Tourism offers an effective and viable regional development tool through boosting economic growth and creating quality jobs across the south-east of Europe, argues UNWTO.
This was the central message coming out of the Tourism as a Tool for Sustainable Regional Development Seminar, which took place in Tirana, Albania.
“Albania has the potential to build a new tourism sector for the 21st century and set an inspiring model for other countries,” said the Prime Minister of Albania, Sali Berisha opening the Seminar alongside UNWTO secretary-general Taleb Rifai.
In many regions, tourism creates significant opportunities for diversifying the local economy, bringing economic benefits to areas with limited options for alternative economic development.
As such, tourism is increasingly recognized as a decisive tool in territorial development and reducing inequalities between regions, particularly in today’s challenging times.
“In the face of a prolonged period of high unemployment, tourism can create jobs, particularly in remote regions, and is by far one of the best development opportunities for those regions that are emerging, as is the case of Eastern Europe,” added Mr Rifai.
“This region can benefit immensely from further regional cooperation,” he continued.
Tirana set for tourism boom
The Seminar highlighted the importance of working across the regional, national and international levels in the design and implementation of effective tourism strategies for regional development.
Serving as a platform for discussing economic regional development through tourism in south-eastern Europe, the Seminar was organised by UNWTO in cooperation and coordination with the ministry of tourism, culture, youth and sports of Albania and supported by the Netherlands development organisation (SNV), the United States agency for international development (USAID) and the United Nations development programme (UNDP).
Also in Europe today, World Mobi launched its new city guide to Tirana.
World Mobi offers the most comprehensive mobile travel guides available, with over 800 cities in 200 countries listed. Each is developed by the World Mobi team to combine into a single global travel directory.
Tirana.Mobi is the latest in this illustrious line up, offering click to call functionality – which means no scribbling down telephone numbers.
Most entries are also linked to websites where users can quickly access more detailed information if needed.
Other key features include information on accommodation, restaurants, attractions, entertainment, nightlife, shopping, and transport.
World.Mobi guides include user reviews and traveller utilities such as a translation guide, currency converter, news and local weather guide.