TIRANA, February 13
Albania lacks a coastal management law. A performance audit conducted by the High State Audit (HSA) assessed that the National Plan of the Integrated Management of Coastal areas provides a theoretical explanation of the situation, but no solution on management.
Further on, one of the problems noticed by the audit is related to the management of beaches and especially to the lack of free access to public beaches.
“Albania is the only country in the region and in the Mediterranean area that lacks a law on coastal areas. Consequently, beach tourism is not competitive and under the development potential. Regulatory acts don’t guarantee the right of citizens for free access to the beach. This encourages a massive presence of private beaches that are a cause of deformalized local income,” the report issued by HSA says.
Moreover, the report highlights that sunbathers and tourists in beaches find activities based on profit and not tourism development. It also pointed out that Albania is the only country in Europe that has not obtained the necessary blue flag certifications on safety and water quality.
At the same time, the report says that the lifeguard is still not recognized as a profession in Albania.
Another issue mentioned in the report is related to local management of coastal areas. Local authorities often fail to guarantee the required standards due to negligence or inability to act.
“The existing management structure needs a reformation, not only due to the lack of effectivity but also because it does not provide the ground for sustainable management of beaches focused on tourism. Municipalities face problems related to financial and human resources. Therefore, they cannot implement beach management in terms of tourism, but consider beaches as local assets. On the other hand, specialized institutions at the central level don’t have management rights on beaches in the function of the resource of coastal tourism,” the report added.
Read also: 15 top Beaches in Albania
News Source: Monitor
Photo Credit: Proptape, Qeparo by IIA