Albanian Trip’s initiative is to create and operate creative tours and media services. Our focus is on sustainability, prioritizing collaboration with local businesses and individuals, offering original interpretations of classic cultural tours, offering niche-market tourism that encourages authentic experiences, and assisting various media conglomerates in reaching their creative journalistic goals.
With our business philosophy we have attracted informed travelers and over the years, have grown to include several incredible external collaborators – certainly some of the best guides, agents, hotels, character accommodations, NGOs, tourism consultants, transport companies and specialized drivers in the country.
We started by employing part-time guides, drivers and translators as well as working extensively with a very well-developed regional network of character or boutique hospitality and food providers. Our services cover large parts of Southwestern Europe, including Bosnia, Kosovo, Montenegro, and Macedonia. The results of our extensive networking have steadily increased our turnover year after year. Some important marketing tools we have used to reach this growth have been word-of-mouth, publications and media services, international travel events (fairs) and a modest but functional online presence through our website and social media pages.
Years of Experience
Albanian Trip was created by three travel and sustainability enthusiasts in 2008 and has thus been in operation for just under 14 years. Elton Caushi studied tourism, languages and development for six years at the University of Geneva and the Institute Universitaire des Etudes de Development (Geneva, Switzerland). Vilma Vorpsi studied languages, law and business management in Tirana, and has experience in office management in various enterprises. Gjergji Mihali studied languages and international relations in Munich, Germany. Although Gjergji has since left to start a family, Vilma and Elton continue their roles.
7 out of 10 of our employees and collaborators are female.
5 out of 10 of our employees are younger than 30 years old.
We are registered with the Albanian finance authorities as Albanian Trip Shpk with TIN nr L72314029D. Five of our ten employees are full-time and the other five work with us as guides and drivers part-time. Apart from that, we have been blessed with the voluntary, but very important, help of Jenn McLaughlin from Canada, who supports us with business consulting and writes content for many of our communication channels (website, public relations, etc.).
Our typical client comes from medium or small-sized European or North American tour operators who send us groups and individual visitors every year. We also receive individual requests that are found independently through our website. Guests that come through these channels appreciate our extensive cursory knowledge of the land and logistics, and appreciate our itineraries filled with unusual local destinations and characters. They show an interest in reducing social and environmental impact.
Our clientele is well-travelled and curious. While they know little about Albania, they have a high interest in exploring it. We do indeed provide beach, business, mountain or city holidays, but our goal is to inspire clients of a more exploratory nature; we have served many repeat customers who appreciate our values.
COMPANY POSITION & MARKET TRENDS
Quite conscious that we are not alone in the market (in which we compete with “old wolves” of local and international origin), we pride on working in a challenging atmosphere and understanding our unique position in the greater context of tourist organizations. In order to stand apart, we have tried to build unique tailor-made travel products with a very high level of satisfaction for our guests. We recognize that our greatest competition are the agencies offering mass-tourism cultural tours – outfits from places like the UK, Germany, Sweden, France or local Tirana companies.
We notice small fluctuations in trends. Sometimes external issues such as political dissent affect how many clients contact us in a year. In other years where Albania has had positive press in North America and Europe (specifically, mentions in travel books such as Lonely Planet, publications or newspapers) we see an increase in interest.
Marketing is an area we’d like to work on. We have a very informative website and an active Facebook and Instagram account. We attend fairs such as ITB Berlin, WTM London, British Bird watching Fair Rutland, New Deals Europe London, IViaggiatori in Lugano Switzerland, Tel Aviv, Oslo Norway, Adventure Travel Trade Association events (Gothenborgh Sweden) etc etc. We have published a coloured professional brochure with tour offerings, and we work with many companies who help support us and the Albanian people, but we otherwise find it difficult to find the channels in which to advertise the socially and environmentally-conscious belief system we espouse (especially in a market saturated with mass tourism). With a higher focus on marketing and product development, we believe we can include more local initiatives that stimulate market development in marginalized areas. These ideas will be discussed in the following sections.
Relaunching European smart and SustainablE Tourism models Through digitalization and INnovative technoloGies (RESETTING)