TRAILBLAZING MAGAZINE December 2020

Page 1

TOURISM | HOSPITALITY | BUSINESS | DIPLOMACY | CULTURE

DECEMBER 2020

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TABLE OF CONTENTS PAGE

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44

48

TOPTANI SHOPPING CENTER

HOTCO

MARRIOTT ARRIVES IN ALBANIA

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PAGE

PAGE

58

70

78

MK I HOTEL TIRANA

DUX, MORE THAN A BED

JARI GUSTAFSSON’S MESSAGE

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22

PAGE

40 PAGE

14

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PAGE

92

96

102

ORIGINAL SACHER-TORTE

XMAS IN MADEIRA

AGRITOURISM

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PAGE

106

110

114

SWEDISH EMBASSY

NHR STATUS SCOUT CONCIERGE

SUSTAINABLE TOURISM

PAGE

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PAGE

1 18

124

130

MYGLASS STUDIO

INDIAN CHEF

JAKSA DZAJA

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134

138

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A FEAST FOR THE SENSES

ILLYRICUM TRAIL

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JP TRAIBLAZING MAGAZINE

The child is wondering why Santa Claus is not coming

The Different Christmas By Jose Pinto*

Christmas 2020 is going to feel different. The pandemic has changed many aspects of our lives, and the new habits we have formed will shape our behavior over the festive season. But like nearly everything else in 2020, holiday shopping this year will be anything but typical. Fueled by changes in customer preferences and economic situations, as well as a global pandemic, holiday shopping will be quite different this year. Retailers need to make adjustments to best serve their customers and find success.

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E D I TO R ’ S N OT E

JP TRAIBLAZING MAGAZINE


JP TRAIBLAZING MAGAZINE

A global marketing

Increasingly, all consumers want

transparency and social good. Most

guide highlights trends

to feel good and proud about the

online marketers studies found

and insights new habits

brands they buy but are not willing

that loyal customers / consumers

formed at this time, and

just to see and buy.

would switch to a different brand

which are shaping the

or product or service if a company

trends for the season and

These actions really matter to

had violated their values or had not

perhaps beyond. Here are

consumers, according various

been up to their promises, the actual

five key insights:

Barometer of research being

situation have made them much

published since the start of the

more aware of their needs ad values.

Gen X and Baby Boomers

constitute the new value equation.

continue dominating mobile and

One of the biggest questions

other electronics and also will

surrounding holiday shopping this

continue buying via different online

year is how much people will spend.

channels.

With economic uncertainty and

Self-gifting and seasonal shopping

many people facing job losses or

can be positive in difficult times if

pay cuts, some shoppers may be

well managed.

spending less.

Imposed financial disruption fuels receptiveness to news products

Across the world, businesses and

,brands and services. Affordability, authenticity and action

brands have been responding to the crisis by using their resources and strong social media influence. It is something that will remain in the consumers’ minds as they shop this Christmas.

pandemic. Black Friday promotion extensions and Christmas

Customers, consumers and loyal

campaigns will seek to remind

clients have globally endured during

consumers about a brand’s.

the pandemic and have highlighted the appetite to be better and do

The Consumer has been having

better and hardened consumers.

a positive reaction so far, as

They will take a step or do the thing

per researchers. These stats are

without being sure.

replicated across most countries.

With his in mind we all aim for better

Even before the pandemic time,

and productive 2021.

consumers were already demanding

May I take the opportunity to wish

more from brands: in

Everyone a very healthy, happy and safe Christmas and New Year! *Founder of JP Hospitality.EU & Trailblazing Magazine

Price will be a dominant and important factor in any purchase, discounts and deals will be on everyone mind regardless their status.

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E D I TO R ’ S N OT E

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BANA KING Like the Name BY RUDINA HOXHA & JOSE PINTO

JP TRAIBLAZING MAGAZINE

T

rifon Murataj, owner of ZICO Sh.A. talks with TRAILBLAZING MAGAZINE about the vision of its company, its values and the journey up to date making this company one of the most unique in Albania thanks to its exceptionally Albanian management paradigm with international success.

Among all, the result of ZICO’s efforts was a major win for the Albanian consumer, and the birth of one of Albania’s most recognizable brands: Bana King. Who hasn’t tried the delicious Bana King bananas? “The market for banana was a natural fit for ZICO’s competencies. Initially, it was hard to identify top-of-the-line sources which both lived up to ZICO’s rigorous quality requirements and Balkan consumers’ willingness to pay. ZICO kept the focus on the Albanian consumer: the decision to preserve quality was made early on,” says Murataj. ZICO’s standards for quality are exceedingly high. “ZICO’s way of life and work is summarized by its slogan: “We are Quality.” ZICO’s product team demanded full oversight of the quality-control process, from planting to pre-market processing,” he states, adding “The firm’s founders didn’t settle for supplier reassurance, and traveled to Ecuador to select individual plantations themselves. This is how the story of Bana King began.”

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BUSINESS

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JP TRAIBLAZING MAGAZINE

“ZICO is unique among Albanian firms because its leadership represents a uniquely Albanian management”

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competition. ZICO is an exception.

Initially, ZICO began by selling,

Traditions and persistence have

warehousing, and transporting

driven ZICO to prominence, but

sundry consumer goods and fruits.

ZICO is by no means traditional in

In its third year of operations, the

a negative sense. This firm’s vision

firm had already built a truck fleet

isn’t limited to simply building

capable of serving the entire territory

logistics and trade infrastructure.

of Albania and its neighboring states.

Rather than resort to “what

Through careful selection, persistent

has worked in the past,” ZICO

communication with stakeholders,

continuously invests to further

and diligent management,

its ability to disrupt competitive

ZICO honed its focus on trading

markets by integrating state-of-the-

nonseasonal fresh fruits. The result of

art technology into its operations.

ZICO’s efforts was a major win for the

ZICO is unique among Albanian

Albanian consumer, and the birth of

International trade is a pillar of our

firms because its leadership

one of Albania’s most recognizable

economy, and no company is as

represents a uniquely Albanian

brands: Bana King.

synonymous with international trade

management paradigm with

in Albania as is ZICO Sh.A. ZICO

international success. All this by

Why the BanaKing has the highest

began as a small import-export firm,

an organization where team spirit

quality and why is so demanded on

but has since grown into one of

thrives and where every stakeholder

Albanian market?

Albania’s largest FCMG corporates.

is treated like family.

The market for banana was a natural

What sparked you to start importing bananas from “BanaKing”? Can you reveal the story?

The firm’s entrepreneurial founding

fit for ZICO’s competencies. Initially,

and internal traditions constitute a

it was hard to identify top-of-the-

principled bedrock of values that

line sources which both lived up to

continue guiding ZICO’s vision

ZICO’s rigorous quality requirements

today.

and Balkan consumers’ willingness

questions of where to source

Albanian consumer: the decision to

the vicious cycle of commodity-price

preserve quality was made early on.

the most banana (an interesting aside: in India, bananas are used for elephant feed), Ecuador is the world’s biggest exporter of bananas. Generally, Ecuadorian bananas are superior. Thus, procurement became easier with more information, and ZICO’s focus shifted to Ecuador. Quality was more difficult to secure, because ZICO’s standards for quality are exceedingly high. ZICO’s way of life and work is summarized by its slogan: “We are Quality.”

In the beginning, there were

16

has direct implications on quality. For example, while India produces

to pay. ZICO kept the focus on the A firm without a vision limits itself to

bananas. The decision to source

ZICO’s product team demanded

17


“ZICO guarantees that Bana King’s quality”

full oversight of the qualitycontrol process, from planting to pre-market processing. The firm’s founders didn’t settle for supplier reassurance, and traveled

JP TRAIBLAZING MAGAZINE

the entire Bana King value chain is

Upon arriving at port, Bana King

trademarked. But Bana King is more

is transported in refrigerated

than surface-level marketing.

containers to ensure its continued freshness. The banana is then

ZICO’s whole product offering is

processed in Bana King’s specialized

to Ecuador to select individual

remains superior, even before it’s

marked by corporate accountability

facilities–one of five such facilities

plantations themselves. This is how

brought to market.

and careful attention to detail. All of

in Europe–utilizing Artificially

the story of Bana King began.

To ensure that the banana arrives

Bana King’s Ecuadorian plantations

Intelligent ripening and preservation

It started with a handshake at one of

fresh, ZICO integrates international

are certified by Global G.A.P (Global

systems.

Bana King’s Ecuadorian plantations,

logistics, temperature-controlled

Good Agricultural Practices)–every

Bana King’s specialized process

amid verdant Banana trees,

storage, and pre-market processing

Bana King import adheres to strict

allows for its signature uniform

nourished by the Machala province’s

into a unified operation. The

global safety, quality, and ecological

quality. This very quality has made

dark soils. After years of scouring

resulting product is remarkably

standards. Bana King’s quality is not

Bana King an internationally

the Ecuadorian countryside,

consistent in quality, and well-

fictitious: the very soil it’s grown

recognized brand. It’s no surprise

building trust, and searching for

tailored for the needs of customers

on is responsibly farmed, with

that customers in North Macedonia,

superior quality, ZICO negotiated

in Albania and beyond.

sustainability techniques and no use

Serbia, Kosovo and Montenegro

of chemicals. Bana King originates

insist on Bana King.

fresh, harvested in eastern Ecuador.

Bana King’s market presence is not

one of the largest international brand acquisitions by any Albanian

Has BanaKing any plans to widen

firm.

its scope of its products by using

sporadic–international distributors After being picked in Ecuador, Bana

sign recurring contracts with Bana

Today, Bana King (officially,

King is transported via the world’s

King, ensuring stable market

a brand–it acquired the entire Bana

PREMIUM QUALITY BANANAS

largest maritime shipping company,

King value chain. At Bana King’s

BANA KING) is an internationally

with strict quality preservation

Ecuadorian plantations, green fruit

recognized trademark registered

standards that ensure that their

is harvested and put through a

by the World Patent and Trademark

bananas remain as fresh as they

rigorous selection process to ensure

Office (WPTO) and the United

were when they were picked. As

that each banana represents the

States Patent and Trademark

they cross the Atlantic, Bana King

best of its cultivar. By controlling

Office (USPTO). The Bana King

bananas are refrigerated and

harvesting and selection, ZICO

trademark is more than its logo;

monitored remotely–sub-par fruit is

The acquisition was large mostly

the bananas?

because ZICO didn’t solely acquire

guarantees that Bana King’s quality

“ZICO’s whole product offering is marked by corporate accountability and careful attention to detail.”

never accepted.

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BUSINESS

JP TRAIBLAZING MAGAZINE


JP TRAIBLAZING MAGAZINE

entertainment, and lends Bana

on investment is maximized by

King broad exposure across several

carefully selecting television

market segments.

channels associated with desired

Most Albanians know about Bana

Along that same thread, influencer

market segments. Bana King’s

King has come a long way from its

King due to its strong televised

Alketa Vejsiu entrenches Bana

advertisement focus mostly on

humble beginnings in Albania.

presence. Noteworthy Albanian

King’s positioning among mothers

building primary demand by

ZICO’s philosophy of strict quality-

influencers have built brand

with young children. Ms. Vejsiu’s

highlighting fresh fruit’s health

control and efficient, international

awareness among Albanian-

show, “Ne Kurthin e Piter Panit,” is

benefits and reassuring customers

distribution is driving its expansion

speakers internationally by

exclusively about talented children

Bana King’s impeccably curated

into nearby markets from its

showcasing their experiences.

and features famous guests.

quality and safety standards. ZICO

Albanian facilities. The firm’s

The influencers ZICO selects to

For a rawer testament to Bana

Sh.A.’s control of the full custodial

goal is to establish Bana King in

represent Bana King parallel brand

King’s quality, look no further than

chain, from plantation to domestic

all countries within 24-hours of

values and highlight product caliber.

“Alpazar” by Mr. Agron Llakaj. Mr.

distribution, guarantees that Bana

Albania via overland and maritime

Ardit Gjebrea, Bana King’s brand

Llakaj is a well-established Albanian

King lives up to its name.

transportation. This way, more

ambassador, needs no introduction–

entertainer who markets Bana King

And with a name like ‘Bana King,’

customers can enjoy Bana King’s

he is Albania’s most famous

to a broader audience with an

there is a lot to live up to.

superior quality– a level of quality

and celebrated entertainer. Mr.

exceptionally honest voice.

that most established international

Gjebrea epitomizes family-friendly,

In addition to television, Bana King

brands cannot match.

professional entertainment–

has built its presence on national

presence in the Balkans. And recently, Bana King has become

What can we hope to see from

available on a spot basis in Italian,

BanaKing in the future?…

Turkish, and Dutch markets. Bana

reflective of

radio via Mr. Enkel Demi. To build

Bana King’s

online presence, Bana King has

quality

partnered with West Side

and ZICO’s

Family (a widely followed

familial

Albanian hip-hop group)

culture. Mr.

and features in their music

Gjebrea is the

videos.

“true-north”

Bana King’s television

of Albanian

campaign is run to be

Bana King– like the name.

cost efficient, despite its breadth: return

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BUSINESS

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JP TRAIBLAZING MAGAZINE

“T

he initiatives and events did not stop and will not stop,” says Italian Ambassador to Albania, Fabrizio Bucci, in an exclusive interview with TRAILBLAZING MAGAZINE while talking of the ways Italy kept its presence in Albania

even during the pandemic times. The Ambassador elaborated on the strengths between the two countries in the context of the trinomial of ARTS-GASTRONOMYTOURISM and underlines the fact that the trio of culture-gastronomytourism has been one of the secrets of the rapid development of the dedicated tourist routes in the recent years. “Considering this wealth of experience, it is our aim to add value and promote a similar path also for Albania, as the country possesses all the environmental, agricultural and cultural features to replicate the Italian positive example, with clear benefits for all the involved stakeholders and the ever-increasing number of tourists, including Italians, who visit the country,” Ambassador says. Therefore, he adds, next year we wish to work towards the

reinforcement of strategic partnerships towards a quality tourism that is not simply focused on the Albanian southern coast,

FABRIZIO BUCCI:

ALBANIA AND ITALY, RATHER SIMILAR WHEN IT COMES TO ARTS, GASTRONOMY, AND TOURISM BY RUDINA HOXHA 22

but is further pushed inland, making use of potential natural and trekking routes in the fabulous Albanian mountains. The top official also reveals a lot about the incoming exhibition“Planets - 20 stories for 2020”, organized by the Italian Agency for Development Cooperation, in collaboration with the Embassy of Italy in Tirana. 23

D I P L O M AC Y

Photos taken for the campaign Planets: Anima Pictures, Production Company. Lorenzo Pesce, Photographer. Ernesto Spinelli, Communication Manager and Copywriter.

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Even during this year, the Italian Embassy to Tirana has organized many of the scheduled events. We dedicated an entire month to the XX Week of the Italian Language in the World (an idea by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation). Both the Italian Embassy and the Institute of Italian Culture hosted events involving young and adult,

present situation, how did Italy find the way to maintain this presence? Obviously, 2020 did not appear to be an easy year for any of the world countries;

24

the Italian language as their vessel of creative expression.

