According to her, in 2019, before the corona virus pandemic, 12 million people visited the countries of the Western Balkans, which brought them a total profit of 7.2 billion euros and added that tourism accounts for 10.2 percent of regional GDP.
“The period after the pandemic, last summer, showed that tourism in the world has recovered by 70 percent, while tourism in the Western Balkans has recovered by 92 percent,” the RCC secretary general pointed out.
Speaking about the Western Balkans on the tourist map of the world, Bregu pointed out that enabling free movement in the region is a big step towards removing barriers.
“The decision on free movement with an ID card in the Western Balkans, as well as the decision on free movement of third-country nationals in the Western Balkans, are ready to be signed and will make a great contribution to tourism,” she said.
She also pointed out the importance of abolishing roaming in the Western Balkans, and added that since the decision was made, data consumption in the region has jumped by 500 percent.
She announced that the Western Balkans and the European Union will start the process of lowering the price of roaming on the territory of the EU on June 8.
Albanian Minister of Tourism Mirela Kumbaro said that the countries of the Western Balkans have a similar culture, history and heritage, and that it is close to everyone when they visit one of the countries in the region.
According to her, six million tourists visited Albania in 2019, and recently tourists from America, Asia and Australia have also come.
She estimated that Albania will still be discovered as a tourist and pointed out that it has to offer both the sea and the mountains.
The Minister emphasized that the countries of the Western Balkans should cooperate, emphasizing that they are not in competition with each other and that it is necessary to get rid of prejudices.
Tirana Mayor Erion Veliaj pointed out that the capital of Albania this year is the “European Capital of Youth” and that there are more than ten cultural and other events a day within the event.
The head of the EU delegation in Albania, Alexis Hupin, spoke about the European Union’s Green Agenda and assessed that it could further improve the sustainability of tourism in the Western Balkans.