Collaboration and co-organizer of IX International AssMed Conference “Slow and Fast Tourism: travellers, local communities, territories, experiences”

  • Category      :    Cultural and heritage tourism
  • Date              :    October, 2019

Purpose of the project

Bringing some of the important researchers of Mediterranean area in the field of Tourism, Entrepreneurship, Finance, Geography and Sociology of Tourism.

Together with their international colleagues researchers from Albania came in the national and international research level.

Short Description

Kotor, Montenegro, 4-5 October 2019. Lead partner is the Mediterranean Association for the Sociology of Tourism (AssMed) & the University of Montenegro (Faculty of Tourism and Hotel Management, Kotor; Faculty of Philosophy, Niksic) in collaboration with University of Calabria (Dip. Scienze Aziendali e Giuridiche - Centro Ricerche e Studi sul Turismo) & University of Bologna (Ce.P.CI.T. - Centro Studi Sui Problemi della Città e del Territorio). Over 50 scientific researchers from all over Balkans took part in the event.

The main theme of the event is Slow tourism, which is a relatively recent concept but it is already widely used to promote new places for international tourism in a sustainable key, encouraging innovative travel experiences: historical trains, cultural routes, walks and cycle tracks, horse drawn trips, nautical tourism, etc. The importance of this sector is also clear, for example, from the choice of the Italian government to indicate 2019 as the National Year of Slow Tourism; however, it seems a critical challenge for all the Mediterranean countries. Investing in slow tourism means investing in the protection and regeneration of places, memories, local know-how, and try to empower and connect places and regions.

That is why the event is of strong importance among the Mediterranean countries, which researchers are bringing their research to impact in market research, in entrepreneurship, in education and training and as a result in the success in the Slow tourism initiatives.

Cultural Heritage

Vlora is an ancient city and one of the main ports of Albania. Located in the southwest of the country, on the Adriatic coast. In ancient times it was known as Aulona.

The province has been inhabited since ancient times. The first footsteps date back to the VI century BC. During this period, four ancient cities were built in the Bay of Vlora: Orikumi, Thronioni (Kanina), Triporti and Aulona. The most ancient footsteps of civilization belong to today's Orikum, which still retains the old ruins of the city, which played an important role in the civil war between Caesar and Pompeii.

There is a concentration of historic buildings with castles, archaeological sites, settlement ruins and bridges all over the county and old traditional houses in many traditional villages especially alongside the Ionian Coastal road, that is not found in any part of Albania. A considerate number of other castle remains are spread in the area as to mention the remains of Vlora Castle, remains of Kanina Castle in Kanina village, Castle of Gjon Bocari in Tragjas village, etc in Vergo, etc..

Undoubtedly, the Vlora county and especially the territory of the coastal area is the richest with byzantine churches and monasteries, such as Monastery Panaia and of St. Ipapandia at Dhermi, St. Sergji & Baku, of All Saints and of St. Maria of Athali at Himara, Synagogue and Paleochristian basilica in Saranda, the Monastery and Church remains of 40 Saints in Saranda, church of St Nicolas Monastery in Mesopotam.

While in the bay of Vlora, two churches are of the significance value, the church of Marmiroi and Monastery of Sverneci. While the Islamic religion in Vlora County is represented with two significant examples, the Muradie Mosque in Vlora and the Mosque of St. George Alex in Rusan, Delvine.

Natural Heritage

Vlora region includes some of the largest areas of natural beauty and heritage in Albania, which also includes the Albanian Riviera. Two national parks and reserves are included as the natural attraction of Vlora, offering 48 natural monuments of 3 categories. Tourist adventure is guaranteed if visiting at least the terrace of Kuzum Babas, the Cold Water terrace, Grama’s cave, Haxhi Alia cave in Karaburun, Lepenica spit, Cika mountain peak, Gipsi canyon and pine pile in Llogora. Vlora offers great potentials for blue and green tourism., and also for white tourism In Llogora national park.

The National Marine Park of Sazan Island and the Karaburun Peninsula, is the youngest park in Albania that includes the water areas of Sazani Island and Karaburun peninsula below the blue waters of the Ionian Sea.

Narta Lagoon is located in the western part of the city of Vlora. It is rich in wetlands, with aquatic birds, with a typical Mediterranean flora of salty soils. Narta is the second largest lagoon across Albania in terms of water birds.

Biggest cultural events in Vlora

The territory of Vlore County has a rich traditional living culture which has the origin from the ethno-cultural region called Laberia. All these traditions are materialized, except the architecture, in other expressions of living culture as legends and stories, folklore, music, daces, musical instruments, traditional dresses, handicraft, gastronomy, etc.

Many rituals are manifested in the lifestyle of their inhabitants. Such rituals are linked with the cult of agriculture, livestock and cults of ancient times. Their origin is pagan and related to prayers and thanks to deities for good harvests, to escape from natural disasters, diseases, flood and droughts. Later on these pagan rituals are manifested under the Christian or Islamic connotation. The commons and rituals of these traditional festivities hold the cult of sun, moon, fire, animals and plants, too.

Among the ritual festivities that inhabitants of Vlora territory are still practicing can be mentioned:

Short description of the projects (event, exhibition, revitalization of cultural heritage parks, etc.) with youth engagement.

The youth engagement in event calendar in Vlora region is mostly related with sports and sports tourism. There are different companies in Vlora that organize various sports. They offer diving assistance, to explore the waters of the two seas of Vlora. The "Blue Expedition" is engaging young sportsmen or amateurs to help tourists in experiencing the tap water experiences with OUTDOOR ALBANIA, a group across Albania. An important activity is organized, Exploring Albania in Vlora, during spring when the opening of the tourist season is announced.

It is possible the practicing of water sports like surfing, racing with water motors, and long trips to Karaburun Beach, which offers endless opportunities to visit the caves of this peninsula as well as the underwater world.

Completed activites

  • co-organizing the conference
  • moderating the panels
  • support with reviewing process

Project future

Continuing collaboration with AssMed for other events and conferences in the future, with the aim of sociology and tourism.

Institute for Sustainable Development, Environment and Tourism