BERATTOURISM STRATEGYAND ACTION PLAN2011 - 2021                   1
Mayor’s Message                     Berat is an important and attractive tourist                     destination due to it...
CONTENTS1. INTRODUCTION.....................................................	                     92. TOWARD A TOURISM STR...
1 INTRODUCTIONBerat is located in central Albania, 120km south of the capital,Tirana. It is the administrative centre of B...
and planned interventions in order to assure sustainable tourism     development and growth that will benifit the local co...
2 TOWARD A TOURISM STRATEGY  FOR BERATPlans are nothing; planning is everything.Dwight D Eisenhower(1890-1969)34th US Pres...
Tourism definition and components     Definitions of tourists and tourism are provided as a foundation from     which a re...
According to government statistics the number of tourists visitingAlbania during 2010 was more then 3 million, making tour...
	 Develop small businesses; the mechanism through which visitor        spending contributes to local and national economy...
Ministry of Tourism, Culture, Youth and Sports (MTCYS)The key role of MTCYS is to support, protect, develop and promote th...
Planning for tourism     Tourism development planning shall:     a.	 be based upon the national registry of tourism resour...
3 TOURISM IN BERATTourism development in BeratRecognising the uniqueness of Berat, as early as 1961 the town wasdeclared a...
Historic Centres of Gjirokastra and Berat     N40 4 10 E20 7 60     Date of Inscription: 2005     Extension: 2008     Crit...
The old quarters of Mangalem and Gorica are well preserved areascontaining buildings with characteristic architecture with...
Tourism Supply     To assist in planning for the sustainable development of tourism in Berat     and in the identification...
TOURISM SERVICES: Berat has four travel agencies primarilyoperating as ticketing offices for outbound travel by Berati peo...
Acropolis – Placed in the higher part of the Castle, it is surrounded by     the second perimeter of the walls in the Cast...
MANGALEM:   Bachelor’s Mosque – Built in 1827 with the aim to serve the bachelor   craftsmen in the city. Characteristic o...
Based on the visitor surveys     -	 55 % of tourists are from Europe     -	 29 % of tourists are Albanians that live in ot...
Accomodation                  80                  70                  60                  50                  40          ...
International tour groups are currently the largest market for Berat.     According to the key informants approximately 50...
Domestic Market                   70                                 Albanians                   60                   50  ...
Table 1: Competitor analysis     Competitors by                        Comment     order of rank                        	...
development in Berat. These were placed under the most appropriatekey tourism component area and then individually ranked ...
4 BERAT TOURISM  STRATEGYThis strategy sets out our Vision and goals for the development oftourism in Berat over the next ...
The UNWTO’s definition of sustainable tourism     Sustainability principles refer to the environmental, economic and     s...
In the medium to long term we will focus on expanding the range ofproducts and services available to tourists. We will pay...
INTERNATIONAL TOUR GROUPS/GRAND TOURISTS: Berat is     included in the itinerary of some existing tours. There is an oppor...
Table 3: Characteristics of key market segments                                          MARKET                     COUNTR...
A framework for action     To deliver the vision and goals outlined previously the Tourism Action     Committee identified...
KEY MARKETSRANK         OBJECTIVES                                           IMPLICATED                    Access and infr...
Implementing the plan     Overall responsibility for implementing this Tourism Strategy and Action     Plan rests with the...
ANNUAL REVIEW: The Tourism Action Committee (TAC) will conduct anannual review of the plan and annual follow up of surveys...
5 TOURISM ACTION PLANProduct development and quality improvementThere is a need to improve the quality of existing tourism...
48     RANK       AIM        OBJECTIVE                                  ACTIONS                               LEAD ORGANIZ...
RANK       AIM         OBJECTIVE                                  ACTIONS                                  LEAD ORGANIZATI...
50     RANK       AIM        OBJECTIVE                                   ACTIONS                                 LEAD ORGA...
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  2. 2. Mayor’s Message Berat is an important and attractive tourist destination due to its unique values, marvelous temples, distinctive architecture, rare documents of old Christianity, coexistence of religions and harmony of cultures. Berat is the perfect example of a 2400 year old town. It emerges from antiquity with a diversity of values represented in the extraordinary work of masters over the centuries, and in its rich cultural, material and spiritual heritage – all now a dignified part of UNESCO World Heritage.Tourism is considered one of the main pillars in the development ofBerat. In our Strategic Plan for Social and Economic Development 2010– 2020, tourism is defined as a priority objective for development of thelocal economy. Considering the significance of tourism to the economicdevelopment in general and the possibility it offers for creation of newjobs and support to small business, the Municipality of Berat initiatedthe preparation of this Tourism Strategy and Action Plan. In April 2010a common agreement was signed with SNV Netherlands DevelopmentOrganisation, where SNV committed to provide technical assistance tothe Municipality of Berat for the preparation of the TSAP. To supportthis process a Tourism Action Committee (TAC) was established in May2010 with representatives from public institutions, business and civilsociety.As the Mayor of Berat Municipality and Head of the Tourism ActionCommittee I am very satisfied that, following a period of hard work,we managed to successfully realize this project. I would like to use thisoccasion to express my gratitude to SNV for the very fruitful cooperationin preparation of the TSAP. I also want to express my gratitude to otherpartners and committed citizens for their contribution and expressedwill to engage directly in the preparation and implementation of thisstrategic document. The TSAP will be the operational framework for ourinstitution, leading tourism development in the region and aiming tomaximize the sustainable use of our resources. This document definesthe projects and future actions we will undertake together to developBerat into a high quality, well known, international tourist destination. Fadil Nasufi Mayor Berat Municipality 1 Maj 2011
  3. 3. CONTENTS1. INTRODUCTION..................................................... 92. TOWARD A TOURISM STRATEGY FOR BERAT.......... 11Tourism definition and components........................................ 11Global and national tourism trends......................................... 12Relevant strategies.............................................................. 13Institutional structures for tourism........................................ 143. TOURISM IN BERAT................................................ 19Tourism development in Berat............................................... 19UNESCO World Heritage....................................................... 19The ‘Historic Centre’ of Berat................................................ 20Tourism Supply................................................................... 22Our current markets............................................................ 25Our competition.................................................................. 29Our strengths and weaknesses.............................................. 304. BERAT TOURISM STRATEGY................................... 35Vision................................................................................. 35Based on the principles sustainable tourism............................. 35Way forward........................................................................ 36Our target markets.............................................................. 37A framework for action......................................................... 40Implementing the plan......................................................... 42Monitoring, evaluating and revising the plan............................ 435. TOURISM ACTION PLAN......................................... 47Product development and quality improvement........................ 47Access and Infrastructure...................................................... 54Targeted marketing and promotion........................................ 57Developing human resources and coordinating tourism development... 60Appendices.................................................................... 651. Tourism Action Committee members................................... 652. Acronyms........................................................................ 663. Proposed monitoring and evaluation schedule...................... 674. Market research.............................................................. 68
