ATA News

Rama: Tourism is transforming economy and representation of Albania overseas

TIRANA, April 8 /ATA/ – By Maela Marini/ Prime Minister Edi Rama called on Monday the 70th meeting of the World Tourism Organization Commission for Europe in Tirana a landmark event.

In the speech delivered at this meeting, the Prime Minister said that this event comes at the right time in our country, when the impact of tourism is incredibly transforming the economy and the representation of Albania overseas.

“We hope that through tourism, we will understand even more, not only the importance of tourism for the economy, but also the feeling of self-identification, as well as the feeling of humanity that we can offer to each other, ” he said.

In order to show the steps that Albania has taken in the direction of tourism development, Prime Minister Rama brought to attention the situation of isolation experienced by the country during the communist dictatorship.

“We have emerged from a period of history in which we were completely separated and cut off from the rest of the world. Everything was beyond imagination of the isolation and brutality we endured in this country until 30 years ago. We received 5 thousand tourists at that time and they were not ordinary tourists but Marxist-Leninists,” said Rama.

Today, he continued, we have a completely different reality, with more than 10 million tourists who visited Albania last year and with very high numbers reported during the first months of the year.

The Prime Minister emphasized that in addition to the success in this direction, there are also many challenges that we have to face and tackle if we want Albania to move forward in a sustainable way and be a destination where tourism is seen as a value added.

“We must preserve nature, we must build things with beautiful architecture features and make sure that on the one hand we create the right opportunities for people to get more from their work, on the other leave more of Albania for future generations while we build an important tourist destination,” the Prime Minister said.

The Prime Minister appreciated the role of the WTO in sharing expertise and knowledge between countries, so that the mistakes of the past in terms of tourism development are not repeated.

“You have experienced these things yourself. You have gone through these stages of development and learned the hard way. We must not make the same mistakes but draw lessons, which is why we highly appreciate the WTO expertise. We strongly hope that we will learn from your mistakes, while we have already made some mistakes from which we have learned,” he said.

Rama emphasized that Albania inherits a great potential since God and history have been generous and have bequeathed us several antiquity sites.

“We are not Switzerland, but we must adopt the same approach as them to understand what we will leave to future generations so that they do not spoil the natural beauties our country is endowed with”, said Rama.

Tirana hosted on Monday the 70th meeting of the Commission for Europe of the World Tourism Organization, which selected Albania as a co-host of this event, with the participation of the Secretary General of the UNWTO, Zurab Pololikashvili and delegations from all over Europe.