Golemi for ATA: Gjirokastra among the most sought-after destinations in international tourism

The stone city of Gjirokastra has attracted thousands of local and foreign tourists during this tourist season.

Local and foreign tourists are livening up the cobblestone alleyways of the city of Gjirokastra, where the museum center remains the main destination, since almost everyone starts their visit from the fortress.

The mayor of Gjirokastra, Flamur Golemi, in an interview for ATA, described this year’s summer season as the most successful in terms of visits and tourism development in the stone city.

“There are over 200,000 local and foreign tourists who have visited Gjirokastra and its surroundings this year, hitting an all -time high. So, this summer season is highlighting Gjirokastra as one of the most sought-after and main destinations for tourism, not only at the national level, but also beyond,” Golemi said.

Golemi said that the city, also part of the World Cultural Heritage List under the protection of UNESCO is a well-known brand in international tourism, drawing locals and visitors from all over the world.

According to him, thanks to its values as UNESCO world heritage site, natural resources, cultural monuments, rich traditions, Gjirokastra is more and more preferred by tourists from all over the world.

“Foreigners account for over 80% of this year’s visitors to Gjirokastra, while the map of where they come from is quite diverse. The stone city is welcoming visitors from Italy, Spain, Greece, Germany, the Scandinavian countries, from Western and Eastern Europe, but there are also tourists from the USA, Brazil, Argentina, China, Australia, etc. So now Gjirokastra is a well-known brand and a world-class destination in terms of visits by foreign tourists.”

Mayor Golemi announced that based on official statistics, there is a 35-40% increase in tourist visits during the summer season compared to previous years.

“Beyond the statistics, the growth of tourism in Gjirokastër is an irreversible trend, while its usefulness is witnessed daily by the residents, not only in the revitalization of the city, its transformation into an elite destination, but also in the increase of income. There are about 250 tourism-oriented business activities in the territory of the municipality, which, among other things, have created new jobs. Tourism has spurred the development of local economy sectors centered on tradition, handicrafts, agritourism, etc.,” Golemi emphasized.

As for the main tourist spots in Gjirokastra, which attract more visitors, Golemi said that “the sightseeing guide is quite diverse, including the stone town of Gjirokastra, but also its surroundings and villages.”