Tourism is a way to help open up the beauty of Albania both to its own citizens and worldwide; it brings about many opportunities to the local economy: additional income, more business, and new jobs. Nevertheless, it can also pose several challenges: local economies need proper infrastructure, including safer roads, as well as better education and training on sustainable tourism and environmental protection.
In this framework, the technical assistance Sustainable and Eco-tourism Programme - Albanian National and Regional Roads funded by Italy through the CEI Fund at the EBRD, has supported sustainable eco-tourism activities along the seacoast of Albania consisting in strategic as well as local actions. The Programme was designed to improve general awareness of environmental preservation and conservation practices and measures that can contribute to reaching sustainable eco-tourism objectives within the Shëngjin and Velipojë region, also through the establishment of stakeholder engagement networks, capacity building, and policy dialogue activities. A particular focus was placed on key biodiversity and community road safety due to the increased access and growth in tourism that is expected in the area.
This Programme has been primarily conceived to help Albania develop green and sustainable tourism by raising awareness of the benefits of eco-tourism. On a wider level, the same Programme is linked to an EBRD investment to finance the rehabilitation of two sections of Albania’s regional and local road network respectively between the cities of Vlore and Orikum along the southern seacoast of Albania and between the towns of Shengjin and Velipoje along the northern seacoast. Considering the strategic location of the target areas, the EBRD’s investment brings about enormous benefits especially to the tourism sector. Whilst positive impacts of tourism include employment and income for the local economy, negative impacts can include damage to the landscape, water resources, litter, and plastic waste, erosion, fires, traffic, and road risks to road users, pollution and pressure on sensitive habitats/wildlife and cultural resources.
The “Sustainable and Eco-tourism Programme” has been implemented in order to mitigate these negative impacts. Watch the video to understand how!
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