USAID Program Supports Tourism Businesses in Albania

USAID Mission Director, Jim Barnhart and Minister of Tourism, Aldo Bumçi
USAID Mission Director, Jim Barnhart, Minister of Tourism, Aldo Bumçi, presented Mr. Nazmi Maja, Hotel Kruja, the Silver Authentic Albania Quality Mark Award.
USAID/Albania

For Immediate Release

Thursday, September 20, 2012
Stephanie Pepi
+355 4-229-3384

SEPTEMBER 20, 2012     On Thursday, USAID, the Ministry of Tourism, Culture, Youth and Sports, and the Albanian Tourism Association (ATA) awarded gold, silver, and bronze Authentic Albania Quality Mark Awards to the seven tourism businesses participating in the USG-funded program – Albania’s first initiative to rate accommodation facilities.   Since the program began in 2011, 56 hotels have become paying members of the ATA, requested an assessment of their businesses, and been awarded the Quality Mark.  The program helps entrepreneurs set quality hotel standards that, in turn, furthers build the credibility of Albania’s tourism businesses. 

The Authentic Albania quality mark awards program supports enterprises in Albania’s tourism industry by establishing quality hotel standards and building opportunities for tourism businesses.  The program is the country’s first system that rates accommodation facilities. 
Gold, Silver, and Bronze Authentic Albania awards are determined based on the Authentic Albania quality mark framework which evaluates facilities using seven key dimensions that together address the travelers’ requirements for professionalism, safety, cleanliness, and comfort, as well as demonstrate responsible tourism practices.

Assessments were conducted by a group of independent Albanian assessors trained by international experts on the Quality Mark framework. Assessments were then reviewed by an awards committee composed of government agencies, a USAID contractor, academic, and civil society representatives. 

As award bearers, these businesses represent a select group of Albanian accommodations that will be able to bear the Authentic Albania quality mark symbol and benefit from promotion and marketing services provided by the ATA.  All Authentic Albania quality mark awards are valid for two years, after which the accommodations must undergo a new assessment to remain in the program.

According to the World Tourism and Travel Council, tourism is forecast to account for 6.2% of Albania’s GDP in 2011and 5.5% of employment within the country. 

Last updated: November 13, 2013

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