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  1. 1. STRATEGIC PLAN FOR SUSTAINABLE TOURISM IN SHKODRA REGION “Towards Sustainability of Tourism” Final document - June 2011UNDP ART GOLD 2 TEULEDA
  2. 2. The present document was drafted in the framework ofUNDP ART GOLD 2 Albania the financial support of:UNDP AlbaniaCooperazione Italiana allo Sviluppo - Ministero Affari EsteriUNOPS - United Nations Office for Project Serviceswith the contribution Mr. Andrea Nobili - Senior expert in Strategic Planning Ms. Federica Di Pietrantonio - Junior expert in Strategic Planning Ms. Jonila Prifti and Ms. Maria Grazia Zagaria - iNExTstudio staff (Italy)in close cooperation with:Shkodra Regional Council Staff – coordinated by Ms. Merita Kazazi, Director of theProgramming and Development Department at Shkodra Regional CouncilTEULEDA - Local Economic Development Agency of ShkodraUNDP ART GOLD 2 - Mr. Luigi Cafiero, CTA; Mr. Estevan Ikonomi, National ProgrammeOfficer; Ms. Matilda Duri, Communication Officer; Mr. Spartak Sokoli, Local Coordinator forShkodra Region and ART GOLD 2 coordination with:ILS LEDA - International Links and Services for Local Economic Development AgenciesIDEASS - Innovation for Development and South-South cooperationUniversitas Programme - KIP (Knowledge, Innovation and Policies for Human Development)InitiativeAcknowledgementsIt would be impossible to mention all the people who gave their precious contribution to thepreparation of this document. Special thanks go to the following institutions andstakeholders: their invaluable help made this work possible.Albanian Government: Ministry of Interiors, Ministry of Agriculture, Food and ConsumerProtection, Ministry of Economy, Trade and Energy, Ministry of Education and Science,Ministry of Tourism, Culture Affairs, Youth and SportsItalian Ministry of Foreign Affairs - Inter Agency Scientific Committee for HumanDevelopment Cooperation and Italian Embassy in AlbaniaItalian Cooperation - DGCSUNDP AlbaniaART GOLD 2 project teamUNOPS, UNEP, ILOILS LEDAUniversitas ProgrammeIDEASSAlbanian Development FundShkodra Regional CouncilPrefecture of ShkodraChamber of CommerceMunicipalities and Communes of Shkodra RegionUniversity of Shkodra - Department of Geography and Faculty of EconomyTEULEDAThanks also to the numerous territorial actors at national, regional and local level who activelyparticipated in the strategic planning process, for their cooperation and commitment. Shkodra, June 2011
  3. 3. STRATEGIC PLANFOR SUSTAINABLE TOURISM IN SHKODRA REGION “Towards Sustainability of Tourism” Final document (June 2011)
  4. 4. Table of contentsEXECUTIVE SUMMARY 1INTRODUCTION TO THE STRATEGIC PLANFOR SUSTAINABLE TOURISM IN SHKODRA REGION 5 Why a Strategic Plan for Sustainable Tourismt in Shkodra Region? 5 Background and objectives of the Strategic Plan for Sustainable Tourism 7 How to read this document 9 Methodology of the Strategic Planning process 10 Steps and timeline of the Strategic Planning process 12 Participation - The basis of the strategic planning process 14CHAPTER 1. ANALYSIS FRAMEWORK 21 1.1. Introduction to the Analysis Framework 21 1.2. Sharing the analysis - The Kick-Off event 23 1.3. Territorial framework 24 1.4. Historical highlights 25 1.5. Statistical data for the territory 26 1.6. Infrastructure for the mobility 30 1.7. Environmental aspects 33 1.8. Landscape and cultural heritage 36 1.9. Value chains 45 1.10. Territorial programming 50 1.11. S.W.O.T. analysis of Shkodra Region 67 1.12. General development goal and Keywords of the Strategic Plan 69 1.13. Scenarios for Regional Development 71CHAPTER 2. STRATEGIC FRAMEWORK 80 2.1. Methodological introduction 80 2.2. Participation in the strategy definition - The Public Debates 81 2.3. Vision for tourism development 84 2.4. Strategic Guidelines and Actions 86 2.5. Synergies among Strategic Guidelines - Internal coherence of the Strategic Plan 95 2.6. Consistency of the Tourism Strategy with the National development policies 99CHAPTER 3. ACTION PLAN 101 3.1. Methodological introduction 101 3.2. Participative projects devising - The Focus Groups 102 3.3. The 8 Project Boxes for regional tourism development 105 3.4. Synergies among Project Boxes 130 3.5. Conclusions - Notes on the Strategic Plan implementation 132ANNEXES A. Bibliography and References B. Diagram of the Strategic Planning process C. Project Boxes and Project proposals D. Survey of programmes in progress in Shkodra Region E. Map of cultural and landscape heritage in Shkodra Region
  5. 5. AbbreviationsADF Albanian Development FundAGA2 ART GOLD Albania 2ART Articulation of Territorial and Thematic Cooperation Networks for Human DevelopmentACLI Associazioni Cristiane Lavoratori ItalianiCDP Coordinated Development ProjectsCERAI Centro de Estudios Rurales y de Agricultura InternacionalCPC County Partnership CouncilCTA Chief Technical AdvisorDGCS Direzione Generale per la Cooperazione allo Sviluppo (General Directorate for Italian Development Cooperation)EU European UnionFG Focus GroupGPP Gross Primary ProductivityGTZ/GIZ Gesellschaft fur Internationale Zusammenarbeit (German International Cooperation)IDEASS Innovations for Development and South-South cooperationILO International Labour OrganisationILS LEDA International Links and Services for Local Economic Development AgenciesINSTAT National Institute of StatisticsISD Integrated Support for DecentralisationKIP Knowledge, Innovations and Policies for human developmentLEDA Local Economic Development AgencyMADA Mountain Areas Development AgencyMASH Ministria e Arsimit dhe e Shkencës (Ministry of Education and Science)MBUMK Ministria e Bujqësise, Ushqimit dhe Mbrojtjes së Konsumatorit (Ministry of Agriculture)MDG Millennium Development GoalMETE Ministria e Ekonomise,Tregëtisë dhe Energjitikës (Ministry of Economy, Trade and Energy)MITIK Ministri për Inovacionin dhe