of land and buildings must be completed as soon as possible.

      1. Albanian National and regional tourism law and regulations

    · The responsible governmental bodies have to work out a modern tourism law and additional regulations for tourism development.

      1. Albanian Law enforcement

    · The enforcement of the existing law, especially in the field of construction such as regulations, building permissions, pollution is essential for a sustainable tourism development.

      1. Clear responsibilities for Albanian tourism development on all levels

    · Responsibilities for the department of tourism within the ministry and all other Ministries and Institutions touching the field of tourism must be clearly defined.

      1. Albanian Regional and national stability
      2. Improved statistical information system

    · Effective tourism development needs profound information of the development of supply and demand. Therefore an efficient collection and analysis of the necessary data according to international standards must be organised on national, regional and local level.

      1. Albanian Public / Private Commitment

    · The development of the tourism sector must be promoted through the government, particularly in the beginning. Most important is the concentration of the limited resources to few selected areas with the highest tourism potential and the best cost / benefit ratio. Also the private sector will need to commit funding if the potential benefits of tourism are to be achieved. This funding will need more than one year funding cycles and stronger public/private partnerships will be required if government funding is to be leveraged effectively.

    1. Albanian Long-term tourism strategy

    The strategy will cover a long-term period till 2012, in order to achieve some concrete results. This is considered a long-term period in regard to undertaking the measures and achieving the results.

      1. Albanian Policy Statement and Vision 2012

    The main macro-economic objectives of the tourism sector development are to:

    ·

      • generate jobs and income
      • accelerate the economic and social development throughout the country
      • improve the living conditions in Albania
      • initiate economic activities
      • create a positive image of the country internationally as tourism destination
      • increase the revenue of foreign currency and the tax income for the government
      • develop sustainable and environmentally friendly tourism

    Tourism holds excellent potential as a catalyst for economic growth and is therefore a key sector at macro-economic level. The industry is labour intensive and a major source of government revenue. There are substantial linkage effects to other sectors like construction, transport, furniture, agriculture, food and souvenir industry.

    The vision formulates the desired future of tourism in Albania:

    The following vision shows the expected outcome from the tourism in Albania. It has been oriented towards the end of 2012, in order to bring to the present time the expected results, thus expressing the achievement of the objectives outlined in the strategy.

    Vision 2012

    Albania is recognized as a tourism destination at the Mediterranean coast and has a competitive position in the international tourism market.

    The contribution of the tourism sector to the GDP is significant.

    Sustainability and awareness for environmental issues are major part of the
    tourism development strategy.

    In order to fulfil the mission for achieving the above-mentioned vision, the success of this strategy lies on the partnership of the main actors of tourism sector.

    The mission of the tourism partners is described as follows:

    ·

      • Welcome the guests and therefore understand hospitality and high quality of service as the most important elements within the tourism product
      • Protect and even develop actively the environment
      • Support the culture

    This mission statement should serve as a guideline and inspiration for measures in this sector. Partners should be assured, that through co-ordination of their individual business strategies towards the mission, the vision would be realized.

    Based on the survey and analysing of the country’s tourist potential as well as other factors that influence tourism in Albania, the following types of tourism can be considered the main tourism products of Albania:

      1. Sun and Beach Tourism
      2. Special Interest Tourism
      3. Urban Tourism / Business and Conference Tourism

    There are three guiding principles for the realisation of the strategy:

    Albanian Partnerships

    · In quickly changing market conditions, partnerships on national and international levels are necessary to be successful in order to be competitive (“cooperate to compete”). These partnerships are beneficial to all stakeholders included.

    Quality

    · Only by consistently offering the right products of the required value and quality to match the expectations of the target groups, Albania can compete successfully on international markets.

    Albanian Human Resources

    · The people (employees and entrepreneurs) are making the difference. They are the most precious resource in order to satisfy the demands of the guests. Only well- trained entrepreneurs who are setting up attractive facilities and personnel, that is service-oriented and willing to be held responsible for their actions, will be able to satisfy the growing demands of the national and international guests.

