Basic Assessment and Advice for the Development and Promotion of the Rural Camping Offer of Albania

Segments in travel and tourism that have been growing steadily in Europe – already well before 2020 – are self-guided trips, tours with campers (mobile homes), and nature-based activities. During the COVID-19 pandemic, many of us have been deprived of freedom, space, mobility, and health. Especially urban populations have been locked down and masked up. There is a pent-up need for the opposite. The momentum to develop regenerating offers that serve basic human needs is stronger than ever.** On top, domestic, regional and European travels are the ones that are bouncing back first.

Thinking about my best memories of travels, they are mostly about nature experiences, and since my childhood in Finland, camping and activities in nature have been part of them. Therefore, already before starting this task, assigned by Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ)  Albania (Programme “Sustainable Rural Development”) with the Ministry of Tourism & Environment and the Ministry of Agriculture & Rural Development, to support the rural campsites, I had an idea what can make or break a good experience. In Lapland, Alaska, or walking across the Alps, my trips tend to be a bit challenging and preparing well is key. Around the Mediterranean, be it in Spain, Greece, Italy, or in the Balkans, summertime camping would be more laid-back, also relying on the genuine hospitality and “no frills”, especially in rural places. However, there are other circumstances to deal with that the report also talks about.

Besides understanding the demand side, it was most important to touch base with local camp owners, which I did in summer 2021. Faleminderit! Thank you! To all my hosts, new friends on the way as well as all my interview partners in Albania and abroad. Kudos for the most reliable logistics of Elite Travel Group across the 1,300km journey with Daniel and Robert – two excellent product developers and my driving guides.

Now let the local voices be heard: A short interview with Linda Kodra Nikaj, the founder and owner of Camping Legjenda. To read the full report, you can download it here.

** If you like to learn more about those needs, here is an article we wrote in the expansion phase of the pandemic in June 2020, with Ariane Janér and Glenn Jampol, from a tourist´s point of view.