Albania Countryside – Rural Tourism in Albania
Thanks to its outstanding natural, cultural and physically-geographical resources, Albania is concentrated on the development of the tourism offerings which have the greatest influence on increasing the gross domestic product and employment, which are attractive to investors, and in particular those which can utilize the uniqueness of the local potentials. In 2011, 2.7 million foreign visitors traveled to Albania, 430,751 more than in 2010. Out of the total, 77,451 were German nationals or 39% more than a year earlier and 76,604 were British, a rise of 23% over 2010. Engagement and the collaboration between authorities, tourist agencies and local population resulted in proposing several rural routes aiming continuity and enrichment of rural tourism packages and the development of touristic offers.
In Albania, there are about 400,000 hectares of natural pastures situated in the districts of Tropoje, Diber, Kukes, Korce, Gjirokaster, Kolonje, Devline, Karaburun, Shashice and the pasture between the rivers of Vjose and Shashice, Mallakastra and Dumre (Elbasan district). Lots of efforts and attention is focused on diverting traditional or historical (farm) buildings into “authentic” accommodation, organic farming, processing-making food stuff /vegetables, fruits, wine, olives, milk products, jam, fruit juices, goat cheese, natural honey…/ quality wine production, sustainable fishing, support of traditional crafts, handicrafts such as woolen articles, wood carving, art works, craft workshops, souvenirs… A series of brand new or recently refurbished villages are situated located all along Albania – the rugged Albanian north, such are tiny villages of Boga, Thethi, Vermosh and others, the shores of the Prespa Lake provides good opportunities for the development of eco-tourism and agro-tourism, where major activities include boat trips, sunbathing in summer, bird observation, fishing, etc. There are numerous rural mountainous locations with authentic facilities very close both to the mountains and the beautiful coast of the Ionian Sea.