      1. Albania Market-related Objectives

        1. Qualitative Objectives

      1. Securing and conserving a long-term development
      2. Marketing and managing a competitive visitor experience
      3. Improvement of the quality of the products and the services
      4. Creating a marketable value for money product
      5. Creating a positive image

        1. Albanian Economic Objectives

    In the year 2012 tourism activities by national and international visitors have substantially increased. The targets are

    ·

      • 1,25 million arrivals with overnights
      • 6,4 million overnights
      • US$ 464 million in tourism revenue
      • 100.000 new working places
      • 15% share of international tourism revenue to GDP

    The numbers include national and international tourism with overnights. Tourism revenues include direct expenses like accommodation, food and beverages, souvenirs.

    The increase of the overnights is not equally spread over the years. The increase will be slow short- and mid-term and higher long-term. Most of the increase of overnights will come long-term from international tourists from western and southern Europe and overseas.

      1. Albanian Strategic Directions

      1. Structuring, organisation and development of the domestic tourism and its products are short- and medium-term priorities. Recent uncontrolled hotel and restaurant buildings will be checked with their compliance with existing laws and regulations. Potential construction sites for larger accommodation facilities are assigned for large investments.

    Development

    · Short-term important partners for the tourism product improvements are small and medium-sized enterprises (SME).

    · Concentration of immediate efforts is on improvement of the tourism product, located in regions with the highest potential for development.

    · Pilot projects (“Flagships”) are developed at the Adriatic and Ionic coast and the lakes. Their concepts then will be evaluated and multiplied in other areas.

      1. Being new on the market, aggressive strategies against the competition are avoided. Joint tourism activities (e.g. cross border tourism) with neighbouring countries are actively supported. A value-for-money pricing strategy supports the attraction of foreign markets.
      1. The tourism potential is accessed through a mix of sun and beach, special interest and urban tourism with their market importance changing over the years. Short-term, the international focus is on niche markets in order to create awareness in the important source markets. With the concentration on sun and beach tourism long-term, substantial numbers of international tourists mainly from Europe are attracted. Short- and medium-term, the concentration on special interest and promoted business tourism (conferences etc.) is aimed to attract international tourists.
      2. Direct competitors are Croatia, Montenegro, Bulgaria, Greece and Turkey, but also “newcomer destinations” like Cyprus. Their tourism development and marketing activities are constantly monitored.

    4. Short-term, the main source markets remain at regional and national level. Ethnic Albanians living abroad and visiting friends and relatives are the most important international visitors. Medium- and long-term, the main source markets are as follows:

      • Competition
      • Customer

    · Region A: Western Europe with Scandinavia, Great Britain, Germany, Netherlands, Belgium, Austria.

    · Region B: Southern Europe with Italy and Greece, and the neighbouring countries and regions (Kosovo, Bosnia- Herzegovina, Serbia, Macedonian, Bulgaria).

    · Region C: Eastern Europe with Poland, the Czech Republic, Hungary, Russia.

    · Region D: America with the USA

    · Region E: Asia with Korea and Japan

    · Developments of emerging markets in China and India are regularly monitored.

      1. The long term target markets are as follows:

    ·

      • price-oriented families between 28 to 45 years with children

    ·

      • price-oriented young couples
      • adventure and sports oriented singles
      • active, retired persons

      1. From the customer point of view Albania is known as an interesting new tourism destination at the Mediterranean Sea with value-for-money packages.

      1. Albanian Ministerial body of tourism

    There is an urgent need to strengthen the policy awareness for the tourism development. This will require strengthening of the role of the government leading organization for the development of tourism. This will require a strong lead policy institution (ministry or agency) to work closely with other governmental agencies. This will be the responsible institution in regard to drafting the tourism strategies and policies as well as implementing the development plans at national level. All the other governmental institutions, whose activity relates to the tourism activities, co-ordinate their action plans with the responsible government body for the tourism based on the provisions envisaged by the legislation. It needs to ensure that the advice it receives is independent of any particular ministerial interest or tourism provider. Close working relationships and cooperation is necessary with the Ministry of Finance, Ministry of Local Government and Decentralisation, Ministry of Environment, Ministry of Culture, Youth and Sport, Ministry of Agriculture and Food, General Directorate of Forests and Pastures, Ministry of Education and Science, etc. An effective process of early involvement in policy issues affecting tourism needs to be agreed upon with other structures (ministries/institutions).

