In the heart of the Mediterranean, on the Adriatic and Ionian Seas, Albania is fast becoming one of the world's most interesting getaways.
Unspoiled by globalization, tourists can experience an inspiring mixture of civilizations and cultures - making this jewel of the Balkan truly unique.
Isolated for decades under a harsh dictatorship, Albania opened up in the 1990s and has since been hot on the heels of the rest of Europe.
Indeed, statistics from the Balkan state show that the number of foreign tourists to Albania has been steadily increasing since 2007, rising from just over 1 million six years ago to around 4 million in 2011.
Albania is being touted by mainstream publications as a major future destination: the UK's Guardian newspaper has named Albania as one of its top 2013 beach destinations.
The Sunday Times also listed Albania as a place to visit in its 2013 tourism New Year supplement, exclaiming 'the Adriatic underdog is being touted as the next Croatia among adventurous beach-seekers.'
“In terms of what Albania has to offer, I was not surprised by these recommendations from the UK national press. We have 350km of stunning sandy beaches, great Mediterranean cuisine, thousands of years of history and UNESCO sites of natural beauty. Albania has a tremendous amount to offer tourists wanting to take advantage of the weak euro to get great value in one of the few undiscovered places left in the Mediterranean,” explains Mr. Ravin Maharajah, Partner of Lalzit Bay Resort & Spa, the 5 star luxury residential development located on Albania's Adriatic coastline.
Mr. Maharajah says that both holiday makers and property buyers alike are looking for somewhere unique and different but distinctly Mediterranean.
"With occupancy rates increasing by 7.5% in early 2012 according to the European Travel Commission, property investors should look no further than the attractive emerging markets in Europe right now. Growth in recent years confirms that Albania is well on the path towards tourism being an active generator of its economic development throughout 2013 and beyond,” he points out.
At the Lalzit Bay property where Mr. Maharajah is a partner, occupancy rates rose by 7.5% in early 2012 according to the European Travel Commission.
“Lalzit Bay presents a remarkable European buying opportunity because it is located on a beach just 30 minutes to the international airport and Capital Tirana and when you see the pristine beach, you realise that you're seeing something really special.
“Property investors should look no further than the attractive emerging markets in Europe right now. Growth in recent years confirms that Albania is well on the path towards tourism being an active generator of its economic development throughout 2013 and beyond,” he reiterates.
Following the steady increase of tourists to the Balkans, the Director of the National Association of Tourist Agencies in Serbia (Juta) has recently announced that it will be joining forces with Albania, along with four other countries from the region, to form a Southeast Europe tourist association in order to attract visitors from the Asia-Pacific Region.