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Tourism in Albania
Tourism Policy

Albania wishes to develop and environmentally sound tourism industry, which optimizes foreign currency earnings and generates employment. Qualitative tourism is paramount, and the country will avoid the route of high-rise, large-scale development taken by some Mediterranean countries.

The country’s nature and ecology allow for the possible development of all kinds of tourism, and particularly for the development of medium, high and elite tourism and facilities.

Priority Tourism Zones

There are two broad areas for tourism development:

 Coastal zones, primarily  the area between Velipoja and Karavasta in the north, between Vlora bay to Llogara and Ionian coast to the Greek boarder in the south;

Interior zones, primarily lakes and mountain areas.

Projects in these areas are monitored by the Ministry of Regulation of Territory and Tourism. According to the strategy prepared by the European Bank for Development and Building, it is foreseen that about 100.000 new tourist beds are set up till 2010.

Investment Ideas

 - Hunting and fishing tourism. (Hunting laws have been introduced).

- Cultural centers for music and folklore festivals

- Tourism resorts, hotels, tourist villages and conference facilities

- Trekking centers and camping sites in mountain areas

- Tours to archaeological sites and scenic areas

- Cruises and private yachting facilities

- Golf and tennis centers

The creation of lake and mountain resorts, particularly in the west and south of the country, providing chalets, lodges and associated facilities for skiers, climbers and hunters.

Over the next few years a basic infrastructure will be developed in consultation with tourism developers.

“High class tourism” is the cornerstone of national planning. The main aim is the creation of a first-class tourism, which can compete with the developed Mediterranean countries. Total investment amounts to $ 150m, which includes the four-star Europapark Hotel build by Rogner (Austria), the reconstruction of Hotel Tirana by D.V.Alba (Italy), a Motel in Linza near Tirana and 20 villas in the capital erected by Mak-Albania, a subsidiary of M.A.Kharafi (Kuwait). Other hotel projects are to be completed soon in Golem on the Adriatic, in Drilon on Lake Ohrid and in Llogara on the Ionian coast. A number of new projects have started; a project for building two tourist villages in Ksamil on the southern coast, worth $ 43 m and $ 10 m. Mak-Albania is likewise setting up two tourist villages, one in Ksamil and the other in Golem. A project of $ 2m is expected to be realized for building the tourist harbor in Orikum near Vlora.

Near Vlora is one of the most beautiful areas in Albania. The Llogara-Qeparo seaside has e clean beach, clean water, and mountains and olive trees nearby. There are about 9.000 meters of beaches in the Llogara-Qeparo project area. The area after development would be able to accommodate about 6.150 people, not including here the visitors who come only for one day. Out of 6.150, about 4.650 tourists would stay at large accommodation complexes and the remainders would probably stay at  smaller hotels. Hotel complexes in Palasa beach would have 1.300 rooms and would open in the “long-term”, while hotels erected on Dhermi beach would have 300 rooms. The Vuno and Jali area would have 210 rooms, the Himara area 350 rooms.

The theatre of Butrint

The Qeparo area would have 320 rooms, but projects managers plan to make a gradual transition to tourism in respect to the resident’s wishes. The project would also have other aspects for tourists besides sun bathing and swimming on the beach. Tourists should be able to try local dishes and drinks in restaurants, or cultural sites. Tourists should also be able to visit villages nearby. To make that easier; Villages like Palasa, Dhermi, Ilias, Vuno, Himara, Pilur, Kudhes and Qeparo would need better accommodations.

Visitors could come for classes in painting, photography, dancing or foreign languages. In the process of the construction of completed tourist structures (including the development of the centers for golf, tennis, discos, pools and casinos) is also foreseen the reconstruction of the Himara harbor with a minimal cost of $ 1-2 million, which will be capable for big ferries. Access to the area by sea is a good option because it helps protect the environment. Other alternatives to Himara might be by air, through reconstructed airports in Saranda, Vlora or Gjirokastra. The area is rich in olives, citrus fruit, honey and natural resources. At the same time, the beautiful nature, flora and fauna are a marvelous basis for the development of tourism in north of Albania. Theth, Lura, lakes, Alps, especially Valbona village (Tropoja district) and a series of picturesque places are very attractive for the tourists who prefer a mountainous climate 1.

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