    Albania Duties and responsibilities of the Ministerial body of Tourism:

    ·

      • Planning and development
      • work out and realisation of tourism policy
      • national tourism strategy: set up, implementation and monitoring
      • set-up of a tourism law (regulations, standards, certification, licensing etc. together with other ministries)
      • licensing of persons and businesses, such as tour operators, travel agencies, hotels, restaurants, tour guides and others
      • support of regional administration in tourism development
      • support of tourism organisations on national, regional and local level
      • set-up of an adequate framework for SME’s in the tourism sector (SME-supporting policy)
      • co-ordination and implementation of different planning levels
      • Education and Training
      • manpower planning
      • establishment and administration of training standards
      • operation of training programmes and institutions
      • Statistics and Research
      • statistical collection, compilation and reporting
      • guidelines and support for local level
      • conducting research studies
      • Marketing
      • National marketing
      • Coordination and support of regional marketing activities
      • mid/long term: set up of a national tourism promotion board

    ·

      • General administration of travel and tourism
      • legislation
      • identification and tapping of funding resources
      • investment incentives and support of investors

      1. Albanian tourism promotion board

    In order to promote Albania as tourist destination and also marketing Albanian tourist product, during the short-term period the Albanian Agency of Promotion will be established, resembling the western models. This Albanian Agency of Tourism Promotion, as a model of private-public sector partnership, will, during the mid and long-term period promote Albania abroad and will carry out the following duties and responsibilities:

    ·

      • Coordination of marketing activities and image building measures for the destination Albania
      • Encouraging private sector support and co-operation in promotional activities and participating in shaping national tourism policies and practises
      • Representing the country at tourism trade fairs and road shows
      • Producing and distributing brochures, videos and other marketing materials and measures (Internet etc.)
      • Co-ordination with Regional Tourist Offices
      • Performing market research and analysis, statistics
      • Source funds from government and industry as well as from international donors

      1. Albanian Tourism Advisory Committee (“Round Table”)

    Tourism is an activity that involves various other sectors. Maximum co-ordination and communication between relevant public and private organisations is therefore essential. This can best be achieved through an advisory body that regularly meets with government representatives in order to evaluate and comment at an early state on sector specific issues. It consists of delegates of the associations and the private sector operators.

    Duties and responsibilities:

      1. Albanian Municipalities
      • Monitoring and critical review of tourism matters of mutual interest
      • Presentation of own concepts and ideas
      • Exchange of ideas and information
      • Advice to responsible authorities to take appropriate actions

    Municipalities of the most important tourism regions in Albania will continue to be even more involved in setting policies, tourism planning and development, environmental management and destination management adopted to their local demands. Their role and commitment will increase to reflect the requirements and significance of tourism to local economies. In developing tourism areas government must adopt a strong role in tourism management even though the private sector is expected to develop the commercial facilities and services of tourism.

    Main objective: Creation of a region or city as an attractive and marketable tourism product

    Duties and responsibilities:

      1. Albanian Local Tourist Information Centers
      • Control of the land development process, including zoning laws and building design
      • Enforcement of laws and regulations relating to health, safety, quality and employment, such as standards of cleanliness, and safe handling for food establishments, service of alcoholic beverages and work conditions
      • Support of local activities such as cultural and sport events
      • Preparation of regional and local tourism strategies and their implementation
      • planning and set up of the needed infrastructure
      • Regional SME-supporting policy, support for investors
      • Coordination of implementation
      • Support of local Tourist Information Centres and marketing activities
      • Tourism awareness programmes and information of tourists about local customs
      • Monitoring tourism development and other research activities by establishing and maintaining a tourism management information system.

    The main purpose of tourism information centres is marketing. Local and regional organisations enable destinations to promote their resources.

    Duties and responsibilities:

      1. Albanian Tourism Industry Associations
      • Comprehensive visitor information
      • Production of marketing material (brochures, flyers, city plan)
      • Sale of books, postcards, souvenirs
      • Organisation and support of special events
      • Providing tour guides
      • Handling of reservation services etc.
      • Cooperation with local incoming-agencies

    Associations are NGO’s providing a forum for their members to identify and discuss issues of importance to them and their industries. They may address these issues by creating standards, and guidelines and lobbying governments. In many cases they inform in depth about changing laws and regulations affecting their businesses. These associations are funded by membership dues.

