The last in a series of three videos on sustainability and heritage in the Lake Ohrid region, focusing on the challenges and opportunities of sustainable tourism on the Albanian and Macedonian lake shores.
Nestled in the mountains between Albania and the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, Lake Ohrid is among the most unique places in Europe and the world. In addition to its breathtaking natural beauty, Lake Ohrid is one of Europe’s oldest and deepest lakes, and its waters and surrounding area are marked by incredible biological diversity and rich cultural heritage.
Given the region’s unique natural features and cultural qualities, it’s no wonder that people from far and near come to Lake Ohrid. The region is home to over 150,000 people, with more than 52,000 residing in Albania. Approximately 300,000 visitors explore the region every year, and this number is steadily increasing.
Over a period of six months, we worked and lived in the Lake Ohrid region. We partnered with international organizations and local stakeholders to produce three videos in conjunction with the project “Towards strengthened governance of the shared transboundary natural and cultural heritage of the Lake Ohrid region.” Active over three years, the project aims to bring UNESCO World Heritage protection to the Albanian side of the Lake Ohrid region (the FYROM side has been protected since the 1970s). UNESCO status is expected to further increase the influx of tourism to the region—especially to the the Albanian side—so it’s fitting that there’s a lot of work going on regarding how tourism will play a role in the sustainable development of the region.
In order for tourism to not disrupt the balance of natural and cultural heritage, international organizations are teaming up with stakeholders on both sides of the border to find diverse products and activities for locals and tourists alike to enjoy. This video documents the positive and negative sides of tourism in the Lake Ohrid region and how, if done right, tourism can positively contribute to sustainable development on both sides of the lake.