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  5. 5. 1 INTRODUCTIONBerat is located in central Albania, 120km south of the capital,Tirana. It is the administrative centre of Berat Region and one of twodesignated ancient museum cities in Albania. Lying on the bank of theOsum River, Berat has been permanently inhabited for close to 2,500years by Illyrian, Roman, Byzantine, Bulgarian, European medieval,Ottoman and Albanian civilizations. During the 17th century Berat wasthe largest city in Albania and the country’s main economic centre,with noteworthy development of handicrafts and trade. The town bearswitness to the peaceful cultura l and religious coexistence betweenChristians and Muslims during the Ottoman period. It is a unique townwith a wealth of buildings of the highest architectural and historicalinterest. Recognizing these values, in July 2008, the town was inscribedon the UNESCO World Heritage List.The rich historical, cultural, ethnographic, architectural andnatural heritage values of the town constitute a firm base fortourism development. In turn, sustainable development oftourism has the potential to contribute to the economic,social and environmental development of the region.Berat is already attracting an increasing number ofvisitors from Albania and abroad, particularly since itsWorld Heritage listing. The sensitive development oftourism is identified as a priority objective in Berat’sStrategic Plan For The Social And Economic Development,while the need to develop in accordance with theoutstanding universal value, integrity and authenticity ofthe town is recognised in the ICOMOS evaluation of thetown for World Heritage inscription.Still Berat is in its early stages of establishing its nationaland international profile as a quality, high class culturaland historical destination. Coordinated efforts arerequired in the preservation and presentation of itshistorical and cultural attractions, reducing threatsincluding illegal construction in the historical zone,improvement in visitor services, product diverisfication“The urban fabric of the town of Berat is authenticas it has not undergone any major alterations downthe centuries.”(ICOMOS, 2008, Evaluations of Cultural Properties) Figure 1: Map of Albania highlighting Berat Region 9
  6. 6. and planned interventions in order to assure sustainable tourism development and growth that will benifit the local community. The Berat Tourism Strategy and Action Plan (TSAP) is a detailed outline of the Berat Municipality’s committment to tourism development over the next ten years. The plan is a formally endorsed document produced by a Tourism Action Committee (TAC) comprising local government, private sector and civil society representatives. The plan articulates the vision of Berat to become a quality destination developed on the principles of sustainability. It identifies actions in four key strategic areas: product development and quality improvement, access and infrastrucutre, marketing and promotion, and human resources and destination management. The plan is based on a participative process involving analyses of the area’s existing and potential tourism markets, assets and needs, the agreement of startegic goals and objectives and identification of a programme of activities to achieve them. The involvement of the Berat community in the development of the plan has led to local ownership.The output is a working document which is used to stimulate and guide action. The TAC has the responsibility of overseeing the plan implementation, rather then relying on external experts.10
  7. 7. 2 TOWARD A TOURISM STRATEGY FOR BERATPlans are nothing; planning is everything.Dwight D Eisenhower(1890-1969)34th US PresidentThe Berat Tourism Strategy and Action Plan (TSAP) has been developedfrom a participative process involving analyses of the Berat’s existingand potential tourism markets, assets and needs, the agreement ofstartegic goals and objectives and identification of a programme ofactivities to achieve them. The following sequential process wasfollowed: Agree with Berat Municipality on the process and outcomes, sign the contract Gather support and information about Berat region Conduct an introductory meeting with regional stakeholders Establish a representative Tourism Action Committee (TAC) Assign staff to support the planning process Undertake market research for Berat Develop a draft TSAP (two workshops, two days each) Obtain public/ stakeholder input on the draft TSAP Incorporate public input and develop final TSAP Obtain approval of the TSAP from the Berat MunicipalityThe Berat TSAP provides a framework for businesses, governments andrelevant organizations to analyze tourism markets, tourism assets andtourism concerns in order to develop objectives that enhance assetsand overcome concerns. The plan will be monitored and evaluated on aregular basis to allow for necessary revisions.The Berat TSAP is intended to be a flexible, evolving, ‘working’ plan. TheTSAP is in a binder-type format that encourages the addition/deletionof materials, the insertion of recorded, objective implementationresults and the incorporation of any necessary revisions that resultfrom implementation work. 11
  8. 8. Tourism definition and components Definitions of tourists and tourism are provided as a foundation from which a realistic strategy and action plan can be developed. TOURISTS: are people who travel to and stay in places outside their usual environment for less than twelve consecutive months for leisure, business and other purposes not related to the exercise of an activity remunerated from within the place visited. TOURISM SUPPLY: the supply of all assets, services and goods to be enjoyed or bought by visitors and occasioned by the journey of visitors. Tourism supply includes, for exmple, natural and man-made assets/ resources, accommodation, tourism characteristic restaurants, travel and tour operator services and transport. TOURISM DEMAND: the quantity of tourism products and services bought over a period of time at a given price. Demand for tourism products can be influenced by price, income, changing taste, competition and climate amongst others. TOURISM: is defined as the practice of people traveling outside their usual environment for leisure business and other purposes. The tourism sector involves a complex inter-relationship among numerous businesses, organisations and activities. Global and national tourism trends Tourism is a major industry in the world’s economy. After the shock of the financial crises, data confirms a global recovery in travel during 2010. The UNWTO shows visitor growth of 2% across Europe with every region exhibiting accelarating growth through to June 2010. Lodging performance has also strengthened. Occupancy rates in Europe were up 5.4% in 2010 and hoteliers have been able to raise rates in response to increased demand. In the longer term UNWTO forecasts international arrivals to reach 1.6 billion by 2020, the largest share of which (717 million) will visit Europe. Tourism has been recognized as a force for sustainable development with the potential to bring prosperity to rural and urban areas, often reaching places which have limited alternative opportunities. The tourism sector is well placed to improve community well-being by providing accessible employment with opportunities for women, youth and minority groups. Sustainable development through tourism, however, requires careful and equitable use of natural and human resources - reasons why sound planning is important. In Albania, 2010 confirmed that tourism is one of the most promising industries in the country, receiving increasing attention from the Albanian government, the private sector and international organizations.12
  9. 9. According to government statistics the number of tourists visitingAlbania during 2010 was more then 3 million, making tourism one ofthe three major pillars of the country’s economy. Albania is selectedas the number one destination to visit in 2011 by Lonely Planet andranked sixth in the list of destinations recommended by CNN. Givenits proximity to the largest inbound and outbound markets of Europe,Albania is in a favorable position to benefit from the trends towardmore regular, short and medium haul travel.Relevant strategiesOfficial documents emphasize the importance of the tourism sector atlocal and regional levels towards the development and decentralizationof the Albania’s economic and social structure.NATIONAL STRATEGY FOR DEVELOPMENT AND INTEGRATION(NSDI) 2007 – 2013: focuses on Albania’s progress toward EuropeanUnion integration, incorporating the Millennium Development Goals(MDGs). The importance of tourism in the development of the country’seconomic and social structure is well defined in the NSDI. In particularthe strategy establishes a vision for the sector. Vision for Albanian tourism Albania to be recognised as a safe tourism destination of high value, which is characterized by a unique variety of world class natural and cultural attractions found within a relatively small geographical space, managed in a responsible environmental and social way, easily accessed from European tourism markets. (NSDI 2007-2013, p85)The NSDI identifies the development of specialized tourism products asfollows: Sun and beach tourism, in the long run Special interest tourism (e.g. rural tourism, cultural and historical tourism, adventure tourism) in the short to medium run Business and conference tourism, in the short to medium run - is specified as strategic priority in the document.NATIONAL TOURISM STRATEGY (MAY 2007): reflectsand addresses the direction contained within the NSDI.The tourism strategy establishes the overall frameworkfor tourism centreed on the discovery of Albania throughits nature and culture. The following relevant actions arepresented toward achieving local and regional tourismsector involvement and development: Establish mechanisms to support local efforts to bring culture and nature products to market. The first step in this process is to identify the needs of the sector. The second step will be to design a support plan to assist the local actors in whatever way resources permit. 13
