Academic journal article European Journal of Sustainable Development

Tourism Development and Human Resources Challenges (Gjirokastra Region)

Academic journal article European Journal of Sustainable Development

Tourism Development and Human Resources Challenges (Gjirokastra Region)

Article excerpt

1. The Importance of Tourism Development

Tourism is an important economic activity worldwide. There is a direct and an indirect impact of this sector in the economic development and in the number of employees. This paper is mainly based on the national and international institution's data but we must mention that the revenues of this sector are higher than statistic data shows. There are practical difficulties in the right collection of this sector's data because of the diverse structure of its services and it's all inclusive nature. However, based on the report made by WTTC (World Travel & Tourism Council), we can mention that in Albania the total contribution of Tourism & Travel in GDP for 2013 was 68.1 bn ALL or 4,8% of GDP and it is predicted to grow by 5.5% up to 71.9 bn ALL in 2014. The forecast for 2024 shows a growth up to 123.6 bn ALL or 6.1% of GDP.1

An element with great importance in the sector of tourism is the number of its employees. Referring to the same report made by WTTC (World Travel & Tourism Council), Travel & Tourism created 41.000 jobs directly in 2013 or 4.3% of total employment and it is predicted to grow by 5.2% in 2014 up to 43.500 jobs, representing 4.4% of the total employment. The forecast shows that Travel & Tourism will have a growth of 3.5% in the next decade, accounting 61.000 jobs directly by 20242.

Furthermore, Albanian Government considers tourism a sector that will have a large impact on the expected quantitative and qualitative development of Albanian economy in the next 4 years. The Ministry of Urban Development and Tourism seems to be seriously engaged in the launching of several documents regarding the tourism development such as the new law of tourism; the National Strategy of Tourism for the period 2014-2020 aiming the incentive and the development of sustainable tourism; the licensing, the standardization , the certification of tourism services, to develop informative campaigns and promotions for the new face of Albanian tourism which is intended to be achieved through protection, development, promotion of touristic resources; Albanian culture and heritage etc.3

As a result of the specific nature of this sector the employees in it are mainly females and youth. Based on statistical data, the unemployment rate in Albania for 2013 was 15.6% , 13.2% for the unemployed females. Whilst the unemployment rate for the youth between 15-24 years old was 30,2%, which compared with the data in 2012 showed a growth of 2,3 %.4Data shows that youth and females are really limited in the labor market. These groups face a lot of challenges regarding the labor market indexes. This is the reason why Albania considers the tourism development as a chance to decrease the unemployment rate as well as to better off the living standard of the country. The Albanian Investment Development Agency AIDA5 ranks tourism in the third place, with energy and industry in the first two places, as a sector with high investment potentials.

Even though all these actions are good for the tourism development, drafting qualitative policies is not enough. Are there human resources competent enough to make these policies give the expected results? Human resources and their job competence are vitally important elements in the tourism sector because the kind of the product that this sector provides is mainly services. As a result of this fact it largely depends on the quantity and the quality of the included human resources.

Is it clear for the local and central government authorities the importance of the human resource's development? Are the attempts made in the right direction for the preparation of tourism specialist and a sustainable tourism development?

2. The Human Resources Role And The Conditions Of Their Training In Albania

The connection between education and economic development has been in the center of the development studies, focused on long term growth, for many years. …

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