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BERAT TOURISM STRATEGY AND ACTION PLAN 2011 - 2021
BERAT TOURISM STRATEGY AND ACTION PLAN 2011 - 2021
BERAT TOURISM STRATEGY AND ACTION PLAN 2011 - 2021
BERAT TOURISM STRATEGY AND ACTION PLAN 2011 - 2021
BERAT TOURISM STRATEGY AND ACTION PLAN 2011 - 2021
BERAT TOURISM STRATEGY AND ACTION PLAN 2011 - 2021
BERAT TOURISM STRATEGY AND ACTION PLAN 2011 - 2021
BERAT TOURISM STRATEGY AND ACTION PLAN 2011 - 2021
BERAT TOURISM STRATEGY AND ACTION PLAN 2011 - 2021
BERAT TOURISM STRATEGY AND ACTION PLAN 2011 - 2021
BERAT TOURISM STRATEGY AND ACTION PLAN 2011 - 2021
BERAT TOURISM STRATEGY AND ACTION PLAN 2011 - 2021
BERAT TOURISM STRATEGY AND ACTION PLAN 2011 - 2021
BERAT TOURISM STRATEGY AND ACTION PLAN 2011 - 2021
BERAT TOURISM STRATEGY AND ACTION PLAN 2011 - 2021
BERAT TOURISM STRATEGY AND ACTION PLAN 2011 - 2021
BERAT TOURISM STRATEGY AND ACTION PLAN 2011 - 2021
BERAT TOURISM STRATEGY AND ACTION PLAN 2011 - 2021
BERAT TOURISM STRATEGY AND ACTION PLAN 2011 - 2021
BERAT TOURISM STRATEGY AND ACTION PLAN 2011 - 2021
BERAT TOURISM STRATEGY AND ACTION PLAN 2011 - 2021
BERAT TOURISM STRATEGY AND ACTION PLAN 2011 - 2021
BERAT TOURISM STRATEGY AND ACTION PLAN 2011 - 2021
BERAT TOURISM STRATEGY AND ACTION PLAN 2011 - 2021
BERAT TOURISM STRATEGY AND ACTION PLAN 2011 - 2021
BERAT TOURISM STRATEGY AND ACTION PLAN 2011 - 2021
BERAT TOURISM STRATEGY AND ACTION PLAN 2011 - 2021
BERAT TOURISM STRATEGY AND ACTION PLAN 2011 - 2021
BERAT TOURISM STRATEGY AND ACTION PLAN 2011 - 2021
BERAT TOURISM STRATEGY AND ACTION PLAN 2011 - 2021
BERAT TOURISM STRATEGY AND ACTION PLAN 2011 - 2021
BERAT TOURISM STRATEGY AND ACTION PLAN 2011 - 2021
BERAT TOURISM STRATEGY AND ACTION PLAN 2011 - 2021
BERAT TOURISM STRATEGY AND ACTION PLAN 2011 - 2021
BERAT TOURISM STRATEGY AND ACTION PLAN 2011 - 2021
BERAT TOURISM STRATEGY AND ACTION PLAN 2011 - 2021
BERAT TOURISM STRATEGY AND ACTION PLAN 2011 - 2021
BERAT TOURISM STRATEGY AND ACTION PLAN 2011 - 2021
BERAT TOURISM STRATEGY AND ACTION PLAN 2011 - 2021
BERAT TOURISM STRATEGY AND ACTION PLAN 2011 - 2021
BERAT TOURISM STRATEGY AND ACTION PLAN 2011 - 2021
BERAT TOURISM STRATEGY AND ACTION PLAN 2011 - 2021
BERAT TOURISM STRATEGY AND ACTION PLAN 2011 - 2021
BERAT TOURISM STRATEGY AND ACTION PLAN 2011 - 2021
BERAT TOURISM STRATEGY AND ACTION PLAN 2011 - 2021
BERAT TOURISM STRATEGY AND ACTION PLAN 2011 - 2021
BERAT TOURISM STRATEGY AND ACTION PLAN 2011 - 2021
BERAT TOURISM STRATEGY AND ACTION PLAN 2011 - 2021
BERAT TOURISM STRATEGY AND ACTION PLAN 2011 - 2021
BERAT TOURISM STRATEGY AND ACTION PLAN 2011 - 2021
BERAT TOURISM STRATEGY AND ACTION PLAN 2011 - 2021
BERAT TOURISM STRATEGY AND ACTION PLAN 2011 - 2021
BERAT TOURISM STRATEGY AND ACTION PLAN 2011 - 2021
BERAT TOURISM STRATEGY AND ACTION PLAN 2011 - 2021
BERAT TOURISM STRATEGY AND ACTION PLAN 2011 - 2021
BERAT TOURISM STRATEGY AND ACTION PLAN 2011 - 2021
BERAT TOURISM STRATEGY AND ACTION PLAN 2011 - 2021
BERAT TOURISM STRATEGY AND ACTION PLAN 2011 - 2021
BERAT TOURISM STRATEGY AND ACTION PLAN 2011 - 2021
BERAT TOURISM STRATEGY AND ACTION PLAN 2011 - 2021
BERAT TOURISM STRATEGY AND ACTION PLAN 2011 - 2021
BERAT TOURISM STRATEGY AND ACTION PLAN 2011 - 2021
BERAT TOURISM STRATEGY AND ACTION PLAN 2011 - 2021
BERAT TOURISM STRATEGY AND ACTION PLAN 2011 - 2021
BERAT TOURISM STRATEGY AND ACTION PLAN 2011 - 2021
BERAT TOURISM STRATEGY AND ACTION PLAN 2011 - 2021
BERAT TOURISM STRATEGY AND ACTION PLAN 2011 - 2021
BERAT TOURISM STRATEGY AND ACTION PLAN 2011 - 2021
BERAT TOURISM STRATEGY AND ACTION PLAN 2011 - 2021
BERAT TOURISM STRATEGY AND ACTION PLAN 2011 - 2021
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BERAT TOURISM STRATEGY AND ACTION PLAN 2011 - 2021

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BERAT TOURISM STRATEGY AND ACTION PLAN 2011 - 2021

BERAT TOURISM STRATEGY AND ACTION PLAN 2011 - 2021

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  • 1. BERAT TOURISM STRATEGY AND ACTION PLAN 2011 - 2021 1
  • 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 of Berat. In our Strategic Plan for Social and Economic Development 2010 – 2020, tourism is defined as a priority objective for development of the local economy. Considering the significance of tourism to the economic development in general and the possibility it offers for creation of new jobs and support to small business, the Municipality of Berat initiated the preparation of this Tourism Strategy and Action Plan. In April 2010 a common agreement was signed with SNV Netherlands Development Organisation, where SNV committed to provide technical assistance to the Municipality of Berat for the preparation of the TSAP. To support this process a Tourism Action Committee (TAC) was established in May 2010 with representatives from public institutions, business and civil society. As the Mayor of Berat Municipality and Head of the Tourism Action Committee I am very satisfied that, following a period of hard work, we managed to successfully realize this project. I would like to use this occasion to express my gratitude to SNV for the very fruitful cooperation in preparation of the TSAP. I also want to express my gratitude to other partners and committed citizens for their contribution and expressed will to engage directly in the preparation and implementation of this strategic document. The TSAP will be the operational framework for our institution, leading tourism development in the region and aiming to maximize the sustainable use of our resources. This document defines the projects and future actions we will undertake together to develop Berat into a high quality, well known, international tourist destination. Fadil Nasufi Mayor Berat Municipality 1 Maj 2011
  • 3. CONTENTS 1. INTRODUCTION..................................................... 9 2. TOWARD A TOURISM STRATEGY FOR BERAT.......... 11 Tourism definition and components........................................ Global and national tourism trends......................................... Relevant strategies.............................................................. Institutional structures for tourism........................................ 11 12 13 14 3. TOURISM IN BERAT................................................ 19 Tourism development in Berat............................................... 19 UNESCO World Heritage....................................................... 19 The ‘Historic Centre’ of Berat................................................ 20 Tourism Supply................................................................... 22 Our current markets............................................................ 25 Our competition.................................................................. 29 Our strengths and weaknesses.............................................. 30 4. BERAT TOURISM STRATEGY................................... 35 5. TOURISM ACTION PLAN......................................... 47 Vision................................................................................. 35 Based on the principles sustainable tourism............................. 35 Way forward........................................................................ 36 Our target markets.............................................................. 37 A framework for action......................................................... 40 Implementing the plan......................................................... 42 Monitoring, evaluating and revising the plan............................ 43 Product development and quality improvement........................ 47 Access and Infrastructure...................................................... 54 Targeted marketing and promotion........................................ 57 Developing human resources and coordinating tourism development... 60 Appendices.................................................................... 1. 2. 3. 4. Tourism Action Committee members................................... Acronyms........................................................................ Proposed monitoring and evaluation schedule...................... Market research.............................................................. 65 65 66 67 68
  • 4. 8