  10. 10.  Develop small businesses; the mechanism through which visitor spending contributes to local and national economy. PICTURE FROM PAGE 6 OF MANUAL BERAT STRATEGIC PLAN FOR THE SOCIAL AND ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT 2010-2020: identifies the sustainable development of tourism as a priority objective for growth of the local economy. The plan envisions Berat as a World Culture Heritage ancient city, with a community that enjoys harmonious development and equal opportunities, a centre of international tourism with a dynamic economy based on consolidated agribusinesses and handicrafts. The importance of tourism developing in harmony with the city’s unique qualities is recognised in the first strategic goal of the plan. An international cultural centre supported by Bed and Strategic Breakfast tourism, which preserves and develops the city’s Goal 1 unique culture, history and architectural heritage Harmonized development of the city’s economy, which Strategic competes in the regional market through expanding its Goal 2 agribusinesses and handicraft businesses, and where diversity and quality are encouraged Zhvillimi i ekuilibruar i territorit urban që krijon një mjedis Strategic bashkëkohor dhe në harmoni me tiparet dhe trashëgiminë Goal 3 specifike të qytetit A high quality, dynamic and all-inclusive social life where equal Strategic opportunities for progress and well-being are supported and Goal 4 expanded for all The strategy further details 19 projects directly related to tourism development and 20 projects related to Strategic Goal 2 which are indirectly related to tourism development. Institutional structures for tourism The Ministry of Tourism, Culture, Youth and Sports developed a National Tourism Law which was formally approved by the Albanian Parliament May 14, 20071. The scope of the law is to determine the principles and rules governing the tourism sector and to develop standards of tourism services and products and those related to tourism. The law regulates the relationship between public institutions and private companies and individuals, local or foreign entities engaged in tourism. It determines the rights and obligations of participants in tourism activities in compliance with standards and principles of sustainable tourism development. Responsibility for tourism, as set out in the law, rests with the following institutions. 1 The National Tourism Law, 2007 is currently under review.14
  11. 11. Ministry of Tourism, Culture, Youth and Sports (MTCYS)The key role of MTCYS is to support, protect, develop and promote thetourism resources, culture, material and spiritual heritage of Albanianpeople in line with the action plan and in cooperation with other centralgovernmental institutions, with local governments, with tourism privatesector and civil society.National Tourism Agency (NTA)The National Agency of Tourism is a public entity under the jurisdictionof the Minister responsible for Tourism. The main roles of NTA are: to carry on the functions related with the promotion and marketing in tourism, as well as other functions provided in the Law; to stimulate, support and facilitate the access to funds for individuals and companies engaging or that intend to engage in tourism activities.Tourism Assistance Office (TAO)Regional Tourism Assistance Offices have recently (2010) beenestablished in each of the 12 regions in Albania, including Berat. TheRegional TAOs fall under the jurisdiction of the Minister responsible fortourism, and has the duty to grant information for tourists concerningentry, available services and facilities and information on sites andattractions interesting to tourists, as well as treating the claims madeby Albanian or foreign citizens against hoteliers, tourist restaurantsowners, tourist guides, travel agents, tour operators and other touristenterprises in relation to the products and services offered by them.Local governments and their tourism responsibilitiesLocal government units, in compliance with the provisions of this law,are responsible for:a. making an inventory of the main tourism resources in the territory of the local government unit and the inventory of local tourism businesses;b. sending, in periodical way, twice per year the above mentioned inventories to the Minister responsible for tourism, in order to create a data base at national level;c. providing technical assistance to the generation and development of tourism businesses in compliance with the provisions of this law;d. monitoring the respect of this law dispositions and other laws and bylaws from private entities operating in tourism and suggest the necessary steps to be taken from responsible state institutions in tourism.Support for the development of tourismThe state institutions outlined above, in cooperation with, and underauspices of the Ministry responsible for tourism, are responsible tosupport tourism development by:a. compiling tourism development plans for each municipality and commune;b. providing tourism information, education, and promotion activities;c. taking measures to develop the infrastructure and facilities in tourism development areas, tourism villages, tourism sites and at tourism attractions;d. assisting tourism investment in remote, mountainous and sparsely populated areas; 15
  12. 12. Planning for tourism Tourism development planning shall: a. be based upon the national registry of tourism resources; b. be in accordance with national, municipal, and commune tourism development plans; c. focus on areas with tourism development and where tourism development therein is capable for promoting socio-economic restructuring. d. Tourism development plans shall be periodically reviewed and revised to ensure compatibility with the national, municipal, and commune socio-economic development situation. As highlighted in the law, the direct involvement of the private, public and relevant NGO sectors in all local and regional areas in developing Albania’s tourism potential is key to the success of the country’s tourism industry.16
  13. 13. 17
  14. 14. 18
  15. 15. 3 TOURISM IN BERATTourism development in BeratRecognising the uniqueness of Berat, as early as 1961 the town wasdeclared a Museum City by the Government of Albania. During thecommunist period when travel to Albania was generally limited, Beratwas visited by foreigners especially those groups who were visitingAlbania from allied countries. Also groups of visitors coming fromKosovo and the region came to Berat in tours organized by the State.Following the regime collapse and the disruptive events of 1997 acrossAlbania, Berat has restored its reputation and good image. Visitornumbers have grown with visitors coming from abroad, from other partsof Albania. For Berat citizens this growth capitalizes on the best use ofthe city’s assets and reflects the city’s traditions in hosting visitors.Traditionally the visitor has found welcoming hospitality in Berat, aswell as the experience of a nice and relaxing environment and theoccasion to taste a combination of traditional and contemporary cuisinecharacteristic of the region including renowned olives, locally producedlamb and turkey and wine from vineyards around the city.Following the inscription of Berat in UNESCO World Heritage in 2008,the number of the visitors has continued to increase. According to ticketsales in the Berat Castle, in 2009 there were 18.190 visitors. By 2010,this had grown by more than 10% to 20.823 visitors2.UNESCO World HeritageOn July 8, 2008 Berat was registered on the UNESCO World Heritage Listby the Committee of World Heritage during the consecutive Conferenceheld in Canada. Berat was valued as a rare example of typical Ottomanarchitecture. According to the evaluations, Berat is considered as anexample of coexistence of various religious and cultural communitiesfor many centuries.2 These figures demonstrate the growth in visitors being experienced in Berat. They are limited however by the time in which tickets can be purchased. The true number of visitors to Berat therefore is considered to be much higher. 19
