Tourism in Albania has been a key element to the country's economic activity and is constantly developing. It is characterized by its rich archaeological and cultural heritage dating back to the classical period when Illyrians and Ancient Greeks inhabited the region. Over the course of history, the territory of Albania was occupied and populated by Romans, Byzantines, Venetians and Ottomans. Notably the country features unspoiled beaches, mountainous landscapes, traditional cuisine, archaeological artifacts, unique traditions, low prices and the wild atmosphere of the countryside.
The country lies in Southeastern Europe bordering Montenegro to the northwest, Kosovo to the northeast, North Macedonia to the east and Greece to the south. The Mediterranean Sea with the Adriatic and Ionian Sea make up the entire west border of the country. The country's coastline length is about 481 km (299 mi) composed of both sandy and rocky beaches, bays, caves, cliffs, capes and lagoons. Although the country features notable diversity with the landscape ranging from the snow-capped Albanian Alps, Sharr, Skanderbeg, Korab, Pindus and Ceraunian Mountains to the sunny Albanian Adriatic and Ionian Sea Coasts.
The country has a distinctly Mediterranean climate. Across the country's territory there is a wide range of microclimates due to differing soil types and topography. The warmest areas of the country are found at the coasts where the climate is profoundly impacted by the sea, while the coldest parts at the northern and eastern hinterlands, where snowy forested climate is prevalent.
With a total of 3.8 million visitors, Albania is the 25th most visited country in Europe. Lonely Planet ranked Albania as the number 1 destination to be visited in 2011. The New York Times ranked Albania 4th among 52 destinations to be visited in 2014. Although still underdeveloped, Albania is set to prime its debut on the world scene as it celebrates a century of independence. A Huffington Post article outlined 10 reasons for visiting Albania in 2013. Recently, Albania has been officially dubbed as "Go Your Own Way". Previously, it was dubbed as "A New Mediterranean Love". According to the Albanian Institute of Statistics, around 4.73 million foreign citizens have visited Albania in 2016.
A number of renowned international hotel chains are making their presence known in Albania, including Mariott, Hyatt, Maritim Plaza, Hilton Garden Inn, MK Hotels, and Best Western in Tirana, as well as Melia Hotels International in Durres, while others are awaiting the green light to start operations mainly in Tirana, the Albanian Alps, and along the Albanian Riviera.