  • 5. 1 INTRODUCTION Berat is located in central Albania, 120km south of the capital, Tirana. It is the administrative centre of Berat Region and one of two designated ancient museum cities in Albania. Lying on the bank of the Osum River, Berat has been permanently inhabited for close to 2,500 years by Illyrian, Roman, Byzantine, Bulgarian, European medieval, Ottoman and Albanian civilizations. During the 17th century Berat was the largest city in Albania and the country’s main economic centre, with noteworthy development of handicrafts and trade. The town bears witness to the peaceful cultura l and religious coexistence between Christians and Muslims during the Ottoman period. It is a unique town with a wealth of buildings of the highest architectural and historical interest. Recognizing these values, in July 2008, the town was inscribed on the UNESCO World Heritage List. The rich historical, cultural, ethnographic, architectural and natural heritage values of the town constitute a firm base for tourism development. In turn, sustainable development of tourism has the potential to contribute to the economic, social and environmental development of the region. Berat is already attracting an increasing number of visitors from Albania and abroad, particularly since its World Heritage listing. The sensitive development of tourism is identified as a priority objective in Berat’s Strategic Plan For The Social And Economic Development, while the need to develop in accordance with the outstanding universal value, integrity and authenticity of the town is recognised in the ICOMOS evaluation of the town for World Heritage inscription. Still Berat is in its early stages of establishing its national and international profile as a quality, high class cultural and historical destination. Coordinated efforts are required in the preservation and presentation of its historical and cultural attractions, reducing threats including illegal construction in the historical zone, improvement in visitor services, product diverisfication “The urban fabric of the town of Berat is authentic as it has not undergone any major alterations down the centuries.” (ICOMOS, 2008, Evaluations of Cultural Properties) Figure 1: Map of Albania highlighting Berat Region 9
  • 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. 2 TOWARD A TOURISM STRATEGY FOR BERAT Plans are nothing; planning is everything. Dwight D Eisenhower (1890-1969) 34th US President The Berat Tourism Strategy and Action Plan (TSAP) has been developed from a participative process involving analyses of the Berat’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 following sequential process was followed:  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 Municipality The Berat TSAP provides a framework for businesses, governments and relevant organizations to analyze tourism markets, tourism assets and tourism concerns in order to develop objectives that enhance assets and overcome concerns. The plan will be monitored and evaluated on a regular basis to allow for necessary revisions. The Berat TSAP is intended to be a flexible, evolving, ‘working’ plan. The TSAP is in a binder-type format that encourages the addition/deletion of materials, the insertion of recorded, objective implementation results and the incorporation of any necessary revisions that result from implementation work. 11
  • 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. According to government statistics the number of tourists visiting Albania during 2010 was more then 3 million, making tourism one of the three major pillars of the country’s economy. Albania is selected as the number one destination to visit in 2011 by Lonely Planet and ranked sixth in the list of destinations recommended by CNN. Given its proximity to the largest inbound and outbound markets of Europe, Albania is in a favorable position to benefit from the trends toward more regular, short and medium haul travel. Relevant strategies Official documents emphasize the importance of the tourism sector at local and regional levels towards the development and decentralization of the Albania’s economic and social structure. NATIONAL STRATEGY FOR DEVELOPMENT AND INTEGRATION (NSDI) 2007 – 2013: focuses on Albania’s progress toward European Union integration, incorporating the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs). The importance of tourism in the development of the country’s economic and social structure is well defined in the NSDI. In particular the 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 as follows:  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): reflects and addresses the direction contained within the NSDI. The tourism strategy establishes the overall framework for tourism centreed on the discovery of Albania through its nature and culture. The following relevant actions are presented toward achieving local and regional tourism sector 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.  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. Strategic Goal 1 An international cultural centre supported by Bed and Breakfast tourism, which preserves and develops the city’s unique culture, history and architectural heritage Strategic Goal 2 Harmonized development of the city’s economy, which competes in the regional market through expanding its agribusinesses and handicraft businesses, and where diversity and quality are encouraged Strategic Goal 3 Zhvillimi i ekuilibruar i territorit urban që krijon një mjedis bashkëkohor dhe në harmoni me tiparet dhe trashëgiminë specifike të qytetit Strategic Goal 4 A high quality, dynamic and all-inclusive social life where equal opportunities for progress and well-being are supported and 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. Ministry of Tourism, Culture, Youth and Sports (MTCYS) The key role of MTCYS is to support, protect, develop and promote the tourism resources, culture, material and spiritual heritage of Albanian people in line with the action plan and in cooperation with other central governmental institutions, with local governments, with tourism private sector and civil society. National Tourism Agency (NTA) The National Agency of Tourism is a public entity under the jurisdiction of 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) been established in each of the 12 regions in Albania, including Berat. The Regional TAOs fall under the jurisdiction of the Minister responsible for tourism, and has the duty to grant information for tourists concerning entry, available services and facilities and information on sites and attractions interesting to tourists, as well as treating the claims made by Albanian or foreign citizens against hoteliers, tourist restaurants owners, tourist guides, travel agents, tour operators and other tourist enterprises in relation to the products and services offered by them. Local governments and their tourism responsibilities Local 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 tourism The state institutions outlined above, in cooperation with, and under auspices of the Ministry responsible for tourism, are responsible to support 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. 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. 17
  • 14. 18
  • 15. 3 TOURISM IN BERAT Tourism development in Berat Recognising the uniqueness of Berat, as early as 1961 the town was declared a Museum City by the Government of Albania. During the communist period when travel to Albania was generally limited, Berat was visited by foreigners especially those groups who were visiting Albania from allied countries. Also groups of visitors coming from Kosovo and the region came to Berat in tours organized by the State. Following the regime collapse and the disruptive events of 1997 across Albania, Berat has restored its reputation and good image. Visitor numbers have grown with visitors coming from abroad, from other parts of Albania. For Berat citizens this growth capitalizes on the best use of the city’s assets and reflects the city’s traditions in hosting visitors. Traditionally the visitor has found welcoming hospitality in Berat, as well as the experience of a nice and relaxing environment and the occasion to taste a combination of traditional and contemporary cuisine characteristic of the region including renowned olives, locally produced lamb 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 ticket sales 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 Heritage On July 8, 2008 Berat was registered on the UNESCO World Heritage List by the Committee of World Heritage during the consecutive Conference held in Canada. Berat was valued as a rare example of typical Ottoman architecture. According to the evaluations, Berat is considered as an example of coexistence of various religious and cultural communities for 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. 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 of Berat’ (called Beratinus) contains extracts from the Gospels and is one of the oldest variants used for the text of the New Testament. At the time it was written, in the 6th century, it was one of the five existing codices throughout the world. Berat’s Historic Centre is comprised of three areas – the Castle, Mangalem and Gorica quarters. The Codex Aureus, a manuscript of the 9th century, represents the second most important codex of Berat. UNESCO has paid particular attention to the protection of this unique heritage of the old liturgical literature. The Codices of Berat are inscribed in the Register of the World Heritage List. 20 The Castle, located on the peak of the hill backing Mangalem quarter, is one the most significant sites of the city. The castle dates back to the 4th century BC. While it has generally remained faithful to its original plans it has undergone some changes during the 6th, 8th, 15th and 19th centuries. Berat Castle is not only one of the largest inhabited Castles, but also a stone archive, that offers a variety of styles and contributes of different époques: Roman-Byzantine, Albanian and Ottoman. The buildings inside the Castle were built during the 13th century and because of their characteristic architecture are preserved as cultural monuments. The Castle has many Byzantine churches, as well as some mosques built under the Ottoman era which began in 1417.
