Improving the tourism in Albania
Tourism is traveling for leisure purposes or the facilities of services to support this leisure travel, and tourists are defined by The World Trade Organization as “people who travel to and stay in places outside their usual environment for not more than one consecutive year for leisure, business and other purposes” (Tourism, 2007).
According to the World Tourism Organization, the world’s top tourism destinations are: France with 77,010,000 visitors, Spain, the United States, Italy, China, the United Kingdom, Canada, Mexico, Austria, Germany, Hong Kong (China), Hungary, Greece, Poland, Malaysia, and Turkey with 12,782,000 visitors (Microsoft Encarta , 2006). Tourism brings benefits for many countries, as a result of the taxes that business in tourism industry has to pay, the income generated by the consumption of goods and services by tourists, and the opportunities for employment in the service industries associated with tourism (Tourism, 2007).
Some of these industries that are connected with tourism are transportation services, accommodation, restaurants, bars, and entertainment venues (Tourism, 2007). Researchers in different countries have published the incomes or revenues that a country might profit from tourism. For example, the Organization of Tourism Journalists and Writers has stated that “Turkey’s tourism income and the number of incoming tourists over the past 10 years expect 1999, increased at an annual rate of 10%” (Turkey’s tourism in 2007: Think positive, 2007).
In New Zealand, in 2006 the tourism industry contributed $ 8. 3 billion to the economy. Another example is the Vietnam country Tourism, where UNAT researchers have shown that in 2006 the revenues from the tourism industry were $2. 3 billion (Vietnam tourism sectors predicts banner year, 404 mil visitors expected, 2007). Moreover, France which is the world’s number one tourist destination has receive 35 billion Euros from 75 million foreign tourists in 2006 (France is the world’s number one tourist destination, 2005). There are a lot of reasons for Albania to improve its tourism.
First of all, it is laid on the “middle of Mediterranean, on the Adriatic and Ionian Seas” from where it offers beautiful and untouched beaches (Discover Albania, n. d). The territory of Albania is rugged, craggy, and mountains, while over one third of its land is coved by forests (Inside Albania: Culture, n. d. ). In addition, if we make a good use of all Albanian natural resources, will bring us into diversified tourism. Finally, the fascinating history and culture of Albania should not be missed, such as, Butrint that is “one of the world’s archeological wonders” (Discover Albania, n. d).
However, I think even that Albania has a favorable condition on, nature, history and other resources for tourism improvement, the government and other organization related to tourism should do more to improve it. In addition, what they should immediately do is improving infrastructure and marketing and promotion. The most important step that should be made is improvements in fracture. The main improvement should be made in transportation and environment. “Improving tourism and making it run healthier are the two concerns that require integration of various modes of transport, for the tourism industry” (Tourism strategy of Tourism-2023, 2007).
By the sea, tourists can access Albania by getting the ferry in Italy or Greece (Ferries Guide 2007/08, 2007). However, based on the memorandum for motor floating outfits on Albania, sea transportation outfits, such as motorboats, for moving from one city to another, inside Albania, are suspended through the past 2 years (Low nr. 9509, 2006). For example, this summer I and some of my friend went in Ksamil (a beach area near Saranda). In front of us was the island of Ksamil 4km from the Ksamil. The only way to go there was by swimming, or taking an illegal motorboat.
So in my opinion, what the government and other associations of tourism should do is to provide among the cost line, from Durresi to Saranda, the movements of different motor outfits. This will help increase the income of the city but also the tourism will be introduced with the Albanian islands, or natural resourses. Another big problem for transportation is getting around by train. The services that operate between Tirana, Shkodra, Fier, Ballsh, Vlora, and Pogradec are limited (Mediterranean Europe, 2007).
Also, because of the extremely bad condition, if you choose to travel by train, you have to expect an extremely uncomfortable ride (Mediterranean Europe, 2007). However, improvements on this part of transport infrastructure can be based on other cities projects, made for the same purposes. For example, for improving its railway Scotland has projected to: set up new trains and upgrade the existing train task force, add up new station and cargo terminals to the system, and improve the rail infrastructure (Delivering improvements, n. d. ).
Besides transportation, the other problem with infrastructure is the environment. At this part of infrastructure the most concern problem is that “the tourist zones are drowned in gutters” (Xhoga, 2004). The environmental counselor and ex-chief of Committee for the Protection of the Environment says for the Durresi beach that “it is not a beach any longer, but a place where you only get stressed out, polluted, and sick… ” (Cited in, Xhoga, 2004). He continues arguing that the reason why it happens is because of illegal construction in the area close to Durresi Beach (Xhoga, 2004).
Moreover, the results of the analyses from PHI (Public Health Institute) made on Durresi beach, were 2 to 6 times more polluted than the allowed norm (Benit, 2006). The situation in the South of Albania as I have watched this year is improving, even though in 2004, an accident near the port of Saranda released a huge quantity of diesel fuel into the water (Musta and Xharra, 2004). However, for treating the sea water, there are invented different water filters, such as Teekleen filter, which offer height sea water filtering, or treating (Desalination and Sea Water, 2007).
In addition, to improve the sea water quality and increase the number of tourists the government should find new investors to participate on water cleaning plants for cities with sea water pollution. The other concern that Albania should progress, in order to attract more tourists, is by improving the marketing and promotion. People around the world don’t know much of Albanian history and culture, as a result they create a negative image for Albania in the world (Image of Albania-phase II (May 2006-may 2008), 2007).
John Kester, the director of market intelligence and promotion department of UNWTO, says that the improvement of Albanian tourism is depended on marketing and promotion (Taberner, 2007). In addition, it is stated that “promotional efforts shall completely be based upon scientific analyses and studies, to extend they are meant to be used for the promotional and marketing analyses of a particular tourism area” (Tourism strategy of Tourism-2023, 2007).
Even though, Albania has a lot of resources, there is lack of data on the social-cultural profile, on different activities or the number of tourists (Shqiperia nis studimin e perceptimeve dhe pervojes se visitoreve te huaj, 2007). Moreover, an ordinary person who lives in Himara has stated, “The television channel in Greece show adverts promoting their own seaside, but in Albania all you get if you turn on the television is how wonderful it is in Turkey or Tunis” (Musta and Xharra, 2004).
Even the promotion department, which publish brochures and booklets is missing; as a result, this kind of promotion is done only abroad and not in Albania, where the tourists must need (Matja, 2006). Knowing the marketing and promotion problem, different strategies might help for improving this sector of tourism. For example, the Turkish Ministry of Culture and Tourism, has made a plan to improve the tourism: “Analyzing and interpreting valid and reliable data supplied by a comprehensive review”, making the SWAT analyses, where strength, weaknesses, opportunities and threats are being defined (Tourism strategy of Tourism-2023, 2007).
After following these steps I think that it would be easy to understand what to promote. To conclude, the foible parts of Albanian tourism are the infrastructure and marketing and promotion. One issue of infrastructure is traveling by boat along the Albanian coast, which is prohibition by law, and by train, where the conditions are very poor, and the ride is really uncomfortable (Mediterranean Europe, 2007). In order to develop the tourism, the government should abrogate the law for the movements of motorboats and set up new trains or upgrade the existing train task force, the same as Scotland has (Delivering Improvements, n. . ). The other issue which everyone is concerned is the environmental infrastructure.
A writer has written that “the tourist zones are drowned in gutters” (Xhoga, 2004). The best solution for this problem is investing for building water cleaning plants, which will trait the sewage and then pass it into the sea. Marketing and promotion is the other sector which should be improved in the tourism by making different analyses and projects.