Memorie.al exclusively publishes unknown documents of the State Security, the Foreign Sector of the Central Committee of the ALP and the Committee of the Party of Durrës and Shkodra of 1970, where they criticize ALBTURISM for the poor work it was doing with foreign tourists coming to Albania, because according to their observations, foreign tourist groups, where a major part were occupied by Marxist-Leninist groups, were not created the minimum conditions of accommodation and living here as long as they stayed.
In the State Security information, written by the Director of Security and at the same time, the Deputy Minister of Internal Affairs, Feçorr Shehu, addressed to the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Behar Shtylla and the Secretary of the Central Committee of the ALP, Ramiz Alia , the great preoccupation of our competent bodies stands out, who felt close to the style of dances performed by the foreign foreign tourists of the Hotel “Adriatiku” in Durrës, where many people gathered to do which they watched with admiration. Likewise, one of the main problems of the Albanian state at that time was the fact that as soon as foreign tourists got off the buses, they were followed by a crowd of curious children, so much so that in one case in Pogradec, the escorts were forced to they put tourists in a bar and took them out only after the police arrived and removed the children. For these and other facts and events from tourist Albania before the ’90s, we know the archival documents that Memorie.al brings in this article exclusively for its readers.
Security Report 1970: Foreign tourists jump badly on Adriatic
In this article we are publishing full secret archival documents of the Ministry of Interior, and the Party Committee of the district of Durrës and Shkodra of 1970, sent to the Foreign Relations Sector of the Central Committee of the ALP, regarding the organized groups of tourists foreigners visiting Albania at that time, where the main part was occupied by Marxist-Leninist groups. In these secret minutes of the Ministry of Internal Affairs, it is about the development of all tourist programs that the government agency of that time “ALBTURISM”, organized these tourist groups throughout the country. Also, in these documents, it is noted in detail all the activity of tourists who during the period of their visits to the respective tourist destinations in Albania, were usually subject to some strict rules in order not to allow the “degeneration” of Albanian youth and society in relations. with foreign visitors. As well as with the “setting” of all foreign tourists with the written and unwritten rules of Albanian communism, regarding the organization of tourism and advertising the country before the eyes of the world. According to the documents in question, alarming for the officials of the Party and State Security Committees, the situation is constantly presented, especially in Durrës Beach, where compared to other districts the concentration of tourist groups would be greater. The “extravagant” dances, the inappropriate way of dressing and acting, as well as the constant interest in associating them with ordinary Albanians, would pose a serious problem for all structures of the Party Committees in the districts as well as for the officials themselves. senior of the Ministry of Interior to the Deputy Minister of Interior Feçor Shehu. This is due to the fact that ALBTURISM had previously signed contracts and agreements with foreign tourist agencies and groups that would visit our country, who were obliged to implement those agreements, where the main point was the appearance of tourists and clothing Theirs. Also, as it appears from these secret documents, a big problem for the Albanian state, or more precisely for ALBTURISM, the departments and other institutions that were in charge of this work, was a problem of the tourist guide, ie the places where they would be sent. these tourists to visit. During a visit to the stables of the Shijak Agricultural Enterprise, there were no cows at all, which made the escorts and translators feel uncomfortable and did not know what to say to the tourists. Another thing that stands out in these secret documents, is the extremely great preoccupation, or more precisely one of the primary tasks of the Albanian state was not to accommodate and meet the minimum conditions of tourists, but their education through conversations with lecturers, shows Radio Tirana recordings that were given with sound centers to tourist hotels, literature and books selected by the competent bodies, etc. etc. Another hot issue that constantly bothered the organs of the Labor Party, would be the constant arrival in Albania of some persons described by the communist regime as unwanted and with a hostile attitude towards the People’s Republic of Albania. Such refugees who after the end of the war from Albania, or their families, would try to enter disguised as tourists to see more closely the political-economic and social situation of the country. The most egregious case of this action would be that of Çesk Kallmet from Shkodra, whose family would visit Albania in September 1970, but who would immediately be placed under the full surveillance of the State Security. Another very interesting aspect described in these secret documents is the constant feeling of distrust and suspicion that the State Security organs nurtured towards different groups of tourists classified as “Marxist-Leninist groups”. The bodies of the Ministry of Internal Affairs continuously intercepted and monitored without exception all the different groups of foreign tourists, who during the 48 years of the existence of the communist regime of Enver Hoxha, would visit the “Lost Paradise” of Albanian communism.
THE PEOPLE’S REPUBLIC OF ALBANIA SECRET
MINISTRY OF INTERNAL AFFAIRS Copy no. 1
FIRST DIRECTORY Tirana, on 21. 7. 1970
Nr. Prot 3271
SUBJECT: On some tourism problems
CENTRAL COMMITTEE OF ALP COMRADE BEHAR PILLARS TIRANA
Like last year, this year the problem of children has started to become a concern, who, gathering behind tourists, have become a cause for photography and other unpleasant things, this happens in almost all cities, but the most prominent is in the city and the beach of Durrës.