Teknologjinë e Informacionit e të Komunikimit (Ministry for Innovation and Communication and Information Technology)MOE Ministria e Mjedisit, Pyjeve dhe Administrimit të Ujrave (Ministry of Environment)MPCS Ministria e Punës, Çështjeve Sociale dhe Shanseve të Barabarta (Ministry of Labour, Social Affairs and Equal Opportunities)MPPT Ministria e Punëve Publike dhe Transportit (Ministry of Public Works and Transportation)MTKRS Ministria e Turizmit,Kultures,Rinise dhe Sporteve (Ministry of Tourism, Culture, Youth and Sports)NGO Non Governmental OrganisationPB Project BoxRDC Regional Development ConceptSDC Swiss agency for Development and CooperationSG Strategic GuidelineSNV Stichting Nederlandse Vrijwilligers (Netherlands Development Organisation)SP Strategic Plan or Strategic PlanningSWOT Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities and ThreatsTSG Technical Support GroupUNDP United Nations Development ProgrammeUNEP United Nations Environment ProgrammeUNESCO United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural OrganizationUNOPS United Nations Office for Project ServicesUTL Unità Tecnica Locale (Local Technical Unit)VIS Volontariato Internazionale per lo Sviluppo (International Volunteers for Development)VKM Vendim i Keshillit te Ministrave (Decision of the Council of Ministers)WB World Bank
  6. 6. Executive SummarySHKODRA REGION 2020: A SUSTAINABLE TOURISM DISTRICT The United Nations Development Programme Regional Development Concept and with the (UNDP) is the UNs global development other plans, programmes, projects and sector network, advocating for change and connecting policies already ongoing in the area. countries to knowledge, expertise, and Furthermore, UNDP ART GOLD 2 Albania resources to help people build a better life. At aimed at promoting and supporting democratic present, UNDP is operating in 166 countries, participation of local, national and international assisting them in formulating their own actors in the decision-making process solutions to global and national development regarding Shkodra Region tourism challenges. UNDPs main goal is to help development policies, and sought to supply the developing countries build their own national Regional Government with the required capacity to achieve sustainable human capacities to autonomously draw and manage development; that is, to improve peoples lives international funds for development. on an enduring basis. In particular, UNDP To fulfil these needs, ART GOLD 2 launched a Albania supports the countrys aspirations Strategic Plan for Tourism (SPT) as a long term towards European Union integration and programme on territorial governance and contributes to national efforts to achieve the sustainable tourism development adopting a Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) participatory approach. regarding poverty reduction, gender equality, environmental sustainability and good The SPT aim is to engage the local community governance. to create its own vision for the future, and discover the best way to implement it by The UNDP ART GOLD 2 Albania Programme is connecting the cultural, environmental, social part of the UNDP Art Initiative (Articulation of and economic aspects of the territory. The SPT territorial and thematic networks of human mission is to propel a balanced and development cooperation), which promotes endogenous tourism development of the area national co-operation for governance and local and increase the value of the Region as a development projects. The Programme is tourist destination by strengthening its unique financed by the Italian Government (Italian cultural, social, environmental, economic Cooperation) and supports the Albanian identity and its human resources. By doing so, Government to achieve the MDGs and meet the Regional Government and community can the requirements of EU accession through the become more aware of the roles they can play promotion of partnership with regional councils, in the development process and become more in line with the Albanian National Strategy for confident in their abilities to cooperate in Decentralisation and Local Governance. The development processes. programme works to create links and implement partnership among Albanian and Within the framework of ART GOLD 2 the European regional and local communities, local strategic planning represents an innovative institutions, Local Economic Development democratic process necessary to lead Albania Agencies (LEDAs) and other subjects operating towards EU integration and a useful instrument in the country (ILS LEDA, Universitas to complete the administrative decentralisation Programme and IDEASS, among others). o n g o i n g i n t h e c o u n t r y. I n a c o u n t r y characterised by a scarce tradition in Shkodra Region is one of the areas targeted by participatory practices, Shkodra Region Strategic ART GOLD 2. The Regional Government unit Planning for tourism development serves as a needed support designing a regional tourism democratic and bottom-up process, necessary to development policy, addressing critical strengthen the collaboration and mutual trust territorial issues in a coordinated manner, while amidst institutions, local and foreign actors. maintaining continuity with the existing Strategic Planning in Shkodra Region - Towards Sustainability of Tourism 1
