Tourism Governance in Albania: An Assessment of the Policy Framework for the Tourism Sector in Albania
Annual Review of Territorial Governance in the Western Balkans, I, 2019, 69-85
For several years, tourism in Albania was driven primarily by enthusiasm; (a) the enthusiasm of foreigners witnessing a piece of communist memorabilia amidst a beautiful, intact history and natural landscape; (b) the enthusiasm of locals, able to finally perceive the dimensions and values of their own country as free citizens; and (c) the daring enthusiasm of nascent entrepreneurs and developers undertaking investments, whether out of bravery or confidence in their foresight. In addition to enthusiasm (both a natural and necessary driver in any pioneering stages of development), governance is fundamental to the development of tourism into a sustainable sector and is deserving of research attention. This is particularly the case in Albania, as the tourism sector is generally under-studied. This article analyses the governance of the sector between 1992 and 2019 from a policy perspective, describing the inherent challenges it faces today. It also offers a number of recommendations for policy-makers to consider in the process of improving governance of the tourism sector.