    Duties and responsibilities:

      1. Other Non-Governmental Organizations (NGO’s)
      • Promotion of industry interests
      • Providing data and advice
      • Organisation of workshops and seminars
      • Monitoring laws and regulations
      • Setting quality standards for various aspects in the industry (operations, financial reporting, statistics, training)
      • Providing a forum for discussing and resolving common problems
      • Making co-ordinated recommendations to the ministry for improvements
      • Conducting training and research
      • Marketing activities: Support of national and local marketing activities like brochures, fairs, internet, support of Tourist Information Centres, support of local events

    More and more NGO’s are involved in aspects of tourism such as natural, historic and cultural resources that tourism can use. They are involved in developing eco-tourism and community based projects and improving craft production and sales. NGO’s can often perform a valuable role in developing tourism, especially at the village and rural level.

      1. Albanian Private Sector Operators

    Private sector operators take the lead on product development and destination management. They are responsible for developing accommodation, catering facilities, tour and travel operations, on-site infrastructure, some tourist attractions and marketing activities

    Albanian Duties and responsibilities:

    ·

      • Partnership approach towards co-operation on all levels
      • Adoption of proven management techniques
      • Respect and protection of the environment as the base for tourism development
      • Execution of construction activities in strict compliance with legislation and regulations

    5. Albanian Strategies for the tourism products

    There is a wide number of tourism types characterised by activities (sport, business), motivation (vacation, health), price (elite, mass) and others. Being still at an early stage of national and international tourism development, a sound basis of appropriate tourism types have to be created. The most appropriate types are the ones listed below and all activities and funds should be concentrated to maximise their development.

    Following the same pattern (objective, potential, threads, facilities, distribution and marketing) the details has to be worked out for further tourism groups for example ethnic Albanians, national tourism, business and congress tourism etc..

      1. Albanian Sun and Beach Tourism

    Objective

    Albania is positioned in the domestic and international travel market as a competitive value- for- money holiday destination at the Mediterranean Sea

    Development Potential

    ·

      • attractive coastline, being part of the Eastern Adriatic sea, with long stretches of sandy beaches and clear water
      • long, hot and sunny summer season
      • proximity to major European cities by air
      • Sun and beach tourism is by far the most important leisure tourist demand group worldwide

    Threats

    ·

      • The planning for the attractive coastal areas not fits the tourism demand of the coming years (type of facilities, size, atmosphere, etc.).
      • Environmental problems (garbage, waste water, unattractive surrounding, etc.).
        1. Albanian Tourism Product

    Albanian Regional Development and Accommodation

    Albanian Adriatic Coast:

    ·

      • Lalezi Bay: beach hotels, three and four star category, large scale, at least one flagship hotel – existing problems: investment in real estate
      • Spile: beach hotels, three and four star category, large scale
      • North has to be worked out
      • Further specifications of the destinations (Velipoje, Shengjin, Vlora Bay)

    Albanian Ionic Coast:

    Generally smaller units in connection to existing villages

    ·

      • Dhermi: resort hotels and villages, small and medium scale, low rise
      • Qeparo, Borsh: resort hotels and villages, small and medium scale, one flagship hotel, low rise
      • Saranda (south): resort hotels, medium and large scale
      • Other destinations has to be worked out
      • further specifications of the destinations (Cape of Stillo, Ksamil, Himare, etc.)
      • facilities for water based activities (scuba diving, sailing, surfing, water ski)

    Development of marinas in Lalezi Bay, south of Vlora (Orikum), and further specifications of marinas (Velipoje, Porto Palermo, Ksamil)

    Albanian Tour Operator

    ·

      • national tour operators offers tourism packages
      • mid – long term international tour operators offers holidays in Albania in their catalogues
      • set-up of direct charter flights by large tour operators
      • organisation of all- inclusive programmes
      • compilation of attractive packages: half-day and day tours, to sites of interest
      • organisation of minibus to sites of interest
      • cruise tours along the coast in small boats
      • airport transportation / shuttles
      • day trips for cruise ship passengers

