TOURISM IN ALBANIA
Right between the Mediterranean sea, on the Adriatic and Ionian Seas, Albania is fast becoming one of the world’s most interesting getaways. Still relatively unspoiled by globalization, tourists will notice an inspiring mixture of civilizations and cultures – making this European country truly unique. Albania is a Parliamentary Republic. The capital is Tirana. The country an area of 28,748 km2 and density of 107 inhabitants / km2 with a population of 3,087,000 inhabitants of which 70% Moslem, Orthodox 20%, 10%. Catholics. The official language is the Albanian, and the local currency is the lek. The territory borders on the south Greece, Macedonia to the east and Serbia and Montenegro to the north.
The Albanian coast stretches for 450 km from north to south and wet both from the Adriatic Sea and on the Ionian Sea. The length of rivers that cross its territory is 1,243 km and the surface of the lakes is 1,032 sq km.
For its landscape, its nature “wild” and not yet fully explored, Albania is considered a country of great potential for tourism: spectacular mountains, vast forests, lakes, rocky coasts and beaches of fine sand.
DEVELOPMENT OF THE FIELD OF TOURISM
The Albanian tourism that has been developed in Albania at the beginning of the nineties was that family (beds) might be termed a “mass tourism” without any policy or respect for the environment. But from’99 to now is a prevailing tendency towards tourism elite, with modern buildings, higher quality services, attractions, resorts, etc. It’s a period of differentiation of tourist demand that produces a variety of supply, with attention to environmental quality of attractions. Investors in this sector pose greater attention to privilege qualitative aspects in their investments.
Indeed, in recent years, the curve showing the number of foreign tourists has steadily uphill.
The number of tourists during 2003 (January-September) was 287,455, 27.2% more than the same period in 2002 (225,920 attendance), even though, unfortunately, the relationship of Albanian tourism with the population remains lower than with the other countries of the Balkans: 1 tourist every 6 people, while in Greece this ratio is 2 / 1; in Montenegro is 1 / 1, and Croatia is from 1.5 / 1.
Reason for presence in Albania 1999 2000 2001 2002 2002 (January-September) 2003 (January-September) Difference%
Albanian Tourism Visit + 154451 156445 150148 261908 225920 287455 + 27.2%
Commerce 126639 40061 42331 52211 38256 40799 + 6.6%
Job 41704 37397 54750 48260 47514 31070 – 4.6%
Tranzit 17723 61542 92667 87340 60616 86747 + 43.1%
Other 30734 21704 13661 20555 17658 18183 + 3.0%
Total 371251 317149 353507 470554 389964 464254 + 19.1%
For a full detailed and very descretpive profile of albania I strongly recommend reading this book Country Profile : Albania
Income from Albanian tourism, realized to date, do not constitute a small percentage of the potential total income from Albanian tourism made up of the country.
According to figures from the Bank of Albania, the realized income from tourism in 2002 was approximately 500 ml. Dollars, 47% higher than that achieved by exports. According to the WTO, this figure represents only 0.1% of reedit annual Albanian tourism industry realized throughout Europe.
SWOT analysis of existing Albanian tourism and the potential Albania highlights the opportunities that this country has to offer to foreign investors, particularly those Italians, to develop the sector but at the same time identifies weaknesses of the current situation requiring immediate intervention.
– Albania has a nature still intact with a particular emphasis and favourable climate, comparable to that of southern Italy and Spain.-The closeness with Italy (35 minute flight from Bari in Tirana)
– The spread of English among the population (nearly 70%)
– Ease of entry into the country of foreign citizens.
– Lack of infrastructure and consequent difficult mobility to coastal areas most beautiful tourist to the remoteness from urban centres.-Severe energy crisis that increases the risk of investment in Albanian tourism-Lack of managerial experience in the field-Lack of training centres in the field of Albanian tourism-Low quality of services offered in tourist areas-Pollution of the environment (concreting of vast areas of the coast, disappearance of green areas, etc.).-Prices senior transport planes at the lack of competition between companies
The Albanian infrastructure is poor and has a considerable need for improvement. For transport, the main priorities of the Albanian government remains the completion of the East-West Corridor (Durres-Varna, through Tirana and Sofia) and the North-South Corridor connecting Greece with Montenegro.
