The Albanian government has launched a campaign to attract Russian tourists diverted by crises in Turkey and Greece. Holiday makers in Russia face tough decisions in choosing Summer vacation destinations owing to the refugee and political crises. With the touristic season approaching, can Albania resorts attract Russians via this new campaign? Here are some pluses and minuses facing Albania’s touristic businesses.
Albania tourism, so negatively impacted by infrastructure and other inhibiting factors, has just hired high powered PR backup. The country is embarking on its largest tourism campaign to date in naming creative agency StrawberryFrog in collaboration with APCO Worldwide, as their agency of record (AOR).
Saranda, Albania has officially kicked off this year’s tourist season. Saturday, the traditional feast of mussels singals another season of seaside festivals, sports, and sightseeing experiences.
The crisis in Ukraine now threatens western Balkans nations like Albania with further stalled economies and more. Even despite the recent announcement by the Minister of Foreign Affairs and Minister of Urban Development and Tourism of Albania to commit to working together to promote tourism in Albania, the gridlocked detentes in between the US, EU, Britain, and Russia over Ukraine may well spell disaster for all Balkan’s travel.
Albania shows off its intention of developing a series of increasingly ambitious projects such as the quirky Beds & Bunker – a German-Albanian scheming of converting an igloo-shaped bunker into a fancy hostel for backpackers.
Tourism in Albania accounts for some 1.2 billion Euros, a bit more than 11% of the Albanian GDP (Gross Domestic Product). Some 138,000 people are employed in the touristic sector, or about 6% of their workers. This year, the number of tourists is growing substantially over last year’s numbers with 2.7 million for 2011.
In news from Albania’s top air carrier BellAir, the company has announced special Summer direct flights from Tirana to Vienna and Prague beginning in June. Three flights will connect the these capitals, creating obvious opportunities for tourism and trade between the countries.
Albania tourism has seen a significant growth spurt this year, as opposed to last, with an over 400 thousand more travelers visiting from January to August, compared to 2010 figures. A statement from Albanian Prime Minister Sali Berisha last week spotlights the dramatic growth in Albania arrivals.
In news from Albania, the government there has temporarily lifted all visa requirements for travelers from Azerbaijan. For visits of up to 90 days, citizens there can travel to Albania at their leisure. This follows news that Albania allowed similar privileges to other countries.
For travelers to Eastern Europe this month, and particularly those with a passion for dance, the 6th annual Albania Dance Meeting may be your cup of tea. This International Festival of Modern & Contemporary Dance starts September 10th thru 18th when Durres, the oldest city in Albania, invites the world to dance.