  • 17. The old quarters of Mangalem and Gorica are well preserved areas containing buildings with characteristic architecture with a great number of windows, narrow charming paths and religious objects. The two quarters are connected with each other by Gorica bridge. Ruins of Gorica 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 Centre Several cultural activities are organized in the Historic Centre, mainly in the open areas in the upper part of the Castle known as the ‘Acropolis’. Activities are often organized in spring, coinciding with the opening of the tourist season. There are two Museums in the Historic Centre; the National Museum of Icons called ‘Onufri’ and the Ethnographic Museum which together with the other monuments and old churches in the Historic Zones offer a special tour for the visitors. The Cultural Centre of the City and the ‘Edward Lear’ Art Gallery are adjacent to the Historic Quarter of Mangalem. The growth in tourism is resulting in an increasing number of family houses in the Historical Centre being converted into guest houses, offering visitors an opportunity to stay in the historic buildings. There are some private art shops and art galleries located in traditional houses in the historic centre. There is a nursery in the Historic Centre, two elementary schools, an Administrative Unit of the Municipality of Berat which 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. 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 Summer day Blessed Water ceremony July Saint Ilias pilgrimage 22 March Cobo wine festival August Bektashi pilgrimage September Independence Day Cobo wine festival April May June International Berat Day of Festival Monuments and Archaeological Agribusiness Sites regional fair Orthodox Easter October ‘Poetka’ – International Poetry Competition November December
  • 19. TOURISM SERVICES: Berat has four travel agencies primarily operating as ticketing offices for outbound travel by Berati people. No agencies currently sell organised tours in the region though this can be organised on an ad hoc basis. Guide services are available through hotels and on an informal basis in the castle. ATTRACTIONS: Berat is known for its historical and cultural attractions that form the basis of its World Heritage listing. Key attractions are listed 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. 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. 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 markets As is generally the case in Albania there is limited data on tourism in Berat. As a result detailed research was carried out to identify market segments visiting Berat. The range and size of the tourism markets visiting Berat were estimated by interviewing tour operators (10), hoteliers (13) and visitors (214). Surveys were conducted in April – May 2010. In this way there is a clear view of the existing and potential tourism markets for Berat: where visitors are coming from, their profile and behavior, as well as the contribution of the tourism sector to the economy. 25
  • 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 IT AL ANG GR AZ USA GER FR Itali Angli France Gjermani Amerika Azia Greqi Albanians from other countries Albanian Age Profile Age 40 35 30 25 20 Age 15 10 5 0 14-24 Figure 3: Country of origin 25-44 45-64 65 + 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. Spent in the area Length of Stay Avarage nights 12 4500 4000 3500 3000 2500 2000 1500 1000 500 0 10 8 6 4 Lekë Lek 2 0 Hotel Shtepi Pushimi Kamping mesatarja e neteve Figure 5: Average length of stay in accommodation Figure 6: Average expenditure (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. Accomodation 80 70 60 50 Avarage Holidays 40 30 20 10 0 Hotel Guest House Kamping Figure 7: Share (%) of tourists staying in accommodation – all visitors compared to visitors on holiday International Tour Group Market Berat is currently included in a range of tours organized by tour-operators. Tours include the Grand Tour of Albania which is a comprehensive itinerary visiting the main cities and sites in Albania (see Figure xx below). Grand tour visitors stay up to one night in Berat. Grand tour of Albania Figure 8: Albanian grand tour destinations 27
  • 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 reasons 28
  • 25. Domestic Market Albanians 70 60 50 40 30 20 10 0 Tirana Shkoder Korce Berat Figure 9: Origin of domestic market to Berat (%) Competition In developing Berat as a tourism destination development it is important to have a thorough understanding of competitors in the market. A competitor analysis enables Berat to understand its standing as a destination in the global marketplace, to capture new opportunities that align with Berat destination’s strengths and unique selling point (USP), to differentiate itself from its competitors and to position Berat successfully. Based on comprehensive research and baseline studies the Tourism Action Committee identified seven competitors according to the geographical 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 destination identified). A summary of the analysis is provided in Table 1 below. The analysis identified the current competitors for Berat. Such analysis needs to be repeated, at least on an annual basis, to ensure that we have the necessary information about what our competitors will do in the future; where we have a competitive advantage and how will this change our relationship with our competition. 29
  • 26. Table 1: Competitor analysis Competitors by order of rank 1 2 3 4 5 Korca Region Albania Gjirokastra City Albania Comment  Key competitor  Coordinated and focussed tourism development over the last few years  Culture-based tourism product  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 Similar standard of tourism product International project activities to improve infrastructure and tourism products and services  Unplanned and uncoordinated tourism development  Access to markets from Greece     Kruja Albania  Ottoman bazaar  Closer proximity to Tirane (Capital) and to international airport  International standard museum  Incorporated in existing tours  Well developed souvenir products  Limited accommodation offerings  Unplanned and uncoordinated tourism development Durres and Saranda Albania  Beach destinations with access to main markets (proximity to air and sea ports, well developed road infrastructure)  Well development accommodation offer  Strong tour group markets  Combination of beach and cultural assets (Roman, Illyrian)  Currently attracting regional market (Durres)  UNESCO site (Saranda) possible to visit in day trip from major markets  Unplanned and uncoordinated tourism development Greece and Ohrid Greece and Macedonia  Culture based tourism products including UNESCO sites  Well developed tourism (particularly Greece) including well developed products and services and promotion  Accessible  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 tourism 30
  • 27. development in Berat. These were placed under the most appropriate key tourism component area and then individually ranked in order of importance. The top three strengths and weaknesses for each component are presented 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 churches Attractions  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) established  lack of public parking places Infrastructure  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 coexistence  lack of management skills in Human  hospitable residents local tourism businesses Capacities  existence of  lack of public – private professional schools cooperation (e.g. art school)  existence of a Tourist  lack of night life Information Centre Commercial  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 in Image and  limited organisation of quality itineraries of national Promotion 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. 4 BERAT TOURISM STRATEGY This strategy sets out our Vision and goals for the development of tourism in Berat over the next 10 years to 2021. The vision is founded on the principles of QUALITY and SUSTAINABILITY – quality and value based experiences for visitors; quality products and services representing 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 A well known destination, based on its cultural, natural and spiritual heritage, offering unique services and experiences in accordance with international standards Goal 2 Harmonized and lasting tourism development, based on the principles of sustainability Goal 3 A better economic and social life for the citizens of Berat, creating employment opportunities and increasing income through tourism development Based on the principles sustainable tourism Tourism development in Berat will be based on the principles of sustainability. Sustainable tourism can be expressed as: Tourism that takes full account of its current and future economic, social and environmental impacts, addressing the needs of visitors, the industry, the environment and host communities. The UN World Tourism Organization’s (UNWTO) definition of sustainable tourism is outlined below. 35
