FOREIGN VISITOR NUMBERS UP ALMOST 25% AS ALBANIA RANKS TOP CHOICE FOR BOTH BUSINESS AND TOURISM

By Kate

  • Number of foreign visitors to Albania increases 24.9% from Q2 2013 to Q2 2014 (INSTAT)
  • The country rises 40 places in The World Bank’s ‘Ease of Doing Business Ranking 2015’
  • Albanian GDP predicted to rise by 2.9% in 2015 and 3.5% in 2016 (European Commission’s ‘European Economic Forecast Autumn 2014’)

The hidden jewel in Europe’s crown, the Balkan country of Albania, witnessed an increase in foreign visitor numbers of 24.9% from the second quarter of 2013 to the second quarter of 2014, the country’s national statistics office, INSTAT, has revealed.

Their ‘Quarterly Statistical Bulletin’ also demonstrated in more detail how these visitors were reaching Albania, showing that 703,980 of the 815,196 foreign tourists visiting in Q2 2014 arrived by land, an increase of some 32.9% on the same period the previous year. Visitors arriving by air numbered 86,929, an additional 11% on the year before.

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This outstanding growth, within the space of just one year, heralds an exciting time for the country, proving that it has much to offer all kinds of visitors, as Peter Walshe, Marketing Director for Albania’s first high-end resort Lalzit Bay Resort and Spa explains,

unnamed“Albania has emerged from a history of communist rule and political instability to a present time of growing prosperity, stable government and hugely encouraging visitor numbers, looking towards a future of EU accession (the country has been confirmed a candidate), bolstered GDP and increasing tourism. And what a country it is – beautiful scenery, close proximity to Italy, easily accessible direct from the UK, a Mediterranean climate, friendly people… Albania has a great deal to offer.

“It is therefore no surprise that the number of foreigners visiting the country are on the up, and with so much to offer to all types of visitor, figures can only continue to move in one direction. This is all very good news for those investing in the country, whether it is as part of big business or buying into the growing property market.”

And Walshe’s mention of business is certainly on the mark. The World Bank has recently released their ‘Ease of Doing Business Ranking’ for 2015, a matrix that scores 189 nations on how hard it is to run a company in their country, and the result was a positive one for Albania. Last year’s ranking saw the country placed 108th, yet within the space of one year, the nation has risen 40 places to stand at 68th.

This incredible achievement proves that the hard work that the Albanian government have been doing to support Foreign Direct Investment (FDI), lowering company registration fees, easing the granting of construction permits, and implementing the new law on territory planning, for example, are paying off, making the nation more attractive to those looking to do business and, in turn, successfully make money.

Yet it is not just business purposes that are drawing more and more people to Albania’s shores, the rise in visitor numbers is also largely due to more and more people holidaying in this corner of Europe, according to INSTAT. Growing an impressive 106.4% in just one year (from Q2 2013 to Q2 2014), the number of foreign tourists arriving in Albania on holiday has increased from 95,335 to 196,813.

All this positive movement in both the tourism and business sectors has resulted in encouraging growth in the country’s finances, with the European Commission revealing  2014 GDP growth to be 1.8%, with increases of 2.9% and 3.5% predicted in turn for the coming two years. These statistics make it easy to see why Standard & Poor’s has improved its outlook for Albania’s economy from a rating of ‘stable’ to one of ‘positive’ and also why London-based investment company, Charles Street Securities LLP is backing the country’s first five star resort, Lalzit Bay Resort and Spa.

Lalzit Bay Resort and Spa is the ideal investment option for those looking to capitalise on the growing Albanian economy, as well as those looking to holiday in the beautiful country themselves. The beachfront resort provides luxurious facilities, including a beach club and tennis courts, boutique shops, top restaurants and bars.

Properties range from 1 or 2 bedroom apartments to 3 or 4 bedroom villas, boasting spacious indoor and outdoor space, optional private swimming pools and the very best fixtures and fittings, all inspired by California’s elegant and modern beachfront houses. Prices range from €35,000 to €360,000.

For more information about Lalzit Bay Resort and Spa call +44 845 125 8600 or visit www.lalzitbay.com 

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