USAID Launches Authentic Albania Quality Mark Program to Support Tourism Businesses in Albania

USAID, Albania, Authentic Albania, Quality Mark, tourism, Albania tourism

For Immediate Release

Friday, April 29, 2011
Stephanie Pepi
+355 4-229-3384

TIRANA, APRIL 29, 2011     Today, USAID’s Rritje Albania Program, the Ministry of Tourism, Culture, Youth and Sports, and the Albanian Tourism Association (ATA), launched a new program to support Albania’s growing tourism industry.  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 will be the country’s first system that rates accommodation facilities in Albania. 

USAID Mission Director, Mr. Joseph C. Williams, Acting Minister of Tourism, Ms. Suzana Turku, and ATA President, Enver Mehmeti, delivered remarks at a ceremony to distribute the awards to the first twenty Albanian accommodations. 

Gold, Silver, and Bronze Authentic Albania awards were 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, donors, and 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.

The Authentic Albania quality mark framework was developed based on the 37 standards of the Global Sustainable Tourism Criteria, a U.N. global initiative to support sustainable tourism, and similar programs supported by USAID in Croatia, Bulgaria, and most recently in Macedonia.

Last updated: December 22, 2016

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