Young people are leaving rural areas, moving to cities and are disconnected from the countryside and Albanian heritage. The allure and commercial appeal of city life has transfixed the youth of Albania leaving both economic uncertainty and skill shortages in rural communities. By undermining the rural economy a ripple effect is felt across the entire Albanian infrastructure. The proposed AAR can deliver a number of solutions to combat this growing concern:
- A focus for enterprise development in the rural visitor economy
- A headquarters and national rafting academy for the ARF
- A national and regional training centre for a range of rural enterprise sectors, including agriculture, apiary, viniculture, crafts – and also adventure sports
- A resort for adventure sports, including rafting
- An outdoor education centre for young people (schoolchildren, students) and trainee teachers to learn about a wide range of subjects (geography, history, teambuilding, sports, leadership, etc) and also reconnect with Albanian heritage (food, folklore, history, music, etc) [This will also provide a channel to help young people become future adventure guides in the fields of rafting, kayaking, hiking and environmental conservation, etc]
- The tourism product will be enhanced by celebrating and involving local heritage, whilst the rural economy will become more sustainable through the growth of a rooted visitor economy.
The opportunity is to transform Albanian society and the country’s economic potential by reconnecting the next generation to Albanian heritage and the countryside.