TIRANA, March 13 /ATA-N.Lena/ – In Albania, the rural and mountain tourism has become a priority for the tourist market. The geography of our country is well suited for this type of tourism due to the rugged and picturesque landscape.
According to estimates, rural tourism which includes the mountainous areas makes up 3 percent of international trips with an annual increase of 6 percent. The inconvenience of inadequate local infrastructure is one of the main reasons why this type of tourism is developing at slow rates, albeit with an upward trend.
Despite the background, mountain tourism has seen a positive development. A considerable number of tours have been arranged in the mountainous areas of Albania, such as in Theth, Vermosh, Lepushë, Valbonë, Tropojë, Nivicë, and Northern Alps, Diber and Bulqiza area, the mountainous area of Tirana, mountainous area of Elbasan and Librazhd, mountainous area of Korca, mountain of Tomor, Llogara and Karaburun, the mountainous area of Gjjirokastra and Permet.
These areas offer the adventure tourism, an important product that is much on demand.
They include fun diving, rafting on the river, kayaking, winter sports, adventurous activities and extreme sports, hiking and snowshoeing. According to some operators, this type of tourism is seeing a 30% increase annually.
Rural tourism is combined with eco-tourism, which involves visiting pristine and relatively undisturbed natural areas. Roughly 3 percent of international trips are motivated by eco-tourism. This motivation is related to consumer’s awareness about ecology.
This product has seen an increase of 10-20 percent annually in our country. The rural and mountain tourism includes the mountain bike tourism which is well suited to the terrain of our country.
It is estimated that cycling as a mode of transport will see an increase in European countries over the next ten years, with a growth rate of more than 10%. An important segment of this market consists of visitors to whom cycling is an important complementary activity during their vacation. Although in its beginnings, rural and mountainous tourism has started to come to fruition.
Year 2017 saw more than 5 mln foreign tourists in our country with an estimated profit of EUR 1.5 bn./ /a.g/sm/