Tirana, April 23, 2015/Independent Balkan News Agency
By Edison Kurani
Albania has around three million people, but the desire of its authorities and many people who are into tourism, is to triple or quadruple this number during the summer season.
This big increase is required at a time when the population has often doubled in the recent years in Albania. Therefore, demands have grown and the desire to expand the business of tourism has become bigger.
This is also assisted by a number of international evaluations for Albania, considered as one of the three main countries that must be treated as tourist destinations during 2015.
PM Edi Rama considers the fact that Albania is ranked third among the main destinations for the summer tourist season in 2015 as very important.
“Albania is considered “The new pearl of the Balkan” and is ranked third among the 15 main destinations for 2015 and this is good news for Albanians”, Mr. Rama says.
One of the three best ones
In a long report over tourist destinations for this summer season, the daily French newspaper “L’Express” describes Albania as a country with beaches as beautiful as Greece, a country with lakes and mountains like Switzerland and with several beautiful villages which are part of the UNESCO World Heritage List.
The report says that the history of Albania is very interesting, “more than 2500 thousand years old, between the Roman culture and byzantine culture”. Meanwhile, tourists are invited to consider it as one of the three top countries that must be visited, because there are also other reasons.
“The beautiful Riviera, favorable prices, friendly hotels are very good reasons for tourists to visit this country and spend their holidays there”.
“Without a doubt, Albania may be considered as one of the most bizarre cases, but at the same time, a fortunate one that offers hope and joy for life and to face every challenge and battle with illnesses”, comments the French media.
On the list, Japan and Polynesia are ranked before Albania and Ireland and Spain are ranked after Albania.
“Albania, the undiscovered Balkan pearl”
Albania, the undiscovered Balkan pearl. With this title, the French newspaper “L’Express” ranks Albania among the 15 tourist destinations that needs to be visited this year. It seems that time has come for Albania to enter the list of the most attractive countries as far as tourism is concerned.
Therefore, many different world tour operators , are rushing to include this small Balkan country among the best ones that they suggest.
And their main slogan is “Albania, the undiscovered Balkan pearl”.
There’s a lot of truth here. Albania is still an undiscovered country. Many people in the European continent and other continents do not know Albania at all.
EU member countries are somehow more informed, but Italians have almost been the only ones to exploit Albanian tourism, thanks to the geographic distance.
A high Nordic interest
Even in Nordic countries, the media has recently been talking a lot about tourism in Albania. Albania has been considered by the three most prestigious papers as one of the most attractive tourist countries to be visited in the Balkan.
These articles stress that the beaches of Albania are very attractive, while saying that besides the sea, Albania also has mountains, rivers, lakes and offers opportunities for special pensions such as skiing, hiking, rowing, etc.
And it’s not a surprise if the Nordics come. Tourists from cold countries always come to warm countries and especially to those countries with a Mediterranean weather, such as Albania. Therefore, the appeal of Swedish media is not only an opportunity to grow Albanian tourism, but also a chance for the Nordics to enjoy the last secret of Mediterranean.
High interest for Albania
The prestigious travel and fashion British portal, “Stylist” has ranked Albania third, in the five best destinations, as an opportunity to spend the summer holidays with reasonable prices.
The head of the Coastline National Agency, Auron Tare, says that the evaluations of tourist agencies and international media have an impact on the presentation of Albania to Scandinavian and European tourists.
This year, the Island of Sazan, formerly serving as a military area, will open for foreign and Albanian tourists.
“The Swedes are showing a lot of interest on Albania. This shows that the Albanian tourism is now becoming known in Scandinavian countries. One of the most interesting things that was mentioned was the opening of the Sazan Island for the public, which has been decided following talks with the Albanian government. Along with the French coastline partner agency, we’re working to create a national park in order to open it for the first time in the Island of Sazan for Albanian and foreign visitors”, Tare said.
The head of the National Coastline Agency says that Albania is an ideal country for adventurous tourism. Meanwhile, he’s not very optimistic about family tourism, because it cannot offer all the services that this tourism requires. “Albania is ready for adventurous tourism, but not for matured tourism to compete with the neighbors, because it lacks important strategic investments. As a destination of adventure, it’s receiving lots of attention by foreigners. If we focus on improving adventure tourism, I think that Albania may be a special destination in the Balkan and beyond the region”, says Mr. Tare.
Other experts agree with Mr. Tare and say that Albania must work in order to create big tourist resorts which must offer all services required by family tourism. In fact, up until today, no such resort has been built. Some efforts have been made to built so called resorts, but they are far from the standards of the famous resorts, especially in the beaches of Turkey.
Wanderlust, a special advice for tourists
Albania is the last “secret” of the Mediterranean. Isolated for decades due to the communist regime, the country escaped “development” and many beaches remained still virgin, however, times are changing and one can find hotels and hostels in every city and town.
This is the first advice given by “Wanderlust”, a British tourist agency, which suggests to its customers to visit Albania.
“Wanderlust” writes about the beaches, historical areas, cities that must be visited for their historical heritage, among them Kruja, Berat, Gjirokastra and Durres.
This agency doesn’t forget the antique areas such as Butrint, but also the Alps for their adventurous attraction. Meanwhile, for those who have a limited time, a journey by cable car in the Dajti mount is recommended.
“Visit the buildings and monuments of the communist regime, although not many of them have remained. Stop in Kruja, Durres, Gjirokaster, Berat, visit the unexplored tracks of the Albanian Alps and do not forget the astonishing area of Butrint, where time has fused the Illyrian, Roman, Byzantine, Osman and Venetian heritage”, writes the agency. /ibna/