Italian language. More an Italian than an Albanian by

All these and more happened in the

now, Helidon has conquered again

course of the programme scheduled

the space of Venice Biennial with a

for the Italian Language Week in

splendid work, “Luce, la rinascita

Albania. We have just concluded the

di Venezia” (Light, the Renaissance

his art at the Residence as soon as

were two events hosted in this

possible.

context. The conference on the

For the rest, we have had a strong

topic, “Conservation and protection

with the nomination

focus on students: The initiative,

of the cultural heritage in Albania

of Ledia Konstantini

“Assaggio di libri” (The Taste of

– the Italian

as “Ambasciatore

Books) is an innovative journey of

sustainability

della Lingua

the digital literary critique for the

model,”

Italiana in Albania”

bilingual high schools of Tirana,

with the

(Ambassador of the

Korca and Shkodra. A programme,

participation

Italian Language

“Di-segni e di parole” (Of Signs

of the

in Albania). We are

and Words), will be dedicated to

Albanian

working with this

the Albanian students who are

Minister of

brilliant Albanian

part of the “Illiria” Memorandum,

Culture, Elva

Artist on a project for

with five virtual meetings with the

Margariti,

graphic design on the topic ended up

an exhibition that is due in spring

measures to contain the virus did

ambassador of the

to Italy, who chose

promoted by the Embassy. There

“Italian between Words and Images”

Albania included. However, the

Xhixha as a senior

authors emigrated

possible, opening an exhibition of

was conceived to identify the best

events. In the

nominated Helidon

the main Albanian

Sustainable Development,

Italy has always been present in

culture, gastronomy

with her, we

brief interviews of

organize an event, as soon as it is

across Albania. The contest entitled,

“ Helidon has conquered again the space of Venice Biennial with a splendid work”

Residence. Together

“For the rest, we have had a strong focus on students”

4th edition of the Festival for

Full interview below:

a series of arts,

at the Embassy

of Venice). With him, too, we will

artist and non-artist Italian speakers

Albania through

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most famed Italian illustrators and

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D I P L O M AC Y

not stop the work of the Embassy.

Photos taken for the campaign Planets: Anima Pictures, Production Company. Lorenzo Pesce, Photographer. Ernesto Spinelli, Communication Manager and Copywriter.

JP TRAIBLAZING MAGAZINE


JP TRAIBLAZING MAGAZINE

and of the Assorestauro President,

environmental,

the winners.

and International Cooperation

Alessandro Bozzetti, in addition to

social and

As you see, the initiatives

contributes annually to this purpose.

both Italian and Albanian authorities

economic

and events did not stop

The trio of culture-gastronomy-

and will not stop.

tourism has been one of the secrets

in the field of archaeology. The initiative, “Italy for Sustainability and the 2030 Agenda”, organized with the support of the Ministry of Tourism and Environment,

“Many other activities of this kind will be hosted in the course of 2021”

Minister of State for

of the rapid development of the In your view, what

dedicated tourist routes in the

are the strengths

recent years, which has positively

sustainability.

between the two countries in the

affected the interests and economy

Many other activities

context of the trinomial of ARTS-

of many Italian regions, starting

of this kind will be

GASTRONOMY-TOURISM and what

with Puglia. Considering this wealth

hosted in the course

are the future plans to advance

of experience, it is our aim to add

of 2021, where in the

these areas? Can you elaborate on

value and promote a similar path

framework of our

this?

also for Albania, as the country

the Protection of Entrepreneurship

partnership with UK, the COP 26 of

As I have had the opportunity to

possesses all the environmental,

and the Municipality of Tirana,

Glasgow will take place from 1 to 11

observe from my arrival to Albania

agricultural and cultural features

focused on the enhancement of the

November 2021.

and like I have always repeated,

to replicate the Italian positive

continuous activities of the Italian

The very 5th edition of the Festival

Albania and Italy are rather similar

example, with clear benefits for all

Cooperation and of the entire Italian

of Italian Cuisine in Albania was

when it comes to arts, gastronomy,

the involved stakeholders and the

system in Albania aimed at the

largely dedicated to food education

and tourism in general.

ever-increasing number of tourists,

development of further knowledge

and the importance of a sustainable

There are many

in the area

and healthy agriculture and eating.

Albanian artists who

of rural

The Embassy also supported the

have been affirmed

development

exhibition entitled, “Vite al Bivio”

in Italy and it is hard

and

(Lives at Crossroads), by two

as we speak to tell

photographers, Letizia Battaglia and

whether they are

Roberto Timperi, that opened in

Albanians or Italians.

Shkodra.

However, I see that there are also

partnerships towards a quality

Obviously, we could not miss the

diverse Italian authors translated

tourism that is not simply focused on

Musine Kokalari Prize this year, with

into Albanian, and, actually,

the Albanian southern coast, but is

scholarships due to be awarded to

the Ministry of Foreign Affairs

further pushed inland, making use of

26

“Albania and Italy are rather similar when it comes to arts”

including Italians, who visit the country. Therefore, next year we wish to work towards the reinforcement of strategic

27

D I P L O M AC Y

JP TRAIBLAZING MAGAZINE


JP TRAIBLAZING MAGAZINE

“The brand pushes further the ongoing change and integration process.”

potential natural and trekking routes

round tables of

main

in the fabulous Albanian mountains.

dialogue with the

issues

To do so, we will use all the key

relevant Albanian

and aims

tools available, including the main

institutions on

of this

operators in the area, like CAI

culture, an area

new

(Italian Alpin Club), FAI (Italian

where Italy is

Italian

Fund of Environment), Slow Food

unrivalled. We

and our Cooperation Agency that

are firmly convinced that culture

communication

has been strongly active in this

will serve as a significant driver of

initiative?

area, both directly and through the

growth for local regions that hold

As I said in the introduction of the

It is above all about people. If

commendable work of the Italian

exceptional potential, like the

book, “Planets”, Albania is not a

you travel in Albania to meet

civil society organizations. They

regions of Gjirocastra and Shkodra,

member of the European Union yet.

communities and entrepreneurs,

have been dedicated to sustaining

not to mention the enhancement

Its citizens, however, show everyday

like I am trying to do as much as I

small Albanian producers and

of the archaeological sites of

they are already European, open to

can, you realize that there are no

entrepreneurs for years now in order

Apollonia, Byllys, Phoenike and

the world. Far from numbers and

doubts about this historical, popular,

to relaunch some of the wonderful

Butrint.

cold words, the exhibition of the

and strong bond. The initiative of

Italian Agency for Development

the Italian Agency for Development

A new exhibition of

Cooperation opens a window on

Cooperation is a reaffirmation of

the Italian Agency

the daily commitment of Albanian

the friendship between our two

for Development

men and who have been part of

Countries. The exhibition will open

Cooperation, in

the initiatives funded by the Italian

collaboration with

Government in Albania, which are

the Embassy of

changing their lives and those of

Italy in Tirana,

their families and communities. All

“Planets - 20

the entrepreneurs whose stories

stories for 2020”,

have been included in this campaign

is supposed to take

were awarded the ethical brand,

place soon at the

“Made with Italy”. The brand

National Museum,

pushes further the ongoing change

rural areas in the country that were at risk of being abandoned and degraded. I am thinking in particular of the ethical brand, Made with Italy, an initiative of major cultural impact, in addition to the socio-economic one.

“ We are firmly convinced that culture will serve as a significant driver of growth for local regions”

At the same

Scanderbeg Square. What are the

time, we have initiated numerous

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and integration process. The main

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goal Italy has is to ensure the cultural and economic enhancement of Albania’s European roots and prospects. Integration is not merely an institutional matter.

D I P L O M AC Y

JP TRAIBLAZING MAGAZINE


JP TRAIBLAZING MAGAZINE

its doors to the public whenever

the Albergo Etico (ethical hotel). It

excellent and the Italian approach

the property rights issues, of the

appropriate, depending on the

has been a successful intuition of a

is constructive, as usual, and intent

corruption that is still pervasive and

COVID-19 restrictions we all know

group of Italian young people that

on leaving a tangible imprint on

the weaknesses of the administrative

rapidly developed in

the country with focus not only on

and judiciary systems. In that sense,

numerous national

economic interests, but rather on a

there is a critical role to be played by

and international

balanced development of Albania

the Governments and the Albanian

contexts, which

in the future, which is in line with

actors involved in the strategic reform

aims at establishing

the constant Italian support along

processes initiated in the course of

a development

the European integration process.

these years.

conducive thread

An effective increase of the Italian

between quality

direct investments will, however,

by now. I invite your readers to come and visit and follow the websites and social media networks of the Italian Embassy and the

“Another initiative is the Albergo Etico”

Italian Agency for Development Cooperation in Tirana,

tourism and social integration of the

depend on a series of other factors,

AICS Tirana.

most disadvantaged categories.

including the overcoming of a set

Albergo Diffuso, which has recently

of structural obstacles that have a

been introduced in Albania, is also

Will we see any Italian hospitality

negative impact on the activities

an alternative for the rural tourism.

investment and management

of our companies present in

interest in Albania in the future?

the territory, and new investors.

Is Italy prepared to enhance the

Italy has largely shown by example

I am thinking, for instance, of

promotion of Italian investments

that it intends to be an active part

in boosting the Albergo Diffuso

of Albania’s tourist development.

concept in Albania?

Such interest has produced some qualitative co-operations and all

Definitively, it is a winning idea in Italy and, with a little dedication

odds are there to extend the Italian

and awareness, it will thrive in

presence in the sector in the near

Albania, as well. The stories of

future, be it in the area of hospitality

cooperation between Albania and

or of the transport infrastructure

Italy in the south of the country

and logistics. Among the areas

have already produced a positive

of major interest are nautical

feedback in this regard. Another

tourism and all the relevant service

initiative that had started to develop

industries revolving around this

in Albania prior to the pandemic is

strategic field. Bilateral relations are

30

“Italy has largely shown by example that it intends to be an active part of Albania’s tourist development” 31

D I P L O M AC Y

JP TRAIBLAZING MAGAZINE


JP TRAIBLAZING MAGAZINE

ACCOR IS DEEPLY LOOKING FOR ALBANIAN INVESTORS TO TEAM UP

The future for tourism in Albania is very bright, it has all the features to become even more successful, but the further development of travel infrastructure is very important, together with a controlled development of the coastline. For me, each visit in Albania always gives me great memories, the hospitality, friendly people, food – these are great assets to your country.

BY RUDINA HOXHA & JOSE PINTO

u Fr a n k R e

“W

l

e are working on introducing a number of

five star premium resort properties in the region. I think there is a great opportunity towards the development of branded resorts in the entire region, and Accor is one of the leading operator in the world with more than 300 resorts operating under a wide range of brands, such a Rixos, Sofitel, Swissotel. We are confident that we can bring these brands also to this region in the next few years,” Frank Reul, Eastern Europe Vice-President for Development, Accor, highlights in

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H O T E L S / H O S P I TA L I T Y

JP TRAIBLAZING MAGAZINE


JP TRAIBLAZING MAGAZINE

an exclusive interview with TRAILBLAZING MAGAZINE. Reul, with more than 20 years with Accor, appreciates the opportunities he sees in Albania. “In Albania we see truly great opportunities for our further development in the upcoming years, the coast line is tremendously beautiful,” he says.

Kosovo, Northern Macedonia,

position in all key feeder markets

Montenegro etc)

give us confidence that we can be a good partner.

Today we have hotels under

partners,” Reul says.

He also explains that Accor is an important franchisor around the

development in Montenegro,

We are working on introducing a

Albania and Kosovo all to open in

number of five star premium resort

the next few years. In Macedonia

properties in the region. I think

we have three properties operating

there is a great opportunity towards

right now (ibis & ibis Styles Skopje

the development of branded resorts

and Mercure Tetovo) – very nice city

in the entire region, and Accor is

centre hotels all with strong local

one of the leading operator in the

partners. We can see, especially

world with more than 300 resorts

in Montenegro and Albania, great

operating under a wide range

world. “We franchise more than 1000

What are the projects the Accor

opportunities for investors to team

of brands, such a Rixos, Sofitel,

properties in Europe, all our brands

Group has on pipeline and what

up with Accor, as we have the brands

Swissotel. We are confident that we

(apart from the luxury brands)

brands does the Group intend to

to bring the leading resorts to this

can bring these brands also to this

are available to franchise by our

expand in the region (Albania,

beautiful part of the world and this

region in the next few years.

combined with our dominant market

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H O T E L S / H O S P I TA L I T Y

JP TRAIBLAZING MAGAZINE


JP TRAIBLAZING MAGAZINE

by our partners. We work also with

Is the pandemic influencing

will subside. But what we can say is

your development projects in

that our resorts continue to perform

Europe? Is that also changing the

well. Both coastal and mountain

investors’mindset and concept

resorts have had a good season.

development?

Accor together with its partners

Obviously the hospitality is going

hotels has set up the “ALL SAFE”

through unprecedented times this

label which ensures a safe stay for

year, and still we have no clear

all of our guests with many protocols

visibility when this hygiene crisis

and solutions providing hygiene

“The future for tourism in Albania is very bright.”

and sanitary safety. In Albania we see truly great opportunities for our further development in the upcoming years, the coastline is tremendously beautiful.

36

Is Accor in favor of all-franchise

a number of important white label

growth?

operators in the region as this can

Accor is an important franchisor

be also an alternative solution for

around the world. We franchise more

the investor. But most important is

than 1000 properties in Europe, all

that we work individually for each

our brands (apart from the luxury

project with the owner to bring

brands) are available to franchise

the most appropriate solution to

Jose Pinto, Founder of JP Hospitality.EU is ready to link you with Accor for any brand change, franchising, management. Please reach him at jose.pinto@jphospitality.eu

37

H O T E L S / H O S P I TA L I T Y

JP TRAIBLAZING MAGAZINE


JP TRAIBLAZING MAGAZINE

the partners and this can be either

together with a controlled

a franchise or a management

development of the coastline. From

agreement.

me each visit in Albania always gives me great memories, the hospitality,

After many visits in Albania, what are your views about tourism

friendly people, food – these are great assets to your country.

development for the country? The future for tourism in Albania is very bright, it has all the features to become even more successful, but the further development of travel infrastructure is very important,

Perspective of Novotel in Tirana.

38


his year the decorations will be astonishing, with so much beauty around, warm colors and lights making Toptani Shopping Center a warm place to go shopping and to be together with friends and family,” says Marketing Manager of Toptani Shopping Center, Irena Dajci in an exclusive

interview with TRAILBLAZING MAGAZINE. She underlines that Toptani Shopping Center will not only reassure the community but will also give them good reasons to come back. “One thing that hasn’t changed, however, that

is

the

consumers

importance place

on

experiences, creating memories with friends and families, and the need to celebrate cultural and religious traditions with the people that matter most. That’s why Christmas and the festive season before and after December 25th will be more important than

ASTONISHING DECORATIONS, WARM COLORS AND LIGHTS AT TOPTANI SHOPPING CENTER

ever for retail spaces and shopping centers in 2020,” Dajci says.

