BREAKING NEWS

How Meta-Kryemadhi became millionaires during 30 years in politics, here are the untold stories of the couple who married in power and divorced in opposition, from the luxurious villa with 11 toilets, the palm trees that were brought by helicopter, the...

How Meta-Kryemadhi became millionaires during 30 years in politics, here are the
x
BREAKING NEWS

SPAK issues 19 arrest warrants for Tirana's incinerator, the list includes high-ranking officials, politicians, media leaders and their families, the details of the big operation are disclosed

SPAK issues 19 arrest warrants for Tirana's incinerator, the list includes
x
BREAKING NEWS

Does the UDB agency connect Sali Berisha and Baton Haxhiu, this is how the former prime minister defended the analyst for the villa in Golem who is being investigated by SPAK and "swallowed" all the slanderous accusations that they have exchanged with ...

Does the UDB agency connect Sali Berisha and Baton Haxhiu, this is how the
x
BREAKING NEWS

Sali Berisha did not have a mandate according to the Constitution, the head of the DP makes way for Argita and prepares to crown his daughter on the throne with the July 12 protest, Gaz Bardhi ends up as a "squeezed lemon"

Sali Berisha did not have a mandate according to the Constitution, the head of
x
BREAKING NEWS

The incinerators' money guarantees Arben Ahmetaj's life on the run, here are the transfers of hundreds of thousands of euros by Albanian taxpayers to Swiss offshores, SPAK reveals that the businessman who is helping him in Lugano is accused of money la...

The incinerators' money guarantees Arben Ahmetaj's life on the run,
x
BREAKING NEWS

Belinda Balluku "mountain" with reports to SPAK, here are all the scandals in which the deputy prime minister is involved, from investigations into incinerators, corrupt tenders, contracts, privatizations and up to scandalous firms for giving public lands

Belinda Balluku "mountain" with reports to SPAK, here are all the
x
BREAKING NEWS

Strong developments within SPAK, the prosecutors extend the investigation deadlines for Arben Ahmetaj by 3 months and send summons to the oligarch who is accused of money laundering

Strong developments within SPAK, the prosecutors extend the investigation
x
BREAKING NEWS

Spartak Ngjela reveals the "bombastic" behind-the-scenes: This is why the divorce of Ilir Meta and Monika Kryemadhi cannot save them from the shackles and the strong reason that DASH senior official Richard Nephew avoided meetings in Tirana with the 'R...

