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Albania has plenty to offer: golden beaches, soaring mountains, ancient ruins. And kidnappers.14 March 2019
Organized crime, of all things, is the subplot to Albania’s new official tourism drive, “Be Taken by Albania,” a play on the 2008 film “Taken,” starring Liam Neeson as the father of a girl who has been kidnapped by Albanian human traffickers.
“In popular culture, Albania has been colored as a haven for thugs, criminals, and gangsters.”
Baloney, the site goes on to say: “In reality, Albania is a beautiful and incredibly safe place to visit and live.”
In reality, far more than a bit of bad press, it’s lack of development that is standing in the way of the plan to attract 10 million visitors annually.
As recently as two years ago the country had just 67,000 hotel beds, although for many visitors, the absence of mass tourism is a positive attractor. The tourism industry earned a record-breaking $1.6 billion in 2016.
At the launch of the “Be Taken” campaign, Tourism and Environment Minister Blendi Klosi said attracting tourists year round was the only way to reach the target of 10 million visitors.
Local tourism advocate Blerina Ago said sustainable tourism was also essential.
“I have seen the joy and hope that tourism brings in the most isolated areas of Albania and the transformation power of this industry in changing the lives of inhabitants, opening new jobs, and more well-paying jobs for young people and in particular for women and girls,” the Independent Balkan News Agency quoted Ago as saying.
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The 2019 edition of Prague Media Point will highlight these types of inspiring examples and more. We will offer a mix of scholarly presentations, including keynote addresses; sessions with innovators explaining their solutions; and networking opportunities to promote the exchange of know-how. As in years past, the conference will have a special regional focus on Central and Eastern Europe, though we look forward to covering cases and trends from other parts of the world. – WHAT’S WORKING
The Moldovan Diaries is a multimedia, interactive examination of the country's ethnic, religious, social and political identities by Paolo Paterlini and Cesare De Giglio.
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