  7. 7. Furthermore, Shkodra Region SPT represents accomplish the Vision, addressing the mainSHKODRA REGION 2020: A SUSTAINABLE TOURISM DISTRICT a coordination platform among donors, critical aspects of the regional tourist offer. international organisations, national, regional • Twenty-four Actions - The “tools” to fill the gap and local policies. Hence, donors can allocate between present situation and future tourism funds on projects that best reflect community development. They are strongly needs, and be part of a concrete sustainable interconnected and help to achieve several development. goals at the same time. They are realised In order to coordinate, prevent overlapping, through projects implementation. develop synergies and optimise results, the This Tourism Strategy, discussed and approved tourism strategic planning process in Shkodra by territorial actors, attempts to convey the Region started with the inventory of territorial regional community’s desires and needs, as policies at national, regional and local level. directly or indirectly expressed during Simultaneously, a territorial analysis was participatory meetings and events, and finally conducted, providing an overview of the current adapt them within the current situation of the regional territorial situation in terms of territory, with ongoing programmes and national infrastructure, environment, cultural heritage, policies and goals especially regarding the economy, social aspects, etc. To this purpose, tourism and agro-food sectors. the analysis started from the information provided by recently published planning and The next step of the Strategic Planning process programming documents, and integrated these was the Action Plan, which is an integrated information with the outcomes of territorial system of projects, which need to be surveys and participatory meetings. There was implemented in order to attain the SPT goals. no need for new research to be conducted, The projects were mainly proposed by local because the strategic planning process did not actors and established in a rational and vision start from zero rather it maintained continuity oriented framework. The territorial actors with the policies already operating on the involved in the participatory process proposed territory. The territorial analysis allowed the around 100 project ideas for the implementation identification of the Region’s real strengths and of the shared regional sustainable tourism weaknesses, summarised in an S.W.O.T. development Strategy, hence representing the analysis. Subsequently, the Keywords and satisfaction of territorial requirements. Other possible Scenarios for regional tourism ideas were also suggested by SPT experts development were identified. Keywords based on the outcomes of the debates and of summarised the issues and needs emerged the meetings held with national level during meetings, which the territorial actors institutions. Another group of project ideas deemed crucial for regional development. The came from the analyses conducted by one of Scenarios represented possible future ILS LEDA experts on the regional value chains. configurations of the Region as a tourist In order to give a wider perspective to these destination, and were based on present proposals and ideas, the SPT experts conditions, on the trends outlined by the introduced “Project Boxes” or “containers” currently operating policies at all levels and on where projects addressing the same topics and/ the possible variables that the Strategic Plan can or the same parts of the regional territories introduce to trigger sustainable and endogenous were clustered around a single theme and development. integrated, hence developing synergies and The territorial analysis gave way to the interactions. In this way, projects can contribute definition of a shared short, medium and long- more effectively to the achievement of the term regional tourism development Strategy, Vision and to the redefinition of the role of the consisting of: Region in the national and international tourism markets. • A Vision - Suggesting the possible role that Shkodra Region can play in the global The strategic planning methodology adopted in tourism market, in coherence with the Shkodra Region uses a bottom-up approach. analysis results and with the outcomes of the This means that each step of the Strategic participative process. Planning process was characterised by the participation of all local stakeholders • Three Strategic Guidelines - The integrated (institutions, entrepreneurs, associations, etc.) and synergic directions to follow in order to involved in the definition of the SPT. Strategic Planning in Shkodra Region - Towards Sustainability of Tourism 2
  8. 8. The participation steps had a growing attracting tourist flows throughout the yearSHKODRA REGION 2020: A SUSTAINABLE TOURISM DISTRICT interaction level, where the involvement and hence spreading socio-economic growth on collaboration of stakeholders and civil society the whole regional territory. was constantly sought after, both by arranging • Given the present situation and trends face-to-face meetings with significant actors outlined by current national and regional (more than 100 meetings were held in the policies, Shkodra Region has four possible framework of the Strategic Planning process) tourism development Scenarios ahead: and by organising public consultation events: • A Kick-Off event to publicly launch the ‣ Scenario 1) Cultural tourism - Based on the Strategic Planning initiative surveys conducted by SPT and ILS LEDA • Three public debates to share a draft Vision experts, Shkodra Region is rich in cultural and Strategy for regional tourism attractors, both tangible and non tangible. development with all territorial actors Furthermore, the Region is considered the • A Focus Groups meeting for the joint richest Albanian region in handicraft identification of integrated projects to achieve activities. the Strategic Plan objectives. ‣ Scenario 2) Rural tourism - Various The participation to the events was ample and all elements make the development of rural actors showed interest and willingness to tourism in the Region extremely actively engage in the SPT preparation. During reasonable. Among them are the great this process the collaboration between regional landscape value of regional rural areas, the and local