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On Tuesday, Albania passed the 1st hurdle on its way to European Union membership, with EU allowing candidate status on its 4th attempt. Albania could not win the coveted status 3 times earlier that they are trying to get since 2009. In a Twitter post, Stefan Fule, the European Union Enlargement Commissioner, said that the decision represented a real acknowledgement of reform efforts by Albania.
This decision is the 1st major hurdle to be EU member, a bloc of half a billion people which forms the biggest economy in the world. The decision was agreed on by the 28 countries’ foreign ministers at their Luxembourg meeting and it is subject to promotional statement by European Council earlier on Friday.
Still, the candidate status does not automatically guide to the membership. For that, Albania would have to meet several requirements in dealing with corruption and crime, and bringing their administration and judiciary to European standards that might take few years.
In a statement, European Commission, the EU executive, said that for Albania, today’s decision should translate into a strengthened endorsement of its reform agenda. Present Albanian Prime Minister Edi Rama has pledged to push for European Union membership. Following a phone conversation with Fule, he told in a Twitter post: “proud that we all together did it. Thanks and gratitude to all of you.” Later, in a news conference, the prime minister stated that the EU membership negotiations would be more intensive, the road is more difficult and the challenge becomes bigger.
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London travel attractions are shadowing other tourist destinations in the rest of England, said the chief of the country’s tourism body. James Berresford, the Visit England chief executive, stated that while London had experienced a fourteen percent rise in the number of visits since the year 2008, the number of visits to places outside London was down four percent
Speaking at the 9th annual Barclays Travel Forum, James Berresford told that London’s dominance is such that it overshadows the rest of the country. While the rest of the country offered quality and value products, there was a deficiency of awareness of what the nation had to offer beyond the capital city.
Berresford stated that the part of the trouble was the fact there were no longer any regional tourism boards for England funded by government. In England, the product has improved remarkably, but they do have perception problem as well as some of their product is not as good as it must be.
When it comes to promoting travel attractions and domestic products, travel agents have a great role to play. They have to work more closely with their trade.
James, who estranged the travel agents back in 2011 with the launch of Stay At Home television campaign to encourage the people of England to holiday in their own country instead of going other countries. He told that he was a persona non grata with travel agents but now they are best friend. However, he is a huge believer in travel agents.
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A recent Bloomberg article stated that this year, a record number of tourists would visit Greece and revenues reaching thirteen billion euros. According to Association of Greek Tourism Enterprises president Andreas Andreadis forecasts show that 2014 would be another record year.
Almost every traditional as well as new markets are showing encouraging and positive signs. More than that, the Association of Greek Tourism Enterprises estimate shows that by the year 2021, almost 1 million people would work in the tourism industry. Andreakis told that the political stability within Greece as well as the achievement of other national goals, would ensure that Greece would achieve and surpass their goals by 2021.
The Bloomberg news also stated that pre-booking data reveal that Greece can anticipate more travelers from France and Germany this year and a ten percent increase in visitors from the United Kingdom. More Germans travel Greece compared to other nationalities followed by United Kingdom, the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, France and Russia.
As per World Travel and Tourism Council report, tourism constituted 16.4 percent of Greece’s gross domestic product in the year 2012. According to reports, Greece Prime Minister Antonis Samaras have identified the country’s travel industry market as the first locomotive which started to pull the country’s economy out of a painful 6 year recession.
If this European nation manages to hit an aim of twenty four million visitors by the year 2021 it would add nine percentage points to their GDP while creating 300000 jobs spots.
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