Memorie.al exclusively publishes unknown documents of the State Security, the External 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 this article we are publishing in full the secret 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 of 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 will 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 recordings of Radio Tirana that were given with sound centers to tourist hotels, literature and books selected by the competent bodies, etc. etc. Another hot issue that constantly worried the organs of the Labor Party, would be the constant arrival in Albania of some people 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.
follows from the previous number
SOME WORK PROBLEMS OF TOURISTS COMING TO OUR COUNTRY
- Political talk. Often, various tourists, including journalists and publicists, ask to be told something about Albania, in order to expand their knowledge, or to provide materials and data in order to speak to their relatives and friends. and in some cases, even to write in newspapers and magazines. For many of the problems they are interested in, they also ask and discuss with companions, or provide a book, but this is a close, disorganized job, and for the level of unskilled companions. We think that it would be fruitful for this form of work in the future to be put on an organized basis and legally developed by Albturism, appointing and preparing for this work some skilled lecturers, who from time to time hold conversations on topics certain that interest foreigners, of course, not all, but only those who are interested and on a completely voluntary basis. These conversations should be short, concise, without phraseology and self-righteousness, and understandable and accessible to strangers, in order to make an impact and leave an impression. For such work it is necessary to appoint competent people and a topic chosen and prepared in time. Lecturers can be shike from U.SH. T. (Tirana State University, our note) and other central institutions.
- Our travel publications are quite limited (guides, some brochures and photos). Even these that are published abroad and in foreign currency, are ordered in small quantities and are sufficient only for one or two tourist seasons. There is no question of their distribution abroad, so after a while the issue of republishing arises again. This of course requires larger expenditures than publishing them in circulation enough for a more or less long period of time. Since these publications bring in revenue from foreign exchange sales, and even bring in profits, we think they should be added in the future.
Report: RADIO-Tirana shows, boring, without interest
- With the sound center. This is also a form of work that can be used in propaganda with tourists, but as it is done now does not give the desired results. The recorded texts that are transmitted from the center are not hit, suitable for foreigners, to attract their interest and make the right effect. The narrations themselves are not appealing, but ordinary and boring, repetitive and at inopportune times. The continuous transmission of news by Radio Tirana seems inappropriate. In general, this work needs to be better organized and at a higher level. Radio Tirana can help Albturism in designing these programs, because it has a long experience.
- Artistic programs. This year a better job was done with the screening of our feature and documentary films and with the realization several times of folklore concerts, by groups sent from Tirana. These were much liked and demanded by tourists. This work can be done better in the future, especially artistic programs, which can be given in Tirana, Durres and the beach as appropriate and only for tourists. For Marxist-Leninist tourists, artistic programs can also be given by the best amateur folklore groups of Durrës or other districts. A concert given at the Shijak cooperative thrilled them.
- Something about fun life. With the exception of the evening music program given at the “Adriatic” hotel, in this regard almost nothing is done for the entertainment of tourists. There are no games halls or suitable sports corners. Tourists cannot enjoy the sea walk because there are no buses. Even the social service on the beach is insufficient. To buy a refreshing drink, the tourist has to go to the hotel “Adriatic”, instead of opening a point of sale near them. All this has to do not only with a cultured service, but also with securing as much income as possible from the tourists who, due to the clumsiness of our people, escape us.
- On tourists sent by Marxist-Leninist movements.
This year 8 groups came with 310 people from three countries: (Sweden, Norway, Denmark). In addition to them came 10 groups of 252 people from France and Germany, who disguised themselves as Marxists-Leninists, who during their stay here, with few exceptions, proved disciplined, studious and attentive to see and learn from our country. same as the first.
All groups were distinguished by these things in common:
- They had unity, conviction, order and discipline in behavior and work.
- They worked with programs to study our party materials and to benefit from the visit.
- The attitudes towards the people of our country have been correct and the questions on various issues have been normal and sincere.
- They knew about our country and tried to deepen it. They considered the visit to Albania as a school for their Marxist-Leninist education. They left excited by what they heard and saw here with us. In particular, the contacts with the masses made a deep impression. Their remarks were for these to be organized and deepened further.
Report: German friends suggest political tourism
They followed with great interest the conversations held according to their requests. They asked a lot of questions and kept notes and appreciated this work. French and German groups insisted on listening to more conversations. But since we had no guarantees for them, we did a few and showed more restraint with the programs. Next year is expected to increase the number of tourists coming to this road. We are interested in encouraging and supporting this expanding movement in Western Europe and taking steps to better organize work with them. The comrades of the Marxist-Leninist party of Germany who were in Albania this summer said that this is a great help to the revolutionary forces and that we should give tourism a more political character, so that their programs and visits have a deep character of such. III. On some ideo-political and organizational issues
The arrival of foreign tourists undoubtedly opens up a range of ideological problems such as issues of their dress, street behavior and direct contact with our people. So far, a number of measures have been taken to limit the negative effects arising from this, but nevertheless, there are many problems that need to be considered in this work and specifically:
- Albturism has set certain conditions for the presentation of tourists to foreign tourist societies. They generally respect them, but it also happens that tourists come badly dressed. In these cases, no concessions should be made but the established rules should be applied.
- The most delicate problem is the jump of tourists on the dance floor of the Hotel “Adriatic” in Durres. Most of the tourists there dance badly, even when the orchestra performs normal music. This problem becomes serious because hundreds of people from ours gather in front of the runway to watch. Some measures have been taken by the Committee of the Durrës District Party, Communal and Albturism, but they have not given the proper results. We think that these measures should be added and continued in the future and at the same time, just as we have banned clothing, we should also limit bad dancing, doing this work tactfully.
Report: Sharpen vigilance towards photography
- Almost all tourists are equipped with a camera and it is their great desire to take pictures. There are some of them who take inappropriate and suspicious objects, measures have been taken against them, but most of them behave correctly. However, in this problem there are quite a few conflicts between tourists and companions, or our ancestors and people, who in some cases revolt and react harshly, or refuse to be photographed. Even tourists get angry on their part in these cases, some have written and letters started with good intentions. We think that we should always sharpen our vigilance towards malicious photography, our people should be more correct towards the feelings of tourists in this regard.
- One of the most negative and indecent performances that harms all the work done with tourists, is the aggressive attitude of our children towards them in some cities, especially in Shkodra, Kruja, Durres, Elbasan, Pogradec and Gjirokastra. In addition to rogue behavior, there have been cases where they have hit their car with stones and other items. This has infuriated many tourists and there have been cases when they have reacted harshly and there have been cases of complaints. There is a need for both the Party Committees in the districts and the Youth Committees, and especially in the schools, to do more intensive work with the children in this regard.
- The culture of service in the premises of ALBTURISM is not always at the right level, because the service staff is not selected and has a low cultural level, which is quite noticeable to tourists. The Executive Committees do not properly implement the instructions of the Council of Ministers on this issue and on the other hand the company does not work well for the education of these employees./Memorie.al