RETAIL TRADE, SERVICES, AND TOURISM
Retail shops and service businesses opened all over Albania after
the communists surrendered control of domestic trade and released
their stranglehold on private economic initiative. Thousands of
fruit and vegetable mongers converged on the streets of towns
and cities. Private entrepreneurs bought out formerly state-run
stores and restaurants and threw open the doors to new shops and
workrooms. Import restrictions and price controls on food stimulated
a lively black market. The Albanian Stalinists' aversion to the
outside world had stunted the development of a tourism industry.
From 1991, however, the government worked desperately to attract
foreign visitors to replenish its hard-currency coffers.
Data as of April 1992