Spartak Ngjela reveals the "bombastic" behind-the-scenes: This is why
x

Opinion / Editorial

Foreign tourists in socialist Albania

Foreign tourists in socialist Albania

The topic of tourism in Albania at different times in history attracts attention and has rightly become a trend of the time in the Albanian media. For the first time in the professional sense of tourism in our country, we have writings from 1928-1940 in the press of the time. What stands out is the perspective of the studies of the Institute of Geology of Milan in 1926. In short, this Institute had studied the climate, waters and roads of Albania and obviously the hotel infrastructure and the number of beds in perspective. They considered the most creative area of ??the North of Albania, from Thethi and Boga to the navigable Razma and Buna to Velipoja, as the beaches of the future. This territory with the stunning beauty of the wild Alps and the healthy climate has an incredible potential for absorbing tourism, because for an hour you find yourself in another fantastic panorama on the boat trip to the lake of Shkodra, you jump further into the waters of Adriatic towards the Dalmatian coast. The south of Albania was still viewed with skepticism due to transport reasons and a wild and very swampy coast, the lack of ports and airports. Tirana of the 1930s shows the first signs of investments in the hotel industry and gradually this phenomenon extends to the areas of Durrës, Korça and Berat. An Albania is now revealed, not only romantic of the cycle of the Kreshniks and of the canon, but as the French tourists would say: -"You Albanians want to dress in European clothes and of course you do well, but you have your folk costumes treasures that the world does not have , or they are gone, don't hesitate to wear them". 700 French tourists used to walk the streets of Tirana with Albanian hats on their heads since 1936, according to the "Minerva" newspaper. Albanian tourism at the time of the dictatorship is known to have been an internal tourism for the masses of the people and often as an organization of social emancipation and often propaganda with the countries of the former socialist bloc. The capacities of hotels and recreation centers were increased and investments were made in road infrastructure. As part of the propaganda of the ruling party, a society of "Alb-Albanian Tourism" was created, which was connected with the most famous tourism companies in the world. This type (political tourism) was definitely a loss, because it was based on a type of clientele that was based on the opinion of associations of friendship with our country, and the approval of each individual to visit was given according to the opinion of the leadership of the associations in cooperation with the Office of Cooperation and Foreign Relations at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. In addition to this very limited number of foreign visitors to Albania, the supervision of the State Security bodies was added, which had its organ in the Directorate of Alb-Albanian Tourism. More often members or sympathizers of the Marxist-Leninist parties who visited Albania at almost ridiculous costs were pursued by the State Security, and there have been quite a few cases,when, after seeing the Albanian reality with their own eyes, they wrote articles in the Western press. Austrian historian Karl Kaser has left a very impressive description from the time of the dictatorship in his memories. The Viennese historian came to Albania at the age of 33 based on an official agreement between Albania and Austria in 1987 and has come to Albania again almost every year. Karl Kaser writes that he got to know Albania through books and television broadcasts of football matches, where you could see the "Qemal Stafa" stadium and Dajti mountain in the background. This historian of Southeast Europe was in Albania to study the historical and contemporary culture of our country. He writes in the first paragraph of the book, that "My memoirs should be read, first of all, through my "objective" perspective as a historian, but this does not mean that I do not have my own political beliefs. He writes that he was part of the left camp in Austria, then he found himself in the Green Party and as he says - I have always been an enemy of true socialism, but also of social democracy. The Austrian Kaser's memories are based on documents and his personal diary. NOVEMBER 12, 1987: My first contact with Albanian soil at the airport. The airport is cool; friends and relatives are waiting for travelers at the corner of the track. I was received by the representative of the Academy of Sciences of Albania, a driver and a blue Fiat. My first impression on the way to Tirana: a very poor country, and a very very poor people, the main means of transport are horses and oxen. They put me in the ghetto of Hotel Tirana. The second ghetto for foreigners is Hotel Dajti. I want to go into some public cafe, but people let me know that I am not welcome. The whole city is a pedestrian zone; cars are almost non-existent, and there are only two traffic lights. Walk in the capital of Albania, which hardly has any resemblance to a metropolis. Since I came from Austria, I have the feeling that I have landed on another planet. Karli continues further, when he gives the impressions of an Italian engineer who has come to work in Albania and is responsible for sizing the Tirana-Shkodër telephone line. Every day the Italian tells me new stories about the work ethic of his Albanian colleagues. There is no question of discipline, even in the most important moments of work they introduce a cognac coffee break. During working hours, they tend to leave their workplaces and go shopping or other personal things. The visit to the city of Kruja leaves a bad taste for the historian Kaser. Terrible impression: dirty barefoot and shorts children; shepherds and men dressed in old clothes, trousers and jackets worn as they were, sitting on the dirty curbs of the road, veiled women; moreover, the shoes are unimaginable. In the official visit to the "Albania Today" exhibition, he gives his conclusions,for declaring atheism is certainly not a great achievement, the solution that Qemal Ataturk gave to the problem of religion was much more convincing. It is true that ALP started from scratch in 1944! However, the achievements are disappointing. The only positive phenomenon for me adds the professor among others: it is the obvious fact that the Party seeks to find its own way to overcome the lack of development. The impressions that we in the West have about communist Albania are completely wrong and misleading. The ideological battles that ALP undertakes against "revisionists", "Eurocommunists", etc. give the impression that Albania is a highly developed socialist state, even ideologically. These are pricks! Those who believe that Albanians are ideologically aligned with their Party are terribly mistaken. It is enough to visit the villages; socialism does not welcome you there, but traditionalism, especially the Islamic one. Beyond the ideological nonsense, I think that the ALP has two real goals: To win the fight against poverty...Primitive socialism cannot work in a developed society, the Austrian historian writes, among other things, and goes on. Once the country opens its doors to the outside world, the beautiful system will crumble. At the same time, isolation will become the country's biggest problem. A whole generation grows up totally focused on their country, without any idea about Europe. Following his Diary, the historian has visited the National Museum and calls the pavilion on the third floor dedicated to the National-Liberation War, Tirana, a waste of time because the palaces are all the same, he finds it difficult to navigate. The visits to Pogradec and Shkodër and Korçë do not seem to have left an impression, as well as the visit to Enver Hoxha's grave does not make him enthusiastic, but it must be done for the sake of official protocol. A year later he already comes to Albania and stays at Hotel Dajti, where the conditions seem much better. He feels observed, but he was not impressed and looks at the daily life of Albanians now with the glasses of a scientist and gets acclimatized with the changes of the 1990s, closely follows the writings of Dr. Ylli Popa in the "Voice of the People" organ. For the Austrian historian, the party elite in Albania is afraid of a similar reaction as in Romania, the political revolt is very likely to cause bloodshed as in Romania, due to the acute collapse of the economy and the growing poverty of an always poor people, something even more obvious to an outsider. The situation in rural areas is particularly depressing. Industrial production continues to decline. During the "Albanian Spring" Albanians were no longer forbidden to speak with foreigners. This was a new discovery for both sides, that as he had discovered on the first visit, those who spoke to foreigners risked up to seven years in prison. The pages of the historian's diary continue to pass in 1991 when he sees with enthusiasm the political changes in Albania.In 1992, he came to Albania for the first time with his car. The increase in the number of cars, from zero to several thousand, has had its benefits and consequences. Tirana has changed radically... One of the quietest places on the planet has turned into a noisy and dirty city. The city begins to grow, unrestrained, without any control. The "diary" with the memories of the Austrian historian ends with his trip to the area of ??Fterra in the South of Albania in 1998.