“Each year there has been more and more interest in the country. So we decided to officially invest and start a BWA company there,” said Anne L. Spyropoulos, brand manager at BWA. “Right out of the gate, even with it being still early season, we've had a dozen yachts or so passing through so it's off to a good start.”
The office will be headed up by Nancy Tare, an American national who, along with her husband Auron Tare, has run boutique travel agency, Auron Expeditions in Albania for 12 years. Tare and BWA have already worked together, with BWA calling on Auron Expeditions' expertise on Albania based archaeological, cultural and underwater research experiences, and the appointment was a way of bringing the opportunities more seamlessly to the yachting community.
Tare explained why Albania has a great deal of natural beauty and attractions to offer the curious owner or charterer:
“The countryside is still untamed and natural. The landscape is pretty much the same as it was 500 hundred years ago. But by the same token, it's changing fast, depending where you are. The capital, which is approximately 45min drive away from the port of Durres, has everything you need. Given that Albania is on the "crossroads of ancient civilization" we are luxuriously filled with deep culture and heritage,” she said.
Albania is still very young in its infrastructure for superyachts. There are currently three mooring places for yachts, but two of them are commercial ports. BWA’s base at Saranda is pretty and considered more as a ‘pleasure port’, conveniently located across from Corfu.
However, things could change. Last year Camper & Nicholsons Marinas revealed it was scouting for sites to develop a marina in Albania. Dan Hughes, business development director, said Albania represented a “big gap” on the Adriatic coast for superyachts. “It’s a brand new marketplace which is quite exciting; an embryonic market,” he said in December 2012.