By Fatima Gorezi
"Panorama" is one of the most sought after tourist destinations visiting Kruja. Offering an almost 360-degree view of the historic city, the hotel and restaurant are a success story, which best proves the tradition, cuisine and Krutan hospitality.
Founded in the distant year 1996, the business has developed over the years by perfecting and increasing the number of services for domestic and foreign visitors. Ansi Dedja, general manager shares with us some details and shows how the business has experienced the pandemic and its challenges in the tourism and services sector.
When was "Panorama" born as a business in the field of hospitality and services?
Panorama started to be built in 1996 when the owners at that time were refugees in Germany, while their father was here in Kruja and was laying the foundations of the restaurant and hotel.
What has changed in "Panorama" from the distant year 1996 until now?
When it opened at first it was quite a bar and a modest hotel. It was not this big building that it is today and it was not even the restaurant. We started with the pizzeria, with an inadequate restaurant and step by step the restaurant that is today was built. With the time "Panorama" became the main place for organizing weddings, important events in the city. We also continued to improve the quality of cooking and became a continuation of the Krutan culinary tradition and beyond.
We changed, tourists changed over the years. Kruja has several advantages and among the most important is the fact that it is close to Rinas airport, at a distance of about 20 minutes. Over time, the number of tourists has increased, thanks to the opening of various travel agencies and packages. Only at "Panorama" during the summer period we expected up to 1000 tourists a day in a normal season.
What typology of tourists came mainly?
We had some typologies of tourists. Of those who came by bus, visited the museums and the city and then had lunch with us and went to the coast. We had another typology, of those staying here one night at the hotel, enjoying the restaurant, visiting the city and leaving. As far as nationality is concerned, there are more Europeans who know us, for example: Germany, Italy, France, England, Poland, etc. There have also been tourists from the US and Asia, especially in recent years.
What is the feedback you get from tourists? What do you like most about Kruja and what do you like most about '' Panorama ''?
They really remain amazed, not only by the service, but above all by the closeness and sense of hospitality we convey. They come to a place they are skeptical of at first. Of course when they come they are more with this idea, that they are going to a country that is less developed and do not have many expectations, but then remain surprised.
What is your menu?
Almost everything is meat-based. We have these quick antipasti, home antipasti that also contain parts of our Croatian tradition. Then the second dish is with beef or lamb. And at the end we serve the kabunina, which is the traditional Krutan cake.
How were 2020 and 2021 for '' Panorama '', in economic and tourism terms as well?
220 was a surprise year. When we opened in May we did not know what awaited us, whether we would have tourists or not. Many tourist groups were canceled. Those who came were very few for the volume we were used to. It was quite difficult, we are trying to survive like any other business in Albania.
You had to take downsizing measures, reduce staff?
Jo. We managed to cope, the staff also had wings and support. Expectations for the new 2021 season are high. We certainly do not expect to be in the rhythms of 2019 or years ahead, but to start opening up gradually.
What about "Panorama" in terms of hotel?
The hotel contains 90 rooms. We have standard rooms, we have comfort rooms, we have suites. The hotel is functional all the time, although we can say that the number of tourists so far has been small.