Tourism is not driving domestic production, but imports

2024-04-23 07:30:00, Ekonomi CNA

Tourism is not driving domestic production, but imports

The growth of the tourism sector, at another new record this year, is driving high imports in items related to the industry.

In the first quarter of the year, the tourism industry is at the peak of preparations for the summer season. Usually in this period purchases are made for the supplies of hotel structures, which are increasing from year to year.

Data on foreign trade in the first quarter of this year show that imports of parasols in quantity increased by 61% in January-March 2024 compared to the same period in 2023.

The development of tourism is also promoting cruise services with boats and small ships, which are becoming common in maritime and lake tourism. The data show that the quantities of boat and boat imports increased by 79% in the first quarter of the year.

Also, imports of straw products increased by over 45%. The "Furniture, beds, mattresses, lamps, etc." group had an increase of over 15%.

The data from foreign trade show that the development of tourism is encouraging the increase in imports of main consumer products in the country, especially food.

In the first quarter of the year, imports of the food group increased by 22%, and in some groups such as vegetables and fruits, the increase was over 60%.

Experts in the sector analyze that the vast majority of the profits of the tourism sector go abroad again for the imports of raw materials needed by hotels and restaurants. If tourism is not connected to other sectors of the economy and especially to production, there will be a lack of broad-based benefits.

The data show that parallel to the growth of tourism there is a strong weakening of the manufacturing sector. The increase in foreign exchange flows has significantly weakened the euro in recent years, decreasing export profits year after year.

Exports of goods in value fell by 21% in the first quarter of the year, as small and medium-sized production lines entered a massive bankruptcy process.

The immediate shift of the economy from production to services is assessed by experts as costly as a two-decade effort of the "Made in Albania" product is being destroyed.

Experts suggest that producers should adapt to the demands of tourism, but the data shows that the sectors find difficulties related to each other. For example, in 2022 there was a strong increase in accommodation units, there was a strong decline in furniture businesses./ Monitor Magazine

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