  • 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 socioeconomic 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. In the medium to long term we will focus on expanding the range of products and services available to tourists. We will pay attention to attracting new investment in tourism products and services that offer unique experiences while enabling development that is in harmony with the natural and social environments of Berat and contribute to improving the quality of life of our citizens. Our aim will be to combine our culture, heritage and nature in the tourist experiences. At all times our focus will remain on quality over quantity. We will continue to develop our human resource capacities and market effectively to our target markets. We will also periodically review and revise this strategy and plan for sustained development of tourism beyond 2021. Target markets In developing tourism in Berat the focus will be on developing products and services that meet the needs of the target markets. As part of this planning process the TAC identified five target markets for the short to medium term future. The target markets reflect the short to medium term focus on culture and heritage, the longer term combination of culture and heritage with nature and adventure products and the ongoing need to attract and serve the ‘bread and butter’ segments of international tour groups and domestic tourists. The target markets are as follows: CULTURE ENTHUSIASTS: travelers that are interested in new destinations with experiencing culture as the highlight of their travel. Culture enthusiasts will be highly predisposed to Berat’s offer and are more likely to stay longer and explore the region. Cultural enthusiasts want a particular, authentic experience. They are interested in local culture, arts, artists, entertainers, architecture and traditions – all assets that Berat has. CULTURE MODERATES: travelers that are interested in including cultural activities as part of a broader travel experience. Cultural moderates 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 through tour operators. SOFT ADVENTURE SEEKERS: independent travelers who want to explore ‘out of the ordinary’ destinations. Soft adventure is a travel experience that goes beyond the typical tourist itinerary, and generally combines physical activity with cultural experiences. Travelers seeking soft adventure prefer daily physical activity with the comfort of returning to a bed at night. Soft adventure is one of the fastest growing segments of the travel industry and is enjoyed by anyone who is looking for more than just your typical holiday. Baby boomers are a key target market for soft adventure. 37
  • 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. Table 3: Characteristics of key market segments COUNTRIES Culture enthusiasts - - - - - Italy France Japan UK Israel MARKET CHARACTERISTICS - Middle class, - well educated, - middle aged, - in a group without children, - on holiday away from home, - with a prior interest in history/culture OBJECTIVE Increase expenditure of existing markets through improved product quality Attract new markets with high level interest in history/culture Protect and preserve cultural attractions - Quality over quantity Culture moderates Soft adventure seekers - 25 – 40 years of age - International tour groups - Interested in - UK traditional beach - Germany or sightseeing - Japan tours - Israel - Culture seen as enhancement to - Albanian traditional tours diaspora Increase visitor numbers across the year (particularly in shoulder seasons (Mar – May and Sept – Nov)) - Affluent - Well educated - 40 – 60 years of age - Interested in ‘out of the way’ destinations - Interested in combining physical activity with culture Increase visitor numbers across the year (particularly in shoulder and low seasons) - All ages - Targeted marketing through tour operators Increase visitors numbers across the year - Middle class - Travel with family or friends - Interested in combining social activities with history and culture Increase visitor numbers across the year - - - - Germany Netherlands Japan Israel International tour groups - - - - UK USA Japan Australia Returning to my roots - FYROM - Kosovo - Greece Raise the profile of Berat as a quality destination Develop nature based tourism products and services Attract foreign investment 39
  • 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 RANK KEY MARKETS IMPLICATED OBJECTIVES Product development and quality improvement 1 Protect and improve cultural attractions in the Historic Centre - All markets 10,000,000 5 Protect and improve - Soft adventure seekers 5,000,000 the natural attractions - Culture moderates Develop local tours - Culture enthusiasts 5000 - Culture moderates - Soft adventure seekers - All markets 15,000 10 Revitalise the traditional artisan skills of Berat - Return to roots 5000 11 Facilitate investment form the Berat Diaspora Improve restaurant capacity to cater for international tourists - - - - 1000 Culture enthusiasts Culture moderates Soft adventure seekers International group tourists Revitalise Berat traditions and customs and incorporate into tourism offer - - - - Culture enthusiasts 10,000 Culture moderates Soft adventure seekers International group tourists Identify and develop demand driven souvenirs - All markets 3000 17 19 Promote Berat traditional cuisine - All markets 10,000 21 Develop new tourism products - All markets 8000 8 12 16 5 Budgets are estimates. Detailed budgets will be developed with project proposals 40
  • 37. RANK KEY MARKETS IMPLICATED OBJECTIVES Access and infrastructure 2 13 14 20 Upgrade and maintain tourism infrastructure in a sensitive manner Create or improve access to key tourist attractions Identify tourism infrastructure elements according to the Urban Master Plan Improve tourism signage - All markets 15,000,000 - All markets 6000 - All markets 0 - Culture enthusiasts 25,000 - Culture moderates - Soft adventure seekers Marketing and promotion 4 9 15 18 Increase the visibility of Berat as a tourist destination through participation in and promotion of relevant events Develop a ‘brand’ for Berat and develop tours packages Showcase Berat through its stories and legends Promote Berat to key markets using targeted promotional materials and conduct ongoing market analysis - All markets 20,000 - All markets 5000 - - - - 6000 Culture enthusiasts Culture moderates Return to roots All markets 60,000 Human resources and management of the destination 3 6 7 Strengthen cooperation and coordination between tourism stakeholders and build capacity to develop and manage Berat as a tourism destination and ensure the safety and security of tourists to Berat Training to meet the needs of the tourism private sector Train guides with specific knowledge of the Berat region - All markets 2000 - All markets 20,000 - Culture enthusiasts 15,000 - Culture moderates - Soft adventure seekers 41
  • 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 & souvenir Investment Accommodation & restaurant Product development Marketing & promotion Human 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. ANNUAL REVIEW: The Tourism Action Committee (TAC) will conduct an annual review of the plan and annual follow up of surveys (see proposed Schedule in Appendix XXX). The review and repeat surveys will both highlight what has been achieved and add new, relevant objectives that will further enhance the development of sustainable tourism in Berat. As a result of the review the TAC will develop a summary of achievements and promote successes to stakeholders. It will be important to promote successes so that the ongoing and necessary support of residents and outside expertise and resources can be obtained. REVISING THE PLAN: The Committee will revise the Plan based on the annual review and if other circumstance require it. Particular circumstances 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 citizens once again through a process of public input to ensure ownership and garner implementation assistance. It will then be taken back to the Berat Municipality to report progress to date and receive formal approval to move forward. 43
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  • 42. 5 TOURISM ACTION PLAN Product development and quality improvement There is a need to improve the quality of existing tourism products and services7 and to diversify, over the medium to longer term, the product offer, In accordance with the aim to develop Berat as a high quality tourism destination that contributes to the well being of citizens. Improving existing products and services focuses on upgrades in the Historic Centre and its surrounds (buffer zone) and building on and improving products based on the culture and traditions of Berat. The development of new products and services aims to increase the variety of products available to tourists thereby attracting a broader market and encouraging visitors to stay longer in the region. The development of products and services is based on an understanding of the demands of tourists from target markets and the need to create conditions for a thriving and sustainable destination Stakeholders: Ministry of Tourism, Culture, Youth and Sports, Berat Municipality, DRKK, World Bank, EU, UNESCO, Bilateral Donors, Directorate of Museums, Directorate of National Culture, Directorate of Education, Non-Government Organisations, Regional Tourism Office, Private Sector Businesses, Art Gallery, School of Arts, Artisans, Emigrants, Citizens 7 Tourism products and services include accommodation, food and beverage, attractions, tours and transport, shopping and souvenirs. 47