Have been undertaken in this regard, some initial steps for the privatization of the Port of Durrazzo, construction of a new terminal and the complete reconstruction of the international Tirana. In June 2002, finished work restoring railway line connecting the Albania with Montenegro, which came into operation since February 2003.
ZONE WITH TOURIST DEVELOPMENT PRIORITIES
The territory of Albania can be divided into three main areas: a coastal area of 450 km, a mountainous area with mountains that touch the 2000 m, and an internal area flat. The tourist products and opportunities should be developed areas and areas that are clearly identified as follows:
– Adriatic coast, along the coast of Durrazzo Vlora and Shengjin, with low buildings, chalets, villas, apartments, and hotels that could accommodate the majority and tourists.-Ionian coast, a very protected to Saranda and Himara, which should accommodate Albanian tourism elite.-Mountain areas in the Alps Albanians from Shkoder in Korca, ideal for use in sports alpinistic:.-Ohrid lake areas, Shkodra, and Prespa Pograde for cosruzione of hotels and tourist centers-Albanian Tourism business directed mainly towards the cities of Tirana, Vlora and Durrazzo.
These areas require an urgent infrastructure development.
THE LEGISLATION ALBANIAN RULE THAT INVESTMENT IN TOURISM SECTOR IN ALBANIA
The Albanian government has approved the law with the priority areas of Albanian tourism in Albania. Tourist activity in these areas is rule by Albanian legislation into force (Law nr. 7665 of 21.01.1993) that gives the natural and legal persons local or foreign tourist activity, the title of “Person Turned.”
The approval of the title of “Person stimulated” have been generally for Albanian tourism activities in the areas covered by urban studies.
Investors who have benefited from this title is mostly Albanians, only 10% (of which 3 Italians) are foreign investors or joint-ventures.
We stress that it is in the process of completing the construction of the port of Vlora to Orikum, one of the most important Italian investments in Albania with a value of 2 million dollars.
The “Person stimulated” by foreign nationality benefits of the rights and guarantees provided in the Albanian legislation as follows:
– The right to import foreign currency funds needed to support the cost of investments or loans-The right to export foreign currency funds to pay interest and the rate of loans and also nicknamed the dividends-The right to hold bank accounts in foreign currency and use it for the payment of installments of loans and export dividends-The right to export freely, according to the registration in the bank and in line with the Albanian legislation and the rules of taxation in force; funds in foreign currency arising from the sale of shares or capital, a person liquidation stimulated-The right to exemption from taxation on the transfer of dividends and taxes on transfer of the loan interest paid to financial institutions for countries with which Albania has no agreement in the field of taxes are considered keeping the tax transfer on the 10% of loans and the gain second fiscal Regulation-The right of exemption from taxes on goods and items imported for the purpose of investment-The right to exemption from tax on profits for 5 fiscal years, starting from the date of the end of the period of development. For other tax is 5 years will pay 50% tax on earnings of default by Law-The right to offset losses incurred in 5 remix fiscal years of development stimulated by the gains of the five years later-The person will be stimulated reduced tax gain to the extent of 40% if the gain invests in Albania-Stimulated foreign person has the right to take foreign nationals to carry out the tasks of qualification special feature of the activity, with the obligation to train Albanian citizens in the Albanian tourism sector.
CONSIDERATIONS AND PROSPECTS
The Albanian tourism industry remains an industry with a high priority for the Albanian government. From 3 months, the Albanian Ministry of Budget and Territory Tourism has begun negotiations with the World Bank for the resolution in the first half of 2004 of the first trance of 15 ml. Euros to support the project “The development of integrated coastal zone” in the development of Albanian tourism in Albania, which will continue for 10 years in a row.
Under the 2001-2003 programmed INTERREG the Italian government has allocated 1,250,000 euros to Albania to support the Albanian tourism sector in the country.
And ‘essential that Albania has a concrete vision about the future of the tourist industry.
The countries of origin of the tourist flow will be Austria, France, Great Britain, Sweden, Italy, Netherlands, Spain, Greece, with an elite Albanian tourism and quality. The objectives are to reach a figure of 500,000 attendance for the year 2010 of which 120,000 for work and 380,000 for the sake of tourism, with an average stay of 7 days for tourists and 2 / 3 days for visitors to employment reasons.
And ‘clear that build the foundations for a successful tourist ask, especially organization and considerable investment.