Greetings from Albania – The Youth of Albania Welcoming the World

Greetings from Albania – The Youth of Albania Welcoming the World

Albania
Project Summary
Elevator Pitch

Concise Summary: Help us pitch this solution! Provide an explanation within 3-4 short sentences.

The Albania Enterprise Development and Export Market (EDEM) Services project is sponsored by the US Agency for International Development for the purpose of increasing the competitiveness of Albania in industries such as tourism. The ‘Greetings from Albania’ campaign was conceived as a way of addressing the lack of local concern about damage to the environment from a lack of solid waste management. It is intended to prompt young people to ask themselves the question: “Is this pile of garbage the image I want visitors to have of where I live?”

Your idea
This will be the address used to plot your entry on the map.
Street Address

P.O. box

City

Tirana

State/Province
Postal/Zip Code
Country
Year innovation began

2004

Geotourism Challenge Addressed by Entrant

Quality of benefit to the people of the desitination

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Indicate sector in which you principally work

Tourism-related business

Geographic location

Urban, Rural, Coast, Mountain.

Plot your innovation within the Mosaic of Solutions
Main barrier addressed

Lack of local input

Main insight addressed

Establish community incentives

Innovation
What is the goal of your innovation?

To present the best of Albania to the world through postcards created by the country’s young people.

How does your approach support or embody geotourism?

By presenting the best of the country’s destinations, the youth are encouraging visitors to experience their home communities, thus helping to sustain the geographical character of these communities. Youth all across Albania are invited to design postcards that welcome visitors.

Describe your approach in detail. How is it innovative?

The approach is intended to be simple: encourage Albania’s young people to think about their home communities as places people from outside their communities would want to visit. The postcards are distributed online and through Albanian tour operators at international travel trade fairs as “Greetings from Albania” – invitations to visit and experience the best of their country.

What types of partnerships or professional development would be most beneficial in spreading your innovation?

The US Agency for International Development’s Enterprise Development and Export Market Services (EDEM) project has been the chief sponsor of the “Greetings from Albania” initiative. A corporate sponsor who can sustain the project beyond the life of the EDEM project, which ends in September 2008, would be ideal.

Impact
In one sentence describe what kind of impact, change, or reform your approach is intended to achieve.

Raise awareness among the country’s young people of the value of protecting and preserving the cultural and natural heritage of their home communities and surroundings.

Describe the degree of success of your approach to date. Clearly define how you measure quantitative and qualitative impact in terms of how your approach contributes to the sustainability or enhancement of local culture, environment, heritage, or aesthetics? How does your approach minimize negative impacts? 200 words or less

The first “Greetings” campaign was launched in September 2004 and was immediately a success with entries from 10 communities and over 350 postcards submitted. This is the fourth year that USAID has conducted the “Greetings from Albania” campaign which taps children's artistic talents to help promote Albania as an attractive, inviting tourist destination. This year, over 1,300 youth from 18 communities across Albania submitted drawings, paintings, and photographs. Winning entries are being used by the Albanian tourism industry in tourism events and the trade fairs across Europe to promote the image of the country. Images have also been used on Albanian postage stamps.

How does your program promote traveler enthusiasm, satisfaction, and engagement with the locale?

The postcards present destinations all across the country, thus raising awareness among visitors about places to visit in the country.

In what ways are local residents actively involved in your innovation, including participation and community input? How has the community responded to or benefited from your approach?

This year, over 1,300 youth from 18 communities across Albania submitted drawings, paintings, and photographs. Schools are actively involved in encouraging students to submit entries.

Describe how your innovation helps travelers and local residents better understand the value of the area’s cultural and natural heritage, and educates them on local environmental issues. How do you motivate them to act responsibly in their future travel decisions?

By encouraging young people to think about their home communities as places people might want to visit, they become more aware of preserving and protecting the local environment.

Sustainability
Is your initiative financially and organizationally sustainable? If not, what is required to make it so? What is the potential demand for your innovation?

Not yet. <br>

A long term sponsor is needed who will fund the communications to sustain the initiative, travel expenses from rural communities to Tirana (the capital) for the winners and the modest prizes for the winners.
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The postcards could be sold by non-profit organizations and charities to raise money. The images are attractive and popular with the local travel industry.

How is your initiative currently financed? If available, provide information on your finances and organization that could help others. Please list: Annual budget, annual revenue generated, size of part-time, full-time and volunteer staff.

Three local EDEM staff are the primary organizers. The EDEM project is the primary source of financing for the project.

What is your plan to expand your approach? Please indicate where/how you would like to grow or enhance your innovation, or have others do so.

Ideally, every community and school across the country would join the initiative. To enable this requires more extensive communications and collaboration with local government and non-governmental organizations.

What are the main barriers you encounter in managing, implementing, or replicating your innovation? What barriers keep your program from having greater impact?

Communicating with schools and communities throughout the country and managing the logistics of collecting the postcard images.

The Story
What is the origin of your innovation? Tell your story.

The Albania Enterprise Development and Export Market (EDEM) Services project is sponsored by the US Agency for International Development for the purpose of increasing the competitiveness of Albania in industries such as tourism. The ‘Greetings from Albania’ campaign was conceived as a way of addressing the lack of local concern about damage to the environment from a lack of solid waste management. It is intended to prompt young people to ask themselves the question: “Is this pile of garbage the image I want visitors to have of where I live?”

Please provide a personal bio. Note this may be used in Changemakers' marketing material.

Cynthia Steen of DAI, contractor for USAID

Please write an overview of your project. This text will appear when people scroll over the icon for your entry on the Google map located on the competition homepage.

The Albania Enterprise Development and Export Market (EDEM) Services project is sponsored by the US Agency for International Development for the purpose of increasing the competitiveness of Albania in industries such as tourism. The ‘Greetings from Albania’ campaign was conceived as a way of addressing the lack of local concern about damage to the environment from a lack of solid waste management. It is intended to prompt young people to ask themselves the question: “Is this pile of garbage the image I want visitors to have of where I live?”