Albania, Kosovo and North Macedonia present their tourism offer in JATATokyo, 18 June 2019 – In cooperation with the Japan Association of Travel Agents (JATA), the embassies of Albania, Kosovo and North Macedonia held a seminar for Japanese travel agencies and tour operators on their touristic attractions.
In the opening ceremony, Mr Akihiko Hosaka, Deputy General Manager of the Outbound Travel Promotion Division at JATA appealed to the audience to use this opportunity and create tour products to the three countries. He said that “the embassies of Albania, Kosovo and North Macedonia are ready to provide up-to-date detailed information to the Japanese travel agencies. This is a great opportunity to deepen our knowledge of the region. We expect that more Japanese travelers will visit the region as our cooperation with the three embassies continues.”
The Albanian Ambassador, HE Mr Gjergji Teneqexhiu said: ”Albania is one of the oldest countries in Europe. An Albanian house belongs to GOD and to the GUEST -this is not a slogan but a CODE, so come and visit Albania and you will find very friendly people who can transmit to you, our history, culture traditions, culinary high mountains and beautiful riviera sandy beaches, unique national parks from the north to the south, special flora and fauna and more than 240 of sunny days. The cities of Berat, Gjirokastra, and Butrinti, are World Heritage, UNESCO protected. But we do have a unique World Heritage also, which you cannot see, cannot touch, but you can listen “iso-polyphonic songs”. No music instrument is used. Combination of different voices-only in Albania.”
“At the centre of the Balkan Peninsula, Japanese tourists can visit the numerous sites in the old town of Prizren, the old bazar in the city of Gjakova, the numerous waterfalls in the beautiful gorges of Rugova, the entrepreneurial town of Peja, traditional ryokan-type of kulla houses, UNESCO heritage sites, old monasteries. They can also attend numerous festivals, including DOKUFEST - International Documentary and Short Film Festival, ANIBAR animation festival, ReMusica and DAM classical music festivals, Sunny Hill International Music Festival, ethno-festivals and so on. Safety is high, costs are low, and distances short, while even in mid-summer evenings are pleasantly cool.” said the Kosovo Ambassador HE Mr Leon Malazogu.
North Macedonian Chargé d'affaires ad interim, Mr. Stojche Ristov, said: A land of contrasts under the high peaks mountains, astonishing valleys, and rivers. Country of a unique and welcoming culture and known for their world-famous hospitality. A place where ancient artistic heritage and unique traditions meet modern lifestyle. One of the oldest wine producing regions of the world. A land full of colors, sights, historic monuments, and UNESCO heritage sites. With its UNESCO world heritage national parks, dramatic mountain ranges and the captivating Lake Ohrid, the country is home to some of the continent’s most jaw-dropping scenery, as well as a host of hidden, gorgeous destinations. Balkan’s Pearl and Balkans Jerusalem in Europe, Ohrid region has 365 churches and monasteries, each day of the year you can visit a new one and admire its beauty. The capital City of Skopje is not only the capital, but it has always been considered the great metropolis of the Balkan Peninsula. It is a city of ancient history. The history of Skopje can be traced back to some twenty-five centuries. Archaeological findings at Skopje's Kale fortress show that unidentified people lived here in prehistoric times, between the Late Neolithic and Early Bronze Ages. A fascinating mix of cultures, and a multi-ethnic, multi-cultural and multi-religious city. Every corner of this welcoming place is full of stories and adventures. Skopje is home to major cultural events, starting from international exhibitions, concerts and festivals to small-scale, extraordinary cultural celebrations found on tiny stages and squares throughout the city. The archaeo-astronomical site, the megalithic observatory "Kokino" is located in the north-eastern part of the country, at 19km to the northeast of the town Kumanovo and in the vicinity of the village Kokino. The United States Space Agency (NASA) recognized the megalithic observatory "Kokino" as a significant heritage of this type in its "Timeless knowledge" project in 2005. "Kokino" is listed side by side with ancient observatories as Stonehenge (Great Britain), Abu Simbel (Egypt), Angkor Wat (Cambodia), Machu Picchu (Peru), etc. Japan is truly timeless, a place where ancient traditions are fused with modern life as if it were the most natural thing in the world. But don’t Wait on Macedonian culture, tradition, food, and wine — Come Soon, visit and try everything that our beautiful country-the real Balkan pearl is offering to everyone.
There were numerous participating Japanese travel agencies. The aim of the seminar is to look at opportunities how to increase and broaden the touristic offer for the three countries in the Japanese market, with the purpose of increasing the number of Japanese tourists in the region.