Tourism in Albania is considered one of the most important sectors of the country’s economy.
In the simplest form, the economic impact of tourism can be measured as the difference in economic welfare between the level of income that would have existed without tourism activity and income level after tourism activity.Tourism is one of the industries with the fastest growth in the 21st century. It has a direct impact on Gross Domestic Product. Till know, Albania is estimated by many tour operators and international visitors for the nature and the beautiful landscape, which are also considered the strengths of the country.
The state supports tourism as an important and integrated sector of the economy. The development and implementation of tourism has become a very influential economic sector which aims to meet the requests of citizens and foreign tourists for visits, leisure and entertainment. In this way, they can change the economic structure, contributing to social and economic development of the country. Part of state policy for the following period is the recognition of tourism as a priority sector of the economy as well as the support and the creation of favorable legal, economic and structural conditions to its development, even more when it comes to investments of high levels such as the “Porto Albania” project.
Potential economic benefits of tourism development include:
Increasing of financial resources for the protection and conservation of natural resources and cultural heritage resources;
Increased income and standards to improve the living from tourism expenditures;
Income from foreign exchange;
Increasing of revenues forced by tourism expenditures;
New employment opportunities;
Increasing of economic opportunities for community development;
Increasing of the tax base;
Improving of infrastructure and facilities;
Development of local handicrafts
According to the calculations done for Albania by the World Council for Tourism and Travel – WTTC, the direct contribution of tourism to gross domestic product for 2013 was 68.1 milliard Albanian leke, or 4.8%, while the overall contribution to the economy was 239.8 milliard Albanian leke or 16.7 %.
Regarding the opening of new work places, the tourism sector has directly opened 41’000 work places/ jobs or 4.3% of the total, while indirectly has opened 146’500 work places/ jobs or 15.2% of them.
Albania offers different varieties and endless opportunities for the visitors/ tourists. A very important part is the Albanian coastline that is increasingly attracting tourists from different countries of the world for its natural beauty and stunning beaches. The number of hotels is relatively high, particularly on the coast and is expected to increase in the future. But it should be noted that till now, does not exist in other countries such a genuine resort with numerous entertainment, which is the aim of Porto Albania.
The National Tourism Strategy 2014-2020 compiled by the Ministry of Urban Development and Tourism in Albania stresses the importance and the special target for the development of tourism in Albania:
“The vision for tourism: Albania in 2020
Albania will be recognized as an attractive, authentic and welcoming place in Europe tourist destination, based on sustainable use of the natural, cultural and historic potentials easily accessible from international markets.
Tourism plays a key role in the Albanian economy, contributing to the improvement of life quality, creating an attractive environment for the investments”