BY RUDINA HOXHA

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T O P TA N I , H O U S E O F B R A N D S

“T

JP TRAIBLAZING MAGAZINE


Full interview below:

What kind of activities has Toptani Shopping Center planned for this

How has Toptani Shopping

year? Can you reveal some details

Center managed to

about the decorations as well?

become a center of great

Even though Christmas will be little

celebrations for Christmas

different for everyone there are lots

and New Year in Tirana?

of festive things to see and do at

Of course, COVID-19 has

Toptani Shopping Center. This year

changed the world. People feel

the decorations will be astonishing,

unsure and unsafe, but they still

with so much beauty around, warm

want to come together and share

colors and lights by making Toptani

memorable experiences. By turning Christmas into a festive event in our shopping center this year,

Shopping Center such a warm place to go shopping and to be together with friends and family.

we’ll not only reassure our community but we’ll

JP TRAIBLAZING MAGAZINE

population data, which includes

shops in addition to what we have in

factors such as age, gender, marital

the shopping center. Of course, in

status, household size and income.

our short and long term plan, is the strategy of opening new stores and

Are you planning to open new

new brands at Toptani. Definitely

brands at Toptani Shopping

new stores will be open based on the

Center? Can you mention any of

market demand for specific items or

them?

brands and when the time comes the

Our brand mix covers all the

public will be introduced with their

category of stores starting form

names.

fashion stores, groceries, kids, home décor, accessories, jewelry, sports lingerie, optics, shoes, cosmetics, and electronics. We also aim to attract also other exclusive

Based on your experience, what

give them good reasons

are the keys to creating an ideal

to come back. One thing

brand mix in a shopping mall?

that hasn’t changed, however, is the importance that consumers place on experiences, creating memories with friends and families, and the need

Creating a shopping center’s tenant mix requires consideration and analysis of a number of factors, including the

to celebrate cultural and religious

demographics

traditions with the people that

of the shopping

matter most. That’s why Christmas

center’s trade

and the festive season before and

area. It is

after December 25th will be more important than ever for retail spaces and shopping centers in 2020.

important to consider both local

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T O P TA N I , H O U S E O F B R A N D S

JP TRAIBLAZING MAGAZINE


JP TRAIBLAZING MAGAZINE

JP TRAIBLAZING MAGAZINE

If the industry waits for others to take matters into their hands, be it by (more) government handouts, airline frequencies, destination management promotions, border relaxations or OTA initiatives, we might be waiting until eternity or go out of business faster than we could spell the word bankruptcy. HOTCO is not waiting! We are busy identifying exemplary leaders and seeking out the doers in the industry to have them on stage and provide guidance in this era of unexpected darkness. We will bring the hotel investment community of the HOTCO region together again to network, engage and boost business activity. With our supporters, HOTCO will celebrate its 5th anniversary in a riotously fun, but safe opening gala (honestly, people seem to have even forgotten how to have a great time!). For our online participants, while we can only promise virtual catering, we will surprise you on screen.

HOTCO 2021 is on! MARCH 22-23, BUDAPEST, HUNGARY

Be part of “the” industry event to help kickstart 2021 with the ammunition required for drafting the blueprint for your rebounding success. Be with us and secure new business and contribute to the acceleration of the travel sectors recovery. Some of the subjects HOTCO 2021 could address:

Dear former and future HOTCO delegates,

• Owners at operators’ throats • Operators and owners at insurance companies’ throats

We are living in unprecedented times and such require unprecedented

• Bankers at owners’ throats

measures.

• Developers at lessees’ throats • Hotel companies at their own throats as travellers are home-office bound

I am reaching out to you personally as I am flabbergasted by the timidity

• The travelling public at each other’s throats for going mental being stuck

of the travel industry in seemingly hesitating to take action in rebuilding.

at home • Influencers at followers’ throats to finally meet in person

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JP TRAIBLAZING MAGAZINE

But in reality HOTCO 2021 will cover: • How to stay in business and keep your asset • How to convince banks to play a supportive role in revitalizing your hotel • Where do investors put their money now • Why hotel and resort developments should not stop • Who is financing hotel projects • How to outsmart aggressive buyers and exit with pride • What is the fair value of hotels and resorts • When to expect distressed acquisition opportunities • Digitalization and how to reap its benefits • Rise of resorts and how to turn them into solid profitable businesses • How to introduce residential sales to boost resort development IRR • Is Zoom the new threat to MICE events and the hotel industry at large • Conference centers and their model for survival • How should thermal resorts capitalize on the rise of health consciousness and fear for safety • Golf as conduit to health and wellness • Attractions fill hotels, but how to turn hotels into attractions • Why all owners need asset managers and why aren’t they on board yet • What to and not to expect from airlines, railways and ships in getting guests to hotels • Winning strategies of key industry players in CEE/SEE/CIS/RUSSIA/ Caucasus • Iconic keynote speakers to reflect on what made them stronger and where they are heading at the helm of their companies Looking forward to having you join like-minded hotel investment community professionals, to help make sure we do not run out of hors d’oeuvres and band width, please hit the “Confirm Your Interest” button, Keep safe and stay well, Marius Gomola Co-Founder and Organiser HOTCO 46


BRAND LO G O

The Marriott Hotels logo is used for all brand communications and should always be presented clearly and legibly.

JP TRAIBLAZING MAGAZINE

L

MARRIOT T RED PMS 201

one M-height

M I N I M U M C L E A R S PA C E I S

V I S U A L LY A L I G N E D T O

CHALKBOARD

TWO M-HEIGHTS ALL AROUND

FIRST DIAGONAL STROKE

PMS 426

MINIMUM SIZE: 1/2” WIDE

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event Cengiz, General Manager of Tirana Marriott Hotel, is in Tirana. He is passionate, enthusiastic and excited to prepare opening and introducing “the best product in the market.” “My first objective is to open a hotel that the Investors,

Marriott and all the Albanians can be proud of. That is my priority.

OR 35 PIXEL S WI DE

I think that our hotel will be the best product in the market,” says

M A RRI OT T HOTEL S V ISUA L GU I DELI N E S

11

Cengiz in his first interview in Albania for TRAILBLAZING MAGAZINE. The 45 year-old hotelier from Ankara, Turkey, has a rich career during which he experienced many different positions within the hospitality industry from Front Office Manager, Food and Beverage Manager, Director of Sales & Marketing and finally to General Manager. Cengiz is loyal and grateful to Marriott for being inspired and supported so much to grow professionally because he says; “the foundation of our company’s culture is to always “Put People First.” It was the beginning of 2020 when he noticed that a new Marriott Hotel will be opened in Tirana. “As soon as I got to know this, I told

MARRIOTT ARRIVES IN ALBANIA, Welcome Mr. Cengiz! BY RUDINA HOXHA & JOSE PINTO

to my manager that I would love to go to Tirana and take this project. I was always curious about seeing Albania and It was exciting for me to be in Albania, meet new friends and explore Albanian culture, history and nature. Besides, I am also from a Balkan country and I always felt very much connected to the Balkan cultures,” Cengiz says. Luckily, his request was accepted and here he is in the beautiful Albania. “Now I have the opportunity to lead our project here and hopefully be one of the members of the professionals, working on adding more values to the Albanian tourism perspectives, he concludes.

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LUXU RY H OT E L S

Be sure to: - Use it on a white or light-colored background (when possible). - Maintain legibility when using over imagery or dark backgrounds. - Maintain mimimum clear space all around the logo equivalent to two M-Heights. (M-Height is the height of the M in Marriott.) - The logo should never be smaller than 1/2 inch in width.


Full interview below:

JP TRAIBLAZING MAGAZINE

became front office manager. So

and I wanted to make a different

told that the position of Food

my career started at the front office

move in my career. As a result, I

and Beverage Manager was taken

Welcome to Albania Mr. Cengiz!

department. After being graduated

came back to Turkey and I joined

while other positions within this

Please can you make a brief

from university, I was seeking to

the Rezidor Hotel Group. There

department could be offered to

presentation of yourself and your

pursue a Master’s degree, so I left

was a new Radisson Blue Hotel

me. I was ready to take any position

professional career?

for London, UK, in 1999. After a few

opening in Çeşme Resort, west of

within Marriott. Therefore, I took

Certainly. I am 45 years old. I

months of searching for a convenient

Turkey where I joined from the pre-

the challenge in JW Marriott Ankara

entered the hospitality industry

school, I decided to enroll myself to

opening and worked as restaurants

as Banquet Operations Manager.

through school in 1994 marking the

London School of Commerce, MBA

and rooms manager for

26th year of my career nowadays.

program. During this time, I worked

10 months. My family

In 1994, I started my studies on

and studied at the same time as you

was in Ankara at that

hospitality management at Abant

can imagine, London is one of the

time and I was at the

İzzet Baysal Üniversity in Turkey.

most expensive cities of the world.

same time seeking

As Turkey has always been a top tourist destination, I was able to do

“I worked and studied at the same time”

internships in

I worked in different

different opportunities

restaurants, bars

there. So once I

and hotels, mostly in

received an offer from

catering as well as in

Rixos Hotel Group, I

food and beverage

decided to move to

departments. I

Ankara and started as

At that time,

“The culture of Marriott is the core element that keeps our associates as well as our guests always loyal”

it was and still is the biggest banquet space in Ankara with a one thousand people ballroom, open air terrace of 1,000-people capacity, 28 different size meeting rooms.

different hotels during the summer

began to move ahead in my career,

Food and Beverage

seasons throughout my university

while I continued my studies, and

Manager. After about

education. My first entry to the

worked in various positions as waiter,

a year working there,

hotels was in 1994 in Turkey. I

restaurant supervisor and finally a

I found out Marriott International

development opportunity for me

worked for 4 years as an intern in

manager.

was going to launch one of their

and since then I am part of Marriott

very special brands, JW Marriott

family.

different hotels every summer in

It was a great experience and

Bodrum, a seaside resort in the

How was your first contact with

in Ankara and working for Marriott

west of Turkey. During the last year

Marriott?

was always my dream throughout

Why did you choose Marriott in

of my internship and the fourth

In 2008, after 9 years in London, I

my whole career.

your career?

year of my university studies, I

decided to go back to Turkey, I was

I contacted the management of

I had many reasons but today I

was promoted in the hotel and I

missing my country and the culture

JW Marriott in Ankara but I was

would like to highlight the most

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LUXU RY H OT E L S

JP TRAIBLAZING MAGAZINE


JP TRAIBLAZING MAGAZINE

important one

an experienced food & beverage

of those reasons

individual, it was not a surprise

His answer to me was a solid

Your career had come to a point

and that is

that I was found fit for the position.

example of our company’s culture

of being expanded abroad, right?

the culture of

However, after couple of years

and a demonstration of how putting

Indeed. In 2017, I started to look for

my company.

working as Director of Events,

individuals first as when you put your

international opportunities within

The culture of

my General Manager offered

trust into the talents with the right

my company because I wanted to

Marriott is the

me the Director of Sales and

attitude, they will take the ownership

explore different countries and

core element

Marketing position. I didn’t have

and make it happen for you.

cultures. I told my manager that

that keeps our associates as well

an experience working in Sales as

as our guests always loyal and

most of my career I was in Food &

I took the position and 1 year

makes us greater, more and more

Beverage. Besides it was the third

after that I was able

successful. Because the foundation

year after opening the biggest

to be among top

of our company’s culture is to always

hotel in Ankara and the sales

1% of Marriott sales

“Put People First” And this is why

performance expectations from all

associates with the

Marriott associates stay loyal and

parties involved were high. Under

sales figures performed

pursue their careers within our

these circumstances, I was being

in my hotel and

company.

offered to lead a team of 28 sales

awarded to be in

and marketing individuals with not

Chairman’s Circle which

Let me tell you part of my story as a

much of a previous sales experience

is a special award and

great example;

myself and satisfy expectations. I

recognition program

a very interesting

Approximately 8 months after

wasn’t expecting this obviously so I

for sales associates in

and challenging

starting my Marriott career as a

started to ask my General Manager

our company.

experience. I opened the hotel and

Banquet Operations Manager in

questions like ‘’are you sure? why

After 2,5 years working as a sales

six months later I had to switch all

JW Marriott, a new vacancy for

me?’’ and etc… He answered:

leader, I was offered by my Area Vice

of its systems from Starwood into a

Director of Events Management

“I trust your leadership. I know

President whether I was interested

Marriott property. So it was almost

became available, and I was given

you are a great leader and I trust

in the position of general manager

like opening the same hotel twice

the opportunity and promoted to

your leadership. The rest is just

and he offered me the position in

(laughing).

this position. Events Management

technicalities and you will learn, our

Renaissance Hotel in Izmir, west of

was part of Food & Beverage

company has all the resources to

Turkey. And I started my first GM

In Kiev, there was no other Marriott

operations in the hotel and as I was

help you learn”.

position there.

property, a sister hotel from Marriott

52

I was interested in international opportunities. Soon after, I was

“I started to look for international opportunities within my company”

53

informed of a new opening in Kiev, Ukraine - Aloft brand which was one of the new brands joined Marriott portfolio under Starwood acquisition. It was

LUXU RY H OT E L S

JP TRAIBLAZING MAGAZINE


portfolio. So, I had a challenge of finding and recruiting talents familiar to Marriott culture or with previous Marriott background. But, luckily, Ukrainians are talented and well educated people with fast learning skills and I was able to build a very strong and skillful team in a short period of time.

2018 and achieved great performance and amazing figures in a short period of time. Within the first 6 months, we were able to achieve our fair market share.

I noticed that a new Marriott Hotel

them?

pandemic nowadays, we expect to

will be opened in Tirana. As soon

First objective

face challenges of course. Statistics

as I got to know this, I told to my

is to open

highlight that hospitality industry

manager that I would love to go to

a hotel that

has shrunk by 70% globally and

Tirana and take this project. I was

the Investors,

going back to the previous level of

always curious about seeing Albania

Marriott

travel and tourism may take a few

and It was exciting for me to be

and all the

years to achieve.

in Albania, meet new friends and

Albanians can

explore Albanian culture, history

be proud of.

and nature. Besides, I am also from

We opened this hotel beginning of

JP TRAIBLAZING MAGAZINE

“We achieved great performance and amazing figures in a short period”

After a successful opening, and great hotel performance, I was awarded as GM of the year 2018 for Select Service Hotels in Europe.

That is my main objective. I think

a Balkan country

that the product that

and I always felt very

we will have will be the

much connected to

best product on the

the Balkan cultures.

market. I can see already from

Luckily, my request

the plans and the

was accepted and

design that this is a

I came to beautiful

top-class hotel. We are

Albania and now

very much focused on

have the opportunity

quality and delivery of

property again? What are your impressions so far? It was the beginning of 2020 when

54

travel and I think the demand for travelling has never been this much before as people are desperately waiting to freely move and travel again.

to lead our project here and

quality. And thanks to our investors

hopefully be one of the members

and my company, I have all the

As you can imagine, it will be

of the professionals, working on

resources to deliver that promise.

a lot of competition between the international hotel chains

Second is obviously after opening,

in Albania. So, how have you

to place our product as an added

predicted to fight it?

What are your objectives as GM

value to help further develop

I don’t see this as fight. But I think

of Marriott Tirana Hotel now and

Albanian tourism industry. Given the

this will lead to more quality to

how do you think you can attain

current circumstances caused by the

the competition. And more quality

tourism perspectives.

coming to Tirana to run a Marriott

positive that world will continue to

“Statistics highlight that hospitality industry has shrunk by 70% globally”

adding more values to the Albanian

How was the story behind your

But despite such challenges, I am

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LUXU RY H OT E L S

JP TRAIBLAZING MAGAZINE


in understanding the culture of hotel services. Also it will bring higher spending travelers and more competition as a threat but as an opportunity for us, as Marriott, for the city, for the country and for the whole tourism of the country.

professional career, how did you manage to go through all the levels of your work? What are the lessons you can share? I have to underline that I am very much result-oriented. I try to spend no more than necessary time on details but try to

industry where we need to adopt

and nature is beautiful. I have

It is a very unique building. I have

ourselves efficiently. And the first

everything I need in Albania.

seen a few hotels attached to the stadiums before. At first, I was

key to adopting efficiently and

international brands. I don’t see

Considering your

JP TRAIBLAZING MAGAZINE

effectively is to keep an open mind

How do you think your Turkish

thinking, because I don’t know much

at all times, try to observe much

approach will influence your job?

about the sports culture in Albania,

every day, listen to the people like

On the menu, let’s say?

how frequent the stadium will be

our customers, our mentors, our

Most people like Turkish food, it

used. The way I see is that stadium

leaders, our associates and our

has a long tradition and remarkable

will give many advantages to our

competitors. There is something to

sophistication. I had the opportunity

business. Sports events, concerts

learn from everyone.

to visit different restaurants in Tirana

and various other events taking

Filter the knowledge

and tried to identify eating habits of

place in the stadium will always

and observation

Albanians as well as what is being

be opportunities for our business.

and be adoptable.

offered for tourists and travelers. I

Additionally, our building location

And remember, as

hope to bring some new concepts in

has a great advantage, the close

Mr. Marriott says;

our restaurant to Tirana community

proximity to government buildings,

‘’Success is never

which I can rely on local products,

embassies and Blloku as the heart of

final”.

always available in the market, fresh

entertainment & leisure are some of

and reasonable prices. This way, we

our key highlights.

“Being a hard worker is number one skill in addition to being a good listener and a good observer”

move fast to achieve results. Being a hard worker is number one

One Turk in Albania.

will also be able to support our local

How is he enjoying?

farmers and serve our community.

I find Albania very

I also would like to have some

similar to my own

examples of Albanian cuisine in our

country. I really feel at home. I

menus so that international travelers

see the people on the streets and

visiting will have the opportunity to

they resemble with the Turks so

try some traditional dishes.

much, their body language and

skill in addition to being a good listener and a good observer. We have a fast moving, challenging

56

their behavior is very similar. Their

What are your thoughts on

sense of humor too. Food is great,

the Marriott Tirana Hotel as a

weather is warm, people are friendly

building?

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LUXU RY H OT E L S

JP TRAIBLAZING MAGAZINE


“MK I HOTEL TIRANA” A MODEL FOR OTHER HOTELS IN ALBANIA

Ulrike Bega, CEO, principal architect and founder of SymbioticA, sits with TRAILBLAZING MAGAZINE to talk of mk hotel Tirana from A to Z. 58

JP TRAIBLAZING MAGAZINE

The “mk hotel tirana” will be the first internationally certified 5-star hotel built in Albania. It will be the main face and welcome point of the “Tirana Business and Residential Park”, a 23ha big development zone invested by the Lindner Group from Germany. The property is positioned in a strategic location directly on the main Road to Tirana International Airport and in 15km distance to the center of Tirana.

“The new master plan for the overall development area, also developed by SymbioticA, foresees the creation of real neighborhood and a vast recreational Green Park surrounded by residential and business buildings. The “mk hotel tirana”, currently under construction and planned to be opened in spring 2021,” Bega says among others in this exclusive interview.

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ARCHITECTURE

JP TRAIBLAZING MAGAZINE


JP TRAIBLAZING MAGAZINE

Can you describe “mk hotel

3 disabled friendly rooms) are

tirana” minimum standards that

designed to the DEHOGA 5-star

you have used for the property at

hotel standard and are supported

the TBP hotel?

by a big outdoor and indoor

The “mk hotel tirana” will be the

lobby, breakfast room and public

first internationally certified 5-star

restaurant and series of outdoor

hotel built in Albania and will be the

terraces and fitness zones. These

main face and welcome point of the

standards are the minimum

“Tirana Business and Residential

requirements to achieve the 5-star

Park”, a 23ha big development zone

status.

“These standards are the minimum requirements to achieve the 5-star status. ” Albania. For us it was important to design the exterior and interior spaces of the hotel as an integrated and continuous system of spaces

invested by the Lindner Group from Germany. The property is positioned

What was the main inspiration of

in a strategic location directly on the

the interior design behind “mk

main Road to Tirana International

hotel tirana”?

Airport and in 15km distance to the

currently under construction and

The Lindner Group is an

center of Tirana.

planned to be opened in spring 2021,

internationally successful company

The new master plan for the overall

is located on the very West of the

producing high quality construction

development area, also developed

Green Park and will front the overall

materials and systems, but they are

by SymbioticA, foresees the creation

investment zone as a representative

also deeply rooted in the natural

of real neighborhood and a vast

landmark visible from all main access

beauty and cultural heritage of

recreational Green Park surrounded

routes. The volume of the hotel

Bavaria. Lindner’s “mk I hotels” are

by residential and business

building dissolves into green terraces

mainly business hotels which are

buildings. The “mk hotel tirana”,

cascading into a private outdoor and

reflecting this feeling of “Heimat”

garden space with a pool, barbeque

of Bavaria in their interior designs.

and playground area while a public

Since the “mk hotel tirana” will

open space under the main hotel

be the international flagship hotel

volume connects the private outdoor

of the “mk I hotel” chain we were

space to the public park in the East.

asked to develop the already

Some 80 hotel rooms (67 double

chosen style further but to also

rooms, 6 family rooms, 4 suites,

integrate local elements from

“The “mk hotel tirana” will be the first internationally certified 5-star hotel built in Albania” 60

including many different viewpoints and spaces of different levels of privacy. We combined the material palette of the existing mk-hotels (natural wood, steel, leather) with

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“The “mk I tirana hotel” is 100% invested by a foreign / German investor”

In your view, will this hotel be a key MK PROJECT to inspire others in Albania? The “mk I tirana hotel” is 100%

JP TRAIBLAZING MAGAZINE

during the design phase will reflect

to the guests, they are designed

not only into the good atmosphere

to be comfortable and to be used,

of the rooms and public spaces but

not only to represent. For I am sure

also into the quality and efficiency of

that the “mk I tirana hotel” will be a

the hotel service. A well-organized

model for other hotels in Albania.

service, easy maintenance and

In view of the above please also

smooth operation is the key to a

note that the design of the “mk I

successful 5-star hotel and the hotel

tirana hotel” was already awarded

design foresees all these aspects.

the share-architects jury mention for

Also, all spaces are designed to give

hospitality & interiors in February

a very warm and welcoming feeling

2020.

“Spaces are designed to give a very warm and welcoming feeling to the guests”

https://share-architects.com/shortlist-winners-albania/ Can you introduce to our readers “SymbioticA” and on

invested by a foreign / German investor and will also be operated

local material references and

by the “mk I hotel” chain. The

traditional Albanian construction

building is designed to EU-

methods of wood, mosaic stones

standards and we have developed

and gold applications which

the design and equipment of the

are interpreted in a modern

hotel in very close collaboration with

architectural language. The golden

the experienced hotel operator. The

travertine façade and golden

kitchen is designed by a specialized

window frames give the building

kitchen equipment design company

a warm and luxurious feeling

and will be state of the art for

combined with lush Mediterranean

a hotel kitchen in Albania. This

vegetation on the terraces and in

integrated approach and teamwork

the gardens.

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ARCHITECTURE

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“Sustainable planning, innovative environmental ideas, smart energy concepts and improving the local economy are at the core of our work.”

what projects are you working right now? SymbioticA is an innovative design and consultancy office specialized on creating sustainable urban development processes and providing integrated designs for complex architectural, urban space and land management projects of all scales - from high rise buildings to large scale public space and

collaboration with our public and

regional planning. We are co-

private sector clients and are

operation agents for a smart and

experts in managing, identifying,

effective city and architecture production and operate as the creative link between all involved stakeholders. We work in close

64

designing, and coordinating

processes, priority action plans and

smart energy concepts and

PROTOTYPES of strategic urban

implementation projects.

improving the local economy are at

development tools, planning

SymbioticA was founded in 2009

the core of our work.

and currently operates offices in

SymbioticA

Düsseldorf, Germany and Tirana,

Bega who has a wide range of

Albania and employs a highly

international experience Germany,

qualified and motivated team of

the Netherlands, UK, USA, Russia

currently eight fixed staff. Our office

and Australia and also has worked 4

has broad local and international

years for the Municipality of Tirana

experience in project preparation,

as the Mayor’s Advisor on Strategic

project management, design and

Urban Development and Project

planning of urban, architectural

Coordination.

and regional projects throughout

Mid of this year SymbioticA

all design and supervision of works

completed Albania’s first energy

phases. Sustainable planning,

efficient public building project, the

innovative environmental ideas,

“Energy Efficient Reconstruction

65

is headed by Ulrike


of Student City No.2 in Tirana”,

because we also had to make a

4 dormitory buildings (16.800 m²

complete demand analysis and will

GFA) which were extremely run

integrate all equipment for the auto-

down and are now rehabilitated with

mechatronic and hotel & tourism

smart energy efficient measures and

sector workshops (in association with

equipment, we also made a detailed

Sweco GmbH - DE, funded by the

energy audit and monitoring

KfW bank).

process for these buildings (in joint

We are also working on the Urban &

venture with Integration GmbH,

Mobility Assessment and Strategy,

Sweco GmbH & Cityfoerster, funded

Development Vision, Integrated

by KfW bank).

Urban Upgrading Design Concepts,

Currently we are preparing the

Investment Program, Preliminary &

master plan and concept &

Detailed Implementation Design &

execution design of new workshop

Tender Documents for the Saranda

and classroom buildings for the

Tourism Gateway Integrated Urban

Vocational Educational School of

Upgrading Project which is in

Kamza, a very challenging project

essence a detailed mobility and

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JP TRAIBLAZING MAGAZINE

urban development plan for the

Saranda Waterfront” is currently under

city and region of Saranda and

construction and will be finished

the development of many relevant

mid of next year (with DEA Studio

implementation projects to enable

AL) as well the “Kajo Karafili Primary

this plan, e.g. a multimodal transport

& Highschool” in Maminas (part of

terminal, new public squares, the

the post-earthquake reconstruction

rehabilitation of roads and road

program activities in Albania).

crossings and the development of

Since 2 years we are also active in

public green spaces, touristic event

Germany again and we are currently

zones and a new waterfront in the

designing several public projects and

South of Saranda (in association with

are consulting different institutions on

Sweco GmbH - DE, Mobility in Chain

integrated urban development and

S.r.l. – IT & InfraKonsult Sh.p.k. – AL,

smart mobility strategies.

funded by the World Bank). Our biggest infrastructure project, the rehabilitation of the “Urban

How would you describe your

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JP TRAIBLAZING MAGAZINE

approach to architecture? Has

that the project is sustainable, well

your approach changed over time?

designed and gets accepted by the

I have been trained as a modern

user. Luxury for me does not consist

architect but soon after my first

only of materials, real luxury is being

studies developed a keen interest

in a space which feels generous,

in good urban development and

natural and which has a good and

the economics of the construction.

healthy atmosphere. I think people

My postgraduate studies on these

deserve to have a better quality of

questions is what brought me to

life and we at SymbioticA always

Albania, and I have been lucky to be

think and design for a better

able to contribute to many great and

future. This has been always my

necessary developments in Albania.

ambition but with now 20 years of

“Luxury for me does not consist only of materials, real luxury is being in a space which feels generous, natural and which has a good and healthy atmosphere.�

professional experience I know what

JP TRAIBLAZING MAGAZINE

to focus on, I sharpened my design skills and have a more realistic approach to reach these goals.

For me it is important to consider architecture or any built project in its context, whether it is the urban surrounding, historic background, or an economic or environmental constraint. For me it is important

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69


SWEDISH DUX IS MORE THAN JUST A BED.

IT’S A VEHICLE FOR WELLBEING BY RUDINA HOXHA & JOSE PINTO

JP TRAIBLAZING MAGAZINE

“We take sleep very seriously. We study it. We measure it. We investigate every aspect of it. We’re experts in the mechanics of sleep. We understand the vital role sleep plays in the body’s cycle of healing, growing and rejuvenating,” TOPOLLARI TOLD TRAILBLAZING MAGAZINE.

T

opollari invites more

Topollari highlighted that the

people to visit the

customers value the highest quality

Duxiana Showroom and

goods for their bedroom. “ To

discover what makes a

complement your DUX bed, we

good sleep.

offer a selection of the finest linens

“Come find out for yourself why

to help you create your ideal sleep

DUX technology provides the

environment,” he said.

most ergonomically sophisticated,

We met Saimir Topollari, President of DUXIANA Albanian Operations at Duxiana Showroom in Tirana. Proud of the Swedish brand of beds, which he represents in Albania, Topollari talked about the difference such beds make in the lives of people. 70

most durable and comfortable

Can you tell us about Duxiana and

handcrafted bed available on the

what inspires this Swedish brand?

market,” he said.

Originally formed by Efraim Ljung

In 1987, DUX introduced the

to produce the first innerspring

DUXIANA marketing concept in

mattresses in Sweden, four

Europe, Great Britain and the

generations of this Swedish

United States To date The DUX Bed

family have evolved DUX into an

is available in 28 DUXIANA stores

international concern with 88 stores

in North America and in over 88

worldwide.

locations worldwide.

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F U R N I T U R E WO R L D

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“We take sleep very seriously.”

JP TRAIBLAZING MAGAZINE

28 DUXIANA stores in North America

products?

and in over 88 locations worldwide.

We take sleep very seriously.

As a fourth generation privately

We study it. We measure it. We

DUX designs are characterized by

DUXIANA marketing concept in

owned company, our only

clean, simple, and contemporary

Europe, Great Britain and the

investigate every aspect of it. We’re

responsibilities are to our customers,

lines with products made from top

United States. A tightly controlled

experts in the mechanics of sleep.

the quality and longevity of our

of the line materials, with the finest

system, these specialty stores are

We understand the vital role sleep

product and to the health of the

Swedish craftsmanship, ergonomic

under license arrangement, and

plays in the body’s cycle of healing,

planet. By choosing DUX you

research and engineering.

provide exclusive furnishings for the

growing and rejuvenating. DUX High

are making the environmentally

bedroom, with particular emphasis

Performance Sleep Systems are the

responsible choice.

result of over 90 years of research

The DUX trademark has been

on the DUX bed. Serving as one-

rated in the top 100 most valuable

stop shopping centers for the

It’s in our nature and precisely what

trademarks in Sweden coming in at

bedroom, DUXIANA stores offer,

system is designed to provide

inspires us.

number 17. DUX was also the only

in addition to The DUX Bed, the

an unrivaled level of ergonomic

privately owned company in the top

highest quality headboards, linens

50.

and down products. To date The DUX Bed is available in

In 1987, DUX introduced the

Ambassador of Sweden in Albania, H.E. Elsa Hastad with Mr. Henrik Ljung, CEO of Duxiana

72

and development. Our component

support, to help you experience In what aspects, do the Duxiana

significantly higher quality sleep.

products make a difference in the market and how do you test its

DUX is more than just a bed. It’s a

Posing with Henrik Ljung, CEO of Duxiana

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JP TRAIBLAZING MAGAZINE

“ We conduct exhaustive research into new materials and techniques .” vehicle for wellbeing. The DUX Bed

Sven Engdahl)

is about deep sleep. That’s the only

We take innovation seriously. We

time when your body can repair,

don’t change the color of our

rebuild and restore itself. Not when

ticking and call it innovation. We

you’re asleep — but when you’re in

conduct exhaustive research into

deep sleep.

new materials and techniques - sometimes for years - before

In an independent sleep study

incorporating them into our

conducted by the Karolinska

products. As a result, our upgrades

Institute of Sweden, the sleep

are measurable and verifiable

patterns of individuals using a

before ever hitting the market.

variety of innerspring mattresses

Our beds have been thoroughly

were measured using an EEG to

vetted and tested - by the scientific

record the electrical activity in the

community, but more importantly,

cerebral cortex of the brain. The

by four generations of customers

study demonstrated that DUX users

worldwide. Our technology is one

not only reached the Deep Sleep

that works, and we have the history

stage of sleep faster, but remained

to prove it.

there longer. This is especially beneficial since it is during Deep

What types of Dux beds and

Sleep that the body and immune

accessories are most demanded in

system recovers and repairs itself.

Albania and region? Our customers value the highest

* BRL, 1985, 1989 (Bed Research

quality goods for their bedroom.

Laboratory, Associate Professor

To complement your DUX bed,

Evert Knutsson, Associate Professor

we offer a selection of the finest

74

linens to help you create your ideal

standards we uphold in the

sleep environment. And for those

production of our luxury beds

finishing touches we also offer

extend through our complete line

the finest selection of luxury bed

of down products. Coupling high

accessories including bed skirts and

quality down with excellent design

base covers. DUXIANA has a large

and workmanship, we achieve

selection of colors to choose from

a product that will add to the

to match any décor.

warmth and comfort of your sleep

An important component of any

environment.

bedroom is the presence of down

And of course, the pillow plays an

products. Down is nature’s finest

integral role in the way in which

insulator. The same exacting

you sleep. The right neck support

“ An important component of any bedroom is the presence of down products .” 75

F U R N I T U R E WO R L D

JP TRAIBLAZING MAGAZINE


is vital to the proper alignment of

future.

your spine. With the purchase of a

Come find out for yourself why

new bed it is always a good idea to

DUX technology provides the

reassess the firmness of your pillows.

most ergonomically sophisticated,

JP TRAIBLAZING MAGAZINE

most durable and comfortable Any offer for Christmas and New

handcrafted bed available on the

Year from Duxiana?

market.