  16. 16. Historic Centres of Gjirokastra and Berat N40 4 10 E20 7 60 Date of Inscription: 2005 Extension: 2008 Criteria: (iii)(iv) Property: 59 ha Buffer zone: 136 ha Ref: 569bis Criterion (iii) of the justification for inscription says that Gjirokastra and Berat (registered together as two cities in series) bear outstanding testimony to the diversity of urban societies in the Balkans, and to longstanding ways of life which have today almost vanished. Criterion (iv) considers that the two towns of Gjirokastra and Berat bear outstanding testimony to various types of monuments and vernacular urban housing during the Classical Ottoman period, in continuity with the various Medieval cultures which preceded it. This is a very important evaluation for the city of Berat which is listed now as one of the 704 cities in UNESCO as cultural heritage sites. The Codices of Berat The ‘Historic Centre’ of Berat The ‘Purple Codex Berat’s Historic Centre is comprised of of Berat’ (called three areas – the Castle, Mangalem and Beratinus) contains Gorica quarters. extracts from the Gospels and is one The Castle, located on the peak of the of the oldest variants hill backing Mangalem quarter, is one used for the text of the most significant sites of the city. The the New Testament. castle dates back to the 4th century BC. At the time it was While it has generally remained faithful written, in the 6th to its original plans it has undergone century, it was one some changes during the 6th, 8th, 15th of the five existing and 19th centuries. codices throughout the world. Berat Castle is not only one of the largest inhabited Castles, but also a The Codex Aureus, a stone archive, that offers a variety manuscript of the 9th of styles and contributes of different century, represents époques: Roman-Byzantine, Albanian the second most and Ottoman. The buildings inside the important codex of Castle were built during the 13th century Berat. and because of their characteristic architecture are preserved as cultural UNESCO has paid monuments. The Castle has many particular attention to Byzantine churches, as well as some the protection of this mosques built under the Ottoman era unique heritage of the which began in 1417. old liturgical literature. The Codices of Berat are inscribed in the Register of the World Heritage List.20
  17. 17. The old quarters of Mangalem and Gorica are well preserved areascontaining buildings with characteristic architecture with a greatnumber of windows, narrow charming paths and religious objects. Thetwo quarters are connected with each other by Gorica bridge. Ruins ofGorica castle, another castle in the city that belongs to the same period(IV BC), are positioned on the hill behind Gorica quarter.Figure 2: Borders of the Historic CentreSeveral cultural activities are organized in the Historic Centre, mainly inthe open areas in the upper part of the Castle known as the ‘Acropolis’.Activities are often organized in spring, coinciding with the opening ofthe tourist season. There are two Museums in the Historic Centre; theNational Museum of Icons called ‘Onufri’ and the Ethnographic Museumwhich together with the other monuments and old churches in theHistoric Zones offer a special tour for the visitors. The Cultural Centreof the City and the ‘Edward Lear’ Art Gallery are adjacent to the HistoricQuarter of Mangalem.The growth in tourism is resulting in an increasing number of familyhouses in the Historical Centre being converted into guest houses,offering visitors an opportunity to stay in the historic buildings. Thereare some private art shops and art galleries located in traditional housesin the historic centre. There is a nursery in the Historic Centre, twoelementary schools, an Administrative Unit of the Municipality of Beratwhich takes care for the administration of the services for the citizens.There is public transport from the city centre to the Castle every day,thus serving to the citizens who live there. 21
  18. 18. Tourism Supply To assist in planning for the sustainable development of tourism in Berat and in the identification of target markets, a review of the existing supply of tourism products and services was conducted. The supply analysis focused on accommodation, food and beverage services, attractions and festivals and events. It should be noted that some tourist activities, such as rafting, already exist in the region surrounding Berat. ACCOMMODATION: In 2010 Berat had 13 hotels and guest houses with 154 rooms and 318 beds. Hotels and guest houses experience more than 60% occupancy rates based on estimates of more than 50,000 international guests on tours each year. A number of small guest houses have recently opened in the traditional Ottoman houses in the Mangalem and Gorica quarters. FOOD AND BEVERAGE There are around 25 restaurants in Berat that are oriented towards serving tourists. They offer both traditional cuisine and international cuisine, mainly Italian.   In these restaurants, characteristic dishes from Berat area are cooked and served with hospitality. The most well known and popular dish from Berat is ‘Kaposh Deti me Pershesh’ a traditional way of cooking turkey. Products used are often local and organic, adding to the taste and experience. Local wine and raki (a traditional Albanian alcoholic drink) are also available.   FESTIVALS AND EVENTS: Berat hosts a number of festivals and events throughout the year. Many are based on tradition and religion and represent the region’s cultural heritage. To date, most events target the local population. There is an opportunity to promote existing activities to potential visitors and to develop new events to attract visitors throughout the year. Calendar of festivals and events January February March April May June International Summer Day of Berat Blessed day Monuments and Festival Water Archaeological ceremony Cobo wine Sites Agribusiness festival regional fair Orthodox Easter July August September October November December Independence Day ‘Poetka’ – Saint Ilias Bektashi International pilgrimage pilgrimage Cobo wine Poetry festival Competition22
  19. 19. TOURISM SERVICES: Berat has four travel agencies primarilyoperating as ticketing offices for outbound travel by Berati people. Noagencies currently sell organised tours in the region though this canbe organised on an ad hoc basis. Guide services are available throughhotels and on an informal basis in the castle.ATTRACTIONS: Berat is known for its historical and cultural attractionsthat form the basis of its World Heritage listing. Key attractions arelisted in the table below. Berat city attractions Museums ‘’Onufri‘’ - National Museum of Icons - located within the old Cathedral of Dormition of St. Mary (18th century), a Byzantine style Church characterized by a marvelous golden wooden iconostasis. The collection of icons dating back to the 14th – 19th centuries includes important works by the great artist Onufri and his school of painters. Ethnographic Museum – Placed in one of the best preserved traditional houses of Berat which dates back to the 18th century. The museum contains an archaeological pavilion, an imitation of a medieval bazaar, and the environments of a typical house of the 18th century. Galleries Art Gallery ‘’Edward Lear’’ – Opened in 1994 is one of the most important and best Art Galleries in the country. The collection highlights many contemporary and past art works of artists from Albania and abroad. Historic sites CASTLE Cathedral of Dormition of Saint Mary (‘Onufri’ National Museum of the Icons). see the descprition above. Church of Saint Mary Vlaherna - the oldest church in existence in Berat city (13th century). This church was restored in the 16th century and its frescos are painted by artist Nicola, son of Onufri. Church of Saint Nicola (16th century) – Archaeological excavations have found that the walls of this church were built in the 16th century. Inside the church a capitol used for rituals and an element of the Paleo-Christian architecture has been identified. Church of Saints Constantine and Helen – The church is a chapel which was completed in the year 1644. It has a ceiling with decorative elements and its frescos present scenes from the crucifixion of the Jesus. Church of the Holy Trinity (13th- 14th century) - The church was built close to the second perimiter walls in the Castle. It has beautiful Byzantine murals and its walls were built using the cloisonné technique. 23
  20. 20. Acropolis – Placed in the higher part of the Castle, it is surrounded by the second perimeter of the walls in the Castle. Inside the acropolis are the ruins of the houses of the Turkish military garrisons, the ruins of the White Mosque built in the Ottoman period, and the remains of the Feudal Chamber. Water cistern (13th - 14th century) - was used for the conservation of water during the late Middle ages. A stone tunnel was built in the southern side to bring water from the river directly to the tower. Red Mosque (15th century) – The mosque is one of the oldest in Albania. Initially it served caravans coming from East to West. It later served Turkish garrisons. Church of Saint Demetrius – The church has been rebuilt over the ruins of an older chapel built in the 16th - 17th century. According to an epigraphy the church was painted in the year 1607. Church of Saint Theodore (16th century) – The church was built in the middle of the 16th century and was painted by Onufri. A copy of the Epitaph of Gllavenica, an outstanding art work of the year 1373 was found iside the church of St. Theodore. Church of Saint Elijah - This church is located outside the walls surrounding the Castle. The biblical scenes in this church are written in Albanian language, a rare sample in religious objects in Berat. During the communist regime this object was destroyed and was rebuilt after the 1990’s. GORICA: Monastery of St. Spiridon (18th century) – located in the centre of the Gorica quarter. The epigraphy in its entrance dates the object back to 1864. The monastery’s building represents a typical scheme of the basilicas of the 18th century. St. Thomas’s Church (18th century) –located in the Gorica quarter. The object was destroyed during the communist regime and was rebuilt after the 1990’s with donations given by the Christian community of the city of Berat. Ruins of Gorica Castle – Gorica castle belongs to the same period as the Castle positioned in the opposite hill (in Mangalem). Today only the ruins of Gorica castle can be seen. Gorica Bridge - The wooden bridge of Gorica was built in 1780 by Ahmet Kurt Pasha. It was rebuilt two times; in the 18th century it was recovered in stones and during the years 1920- 1930.24
