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VITA-Vjosa: Enhancement of tourism and environmental initiatives along the Vjosa river basin




Aid type

Project-type interventions




€ 1,787,500
€ 1,072,500


The initiative, with a total duration of 36 months, has the general objective to contribute to the growth and employment of Small Enterprises (SEs) operating in the sector of responsible tourism in Albania along the basin of the Vjosa River, a natural reserve with enormous tourism potential, in Southern Albania. The Vjosa River is - moreover - internationally known as the last wild river in Europe. The Initiative is addressed to SEs9 , intended as Small Enterprises and tour operators active in the regions of Gjirokastra, Vlora and Fier and to public and private actors involved in the process of establishment of the Protected Area of the Vjosa River Basin, currently classified by the Albanian Government as a Nature Reserve, specifically in the cities of Permet, Kelcyre, Mallakaster, Tepelene, Selenice and Vlora. Although the Albanian Government has made investments in order to improve the tourist attractiveness of the area, there have been deficiencies in the ability to promote the offer, in the financial support from the Government and financial institutions to local SEs and a still inadequate enhancement and protection of the environment. The specific objective of the initiative is, therefore, to increase the business opportunities of service providers and local operators in the field of responsible tourism along the Vjosa river basin - facilitating an increase in the flow of tourists thanks to a logic of intervention that, combining tourism and environment, combines actions to make better and more attractive the local tourist offer - even beyond national borders, under the ethical brand of Italian Cooperation Made with Italy, success case in Albania, with interventions aimed at greater protection of environmental heritage. Therefore, the expected results of the initiative are: R1: Strengthened services of SEs active along the Vjosa River Basin in the field of responsible tourism, under the Made with Italy ethical label and, R2 Improved capacities of protection and enhancement of environmental heritage for the development of responsible tourism of public and private actors involved in the process of establishment of the Protected Area of the Vjosa River Basin. The initiative will be realized through a partnership between different realities that have been working for years in the fields of tourism and environmental development, combining the two main souls of this initiative: tourism and environment. In this context it is important to emphasize the fact that the initiative has, among its partners, an association linked to the Albanian diaspora - bearing in mind the contribution and added value that the diaspora has given in the quality of relations between Italy and Albania, and the two national authorities of tourism and of protected areas. Micro (local) level - SEs and tour operators will have better capacity to manage a greater flow of local and international tourists, offering quality and innovative services thanks also to greater environmental protection; Medium level (local-regional) - the IPs and tour operators will be able to extend the range of services offered and their supply chain, creating new jobs with particular regard to the category of young people and women, thus contributing, over the years, to the improvement of socio-economic conditions of families residing in the target areas. read more close
Year Committed Used
2022 € 1,787,500 € 1,072,500


Type Name Channel code
Government AICS - Italian Agency for Cooperation and Development 11000

Channel reported

Type Name Channel code

Project data

  • IATI IDXM-DAC-6-4-012590-08-5
  • Planned start 2022/07/01
  • Planned End 2025/06/30
  • Actual start 2022/11/28
  • Actual end -
  • Bi/Multilateral Bilateral
  • Status Implementation
  • Tied status Tied


  • 16020 - Employment creation 41.0%
  • 41040 - Site preservation 59.0%

Policy markers

  • Gender Equality significant objective
  • Disaster Risk Reduction(DRR) not targeted
  • Disability not targeted
  • Nutrition not targeted
  • Aid to Environment significant objective
  • Participatory Development/Good Governance significant objective
  • Trade Development principal objective
  • Aid Targeting the Objectives of the Convention on Biological Diversity not targeted
  • Aid Targeting the Objectives of the Framework Convention on Climate Change - Mitigation not targeted
  • Aid Targeting the Objectives of the Framework Convention on Climate Change - Adaptation not targeted
  • Aid Targeting the Objectives of the Convention to Combat Desertification not targeted
  • Reproductive, Maternal, Newborn and Child Health (RMNCH) not targeted


  • 11.4 - Strengthen efforts to protect and safeguard the world’s cultural and natural heritage
  • 11.6 - By 2030, reduce the adverse per capita environmental impact of cities, including by paying special attention to air quality and municipal and other waste management
  • 12.a - Support developing countries to strengthen their scientific and technological capacity to move towards more sustainable patterns of consumption and production
  • 4.4 - By 2030, substantially increase the number of youth and adults who have relevant skills, including technical and vocational skills, for employment, decent jobs and entrepreneurship
  • 8.3 - Promote development-oriented policies that support productive activities, decent job creation, entrepreneurship, creativity and innovation, and encourage the formalization and growth of micro-, small- and medium-sized enterprises, including through access to financial services
  • 8.9 - By 2030, devise and implement policies to promote sustainable tourism that creates jobs and promotes local culture and products