actors, and between ART GOLD 2 and important role of agriculture in regional partners, was strengthened. After the required economy and the existence of a variety of processing and organising activities, the results traditional agro-food products, handicraft of the participatory process were all taken into and artistic production. Tourists can also consideration and included in the SPT. Hence, become a tool for international promotion of all SPT contents can be considered as mutual typical local products, thus boosting and agreed upon by the entire regional production, marketing and qualification community. processes. The participatory process in Shkodra Region ‣ Scenario 3) Natural tourism - Shkodra was supported by various information and Region has a great potential as a natural communication materials aimed to inform tourism destination. The territory is very rich territorial actors on Strategic Planning issues, in environmental attractors, and contains a involve them in the process and stimulate variety of ecosystems in a relatively small discussions during public consultation events. area. In addition, sustainable artificial attractors can be established. These materials were designed taking into consideration the scarce tradition of the regional ‣ Scenario 4) Sun, sea and sand tourism - In population to be a part of participatory practices. proportion to its extension, Shkodra Region One of the most important tools created for the has a very small coastal area. Beach- Shkodra Region SPT is the website related tourism in Velipoje has already ( where created environmental problems, due to it is possible to find all the necessary information inadequate water supply systems and regarding the Strategic Planning in Shkodra waste and wastewater management and to Region. out-of-control urbanisation in the coastal settlements: the development of this The process described so far led to the following Scenario should be carefully controlled. findings, conclusions and recommendations: To achieve a more diversified tourism • The desk analyses conducted and the development, make tourist flows less participation activities performed showed that seasonal and extend them on the entire Shkodra Region has a variety of potential regional territory, hence avoiding territorial tourist attractors (cultural heritage, natural unbalances, these Scenarios should be resources and landscapes, traditions and carried out simultaneously, in an integrated food), not yet adequately valorised and a n d c o m p l e m e n t a r y m a n n e r, m a k i n g integrated. This variety can allow the sustainability the central thread for regional development of a diversified tourist product, tourism development. Strategic Planning in Shkodra Region - Towards Sustainability of Tourism 3
  9. 9. • The Vision chosen for regional sustainable complex projects, or CoordinatedSHKODRA REGION 2020: A SUSTAINABLE TOURISM DISTRICT tourism development is “Shkodra Region Development Projects (CDP), focused on 2020: a Sustainable Tourism District”. In order specific sub-regional homogeneous to become a major tourist destination in the geographical areas. CDPs will start from the Balkan area and be competitive on national project proposals contained in the Project and international tourism markets, Shkodra Boxes, but at the same time will go further, Region should become an “integrated tourism integrating a number of small projects (also territorial system”, where different territories taken from different Project Boxes) into a and sectors are interconnected in an single one. Examples of possible priority integrated tourist offer. The development of Coordinated Development Projects are: culture, adventure, sports and eco-tourism can ‣ The Albanian Alps hiking circuit – Creation of differentiate Shkodra Region tourism product safe hiking paths for natural excursions in from the neighbouring countries’, and the areas of Theth and Vermosh, integrated sustainable tourism can represent an with first aid centres, accommodation opportunity to foster socio-economic structures and places to taste and buy development and increase the quality of life. branded typical food products (safe, high- However, effective tourism development in the quality and certified) and handicraft objects. Region can not be achieved without the ‣ The Lakes circuit – Creation of a nature and coordinated implementation of urgent sports tourist itinerary involving the lakes of infrastructure interventions such as: Shkodra, Vau i Dejes and Koman, including development of waste collection and treatment transportation services, typical cuisine systems; improvement of water cycle (prepared with safe, high-quality, branded management; protection of the territory from and certified typical food products), hydro-geological risk; upgrade of transport accommodation and first aid centres. networks; diffusion of ICT networks, etc. ‣ The Castles circuit – Creation of a cultural • In order to accomplish this Vision, three itinerary involving the castles of Shkodra, Drisht, Sarda, Ballezes and Babices, Strategic Guidelines were identified: integrated with accommodation structures, 1. Qualification and diversification of tourist places to taste and buy branded typical offer food products (safe, high-quality and 2. Quality improvement in tourist areas certified), and “handicraft streets” to display 3. Development of typical rural productions and sell artisan objects. and handicrafts ‣ Marketing of regional tourist offer – • These Strategic Guidelines will be achieved Establishment of a Regional Tourist Agency through the implementation of 85 shared that will deal with the mapping of regional projects and project ideas, contained in 8 tourist resources, the design of a territorial thematic “Project Boxes”: “umbrella brand”, the design and 1. Tourist reception and marketing in management of a regional tourism website, Shkodra Region the creation of a network of trained guides 2. Shkodra Region - Heritage tourist itineraries and local agents for tourist assistance, etc. 3. Exploring the Albanian Alps ‣ Regional waste management system – 4. Shkodra Region - Lakes and wetlands organisation of a solid waste management tourist itinerary system at regional level, mostly based on 5. Brands for typical Shkodra Region quality separate collection and recycling, food products accompanied by awareness campaigns on 6. Typical Shkodra Region arts and crafts waste management. 