Tourism, which faced two difficult years in the pandemic, managed to stimulate the eruption of new businesses that are growing slowly but surely. However, the supporting industries of this sector seem not to have escaped the latest blow of rising costs, which has spread to every cell of the world economy. The car rental market reports an artificial increase in prices, with bookings being made in the short term, even though demand remains high. Meanwhile, souvenir shops are facing the dilemma of increasing prices or decreasing profits. A good part have chosen the second, not risking that the tourists, who this year are more prudent in spending, eliminate purchases from their budgets.
One of the segments that is directly related to tourism is the trading of souvenirs. Due to the restrictions, the number of tourists was reduced during the pandemic and this resulted in these businesses facing lower income.
The recovery of tourism, where foreigners in the 5th month of 2022 exceeded by 12% the figures of the 5th month of 2019, has been reflected with increased interest in this segment as well.
But now the challenge is the increase in costs. Nerada Kulla, from “Marigo Souvenirs” in Durrës, claims that she had to reduce the profit margin in order not to raise prices, since souvenirs are a luxury expense that customers can eliminate.
“Our costs have increased quite a bit, but at least I have decided to reduce the profit margin and amortize this effect so as not to pass it on to the customer.
“Souvenirs are a luxury expense made by tourists, so not something necessary, so if the prices increase, the tourist immediately decides to eliminate this from his total vacation budget,” she underlines.
The increase in prices globally in almost every sector, such as food, transport, energy, has made customers more prudent with their spending while on vacation. However, foreigners are still interested in souvenirs from Albania and their selections are closely related to the country of origin.
“Behavior and preferences are different, but according to nationality, it creates an idea of what they are looking for. For example, Poles continue to remain interested in drinks and alcohol.
The Nordics are interested in the authentic things of the country, the Germans choose a lot of knitting, handwork, small carpets and bunkers souvenirs, while the Italians remain very passionate about sports things, as well as jewelry”, says Ms. Kulla.(Monitor)