TIRANA, 10 September
The World Tourism Organization has called the culinary tourism one of the trends of the new millennium. This trend started in 2001 and it has to do with the exploration of food, as the main purpose for some tourists. Many countries and cities worldwide are known for their food tourism, where the local and foreign visitors dine out to taste the typical dishes or drinks of the place they visit. One of these countries is France for instance, known for its wines and tasty dishes. Recently, the City Hall of Tropoja in Albania has embraced this initiative too. One of the reasons that they have embraced this sector is because it engages the small local communities to become part of the area’s development.
Through this package were given culinary courses for 12 young girls, from all over Tropoja, from which they gained the main theoretical basis for two months. Afterward, they put the theory into practice in the main restaurants of Valbona Lagoon. The representative of City Hall of Tropoja that covers the tourism sector, asked about this said that culinary tourism enables the youth and entrepreneurs to be not only producers but also to be tasters of their products. According to her, this is a new dimension that the City Hall of Tropoja has given to culinary tourism.
But she says if we want to develop culinary tourism we should try hard to turn it into a development tool, by helping the local communities to give their best and to give more characteristic products of the area. The director of this association, Astrit Metaliaj said that through this program they aim that their membership will expand, and now they will create a wider reach of this program. At schools, they will open fairs of different producers that serve as a promotion for the typical restaurants of Tropoja.
ReLOaD Program, another program helping the youth
The enhancement of professional skills of youth is being developed in the framework of the project ‘The youth for the city’, which is supported by the ReLOaD program. The Regional Local Democracy Programme is funded by the Europian Union (EU) and implemented by the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) in Albania. ReLOaD is a regional initiative that is implemented in 6 countries of the Western Balkan region, including Albania. The program focuses on the creation and strengthening of the collaboration between the units of local governances and organizations of the civil societies, enabling the latter the implementation of the projects at the service of citizens.
In Albania, ReLOaD is stretched in 12 city halls: in Durres, Dibra, Roskovec, Elbasan, Prrenjas, Tirana, Shkodra, Lezha, Librazhd, Permet, Korca, and Tropoja. Through a grant and the programs for training the staff, it is aimed at the strengthening of the capacities of the organizations of the civil societies. The 70 projects that are being implemented are in accordance with the strategic priorities of the respective city halls and are focused mainly on the empowerment of the local democracy, the inclusion of the youth, the protection of the environment, the development of tourism, the social inclusion, etc. The ReLOaD Program started in February 2017 and will continue until January 2020.