  • 43. 48 OBJECTIVE Protect and improve tourist attractions 1 5 Protect and improve the environment in the Historic Centre and buffer zone Protect and improve tourist attractions Conduct educational activities in natural areas to raise environmental awareness of Berat citizens Conduct a PR campaign to raise community awareness of the need to protect the environment Conduct a PR campaign to raise community awareness of the new regulations for interventions in the Historic Centre Upgrade interpretation in churches located in the Historic Centre and facilitate tourist access (eg. increase opening hours to seven days per week) Identify abandoned houses in the Historic Centre and prepare a plan for their revitalization Encourage development of sensitive, quality accommodation in the Historic Centre based on forecast demand Encourage sensitive development of the old remains of the ‘’Harem’’ (Mangalem quarter) for tourism purposes Review regulations for interventions in the Historic Centre Restore the icons held by the Directorate of National Culture, Berat (DRKK) ACTIONS Conduct training in volunteering Conduct ‘volunteer days’ to clean the environment in the Historic Centre Install waste bins in the Historic Centre that blend with the characteristic architecture Implement fines for illegal disposal of waste Protect and Develop and conduct a reforestation project for the hills Protect and improve surrounding Berat improve the natural Monitor and control illegal activity including: tourist environment - Hunting out of season attractions in and around - Illegal fires 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 services offered attractions nature based products in demand by tourists year round and activities Protect and improve cultural attractions in the Historic Centre AIM RANK 2011 2010-2011 2011-2016 WHEN 2011-2012 Directorate of National Culture, Berat Directorate of National Culture, Berat; Municipality Berat Municipality; Partners Albania LEAD ORGANIZATION/S Berat Municipality Ongoing 2012 Berat Regional Council Ongoing 2012 Ongoing 2011-2012 Biannual 2011 Ongoing Ongoing Regional Directorate of Fields Berat Municipality Municipality Berat Municipality Department of Environment, Berat Municipality Department of Environment, Berat Municipality Berat Municipality; UNDP Berat Municipality 2012 2012 ongoing Berat Municipality TAC 2012 Berat Municipality
  • 44. 49 10 8 5 RANK OBJECTIVE ACTIONS 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 lodges, farm stays, rural retreats) - Historic routes (eg. Berat to Korce) Quality Develop products and nature based - Soft adventure activities (eg. Rafting, Canyoning, Hiking and biking) services offered attractions year round and activities Promote new business opportunities identified to potential local and national investors and at relevant investment conferences including - Tourism and Real Estate Albania (TREA) conference conducted by the Foreign Investors Association of Albania (FIAA) Develop and promote SMEs in agribusiness and agritourism Encourage the establishment of local tour operators and the development of local tours Facilitate exchange experiences of local tour operators with national and foreign tour operators Quality Conduct FAM trips with tour operators and journalists from products Develop local target markets and services tours Support the development of quality, demand driven tour offered year packages and promote to round • tour operators with potential to operate to Berat • direct to tourists in Berat Promote local tour operators in Berat promotional materials Prepare maps and facilitate logistics for visiting tour operators Establish an Artisan and Souvenir Working Group to revitalize artisanal skills and facilitate the development of souvenirs Identify traditional artisanal skills which can be revitalised and identify aritsans Quality Revitalize the products Establish an Artisans Association for the joint promotion of traditional and services products to target markets artisan skills offered year Provide technical support to the Artisans Association on, for of Berat round example - Functioning of the association - Product development - Joint marketing - Business practices AIM Ongoing Ongoing Ongoing TAC TAC TAC TAC Artisan and Souvenir Working Group TAC Artisan and Souvenir Working Group TAC Artisan and Souvenir Working Group 2012 2012 2011 Minimum 1 per year TAC TAC Ongoing 2011-2013 2011 Ongoing Biannual 2013 + 2012 WHEN TAC TAC Berat Municipality Berat Regional Council; TAC Berat Regional Council; TAC LEAD ORGANIZATION/S
  • 45. 50 Facilitate investment from the Berat Diaspora Improve restaurant capacity to cater for international tourists Revitalise Berat traditions and customs and incorporate into tourism offer Quality products and services offered year round Quality products and services offered year round Protect and improve tourist attractions 10 11 12 17 LEAD ORGANIZATION/S Association of Artisans Association of Artisans Establish youth group/s of artisans to revitalize traditional skills Association of Artisans ACTIONS Facilitate artisan participation in local and regional fairs to showcase and sell Berat artisanal products - Berati festival (annual), Revitalize the - Shkodra traditional - Gjirokastra handicraft festival (once every 4 years), artisan skills - Tirana Christmas fair (annual) of Berat Quality products and services offered year round OBJECTIVE AIM RANK Berat Municipality TAC; Promote fiscal incentives to businesses which produce artisanal products that are traditional to Berat Establish an Investment Working Group to raise local government awareness of the need for incentives to attract investment from Berat Diaspora Berat Municipality Showcase the artisans of Berat in specialized TV programs Prepare project proposals for identified investment opportunities TAC accommodation and restaurant working group TAC Facilitate discussions on Berat traditions in the media (printed and televised) with mixed generations TAC Conduct a series of round tables with senior citizens who are experienced in various fields (arts, gastronomy, folk stories, TAC handicrafts, music, architecture, etc) to document Berat traditions Facilitate the translation of tourist restaurant menus into target market languages (Italian, English) Establish an Accommodation and Restaurant Working Group to encourage hotels and tourist restaurants to better cater to national and international tourists Promote identified investment opportunities and fiscal Berat Municipality incentives using targeted campaigns to reach Berat Diaspora Berat Municipality Develop and approve fiscal incentives for sensitive tourism investment by Berat Diaspora in the Historic Centre 2011-2012 2011-2012 2011 2011 2012-2013 2012 2012 2011 Ongoing Minimum 1 per year Annual 2012-2013 WHEN
  • 46. 51 OBJECTIVE Revitalise Berat traditions and customs and incorporate into tourism offer Identify and develop demand driven souvenirs Promote Berat traditional cuisine Develop tourism villages and farms AIM Protect and improve tourist attractions Quality products and services offered year round Quality products and services offered year round Quality products and services offered year round RANK 17 18 21 24 Berat Municipality LEAD ORGANIZATION/S TAC Accommodation and Restaurant Working Group Publish and sell a cook book in cooperation with private sector with traditional recipes from the Berat region TAC; Berat Municipality 2012 Ongoing TAC Accommodation and Restaurant Working Group Establish a Product Development Working Group Annual 2011 2012 2011-2012 2011 Berat Municipality TAC Accommodation and Restaurant Working Group TAC Accommodation and Restaurant Working Group 2012 Ongoing TAC Artisan and Souvenir Working Group Market souvenirs in accordance with the marketing strategy Meet with accommodation and restaurant representatives to raise awareness of activity to promote traditional cuisine Facilitate the conduct of training courses on the preparation, serving and presentation of traditional cuisine Conduct an annual regional ‘Top Restaurant’ competition as part of Berat Festival Develop promotional materials in cooperation with restaurants serving Berat traditional cuisine 2012 TAC Artisan and Souvenir Working Group Prepare a marketing strategy for souvenirs including the identification of target markets and their preferences 2011 Ongoing TAC Artisan and Souvenir Working Group Annual 2011 Ongoing 2011 Ongoing WHEN Support the development of applications for projects supporting souvenir development TAC Artisan and Identify producers of contemporary and traditional souvenirs Souvenir Working Group; (or potential producers) Association of Artisans Assist souvenir producers to identify sales outlets for their TAC Artisan and Souvenir products including creation of links with hotels and restaurants Working Group Conduct an annual ‘best Berat souvenir’ competition as part of Berat Festival to support the development of quality, Berat Municipality demand driven souvenirs Revitalize traditional folk games through the conduct of activities during key events including: - Berat festival - Carnivals - Summer day - Mountain day ACTIONS
  • 47. 52 24 RANK Develop tourism villages and farms Develop volunteer tourism Develop meetings, incentives, conference and event (MICE) tourism Quality products and services offered year round Quality products and services offered year round OBJECTIVE Quality products and services offered year round AIM WHEN 2012-2013 TAC Regional Tourism Office; TAC Facilitate the conduct of ‘home stays’ to accommodate visitors to major events Conduct a survey of key national and international organisations to identify frequency of meetings conducted away from own premises and services required 2013 2013 Ongoing 2011 Ongoing Berat Municipality Develop and distribute flyers and posters to promote Berat events including sensitive promotion of religious festivals - Berat festival - Procession of Kulmak - Easter and baptism day Etc. 2014 Ongoing 2011 Ongoing TAC Product Development Working Group Support the promotion of volunteer opportunities to target markets 2013-2014 Develop a series of events spread across the year of interest Berat Municipality to Berat citizens, domestic and international tourists TAC Product Development Working Group In cooperation with national and international tour operators TAC Product Development facilitating volunteer opportunities identify possible Working Group opportunities for the development of volunteer tourism Facilitate links between projects suitable for volunteer experiences and national and international tour operators 2013-2014 TAC Product Development Working Group; Berat Municipality; Communes TAC Product Development Working Group; Berat Municipality Conduct a series of meeting with communes and citizens to raise awareness and interest in village tourism development Prepare project proposals, in cooperation with interested communes, for the development of village and farm tourism in rural locations in Berat region including: - Kapinovë - Mal të Bardhe (sinjë) - Dardhe (Tomorr) - Drobonik - Rroshnik - Skrapar 2011 LEAD ORGANIZATION/S ACTIONS
