President Osmani’s address at the opening of the 2023 International Tourism Fair

Honourable Mr Hoti, thank you very much for the invitation,

Honourable Deputy Prime Minister, Redzepi

Honourable Minister Hajdari

Honourable Mayors of Prishtina and Ulqin,

Honourable Deputy Minister from Montenegro,

Honourable Ambassadors,

Business representatives,

Honourable participants;

I am very happy to be here today, at the opening of the International Tourism Fair Kosovo 2023, where tourist offers will be promoted and which represent a combination of tourism with culture, economy and tradition, important factors in shaping the tourism industry.

Tourism, as you all know, contributes significantly to the economic growth of the state as it involves the movement of people from one place to another for the purpose of enjoying free time, business, and visiting local sites and monuments of cultural heritage.

Today, tourism as a global industry creates or generates many jobs and income for our citizens.

It promotes cultural exchange, encourages environmental conservation and also serves to promote peace and understanding.

Culture is an essential aspect of tourism. People travel to get to know new cultures, taste different foods and learn about the history of different countries. Cultural tourism can help preserve and promote our traditions and our heritage.

Tourists are also willing to pay for these unique cultural experiences, as we have seen in Pristina and other cities with visits to museums, attending festivals or even exploring historical sites.

This Fair, of course, has gathered various activities from tourist hotel operators, restaurants, guesthouses, various producers, tourism associations, public institutions and municipalities.

In fact, some of the municipalities of Kosovo have tourism as part of their strategic development plans. This is very beneficial not only for the municipalities but also for every business and every activity that can be carried out in the country.

Thus, Kosovo represents a very important tourist link between neighbouring countries, such as Albania, Montenegro and North Macedonia.

Kosovo’s geographic position creates an extraordinary opportunity for tourists, who will be able to visit Kosovo and the neighbouring countries easily and within a short period of time.

With the states which I mentioned we are connected by similar common history, language, similar cultural traditions, as well as cultural heritage.

Kosovo has tremendous tourist potential with its natural beauties, such as Brezovica, Prevalla, Germia, Sharri Mountains, Bjeshkët e Nemuna, Rugova gorge, Bajgora, Mirusha waterfall, Badovc, Drini i Bardhë river source, Batllava, The bifurcation of the Nerodime river and many, many others.

Kosovo is no less beautiful than the many other countries we visit. In fact, there are extraordinary beauty spots, it suffices to protect them at all costs, and above all to promote them as a state.

The tourist offer of Kosovo is wider than that. Each of the tourists can experience a fantastic visit to the Gadime Cave, the Radac Cave or the Kusari Cave.

Today, tourism and intercultural communication cannot be seen separately. The cultural activities which Kosovo organizes, are put precisely in the function of tourism, knowing the fact that visitors to cultural events do not stop there.

Our country is consolidating day by day on the global map with cultural activities that have crossed our borders.

“Sunny Hill Festival”, “Dokufest”, “Pri Film Fest”, DAM Festival, International Poetry Festival “Polip”, “Chopin Fest”, “Remusica”, “Anibar”, “Jazzfest”, “Manifesta”, Mural Fest Kosovo, as well as many theatre and film festivals in the municipalities, have transformed Kosovo into a point of cultural and economic tourism.

These cultural events have turned into economic activities, also due to the influx of tourists, but also the employment of individuals and different companies for months.

Within the framework of numerous activities, I cannot fail to mention in particular “Dokufest” and “Sunny Hill Festival”, which are two cultural organizations that have not only created a tradition but have transformed Kosovo into an unsurpassed address for filmmakers as well as music lovers from the region and the world.

Among the activities that resonate with our country was the “Manifesta, European Nomadic Biennial”, held last July and in which 30 countries participated during concentrated activities for 100 days.

This proved that Kosovo has an extraordinary potential for this cultural tourism and we must continue to work hard to transform our country into an address for events with a regional and global character.

Honourable participants

Kosovo has extraordinary potential in many sections of cultural heritage, including the Ulpiana Archaeological Park, various museums throughout the municipalities, archaeological sites and religious objects.

But there is still a lot of work to be done in the field of tourism. In this regard, I have to mention the digitalisation of touristic destinations, which is one of the main goals of Kosovo’s institutions.

We should aim to make Kosovo part of the tour packages of Europe, not only of the Balkans, making it possible for tourists from different countries of the globe, from all continents to list our country as their destination.

As we continue to promote tourism, let’s do this in a sustainable manner, simultaneously protecting the environment, believing in the possibilities of our state, in the potential, but also in the prosperous offers, which make Kosovo an attractive place for tourist visits.

It is our joint obligation to make Kosovo an important tourist destination not only once, but continuously!

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