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Opinion / Editorial

Kakome or otherwise tourism

Kakome or otherwise tourism

Kakome Bay is located on the Ionian coast, 10 km from Saranda and is one of the most beautiful bays of our Riviera. It intrudes several hundred meters and is 300–400 m wide, with a beach of rough, white, shingle-type sand. The mountain slope to the south of the bay is covered with well-preserved natural vegetation, while the northern slope is rocky, bare of trees. The bay has a beauty as stunning as it is saddening, so abandoned in its bushes and not included in the map of elite tourist destinations for the Mediterranean, just like Sazani, the Albanian island, among the few (counted on the fingers of one hand) left still wild in the Mediterranean. In 2004, in Kakome, the well-known international tourist destination management company, Club Med (in Albanian, Mediterranean Club) (https://en.wikipedia. org/wiki/Club_Med ), with 1.4 billion euros in annual revenue and over 20,000 employees worldwide, was waiting to start the construction of the tourist resort and manage it. The works were blocked by the protests of the villagers of a mountain village 7 km east of Kakome Bay, called Nivicë Bubas. The villagers claimed ownership of the Gjiri land, but had no legal document to prove it. Old land ownership documents are very well known in our country. In the lands around the city of Gjirokastra, a few tens of km away from Nivica and Kakomeja, Gjirokastra families also presented ownership documents in old Turkish, before 1908, the time of the revolution of the Young Turks. In fact, since the time of King Zog, the lands on the rough and rocky coast of the South, with a pronounced lack of potable water, were considered unsuitable for investment and housing and were stored in Zog cadastres entirely as state land, with some very rare exceptions. The villagers of Nivica had no old written document to prove their claims, only folklore and village history about inheriting land from generation to generation on the coast. However, in 2006, two years later, the subject "Co-ownership of the village of Nivicë" turned to the Local Property Return and Compensation Commission of the Vlora District, requesting the recognition and return of a property of 4 thousand hectares of pasture, starting from Saranda in the south and ending with Lukova in the north. In this request, the area in Kakome Bay was also included. Seeing that the realization of the tourist project in Kakome had entered a complicated and long legal path, unfortunately for our economy, Club Med abandoned the plan to manage a tourist resort in Albania. After 16 years, a group of serious Albanian investors will build the resort designed 18 years ago. Initially, the investment was planned for 220 rooms. The new project has re-conceptualized and re-scaled the intervention, making it more friendly to the environment and land morphology in Kakome. The resort will operate as a single, managed by an international company with the name and aim of bringing elite tourists to Albania. It is about the largest and most attractive resort of the Albanian Riviera, among the most beautiful among the coasts and rivieras of Croatia, Montenegro and Greece. The investment in Kakome will have 379 hotel rooms of 5 star standard. There will also be conference rooms, which will contribute to the extension of the tourist season in the South of the country throughout the year. Kakome will offer water sports, scuba diving, kite surfing, sailing, etc., turning this bay into a tourist attraction and destination for much more than two months a year, which is today is the period of complete utilization of the entire Albanian touristic South. It is expected that the resort will start operating in the summer of 2025, if the works start now. The feasibility study of the project was done by the international company Horwath htl, the most famous hotel and tourism project consulting company in the world. Horwath has a list of companies interested in managing the Kakome resort, which includes some of the world's most popular tour operators, such as Hilton, Accor, Radisson, Barcelona and Marriott. Kakome matters to all of us. First, with Kakomena, tourism in the South of the country gains more months. The resort there will offer business conference tourism throughout the year. Secondly, the well-known international company that will manage it, will organize attractive offers for all ages and wallets, throughout the year. In winter or late autumn, tourists of the third age will be able to come amid an impressive panorama and a healthy and mild climate even in winter. Thirdly, with Kakomena as a safe investment, finally, foreign investment capital (not only management) of well-known international firms, builders of the most beautiful resorts around the globe, will approach Albania. Kakomeja will have an investment value of over 60 million euros. Important banks have shown themselves ready to support the investment. Among them, the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD).