From: Alice Taylor
Albania Ranks 72nd on Sustainable Tourism Index

Albania has ranked 72nd out of 117 countries regarding its factors and policies that enable sustainable and resilient development of its travel and tourism sector, which in turn contributes to its development, according to the World Economic Forum.

The index captures the current or potential travel and tourism sustainability risk and challenges in each country. It focusses on three pillars and awards scores accordingly. The further down the rankings a country is, the worse their efforts are.

Environmental sustainability is the first factor assessed, in particular protection of natural resources, vulnerability and readiness to climate change, and policies and factors that work to protect the natural environment such as national parks and the ratification of international environmental treaties.

The second factor is socioeconomic resilience and conditions which captures the well-being a resilience of the economy. It focusses on gender equality, workers rights, improving education, employment, and training, and developing  opportunities for people to work in the sector.

The third factor is travel and tourism demand pressure and impact which relates to the existence of or risk of overcrowding and demand volatility as well as the impact travel and tourism could have on the country. For example, unmanaged tourism development can lead to destinations operating beyond capacity can lead to overcrowding, damaged natural and cultural resources, strained infrastructure, and reduced liveability for local residents.

Albania was ranked as one of the countries in Europe that are most dependent on travel and tourism in terms of the GDP. In 2020, tourism contributed some 10.6% to the country’s GDP, a total of EUR 1.41 billion.

The country’s score decreased from 2019, indicating that the situation is getting worse, not better. It was beaten by other countries in the region such as Serbia (70), Montenegro (67),and Turkey (45). North Macedonia fared worse at number 87 while Kosovo was not included on the list.

The authors of the report call on governments and stakeholders to use the findings of the report to inform and shape new practices, solutions and policies that ensures travel and tourism are future-proofed and sustainable.

“We invite leaders, both public and private, to collaborate with us in using insights from the index to inform and shape new practices, solutions and policies that ensure T&T returns in a way that preserves the many assets on which it is founded, future-proofs it in the face of environmental, social and economic risks, and reinstates it as a meaningful contributor to inclusive economic development, cultural exchange and job creation globally.”