2022 exceptional year for foreign tourists, investment in Albania – EURACTIV.com
2022 has been an exceptional year for tourism in Albania, with more than 5.7 million people entering the country between January and August, an all-time high according to INSTAT data.
Cut off from the world for nearly 50 years, Albania has worked hard on its image to attract tourism to its nearly 300 miles of coastline, vast mountain ranges, and diverse range of mountains and lakes.
More than 1.7 million foreign citizens in August alone visited the country, an increase of 11.2% compared to August 2021 and 9.8% more than in the summer of 2019 before the pandemic. In terms of nationalities most likely to visit, Spain was followed by Poland.
But while tourists are flocking to the Balkan country, Albanians are leaving in droves permanently and for holidays. According to INSTAT, there were 3.8 million exits of Albanian nationals, an increase of almost 35% compared to the previous year. Departures by sea have increased by 55% in 2021, 27% by land and 50% by air.
According to data from the Bank of Albania, foreign interests in Albania also take the form of foreign direct investment.
In total, foreign direct investment in the first half reached 634 million euros, the highest amount ever recorded for this period and a 35% increase in the second half of 2021.
In this context, some 103 million euros were invested in the local energy sector by foreigners, an increase of more than 145% compared to the same period of the previous year. This is a continuation of a long-established trend, mainly due to the large investments in the TAP gas pipeline and various hydroelectric projects.
The Bank says many of these investments are renewable energy such as wind and solar.
During the second quarter of 2022, foreign investments in real estate reached a record level of 83 million euros, an increase of 66% compared to the same period in 2021. During the previous year, the Foreign real estate purchases accounted for only 21% of real estate investments. real estate transactions, but in the last year this has increased significantly, especially in coastal areas.
(Alice Taylor | Exit.al)