The project Albania, Travel in your own way: Multi-stakeholders Integrated Management of Rural and Cultural Tourism in Gjirokastra and Berat Regions (TREC) is carried out by the partneship of Cesvi NGO, Viaggiare I Balcani (ViB), Agenzia di SviluppoSangro-Aventino, Agjensia Kombetare Turismit (AKT) of the Ministry of Economic Development, Tourism, Trade and Entrepreneurship (MSET) and contributes to developing a good governance of natural and rural tourism services as well as to enhancing the competitiveness of MSEs involved in the cultural and natural / rural tourism in Gjirokastra and Berat regions - Albania.
According to the legal and strategic framework of the sector, the project works on the tourism value chain for enhancing the capacities of public and private stakeholders to develop an integrated tourist welcoming system, in line with the quantitative and qualitative standards required by the market.
The project is based on a consolidated experience of the partner organizations in the target area and sector and on a careful analysis of the main critical issues related to the tourism value chain at various levels.
For this purpose, the action:
* will strengthen the capacities of public and private actors in managing products and tourist services, through the establishment of multi-stakeholder consortia in coordination with the Tourism Information Centers;
* will improve the access to finance for the development of touristic products and services through the provision of loans and co-financing of corporate consortia initiatives. Additional incentives will ensure the access for young people and women in rural areas;
* will increase the stakeholders’ capacities to promote tourism products and services by enhancing their communication strategies and strengthening the international networking of sustainable tourism.
The beneficiaries of the initiative will be 20 officers from Local Authorities and 20 officers from National Authority, 240 MSEs of which 150 grouped in consortia, 12 Tour Operators and 4.000 representatives of Gjirokastra, Permet, Berat and Skrapar municipalities. 18.504 people of the targeted areas involved in tourism value chain will indirectly benefit from the initiative.
The project will provide an added value fostering the preservation and establishing an economic value of natural resources. It will enhance access to credit and funding channels to the actors unless-supported. Finally, it will develop a bottom-up consortium action and accountability mechanisms to ensure transparency and increase ownership of local actors.
During the first year, the project was able to:
i) organize a series of multi-actor tables for the creation of 3 consortia in the cities of Berat, Skrapar and Gjirokaster, based on the best practices of the Pro Permet Consortium;
ii) develop, in collaboration with Italian specialized bodies, the first sustainable tourism packages;
iii) launch the micro credit scheme on tourism activities.
During the second year:
- the three consortia of Berat, Gjirokaster and Skrapar were formally established. Continous technical support activities for the consortia
- tested the first tourist packages
- assigned the first microcredits to the beneficiaries in the selected territories.