Albanian Weekly Aventurës 4: My Thoughts on Tourism in Albania

Albanian Weekly Aventurës: My Thoughts on Tourism in Albania

The summer tourist season is ending here in Saranda (thank god).  I love Saranda, but I love it more when it’s not July and August here as during those times prices double and the city is full of people.  Not to mention it’s hot.  Now I LOVE summer and it’s my favourite season but this year I am just over it, mostly because I have had to work so much and be inside for most of it I guess!

 

Albanian Weekly Aventurës: My Thoughts on Tourism in Albania

But tourism in Saranda this year has been strange. I have talked to a few different businesses and they all confirm it wasn’t like it was last year.  My personal thoughts?  I think it’s all about trends.  Now people are venturing out of cities like Saranda because it’s becoming more easily accessible to get to more places.  For instance, I have seen SO many people hitting up other places in Albania such as Dhermi.  Now, I’m not sure what tourism was like there this year if it rose or fell but I have a feeling that this year the trend was to visit that specific place as well as beaches like Gjipe. People are spreading all around Albania.  I am so interested to know the tourism numbers for the 2018 summer season!

Albania does have to be careful though as they don’t have the info structure to keep up with rising tourism.  The answer is not to add more sunbeds to the beaches, its ruins it.  And although I understand its more profit, it’s not viable for the future.  A beach full of sunbeds is ugly.

 

Albanian Weekly Aventurës: My Thoughts on Tourism in Albania

Another point which is specifically focused on Saranda are the prices.  Another reason I think more tourists are venturing out of Saranda is the rise in prices.  Every year it’s becoming more and more expensive.  Talking to tourists this year they are surprised at how expensive it is for food etc compared to other parts of the country.  In July and August, the prices for food and apartments double.  In September they fall again.  Saranda is known for being the most expensive place in Albania.  I get it, it’s beautiful but businesses in Saranda must be careful because the affordability is one of the reasons people are attracted to come here.  And if the prices are rising people are going to stay elsewhere (hence maybe therefore this is why so many people have not picked Saranda to stay in this year).

Which brings me to another point.  Apartments.  I met two girls who rented an apartment for over 700 euro for the month!  This price is ridiculous to me.  People could rent an apartment elsewhere in Europe for the same price.  As an example, I have an apartment and I pay 150 euro per month.  This is the price which locals would pay.  But I do understand that locals have to make most of their money in the summer months here because in the winter tourism dies here.  But what if tourism could extend throughout the winter months?  Saranda in the winter (as a tourist) is not so bad you know.  Saranda itself gets over 300 days of sunshine a year.  Winter is cold (just like everywhere in Europe).

 

Albanian Weekly Aventurës: My Thoughts on Tourism in Albania Albanian Weekly Aventurës: My Thoughts on Tourism in Albania

July vs April in Ksamil, Albania

 

My hopes for tourism for Albania?  I hope that tourism can be spread out throughout the year instead of just two or three months.  It would be much better for the locals as they don’t have to work the same hours in two months as you would in one year.  The locals are overworked in July and August and by September everyone in Saranda is over the summer.  Therefore, I promote tourists coming here in the offseason and I also recommend this place for digital nomads.  I hope tourists can make Albania a permanent home like I have and that you can see the beauty in Albania, not just in July and August.

 

I would love to know your thoughts on Albania tourism in the comments below.  Let’s have a discussion!  Please remember this post is completely my opinion.

 

Check the last Albanian Weekly Aventurës post here.

 

 

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7 Comments

  1. Cecilia
    September 8, 2018 / 6:10 pm

    I guess you have a point, staying in Saranda for a while. Its a balance of knowing how you can develope the city still having its uniqe charm and soul and not ruin it with profit and tourists.

    We are looking for a apartment to buy but its not easily done. We dont need a total brand new apartment but a easy living that lasts without much trouble. What I heard its nice during winter, as well. Then you dont want to end up all alone in a empty building waiting for other to come in the summer only.

    Will it be easier from our part of Europe to get to Albania and Saranda or will it stay difficult, do the Albanians get their new airport in Vlora or is it still only talk?

    • September 9, 2018 / 9:57 pm

      Yes, that’s exactly right! I hope Saranda doesn’t lose its charm anytime soon. Winter here is not too bad, it’s just quiet but if that’s what you like then it’s perfect. I love the quietness of the city. From what I hear Vlora airport is happening but I’m guessing it won’t be for at least a couple more years at least. Nothing is fast going here :p Good luck finding an apartment!

      • Cecilia
        September 13, 2018 / 2:08 am

        The first days were a bit messy, as it is coming to a new place. My husband thought it was like Europes India, I agree. Byt after a while you get along and start to see the wilderness, the people, the food, ocean and fall in love. The kind people let you in without pushing in any direction which we totally like about them. We liked the area around Kodra but have a lot more to see before having a clear idea.

        You produce a lot of interesting articles, Im impressed. You inspire and Im glad finding you. I will keep follow you and give your articles about Albania an extra interest.

  2. September 12, 2018 / 7:34 pm

    Albania continues to elude us. We begin planning a trip then like a cat with a shiny toy, we get distracted and head off somewhere else. It’s too bad, because I’m interested to explore the wine regions. #OneOfTheseDays

    • September 14, 2018 / 2:29 am

      Haha I totally get it! Come quickly before everyone else comes to discover the beauty here 😉

  3. Louise
    September 12, 2018 / 8:27 pm

    Hello Anita,

    I’m glad I happened upon your blog, your posts make Albania sound wonderful.

    My husband and I are looking at moving to Saranda from Melbourne next year, but I have some questions:

    Is it the kind of place that we’ll fall in love immediately or do you recommend visiting several times before moving there?
    We have a dog and two cats that will be coming with us; has the stray dog situation improved at all, or are there any ways you can think that it might improve if they join the EU?
    I am quite independent, and like to go places and do things by myself. You’ve said in earlier posts that you feel safe in Saranda. What about other areas of Albania that you have visited?

    Sorry for asking so many questions, but I want to be absolutely sure that Saranda is the place for us and our furry family.

    Thank you.
    Louise.

  4. September 13, 2018 / 6:19 pm

    A beatiful country with a great history and culture and so close to Italy and Greece. Thanks for sharing!

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