Prestigious French paper ranks Albania among top 5 destinations for 2016

Tirana Times
By Tirana Times December 10, 2015 23:35

Prestigious French paper ranks Albania among top 5 destinations for 2016

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  • “Between national parks and breathtaking beaches, it is a country that has much to offer,” says Le Fiagaro about Albania

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TIRANA, Dec. 10 – Prestigious French newspaper Le Figaro has announced Albania as one of the top five global destinations for 2016.

Featuring a picture of the ancient Rozafa castle in the northern city of Shkodra, Le Fiagaro says Albania will surprise everybody just like it did with its first-ever qualification in a major football competition such as France 2016.

“It is the surprise of the ranking, but equally to football with a recent qualification for Euro 2016. With a 10 percent increase in demand for departure to Albania from 2014 to 2015, this destination could see its tourism develop well in 2016. Between national parks and breathtaking beaches, it is a country that has much to offer,” says the paper on its online version.

The newspapers recommends visiting the Et’hem Bey mosque, the symbol of Tirana’s foundation,  the UNESCO World Heritage site of Gjirokasta known as “the city of a thousand steps” and its characteristic Ottoman-style streets and the ancient ruins of the Apollonia archeological park close to the Albanian coastline.

Cuba, Russia, Cape Verde and Slovenia were the four other destinations suggested by the Le Figaro whose ranking is good news for the Albanian tourism industry considering that 50 percent of French travelers haven’t decided where to spend their next holidays.

Albania offers a miscellaneous picture of coastal and mountain tourism and has been attracting more and more foreign tourists in the past few years being nicknamed as “A New Mediterranean Love” and “Europe’s Last Secret”

In January 2014, The New York Times ranked Albania as one of the top four global destinations to go to for 2014, placing the Balkan country as the single European destination on top of the list. The prestigious daily newspaper ranks the Albanian coast the number four destination to visit, describing it as Europe at its best on a rugged shore and noting that “the Maryland-sized country combines the rugged beauty of Croatia with undiscovered ruins of Turkey or Greece.”

Tourism revenue registered a record high of 1.2 billion euros in 2014 when more than 3.6 million foreign tourists visited Albania, according to data published by the central bank and INSTAT.

Ethnic Albanians from Kosovo, Macedonia, Montenegro account for three-fifths of foreign tourists visiting Albania, with local experts often referring to this market as ‘patriotic tourism.’

The travel and tourism industry, which employs around 41,000 people in Albania, is estimated to have contributed by $639 million or around 4.8 percent of the GDP in 2014.

Tirana Times
By Tirana Times December 10, 2015 23:35