TIRANA, February 20
The beauty of Albania’s beaches made the country a summer destination for many holidaymakers from all over the world, making coastal and maritime tourism the major section of the travel and accommodation industry.
Hence, Albanian authorities drafted a bill that will regulate nautical tourism, including pleasure boats and cruise tourism vessels.
The bill currently on the discussion stage defines maritime or nautical tourism as a tourist product related to activities in contact with bodies of water including surfing, diving, windsurfing, waterskiing, jet-skiing, sports fishing, and wakeboarding.
According to the bill, nautical tourism includes activities as recreational boating, sailing, marinas, cruises, watersports, angling tourism, spearfishing, diving at a distance at least 500 meters from the beachline and at least 100 meters away from fishing nets.
Moreover, the bill defines a distance of at least 300 meters from the beachline for activities such as windsurfing, water skiing, wakeboarding, jet skiing;
At least 100 meters away from diver-down flags and floats, which indicate that there’s a diver below;
At least 200 meters away from fishing nets and fish farming cages;
At least 100 meters away from the coastline when kitesurfing.
Moreover, vessels must be registered and licensed and have been in service for no longer than 15 years, renewed their insurance policy.
The law divides yachts into charter and private yachts categories based on their purposes.
The first is used for day or multiday charter.
Nautical tourism operators that use yachts must register and get licensed.
In the meantime, only registered cruise ships that comply with the law can sail internal waters.
Meanwhile, international cruisers can enter internal waters conforming to the provisions of the maritime code.
The bill specifies a list of criteria for vessels that enter Albania’s water. Moreover, it underlines that seasonal anchoring stations can be leased for 15 years.