7. First aid centres network in Shkodra Region The Coordinated Development Projects shall 8. Clean and hospitable towns and villages derive directly from the outcomes of the of Shkodra Region Strategic Planning process, and will work as the • The next step to be undertaken for the “tangible expression” of the shared Tourism implementation of the SPT will be to Strategy on the regional territory. Through strengthen the Project Boxes relationships them, the Actions of the regional SPT will be with specific territorial locations and to gradually implemented, always considering the develop their mutual synergies. The outcome “big picture” represented by the overall Vision of this process will be a set of integrated and Tourism Strategy. Strategic Planning in Shkodra Region - Towards Sustainability of Tourism 4
  10. 10. INTRODUCTIONSHKODRA REGION 2020: A SUSTAINABLE TOURISM DISTRICT TO THE STRATEGIC PLAN FOR SHKODRA REGION TOURISM DEVELOPMENT Shkodra lake Why a Strategic Plan for Tourism Development in Shkodra Region? Through the support of the German Technical Furthermore, the Region of Shkodra has been Cooperation (GTZ) over the last years, Shkodra selected by the Albanian government as priority area Region has been elaborating a Regional for tourism development. The reason of this selection Development Concept, which serves as the main comes from the extraordinary natural value of the strategic document for the Region for the period regional territory and from the urgency of measures to 2010-2016. support disadvantaged local communities overlooked by the development process characterising the The document approved by the Regional Council of country in recent years. Shkodra on September 2010 lists tourism and agribusiness among the five main priorities for In addition to hosting the National Park of Theth, the regional development, together with education, regional mountain areas (the so-called Albanian Alps) training and capacity building, infrastructure and are part of a major project to create a transboundary services, inter-regional cooperation and cooperation Peace Park with Montenegro and Kosovo: the with other partners and flood protection. Balkans Peace Park. Strategic Planning in Shkodra Region - Towards Sustainability of Tourism 5
  11. 11. SHKODRA REGION 2020: A SUSTAINABLE TOURISM DISTRICT In this context, the regional partners of UNDP development policies. In Shkodra Region, due ART GOLD 2 Albania Programme suggested to the importance of tourism in local economic the development of a thematic SPT to development, the SPT focuses mainly on this implement measures that will guide tourism and sector, but its implementation will positively agribusiness development in the future, as well affect other aspects of regional economy, such as ensure sustainable development in these as agriculture, transport and trade. This is the fields. result of the cross-cutting nature of tourism sector, encompassing also infrastructural, The SPT should also work as a coordination tool cultural and social aspects, but also to the for international donors on the regional territory, integrated and participatory nature of the SPT. hence making their action more effective. Indeed, at a local level there are different The start up of a strategic planning process for strategic documents addressing these issues: in tourism development, where territorial actors can line with them the SP promotes and enhances express their needs and submit their proposals, the synergic use of the resources made available is necessary to the community and institutions in by the various donors active in the territory. order to promote democratic participation as an important part of territorial planning. A Strategic Plan for tourism (SPT) is a coordination platform for territorial development Through this process, on one hand, tourism will that involves the whole cultural, environmental, bring economic prosperity in the Region due to social and economic aspects of a particular positive impacts on the development of other area to attain an endogenous and sustainable economical sectors; on the other hand, development model. An SPT is an innovative democratic participation will increase the local and flexible territorial governance instrument, community awareness of the active role that already applied in several European cities and people can play in policy-making for local territories, intended to direct all local development. Strategic Planning in Shkodra Region - Towards Sustainability of Tourism 6
