Albanian Tourism Association (ATA) The work done so far and the vision for the years to come. Matilda Naco ATA Executive Director

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1 Albanian Tourism Association (ATA) The work done so far and the vision for the years to come Matilda Naco ATA Executive Director

2 The Voice of the Albanian Tourism Industry

3 The Albanian Tourism Association The genesis In April 2008, 400 Albanian tourism businesses responded positively to the proposal of creating a representing association and 120 of them signed membership under the first umbrella organization of businesses in the country. ATA s vision was to combat the lack of comprehensive, competent representation of the private tourism sector. ATA s vision for the years to come is to become the representing professional Association of the industry. The initiative was underpinned by the Tourism Strategy which was designed to strengthen the tourism sector, focusing mainly on the sustainable development principle.

4 The Albanian Tourism Association-ATA The mission ATA advocates favorable framework conditions and offers services to its members which should lead to high-quality products and tourism services, efficient business management by well-trained staff and, finally, to increased revenues.

5 Significant achievements towards strengthening the sector Albania s tourism sector is conscientious that success requires a sophisticated business climate. Thanks to the efforts made by the ATA several priority issues that contribute towards building a healthier tourism business climate are addressed successfully. These efforts include VAT reduction and they have been recognized and supported by the Ministry of Urban Development and Tourism.

6 Membership grew from 120 to 400 Umbrella association comprising: Tour operators, travel agencies & tourism transport sector Accommodation sector Bar & Restaurant sector

7 National Coverage through 9 branches

8 Meeting students of LOGOS University at ATA premises, one of three Academic institutions ATA has signed an MoU with.

9 Meeting with Vlora members discussing on IPR and Third Party Liabilities. Facilitated by USAID

10 ATA BoD meeting with National Tourism Agency

11 Meeting Durres and Golem Representatives

12 Meeting Vlora & Radhima Branch on the eve of Tourism Season 2014

13 Representation Member of the Advisory Board of the Private Tourism Sector at the Ministry of Tourism.

14 ATA is a founding member of the Balkan Alliance of Hotel Associations, itself a member of UNWTO, IHRA and EMRF.

15 ATA Milestones complying with the objectives of the Strategy 2009 IPR: Ensuring input of the ATA in the IPR Law, negotiating with copyright agencies and respective public office Visa issues: By special Decision of the Council of Ministers all citizens of Russia, Ukraine and Serbia entered Albania without visas from May to October Gradually Ukraine & Serbia was excluded from that regime. 6 more countries nationalities have entered the visa free regime beside Russia in 2014

16 Update the tourism taxation system Local taxes: Reduction of triple municipal tax for waste services applied to the hotels in Tirana. Reduction of city taxes from 5% up to 2.5% in 5 municipalities (Tirana, Durres, Pogradec, Vlora, Saranda) ATA is the only association that since its foundation lobbies for a lower VAT in tourism. Albania is the only country in the region with the highest level of taxation applied in tourism. ATA has observed that: 1) the system is not collecting enough tax overall relative to prices and other countries, 2) the tax is too highly concentrated on hotels, 3) none of the funds collected from tourists are directed towards strengthening the sector.

17 ATA Publications

18 Attention ATA has a dynamic presence in the written and electronic media. The e-news bulletin was released 25 times since 2009 while 55 dedicated Fast-E-news are delivered during 2014 to over 3500 recipients. ATA web portal: Frequent update of ATA web portal & social media,

19 The Annual National Conference on Tourism

20 The only event organized by the industry for the industry

21 Formalize the tourism sector. Since the government of Albania undertook the reforms that would encourage easy business start-up, tourism was one of the privileged sectors. However this reform was not complete and we argument that this led to substantial lack of statistics and contributes substantially to the high level of unfair competition. ATA is lobbying to introduce licensing, standards and other interventions that would support formalization.

22 ATA reduced Aviation Taxes in 2013

23 In order to combat lack of standards in the industry ATA has established: a.) The Albanian Tourism Award, the only quality driven scheeme for individuals and organisations and is supported a lot by the GIZ. 5 out of winning initiatives or organisations are led by WOMEN! And b.) The Authentic Albania Quality Mark Program the only quality-driven standards for Albanian accommodations (hotels and guesthouses)

24 Your Key to Albanian Hospitality

25

26 Authentic Albania 83 hotels awarded from 2011 to 2014 and 20 more awaiting

27 LIVE SINCE 2012

28 Marketing & Promotion ATA has lobbied for a Tourism Fund which contributes to the marketing and promotion of the country.

29 TABIHAKU 2013 TOKYO

30 ATA took part as co-exhibitor in JATA TABIHAKU 2013 TOKYO

31 One year later ARUKIKATA TABI 2014 publication doubled Albania s pages

32 ATA took part in BITE-Beijing International Tourism Exhibition 2013

33 Observed awareness and increased interest for Albania

34 Facilitated regional product development by organising b2b meetings in Ioannina, Greece

35 Participated in ΜΑΤΚΑ 2014 in Helsinki Finland January 2014

36 IMTM EXPO 2014 Tel Aviv- Israel February 2014.

37 Information gathering ATA applies surveys on: Business Climate Index (3) Needs for Alternative energy and the actual volume of use Needs for software & programs for the industry Level of implementation of Food safety measures in restaurants & bars

38 Tourism Statistics Experiential TSA Results indicated that the direct contribution to GDP from tourism spending in Albania is of the order of 7.6%. This is substantial especially when comparisons are made with other countries in Europe for which tourism is the backbone of their economy.

39 Training Services ATA trained 20 Tourism Consultants in June-July 2011 on Hotel Management in cooperation with USAID & EBRD. ATA trained 10 Agents specialized in incoming on Web Promotion Techniques with the support of USAID in 2012.

40 With ILO support in 2014 ATA trained 105 unemployed young people living in Lezha in hospitality services by AHLEI Standards. 45 of them were employed within (Cooks, Restaurant Service, Reception, Hotel Management, Bartender)

41

42 Further challenges to be tackled by ATA Tourism Law & IPR Law Standards Taxation & supporting financial policies Informality Professional Training & Education Destination Branding & Promotion Employment in tourism & the annual insurance scheme E-payment stimulation Energy efficiency

43

44 SHOQATA SHQIPTARE E TURIZMIT-ZËRI I BIZNESIT TË TURIZMIT SHQIPTAR ALBANIAN TOURISM ASSOCIATION-THE VOICE OF THE ALBANIAN TOURISM INDUSTRY Albanian Tourism Association (ATA) SHOQATA SHQIPTARE E TURIZMIT (ATA) Rruga Andon Z. Cajupi Tirana, Albania Mobile: Web: &

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