On the evening of July 3, 1970, hundreds of young people, women, men, young men and women, gathered on the runway of the Adriatic Hotel to see Czech tourists drinking and dancing. The measures taken by the Executive Committee of the city of Durrës in this regard have not given any results and the situation is becoming more worrying every day.
In the excursion that was organized with the Danish tourists in Pogradec, our companion was forced to stop the walk of the tourists on the boulevard and to introduce them to tourism, just because dozens of children were following the tourists.
Excursions organized with tourists at Sukth Farm are inappropriate, those in charge there are not mobilized, the cow stable of the Shijak cooperative is empty, there are no cows, they are supposed to come in September. This does not reflect our socialist reality.
Many tourists have asked to take boat trips, some of them, taking advantage of the fact that tourist hotels lack boats, have gone individually to the boats of the hotel “Railway” and have sailed together with our citizens.
It has been ascertained at the same time that in the shop where it is designated where tourists buy alcoholic beverages and various items, there is a shortage, for this tourist are forced to go to other shops on the beach, where our citizens go.
DEPUTY MINISTER OF INTERNAL AFFAIRS
Information about Ramiz Alia from the Foreign Sector in K.Q. of the ALP
This is information on some problems of working with tourists prepared by the sector, in order to take some measures to improve the work in the future.
For these issues we have consulted with the comrades of Albturism, of the Party Committee and the Executive Committee of the Durrës district and with comrades who deal with these problems in the Prime Minister. In the sector we also held a discussion on this information. This material was sent to Comrade Vasil Kati to get their opinion on the problems that arise. His remarks consist as follows:
- Propaganda work with tourists, in order to make them sympathize with our country and people, must first be done by the propaganda organs, the Party committees and then Albturism.
- Also, the political work with the groups sent by the Marxist-Leninist Parties is not very likely to be done by Albturism, but by the external sector of the KMKMBJ, the Institute of Marxist-Leninist Studies, the Party School, and the State University of Tirana.
20.X.1970 External Sector
SOME WORK PROBLEMS OF TOURISTS COMING TO OUR COUNTRY
In recent years, the interest of foreigners to visit our country as tourists has increased.
Now, the company “Albturist” has working relations with 16 travel agencies in Europe; (England 2, France 3, Germany 3, Austria 3, Italy 2, Scandinavian countries 2 and the Netherlands 1), who have established regular service and send groups of tourists every year. The general trend is to increase the number of tourists from all countries. During this summer, their stable daily number in Durrës reached 500 people, which compared to the past is significantly increasing.
Specifically, this year so far have come 75 groups of tourists with a total of 2725 people. By composition, the groups are divided into:
- Ordinary tourists 58 groups of 267 people.
- Tourists from the Marxist-Leninist organization with which we keep in touch 8 groups with 310 people.
- Tourists from Marxist-Leninist organizations with whom we have no connection, 252 people.
The development of tourism at this rate (in the future may be even greater), raises a number of problems for ideo-political and propaganda work, as well as technical-organizational problems that need to be solved, in order to improve the work as much as possible. our.
I. Some propaganda issues with tourists
The propaganda that is being done now with tourists does not respond either to the demands that foreigners have for Albania or to the opportunities that we have. It is limited, poor in content, often mundane and does not properly represent the reality of our country. In general, this work is done:
- Through excursions through Albania. With ordinary tourists who represent about 75 percent of the total number, excursions are made according to their wishes, but they mainly include historical objects, archeological, etc., and the current political element is almost absent. This element was introduced only in the programs of the groups sent by the Marxist-Leninist parties and groups. Ideological talks were held with them by trained staff, visits to socio-economic facilities and contacts with our people were organized. Despite the proven shortcomings, this work yielded quite good results, which was expressed by the tourists themselves in many cases.
- For the first time this year, Albturizm set up a voice center with loudspeakers around hotels in Durrës. Through it, conversations were recorded in foreign languages, recorded conversations on various problems from our country, as well as Radio Tirana shows.
- Film screenings are organized twice a week and this year for the first time several concerts were given by folk groups sent from Tirana.
- Some propaganda materials such as leaflets, tourist guides, postcards and ideo-political materials are distributed.
- Propaganda activities are also carried out by group escorts, during excursions through Albania. This is almost all the propaganda work that is now being done with foreign tourists. So, as seen, much remains to be done in this regard both in quantity and content
The opinion that exists among some friends is not true, that tourists who come to Albania only aim to provide a pleasant vacation, visit historical and archeological centers and enjoy the natural beauties of Albania. Of course, the vast majority of them put these things in the foreground and for this they come and make expenses, but it must also be admitted that there are many who are pushed by other motives, by curiosity and desire to verify and see with the eyes all that is said in the world today about our country. In this context, our propaganda has a lot to do in order for foreign tourists to leave Albania, not only satisfied with the holidays, but also with good impressions in other directions, from the great achievements on all fronts and from the hospitality of our people. The objective of all our propaganda work with tourists should be to make the vast majority of them sympathetic to our country and people. This work, of course, should be done by Albturizmi, as an institution in charge of this task, which should not only look at the commercial side of tourism, but on the other hand it is necessary to look at other factors as well./Memorie.al