ABOUT VISIT GJIROKASTRA ASSOCIATION
VGA is a non-for-profit organization founded by the voluntary union of many actors in tourism industry (local businesses, CSOs) in Gjirokastra region as administrative area, which includes the territory of 7 municipalities (Gjirokastra, Permet, Tepelene, Memaliaj, Kelcyre, Libohove, Dropull). The organization is founded in September 2019 in the Tirana Civil Court, with decision number 6323. The foundation of VGA and its initial operations are supported by Risi Albania (a project of Swiss Agency for Cooperation and Development).
Since its inception, VGA has been supported by local stakeholders from all tourism sectors, of different ages, different backgrounds or ethnic groups, men and women, farmers and teachers, tourism experts and members of adventure activities, artisans and academics, explorers and officials, students and young entrepreneurs, because everyone’s ideas matter.
VGA is the organizer and coordinator of the Tourism Experts Committee with representatives from each of the 7 municipalities of the region and with the engagement of the District’s Prefect Office and the Chairman of the District’s Council aiming at efforts’ coordination towards a common strategy and action plan on tourism development.
VGA is funded by its members contribution (annual quotas), donors and also supported by the voluntary work of various stakeholders.
CORE VALUES OF VISIT GJIROKASTRA ASSOCIATION
Our values define what we are, how we evolve and how we impact the developments in the region and country, thrugh a sustainable, authentic and actionable operations strategy.
Pride in our Traditions
Honesty and Authenticity
Fighting spirit to protect our Nature, Culture And Traditions
Tolerance, Inclusion and Diversity
OBJECTIVES OF VISIT GJIROKASTRA ASSOCIATION
Driven by its mission, Visit Gjirokastra Association is focused on conceptualising and implementiong the follwoing objectives in mid-long run term:
- Coordination and engagement of the regional tourism sector operators towards the development of a common regional year-round strategy on tourism, culture heritage and environment protection.
- Capacity building initiatives in various soft skills development for its members and their personnel, towards a sustainable and future proof tourism development model for the region.
- Support its members for inception and development of combined tourist products in alignment with market demand and targeted tourist profiling for the region, aiming to increase the tourism contribution in the region’s fragile economy, thus creationg employemnet opportunities.
- Creation of the destinations management strategy in alignment with national and local government strategies for sustainable tourism development. On boarding of local government policy makers and advocacy campaigning aiming at consolidation of all actors’ efforts towards the region’s tourism revival.
- Destinations’ branding and promotion in natonal and international level, under an umbrella brand and guiding principles. Organisation of events in the region and beyond, supporting the execution of the tourism developoment strategy.
The settlement and realisation of the above objectives aims at positoning Gjirokastra region in the travelers map, not only for the Stone City flag, but for the richness, values and authenticity of natural, cultural, archeological, religious, culinary and virgin territoeries that it represents.