  21. 21. MANGALEM: Bachelor’s Mosque – Built in 1827 with the aim to serve the bachelor craftsmen in the city. Characteristic of this mosque is the application in its facades of paintings representing scenes from the city. St. Michael’s Church (13th century) - Built on the pointed rock in Mangalem quarter demonstrates a mastery of the cloisonné technique. When compared to other churches of Berat, this church is known for its higher architectonic level and a tendency for perfection of forms. MEDIEVAL CENTRE: King’s Mosque (15th century) - is one of the most important Mosques in the city. It is part of the Islamic Centre and was built at the end of the 15th century by Sultan Bajaziti II. Teke of Helveti- (15th century) - was built in the 15th century and rebuilt by Ahmet Kurt Pasha in 1782. Characteristic for this Teke (Bektashi mosque) is the wooden ceiling decorated according to baroque style adapted to the Islamic art with the paintings described as the most beautiful of that time. Other points: New Orthodox Church - The church of Saint Demetrius – built in 2006 in the existing place of the Old Cathedral of the town. Leaden Mosque - (16th cent.) The most beautiful mosque built during the domination of the Sultan Suljeman Konunor (1520-1566), a period in which the city was becoming an important centre under the Ottoman Empire. This is the biggest mosque of this type in Albania.Current marketsAs is generally the case in Albania there is limited dataon tourism in Berat. As a result detailed research wascarried out to identify market segments visiting Berat.The range and size of the tourism markets visitingBerat were estimated by interviewing tour operators(10), hoteliers (13) and visitors (214). Surveys wereconducted in April – May 2010. In this way there is aclear view of the existing and potential tourism marketsfor Berat: where visitors are coming from, their profileand behavior, as well as the contribution of the tourismsector to the economy. 25
  22. 22. Based on the visitor surveys - 55 % of tourists are from Europe - 29 % of tourists are Albanians that live in other countries - 8% of tourists are from non European countries (including Asia, America) - 8% of tourists are Albanians (domestic market) Where tourists are coming from % of visitors AL Itali Age Profile IT Angli Age France 40 Gjermani 35 AL Amerika 30 25 ANG Azia 20 Age Greqi 15 Albanians from 10 FR other countries 5 GR AZ 0 USA GER Albanian 14-24 25-44 45-64 65 + Figure 3: Country of origin Figure 4: Age profile In 2010 the largest number of tourists visiting Berat came from Western Europe, in particular France, UK, Italy, and Germany. Key informants also noted an increase in the number of tourists visiting the region from Asia. A vast majority of tourists are over the age of 45, although there is interest also from the younger market (<24 years of age). These findings likely reflect the tourism offer of Berat namely history and culture and adventure based activities. Length of Stay Spent in the area Avarage nights Lekë 12 4500 4000 3500 10 3000 2500 8 2000 1500 1000 6 500 0 Lek 4 2 0 Hotel Shtepi Pushimi Kamping mesatarja e neteve Figure 5: Average length of stay Figure 6: Average expenditure in accommodation (1 Albanian Leke = 39€3/day) Based on the visitor surveys the average length of stay in Berat is 4.7 days. Visitors stay longest in guest houses with an average of 10 nights4. In contrast visitors in hotels stay for slightly below four nights and those camping stay for an average of two nights. Accommodation is the major item of expenditure on a visit to Berat, closely followed by food and beverages and souvenir purchases. More than 4000 ALL is spent on other items. 3 Exchange rate as of Feb 2010 4 NB: The survey was conducted over 2 months from April to May. These figures are likely to be considerably lower when averaged over the full year.26
  23. 23. Accomodation 80 70 60 50 40 Avarage 30 Holidays 20 10 0 Hotel Guest House Kamping Figure 7: Share (%) of tourists staying in accommodation – all visitors compared to visitors on holidayInternational Tour Group MarketBerat is currently included in a range of tours organized by tour-operators.Tours include the Grand Tour of Albania which is a comprehensiveitinerary visiting the main cities and sites in Albania (see Figure xxbelow). Grand tour visitors stay up to one night in Berat. Grand tour of Albania Figure 8: Albanian grand tour destinations 27
  24. 24. International tour groups are currently the largest market for Berat. According to the key informants approximately 50,000 international tourists visit Albania per year on organised tours. Of these around 20% visit Berat during their trip. It is estimated that the number of international tourists on organized tours that visit Berat is around 10,000 to 13,000. Organized tours should remain an important market as tourism develops further in Berat. Organized tours can be easily reached through tour operators. It is important therefore to understand the needs of tour operators and to concentrate marketing efforts on encouraging an expanding number of tour operators to include Berat in their itineraries. Organization of FAM (familiarization) trips will be an important activity for promotion and to receive demand driven input for the preparation of packages of activities to offer tourists. Independent Traveller Market The independent travel market to Berat mainly comprises international tourists travelling for leisure purposes. It is difficult to quantify the number of independent travelers to Berat without a more comprehensive survey over time. A smaller number of independent tourists are Albanians who travel to Berat to visit friends and relatives, for business or work or for leisure. As independent tourists are difficult to classify they are also difficult to market to. Albanian from other countries Albanians from other countries comprise 29% of the current market to Berat. Domestic The domestic market is currently not a large market for Berat. While it is difficult to quantify this market interviewees noted that there has been a considerable growth in arrivals from the domestic market (see below). There are a number of sub-segments within the domestic market: - families choosing to spend time in the area - young people and school groups - middle aged and elderly visitors which are independent tourists - people visiting friends and relatives - business tourists - local tourists from the area surrounding Berat, visiting for different reasons28
  25. 25. Domestic Market 70 Albanians 60 50 40 30 20 10 0 Tirana Shkoder Korce Berat Figure 9: Origin of domestic market to Berat (%)CompetitionIn developing Berat as a tourism destination development it is importantto have a thorough understanding of competitors in the market. Acompetitor analysis enables Berat to understand its standing as adestination in the global marketplace, to capture new opportunitiesthat align with Berat destination’s strengths and unique selling point(USP), to differentiate itself from its competitors and to position Beratsuccessfully.Based on comprehensive research and baseline studies the TourismAction Committee identified seven competitors according to thegeographical position (how accessible they are), their tourism offer,their comparative strengths and weaknesses and their current markets.The seven competitor destinations were: Gjirokaster, Sarande, Durres,Kruje, Korce, Ohrid (Macedonia) and Greece (no specific destinationidentified). A summary of the analysis is provided in Table 1 below.The analysis identified the current competitors for Berat. Such analysisneeds to be repeated, at least on an annual basis, to ensure that wehave the necessary information about what our competitors will do inthe future; where we have a competitive advantage and how will thischange our relationship with our competition. 29
