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September 15, 2023

Supporting National Strategy for Tourism in the Banking Industry with Credins Bank

Albanian-owned Credins Bank is supporting national strategy for tourism

It's great to hear that a bank is supporting a national strategy for tourism! Banks can play a significant role in supporting various industries, including tourism, through financial services and initiatives. Here are a few ways in which a bank might support a national strategy for tourism:

  1. Financing and Loans: Banks can provide financial assistance to tourism-related businesses, such as hotels, restaurants, travel agencies, and tour operators. These businesses often require capital to expand, renovate, or improve their services.
  2. Investment: Banks might invest in tourism infrastructure projects, such as the development of new tourist attractions, resorts, or transportation systems. These investments can contribute to the growth of the tourism sector.
  3. Financial Advisory: Banks can offer financial advice to businesses in the tourism sector, helping them manage their finances, optimize their operations, and plan for growth.
  4. Specialized Products: Banks can design financial products tailored to the needs of the tourism industry, such as seasonal loans to help businesses manage cash flow during peak and off-peak seasons.
  5. Partnerships: Banks can collaborate with tourism boards, government agencies, and industry associations to create partnerships that promote tourism and boost local economies.
  6. Digital Solutions: Banks can develop digital payment solutions that cater to tourists, making it easier for them to make transactions while traveling. This can include foreign exchange services, international payment options, and secure online banking for tourists.
  7. Sustainable Tourism: Banks can support environmentally friendly and sustainable tourism practices by offering incentives or loans to businesses that adopt eco-friendly initiatives.
  8. Data Analysis: Banks can leverage their data analytics capabilities to provide insights into tourism trends, visitor behavior, and economic impact. This information can help governments and businesses make informed decisions.
  9. Promotion and Marketing: Banks can help promote tourism destinations and events by sponsoring marketing campaigns or offering discounts to tourists who use their services.
  10. Capacity Building: Banks can provide training and workshops to tourism businesses to enhance their financial literacy, management skills, and overall competitiveness.
  11. Support for Small Businesses: Banks can focus on supporting small and local businesses in the tourism sector, as they often contribute significantly to the uniqueness and authenticity of a destination.

In January this year, Albania registered an almost 100% increase in tourism. After being closed off from the world for nearly 50 years, the country is now working hard to attract tourists to their 300 miles of coastlines, rolling countryside, medieval constructions, as well as their beautiful lakes and mountains that attract hikers.

At the International Tourism Convention held in April, the World Tourism Organization concluded that the Albanian government is considering tourism a priority sector in their economy. After all, more than 7.5 million foreign citizens have entered Albania in 2022, while revenues from touristic traveling amounted to approximately EUR 2.8 billion – an increase of 48.5% compared to 2021. This will lead to fiscal incentives and infrastructural developments that can be supported both by the government and companies like Credins Bank.

In this initial phase, Credins Bank is focusing on small and micro businesses operating in tourism and agro-tourism, as well as larger businesses that are more engaged in these same sectors. Credins ranks first for lending, with a market share of about 19%, but it also has extensive experience in the market and a wide network established over the years.

Moreover, Credins is an Albanian-owned company, a very important competitive advantage. This is why it has a great deal of knowledge of the specific national requirements when it comes to environmental resources and infrastructure, economy and culture. Such proximity ensures that both local and foreign investors can start projects with flexibility and professionalism.

With Credins, customers can also have access to a variety of services and products, including financing for investments and working capital, POS payments, wire transfers with competitive fees, a wide network of branches, businesses credit and debit cards and more. More recently, the bank also introduced the Mobile Branch service, which is a van that travels to serve customers wherever they are, but with a focus on tourists in particular.

According to the Albanian Ministry of Tourism, it is expected that the country will host about 10 million tourists this year. With a diversity of destinations, the country is both attractive to those seeking to spend time in nature but also for those who want to learn more about local culture and history, as well as their cuisine. That last part is a highlight considering that Albanians have a tradition to offer abundant food at the table for their guests, even at difficult times.

In order to meet the most exigent customers' standards, the Albanian government is offering fiscal incentives to 4-5 star hotels. During the International Tourism Convention, the Minister of Finances and Economy, Ms. Delina Ibrahimaj, said that this strategy was set to allow established facilities to prosper and new ones to be started. Compared to 2021, in 2022 Albania had already increased 44.6% of their investments in tourism, while the turnover of entities operating in this sector or connected with it increased by 39.9%.

For a Credins Bank's spokesperson, Albania could be even considered a "second home for many foreign tourists, who are amazed by the diverse lifestyle they find in various parts of the country and passionate about traditional Albanian cuisine." They explain visitors should expect a combination of oriental cuisines and other Balkan countries, which gives it a unique approach.

As for the nationalities that are most interested in visiting Albania, it is especially the Spanish and then the British tourists who are on the top of the list. In the case of American tourists, it is even possible for them to stay in the country for up to a whole year, in case they fall in love with its Balkam charm.

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