FACT SHEET: Support for Tourism Development

Speeches Shim

Traditional Albanian dancing troupe performing at a tourism development event.
Traditional Albanian dancing troupe performing at a tourism development event.

Albania’s government has prioritized job creation and strengthening key sectors, including tourism. The direct contribution of travel and tourism to GDP in 2013 was 4.8% of GDP while the total contribution (including wider effects from investment and the supply chain) was about 17% according to the World Travel and Tourism Council. It is expected that the contribution to GDP from this sector will increase in coming years.

In 2015, USAID and the Embassy of Sweden in Tirana partnered to launch the “Tourism as a Leading Edge” program (APS No. 182-16-000001) to promote sustainable tourism, improve the business enabling environment and workforce capacities, and to spur job creation and economic growth.

Over a five-year period, USAID and the Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency (Sida) will invest $6 million, to be matched with $3 million of funds from ‎private sector and civil society, as well the Government of Albania and local municipalities. 


Tourism Investment and Finance Fund:  May 2016 – January 2019
AgroTourism: September 2016 – September 2019
People First: September 2016 – October 2018 
IntoAlbania: March 2017 – March 2020
Diber: Trails and Traditions: March 2017 – March 2020



In partnership with the Center for Economic and Business Education (CEBE Albania), this $1.435 million, 32-month project, has established a Tourism Investment and Finance Fund in Albania. The Fund is a multi-partner, member-owned, nonprofit financial association that provides capital and technical assistance to MSMEs operating in Albania’s tourism sector. The Fund concentrates efforts to develop the agro-tourism and eco-tourism communities in Tirana, Korca, and Elbasan districts.


The AgroTourism project is implemented through CEED Albania. The project supports the creation of replicable agrotourism models in three northern areas of Albania: Shkodra, Malsi e Madhe, and Puka.  These areas were chosen both for their tourism potential as well as their extreme poverty and need for economic growth and investment.


The People First project is implemented by The HeadHunter Albania. The project promotes job growth by training and placing employees with the skills demanded by tourism industry in Albania. This project is building partnerships between prospective employees, Vocational Training Centers (VTCs), and businesses, and thus establishes pathways for prospective employees—particularly, for youth and women—to gain skills and enter the workforce.


Creative Business Solutions is implementing the IntoAlbania project which aims to boost economic growth in tourism by connecting the traveler with the country’s culture, heritage, and nature. IntoAlbania combines two concepts: digitalism and authenticity. Digital tourism is a new global trend in delivering authentic experience to travelers. “IntoAlbania” will unveil the country’s most authentic tourism potential through modern technology and pilot innovative, catalytic interventions.


Diber: Trails and Traditions’ overall goal is two-fold: to increase employment, particularly among youth and women; and to increase the incomes of Diber families involved in the tourism supply chain.  The Albanian Local Capacity Development Foundation will partner with Connecting Natural Values and People (CNVP) and Association LAG “Dibra Turistike” to implement this program.