Of course, enough for you to spend a few minutes visiting our showroom

Do you intend to expand Duxiana

close to the grand lake of Tirana.

in the future?

More than the monetary aspect of

We’re always looking to expand

it, we believe that such a visit will

the brand in new markets such as

serve as a great investment into

Kosova, North Macedonia, Bulgaria,

your search for a great night’s sleep

Rumania and so on, given that we

regardless if you plan to make a

find the right people that share our

change soon or sometime in the

love for the environment and high quality products.

Mr. Topollari in the Duxiana shop in Porto, Portugal

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JARI GUSTAFSSON’S MESSAGE TRUIST IN INVESTING IN HUMAN CAPITAL IS KEY TO GROWTH BY RUDINA HOXHA & JOSE PINTO

T

TRAILBLAZING MAGAZINE sits down with the new Ambassador of Finland to Albania, His Excellency, Mr. Jari Gustafsson who presented his credentials to the President of Albania, Mr. Ilir Meta on 13th of November, 2020. The bilateral relations between Finland and Albania, objectives on this new appointment, Finland’s support to Albania in EU’s context and the wish of Finns to visit Albania more and more were some of the topics we discussed in this following interview. “The key pillar for any civilized industrial country is, that you have to trust in investing in human capital. I think this is the key message that I wanted to bring here,” Gustafsson said among others in this exclusive interview. Full interview below:

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The door is already open showing that tourism is increasing. There is an increased interest in visiting this country. This is a good opportunity. People are happy to come and visit Albania. If they are happy, they want to come again. If the Finns are happy, they come again. 79

D I P L O M AC Y

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better than in the past. Definitely

growth and wellbeing, not to

you have to encourage the private

mention new jobs.

sector for more investments, which is a big challenge. Therefore, the

If you look back, we have heavily

politicians should be willing to

invested in human capital and in

constantly work towards removing

the Finnish educational system and

regulatory obstacles to help

we know that the results of these

entrepreneurs succeed.

investments have been very good in the past. One of the key factors

What we did well in the last Your

is that though the foundations of the

sector was that we succeeded in

Finnish primary

have completed a five-year term

setting new targets for innovation,

education system

as Secretary General. What does

R&D, spending, and allocation of

were laid in the

this mean for an Ambassador and

money from GDP for the innovation

early of 70s, since

how much this can influence his/

system which means that one third

then, not a single

her position?

of that money should come from the

government has

All experiences prepare you to

public sector. Then we expect that if

done any cuts in money allocation in

take on new challenges. So, the

we allocate from the government’s

the education system. It has been a

five-year term I accepted to serve

side one third of the money, the

very sound financial basis from the

as Secretary General gave me an

rest will come from the private

government side to Finnish primary

important opportunity to work

sector. This is one of the keys for

education throughout the decades.

together with the government

future growth that

Until the previous government made

in trying to set the priorities for

trust in the society,

economic growth and new jobs,

both private and

since Finland also went through

public sector, that

also made

a huge economic crisis in 2015.

investing in R&D

some savings

There was a lot of hope that once

and innovation

in R&D

things would start to improve, the

and in human

expenditures

public sector and the government

capital, will bring

also would be able to do things

about economic 80

there is a

the things that we corrected. Since the new government came into power one

“ We have heavily invested in human capital .�

five years together with the private

Excellency, you

of

some cuts during the financial crisis. The government

and this was one

year and a half ago, the program plan followed the compensation of these cuts and now we are back on track.

As we are trying to keep the financial basis for the educational system steady, we are trying to do so for the R&D and innovation. This is the key. These are the things I am happy that we managed to do. The key pillar for any civilized industrial country is, that you have to trust in investing in human capital. I think this is the key message that

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JP TRAIBLAZING MAGAZINE

I wanted to bring here. Greece, as

have the

Russia throughout the

an EU country, has benefited billions

interest

history, so they know how

of euros from the EU recovery fund.

and

to deal with the countries

Let’s see in which sectors they are

they

where they don’t have yet

going to put this money.

start

experience. They are able

to visit

to take such risks. But first

In this new position, what are

of all, they need to place

your objectives regarding Albania,

Albania on their map. Then

its relations with Finland, and

Albania and spend

Greece Mr. Ambassador?

winters here as many families have

For Albania, I would say that it is a

started to do that, they will invest

that kind of trust that the companies

nice moment for me to serve as an

to the second home they buy

are encouraged

ambassador. Even though working

by the coast somewhere. If their

to come, that they

from the distance, from Athens.

experiences are positive, that would

know that they are

That’s what I said to the President

make the Finns gain more interest in

well received, that

of Albania, Mr. Ilir Meta, if we

your country.

the regulations are

the big challenge is that the government has to create

in place and they

work hard to enhance the bilateral

on both sides. EU is trying to help a well progressing

“ I think this is a long term challenge for this country.”

relations between us, then we have

Once more people put Albania

are appreciated,

to start with the people. If the

on the map for travel and spend

that the business practices are

winters and summers in Albania

acknowledged. We are on the way of

as well, then we will have a good

getting this kind of interest from the

number of companies which are

companies since we are getting the

very experienced in taking quite

interest of people.

Finnish people

duties

82

How is Finland supporting Albania

have not been before. The Finnish

in the EU context?

companies were the first western

This is something that Finland,

ones to deal with the Chinese

among other EU countries, is very

companies in the 50s. The Finnish

willing to see a good progress in

companies are very experienced

this regard. As Albania is already a

in working with different parts of

candidate, that means that they are

process and this government also is doing their best in fulfilling all the requirements. But this is an

important issue even for Europe. If Albania could join the EU, that will

big risks to come among the first foreigners to places where they

accession

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increase the stability in the region that will help the other countries in the Balkans to work towards the

multilateral financial institutions

is an increased interest

like World Bank, EIB or EBRD are

in visiting this country.

present in Albania. Everything

This is a good opportunity.

related to infrastructure gives a lot

People are happy to come

of business opportunities for the

and visit Albania. If they are

Finnish companies. Of course,

happy, they want to come

we do have companies which are

again. Therefore investments

internationally well-known and

are needed from this country

“ The door is already open showing that tourism is increasing.”

same objective, so

JP TRAIBLAZING MAGAZINE

they are ready to go

for the hospitality business

anywhere they feel

sector, so the infrastructure can

well-received.

be as good as the people can expect. They don’t expect too

More and more Finnish tourists have visited Albania over the years. Do you

have any recommendation for how

all the countries can jointly benefit

much. The Finns know what can be expected. But they should be happy. The infrastructure and the quality of living should be up to that standard that they could decently expect. If the Finns are happy, they come again. We see that in Croatia

in this regard.

to have a sustainable tourism in

So, there is full support from our

This is a key issue that the

started from

side as well.

people-people

the scratch.

Albania?

Have you already figured out what are the areas where Finland will invest or can show interest in Albania?

Balkans, which

collaboration has

Their success

to be strengthened.

stories can

I think this is a long

be copied

term challenge for

by Albania,

this country. The

too.

As I said we have many companies

door is already open

which have interest in Albania. I

showing that tourism

know that the international and

is increasing. There

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and the

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Lufthansa Group Ushers in a Touchless Customer Experience at Airports LUFTHANSA AND SWISS MILES & MORE MEMBERS FIRST TO RECEIVE ENROLMENT CAPABILITY

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names are stored.

tar Alliance, the world’s

Program who opt-in to biometrics

will have the option to enrol in Star

largest airline alliance, has

will be able to pass through both

Alliance Biometrics, accessed via

completed development of

security access and boarding gates

a link within the Lufthansa app.

an interoperable biometric

in a touchless manner, an important

Customers enrolling are asked to

identity and identification platform

health and hygiene safety measure

take a selfie, verify their identity with

that will significantly improve the

in times of COVID-19.

their passport, and opt-in to the

I

travel experience for frequent flyer programme customers of Star Alliance member airlines. The Star Alliance Biometrics platform advances the vision of Star Alliance member airlines of delivering a seamless customer

airlines and airports where they want n keeping with the

J

effrey Goh, CEO of Star Alliance stated: “We are exceedingly proud to have founding member Lufthansa

as the first airline to implement the

to use the service.

Star Alliance Biometrics solution in both of its Frankfurt and Munich

requirement to wear masks in the airport terminal, it is not

Enrol once, use often

Airport hubs. This is a customer-

required to remove the mask

They only need to enrol once

centric solution that furthers our

for the biometric identity check.

and can then use their biometrics

credentials in innovation, particularly

The identification process works for

data multiple times at biometrics

its multi-airline and multi-airport

passengers wearing masks.

touchpoints of any participating

capability. Whilst it offers a seamless

airport whenever they travel with a

customer travel experience, it is

journey, while strengthening loyalty value proposition within its travel

The Star Alliance Biometrics service

Star Alliance member airline who

also a critical development that

ecosystem.

is built upon NEC Corporation’s

has implemented Star Alliance

addresses the expectation of

Lufthansa Group (LHG) airlines,

NEC I:Delight biometric and identity

Biometrics.

customers for a more touchless and

Lufthansa (a founding member

management platform software.

of Star Alliance) and SWISS will

The secure service is available at

Data privacy and security

Alliance Biometrics is a key part of

be the first to use Star Alliance

no cost to customers of the Miles &

Personal data, such as photo and

our strategy to be the most digitally

Biometrics for selected flights

More program who have consented

other identification details, are

starting in November. Specific

to share their biometric data with

encrypted and safely stored within

infrastructure is being installed at

stakeholders of their choice during

the platform. From the outset,

hub airports Frankfurt and Munich,

travel.

the system has been designed in

hygienically safer experience. Star

C

advanced global airline alliance.”

compliance with applicable data

reaping operational benefits at both

hristina Foerster, Member of the Board, Customer, IT & Corporate Responsibility, said “The

How does enrolment work?

protection laws making use of the

Effective immediately, and with

latest facial recognition technology.

Members of the Lufthansa and

a few easy steps on their mobile

Storage of personal data is kept to a

travelling in the future. Especially

SWISS Miles & More Frequent Flyer

device, Miles & More customers

minimum – for example, no customer

during the pandemic, such touchless

locations.

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topic of biometrics will become increasingly important when

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JP TRAIBLAZING MAGAZINE

processes at the airport are a

for boarding pass control and

big plus. In the Lufthansa Group,

individual gates in Terminal 1 - Area

biometric technology and solutions

A, together with our most important

will increasingly ensure simplified

customers Star Alliance and

and more efficient processes at

Lufthansa. In the coming weeks and

airports, thereby significantly

months we will gradually expand the

improving the travel experience of

range - also to new process points

our passengers. I am very pleased

such as baggage drop-off,” says Dr.

that with Star Alliance Biometrics

Pierre Dominique Prümm, Board

we will be able to offer interested

Member Aviation and Infrastructure

frequent flyers biometric security

at Fraport AG.

checkpoint access and boarding via facial recognition at our Frankfurt and Munich hubs as from November. This is an important milestone for us. “Optimizing travel processes for

“B

iometrics offers us the opportunity to further accelerate and simplify

processes at Munich Airport for

passengers is our top priority at

the benefit of travelers”, said Jost

Frankfurt Airport, and biometric

Lammers, CEO of Munich Airport.

processes offer our customers

“This not only increases passenger

numerous advantages. Star Alliance

comfort, but also - thanks to the

Biometrics now creates a more

contactless process – hygiene

efficient and - especially important in

standards and health protection. In

today’s times - touchless passenger

this way, we are once again fulfilling

journey, which offers greater security

our promise of quality as the only

as well as more comfort and less

5-star-airport in Europe.”

waiting time. We are proud to be Courtesy of Lufthansa Group

one of the first airports worldwide to offer this pioneering technology

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A

WHAT WE CAN REVEAL TO YOU ABOUT

THE SECRET of THE ORIGINAL SACHER-TORTE

JP TRAIBLAZING MAGAZINE

N ACCIDENT

As ruled by a court of law in 1962,

MAKES HISTORY

only a torte produced at the

“Oh, that he may

Sacher is entitled to be designated

not discredit me

“Original”. That is how the Original

tonight!” – This

Sacher-Torte became a piece of

admonition marked the beginning

Austrian contemporary history – best

of the story of the Original Sacher-

enjoyed with unsweetened whipped

Torte in 1832. We have an historical

cream.

accident to thank for this success

PHOTOS © HOTEL SACHER

story. One day in 1832 the court of

A SECRET KEPT THROUGHOUT

Prince Metternich wanted a dessert

THE GENERATIONS

to be created for discerning guests.

The successful manufacturing of

It just so happened that the chef

an Original Sacher-Torte depends

de cuisine was ill at the time and

on more than the perfect blend of

apprentice Franz Sacher filled in

ingredients, the right temperature,

for him. The young man created a

and the relative humidity within

wonderful cake that left nothing to

the bakery. Equally important is the

be desired. This night marked the

precise sequence of 34 individual

birth of the Original Sacher-Torte –

steps up to the packaging of the

and a moment of glory for epicures.

torte in its exquisite

Within a matter of years, the

wooden box.

Original Sacher-Torte had gained

The Original

international popularity. Even figure-

Sacher-

conscious Empress Sissi could not

Torte is

resist the torte of Franz Sacher,

made

his son Eduard, who opened the famous Hotel Sacher Wien, was also purveyor to the Imperial and Royal Household.

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exclusively from fresh,

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been passed down from generation

Arnulf Rainer, Heimo Zobernig and

to generation and kept securely

Gottfried Helnwein are among the

locked away in a safe.

outstanding Austrian artists who

PRESS CONTACT: Elisabeth Waxmund, Hotel Sacher

have already artistically enhanced A CULINARY MASTERPIECE FROM

Wien, ewaxmund@sacher.com,

the wooden box into unique

AUSTRIA

+43 1 51456 1273

artworks for the Sacher Artists’

www.sacher.com | shop.sacher.com

Today, the Original Sacher-Torte

Collection. The net proceeds of

www.facebook.com/sacherhotels |

is beloved and known across the

the sales of this limited edition are

www.facebook.comoriginalsachertorte

globe. About 360,000 tortes a

donated to charitable causes.

| @sacherhotels

year leave our Original Sacher-

free-range eggs and various kinds of premium chocolates produced especially for us. And even after more than 185 years, the Original Sacher-Torte is still made by hand today. Since 1832, its recipe has

Torte Manufactory for shipment

FACTS CONCERNING THE

worldwide.

ORIGINAL SACHER-TORTE

Since 2009 it is probably also the

• The largest Original Sacher-Torte

only torte with a charitable bend.

ever was made for the Vienna

Hermann Nitsch, Xenia Hausner,

Festival in Ljubljana, Slovenia. It was 3.5 meters in diameter. • Anywhere from 5,000 to 8,000 eggs are separated by hand daily for torte production. During Christmas season, that number rises to anywhere from 15,000 to 21,000 eggs. •The Original Sacher-Torte was awarded the Tourism Prize by the Vienna Economic Chamber in 2005. • Only the family knows the original recipe.

