Political crisis harms tourism

Tirana Times
By Tirana Times June 27, 2019 19:37

Political crisis harms tourism

Story Highlights

  • The main effect has been the decline of tourists from Kosovo who did not travel during May due to the month of Ramadan. The second effect is related to the political crisis, as the May protests appeared on foreign televisions and made tourists reluctant.

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TIRANA, June 26- Albania was visited by about 401 thousand foreigners during May, according to Albanian Institute of Statistics (INSTAT) data. In comparison to the previous year, there was a minimal increase in foreigners' inflows by only 1.7 percent, unlike the two-digit expansion of previous months. The main effect has been the decline of tourists from Kosovo who did not travel during May due to the month of Ramadan. Kosovo citizens' entries in May fell by almost 19 percent compared to the same period a year earlier.

The second effect is related to the political crisis, as the May protests appeared on foreign televisions and made tourists reluctant, especially those of the neighboring countries coming mainly on land routes. Tourists from neighboring Macedonia who second in number after those of Kosovo, fell by 8.3 percent in May, while Montenegrin citizens were nearly 10 percent less.

Polish tourists entry figures were also down by nearly 13 percent compared to last May, an effect not only of the political crisis but also of the problems Albania has with services, infrastructure, and so on. The reluctance of the Poles was announced earlier by tour operators, as the agencies had lowered the number of charter flights. Rahman Kasa who chairman of the Albanian Tourist Union and Happy Tours manager, had previously stated that less reservations were confirmed from Poland and the Nordic countries as well, but were replaced by a Swiss company, and some small Hungarian and Ukrainian companies that will balance the missing part.

Based on INSTAT data, entries of Albanian and foreign citizens in the Albanian territory were are 829,164 people in May 2019. Compared with May 2018, this indicator results with a 5 percent increase. The inflow of foreign nationals in the country during May was 401,531 internationals, with an increase of 1.7 percent (as stated) compared to last year.

The number of foreign nationals that entered our country in the first five months of 2019 was 1,506,618 individuals, increasing by 5,8 percent compared to the same period last year. The highest growth in May was recorded by foreign nationals coming from Switzerland by 26 percent, Spain by 15 percent, Italy by 12.2 percent, while the highest decrease was from Kosovo by 18.7 percent. Switzerland also had the highest growth during the first five months of 2019 by 28.4 percent, while citizens from Kosovo still held the lowest number of visitors by 9.1 percent.

The total number of Albanian and foreign citizens exiting from the country during May 2019 was 880,689, marking an increase by 4.9 percent compared to the same period of the previous year. 477,282 Albanian citizens exited the country during May 2019, an increase by 13.1 percent compared to the same month last year. 403,407 foreign nationals exited Albania during May 2019, decreasing by 3.3 percent compared to last year.

Tirana Times
By Tirana Times June 27, 2019 19:37