For Immediate Release
TIRANA, FEBRUARY 18, 2010 USAID announced today that it will support the establishment of an international rating system for accommodation facilities in Albania. The announcement was made at the 2nd Annual Conference of the Albanian Tourism Association (ATA) held today in Tirana. USAID’s Rritje Albania/Competitive Enterprise Development Project (Rritje Albania) will provide technical and financial support to the ATA, which will be the key implementing partner in this new initiative designed to increase the competiveness of the country’s tourism sector.
The Quality Mark Program is based on the model pioneered and supported by USAID in Croatia and Bulgaria, and which will soon begin in Macedonia. It is a unique rating system that provides information on smaller hotels and other facilities offering a category of lodging described as “authentic tourism”. This emerging and rapidly growing market segment aims to offer a more personalized experience to the traveler that emphasizes local culture, environment, food, crafts and outdoor experiences. It incorporates the Global Sustainable Tourism Criteria that is an international initiative to promote effective sustainability planning, maximize social and economic benefits to local communities, enhance cultural heritage, and avoid negative environmental impact of tourism development.
The Albania Quality Mark Program will assist accommodation providers to improve their product and services, business practices, and market focus, and will support sector competitiveness and sustainability. At their core, the Quality Mark processes and systems are a business training tool that will help improve operators’ business skills and the quality of accommodation offered, and will elevate their market profile through industry-wide publicity and marketing campaigns. The timing of the program is opportune for Albania as it improves the quality of its tourism and aspires to become internationally competitive.
About Rritje Albania:
Rritje Albania, USAID’s Competitive Enterprise Development project, advances sustained, broad-based economic growth in Albania by expanding trade and investment, increasing enterprise productivity, and improving Albania’s workforce. The project assists non-agricultural enterprises to become more competitive, increase sales, and create additional jobs by enabling Albanian private enterprises to expand their businesses. Currently the project is targeting enterprises from five industries: tourism, textiles/garments, footwear, recycling, and information and communications technology.
In its second year of implementation, USAID’s Rritje Albania will cooperate with the ATA and its main donor organization, GTZ, to implement the Quality Mark initiative, and organize and sponsor tourism Business-to-Business (B2B) meetings and Familiarization Tours for foreign tour operators. For more information on USAID’s initiatives in tourism, please contact Ms. Nevila Popa (firstname.lastname@example.org) or Mr. Victor Luboyeski (email@example.com).
Last updated: December 22, 2016