From: Exit Staff
Declining Tourism Will Hit Albania Hard, Government Still Has No Strategy

COVID-19 is expected to have a big impact on the Albanian tourist industry, and the economy as a whole.

The World Travel and Tourism Council released its annual report, analyzing figures relating to tourism in Albania during 2019. It found that tourism’s contribution to the country’s GDP rose by 8.5% in 2019, and that tourism contributed 21.2% of the total economy.

It brought some 275.5 billion ALL  (€ 2.2 billion) into the country, accounting for 48.2% of all ‘exports’. People working in tourism also accounted for 22% of the total number of employed individuals in the country. The figure was stated as 254,300 in 2019.

Tourists from North Macedonia accounted for the majority of visitors (12%), followed by Greece (9%), Italy (8%), Montenegro (6%), UK (3%). The rest came from a variety of countries across the world.

With international borders still closed as the beginning of the tourism season starts, these figures are expected to drop significantly in 2020.

Visual Capitalist has processed the data and concluded that Albania, along with Montenegro, Croatia, and Greece are the European countries that will be hit hardest. This is due to their economic dependence on tourism.

Previously the International Monetary Fund and the EBRD predicted a decline in the Albanian economy following the impact of COVID-19. 

Despite the warnings, the Albanian government still doesn’t have a strategy to help tourism. Tourism Minister Blendi Klosi gave some vague statements in May, but nothing has been solidified to date. Furthermore, thousands of seasonal workers have been excluded from the ‘war salary’. Many are left without work, not knowing if they will be required during the 2020 summer season.