Tourism in Albania is acting as a driving force to strengthen other support sectors, such as tourist ships, rental cars, agriculture (holiday farms and wineries), and tourist agencies which, thanks to the growing interest for the Albania are expanding their offer.
Tourist ships: Valona in command
The growth of the maritime sector is a direct consequence of the growing interest on the part of foreign tourists and not for Albania. The latter, as far as the Albanian coastal destinations are concerned, have shown great interest in tours and trips by boat or tourist boats, as a good alternative to spend a different day.
If on the one hand Durres has only one ship that offers tourist tours along the coast, on the other Valona is the city that has made the greatest progress in this sense, as confirmed by the local journalist, Enrik Mehmeti for the magazine Monitor:
"The most popular destination is the Karaburun peninsula, while the second is the island of Sazan. Both destinations can be reached by tourist ships departing from the port of Valona.
The boom for these types of destinations began two years ago and, as a result, the number of tourist ships arrived at 12. This means that there has been a great investment in this sector thanks to the growing interest in destinations like Karaburun; all this type of tourists prefer to spend on a tourist boat ticket rather than to refuel their car. ”- says Enrik Mehmeti.
Car rental growth
Tourists visiting Albania, more and more often, decide to rent a car to independently visit the Land of Eagles. The emergence of this trend has led car rental companies to increase their fleet of vehicles.
Eliana Bakiri, operational manager of "Rent a Car in Albania", said for Monitor that the company has been fully booked since March.
"We have a fleet of 1100 vehicles throughout the Balkans, of which 250 only in Albania. Demand has increased and we have been fully booked since March. What we notice is the growth of foreigners who want to rent a car to visit our country, a trend that is beginning to manifest itself among the Albanians, who no longer ask their relatives or friends to borrow the car.
When they fail to meet the high demand from tourists, we rely on neighboring countries like Kosovo and Northern Macedonia. In April, for example, when the question between Greece and Northern Macedonia was resolved, there was a boom in demand in the latter and for this we had to bring the Albanian fleet of cars there. ”- said Eliana Bakiri.
The boom of agritourisms and cellars
Seven years ago Blerim experimented with wine tasting, which he would offer in his personal cellar. Initially, only small groups of tourists took part in these tastings, but three years ago things changed, thanks to packages for foreign tourists that included wine tastings in its cellar.
"The growing interest of foreign tourists, especially those from the Nordic countries, has led tour operators to include wine tasting as part of their offer.
Today we have three different packages for tourists who visit us. One from 1000 lek which includes the tasting of three wines and a simple appetizer, a larger one from 2000 lek and one from 30 euro for those who want to stay more hours in our farm and which includes, in addition to wine tasting, many traditional dishes, a visit to the winery and a tasting of all the Albanian products of the area. ”- says Blerim Kokomani, president of the winery of the same name.
However, Blerim emphasizes that incentives for the development of the sector do not come from the state:
"We always talk about agritourisms, but the laws are designed in one way and implemented in another. We don't have enough incentives for development. There are successful models like Italy and Montenegro, where wineries are treated differently."- concludes Blerim.