  26. 26. Table 1: Competitor analysis Competitors by Comment order of rank  Key competitor  Coordinated and focussed tourism development over the last few years Korca Region  Culture-based tourism product 1 Albania  Access through Greece and Macedonia (Ohrid)  Increasing tourist interest in this destination  European market (the main market for Berat) interest in Korce Region is increasing  A UNESCO site based on Ottoman architecture  Similar level of tourism development and promotion Gjirokastra  Similar standard of tourism product 2 City  International project activities to improve Albania infrastructure and tourism products and services  Unplanned and uncoordinated tourism development  Access to markets from Greece  Ottoman bazaar  Closer proximity to Tirane (Capital) and to international airport Kruja  International standard museum 3 Albania  Incorporated in existing tours  Well developed souvenir products  Limited accommodation offerings  Unplanned and uncoordinated tourism development  Beach destinations with access to main markets (proximity to air and sea ports, well developed road infrastructure)  Well development accommodation offer Durres and  Strong tour group markets 4 Saranda  Combination of beach and cultural assets (Roman, Albania Illyrian)  Currently attracting regional market (Durres)  UNESCO site (Saranda) possible to visit in day trip from major markets  Unplanned and uncoordinated tourism development  Culture based tourism products including UNESCO sites Greece and  Well developed tourism (particularly Greece) including Ohrid 5 well developed products and services and promotion Greece and  Accessible Macedonia  Ottoman architecture (Ohrid)  Targeting different markets to Berat Our strengths and weaknesses An analysis of Berat’s strengths and weaknesses was conducted during the first two-day Tourism Action Committee Workshop. This was further delineated in the second two-day workshop with the final analyses based on identification of the key assets and issues related to tourism30
  27. 27. development in Berat. These were placed under the most appropriatekey tourism component area and then individually ranked in order ofimportance.The top three strengths and weaknesses for each component arepresented in Table 2 below.Table 2: Analysis of tourism assets and issues Strengths Weaknesses  rich cultural heritage  characteristic,  lack of maintenance or damage unique Ottoman to cultural/historical assets buildings  museums and churchesAttractions  existence of two generally closed national museums  lack of tourist designated (Onufri and villages ethnographic)  lack of proper infrastructure  regional Tourism in the historical centre (water, Service Office electricity, fire systems) establishedInfrastructure  lack of public parking places  standardized tourist and places for caravans signage  lack of a ring road to reduce  reliable, 24 hour large vehicle movements in the electricity town  religious and cultural  lack of trained hospitality staff coexistenceHuman  lack of management skills in  hospitable residentsCapacities local tourism businesses  existence of  lack of public – private professional schools cooperation (e.g. art school)  existence of a Tourist  lack of night life Information CentreCommercial  tourism employment not seen (TIC)Service as a career options, (e.g. low  good value salaries) restaurants  low service standards  municipality website  Berat, inscribed in UNESCO World Heritage list  lack quality tourist packages  included inImage and  limited organisation of quality itineraries of nationalPromotion events and international  low awareness of Berat in tour operators media  positive exposure through conduct of festivals and events 31
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  31. 31. 4 BERAT TOURISM STRATEGYThis strategy sets out our Vision and goals for the development oftourism in Berat over the next 10 years to 2021. The vision is foundedon the principles of QUALITY and SUSTAINABILITY – quality andvalue based experiences for visitors; quality products and servicesrepresenting the uniqueness of Berat; in harmony with the environment;and improving the quality of life for Berat citizens - these things,together, will ensure the sustainability of tourism in Berat.Vision Berat is a quality destination, well known internationally, with sustainable development of tourism, which preserves and revitalizes its cultural and natural resources, offers unique values and experiences, and contributes to improvement of the quality of life of citizens Goal 1 Goal 2 Goal 3 A well known desti- Harmonized and A better economic nation, based on its lasting tourism and social life for the cultural, natural and development, based citizens of Berat, spiritual heritage, on the principles of creating employment offering unique sustainability opportunities and services and experi- increasing income ences in accordance through tourism with international development standardsBased on the principles sustainable tourismTourism development in Berat will be based on the principles ofsustainability. Sustainable tourism can be expressed as: Tourismthat takes full account of its current and future economic, social andenvironmental impacts, addressing the needs of visitors, the industry,the environment and host communities. The UN World TourismOrganization’s (UNWTO) definition of sustainable tourism is outlinedbelow. 35
  32. 32. The UNWTO’s definition of sustainable tourism Sustainability principles refer to the environmental, economic and socio-cultural aspects of tourism development, and a suitable balance must be established between these three dimensions to guarantee its long-term sustainability. Thus, sustainable tourism should: 1. Make optimal use of environmental resources that constitute a key element in tourism development, maintaining essential ecological processes and helping to conserve natural resources and biodiversity. 2. Respect the socio-cultural authenticity of host communities, conserve their built and living cultural heritage and traditional values, and contribute to inter-cultural understanding and tolerance. 3. Ensure viable, long-term economic operations, providing socio- economic benefits to all stakeholders that are fairly distributed, including stable employment and income-earning opportunities and social services to host communities, and contributing to poverty alleviation. Sustainable tourism development requires the informed participation of all relevant stakeholders, as well as strong political leadership to ensure wide participation and consensus building. Achieving sustainable tourism is a continuous process and it requires constant monitoring of impacts, introducing the necessary preventive and/or corrective measures whenever necessary. Sustainable tourism should also maintain a high level of tourist satisfaction and ensure a meaningful experience to the tourists, raising their awareness about sustainability issues and promoting sustainable tourism practices amongst them. The way forward The vision of the Berat Tourism Strategy and the Action Plan that supports it set out the role that the tourism sector will play in the sustainable development of Berat. The aim is to develop Berat as a quality destination, attracting high yield tourists with an interest in culture and nature. In the short to medium term we will capitalise on our existing tangible and intangible cultural and heritage assets. Our focus will be on renovating or upgrading existing infrastructure; strengthening the capacity of our human resources; improving the quality of our accommodation, attractions, restaurants and souvenirs; better understanding our current and potential markets; and raising awareness of tourists and the tourism industry of Berat as a quality destination.36
  33. 33. In the medium to long term we will focus on expanding the range ofproducts and services available to tourists. We will pay attention toattracting new investment in tourism products and services that offerunique experiences while enabling development that is in harmonywith the natural and social environments of Berat and contribute toimproving the quality of life of our citizens. Our aim will be to combineour culture, heritage and nature in the tourist experiences. At all timesour focus will remain on quality over quantity. We will continue todevelop our human resource capacities and market effectively to ourtarget markets. We will also periodically review and revise this strategyand plan for sustained development of tourism beyond 2021.Target marketsIn developing tourism in Berat the focus will be on developing productsand services that meet the needs of the target markets. As part of thisplanning process the TAC identified five target markets for the short tomedium term future. The target markets reflect the short to mediumterm focus on culture and heritage, the longer term combination ofculture and heritage with nature and adventure products and theongoing need to attract and serve the ‘bread and butter’ segments ofinternational tour groups and domestic tourists. The target markets areas follows:CULTURE ENTHUSIASTS: travelers that are interested in newdestinations with experiencing culture as the highlight of their travel.Culture enthusiasts will be highly predisposed to Berat’s offer and aremore likely to stay longer and explore the region. Cultural enthusiastswant a particular, authentic experience. They are interested in localculture, arts, artists, entertainers, architecture and traditions – allassets that Berat has.CULTURE MODERATES: travelers that are interested in includingcultural activities as part of a broader travel experience. Culturalmoderates will visit Berat as part of a Balkan or Albania wide itinerary.They will be more likely to travel in groups and can be accessed throughtour operators.SOFT ADVENTURE SEEKERS: independent travelers who want toexplore ‘out of the ordinary’ destinations. Soft adventure is a travelexperience that goes beyond the typical tourist itinerary, and generallycombines physical activity with cultural experiences. Travelers seekingsoft adventure prefer daily physical activity with the comfort of returningto a bed at night. Soft adventure is one of the fastest growing segmentsof the travel industry and is enjoyed by anyone who is looking for morethan just your typical holiday. Baby boomers are a key target marketfor soft adventure. 37
