Rebuilding our post-COVID country together

Earlier this month, the Kosovo Chamber of Hospitality and Tourism gathered representatives from public and private institutions in Kosovo and the region, to discuss ways of how to best move forward and rebuild the tourism and hospitality sector from Covid-19 in the country. On the forum organized with the support of the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation through the PPSE project in partnership with UNDP through the Eco-Tourism project, representatives from the tourism public and private sector, the regional representatives and international experts shared their experiences and discussed of the impact of the pandemic in the tourism sector and possible recovery measures taken to rebuild the sector.  

The forum resulted in 16 recommendations, as below:

  1. Form a working group within the Kosovo Chamber of Hospitality and Tourism (KCHT) in order to identify the damage caused by the pandemic throughout the country.
  2. Organize campaigns and awareness raising videos to promote the country tourist offers in order to achieve a sustainable local development, with the support of the public institutions. 
  3. State institutions should take concrete measures to help the hotel and tourism sector to easily deal with the damage of closure as a result of the pandemic (Examples from Macedonia and other countries in the region).
  4. Each new measure from the institutions, respectively the Ministry of Health, should be communicated to tour agencies and hotels in order for the latter to inform international and diaspora tourists. 
  5. A joint insurance fund should be established within the Kosovo Chamber of Hospitality and Tourism, in order to provide support to KCHT country member businesses, in case of emergencies. 
  6. Preparation of an operational plan, with the close cooperation between the representatives of the institutions and the Chamber, for concrete actions in case of emergencies.
  7. Close cooperation should be established between tourism associations to promote the sustainable development of tourism, lobbying, Tourism Law etc.
  8. Enable joint regional tourism offers between the tourism businesses so that Kosovo Tourism is promoted in Albania, Macedonia, Montenegro and beyond. 
  9. Coordinate joint actions and activities with hotels and tourist chambers from the region who have concluded the cooperation agreements in order to create common engagements fronts and promote tourism values from other countries, as well as share the best practices.
  10. No increase in the value of VAT. The VAT should continue to be 8% even after the pandemic. 
  11. Establishment of Vocational Education, increase of expert staff in the field of the Hospitality and Tourism, supporting and equipping relevant school cabinets in vocational education. 
  12. Social dialogue between the private and public sector.
  13. Diaspora are the most loyal visitors and the ones that keep the economy alive. The Government of Kosovo should enable the recognition of any document that proves that the tourist does not have Covid-19, not only the PCR test, which is the most expensive. Ie Croatia accepts all kinds of tests including PCR, rapid and serological tests. 
  14. Kosovo has a great potential for the development of mountain tourism but should be supported by proper infrastructure (during the winter season, the villages in Rugova/Peje did not have electricity for 2 months in a row).
  15. Waste management in Kosovo requires the mobilization of all actors and the society. 
  16. Allow travelers of cross-mountain trails that connect Kosovo and Albania with Montenegro. The neighboring countries allow the visitors from Kosovo to pass while Kosovo does not allow visitors from these two countries.