    Albanian Transport

    ·

      • availability of car rental facilities (especially Offroader)
      • set-up of regional airports in proximity to prime tourist locations
      • expansion of Albanian Airways as national carrier with international standards
      • improvement and extension of facilities at ports

    Albanian Community / Local government

    ·

      • development, conservation and care of cultural centres, archaeological sites, historic cities and villages, museums
      • signage to places of interest
      • explanatory signboards with site information and behavioural codes
      • supply of tour guides
      • set-up of Tourist Information Offices
      • organisation of sport events (beach-volleyball championship)
      • organisation of cultural events (performances, international pop stars)
      • attractive parks and public places
      • hiking and walking trails

        1. Distribution

    ·

      • indirect distribution via tour operators in Albania, the Balkan countries and the main source markets
      • co-operation with small country specialist operators in main source markets
      • extension and upgrade of the internet homepage with direct contact possibilities of the tourism partners
      • representative tourist offices in main source markets
      • international sales agreements of the hotels with large tour operators
      • connection to Central Reservations Systems (CRS)

        1. Communication

    Albanian Corporate Identity:

    ·

      • development of logo with slogan (” for example “Albania: Europe’s last secret. Explore it now!”)

    Albanian Sales Promotion:

    ·

      • familiarisation trips with local and international travel agents and tour operators
      • familiarisation trips with national and international travel journalists
      • active participation at tourism fairs
      • culinary events in main source markets
      • direct mailings
      • supplements in travel magazines
      • counter information at travel bureaus
      • travel guides in English and German (e.g. Apa Guides, Lonely Planet)

    Albanian Advertising:

    ·

      • product placement (location for international movies)
      • image brochure, flyers
      • posters
      • attractive and user friendly web page for Albanian tourism
      • tourism magazine
      • calendar of Events, newsletter
      • video about beaches along the coast and the lakes
      • souvenirs, give-aways

    Albanian Public Relations:

    ·

      • competitions with prizes for the public (photographs, short stories, recipes)
      • regular press releases
      • podium discussions about tourism in Albania
      • regular press conferences
      • reports of interesting tourism spots in newspapers and magazines and their efforts towards sustainable tourism
      • participation in international competitions (culinary, service)

        1. Albanian Source Markets

    ·

      • short-term: neighbouring countries, ethnic Albanians visiting friends and relatives
      • medium-term: neighbouring countries, ethnic Albanians visiting friends and relatives, eastern Europe, first trips from western Europe
      • long-term: neighbouring countries, ethnic Albanians visiting friends and relatives, Eastern Europe, Western Europe, Southern Europe

        1. Albanian Target Markets

    Characteristics include:

    ·

      • young to middle- aged with medium income
      • singles and young families
      • sun, beach and maritime oriented holiday maker

      1. Albanian Special Interest Tourism

    Objective

    Albania is known to be the last undiscovered destination in Europe, in which precious and rare secrets of nature and cultural heritage can still be discovered.

    Albanian Development Potential

    ·

      • rich biodiversity at lagoons, lakes and the mountain areas with unique flora and fauna
      • in some regions unspoiled nature and beautiful scenery
      • cultural and historical sites of many centuries
      • still active traditional life-styles

    Threats

    ·

      • lots of garbage in the landscape (streets, rivers, villages, countryside etc.)
      • Large deforest areas, erosion problem
      • Wastewater problems (Ohrid Lake, several coastal areas)
      • Many rivers are polluted
      • Historical villages and city-districts are threaten through uncontrolled constructing

        1. Albanian Tourism Product

    Albanian Regional Development

    ·

      • addition and extension of protected areas (e.g. National Parks, Biosphere Reserves)
      • further excavation and maintenance of archaeological sites in Apollonia, Butrint and others
      • opening up of new historic sites
      • ongoing development of Berat and Gijorkastra as “museum cities”
      • development of the region of Ohrid and Prespa lakes for rural and ecological tourism
      • development of national parks for ecological and nature tourism
      • designation and development of additional sites of historic and cultural interest
      • designation of regions with traditional villages