  34. 34. INTERNATIONAL TOUR GROUPS/GRAND TOURISTS: Berat is included in the itinerary of some existing tours. There is an opportunity to expand this market with a particular focus on developing products and services in shoulder seasons. Attracting international tour groups can ensure some business stability while enabling engagement with new markets. RETURNING TO MY ROOTS: ‘Returning to my roots’ market refers to those tourists who travel to discover their ethnic and geographic heritage. Already Albanians living in the broader Balkan region and Berat Diaspora together make up the largest market to Berat. As it is expected that this market will continue to be an important source of future visitors it will be important to understand their needs and expectations and develop relevant products and services. There is also potential to encourage investment in Berat from this market, particularly emigrants from the Berat region. DOMESTIC MARKET: While growing the domestic market is not identified as a priority of the Berat community at this stage, this market could be considered in the longer term for a range of reasons. First, a rising Albanian rising middle class originating from the main cities of Tirana, Shkoder and Korce is interested in discovering the history, local cuisine and participating in nature and adventures activities. Second, festivals organised in Berat City are gaining a reputation throughout the country and are beginning to attract domestic tourists. Finally, the domestic market is likely to be more stable than the international market over time, based on experience elsewhere. That said, it will be important in considering the domestic market that market segments and product development are aligned with the needs and wants of targeted international tourists. Any potential conflict should be avoided.38
  35. 35. Table 3: Characteristics of key market segments MARKET COUNTRIES OBJECTIVE CHARACTERISTICSCulture - Italy - Middle class, Increaseenthusiasts - France - well educated, expenditure of - Japan - middle aged, existing markets - UK - in a group through improved - Israel without children, product quality - on holiday away from home, Attract new - with a prior markets with high interest in level interest in history/culture history/culture Protect and preserve cultural attractions - Quality over quantity - 25 – 40 years of Increase visitorCulture - International age numbers across themoderates tour groups - Interested in year (particularly in - UK traditional beach shoulder seasons - Germany or sightseeing (Mar – May and - Japan tours Sept – Nov)) - Israel - Culture seen as - Albanian enhancement to Raise the profile of diaspora traditional tours Berat as a quality destination - Affluent Increase visitorSoft - Germany - Well educated numbers across theadventure - Netherlands - 40 – 60 years of year (particularlyseekers - Japan age in shoulder and low - Israel - Interested in seasons) ‘out of the way’ destinations Develop nature - Interested based tourism in combining products and physical activity services with culture - All ages Increase visitorsInternational - UK - Targeted numbers across thetour groups - USA marketing year - Japan through tour - Australia operators - Middle class Increase visitorReturning to - FYROM - Travel with family numbers across themy roots - Kosovo or friends year - Greece - Interested in combining social Attract foreign activities with investment history and culture 39
  36. 36. A framework for action To deliver the vision and goals outlined previously the Tourism Action Committee identified four key areas of action containing 21 objectives. The areas are interdependent and equally important. - Product development and quality improvement - Infrastructure and access - Marketing and promotion - Human resources and management of the destination A summary of the objectives, key markets implicated and estimated budgets5 are shown in the table below. More detail on actions relating to each objective is contained in the Action Plan. Table 4: Summary and rank of key objectives KEY MARKETS RANK OBJECTIVES IMPLICATED Product development and quality improvement Protect and improve - All markets 10,000,000 1 cultural attractions in the Historic Centre Protect and improve - Soft adventure seekers 5,000,000 5 the natural attractions - Culture moderates Develop local tours - Culture enthusiasts 5000 8 - Culture moderates - Soft adventure seekers Revitalise the - All markets 15,000 10 traditional artisan skills of Berat Facilitate investment - Return to roots 5000 11 form the Berat Diaspora Improve restaurant - Culture enthusiasts 1000 capacity to cater for - Culture moderates 12 international tourists - Soft adventure seekers - International group tourists Revitalise Berat - Culture enthusiasts 10,000 traditions and customs - Culture moderates 16 and incorporate into - Soft adventure seekers tourism offer - International group tourists Identify and develop - All markets 3000 17 demand driven souvenirs Promote Berat - All markets 10,000 19 traditional cuisine Develop new tourism - All markets 8000 21 products 5 Budgets are estimates. Detailed budgets will be developed with project proposals40
  37. 37. KEY MARKETSRANK OBJECTIVES IMPLICATED Access and infrastructure Upgrade and maintain - All markets 15,000,000 2 tourism infrastructure in a sensitive manner Create or improve - All markets 6000 13 access to key tourist attractions Identify tourism - All markets 0 infrastructure 14 elements according to the Urban Master Plan Improve tourism - Culture enthusiasts 25,000 20 signage - Culture moderates - Soft adventure seekers Marketing and promotion Increase the visibility - All markets 20,000 of Berat as a tourist destination through 4 participation in and promotion of relevant events Develop a ‘brand’ for - All markets 5000 9 Berat and develop tours packages Showcase Berat - Culture enthusiasts 6000 15 through its stories and - Culture moderates legends - Return to roots Promote Berat to - All markets 60,000 key markets using targeted promotional 18 materials and conduct ongoing market analysis Human resources and management of the destination Strengthen - All markets 2000 cooperation and coordination between tourism stakeholders and build capacity to 3 develop and manage Berat as a tourism destination and ensure the safety and security of tourists to Berat Training to meet the - All markets 20,000 6 needs of the tourism private sector Train guides with - Culture enthusiasts 15,000 7 specific knowledge of - Culture moderates the Berat region - Soft adventure seekers 41
  38. 38. Implementing the plan Overall responsibility for implementing this Tourism Strategy and Action Plan rests with the Berat Municipality. Achieving the goals and objectives set out in this TSAP will require the support of many government agencies, international and national organisations, the tourism private sector, and most importantly, the citizens of Berat. The Tourism Action Committee will facilitate coordination and implementation of the TSAP on behalf of the Berat Municipality. The TAC will establish a number of working groups incorporating relevant experts, agencies and individuals to ensure the highest levels of achievement. The proposed TAC Working Group structure is as follows6: Berat Municipality Berat Tourism Action Committee WORKING GROUPS Artisan & Accommodation Product Marketing Human Investment souvenir & restaurant development & promotion Resource Development Figure 10: Proposed Tourism Action Committee Working Group structure Monitoring, evaluating and revising the plan Monitoring and evaluating the results of this plan will be necessary to determine if the impact envisioned is achieved based on a review of indicators. BASELINE STUDIES: In the development of this strategy baseline data was collected on: • visitors (visitor demographics, behaviour and expenditure) • accommodation (number of rooms, occupancy rates etc.) Additional data is required at the household level to enable a better understanding of the impact of tourism development on the citizens of Berat over time. Further baseline studies for this purpose are included in the action plan. PROJECT MONITORING: All project proposals developed and implemented in accordance with this plan will have separate and specific monitoring and evaluation plans. 6 Committees should be established and operational on a needs basis. This structure will therefore change over time.42
