The Osum Canyons are a national asset, but the heroes who protect them and who have turned them into economic generator, are a small group of people who initiated the rafting sport in Albania.
Zamo Spathara, from the Rafting Federation, said that they are now waiting for the permit to be revoked, as promised. “I was certain they would react, because this is a great potential for developing tourism, not only for the area but for all of Albania”, he said.
“When we speak about tourism, it affects us all. The hydropower plants they affect just a few people for good, doing bad to others”, said Etmira Kanani, from the Rafting Federation.
The Osum Canyons are one of the few cases when natural assets serve to the public and produce economic growth for citizens, not for a small corrupted minority.
“We had 17,000 visitors during the last season. It is a good employment opportunity for youth. An economic and cultural development”, Etmira added.
“That area now has more hotels, restaurants, with many young people being part of this sport”, said Ervis Deliu, member of the Rafting Federation.
This is a successful model that protects the nature, develops the economy and turns into an inspiration for youth.