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F

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or this magic time of the year the streets of Funchal get beautifully ‘dressed up’ with thousands of lights in numerous colors. During this time, all streets and roads in and outside Funchal also put on their Christmas dress, as almost all the lamp posts are connected with a light chain, giving the impression of

a lit road map when looked at from above. This is a special season for the Madeirans as traditions and customs are renewed. December is the month of the ‘Festa’, as we called it. In addition each one decorate the houses, with the traditional “lapinhas” (cribs) and with flowers of the time, it is common to make typical Christmas delicacies, like honey

cake

,

cookies and biscuits, homemade liqueurs, and meat in wine and garlic, which is a delight for all of with Bolo do Caco (Flat Bread cooked in a flat surface, made out o local wheat, flour and sweet potatoe)

Remembering my Xmas in Madeira During Childhood 96

ead r B t a l F aco ( C o d o ace) l f r u Bo s t a l naf i d e k o o c

Bolo de M e l o r ( Ho n 97

ey Cake)


T

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he Madeira Honey Cake is one of the most traditional delicacies of Madeiran gastronomy. It is made with honey from sugar cane( mel de cana) and it can be preserved and eaten even weeks after being made. It’s usually best to eat 6 to 12 months after as my Grand Mom told me ,every year.

Madeira Honey Cake is traditionally linked to Christmas. Usually it’s prepared on December 8, however, it can be found in shops all year round.

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Madeira Honey Cake Recipe: HONEY CAKE INGREDIENTS 1 kg Flour 500 gr Sugar 1/4 Lard (Melted pork fat) 1/4 Butter 1 Lt of Honey 2 Eggs 1/4 Cider 1/4 of Almond 1/4 Raisins 1/2 Cup of milk 1 packet of sodium carbonate (2 tablespoons and a half) 500 grs whole walnuts 10 grams of fennel 10 grams of cloves of India 10 gr from Maranhão (a type of Clove) 10 gr of Axa (a type of Clove) 10 gr of Flower (a type of Clove) 10 gr of nutmeg

How To Make The Honey Cake? Put the honey, the butter and the lard in a pan to melt. Allow to cool. Mix the flour, sugar, spices and soda in a bowl. Meanwhile, heat the milk until warm and add to the bowl to make it easier to mix. Add the eggs and stir well. Finally add the warm honey and remaining ingredients and mix them all together. Before baking, add the chopped nuts to the top of the cake, then place it in the oven at 180º for 35 minutes. 98

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T

he outstanding

show, places Madeira

Christmas light

Island into the

decorations all over

Guinness book of

Funchal, ( Capital city

records as the largest

) together with the

show in the world! This

fantastic New Year’s Eve fireworks

is also the longest

and activities make Madeira Island

night in Madeira, with

one of the most desired place to be

families , friends and

during Xmas and New Years

visitors celebrating the New Year

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until the early hours or sunrise of These festivities come to an end on

the next day!

December 31, with the spectacular 1o minutes or more of fireworks

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AGRITOURISM, A CATALYST FOR RURAL DEVELOPMENT: THE CASE OF ALBANIA BY FABJOLA ARAPI*

R

ecently agritourism is strongly argued as a tool for rural development. This strategy of on-farm activities diversification, attract visitors into the rural areas, increase revenues and employment, value landscapes, provide more sustainable production techniques in congruence

to the environment, prevents depopulation and the abandonment of traditional cultures. In this vein, to have a viable growth and to effectively meet new societal demands, many small farms have considered diversification of their offerings, through adopting tourism activities into their farms’ operations, and by transforming into Agritourism.

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AG R I T O U R I S M

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Albania

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into agritourism. In Albania

The country numbers 23 agritorusim

there are several active

certified as such, while farms

units (farms, exporter,

that have the potentials to be

agribusiness units etc.)

transformed into agritourism,

which are officially certified

are much more than this

as organic products

figure. It already exists a legal

providers. In addition,

framework specifically covering

livestock farms, small scale

the agritourism phenomena.

least 50,000 inhabitants. In addition, 10 out 11 farms reported that are located less than 9 km from a highway. Agritorusim hosts roughly 400-600 visitors in a week. Generally speaking, agritourism, as a new path of organizing on-farm

farms, those that are managed by

Agritourism development in

young farmers, intensive on the

Albania has a short life-span

for agritourism development due

land use for activities, have higher

(roughly 5 years). Agritourism is

to its wide range of nature-based

chances to be transformed into

a family business and is mostly

and agricultural resources, its rich

agritourism. Furthermore, while

managed by younger managers

biological and natural diversity due

roughly 37% of Albanian territory is

(35 years old), representing a

to the geographic position of the

covered by forests, and 12.57% by

young age of agripreuners (i.e.,

country as well as the geological,

Protected Areas (PA), on the other

agricultural entrepreneurs). This

hydrological, climatic, land and

side, studies have indicated that

figure reflects the average age of

relief characteristics. Our country

farms whose surface falls within

the Albanian population (39 years

has also a rich flora with 3250 plant

environmentally protected areas are

old). The educational background

species or about 30% of European

opt to offer agritourism. As a result,

of agripreuners is mostly on

flora, and up to 91 endangered

Albania has a significant opportunity

economy, agriculture, tourism, and

species of the world. Studies have

to foster agritourism development.

biotechnology. The average farm size

is a suitable destination

activities in Albania, provides to the farmers new profitable markets for farm products and provide travel experiences for a new and large market. Agritourism lately has gained the policy-makers attention because is considered a catalyst for rural development, particularly in agriculture areas that have experienced declines. *Advisor at Ministry of Agriculture

found that fruit/vegetable farms,

is roughly 7.3ha, which is higher than

rural residential/retirement farms,

the average of the agricultural farms

intermediate-scale farms are more

(1.2ha), in Albania. The

likely to offer agritourism. Those

major agritorusim

farms that implement organic

farms are located

production techniques and farm

less than 30km from

conservation practices, are

an urban area of at

and Rural Development, LEAD Albania

more likely to be transformed

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AG R I T O U R I S M

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CNVP Albania Signs a New Agreement with the Swedish Embassy on LED Project On 6th November 2020, CNVP Albania signed an agreement with the Embassy of Sweden in Tirana to implement the LED (Local Economic Development) project. The agreement was signed by the Ambassador of Sweden in Tirana Mrs. Elsa Hastad and CNVP Albania Director Janaq Male, during a field visit in the lavender fields and premises of MEIA company- one of the LED project partners in Tirana, in the presence of Embassy staff, MEIA Company and CNVP Albania.

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LO C A L E CO N O M I C D E V E LO P M E N T

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Sweden has made an immense

poor and disadvantaged households

contribution to Albania by

and groups involved, especially

promoting and supporting Local

women, in the production of MAPs

Economic Development, social

respecting the environment and

empowerment, and equality for the

climate change. The project will use

local people in disadvantaged areas.

the Market System Development (MSD) Approach working through

The LED project will be

MAPs private enterprises in order

implemented by CNVP Albania

to bring changes in the functioning

with the financial support of the

of the market system by focusing on

Swedish International Development

the introduction of 10 Value Chains

Cooperation Agency (Sida) in 6

of Medicinal and Aromatic Plants

regions in Albania, Tirana, Elbasan,

(MAPs) and other NTFPs.

Korca, Shkoder, Diber, and Berat from October 2020 to March 2023.

Introduction of new productivity-

The goal of the LED project is to

enhancing plant varieties, improved

increase the incomes of households

storage, and mechanization

in rural Albania by promoting

technologies increased MAPs

improvements in the efficiency and

organic cultivation, improved

inclusiveness of the MAPs (and other

mutual benefits of MAP companies

NTFPs) market system.

and producers through Contract

The project builds on the inception

Farming, consolidation of business-

phase achievements by further

driven extension services, are

upscaling interventions as well

among crucial planned interventions

as launching new ones based

expected to unlock the sectors

on the MAPs Market System

potential in favor of poor and

Analyses conducted in 2019. These

disadvantaged groups involved in

interventions will be implemented to

the production of MAPs.

result in long-term tangible benefits,

Courtesy of CNVP

particularly income increases, for

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NHR NON-HABITUAL Resident Regime TAX COMPENSATION PROGRAM FOR LIVING IN PORTUGAL

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T

he regime

originated in a non-Portuguese

was

source being exempt from, or

introduced

being subject to a preferential rate

in 2009

of, personal income tax, the only

to attract

requirement to benefit from the

individuals

NHR status is become a Portuguese

and their

tax resident, not having been a

families

Portuguese tax resident in the

to Portugal by making it beneficial

previous 5 years, the NHR status

from a tax perspective to become

can be maintained for 10 years.

a tax resident, NHR status can result in pensions, dividends, bank

Successful NHR applicants will be

account interest and some royalties

exempt from personal income tax

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on qualifying income if it is subject

The best internationals schools for

tom tax in the country of source

kids to complete their IB program

under an existing Double Tax Treaty

and the universities to graduate and

which permits. If no Tax Treaty

master’s degree finance programs.

exists, the income will be exempt

We are here to relocate you and your family to Portugal‌.

if it were subject to tax in another jurisdiction and is not considered as Portuguese source income under domestic rules. Special flat rate of 20% applicable for certain types of income arising from highly qualified activities. This is the right time to choose Portugal for living, It is the safest country in the world, as well as a being ranked the safest country in the European Union. It has been ranked as the fourth greenest country in the EU across six categories waste, energy, greenhouses gases, air quality, freshwater and natural land.

www.scoutconcierge.pt

Portugal has the seventh highest English proficiency among non-

https://www.scoutconcierge.

native speakers in the world,

pt/relocation-to-portugal/

according to the new EF English Proficiency Index.

scout.concierge

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RECOVERY IN A RESILIENT AND SUSTAINABLE TOURISM BY ARIOLA MEREPEZA *

T

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he current situation

According to the United Nations,

of Covid-19, which

international tourism could decline

affected Albania and

by 60-80 per cent in 2020 due to

the whole world, is an

the Covid-19 pandemic, resulting

opportunity to take

in the revenue loss of $910 billion

measures to make tourism more

to $1.2 trillion and placing millions

powerful, sustainable and resilient

of livelihoods at risk. Today over

to these occurrences.

100 million jobs directly related

Tourism is an important part of

to tourism are at risk. Apart from

many national economies and

this direct impact, the tourism

the immediate shock to the

economy is also linked to many

tourism sector, resulting from the

other sectors including construction,

coronavirus pandemic, is affecting

agriculture, distribution services

the wider economy.

and transportation, all of which exacerbate the size of the shock. In Albania, tourism is considered as one of the main sectors of national economic development. The National Tourism Development Strategy states that this sector contributed $ 1.12 billion to the economy, though if indirect effect is also considered, the contribution is thought to be three times higher ($ 3.47 billion), which otherwise accounts for 26.2% of Gross Domestic Product. Resilient and sustainable tourism

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Development of Albania in order

guarantee its long-term

to turn it into a resilient and

sustainability.

numbers, this can serve as a strategy

tourism products.

to overcome the economic crisis until

sustainable tourism destination.

• Reforming tourism towards

the situation normalizes and supports

According to the World Tourism

A resilient tourism means the ability

responsibility and inclusion. The

the safe return of international

Organization (UNWTO), sustainable

to recover quickly from hardship, to

tourism sector can have a significant

tourism.

tourism takes full account of its

turn back or to recover from disaster

environmental and social effect,

current and future economic,

or catastrophic events. Businesses

therefore policies that protect

• Close multilateral cooperation

social and environmental impacts,

and tourism destinations face

tourism resources, destinations and

and strong support are essential in

addressing the needs of visitors,

adverse challenges so they need to

the community need to be revised,

reactivating travel. Cooperation and

industry, the environment and

be adaptive.

be agile and sustained.

sustainability of traveling rules at bilateral, regional and international

host communities. The Principles of Sustainability refer to the

Measures to overcome the tourism

• Creating an image for a safe

levels are the cornerstones that will

environmental, economic and

crisis of Covid-19

and reliable travel destination. It

allow tourism to resume safely and

socio-cultural aspects of tourism

• Adapting tourism development

is important to take the necessary

accelerate economic recovery.

development and establishing a

strategies in a resilient and

safety measures and to promote the

sustainable way. Undertaking new

country as a safe travel destination.

balance between these three

closely related to various areas such as

measures consisting on adapting

dimensions to

• Tourism, not as a separate field, but

marketing strategies and innovative

• Focus on local and regional

health, transportation, environment,

business models in the

tourism. Although domestic or

foreign affairs and economic policies.

regional tourism is unlikely to

Governments need to approach

replace international tourism

the recovery of tourism in a more

provision of

integrated way, involving all levels of government, the private sector and civil society in a practical and actionable plan to revive the tourism sector. ---*tourism expert

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MY GLASS STUDIO: WE EXCEL TO OFFER CUSTOMERS A MEMORABLE EXPERIENCE

MyGlassStudio is a tableware company which designs the perfect “canvas” for a notable food presentation and a tablescape that contributes to the customer’s memorable experience. This company, incepted in Greece and based in Sofia, Bulgaria, has been working with the best professionals in the worldwide hospitality industry for 15 years while it can create 30 million customized items. Its aim is to design dinnerware that will add value to the tabletop and help create a WOW

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experience for the guests. Following their two keys, flexibility and adaptability, MyGlassStudio has created unique Post-Covid solutions and bespoke serveware. “We created the new collection of bento dinner plates. The bento dinner plate set is a collection of covered dinner plates including soup bowls, appetizer and main course plates. MyGlassStudio’s design response to Covid-19. You can find out more about the collection here: https://myglassstudio.com/bento-dinnerplates/ ,” Vasily Pashalis, Founder and General Manager of My Glass Studio told Trailblazing Magazine. Please can you make a panorama

us. We want to create and design

of My Glass Studio and what is

new ideas and concepts. We focus

the key to the rapid progress

on research & development and

of your company over the last

technology. Innovation is about

15 years in design, in variety, in

imagining things that others find

creativity and unique designs?

impossible to picture.

My Glass Studio always had two

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“create We want to and

How was the journey of transforming the company into a boutique factory? My Glass Studio was founded in

design new ideas and concepts

1992. Since then we have been a boutique factory, from producing two bowls a day to doing projects such as the The Cosmopolitan Las Vegas. However, we have kept the concept of being boutique.

between passion and caution. We

Boutique for us means flexibility and

always want to improve by learning,

adaptability. Our customers can rely

unlearning and relearning.

on us when they want a new item

These are our leading values and we have kept them for 15 years to reach where we are now.

or a logo. Our production expertise allows us to create unique pieces and bespoke products in a very

main leading values: innovation and

Leadership for us is hard work,

leadership.

determination and “ethos”.

we are able to adapt to different

Innovation is very important for us

In Greek, ethos means a good

environments. During Covid we

and that is how our customers know

character and intentions, a balance

adapted.

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short time. Adaptability is also key;

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“ We love the world of hotels and the people who lead it

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adapting to each hotel or restaurant

for the five continents for the

interior was and will be our main

innumerable hotel chains and

priority. Exclusive dinnerware is the

private companies, what’s next for

outcome of this passion.

you when you have reached the

Your customized dinnerware

top? There are always more places to

and handmade glass dinnerware

discover and clients to serve. So, we

are a valuable tool for the best

don’t think you can ever reach the

restaurants in the world. Are

top!

they customed at the restaurants’ We created the new collection of

concepts, menu concepts or

bento dinner plates. The bento

owning companies’ desire?

dinner plate set is a collection of

We design together with the hotel

cover the Balkans?

covered dinner plates including

or restaurant team. Imagine three

Not at the moment but we would

soup bowls, appetizer and main

libraries, one with 1800 shapes, one

happily visit and meet you! Jenny,

course plates. My Glass Studio’s

with 250 colors and one with 150

who is with our sales team for more

design response to Covid-19.

patterns. We can create more than

than 10 years, is from Albania and

You can find out more about

30 million customized items! The

handles the projects in the country

the collection here: https://

combination of these 3 gives us

as well. So, for sure we hope to visit

myglassstudio.com/bento-dinner-

the way to adapt to each concept

after the lockdown periods.

plates/

individually and exclusively.