  12. 12. Background and objectivesSHKODRA REGION 2020: A SUSTAINABLE TOURISM DISTRICT of the Strategic Plan for Tourism Development Shkodra Region for Sustainable Tourism in requirements for EU accession through the Shkodra Region is an initiative of the ART promotion of partnerships with regional councils, GOLD 2 Albania programme, which is part of in line with the Albanian National Strategy for the UNDP ART Initiative (Articulation of Decentralisation and Local Governance. The territorial and thematic networks of human programme aims to create linkages and development cooperation). establish partnerships among Albanian and European regional and local communities, local UNDP (the United Nations Development institutions, the Local Economic Development Programme) is the UNs global development Agencies (LEDAs) and other subjects operating network, advocating for change and connecting in the country (ILS LEDA, Universitas countries to knowledge, expertise, and Programme and IDEASS among others). resources to help people build a better life. At present, UNDP is operating in 166 countries, ART GOLD 2 promotes a national cooperation assisting them in formulating their own framework for governance and local solutions to global and national development development through the active role of public challenges. UNDPs main goal is to help and private actors as well as of local and developing countries build their own national central institutions representatives. capacity to achieve sustainable human Shkodra Region is one of the areas targeted by development, that is, to improve peoples lives ART GOLD 2. The Regional Government unit on an enduring basis. needed support designing a regional tourism In particular, UNDP Albania supports the development policy, addressing critical territorial countrys aspirations towards European Union issues in a coordinated manner, while maintaining integration and contributes to national efforts to continuity with the existing programmes and achieve the Millennium Development Goals policies already ongoing in the area. (MDGs) regarding poverty reduction, gender Furthermore, UNDP ART GOLD 2 Albania aimed equality, environmental sustainability and good at promoting and supporting democratic governance. ART Initiative promotes national co- participation of local, national and international operation for governance and local development actors in the decision-making process regarding projects. The programme is funded by the Italian Shkodra Region tourism development policies, Ministry of Foreign Affairs through Italian and sought to provide the Regional Government Cooperation and supports the Albanian with the required capacities to autonomously Government to achieve the Millennium draw and manage international funds for Development Goals (MDGs) and to meet the development. Strategic Planning in Shkodra Region - Towards Sustainability of Tourism 7
  13. 13. SHKODRA REGION 2020: A SUSTAINABLE TOURISM DISTRICT To fulfil these needs, ART GOLD 2 launched a mediations and the use of participatory Strategic Planfor Tourism as a useful techniques. instrument to support the administrative The main goal of the strategic planning process decentralisation in Albania. was to identify a list of far-reaching projects, As indicated in the methodology applied by consistent and shared, resulting from a bottom- strategic planning experts, an SPT is a short, up approach. medium and long-term programme for The projects identification was guided by the sustainable territorial development and idea that Albania will become a member of the governance, designed through a participatory, European Union in the near future. “bottom-up” process. Additionally, SPT incorporated priority projects, Therefore, the Shkodra Region SPT submitted by territorial actors for UNDP Development was guided by principles of funding. SPT experts provided technical participation and negotiation: the main public assistance in the development of these and private actors operating in the territory projects, primarily focusing on their consistency were engaged in open meetings and events, with the sustainable regional development during which they jointly identified regional direction traced through Strategic Planning. potentials and weaknesses and envisaged possible regional development Scenarios. Within the framework of ART GOLD 2, Strategic Subsequently, the same actors collaborated in Planning represents an innovative and defining a common development Vision and the democratic process necessary to lead Albania strategic goals to achieve it. towards EU integration. The ample participation in the numerous The Shkodra Region SPT is one of the meetings and events organised during the instruments providing a coordination platform process, demonstrates the ability of the SPT to among national, regional and local policies and trigger and strengthen mechanisms of co- the institutions which promote them (Ministries, operation within local communities. Hence, local governments, Albanian Development SPT is not a product rather an ever-changing Fund, etc.) and is a useful coordination tool for process, built through negotiations and international donors. Strategic Planning in Shkodra Region - Towards Sustainability of Tourism 8
  14. 14. How to read this documentSHKODRA REGION 2020: A SUSTAINABLE TOURISM DISTRICT The present document gives an account of the therefore open, shared and modifiable. If strategic planning process carried out in necessary, it can be updated, always through Shkodra Region from March 2010 to June the involvement of the whole regional 2011. community. It also explains how the strategic planning The Regional government should use this methodology was applied in the target area, the document as a memorandum and a guide for way territorial actors were involved in the the gradual implementation of coordinated process, and the results achieved. tourism development projects in the Region. It describes the regional territory’s current The participative nature of the SPT guarantees situation and illustrates the shared sustainable the continuity and legitimacy of the tourism tourism development strategy that was chosen development strategy. The fact that this tourism by the regional community. strategy was approved by most territorial actors should be taken into account by present and All its contents were shared with territorial future administrators to fulfil local community actors and/or were drafted on the basis of their expectations. suggestions and observations. Hence the SPT does not claim to be exhaustive and can be This SPT was drafted in alignment with the subject to integrations and additions at any goals of the main regional development plans time. and programmes. By and large, this document represents a It also refers to the national strategic goals, summary of what emerged from the democratic stated in the Sector Strategy for Tourism negotiation process that was the basis of the Development and in the National Strategy for strategic planning exercise. The document is Development and Integration. The Strategic Planning process for the achievement of the Millennium Development Goals Strategic Planning in Shkodra Region - Towards Sustainability of Tourism 9
