News and Announcements

October 13, 2017
Protected Areas as tourism destinations

United Nations World Tourism Organisation declared 2017 the International Year of Sustainable Tourism for Development – a tool for development, with the aim to assess the present contribution of tourism to the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). 

On the 6th of October the NaturAL project and UNDP jointly celebrated World Tourism Day by inaugurating the Visitor Centre in Radhime, Vlorë. They also announced the future realization of other three Visitor Centres to be developed at Llogara, Divjaka-Karavasta and Dajti National Parks with the investment supported by the European Union, via the NaturAL project.  

The UNWTO predicts that ecotourism, nature, heritage, cultural and “adventure” tourism will grow rapidly over the next two decades and global spending on ecotourism is expected to increase at a higher rate than the tourism industry on the whole. The worlds terrestrial PAs (protected areas) receive about 8 billion visits per year – of which 80% are in Europe and North America. 

Albania’s Protected Areas cover 18% of country’s territory, which is an outstanding national value.  This is a valuable achievement of Albania, and it is expected to contribute much to the development of the Country, especially in consideration to the high potentials of the Protected Areas as tourism destination. 

Importance of Protected Areas is reflected in their main role to preserve natural habitats and sustain biodiversity, but also in offering recreation and enjoyment and so contribute to sustainable economic development while safeguarding the territory against natural hazards.  

Green, sustainable, responsible tourism is steadily growing and is an important economic input that is increasingly realised within protected areas – through ecotourism activities such as hiking, biking, canoeing, bird watching and so on. 

In the process of integration into the European Union Albania is required to do adopt the legal framework focused on environmental protection. Part of this process includes joining of the Natura 2000 network, an EU mechanism for identifying and valorising national protected areas according to a set of criteria. With this in sight it is crucial to ensure the capacity of the protected areas management administrators to communicate and present the value of natural beauty, its biodiversity and ecosystems, of Albania, to its citizens and governing bodies, aiming to integrate it into national policy and law.  At this end Protected Areas Visitor Centres and Info Tourist Points are crucial assets contributing further to the process of aligning Albania to the European environmental acquis.

Tourism has always been, and will be, the action of people traveling and visiting new places. The region of Vlora has the history and heritage which make it a destination to be discovered by foreign as well as national travellers. The region has been an important economic area since the Roman times. This outstanding heritage should be highlighted in planning visitor opportunities and developing sustainable tourism opportunities in Vlora, so contributing to the regional economy at the same time ensuring protection of the natural resources.  

To see photos from the event go to Gallery 
To see TV report of the event go to Video Gallery

The event was also reported in Scan TV, ATA, TRKlive and Kultplus




Latest news

January 25, 2019

Promoting the co-existence of the inhabitants with nature and tourism development with nature protection

A newly refurbished and renovated visitor centre in Llogara National Park today opens its doors for the tourists and nature lovers. The investment of European Union through its project NaturAL - Strengthening National capacity in Nature Protection preparation for Natura 2000 network - has transformed the Visitor Centre into an innovative point of reference providing comprehensive information on the natural ecosystem as well as its management, through the work...

Read more

January 16, 2019

#AlbanianWetlands photo contest

The contest takes place on NaturAL Facebook page (@NaturaAlbania) from 16 to 27 January 2019. To enter, share a photo from Albania, in one of the following three categories: 1. Waterbird, 2. Wetland and 3. Threats affecting wetlands, on Facebook using the tags #AlbanianWetlands, #KeepWetlands and #IWP019 and @NaturaAlbania. Show us why are wetlands important? Why should we care about the Albanian wetlands and birds that live/rest there? What is threatening...

Read more

January 10, 2019

Identifying potential Natura 2000 sites

Teams of scientists and experts have initiated the work on Natura 2000 sites identification in Albania, applying the participatory ecological method. Their approach and results were introduced to key stakeholders in summer 2018 in Llogara National Park, during the first in a series of workshops. Sites for the Natura 2000 Network are selected on scientific grounds. The first step each EU Member State has to make is the identification of important locations for...

Read more

January 9, 2019

The EU Birds and Habitats Directives brochure

To conserve Europe’s natural heritage, the European Union has put in place two important pieces of legislation, the EU Birds and Habitats Directives (EU Nature Directives). Their overall objective is to ensure that the species and habitat types they protect are maintained, or restored, to a favourable conservation status throughout their natural range within the EU. At the heart of both Nature Directives lies the creation of a Europe-wide ecological...

Read more

December 8, 2018


A full day of activities dedicated to nature protection and promotion of Albania’s Protected Areas at EU Winter Fair organized in Berat where EU Member States’ embassies, EU funded projects in Albania and civil society organisations joined the celebrations. Albanian Protected Areas were part of this event supported by NaturAl project. The staff of Regional Agency of Protected Areas (RAPA) from Berat joined the tent of NaturAl project, together with...

Read more

November 9, 2018

A new Training Center in Kukës

A newly renovated training center at the Regional Administration of Protected Areas premises in Kukës now welcomes environment experts, officials, young people passionate about nature and Korab – Korritnik Managed Nature Reserve and school children.  It was inaugurated on November 9th 2018 among representatives of local communities, NGOs, NAPA, RAPAs, Ministry of Tourism and Environment and NaturAl project. The rehabilitation of the offices and...

Read more


IPA 2013 - Natura 2000 and Protected Areas
Torre Drin, 5 Floor
Tirana, Albania
Tel: +35542240880/1/2/3