How did you arrive to make such

Your five guiding principles are

exclusive dinnerware for the

wonderful. Do you have the six

luxury hospitality industry?

kept in store within the company?

The hospitality sector has always

Respect the competition. We

been an interesting environment for

believe that this is very important

us. We love the world of hotels and

for the ethics of a company.

Is part of your plans to open a representative office in Albania to

the people who lead it. Travelling is also part of our company’s DNA. So,

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When you have manufactured

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Indian Chef:

HERE WHAT WE PREPARE FOR THIS FESTIVE SEASON BY RUDINA HOXHA & JOSE PINTO

Ajay Markan, an Indian hospitality veteran of more than three decades of rich national and international experience, chose TRAILBLAZING MAGAZINE to share the food delicacies from his own country for Christmas and New Year. According to him, “we prepare similar festivities dishes which were savored by our ancestors in their kingdoms as those are also very rich and are prepared during celebrations or victories.” Markan, a Corporate Chef at Cygnet Hotels and Resorts in India, underlines that in India, the taste of the cuisine changes after every 100 kms, “so there is so much to learn which keeps my passion for food alive.”

“Modern Indian Cuisine in India fancies everyone”

What are the Christmas and

Cuisine plays a very vital role in

New Year’s Festivities main

these festivals especially Xmas as

food delicacies that keep Chefs

we will have to gel our preparations

creating and innovating out of the

with the classic International

Indian delicacies for these very

Preparations viz. Roasted Turkey,

special seasons?

Glazed Carrots, etc.

Christmas & New Year Eve are the

So we prepare similar festivities

biggest festivals in India where in

dishes which were savored by our

everyone wants to indulge in food.

ancestors in their kingdoms as those

The Chefs all across the country

are also very rich & are prepared

starts the preparation of these

during celebrations or victories viz.

festivals way in advance. Indian

Mussallam, Kebabs, Kufis, etc. Have also enclosed the other dishes

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which we prepare as per the modern

presentation yet keeping all the

required for cooking varies at every

Can you tell us what has been

culinary trend these days, as those

essence of the food.

stage while preparing food, which

your motto for keeping you busy

innovative dishes are appealed by

You also learn so much from your

can’t be documented in a recipe.

and motivated? .

the youngsters.

home when you see your wife

Also a Chef/Cook will use his/her

My motto is to share my learnings

managing the food in terms of

own imagination while preparing the

with the Young & Budding Chefs

After 3 decades of creative

wastage, shelf life & taste. So I

dishes instead of following a recipe.

these days, so that our cuisine &

gastronomy in different countries

believe if you have a passion in you

what still stimulates you to be so

for gastronomy then the creativity

During several years you have

been instrumental in sharing my

creative ?

automatically follows.

been showing the World that

expertise with lot of Chefs who are

Indian cuisine has much more to

doing wonders these days. You feel

After 3 decades I still feel myself as

grow further in their hands. Have

a learner coz the Gastronomy is so

Your motto is: “A good cook

contribute to the World of culinary

very proud when these chefs excel &

vast that it cannot be covered in 1

needs no recipe.” Can you

than the traditional dishes, are

take our industry to a next level.

life span. Especially Indian Cuisine

describe your style of cooking?

you happy with your innovation

is in so depth & is divided into

We can prepare international food

and creativity , what are you now

various regions that its difficult for 1

by following exact recipe & can

preparing to show it in the near

person to specialize all. In India the

achieve 90% similar results but

future ?

taste of the cuisine changes after

with Indian cuisine its not possible,

Yes I am very proud of the same as

every 100 kms, so there is so much

recipes are just the guidelines rest

today due to the collective efforts

to learn which keeps my passion

depends on your expertise as in

of all the stalwart Chefs of India the

for food alive. Especially now the

Indian Cuisine one should know at

Indian cuisine is globally renowned

introduction of Modern Indian

what stage to put masalas as most of

& in fact in every country you shall

Cuisine in India, it fancies everyone

our masalas reacts in a different way

find Indian Restaurants. Also you

as per can use our authentic cuisine

so we can’t simply mix all masalas

would see that all International

& modernize the same in the

& put. Also the amount of flame

Cooking Competition Shows will demonstrate their episodes on

“ If you have a passion in you for gastronomy then the creativity automatically follows.” 126

Indian Cuisine. These days we are evolving by using International Cooking Methods in our Indian Cuisine yet keeping it traditional in terms of its essence & taste.

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Birbali Turkey Roll METHOD Stuffing Take a pan, add oil chopped onion and stir fry till it becomes golden in colour. Add ginger and garlic paste. Add minced turkey, salt to taste and chopped green chilli. Cook the mixture well and when it is done keep a side till it gets cool.

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Roll • Turkey breast to be hammered till it gets flat and take rectangle shape. Thickness as per your choice. • Put stuffing in the center of the breast and roll, tie it with thin thread and keep it in a platter. • Marinate the roll with curd, salt, chilli powder, kasoori methi and mix it well. • Keep marinated roll in the refrigerator for 3 hours. • Pan seared the roll with little oil till it gets light brown in colour. • Arrange the pot place thin slices of tomatoes with whole spices and add little water. Place the turkey roll in the pot and seal it from the top with the lead. • Minimum cooking time is thirty minutes. • Make sure the turkey roll is well cooked and becomes tender. Gravy • Open the lid keep the turkey rolls on a platter, pour the cooked tomato and blend and strain. • Heat Pan adds oil, giner garlic paste and mixed with blended tomatoes till the tomatoes are completely cooked with butter. Add cream and cook well. • Strain the cooked tomato gravy. Plate Presentation • Take a platter, pour the cooked tomato gravy, and give a thin layer. • Place the turkey roll on top of the gravy. • Garnish it with Edible Flowers & Micro Greens. • Can be served with Butter Naan or steamed rice

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PA S T R Y

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aksa Dzaja works for Radisson Blu Resort in Split, Croatia. Working for this international hotel chain for more than 9 years, he is very much in demand for his creative spirit in “designing” and decorating the desserts and the pastries.

“I find creativity exclusively thanks to the Internet, from where I learned various skills and knowledge, says the guy from the island of Hvar, one of the 10 most beautiful islands in the world, adding “It would have been easier if I had someone to teach me but with a lot of will, time and effort, I mastered some knowledge, techniques and skills over the internet.”

How is it working for an

Where do

international chain in the role of

you find the

the executive pastry chef? How

creativity in

much demanding is this for you?

“designing”

Working for an international hotel

and decorating

chain in the role of executive

the desserts

confectioners is very demanding.

and the

As in any job, preparation and

pastries?

organization are very important,

I find creativity

because the result of good

exclusively thanks

preparation depends on the

to the Internet,

difficulty of performing the tasks.

where I learned various skills and

As a tourist country on a daily basis

knowledge. It would have been

we get so many different guest’s

easier if I had someone to teach

demands. We have to adapt and

me but with a lot of will, time and

execute everything to fully satisfy

effort, I mastered some knowledge,

the guest.

techniques and skills over the internet.

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from


What are the

masterclasses

pastries that

from foreign

have more

confectioners.

success or are

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What inspired you to follow the path of pastry? What have you not achieved as yet? As a child I lived on the island of

chef for years but when I decided to move away from the island the position of head pastry chef in a large international chain opened

on demand on

Is chocolate your

Hvar (the town of Hvar), which is

up and I accepted that. Since then,

your hotel?

favorite topping for your

one of the 10 most beautiful islands

I have started to take sweets more

Honestly, I

pastries or do you have any other

in the world and a famous tourist

seriously. I would not like to talk

can’t point out

preferred ingredients?

resort. Catering was a major branch

about achievements, because there

which desserts

At the moment, my favorite glaze is

and that’s when

are the most

mirror glaze, but I also like to make

I decided to

and everything is possible if you

successful because we change

other glazes. Maybe the chocolate

study to be

work hard and

desserts seasonally, and in each

glaze is the most beautiful one and

a chef and

want to progress

period, we have some desserts that

gives to the desserts an artistic

pastry chef.

and achieve

are more demanded than the others,

impression, so that’s why it’s my

I worked as a

something.

but I can say that desserts with

favorite.

are a lot of things ahead of me

chocolate go better than any other. How demanded are you for On your postings, we see a lot

weddings and celebrations’ cakes?

of art on your pastries. Have you

For weddings and other occasions,

attended any school of art?

we are in high demand and we

I attended a catering school, I

have a lot of reservations. Currently

learned some of the basics there,

due to the pandemic, we have a

but I learned most of the work on

lot of delays to resume next year hopefully.

the internet, seminars and

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TOURISM

A feast for the Senses BY MARIANA DE LA ROSA*

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C

hocolate has been winding my path practically as soon as I started my professional life. I like to call myself passionate chocolate and cacao expert and would love for you to understand better this delicacy, show you how to taste fine chocolate, and delight your senses.

Food of the gods

Why do we like it so much?

The scientific name of the cacao tree

According to a recent study

is Theobroma Cacao, derived from

by psychologist David Lewis of

the Greek that translates into “food

the MindLab, letting chocolate

of the Gods.”

dissolve slowly in your mouth produces as significant an increase

Olmec, Mayan and Aztec

in brain activity and heart rate as a

civilizations found chocolate to

passionate kiss—but the effects of

be an invigorating drink, mood

the chocolate last four

enhancer, and aphrodisiac, which led

times longer! Trust

them to believe that it possessed

science to tell

mystical and spiritual qualities. The

us things we

Mayans worshipped a god of cacao

already know!

and reserved chocolate for rulers, warriors, priests, and nobles at

In layman’s

sacred ceremonies.

words: we crave chocolate

Nowadays, fine chocolate can be

because it smells

compared to a premium whiskey.

good, looks good,

Take your time, find the space to

tastes good and makes

taste it and relax. Your ultimate goal

us feel good. The mere sight of

is to enjoy every bite like a god!

a beautiful chocolate bar being

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How to taste chocolate?

Feel it: premium chocolate should

Your mouth has

or a package

Flavor perception is the sum of

melt at body temperature. If you

a million taste

of bonbons

taste, aroma, texture and visual

rub it between your thumb and your

receptor

being

appearance. Thus, all your senses

index finger, it should start melting,

cells, which

opened,

must come into play when tasting

and you can feel its texture.

generate a

can start us

fine chocolate. It requires for you

unwrapped,

message to

to see it, hear it, feel it, smell it and

Smell it: Bring the piece of

your brain.

finally, taste it.

chocolate close to your nose and

Feel the size of

Especially with dark chocolate, the

smell the aromas. What do you

the bite. Should

else looks like chocolate, and,

subtle and sophisticated notes of

notice? Spices? Fruits? Chocolate’s

be smooth and silky, not

aside from a few perfumes or

the cacao show a more exciting

primary ingredient is cacao beans,

too fatty or with a waxy aftertaste.

extracts that are poor imitations at

flavor path.

and they can carry different genetic

As the cocoa butter melts, you will

material that will define its aroma.

start to discover the different flavor

See it: first impression matters!

Cacao from Venezuela, for instance,

shades the chocolate has to offer.

Premium chocolate should have a

is known to be fruity whereas cacao

Chocolate as therapy

silky shine and even texture. No

from Madagascar can display a

Once you’ve mastered the art of

Researchers at the Neurosciences

blemishes, such as a white haze,

subtle acidity.

tasting as a true connoisseur, you

Institute in San Diego, California

should be visible.

salivating like one of Pavlov’s celebrated dogs. Nothing

best, nothing else has chocolate’s unique aroma.

can experience chocolate differently Taste it: Put a small piece in your

say chocolate also contains a feel-

and enjoy this feast for the senses!

good chemical called anandamide,

Hear it: take the piece of chocolate

mouth and let it melt between your

which is found naturally in the

and break it close to your

tongue and your palate.

brain. Commonly anandamide is

ear. That sound is

broken down quite quickly after

like a snap! With

it is produced, but the San Diego

dark chocolate,

chemists think the anandamide

the ‘snap’ is

*About the Author

in chocolate makes the natural

louder than

•••

anandamide in our brain persist for

in chocolates

longer—in other words, giving us a

containing

longer-lasting “chocolate high.”

milk.

Mariana De La Rosa is a Venezuelan chocolate and cacao specialist, who provides technical advice, sales, and support of chocolate derivatives, as well as chocolate training for manufacturers and tastings. www.puro-origen.com

Let the therapy begin!

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Illyricum Trail,

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sporadic initiatives that stakeholders

Basilica in Stobi

have undertaken in this regard, the concrete encouragement and support of the respective governments has been fairly present. Illyricum Trail, the new promotional tour of the region

A CULTURAL TOUR THAT COMBINES THE PRESENT AND ANTIQUITY OF THE BALKANS BY EVA RAMA *

While regional governments in this

T

difficult period of the COVID-19 pandemic have focused on issues related to managing the situation

he countries of the

and its consequences, various actors

Western Balkans, as they are already being called as a result

light at the end of the tunnel. One

approach over the recent decades,

such initiative at this challenging

are tourist destinations that still

time was Illyricum Trail, a project

need to be explored and promoted.

implemented by the RCC and DCC

Apart from the development

as the managing body of the Roman

that the tourism industry has

Emperors and Danube Wine Route,

experienced in countries such as

while the FAM tour of this product

Croatia, Montenegro, Macedonia,

was implemented by Explorer Travel

Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina

& Tours, Albania. The initiative

in recent years, what has always been raised as a demand by tourism promotion and creation of joint regional packages. In addition to

Apollonia 138

projects have restored hope in the tourism sector, that there is always

of the geopolitical

experts and tour operators is the

with the support of initiatives and

brought together tour operators from Albania, Macedonia, Serbia and Bosnia and Herzegovina, to explore a tourist itinerary focusing

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on the archaeological and historical

way and style that the Romans brought

Mogorjelo in Bosnia and

The tour then continues to Doclea

tourism of that period known as the

to the region.

Herzegovina, a good example of

archeological site in Podgorica,

a Roman village-style agricultural

one of the best examples of local

legacy of the Roman Empire. The itinerary on its own has the main

9 archeological sites on the Illyricum

center during the late Empire.

settlements urbanized in the

purpose to take us back in time

Trail

In Mogorjelo, it may be noticed

Roman way in Montenegro, having

enabling the traveler to experience

The region of the Western Balkans is

the influence of the construction

an important status in the Roman

the sensations and traces that such

rich in culture, tradition and in this

of Roman-style fortified villas,

Empire.

civilization left on a territory that

territory, there are archeological sites

which bear a resemblance to the

In Albania this itinerary includes

the Romans called Illyricum. The

belonging to different eras. Illyricum

Diocletian palace in Split. Famous

the ruins of the city of Dyrrhachium,

itinerary is enriched with Balkan

Trail in this first step promoted 9

Roman mosaics in Risan (the

which is today’s Durrës, and which

gastronomy with traditional dishes

archeological sites located in 4

oldest city in the Bay of Kotor),

became the main access gate or as

that each country offers, wine

countries of the Western Balkans,

Montenegro, where visitors are

it was otherwise known “The Golden

tastings, special experiences evoked

and each of them, in addition to what

introduced to the luxurious lifestyle

Gate” of Via Egnatia, one of the

in the Roman period such as various

unites them as part of the heritage of

of Roman aristocrats. Numerous

most important roads of Roman

games, reproduction of mosaics,

the late Roman period, also carries the

decodes and geometric shapes,

antiquity that connected the two

obtaining aromatic essences in the

specifics of their history.

present the refined taste of time.

