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KOSOVO: Strengthening Private Sector as Catalyst of this Emerging European Destination

Swisscontact is working closely with the municipal authorities in Pristina and Prizren, two major cities in Kosovo, to support the development of the tourism sector making use of the St. Gallen Destination Management (SGDM) methodology of strategic visitor flow analysis. This helps address the lack of legal and managerial infrastructure in the tourism sector, while also focusing on the inclusive approach for the private sector as they key driver of change. In 2018, Swisscontact experts facilitated workshops with Kosovo tourism sector stakeholders in each city to brainstorm and harness the unique potential of these destinations, and to introduce the SGDM methodology so that the municipalities are able to use it by themselves, as part of the development of tailored tourism strategies for each area. New tourism products, re-utilizing the potential of existing attractions, new tourism-related occupations, and better sector organization are all key aspects of the strategies, which have already produced fruit: Pristina, the capital city, has functionalized a tourism info point and a new bus line connecting it with the only international airport in the country; whereas in Prizren, paragliding, kayaking and glamping are to be offered as new things to do. Importantly, both municipal authorities have increased the budget allocated to tourism this year. 
This is only the beginning, and some initial results. The goal of the tourism strategies for these two cities is to contribute to sustainable tourism practices, increase the length of stay of tourists and attract more. These efforts are supported by targeted international promotion. The Swisscontact expertise thus contributes directly to the growth of Kosovo’s tourism and local economy by creating new jobs, increasing income and well-being in general.