Friday, April 04, 2008

Looking Up- and Looking Down

Congratulations to Albania for being admitted to NATO! This is an important step for the country and hopefully proves that it is moving ahead politically.

There's still a lot of work to be done however. I read this blog post today describing one man's recent vacation in Tirana, and it shows just how unprepared the tourism industry is. It's probably not an isolated incident either- I've heard many people comment on the really awful breakfasts they have been offered in various Albanian hotels. With a little effort it really doesn't have to be that way. Breakfast is not a difficult thing to get right! And hotel staff should be trained to receive various types of Travellers Cheques (though I haven't heard of anyone using them for a very long time).

Other countries require hotel/restaurant/cafe staff to actually go to school and get training in the art of customer service/hygienic standards etc. This would be a good starting place for Albania. Instead of a university education in- say fish farming or animal husbandry (yes I know two very talented girls in Tirana who have these degrees!)-- why not open a "Tourism University" and get a head start on those millions of tourists who are sure to come?

Please note that the blogger has nothing but good things to say about the Albanian people and enjoyed his stay immensely.


Simon Varwell said...

Scotland could do with that too. The state of customer service over here is shocking. It wouldn't be so bad if we weren't so expensive.

In Eastern Europe, most Western Europeans (very patronisingly, I'd admit) regard such lackings as all part of the rustic charm, but I suppose countries like Albania want to be known as fully-developed European countries, rather than the slightly hill-billy "country cousins" of western Europe.

Here's hoping NATO branches into the hospitality industry!

CanadianSwiss said...

I'm sure Albania has much to offer and I do hope that being admitted to NATO will help the tourism development, among others.

ann_ona_moose said...

A friend linked to the Cheers Albania song clip here today and I thought of you!