Nature tourism: Lake Shkodra

Albania should focus more on nature tourism

Nature tourism in Albania didn’t perform as well as expected in 2023. There were about 4.5 million tourists, both domestic and foreigners, who visited the country’s protected areas.

It may seem like a high number, taking into account the large tourist figures. More than 10 million foreign visitors came to Albania last year. But in fact, nature tourism saw a slight decrease of 1.7%, compared to 2022.

The data comes from the National Agency of Protected Areas and the Ministry of Tourism and Environment.

“Regarding nature tourism, the data comes from the Agency, giving information about who have visited our protected areas. There is a moderate decrease of 1.7% in comparison with the last year’s figures” the report states.

However, this does not necessarily mean that nature tourism in Albania is going down. The report says that there a still deficiencies in the tourists’ registration in these areas. On the other hand, there is the problem of informal economy.

Looking at the data, Shkodra had the highest number of visitors in 2023, followed by Fieri and Vlora.

Meanwhile, Korça saw a significant drop, leaving the top three list of destinations.

About 2 million foreign tourists visited the national parks in Albania in 2023, marking an increase compared to 2022. It stands with 40.2% of tourists. The most visited natural parks are Divjakë-Karavasta, the Alps of Albania and Mount Tomorri.

The nature monuments were visited by 425 thousand tourists, marking a slight decrease compared to 2022. The thermal baths of Bënja are the most visited, followed by the Cave of Saint Andoi and Sarisalltik.

Lake Shkodra, Syri i Kaltër and Qafeshtama were the most visited nature reserves during 2023.

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