8.1 % more foreign nationals visited Albania in 2019 according to INSTAT

Tirana Times
By Tirana Times January 24, 2020 12:35

8.1 % more foreign nationals visited Albania in 2019 according to INSTAT

Story Highlights

  • The majority of visitors came from the neighbouring countries
  • around 2.2 million Kosovo nationals entered Albania in 2019, accounting for 35 percent of the total.

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TIRANA, Jan. 24 - According to the Institute of Statistics, the number of foreign nationals who entered Albania in 2019 hit a record high of 6.4 million, increasing by 8.1 percent compared to the previous year.  This increase was evident in December as well, despite setbacks that were expected as a result of the earthquake that struck Albania at the end of November. Precisely, the number of foreign nationals who entered the country during December of 2019 was 288,708, increasing by 2.9 percent since 2018. In terms of the purpose of visit, 95 percent of foreign nationals visited the country as tourists or to meet their relatives,  3.2 percent constituted transit passengers and 1.5 percent entered Albania for business-related purposes.

The majority of visitors came from the neighbouring countries; around 2.2 million Kosovo nationals entered Albania in 2019, accounting for 35 percent of the total. This signified a 7.5 percent increase compared to the previous year. Nationals from North Macedonia also accounted for a large amount of foreign visitors, precisely by 12 percent. In total, 753 thousand nationals from North Macedonia visited Albania, increasing by 11 percent compared to 2018.

Greece and Italy came in third and fourth in terms of foreign nationals who entered Albania, with 9.3 percent and 7.3 percent of the total, respectively. A considerable amount of citizens from Montenegro who visited Albania was also observed, accounting for 5.7 percent of total entries.

These numbers, which make up about 70 percent of the total foreign national inflows, indicate that Albania attracts a majority of tourists from the region. A significant increase was noted in the number of visitors beyond the region as well, as 16 percent more German nationals entered Albania than they did last year, accounting for 2.6 percent of the total.

However, the number of Polish nationals seemingly dropped by 14 percent in 2019, despite the  previous two years; 21,000 less Poles visited Albania compared to a year earlier. Although they were one of the fastest growing tourists groups during the past few years, 2019 proved to be different for the Poles. According to several travel agencies, this can be attributed firstly to the bankruptcy of a Polish airline which brought in tourists via charter flights. Secondly, operators have pointed out that Durrës, tourists' most preferred destination, is becoming more expensive. Finally, according to the travel agencies, the dynamics of tourism markets have changed and Egypt's return to the scene has had its effects.

The consequences of the earthquake on tourism will be OBSERVED further throughout 2020, especially during the peak season. Taking into consideration that the city of Durrës, one of the most popular destinations for tourists, experienced these consequences at a deeper level, a decline in tourist inflows is expected.

 

Tirana Times
By Tirana Times January 24, 2020 12:35