  15. 15. MethodologySHKODRA REGION 2020: A SUSTAINABLE TOURISM DISTRICT of the Strategic Planning process Strategic planning is a cyclical process of review • the development Scenarios, expressing and assessment, constantly accompanied by possible future configurations of the regional monitoring, communication and participation tourism sector based on present conditions procedures. It consists of four main steps: and on the trends outlined by current policies at all levels. 1. Launch In this phase, meetings with stakeholders were 2. Analysis Framework important to highlight problems and to share 3. Strategic Framework objectives for sustainable development. 4. Action Plan 3. Strategic Framework The territorial analysis was the first step 1. Launch towards the definition of a shared short, The Strategic Planning process in Shkodra medium and long-term strategy for regional Region started off with a series of preparatory tourism development, consisting of: activities, aimed at introducing the strategic • Vision - Is the future image of an area, directing planning initiative to Albanian authorities at all all tourism development policies. It suggests the levels, mapping stakeholders, highlighting possible role that Shkodra Region can play in general goals and programming further activities. the global tourism market in compliance with Strategic planning process methodology and its the analysis conducted and the outcomes of the possible outputs were discussed with various participative process. territorial actors, emphasising future benefits in • Strategic Guidelines - Are the directions to terms of development policies coordination, follow to accomplish the Vision, creating an resources optimisation, and local community integrated and synergic system, focused on involvement and awareness. The SPT was then issues considered crucial for regional introduced to the public through a Kick-Off event development. organised in Shkodra and supported by a • Actions - Are the “tools” to fill the gap communication campaign. between current situation and future tourism development. They are strongly 2. Analysis Framework interconnected, help achieve several goals concurrently and are carried out through Shkodra Region’s current situation was projects implementation. analysed, starting from information contained in The contents of this step were discussed and recent plans and programmes involving the shared with territorial actors during public regional territory. This analysis includes: debates in Shkodra, Koplik and Puka. • an analysis of territorial aspects (historical background, infrastructures, environment, cultural heritage, social and economic context), 4. Action Plan based on information from existing planning The Action Plan contains an integrated system of and programming instruments, assessed coordinated projects (proposed by territorial through territorial surveys and integrated with actors and organised in a coherent, vision- the participation outcomes oriented framework), which must be implemented • a compared analysis of plans and to achieve the Strategic Plan goals. The Action programmes regarding the Region Plan traces possible procedures to implement the • a S.W.O.T. analysis, identifying the area’s projects and suggests the role of institutions and main potentials and problems private actors in the implementation process. The • a set of Keywords, synthesising the analysis Action Plan was discussed and agreed upon by results, and the Strategic Plan general goal territorial actors during Focus Groups. Strategic Planning in Shkodra Region - Towards Sustainability of Tourism 10
  16. 16. SHKODRA REGION 2020: A SUSTAINABLE TOURISM DISTRICTStrategic Planning in Shkodra Region - Towards Sustainability of Tourism A diagram synthesizing the main steps of the strategic planning process11
  17. 17. Steps and timelineSHKODRA REGION 2020: A SUSTAINABLE TOURISM DISTRICT of the Strategic Planning process Type of activity Strategic Planning Performed activities Participation Desk Time (SPT) steps and other activity field activity Preparatory meetings with UNDP February- representatives, TEULEDA and AGA2 staff to  April share SPT methodology 2010 Meetings with Albanian authorities and other February- significant stakeholders, to present AGA2 SPT October methodology, collect information about 2010 programmes and projects implemented and  under implementation in the target areas, establish cooperation and synergies Ongoing plans and programmes collection and March- analysis September Extrapolation, processing and systematisation 2010 of data and information useful to outline the  Analysis Framework Draft of the analysis framework Surveys of the regional territory April 2010 Preparation of a draft SWOT analysis   In-depth definition of roles and responsibilities April- of all people involved in the programme, to  August optimise the SPT process 2010 Preparation of a “Strategic Planning Starter Kit” May 2010 CD-Rom to support training activities for the  Launch benefit of TEULEDA and Training and technical assistance to May 2010 Analysis TEULEDA staff in order to prepare the Kick-Off  Framework event of the Strategic Plan Coordination activities with other UN July- programmes, especially