Albanian tourist officials are expecting up to 10 million tourists this year as visitors choose stunning beaches and low costs.
Albania is expecting a huge influx of tourists this year, drawn by its 450 kilometre-long coastal Riviera and breath-taking beaches.
The trend has been evident since early spring and tour operators expect visitors to arrive in increasing numbers.
Head of the Association of Tour Operators in Saranda, Arben Cipa, has noticed a considerable increase, as well as variety in visitors.
"I think this year we might possibly reach even 200 per cent [of the clientele] compared to last year."
Flora Xhamani Baba, CEO of Travel Magazine Balkan, agrees and says there has been a steady increase.
"There is a progressive increase of around 20-30 per cent every year. So, the number of tourists is 30 per cent higher each year, and undoubtedly, this year will be higher as well.
Why is Albania becoming so popular?
Tourists are attracted to Albania's natural beauty, affordable prices and the welcoming nature of Albanians.
The average cost of full-board hotel services for a day's stay ranges from €30 to €300 and for these reasons, tourists who visit Albania say they are likely to return again.
One Dutch tourist said: “We have good food here, the sun is shining, the sea it’s beautiful, everything is good. For us it's really cheap and it’s beautiful and not too busy.”
Other visitors agree. “What I like most in Albania are the people," explained a German tourist. "The people are really really nice. Everywhere we go people are stopping and asking if we need help."
Another described it as "beautiful, really beautiful." When asked if they would return, they replied: "I will come back a lot of times."
Albania had 7.5 million tourists in 2022 but the Institute of Statistics of Albania reports that from January to April, there were 3.54 million visitors, representing a 35 per cent increase.
The Ministry of Tourism, in its projections for 2023, states that the objective is to accommodate approximately 10 million tourists.
Watch the video above to learn more about tourism in Albania.