  • 48. 53 24 RANK Quality products and services offered year round Quality products and services offered year round AIM Develop caravan and camping tourism Develop meetings, incentives, conference and event (MICE) OBJECTIVE Identify existing businesses with potential to provide services for meetings Encourage upgrade or investment in quality and sensitive conference and meeting facilities Promote meeting and conference facilities to key target markets (domestic) Designate an appropriate location for the establishment of a caravan and camping ground OR promote investment opportunity for the same Install facilities required for caravans and camping (electricity, waste management etc) Conduct fair process to outsource operation of caravan park to private sector ACTIONS 2013 Ongoing 2014 Ongoing 2013 WHEN 2014 2014-2015 2015 Berat Municipality Berat Municipality TAC Regional Tourism Office TAC LEAD ORGANIZATION/S Berat Municipality Berat Municipality
  • 49. 54 Tourist AIM 8-9 UNESCO requirement 2 RANK ACTIONS 2011-2013 Restore monuments of the first category 2011-2013 WHEN TAC Directorate of National Culture, Berat (DRKK) 2012 - 2014 2012 ongoing 2012-2013 Directorate of National Culture, Berat (DRKK) Berat Municipality LEAD ORGANIZATION/S Lobby for the establishment of a Restoration School in Berat TAC Prepare detailed project proposal/s (including budgets) for the upgrade of key tourist infrastructure including: 1. underground infrastructure - water supply - sewage - electricity - telecommunications 2. surface infrastructure - fire protection system8 - lighting system (decorative) Upgrade - public toilets infrastructure - parking in the Historic - roads Centre in Prepare detailed project proposal/s (including budgets) for a sensitive the upgrade of historic infrastructure including: manner - castle walls - watch towers - stone paths - historic houses Lobby for funds for infrastructure upgrades including incentives for upgrades by private owners OBJECTIVE Stakeholders: National Government, Ministry of Tourism, Culture, Youth and Sports, Ministry of Public Works and Transport, Berat Municipality, DRKK, World Bank, EU, UNESCO, Bilateral Donors, Private Banks (e.g. Banka Botërore), Non-Government Organisations, Regional Tourism Office, Private Sector Businesses, Art Gallery, School of Arts, Artisans, Berat diaspora, Citizens, KZhT, Studio PLRr While Berat’s cultural and natural resources are the basis upon which tourist experiences will be built, governments and the private sector provide the necessary access and infrastructure. Infrastructure such as roads, water, waste management, lighting, and public transport and facilities including museums, art galleries, gardens, sports venues, and events play a critical role in the experiences of both locals and visitors. Attracting investment in key infrastructure will be necessary to ensure that Berat is able to deliver on its promise of a quality experience. Access and Infrastructure
  • 50. 55 2 RANK Tourist AIM 2012 2011 Berat Municipality Directorate of National Culture, Berat (DRKK) 2011 2011 WHEN Directorate of National Culture, Berat (DRKK) LEAD ORGANIZATION/S Directorate of National Culture, Berat (DRKK) Berat Municipality Conduct a study to develop an effective and sensitive transport system including access for disabled people Directorate of National Culture, Berat (DRKK) Berat Municipality Implement ongoing maintenance program for infrastructure in the Historic Centre Directorate of National Culture, Berat (DRKK) Maintain the historic infrastructure in the castle (walls, watch towers and historic houses) Construct a tourist information point (billboard/sign) at the main entrance to the city Berat Municipality Berat Municipality Establish a sewerage treatment plant Establish waste management and recycling facilities 2012-2015 2012 - 2015 2012-2015 2012 Ongoing Ongoing 2012 2011-2012 Facilitate a fair process to restrict the old bridge of Gorica to Directorate of National pedestrian use to ensure its protection Culture, Berat (DRKK) Renovate an artisans market for the production and sale of traditional handicrafts 2011 Directorate of National Culture, Berat (DRKK) Facilitate a fair process to remove infrastructure that is insensitive to the universal values of the Historic Centre or illegally constructed9 Designate an open area for the conduct of sensitive cultural events in the Historic Centre Purchase (removable) infrastructure and equipment for the conduct of sensitive cultural events in the Historic Centre Upgrade public spaces in the Historic Centre with gardens and recreational facilities ACTIONS Develop (3) project proposals and lobby for funds for the sensitive development of key tourist attractions in the buffer zone including: Upgrade tourist-related - transforming the existing city market into a Berat Municipality; multifunctional centre for tourists infrastructure TAC - constructing or upgrading an existing building to operate outside of as the Historic Museum of Berat the Historic - constructing or upgrading an existing building to operate Centre as a “House of Jews” Maintain infrastructure in Historic Centre Upgrade infrastructure in the Historic Centre in a sensitive manner OBJECTIVE
  • 51. 56 Tourist Tourist Tourist 15 23 AIM 13 RANK TAC LEAD ORGANIZATION/S Improve tourism signage 2012-2013 2012 Ongoing 2012 Ongoing Directorate of National Culture, Berat (DRKK) Berat Municipality Implement tourism road sign maintenance program 2012-2013 Directorate of National Culture, Berat (DRKK) Install interpretive signage for key monuments in the Historic Centre. Establish process with experts to agree - Location of interpretation signs - Design of signs (To UNESCO standards) - Content of signs Berat Municipality Ongoing Identification of the tourism infrastructure Ensure integration and cohesion between Urban Master Plan and Tourism Strategy TAC elements according to the Urban Master Plan Install tourism road signs. Establish process with experts to agree - Location of tourism directional signs - Design of signs (to EU standards) - Content of signs 2013 Ongoing TAC Lobby for funds to implement infrastructure improvements (according to EU standards) for existing and new mountain attractions 2012 2011 WHEN TAC Identify key tourist attractions which require new or upgraded access e.g. - Tomorri Mountain - Canyons of Bogova - Waterfall of Bogova ACTIONS Prepare detailed project proposal/s (including budgets) for the upgrade of access to key tourist attractions Create or improve access to key tourist attractions OBJECTIVE Implement interpretive sign maintenance program
  • 52. 57 Professional marketing Develop a in target ‘brand’ for domestic and Berat international markets 9 OBJECTIVE 4 AIM Increase the visibility of Berat as Professional a tourist marketing destination in target through domestic and participation international in and markets promotion of relevant events RANK WHEN 2011 LEAD ORGANIZATION/S Berat Municipality Berat Municipality TAC Marketing and Promotion Working Group Berat Municipality TAC Marketing and Promotion Working Group Participate in the activities of the Historic Towns Network Promote Berat in targeted tourism fairs in cooperation with the National Tourism Agency • TTG Incontri (Italy) • WTM (UK) • ITB (Germany) Participate in priority television programs to promote the Berat region as a tourist destination Organise ‘Berat Days’ activity to showcase Berat in key target markets (e.g. Italy, Greece) Facilitate a participatory branding exercise to identify the unique selling point of Berat and develop a regional brand 2012 Ongoing 2011-2012 One per year 2013 + 2011 Ongoing Annual Annual TAC Establish a Marketing and Promotion Working Group with participation of tourism private sector ACTIONS Stakeholders: Ministry of Tourism, Culture, Youth and Sports, National Tourism Agency, Berat Municipality and Communes, UNESCO, Bilateral donors, National and private television stations, Private sector businesses, Religious community While tourism in Berat is growing, there is a need to develop and unique image that meets the needs of potential tourists. Berat needs to position itself well based on the products that it has and the stage of development that it is in. In the short term Berat will focus on raising its profile as a destination through participation in and hosting of special events and through targeting public relations. As the quality of products and services is improved, action will be taken to market Berat to target markets Targeted marketing and promotion 2012 Ongoing Conduct a local awareness campaign promoting the use of TAC Marketing and the Berat brand for tourism and other products and services Promotion Working Group Incorporate Berat brand into product development activities TAC Marketing and and marketing and promotion Promotion Working Group
