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Balkans.com: The summer season is nearing the end, as a destination management company for Albania, can you tell our readers how Albania tourism has developed this summer?
Kliton Gerxhani: This summer was a bit specific in Albania, due to elections we had in June, which took a bit of attention as they are very important to us. Therefore we cannot say this year was better to the last one, besides few investments in the road infrastructure especially the tunnel which connects Tirana to Elbasan and the east part of Albania, which now shorten the distance and improve the comfort of traveling.
Balkans.com: What countries are the main percentage of tourists coming from?
Kliton Gerxhani: The majority of tourism market is composed by Albanian speaking tourists coming for beach holidays, while culture and nature tourist come from Western Europe, lead by UK, Italy, Germany, Benelux, Scandinavia etc.
Balkans.com: How has Albania’s tourism sector changed in the last year?
Kliton Gerxhani: Not much, as I mentioned above. We have now a new government, new structure of Ministry of Tourism, and our expectation are high towards a new era in Albanian tourism.
Balkans.com: What is the main tourist area and tourist attraction for foreign visitors in Albania?
Kliton Gerxhani: Three UNESCO heritage sites, Berat, Gjirokastra and especially Butrint, together with our coastline or the so-called Albanian Riviera.
Balkans.com: How about business tourism, what is being done to develop this?
Kliton Gerxhani: Business tourism is at the beginning stage in Albania, and Tirana as has big potential, but we hope soon to have another hotel chain in Tirana, besides Sheraton, and to have our first Convention Center and Bureau.
Balkans.com: Albania has seen some significant GDP growth while others in the region are dwindling in growth, what do you attribute to this and what is the investment landscape?
Kliton Gerxhani: The main factor here is that Albania, unlike no other country in the region, is surrounded by Albanians, like in Kosovo, FYR Macedonia and Montenegro, which together with other Albanians from Albania leaving abroad; make a "guaranteed" market for our tourism. However this market needs the right service and product, so strategy, if we want them to keep coming here.
Balkans.com: What do you see as the biggest area of growth for investing in Albania’s tourism sector?
Kliton Gerxhani: Hotel sector! Our accommodation sector is composed by small hotels, 80% of them have less than 20 rooms, which is an obstacle if you want to plan tourism development, in order to bring flux of tourist through charters and big tour operators. We have almost 400 km of coastline, from which 70-80% is untouched.
Balkans.com: Our readers our business people, investors and government officials which are in the Balkans or are interesting in expanding to the Balkans, what advice do you have for them?
Kliton Gerxhani: I believe we will start to take tourism seriously now. This means that our government will create soon an attractive legal and financial ground to attract serious foreign investors to invest in Albanian tourism, which is probably the only part of Mediterranean still waiting to be developed in high standards. The potential of Albania as tourism destination was confirmed also by Lonely Planet in 2011 as the number 1 destination in the world to be visited.
Balkans.com: Thank you!
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Povezane vesti na srpskom
Συναφείς Ειδήσεις στα Ελληνικά