by assessing their October ongoing activities in the AGA2 areas of  2010 intervention County Partnership Council meetings August 2010 Support to the shared identification of priority projects to be funded by AGA2, and to the  definition of shared selection criteria Technical assistance and training addressed to August- TEULEDA and AGA2 Local Coordinator for the September organisation of the Kick-Off event 2010 Technical assistance and training addressed to AGA2 Communication Officer for the   communication activities concerning the SPT process, with a focus on the preparation of materials for the Kick-Off event Kick-Off event: presentation to the territorial October 2010 actors of the SPT methodology and of the first  achieved results; sharing of the draft analysis Processing and systematisation of the Kick-Off October 2010 event outcomes and identification of possible  Scenarios for regional tourism development Strategic Planning in Shkodra Region - Towards Sustainability of Tourism 12
  18. 18. SHKODRA REGION 2020: A SUSTAINABLE TOURISM DISTRICT Type of activity Strategic Planning Performed activities Participation Desk Time (SPT) steps and other activity field activity Preparation of a draft Vision and Strategy for November- regional tourism development according to the December analyses and surveys conducted and to the  2010 meetings outcomes Improve coordination between strategic December planning process, other ongoing ART 2010 programmes and activities carried on by  significant Albanian and international Strategic cooperation actors Framework Support and technical assistance to TEULEDA January- and AGA2 staff to carry out 3 public debates to  February 2011 discuss the draft Vision and Strategy Three public debates with territorial actors: February 2011 approval of the draft regional tourism  development Vision and Strategy Definition of the final version of the regional February- development Vision and Strategy, according to  March 2011 the public debates results Monitoring and support to the process of priority February-April projects design in collaboration with TEULEDA  2011 and the Regional Council of Shkodra Definition of draft Project Boxes to implement March-April the Strategy for regional tourism development  2011 Action Plan Focus Groups in Shkodra: sharing and April 2011 discussing the Project Boxes and devising of  project proposals to include in the SPT Definition of the final version of the Project April 2011 Boxes, according to the Focus Groups  outcomes, and preparation of the Action Plan Strategic Planning in Shkodra Region - Towards Sustainability of Tourism 13
  19. 19. ParticipationSHKODRA REGION 2020: A SUSTAINABLE TOURISM DISTRICT The basis of the Strategic Planning process The Kick-Off event in Shkodra The SPT is a participatory process, a democratic Participation activities, within the framework of instrument for territorial governance aimed to ART GOLD 2, supported the consolidation of the engage the local community in envisioning its County Partnership Council (CPC) and the future and finding out how to achieve it. Each establishment of a regional Technical Support step of the strategic planning methodology is Group (TSG). The former is the main advisory characterised by participation, hence and coordination body for the preparation and encouraging the growing involvement and implementation of regional development policies, commitment of territorial actors. and it is formed by institutional subjects and representatives of civil society, education and During the first phase, actors are informed on business organisations), whereas the latter strategic planning methodology and objectives. provides the CPC with the necessary technical Then, they are asked to focus on the assistance in defining and implementing identification of potentials and critical aspects of development projects. their Region, as well as possible development Scenarios. The third phase is the joint Participatory activities were effectively supported identification of a shared Vision and Strategy for by the Regional Council staff (which was actively regional development. The last phase involved in the whole SP process) and by the encompasses a deeper involvement of actors, Local Economic Development Agency of who are asked to commit in identifying and Shkodra, TEULEDA (established by UNOPS/ starting up concrete development projects. PASARP in 2001 and object of empowerment policies carried on by ART GOLD 2 and ILS The active participation of all territorial actors LEDA). Both actors, supported by ART GOLD was fostered throughout the strategic planning experts, developed their capacity to gather process in Shkodra Region in conformity with the territorial actors together and devise complex, adopted methodology, and realised by arranging wide-range projects. face-to-face meetings with significant actors as well as organising public consultation events. The results of the participatory process – in The participation steps were characterised by a terms of territorial potentials and critical aspects growing interaction level starting from a mere highlighted, solutions proposed, development presentation of the strategic planning initiative objectives identified - were all taken into (the Kick-Off event), to public debates around the consideration and included (after the necessary strategy, and to Focus Groups in which territorial processing and systematising activities) in the actors worked together on projects definition. SPT. Meetings with significant stakeholders were held Therefore, all the SPT contents can be throughout the process, together with the considered as shared and agreed upon by the necessary coordination meetings with all the whole regional community. actors involved in the programme. Strategic Planning in Shkodra Region - Towards Sustainability of Tourism 14