TIRANA, May 14
As Albania lifts restrictions museums, art galleries, and archeological parks are set to reopen for the public on May 18, International Museum Day. So far in 2020 tourism is one of the worst-hit sectors in Albania. According to the data provided by the Institute of Statistics (INSTAT), the number of visitors to cultural heritage sites such as museums, castles, and monuments, and archeological parks declined by over 52 percent in Q1, 2020.
To recover from the crisis some cities that strongly depend on tourism are planning to implement a range of measures to mitigate the impact of COVID-19 and to fuel the recovery of the tourism sector.
Even though the duration of the pandemic and travel restrictions is unknown, the municipality of Gjirokastra plans to offer free museum entry to all the tourists that will visit the city. However, the initiative doesn’t excite the city artisans or the owners of accommodation facilities. Artisans in the bazaar area depend entirely on the tourist trade. They hope that the status of Gjirokastra as a green area without any positive COVID-19 case will be an advantage for the city.
“A tourist will not come from a foreign place because he/she will save five euros from museum entry-fees. We hope the green area status will bring visitors during summer. Otherwise, I will close the shop,” an artisan said for jugunews.