Legal changes, new rules for service providers in tourism

2024-04-24 13:37:06Biznes SHKRUAR NGA REDAKSIA VOX

On the eve of the summer tourist season, the Ministry of Tourism and Environment has established new rules for entities that offer services to vacationers. The changes in the law on tourism have been published in the Official Gazette, with the main purpose of adapting to the new dynamics and the government's vision for the development of tourism in 2024. The legal changes provide for the regulation of the activity of the subjects of accommodation structures, beach stations and tourist operators, in order to achieve a higher standard in the provision of services.

In order to obtain the status of "Investor in a 4 or 5 star accommodation structure in Albania", the subjects must not be certified by the responsible institution, but it is enough to meet the criteria and conditions to be certified in a second moment. All other tourist entrepreneurs, who operate as an accommodation structure and are not equipped with a certificate of categorization as an apartment, villa or room, are penalized with a fine of up to 400,000 ALL based on the number of rooms.

The Ministry responsible for tourism, in cooperation with the Ministry of Education, is aiming to promote professional education in the field of tourism, with the aim of maintaining standards and improving the service provided by the tourism sector. For this reason, it has been decided to remove the university degree criterion to be certified as a tourist operator, it is enough for the individual to have completed vocational high school. While for people working in travel agencies, only the criterion of secondary education has been determined.

The entities that exercise the activity of the beach station have the obligation to maintain and prevent the pollution of the beach space that they have taken into use and to guarantee the health safety conditions. Exercising the activity as a beach station outside the area defined in the contract is penalized with a fine of 150,000 Lek and pollution of the space of the beach station with 200,000 Lek.

Albania received about 10.1 million foreign visitors last year, while the government's objectives for this year are for about 14 million tourists, focusing on the development of elite tourism. For the first three months of 2024 alone, the figures speak of 1.7 million tourists, or 60% more inflows compared to the quarter of the previous year.