The Chamber of Commerce and Industry of Tirana organized on 6 February 2019 the official launch of the project ‘INNOTOURCLUST’ Innovative Cross Border Tourism SMEs Cluster. The conference was held in the presence of representatives of the Albanian National Tourism Agency as well as representatives of the tourism sector. The aim was to present the project, its strategic objectives and results. As part of an Interreg cross border programme, it foresees the strengthening of enterprises in the tourism sector in the area between Italy, Albania and Montenegro.
During the presentation, the Director of the Projects Department at the Chamber of Commerce and Industry of Tirana, Viola Xhindi said that the project aims to improve the competitiveness and cooperation of SMEs between the three countries. This will be possible through the creation of an Innovative Cross Border Tourism Cluster focused on the integration and training of local economic operators for a better and innovative match of local enterprises with international tourism industry.
Meggi Zhugli, Project Manager of INNOTOURCLUST, said that she trusted that this project will be successful because CCIT is totally committed, so that it goes in the right direction. According to her, a digital booklet will be created, with information about the SMEs part of the program, thus stimulating an innovative way to look at the tourism industry.
In her welcome speech, Ms. Kornelia Ferizaj, General Director of the Albanian National Agency of Tourism valued this project as a good opportunity for the entrepreneurship that operates in tourism sector.
During the official launch of INNOTOURCLUST, experts presented two studies. One was an analysis of Albania for touristic agro-food enterprises; the other was a study for increasing the quality of services and creating competitive advantages through standards and creation of the cluster in tourism sector.
The project’s overall objective is the improvement of competitiveness and cooperation of Italian, Albanian and Montenegrin SMEs through the creation and implementation of one innovative cross-border tourism cluster (INNOTOURCLUST). The expected change is an innovative way to look at tourism industry. Tourism business should be more organized and integrated with local SMEs (agriculture, fisheries, sea-based services, handicraft, Ho.re.ca, eco-sport and social organizations) in order to meet the growing international “tourism experiences” demand and put the tourists in touch with local enterprises and producers.