Warning: Undefined array key "options" in /home/clients/20f0f656b8bbf0b5e9b63519d10d9497/sites/albaniantrip.com/wp-content/plugins/elementor-pro/modules/theme-builder/widgets/site-logo.php on line 124
What You Should Know Before Travelling to Albania -15 - Wild Ways Travel

What You Should Know Before Travelling to Albania -15

Tour operators see rise in bookings as people look for interesting culture and history at lower price than neighbouring destinations
Albania has been on the radar for intrepid backpackers for some time, but this year tour operators are predicting the south-eastern Balkan country will become a mainstream holiday destination for UK travellers after a surge in bookings this January.
Interest in the country has been gradually building over the past decade as it has slowly opened up after a 44-year dictatorship that ended in 1985. Tour operators have seen a notable increase in bookings for 2022 as Albania extends its appeal to people seeking beautiful beaches and landscapes as well as interesting culture and history at a lower price than neighbouring destinations.
“Albania is one of those small and diverse destinations that can offer a bit of everything to everyone, similar to Montenegro or Slovenia,” said Tine Murn, a co-founder of New Deal Europe, a marketing agency for Balkan tourism.
He said Albania appealed because it was a “Mediterranean undiscovered gem” and “still holds a sense of the exotic, even though it is geographically very close”.
This was especially appealing at the moment while people were reluctant to travel long haul owing to the pandemic, not least because Albania has had very low Covid infection rates and no restrictions for most of the pandemic, he said.


Albania’s national tourism agency sees the UK as “an emerging growing market” and has actively promoted tourism in recent years. The country is also becoming much easier to travel around as the standard of its accommodation has improved and spending on infrastructure has increased, with a new road connecting the eastern mountains with the western coastline due to open this year
The UK’s large Albanian diaspora and vocal celebrity champions such as the Southampton footballer Armando Broja and the pop stars Dua Lipa and Rita Ora have further helped raise the country’s profile.
Flights from the UK to the capital, Tirana, are increasingly available and in demand. The bookings website Skyscanner said it had seen a 48% increase in bookings to Albania compared with 2019, reflecting interest in “less popular destinations which are traditionally considered off the beaten track”. Average bookings were for 2.1 people, suggesting mostly couples and friends are booking at present.
However, Elton Caushi, who runs the Tirana-based tour operator Albanian Trip, said visitors had “significantly shifted” in recent years from backpackers to families, especially from EU countries, and British families were now increasingly visible.


Zina Bencheikh, the managing director for Europe at Intrepid Travel, said there been an increase in bookings this year partly due to the fact Albania offers adventure without the carbon footprint of a long-haul flight, as people were “more conscious than ever of the environmental impact of their holiday”.
Wild Frontiers, one of the first operators to launch tours in Albania, said inquiries for its week-long guided trips – the only ones it offers below £1,000 – were up 30% on last January. Its founder, Jonny Bealby, said the country was “set to boom” in the coming years.
He said Albania had come a long way since the Communist era. He recalled that when he first started running trips in the country 12 years ago, tourist infrastructure was completely absent. Instead, he relied on a Channel 4 News fixer who had worked on the Balkan wars to help him organise accommodation and transport.


follow us on: