A record number of foreign visitors came to Albania last year. The latest stats from the National Institute of Statistics show that 5.1 million foreign visitors visited our country in 2017. This is about 8.1 % more tourists than the previous year (2016). Half of them were for leisure, while others for business or family visits. This number is about double comparing to the number of tourists during the previous year. The most preferred places were Albanian Riviera, the beaches due to wide coverage in international media.
The number of visitors has risen also in cultural sites of the country and in mountainous areas. Tourists from Kosovo still are rank in the first place, followed by Macedonian tourists. This is because Albania makes the closest and the cheapest beach holidays destination for these countries, but also due to origin connection, with most of the travellers being from Albanian origin, the so-called patriotic tourism.
Third place is for tourists from Greece, followed by tourists from Montenegro, even though Greece and Montenegro have beautiful Riviera themselves. The Italians come in the 5th place, but this time we have 36% more Italians than in 2016. Italian tourist’s agencies are grouping in Tirana. One of the biggest one is AlpiTours who brought a lot of Italian tourists especially during the summer. The most preferred places of Albania for Italian tourists was the Riviera, south of country.
German tourists also were on rise: In 2017 in Albania came more than 47% of German visitors. German prefers more mountainous area and cultural tourism. While polish, Czech and other tourists from East Europe were located mostly in Durres area. One of the biggest tour agencies from Poland, Itaka brought more than 114 thousand polish tourists in 2017. Tourists from Ukraine and Scandinavian countries were also present in high numbers this year, in Durres Area. Even the number of tourists from USA was 19.3% more than previous year.
The number of tourists is going to rise in 2018. The hotels are fully booked already. Albania is considered one of the best destinations for this year, because is still an unexplored country, has original and very tasty cuisine and is one of the cheapest destinations in Europe.