  • 53. 58 AIM 19 16 9 Prepare and promote packages to targeted tour operators Professional marketing in target domestic and international markets Promote Berat to key markets using Develop and distribute a city guide in partnership with targeted private sector promotional materials Incorporate the stories and legends of Berat in promotional materials 2011-2012 Berat Municipality and private sector TAC Marketing and Promotion Working Group 2011 2012 Ongoing 2011 TAC Marketing and Promotion Working Group TAC Marketing and Promotion Working Group 2012 Ongoing TAC Marketing and Promotion Working Group 2011-2012 2011-2012 TAC Marketing and Promotion Working Group Prepare information materials for the identified attractions TAC Marketing and Promotion Working Group 2011 WHEN TAC Marketing and Promotion Working Group LEAD ORGANIZATION/S Identify attractions to be part of pilot packages to be promoted to tour operators ACTIONS Facilitate translation of materials into relevant foreign Develop and languages test tour packages for target groups Identify tour operators that work with target markets OBJECTIVE Collect, collate and publish the legends of Berat e.g. • The tomb of Abaz Aliut • The Legend of Mountain Tomorri Protection • The footstep of Baba Aliut Showcase and Berat through • Codex of Berat improvement its stories and • Protection of Jews of tourist Etc. legends attractions Professional marketing in target domestic and international markets RANK
  • 54. 59 19 RANK Professional marketing in target domestic and international markets Professional marketing in target domestic and international markets AIM Identify target markets and product development and investment opportunities Berat Municipality Develop data collection system including the periodic conduct of surveys - Visitor survey Regional Office of Tourism - Accommodation survey - Household survey Conduct and analyse surveys Regional Office of Tourism Develop and distribute an information sheet to stakeholders Regional Office of Tourism with survey findings Develop a promotional website for Berat region in partnership with private sector and maximize use of social media for key target markets (e.g. students in Italy) 2012 Annual Periodical 2011 2011-2012 2011 Ongoing 2011 ongoing TAC Marketing and Promotion Working Group Berat Municipality 2011 Ongoing TAC Marketing and Promotion Working Group Develop and conduct a national PR campaign to promote Berat attractions (newspaper, magazines, television) to target markets 2011 Ongoing WHEN Berat Municipality LEAD ORGANIZATION/S Develop and distribute promotional materials relevant to target markets including • Brochures for key attractions • A map of Berat region (1) • A promotional DVD showcasing Berat attractions • An annual calendar of events • A CD of traditional music of Berat (sold to enable reproduction) • T Shirts and caps (sold to enable reproduction) ACTIONS Promote Berat to key markets using Establish contacts with the entry points in the country targeted (airports, ports etc) and key market centres (City Park,QTU promotional etc) for the distribution of promotional materials materials Establish contacts with relevant, influential persons including - Albanian Ambassadors in target markets abroad - Dignitaries in foreign Embassies of target markets in Albania - Tour Operators and Tour Agencies in - target markets for the promotion of Berat and distribution of promotional materials OBJECTIVE
  • 55. 60 3 RANK OBJECTIVE Strengthen cooperation and coordination between tourism stakeholders and build capacity to develop and manage Berat as a tourism destination Ensure the safety and security of tourists to Berat AIM Human resources of a high quality Human resources of a high quality TAC TAC TAC TAC TAC Elect a Coordinator of the Tourism Action Committee Prepare annual Tourism Action Committee work plans identifying roles, responsibility and timeline Establish working groups, with additional stakeholder participation as required, to implement tourism strategy with clear leadership and roles and responsibilities Conduct a series of meetings between Tourism Action Committee members and representatives of local government to raise awareness of the role and responsibilities of the Tourism Committee Identify contact points in tourism-related local and regional government agencies Berat Municipality Berat Municipality Berat Municipality Facilitate a ‘sister city’ program with UNESCO cultural heritage site in EU. Facilitate the development of a risk management strategy detailing roles and responsibilities in the event of an incident of critical event involving tourists to Berat Facilitate public and private sector training on ensuring the safety and security of tourists including rescue, fire and ambulance services Participate in workshops, seminars or exchange experiences with a focus on protection and presentation of cultural TAC heritage as learning and development opportunities and to showcase Berat LEAD ORGANIZATION/S ACTIONS 2014-2015 2014 2011-2012 Ongoing 2011 2011 2011 Annual 2011 WHEN Stakeholders: Ministry of Tourism, Culture, Youth and Sports, Berat Municipality; Regional Tourism Office, UNDP, USAID, Private sector businesses, Tour Operators, Non-government organisations People are the tourism sector’s major asset. Quality interactions between visitors and their hosts are what visitors value and remember. Berat must ensure that it has a qualified workforce to meet the future growth of the industry. Managing that growth and the sustainable development of the sector is also important. Improving cooperation between the public and private sectors and developing skills to manage and coordinate the sector over the coming years will be key to driving sustainable development and delivering a world class experience to visitors. Developing human resources and coordinating tourism development
  • 56. 61 Human resources of a high quality 6 7 AIM Human resources of a high quality RANK LEAD ORGANIZATION/S TAC TAC Human Resource Development Working Group ACTIONS Establish a Human Resource Development Working Group Conduct a training needs analysis of the tourism private sector (hotels, guest houses, restaurants) to identify short term (immediate) training requirements Advertise training program and select trainees (ensure gender equity and opportunity for low income residents of the Historic Centre) Prioritise training needs and identify funding and trainers TAC Human Resource Development Working Group TAC Human Resource Development Working Group TAC Human Resource Advertise training programs (ensure gender equity and Development Working Training opportunity for low income residents of the Historic Centre) Group available in short term TAC Human Resource to meet Facilitate training and certify graduates Development Working the needs Group of tourism TAC Human Resource private sector Conduct an awareness campaign encouraging businesses to Development Working hire graduates Group Develop a medium term project proposal and lobby for funds to establish a hospitality training centre in Berat including TAC Human Resource - Location Development Working - Staffing structure Group - Modules required (tour operations, hospitality and customer service, guest house management, accounting, English etc.) TAC Human Resource Identify a licensed organization which will conduct the Development Working training (to EU standards) Group TAC Human Resource Develop information for guides according to the attractions Development Working and tours Group Train guides TAC Human Resource with specific Approve modules according to the attractions and tours Development Working knowledge Group of the Berat region TAC Human Resource Develop selection criteria for potential trainees Development Working Group OBJECTIVE 2012 Annual 2012 2012 2011 2011 2013-2015 2012-2013 2012 2012 2012 2012 WHEN 2011
  • 57. 62 7 RANK OBJECTIVE Train guides with specific knowledge of the Berat region AIM Human resources of a high quality LEAD ORGANIZATION/S WHEN TAC Human Resource Facilitate training courses including practical experiences Development Working 2012 Annual and certify qualified guides Group TAC Human Resource Promote the use of qualified guides to Tour Operators, in 2012 Development Working promotional materials and on websites etc. ongoing Group TAC Human Resource 2012 Coordinate with tourist information centre to develop roster Development Working Ongoing of qualified guides Group ACTIONS
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  • 60. APPENDIX Appendix 1. Tourism Action Committee Fadil Nasufi Nevila Haznedari Blerina Ago Etleva Dhima Petrit Revania Desdemona Balliu Bektash Daja Lefteri Kosova Almida Bumbli Marius Qytyku Nevila Hoxha Greta Kajana Elton Xheka Adriatik Hoxha Mayor of Berat Specialist of the Delegated Functions-Prefecture of Berat Albanian Rafting Group Specialist of Tourism – Municipality of Berat Specialist of Marketing – Directory of Agriculture and Food Youth Parliament Region of Berat Women Centre Tourism Business Specialist of Programs –Municipality of Berat Tourism business Regional Office of Tourism Directorate of National Culture Tourism business 65
  • 61. Appendix 2. Acronyms DKKK EU MTCYS NSDI SNV TAC TSAP UNDP UNESCO UNWTO 66 Directorate of National Culture, Berat European Union Ministry of Tourism, Culture, Youth and Sport National Strategy for Development and Integration Netherlands Development Organisation Tourism Action Committee Tourism Strategy and Action Plan United Nations Development Programme United Nations Education, Scientific and Cultural Organisation United Nations World Tourism Organisation