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Bitola, one of the most conserved

main regional ancient roads, the

sites and an important supply base

one connecting Via Egnatia from

during the war between Julius

Heraclea Lyncestis with Via Militaris,

Caesar against Pompey and another

near Serdica (modern Sofia) and the

important station along the Via

other road connecting Thessaloniki

Egnatia. This city was founded by

along the Vardar/Axios/Morava river

Philip II of Macedonia, the father of

with Naissus (present-day Niš). A

Alexander the Great and was named

basilica is found in the ruins of Stobi

after the Greek god of antiquity,

dating to the 4th century AD that

Heraclius.

may be the oldest in the Balkans.

Stobi with its ruins is also one of the richest sites in Northern

Thus the Illyricum Trail comes as an

Macedonia, which had a great

extension of the itinerary “Roman

capitals of the empire, Rome with

states of that time.

development during the period of

Emperors and the Summer Road

Constantinople.

In North Macedonia you may visit

the Roman Empire, because it was

along the Danube”, a consolidated

the Lychnidos that is today’s Ohrid,

located at the intersection of two

itinerary and certified as one of the

The Illyricum trail also includes

strategically located in Via Egnatia,

Apollonia, a large and majestic city,

another UNESCO World Heritage

as Cicero called it, in whose famous

Site. The Greek-style amphitheater

Academy studied Octavian, who

is well maintained, and is located in

became one of the most powerful

the historic center of the city.

Roman Emperors, attended his military training accompanied by

In North Macedonia you may visit

Agrippa, a prominent general and

the Lychnidos that is today’s Ohrid,

statesman of the Roman Empire.

strategically located in Via Egnatia,

Part of the Illyricum Trail is also

another UNESCO World Heritage

Butrint, a UNESCO World Heritage

Site. The Greek-style amphitheater

Site, located in a geographical

is well maintained, and is located in

position with immeasurable and

the historic center of the city.

panoramic natural beauty, which We have Heraclea Lyncestis in

served as a bridge between the 142

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optimistic messages, that this is

other tourist attractions, wineries,

a temporary situation, in the end,

small craft units along the Illyricum

life will triumph and everything

Trail.

will return to normal. And in this

What needs to be further developed

normality that we believe to be

in consolidating these initiatives is

close and that we want so much

the promotion of tourism products

now, people will start traveling

in regional and global fairs, the

again without restrictions in order

development of workshops,

to explore unknown places, to

webinars involving tour operators

accumulate experiences and tourism

and tourism boards dealing with

will return stronger than ever.

the development and marketing of tourism in the respective countries

After the success in the first

of the region.

phase, how will the Illyricum Trail 38 cultural routes from the Council

Illyricum Trail, the itinerary that

proceed and be supported?

of Europe, which conveys historical

united the regional countries over

The support of this project by the

EXPLORER TRAVEL&TOURS

values and is recommended to

the time of pandemics

RCC was to encourage the regional

(A) Rr. “Mujo Ulqinaku”,

be visited by tourists and those

Many can ask questions and pose

economies to face the challenges of

(mbrapa Kishës Katolike)

interested in learning more

dilemmas as to why this difficult

the time and the vast global tourism

Pall.5, Kati.1, Njësia

about the period in question and

period was chosen to launch a

market, to know how to promote

Administrative 10

experiencing the commonalities and

regional tour, at a time when the

this region as a single destination,

Tiranë, Albania P.O.Box.1010

differences that the region itself

tourism sector is facing major

as tourism capacities and resources

conveys today. The Illyricum Trail

challenges that in some cases go as

exist and tourism offer is extended

(P) +355 4 2247572;

itinerary comes as a complement

far as survival. The implementation

with the natural, cultural diversity of

(M): +355 696060344;

to the tourist offer and as a need

of this project supported by the RCC

the region. One of the tangible and

(W) www.explorer-albania.al;

to consolidate the common market

with the funding of the European

concrete results of the development

www.explorertours.al

of the Western Balkans as a single

Union, with the tour operator

of this tourist product is the increase

(E) info@explorer-albania.al;

unit vis-à-vis the European and

Explorer Travel & Tours as the main

of cooperation between the parties

evarama@explorertours.al;

international tourist market.

field implementation partner, was

involved in this itinerary, such as

deliberately undertaken to give

tour operators/the travel agencies,

IATA Accredited: 02210375

the archeological sites, museums,

NUIS(Fiscal Code): K71617011W

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Shaking the Tree of Sports Through Innovation BY RUDINA HOXHA

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H

YPE Sports Innovation is a Global Platform that promotes Sports Innovation on its various verticals and aspects throughout the world. Amir Raveh, as a amature football player and

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football fan, is the Founder and the President of HYPE Sports Innovation

About Amir RAVEH

which is the industry-leading ecosystem, with 12 sports tech Accelerators worldwide over 40k members and a private VC. “The most important tangible result of HYPE is our Global Sports Tech Accelerator Network (with both physical and virtual locations). For the past 3 years, we have established, managed and constantly expanded the worlds’ largest network for SportsTech accelerators,” the Israeli entrepreneur underlines in this exclusive interview with TRAILBLAZING MAGAZINE.

Founder & president of HYPE Sports Innovation. HYPE is the industry-leading ecosystem, with 12 sports tech Accelerators worldwide over 40k members and a private VC. Amir is the Founder of “MG Equity” Investments House Author of “Acquired Charisma” and an avid soccer player Founder & CEO of MEDIACALL in London, which was successfully sold in 2003. Father of 4 sons

HYPE has created many important business partnerships throughout the years that were always aligned towards creating new business opportunities and connections between all the stakeholders. Also Raveh underlines the key support HYPE is giving to the Sports sector in times of COVID-19.

Full interview below:

which by the way, 5 years ago was in its infancy and with very

Welcome to the Trailblazing

little attention from Investors and

Magazine interview Mr. Raveh! As

VCs towards Sports Innovation or

Founder and President of HYPE,

Sports Tech as an interesting sector

can you please make a panorama

to promote and invest. So I had

of how you built and developed

the vision to combine these two

this business? What was the spark

passions and to set up HYPE Sports

behind HYPE?

Innovation as a Global Platform

The vision and scope of HYPE

that will promote Sports Innovation

Sports Innovation was born out of

on its various verticals and aspects

my two biggest passions: Sports

throughout the world.

and innovation. I have had a long history of being part of the Sports

Can you mention some of the

ecosystem, both, as a football

tangible results of HYPE? With pleasure. First of all, the main

player and a sports fan. Then, I

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realized there are new emerging

and most important tangible result is

opportunities in this specific sector,

our Global Sports Tech Accelerator

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Network (with both physical and

in the times of the COVID

virtual locations). For the past 3 years, we have established, managed and constantly expanded the worlds’ largest network for SportsTech

19 pandemic. How are you addressing the pandemic-related challenges nowadays in the sports sector and further?

accelerators. With hundreds of

Actually, 100% of what HYPE

startups that have graduated the

is doing right now is focused

program, dozens of leading partners such as: 1.FC Koln, FIBA, Miami Dolphins, Adidas etc. and more than $200M that

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“We are now solving our partners’ real challenges”

were raised by our startups throughout the programs. Obviously more than ever, the

down because we are enabling

Sports”. How influential has been

them to either create quick pivots

the role of women in HYPE Sports

or secure pilots and new business

Innovation?

connections in times where the

Women are an essential part of

future is uncertain. By the way, this

our life in HYPE. We are constantly

was also a crucial pivot for HYPE,

aiming to increase the number of

as we changed

challenges and real

our mind set and

issues which are

direction due to

related to COVID-19

COVID because

new reality. By

until then all of

establishing the

our accelerator

Global Virtual

programs had a

Accelerator program,

physical part and

women that are

“Women are an essential part of our life in HYPE”

engaged, active and working within the HYPE team. In addition to that, nearly in every activity and event that we have

we are now solving our partners’

now we are 100% virtual as you

done, we always aim to find ways

real challenges. I would even go

know.

to encourage women entrepreneurs

startups, we acted as a true lifeline

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Innovation is “Women Leaders in

towards solving real

as far as saying that for some

impact of HYPE is tremendous

and helped them to avoid shutting

and industry leaders to apply and The latest event of HYPE Sports

participate. I can openly say that this

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has not been as great success as we

always aligned towards creating

wanted, but this is a mission that we

new business opportunities and

are constantly working on promoting

connections between all the

in any way we can. You can see it in

stakeholders. On top of that, the

the remarkable list of ladies within

focus was and still is, and actually

our advisory, mentors and partners.

these days it has also increased, to solve real challenges and promote

How have you managed to

innovation with partners, clubs,

increase the partnerships within

brands, etc. This was the reason

HYPE Sports Innovation and which

our partners such as: the Taiwanese

are some of the new partners of

Sports administration, PSG, Miami

this network? Have you thought

Dolphins, FIBA, LAFC, River Plate,

to join forces with your partners

among others, joined HYPE as

to ease down the effects of the

they wanted to get connected to

pandemic?

the leading solutions, the leading sports innovations and the leading

The business partnerships we have

SportsTech Startups in the world.

created throughout the years were

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E

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no Peçi, a well-known Albanian dancer, living and working in Austria for 23 years, has been magnificently ushered in the path of a choreography over the last years. This is another level his career has embraced www.eno-peci.com.

Recently he worked as a choreographer with Györi ballet in Hungary on a new production. “I have been lucky having been working in such difficult times on a new production in Hungary as a choreographer,” Peçi told to TRAILBLAZING MAGAZINE. In this exclusive interview, Peçi talks on how he started his own career to

the latest shows and premieres he is working with Vienna State Opera and his new project in Germany next March.

Let’s go back to your early life.

When did you realize you wanted

What do you remember about it

to dance? Inherited from your

when it comes to ballet?

parents?

Before I started with ballet, I didn’t

My parents realized that I was

know much about it. As a kid I was

always dancing non-stop, so they

playing football. It was fun but than I

decided to bring me to the ballet

stopped because I couldn’t find any

school. But no.. is not from my

logic running after the ball for 90

parents inherited! I come more

min!! :)) Meanwhile I loved to dance

from a military family, either mother

on birthdays or at home with my

or father side. My mother was a

sister! We were listening to music

dentist but in her heart, she is a

every day and having fun :)) Loved

true artist! So first I went to the

the early 90’ music!

University of Arts in Tirana to get tested if I could dance or if I had some chances to enter to the ballet

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Eno

Peçi

A DANCER AND CHOREOGRAPHY OF FAME BY RUDINA HOXHA


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school. So, I prepared my music

in 2003. To what extent, did

97’-98’. And from that moment, I

future plans?

cassette and dressed up with my

Albania and Austria help you to

went to the ballet school of Vienna

Yes it’s true… I’ve been lucky having

baggy trousers and wide shirt. I

become today the future of ballet

where I got my diploma and then

been working in such difficult times

gave them the music and dance the

world?

started to work at the Vienna State

on a new production in Hungary

hell out of it hahaha… They were

Yes, I started at year 2000 than I got

Opera. I am a proud Albanian and I

as a choreographer. It was a very

impressed with my dance but still

promoted in 2003 to Demi soloist

love my country. I live now in Austria

new piece I have been working with

they said to my father to bring me to

and than in 2009 to a Soloist. And

since 23 years and this country gave

Györi ballet. The piece was about

someone from the ballet school to

at the same year 2009 I started my

me everything.. my dream profession

loneliness. Nobody can escape from

look at the way I perform. So I went

career as a choreographer too. In

and my own family! I feel lucky to

loneliness, sooner or later it will

there and they checked my body if

Albania I had just 4 years of my

live here and I am endless grateful

catch you...

for this country!

But how many faces does loneliness

I was gifted! And there I realized that the students had to wear tights and practice with classical music! For me was a bit strange because I didn’t know that and I couldn’t understand what tights and classical music has to do with dance! But yes,

“ I GAVE THEM

THE MUSIC AND DANCE THE HELL OUT OF IT ”

You have been active even during the pandemic times with different cooperation. The latest one is with Hungary. Please can you tell us more? What are the

than I understood that.. that’s the education of being a ballet dancer

education as a ballet

and getting your body ready through

dancer in the ballet

the years of a very hard daily training

school in Tirana. I must

till you get to be a professional

say at that time it was

ballet dancer and you are ready to

a very strong Russian

work in a ballet company.

method of the classical

You studied ballet in the Tirana Academy of Ballet and the Ballet School of the Vienna State Opera. You joined the Vienna State Opera in 2000, becoming a Demi-soloist

ballet but also very old.

has? My play depicts the many

These 4 years helped

different forms of loneliness. There

me but than I left

are moments in life where we feel

Albania very young at

solitary and don’t really know why.

the age 15-16 because

Feelings of desolate can catch up

of the riots of the year

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even when someone is by our side.

How often do you reinvent

Where does the loneliness come

yourself to be always on top of

from? This play features a huge

your profession?

clock that symbolizes TIME and

It is easy, haha.. Well i practice every

how quickly it passes. Time is an

day. I’m always on the move. And

essential part of our lives and many

it is very important for a dancer

of the events that happen to us only

to be always in shape and always

begin to make sense after some

ready physically and mentally. So

time. The thought may arise in many

yes it’s a lot of work! But in the end

of us: I wish I could go back in time

is something I love to do.. so that’s

to do a few things differently. For

why it is easier ;))

the moment in Vienna state opera

“ BUT IN THE END

we are preparing different shows and some premieres too. And next year in March I am gonna create a new piece in Germany with the music from Maurice Ravel - Daphnes & Chloe.

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IS SOMETHING I LOVE TO DO ”

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JP TRAIBLAZING MAGAZINE


JP TRAIBLAZING MAGAZINE

The Swedish Arts Grants Committee and Sida:

NEW COLLABORATION COALESCE CULTURE AND DEVELOPMENT COOPERATION

160

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JP TRAIBLAZING MAGAZINE


JP TRAIBLAZING MAGAZINE

JP TRAIBLAZING MAGAZINE

Skap, the Swedish Intellectual

countries. From a development

Property Office and the Swedish

cooperation and democracy

Arts Council. Sida and the Swedish

perspective, the goal is to work

Embassies will contribute with

through exchanges, partnerships,

knowledge regarding the social,

and capacity building efforts with

economic, and political contexts in

particular focus on youth. The main

partner countries.

principle is to develop initiatives

COURTESY OF EMBASSY OF SWEDEN IN ALBANIA

that are demand-driven and based on the local actors’ own needs and

T

priorities.

he Swedish Arts

“Culture is a vital part of a strong

Grants Committee

democracy and Sida is pleased

and Sida have

enter this cooperation with the

launched a new

Swedish Arts Grants Committee at

initiative to merge

a time when the democratic space

Sweden’s cultural and development

is threatened and diminishing

cooperation policy areas. The

in many parts of the world. The

programme will support artists

Swedish Arts Grants Committee has

in partner countries Albania and

extensive experience of partnerships

Ethiopia, contributing to freedom

and building capacity, and these

of expression, democracy, and

are important components to help

other key development cooperation

further democracies and implement

goals. This endeavour will become

Agenda 2030,“ says Carin Jämtin,

an integral part of Sweden’s

Director-General of Sida.

future development and cultural The programme will contribute to

collaborations.

strengthening freedom of expression

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“This is a long-awaited collaboration. The Swedish Arts Grants Committee has been advocating for a more prominent role for the arts and culture in the realm of Swedish international development cooperation.” says Anna Söderbäck, the Director of the

Destil-desound © destil (Oda Haliti concert at the New Bazar Tirana)

Swedish Arts Grants Committee. Through this new collaboration with Sida, the Committee will develop an international programming proposal

FOR MORE INFORMATION, PLEASE CONTACT:

on culture partnerships and supporting institutions alongside

Neda Mansouri, Head of

a dozen Swedish government

Programme, The Swedish

agencies and national organisations

Arts Grants Committee: neda.

including the Swedish Film Institute,

mansouri@konstnarsnamnden.

Sweden’s National Touring Theatre,

se, +46 (0)70 758 21 62

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and artistic freedom in partner