The project has two primary objectives: firstly, to help install professional destination management in the tourist resorts of Gjirokastra and Saranda in the south of the country, and secondly, to introduce the concept of sustainable tourism as far as possible throughout Albania and support initial ongoing initiatives (top-down and bottom-up approach).
The project is led by RisiAlbania, an offshoot of Helvetas in Tirana, and is conceptually supported and co-coached by the ITM's Competence Centre Tourism.
As a central element in 2022, the "1st Sustainability Week Tourism Albania" was conceived, organised and successfully carried out in November. In addition to several thematic meetings, the focus was on a two-day GSTC course (led by Urs Wagenseil and Sabine Müller) and a full-day international conference (conceived by Urs Wagenseil). At the latter, government representatives from Albania, Switzerland and Slovenia were also welcomed.
The keynote speech on sustainable tourism was given by Randy Durband, CEO of the Global Sustainable Tourism Council. At both events, the number of participants was very pleasing and there was great interest in deepening and implementing more sustainable tourism in various parts of the industry (hotel industry, tour operating, incoming agencies, destinations). Universities also showed great interest in adapting their teaching programs accordingly.