  • 62. Appendix 3. Proposed Monitoring and Evaluation Schedule MONITORING AND EVALUATION OUTLINE July 2010 Baseline survey – accommodation and visitor April 2011 Baseline survey – household April 2011 Final tourism strategy April 2011 Final monitoring indicators July 2011 Bi-annual survey (summer) – accommodation and visitor January 2012 Bi-annual survey (winter) – accommodation and visitor April 2012 Annual survey – household April 2012 Strategy review July 2012 Bi-annual survey (summer) – accommodation and visitor January 2013 Bi-annual survey (winter) – accommodation and visitor April 2013 Annual survey – household April 2013 Strategy review July 2013 Bi-annual survey (summer) – accommodation and visitor January 2014 Bi-annual survey (winter) – accommodation and visitor April 2014 Annual survey – household April 2014 Strategy review July 2014 Bi-annual survey (summer) – accommodation and visitor January 2015 Bi-annual survey (winter) – accommodation and visitor April 2015 Annual survey – household April 2015 Strategy review July 2015 Bi-annual survey (summer) – accommodation and visitor January 2016 Bi-annual survey (winter) – accommodation and visitor April 2016 Annual survey – household April 2016 Strategy review July 2016 Bi-annual survey (summer) – accommodation and visitor January 2017 Bi-annual survey (winter) – accommodation and visitor April 2017 Annual survey – household April 2017 Strategy review July 2017 Bi-annual survey (summer) – accommodation and visitor January 2018 Bi-annual survey (winter) – accommodation and visitor April 2018 Annual survey – household April 2018 Strategy review July 2018 Bi-annual survey (summer) – accommodation and visitor January 2019 Bi-annual survey (winter) – accommodation and visitor April 2019 Annual survey – household April 2019 Strategy review July 2019 Bi-annual survey (summer) – accommodation and visitor January 2020 Bi-annual survey (winter) – accommodation and visitor March 2020 Annual survey – household March 2020 Strategy evaluation 67
  • 63. Appendix 4. Market research – key markets The TAC identified five target market segments as outlined in the body of the TSAP – culture enthusiasts; culture moderates; soft adventure seekers; international tour groups/grand tourists; returning to my roots. While these segments exist globally, Berat will target these groups from key markets already travelling to Berat – primarily Italy, UK, France and Germany. In the medium to long term the Japanese, North American and Australian markets offer potential. Understanding the behaviour of outbound tourists from key markets is important. ITALIAN MARKET The number of Italians traveling abroad has declined during the economic slow down period, although less dramatically than in other countries such as Germany. Even in the face of economic crises, Italians continue to go on vacation and they generally treasure spending at least one or two weeks either at the seaside, in the mountains or visiting foreign countries. Italians have not given up traveling altogether, but many are shortening the length of their trip and /or looking to reduce their expenses. So called “last minute” trips are becoming popular again, despite the efforts of Italian tour operators to encourage advance bookings. Inherently more expensive long haul travel is suffering, including travel to U.S, the main destination for Italians. Activities of most interest to Italians visiting other countries for leisure and business are; dining in restaurants, shopping, sightseeing in cities, visiting historical places, museums, visiting small towns, visiting theme/ amusement parks and national parks. Online travel agents (OLTA) have grown substantially over the last few years. In Italy, e‑commerce in tourism counts for around 55% of the total value of bookings. The tourism sector in Italy has already tapped into social networks like Facebook and Twitter. The Italian market will continue to be a target market for Berat. A considerable number of Berati’s have immigrated to Italy and they play a crucial role in distributing the message of Berat as a destination. The short distance, easy access via air and sea (Alitalia, Belle Air having direct flights from key Italian towns to Tirana), ease of communicating in Italian language, and business relationships, make Italy a lucrative market. Italian independent travelers can be targeted in the future. The Italian market comprises of different type of tourists from those looking for high end accommodation to others preferring guest houses. Independent travelers enjoy many of the region’s products because they usually have time to explore and experience. Thus diversification of the Berat product beyond castle sightseeing is essential. Given the challenges of reaching the independent market, Berat needs to develop very specific marketing channels and well developed and targeted promotional material. Information on attractions and logistical information need to be made available on the internet and social media should be utilized to reach the target market. 68
  • 64. UK MARKET The number of British holidaymakers planning to spend their holidays abroad in 2011 is expected to increase; in a poll conducted in 2010, 96% of Brits indicated that they planned to travel abroad, up from 78% in 2009. According to the British Lifestyles 2010 report, the overall spend on overseas holidays by British holidaymakers will rise by 17 per cent over the next five years. The survey found that the main reasons Britons will choose to holiday abroad are the unpredictable British weather, high prices of hotels in the country (74%), and the simple preference of visiting other countries (55%). Overseas holidays and short breaks are predicted to grow at the expense of domestic trips and longer holidays. The demographics of those taking such holidays are also likely to change with consumers spending between £1,000 and £3,000 on their holidays likely to be hit hardest by current economic conditions. Those spending more than £3,000 have been less affected by the recession. “Holidays are now seen as a luxury item of spending by almost half of adults, which compares to just 38 per cent having this view before the recession in 2007,” the report adds. “Less than one in five adults see holidays as a necessary spend or a ‘right’. According to the survey results, Spain will be the most popular destination in 2011 gaining 24% of the vote, with Greece and Turkey close behind with 18% and 11% respectively. For Berat, in the short to medium term the British market will continue to be a target market given their demonstrated interest in the Balkan region and accessibility (direct flights to Albania five days a week). The key target is young professionals between the ages of 25 and 40, with good incomes but no children and interested in new experiences. A combination of sun and beach holidaymakers with cultural tourism in Berat can lead to more attractions in the region. In the long run when Berat has developed its offer and improve services, the 55-65 year old age group can be targeted - travelers that look for boutique experiences. Package holidays will continue to be popular in Britain. Seen from Berat’s perspective, attention should be paid in packaging the offer. GERMAN MARKET In spite of the insecure future tourism is recovering after the crises. The German market proved that is a stable and mature one. In 2010 42% of the Germans planned one trip and 11% planned two or more trips. Together with the British they made 55% of all EU-25 outbound tourism holiday trips. However German tourism consumers have become more price sensitive and the importance of good value for money offers is increasing. Seniors are gaining importance in the German market as they are a very demanding target group with diverse interests. JAPANESE MARKET Looking at the figures for the first half of 2010 with 7.9 million Japanese tourists traveling abroad, it is clear that the Japanese still travel internationally, but certain changes have occurred over the years. The most noticeable change is the increase in the number of Japanese free, independent travelers (FIT), who are able to design their travel routes themselves. However older travelers especially will still be making use 69
  • 65. of package tourism or at least gather information from travel agencies (55%) of the total Japanese outbound market. The Japanese ageing demographic is influencing the increased amount of free time for travel. The ratio of population aged 65+ is currently 1:7, but will exceed 1:4 by the year 2020. Heritage, cultural attractions, authenticity, value for money and security are the pulling factors attracting this category of Japanese tourists. The Japanese market is reaching the Balkans and can be a target for Berat tourism industry in the long run, when products and services are improved. Age 55 – 70 can be the market as they have more time for leisure then younger age that usually restrict their holidays to maximum 8 days. Japanese tourists look for high standard accommodation and are recognized as high spenders. As a unique market targeted efforts need to be made in terms of hospitality service improvement and safety issues especially in the castle and Mangalem area with stone roads and pathways. Some Albanian tour operators have already established business relationships with Japanese counterparts. Involving the last into FAM-trips to Berat can be a good strategy to target the Japanese market.

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