    Albanian Tour Operator

    ·

      • compilation of attractive packages: half-day and day tours, to sites of interest (history, culture, heritage)
      • compilation of packages over several days highlighting special interest tourism activities
      • rural tourism (their way of life, food and beverage production, household goods)
      • ecotourism (nature oriented)
      • cultural tourism to the archaeological sites and historic cities and villages
      • river rafting
      • paragliding
      • mountain biking
      • fishing
      • trekking
      • climbing
      • hiking
      • horseback riding
      • study tours (with emphasis on culture and religion)
      • cross border tours for example in co- operation with Macedonia and Greece at Ohrid and Prespa lakes

    Albanian Transport

    ·

      • availability of mini busses
      • horses
      • small boats
      • bicycles

    Albanian Community

    ·

      • Cultural Centres, museums with good explanation in foreign languages
      • signage to places of interest
      • supply of tour guides
      • maintenance of historic and cultural sites
      • Tourist Information Offices
      • hiking and walking trails

        1. Albanian Distribution

    ·

      • indirect distribution via small tour operator in the main source markets
      • co-operation with small country specialist operator
      • extension and upgrade of the internet homepage with direct contact possibilities of the tourism partners for special interest activities

        1. Communication

    Albanian Corporate Identity:

    ·

      • development of logo with slogan (“Albania: yours to discover”)

    Albanian Sales Promotion:

    ·

      • familiarisation trips with local and international travel agents and tour operators
      • familiarisation trips with national and international travel journalists
      • active participation at tourism fairs
      • direct mailings
      • travel reports in international newspapers and magazines
      • travel guides in English and German language (e.g. Apa Guides, Lonely Planet)

    Albanian Advertising:

    ·

      • image brochure
      • tourism magazine
      • video about places and activities for special interest tourism

    Albanian Public Relations:

    ·

      • photo competitions with prices
      • press releases
      • comprehensive travel reports in travel magazines and airline in-flight magazines etc.
      • podium discussions about environment and tourism in Albania

        1. Source Markets

    ·

      • short-term: Great Britain, Germany, Scandinavia, Austria
      • medium-term: Great Britain, Germany, Scandinavia, Austria
      • long-term: neighbouring countries, eastern Europe, western Europe, southern Europe

        1. Albanian Target Markets

    Characteristics include:

    ·

      • young adventurers, interest in outdoor sport activities
      • experienced senior travellers
      • medium to high income
      • open-minded
      • interest in education, history and civilisation

      1. Albanian Business and congress tourism

    Objective

    Albanian Business travelers are supplied with tourism products, which make their stay interesting, pleasant, productive and efficient. Modern standard congress facilities are available

    Albanian Development Potential

    ·

      • Developing economy with increasing travel activities
      • Increasing activities of international organizations and projects
      • Century-old history
      • visible monuments of culture and heritage
      • business and large investment opportunities
        1. Albanian Tourism Product

    Albanian Regional Development

    ·

      • Big cities and their surrounding: Tirana, Durres, Fier, Vlora, Shkodra etc.

    Albanian Accommodation

    ·

      • three to fife star hotels with international standards (e.g. business centre)
      • attractive weekend extension rates
      • in-house videos about city highlights
      • fitness centre
      • small, medium and large conference facilities
      • internet connection in the hotel room
      • international sales agreements of the hotels
      • connection to Central Reservation Systems (CRS)

    Albanian Tour Operator

    ·

      • compilation of attractive weekend packages: half-day and day tours, to sites of interest
      • organisation of bus and cruise tours along the coast
      • airport transportation / shuttles
      • day trips for cruise ship passengers

    Albanian Transport

    ·

      • Car rental facilities
      • Regional airports
      • improvement and extension of facilities at ports
      • reliable and secure taxis

    Albanian Community

    ·

      • set-up of larger meeting and conference facilities with professional equipment
      • supply of tour guides
      • set-up of Tourist Information Centres
      • ensure security
      • maintain attractive Parks and public places
      • set-up of shopping malls
      • encourage and support of ethnic restaurants with cultural performances
      • encourage and support of quality restaurants

        1. Albanian Distribution

    ·

      • extension and upgrade of the internet homepage with direct contact possibilities of the tourism partners

        1. Communication

    Albanian Sales Promotion:

    ·

      • familiarisation trips with local and international travel agents and tour operators
      • familiarisation trips with national and international travel journalists
      • active participation at tourism fairs
      • direct mailings
      • supplements in travel magazines and Albanian business newspapers