  39. 39. ANNUAL REVIEW: The Tourism Action Committee (TAC) will conduct anannual review of the plan and annual follow up of surveys (see proposedSchedule in Appendix XXX). The review and repeat surveys will bothhighlight what has been achieved and add new, relevant objectives thatwill further enhance the development of sustainable tourism in Berat. Asa result of the review the TAC will develop a summary of achievementsand promote successes to stakeholders. It will be important to promotesuccesses so that the ongoing and necessary support of residents andoutside expertise and resources can be obtained.REVISING THE PLAN: The Committee will revise the Plan basedon the annual review and if other circumstance require it. Particularcircumstances for review include, but are not limited to:• If the resources/funds cannot be found for a particular objective, it may be decided to ‘shelve’ this action until resources become available• If after exhaustive efforts an action is not delivering envisioned results or no longer seems relevant, it will be deleted• If a new initiative arises that has the potential to contribute to the achievement of goals, the new initiative will be included in the revised plan.The revised plan will be reviewed by tourism stakeholders and citizensonce again through a process of public input to ensure ownershipand garner implementation assistance. It will then be taken back tothe Berat Municipality to report progress to date and receive formalapproval to move forward. 43
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  42. 42. 5 TOURISM ACTION PLANProduct development and quality improvementThere is a need to improve the quality of existing tourism productsand services7 and to diversify, over the medium to longer term, theproduct offer, In accordance with the aim to develop Berat as a highquality tourism destination that contributes to the well being of citizens.Improving existing products and services focuses on upgrades in theHistoric Centre and its surrounds (buffer zone) and building on andimproving products based on the culture and traditions of Berat. Thedevelopment of new products and services aims to increase the varietyof products available to tourists thereby attracting a broader marketand encouraging visitors to stay longer in the region. The developmentof products and services is based on an understanding of the demandsof tourists from target markets and the need to create conditions for athriving and sustainable destinationStakeholders: Ministry of Tourism, Culture, Youth and Sports, BeratMunicipality, DRKK, World Bank, EU, UNESCO, Bilateral Donors,Directorate of Museums, Directorate of National Culture, Directorateof Education, Non-Government Organisations, Regional TourismOffice, Private Sector Businesses, Art Gallery, School of Arts, Artisans,Emigrants, Citizens7 Tourism products and services include accommodation, food and beverage, attractions, tours and transport, shopping and souvenirs. 47
  43. 43. 48 RANK AIM OBJECTIVE ACTIONS LEAD ORGANIZATION/S WHEN Restore the icons held by the Directorate of National Directorate of National 2011-2016 Culture, Berat (DRKK) Culture, Berat Directorate of National Review regulations for interventions in the Historic Centre 2010-2011 Culture, Berat; Municipality Conduct a PR campaign to raise community awareness of Berat Municipality; Protect and 2011 the new regulations for interventions in the Historic Centre Partners Albania Protect and improve Upgrade interpretation in churches located in the Historic improve cultural 1 Centre and facilitate tourist access (eg. increase opening Berat Municipality 2011-2012 tourist attractions in hours to seven days per week) attractions the Historic Centre Identify abandoned houses in the Historic Centre and Berat Municipality 2012 prepare a plan for their revitalization Encourage development of sensitive, quality accommodation 2012 Berat Municipality in the Historic Centre based on forecast demand ongoing Encourage sensitive development of the old remains of the TAC 2012 ‘’Harem’’ (Mangalem quarter) for tourism purposes Department of Conduct a PR campaign to raise community awareness of Environment, Berat Ongoing the need to protect the environment Municipality Protect and Department of Protect and improve the Conduct educational activities in natural areas to raise Environment, Berat Ongoing improve environment environmental awareness of Berat citizens Municipality tourist in the Historic Conduct training in volunteering Berat Municipality; UNDP 2011 attractions Centre and buffer zone Conduct ‘volunteer days’ to clean the environment in the Berat Municipality Biannual Historic Centre Install waste bins in the Historic Centre that blend with the Berat Municipality 2011-2012 characteristic architecture 5 Implement fines for illegal disposal of waste Berat Municipality Ongoing Protect and Develop and conduct a reforestation project for the hills Municipality 2012 Protect and improve surrounding Berat Ongoing improve the natural Monitor and control illegal activity including: tourist environment - Hunting out of season Regional Directorate of attractions in and around - Illegal fires Fields Ongoing Berat - Logging - Removal of rocks (causing erosion) Quality Develop Conduct a survey of domestic and international tour products and nature based operators and analyse independent tourist trends to identify Berat Regional Council 2012 services offered attractions nature based products in demand by tourists year round and activities
  44. 44. RANK AIM OBJECTIVE ACTIONS LEAD ORGANIZATION/S WHEN Prepare a plan for the sensitive development of demand driven tourist attractions and soft adventure activities in the mountains surrounding Berat - Accommodation (eg. Eco-resorts, camping, hunting Berat Regional Council; 2012 lodges, farm stays, rural retreats) TAC Quality Develop - Historic routes (eg. Berat to Korce) products and nature based - Soft adventure activities (eg. Rafting, Canyoning, Hiking 5 and biking) services offered attractions year round and activities Promote new business opportunities identified to potential local and national investors and at relevant investment Berat Regional Council; Biannual conferences including TAC 2013 + - Tourism and Real Estate Albania (TREA) conference conducted by the Foreign Investors Association of Albania (FIAA) Develop and promote SMEs in agribusiness and agritourism Berat Municipality 2011-2013 Encourage the establishment of local tour operators and the 2011 TAC development of local tours Ongoing Facilitate exchange experiences of local tour operators with TAC Ongoing national and foreign tour operators Quality Conduct FAM trips with tour operators and journalists from Minimum 1 products TAC Develop local target markets per year 8 and services tours Support the development of quality, demand driven tour offered year packages and promote to round TAC Ongoing • tour operators with potential to operate to Berat • direct to tourists in Berat Promote local tour operators in Berat promotional materials TAC Ongoing Prepare maps and facilitate logistics for visiting tour operators TAC Ongoing Establish an Artisan and Souvenir Working Group to revitalize artisanal skills and facilitate the development of TAC souvenirs Identify traditional artisanal skills which can be revitalised TAC Artisan and Souvenir 2011 Quality and identify aritsans Working Group Revitalize the products Establish an Artisans Association for the joint promotion of TAC Artisan and Souvenir traditional 2012 10 and services products to target markets Working Group artisan skills offered year Provide technical support to the Artisans Association on, for of Berat round example - Functioning of the association TAC Artisan and Souvenir 2012 - Product development Working Group - Joint marketing - Business practices49
  45. 45. 50 RANK AIM OBJECTIVE ACTIONS LEAD ORGANIZATION/S WHEN Establish youth group/s of artisans to revitalize traditional skills Association of Artisans 2012-2013 Facilitate artisan participation in local and regional fairs to showcase and sell Berat artisanal products Quality - Berati festival (annual), Revitalize the Association of Artisans Annual products - Shkodra traditional 10 and services - Gjirokastra handicraft festival (once every 4 years), artisan skills offered year - Tirana Christmas fair (annual) of Berat round Minimum 1 Showcase the artisans of Berat in specialized TV programs Association of Artisans per year Promote fiscal incentives to businesses which produce Berat Municipality Ongoing artisanal products that are traditional to Berat Establish an Investment Working Group to raise local TAC; government awareness of the need for incentives to attract 2011 investment from Berat Diaspora Quality Facilitate products investment Develop and approve fiscal incentives for sensitive tourism Berat Municipality 2012 11 and services from the investment by Berat Diaspora in the Historic Centre offered year Berat Prepare project proposals for identified investment round Diaspora Berat Municipality 2012 opportunities Promote identified investment opportunities and fiscal Berat Municipality 2012-2013 incentives using targeted campaigns to reach Berat Diaspora Improve Establish an Accommodation and Restaurant Working Group Quality restaurant to encourage hotels and tourist restaurants to better cater TAC 2011 products capacity to to national and international tourists 12 and services cater for offered year Facilitate the translation of tourist restaurant menus into TAC accommodation and international 2011 round target market languages (Italian, English) restaurant working group tourists Revitalise Conduct a series of round tables with senior citizens who are Berat experienced in various fields (arts, gastronomy, folk stories, Protect and TAC 2011-2012 traditions and handicrafts, music, architecture, etc) to document Berat improve traditions 17 customs and tourist incorporate attractions into tourism Facilitate discussions on Berat traditions in the media TAC 2011-2012 offer (printed and televised) with mixed generations