1st Conference: March 18 -19, 2016 at University ‘Luigj Gurakuqi’, Municipality of Shkoder
The topic of the first conference is ‘Challenges of Sustainable Tourism in Shkoder County’. Its purpose was to involve all actors operating in the tourism sector. This was the first time in 25 years that local entrepreneurs and local tourism officials of the 5 municipalities of Shkoder County gathered all together to discuss tourism in Shkoder County. Over 200 entrepreneurs and local officials of tourism sector from 5 municipalities of the County were introduced to 19 presentations of success models and the challenges of tourism in the area. The second day of the conference, with a record number of 85 participants, was moved to Kelmend, especially in Tamare and Selcë to look closely the development of tourism products.
Date:2016, 2017, 2018, 2019
2nd Conference: May 12-13, 2017
Professional School ‘Ndre Mjeda’ Bushat, Municipality of Vau Dejës
‘Smart start up tourism’ is the topic of the second conference. The purpose of was to acquaint and encourage participants with start-ups in tourism, through the idea contest, providing information on their financial support opportunities. In the second conference joined over 170 representatives of the tourism sector in Shkodeer County. The conference was organized in four parallel sections: Accommodation & Gastronomy, Innovative Events & Attractions, Management & Marketing and Guides & Tour Operators. Each of the sections was co-ordinated by a facilitator – field expert. Parallel to these, 40 competitors were trained by the Yunus Center in Albania for generating ideas and business start-up models. The jury assessed 2 winners based on three criteria: innovation, applicability and socio-economic impact, while the third winner was elected by the votes of the participants in the conference. The second day of the conference was moved to the archaeological site of Koman, where participants had the opportunity to get familiar with the latest archaeological findings in this ancient settlement.
3rd Conference: December 27, 2018
Hotel Tourism Puka, Municipality of Puka
The third conference was focused on ‘Local Events’ in function of sustainable tourism development for families, mainly towards new and lesser-known destinations and was attained by over 100 participants.
Organizers of ‘Logu i Bjeshkëve’ and ‘Hana e Plotë’ in Malësi e Madhe, the fest of ‘Shën Kolli’ in Vau Dejës, ‘Festivali i Instrumentistëve të Vegjël Popullor’ in Fushë Arrëzi, ‘Agropuka’ in Puka, ‘Bicycle Day’ and ‘Lojërat Popullore’ in Shkoder presented their initiatives by explaining their challenges and successes. These ventures confessed the journey and the emotions they have brought up here. Some festivals have established tradition over 10-15 years, while others have just begun and need to be pushed further by generating a festive atmosphere and economy for the areas. The problem remains the sustainability, as well as how some of these festivals can create their own brands to the respective destinations and generate economies for them.
During the second session of the conference, the organizers presented the Declaration to be forwarded to the central institutions for financial, logistical and promotional support for tourism events in Shkoder County. The declaration was signed by all participants at the local institutional level, NGOs, businesses, young volunteers, students, donors, etc. Participants who had knowledge of local festivals completed the forms, in order to complete the Calendar for Local Fests in Shkodra County, the second result of the third conference.
Afterwards, participants networked with each other and those who had an interest became part of the guides around the city as well as at the AgroPuka laboratory.