    Albanian Advertising:

    ·

      • image brochure
      • tourism magazine
      • Calendar of Events, newsletter
      • video about beaches along the coast and the lakes
      • in-flight videos about places to see
      • souvenirs, give-aways
        1. Albanian Source Markets

    ·

      • short-term: Germany, Italy, Austria, Greece, Turkey
      • medium-term: neighbouring southeast- european countries, Germany, Italy, Turkey, Greece, eastern Europe
      • long-term: neighbouring southeast- european countries, western Europe, eastern Europe, southern Europe
        1. Albanian Target Markets

    Major target groups during the initial stages of tourism development are also Albanian business travellers. Contrary to sun & beach and special interest tourism, Albanian business tourism itself is not promotable. It develops according to the Albanian business opportunities in the regions and the overall investment climate in the country. Conference tourism, however, can be actively promoted

    However, facilities and activities of importance to Albanian business travellers can substantially increase tourism revenues.

    Characteristics of Albanian business travelers include:

    ·

      • middle to high income
      • middle aged, active seniors
      • interest in culture and history
      • participation in social life, open-minded

      1. Albania Institutional Support

      1. Institutions in the Albanian tourism area

    Objective

    Active organisations of different structures are pursuing and managing the values and goals of the national tourism policy on all levels.

    Development Directions

      1. Creation of a balanced relation of active public, private and public / private organisations

    · Indicators:

    ·

      • a national tourist promotion board is established
      • tourism issues are handled by one responsible ministerial body
      • a national tourism advisory committee is established
      • international tourism information offices are set- up
      • the local community is strongly involved in tourism matters and decision-making
      • industry associations (hotels, catering, tour operators) are founded and operational
      • public / private partnerships are established on local levels

      1. External focus of organisations towards market- led thinking and activities

    · Indicators:

    ·

      • organisations have prepared business plans including detailed action plans
      • regional tourism development plans are established
      • special promotional events are regularly being organised
      • organisations are members of international associations

      1. Decentralization of the organizations

    · Indicators:

    ·

      • regional branches of the national tourist office are established in the main tourism areas
      • industry associations have set- up regional and / or local offices in areas important to tourism

      1. Enforcement of the public organizations

    · Indicators:

    ·

      • tourism organisations are well-structured and efficient
      • staff is well educated and experienced

      1. Albanian Education and Training

    Objective

    Professional abilities and skills as well as service mentalities have reached levels of competencies comparable to traditional and successful tourist destinations.

    Development Directions

      1. Revision of curricula

    · Indicator

    ·

      • curricula at institutions are oriented towards international standards
      • comparison and evaluation of international curricula
      • tourism issues are part of the curricula in elementary schools

      1. Raise level of professional and managerial expertise

    · Indicator

    ·

      • workshops and seminars are organised regularly
      • business plans are prepared

      1. Strong emphasis on practical experience

    · Indicator

    ·

      • participation of industry partners in supplying paid training opportunities
      • substantial part of education programme assigned to practical courses
      • practical courses at industry partners companies are part of the curricula
      • extensive language courses (English, Italian)

      1. Ongoing qualification of teaching personnel (methodologies, didactical issues)

    · Indicator

    ·

      • visiting professors giving on- premise lectures
      • vocational training
      • workshops with international participation
      • study tours to institutions in neighbouring countries

      1. Improvement and extension of teaching equipment and facilities

    · Indicator

      • building facilities are renovated and / or extended
      • kitchens and restaurants are renovated
      • classrooms are upgraded
      • new school-books are introduced

    6. Involvement of private sector

    · Indicator

    ·

      • Language schools are certified and operational
      • local training centres for cooks and waiters are certified and operational

      1. Centralisation of teaching and training institutions

    · Indicator

    ·

      • public teaching and training institutions are concentrated on regions with high tourism revenues
      • a national education and training centre serves as a “flagship” initiative

      1. Creation of individual onward qualification opportunities

    · Indicator

    ·

      • selection of specialised courses (master courses, management courses) are offered

    To reach these objectives a close cooperation between the ministry of education, the ministerial body for tourism and the facilities (schools, universities, etc.) is necessary.

