How the Tourism Industry Can Make Young People “Think Kosova”

Speeches Shim

Thursday, May 12, 2022
Elda Qollaku and Lendiona Gashi, interns at the The Kosovo Tourism Union
Kosovo Education Center (KEC) for USAIDKosovo

“Think Kosova,” an app you can download on your phone, is the only Kosovo tourism app that connects citizens and visitors to the country’s tourist attractions. It was introduced by Unioni i Turizmit të Kosovës/The Kosovo Tourism Union (UTK), a local association looking into ways to develop and promote tourism in Kosovo, as an important sector to growing Kosovo’s economy and creating jobs for young people in Kosovo. 

In December 2021, the National Democratic Institute conducted a youth public opinion poll in Kosovo and found that 46 percent of Kosovo-Albanians ages 19-24 want to move permanently to another country.  They are not confident the country can offer them a prosperous future.  Baki Hoti, the President of UTK, disagrees. “We encourage all young people …not to leave Kosovo, but to be part of Kosovo’s tourism, because the tourism potentials of Kosovo create opportunities for new employment [and] for the development of new businesses which are extremely profitable.”

A partnership between UTK and USAID’s After School Support for Teens Activity that started in December 2020, offers high school students internships that expose young people to the tourism industry and create a pipeline of future tourism employees and entrepreneurs.  Lendiona Gashi, a student from Xhevdet Doda high school in Pristina, had a rewarding internship with UTK in the spring of 2021.  She said, “Working at UTK was a constant learning process and prepared us by teaching the necessary soft skills like team-working, problem-solving, communication, research, [and] creativity…” 

USAID and UTK want the same thing for Kosovo’s youth: to develop their employability and entrepreneurial skills while helping them embrace a positive outlook about their future.  Lendiona’s internship opened her eyes to possibilities.  “We learned a lot about Kosovo’s capacity in tourism,” explaining that she learned about her own capacity too, “I definitely developed more confidence during my internship.” 

For youth like Lendiona, UTK’s internship has helped to make “Think Kosova'' a no-brainer.

Last updated: May 27, 2022

Share This Page