Ministry of Tourism, Culture, Youth and Sports, says that more than 2.5 million tourists visited Albania during this year. The total number of foreign visitors was 1.242.554: 82.659 (6.5%) were daily visitors (excursionists), and 1.159.895 (9%) were visitors who rented a room for a night. The number of Albanian tourists residing in other countries visiting Albania was 1.157.580. The number of foreign visitors in the period January-November 2008, compared with 2007, was increased by 21% and by 76% compared with 2005.
As a result of the reforms in tourism development and the commitment pursued by MTKRS and the government, the main achievements for this summer season were:
A. Improvement in infrastructure to reach the tourist destinations, while substantial funds are disbursed by the government to change the tourist areas routes.
B. The Safety and the Order for the tourists was at the highest level. It should be noted that there were no incidents at all.
C. The border point facilities were another novelty for the development of tourism for this season. The Ministry of Internal Affairs applied collective visas for tourists. Travel agencies listed the names of the tourists and for the whole group were issued only a visa.
Achievements during this year:
1. For the first time in 2008 our country was divided into 10 touristic routes, which were distributed to the embassies and diplomatic mission of the operators.
2. The creation of a web site with 500 pages about tourism information in our country. www.albaniantourism.com
3. The spot aired on CNN. See the tourist spots in 2008 on CNN.
4. The publication of the tourist guidebook with information and images from Albania. www.albania-guide.com
5. Participation in various international fairs. The Berlin Fair: "Albania, a new Mediterranean Love", The London Fair, http://akt.gov.al/al/item.php?id=36&lang=1
6. The 40 Guesthouses project. The TV commercial "40 Guesthouses" http://akt.gov.al/info/bujtine.php?lang=1
7. The production of the commercial aired on Euro News. Click here to read more about promoting Tourism in Albania.
With this vision, the Ministry for the first time created the basis for rural tourism development. Itinerary tourist project "40 guesthouses" was a good help for rural tourism development, with its first destinations in the north mountainous areas of the country as Theth, Valbona, Shkelzen. The goal of this project was to develop tourism in harmony with nature, respecting the authenticity of the socio-cultural hosting communities.