      1. Albania Legislation and Regulations

    Objective

    A specific and comprehensive legal and regulatory framework provides common guidance to all partners in the tourism industry.

    Development directions

      1. Update of existing laws and regulations

      1. Adoption of best practises
      • the existing laws and regulations concerning the tourism sector are critically reviewed
      • existing shortcomings are identified
      • new and / or additional regulations are formulated covering tourist facility and service standards, land use, environmental protection, development standards and design guidelines
      • a new modern tourism law is adopted
      • the brochure on investment in Albania Tourism is revised and redesigned

    · Indicator

      1. Incorporation of safety and security standards
      • tourism laws and regulations of countries with substantial tourism industry revenues are collected and analysed.

    · Indicator

    ·

      • a tourism and safety plan and programme, addressing topics of pubic health, theft, sanitation, fire codes and prevention, tourist security and building safety standards, exists.
      • general information is available for tourists at hotels and tourist information centres
      • a “tourist police” department is organised in the main tourism areas.

      1. Implementation

    Working together

    The effective implementation of the tourism strategy for Albania Tourism will require wide-ranging support and action by all the stakeholders in the private, public and voluntary sectors with an interest in, or affected by, tourism.

    Most important is the setting up of an operating structure with clear functions, duties and responsibilities on a ministerial level responsible for the tourism sector.

    This ministerial body should be the central institution for all activities concerning the tourism sector. A close cooperation in topics concerning tourism of all other parties with the ministerial body responsible for tourism is inalienable.

    The main bodies and players will include:

    ·

      • The ministerial body responsible for tourism
      • Ministry of Environment
      • Ministry of Culture, Youth and Sports
      • Ministry of Agriculture and Food processing
      • General Directorate of Forest and Pastures
      • Institute of Urban Studies and Design
      • Local Government and Communities
      • private tourism associations (chamber of commerce, hotel association, restaurants, association of travel agencies,) and similar bodies on national an local level
      • National Park Authorities
      • NGO´s touching the Tourism sector
      • Vocational, Higher and Further education establishments
      • transport companies (car rental, mini- busses, taxis)
      • Utility providers
      • individual businesses in the tourism sector

    Secure capital resources

    The delivery of this strategy will involve substantial expenditure over the next years in developing and enhancing the tourism product and in undertaking new initiatives in information, marketing, advisory services and community projects.

      1. Support of the government through supply with sufficient budget money
      2. There will be opportunities for private organizations in tapping resources through membership dues.
      3. Visitors themselves can also contribute through entrance fees and tourism taxes, probably with a dual fee structure (locals pay less than foreigners)
      4. The government will have a key role in ensuring that Albania tourism secures its full share of any existing or new resources delivered through the international donor organisations or bilateral aid. All the projects that have started as the result of regional initiatives, bilateral relationships aid or different foreign countries, organisations, or financial institutions donations for Albania Tourism, in the field of tourism or other related to this, will function in the light of the implementation of specific projects or components of this Strategy and its Action Plan.

    Taking Action

    Action flowing from the strategy will need to take place in individual businesses, within local areas and at regional and national level as well.

    Individual businesses should develop business plans which set out targets and actions for improving the quality and performance of their establishments, including marketing activity, staff development, and links with the local community.

    Local action plans are put into place by local authorities often working in partnership with the business community. Such plans will need to address local marketing and information activity, visitor management, protection of nature, transport plans and community initiatives.

    A common function at all levels is the need to ensure that the importance of tourism to the country in terms of economic and social well-being is recognised throughout Albania.

    Monitoring process

    To achieve the vision of the strategy it is proposed that a “Tourism Strategy Implementation Group”, comprised of private and public section members, be established to oversee the development of the implementation and monitor progress towards key milestones. The group meets once a year. Their findings and proposals are compiled in a written report and distributed to all stakeholders.

      1. Definition of important phrases

    Sustainable Albanian Tourism

    · “Sustainable Tourism meets the needs of present tourists and hosts while protecting and enhancing opportunity for the future.“ (World Tourism Organisation)

    · “Sustainable Tourism has the aim of ensuring an operation that is sustainable ecologically, economically and socio-culturally at every level in terms of both interior and exterior requirements.“ (European Commission)

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