From January 1 to August, more than one million visitors from Kosovo entered Albania ensuring the survival of the Albanian tourism industry, especially in summer.
Entire families or groups of young people from Kosovo invaded the coasts of the entire Eagles Country, from Velipoja to Saranda. Obviously, for Albanian tourism, we cannot speak of profit but at least of survival, given the dramatic situation caused by Covid-19.
An enterprise that at the beginning of the summer season seemed impossible but that the local and Albanian-speaking tourism managed to complete in the summer months, as also confirmed by several tour operators:
"What makes the difference are the tourists in Kosovo, i.e. the traditional tourism that has contributed significantly to the increase in revenue. Of course, there was also an increase in foreigners from abroad, but the main one was the support of the Albanian-speaking areas.
With what we have seen so far today, a part of the hotels will manage to survive. I am talking about those hotels where there is a serious investment and which has great capacity. I do not know if the same will apply to small structures or family facilities". - said Rrahman Kasa, president of the Albanian Tourist Union for the Albanian newspaper shqiptarja.com
Saranda the main destination
Usually, the period from mid-July until the end of August is considered the peak of the tourist season. This year, however, the peak was reached only for ten days, during which the accommodation facilities reached 90% of their capacity.
The most popular destination was Saranda, whose accommodations worked with an average of 60% during the season as confirmed by the president of the Saranda Tourist Association, Arben Cipa:
"The hotels worked with an average capacity of 60% during the season. The data changed from week to week. In the first week of August, the facilities filled 50% of their capacity, while the second week of August and half of the third week fluctuated between 70% and 80%. The peak of the summer season, which is usually July 15 and August 20, was reached in just 10 days in August this year. - said Cipa for shqiptarja.com.
Who are the tourists who have chosen Saranda?
Most of them were local tourists or arrived from Kosovo, but they were not even missed, although in much better numbers than other years, Poles, Belarusians, and Ukrainians.
The restrictions imposed by many foreign governments - especially northern European countries and Germany - to Albania due to Covid-19, have practically eliminated these categories of tourists from the summer season in Albania. All tourist contracts that had been concluded with tour operators of these countries before the lock-down in summer will be used next year.