Vathi to ATA: High influx of tourists thanks to infrastructure and increase of “low cost” flights

TIRANA, July 29 /ATA/ Albania is experiencing a high influx of tourists this summer season, while the authorities expect over 8 million foreigners to enter the country through the Rinas airport alone on tourism purpose.
President of Albanian Travel and Hospitality Services (ATHS) Besnik Vathi spoke in an interview for ATA about a good season, and he even added that the high influx of tourists has found them unprepared.
“No one, neither the tourist operators, nor the government were prepared for such a high influx of tourists”, he said.
Vathi listed some of the reasons why Albania is at present a very popular destination.
According to him, the airport and port infrastructure and the increase in the operation of “low cost” flight lines have played a primary role, while promotion through social media is another factor. Vathi even considered these factors as revolution.
“The situation in 2023 is predicted to be the best that Albania has ever had. The reasons that have brought us to this situation are mainly the grand opening of the Tirana airport, the start of “low cost” flights and the 2 to 3 times increase in the cities with which there are direct flights from Tirana, compared to the previous year. Meanwhile, during the pandemic, direct flights from the Middle East began”, said the head of ATHS for ATA.
According to him, this has made Albania benefit from a growing number of tourists.
Vathi is optimistic that Albania will continue to have successful summer tourist seasons, both in terms of numbers and revenues.
“This situation will continue in the coming years and the numbers will not only remain what they are, but there will be a progressive increase from year to year”, he emphasized.

The head of ATHS also spoke about the role played by social media.
“There should be added the other revolution brought about by the online media, which without having to pay, distributes information about the situation, beauties, conditions, make price comparisons in different destinations, and distribute information. In social networks, we do not compete on who pays more, but on the qualities of a destination. For example: if you publish a photo from Ksamil, Valbona, Thethi or Tirana, many foreigners will be influenced in their decision to visit these places. Some others will write and provide information. This is actually an advertisement that naturally multiplies those qualitative advantages in relation to other countries”, said Vathi.
He also focused on some of the problems faced by this sector.
“Businesses, the government, the country, no one was prepared for this high influx. You must have employees and trained people. You must have the capacity to transport them because it is not about preparing today for tomorrow. At the same time, city and intercity transportation should be improved. Traffic is another element that needs to be improved”, said Vathi for ATA.
The number of foreign citizens who visited Albania during the first 6 months of this year reached 3,396,932.
Referring to the report published by the Institute of Statistics (INSTAT), this number has increased by 33%, compared to the same period of 2022. /p.s./