Ambitions High at Tourism Festival

Georgia continues to promote tourism as one of the leading areas of economic development. The growth in the number of tourists by 15 percent in the first quarter of 2016 confirms the trend’s positive direction. Moreover, the Minister of Economy and head of the National Tourism Administration of Georgia have no plans to stop –actively supporting the idea by organizing another tourist festival with a focus on domestic tourism.

The 18th International Tourism Fair of the Silk Road countries- the Caucasus Tourism Fair (CTF), held in Tbilisi on April 14-16, gave a platform for local and foreign tourism representatives of 68 foreign companies. At 80 stands, eight foreign delegations, among which Indonesia and Thailand participated for the first time, were introduced to the different regions of Georgia, tours, opportunities, equipment, cultural facilities and commodities. They were also welcomed to present their own destinations and tourism hotspots.

“We have a strategy, according to which the number of visitors should be increased from the current 5,900.00 to 11 million. Accordingly, each exhibition and activity like this will contribute to achieving our goals,” said Dimitry Kumsishvili, Minister of Economy and Sustainable Development of Georgia.

Moreover, organizers of the Fair talked not just about the usual tourism, but highlighted a variety of companies offering specific tourism options- such as medical site visits, attending cultural events, and inspection of Protected Areas. Representatives of the Georgian National Tourism Administration (GNTA) said that it is of interest not only for foreigners, but also for locals.

Within the framework of the CTF was also held a ‘discount festival,’ whereby everyone had the opportunity to pre-plan his or her vacation – to consult directly with company representatives, and to choose the most suitable tour for exclusive prices for both domestic and non-domestic travel.

The importance of the involvement and the development of tourism in Georgia was also noted at the conference ‘Tbilisi is a Meeting Place’ which also took place in the framework of the Fair. Mayor of Tbilisi, Davit Narmania, said that the capital’s City Hall is undertaking a number of projects with the aim of expanding the tourism potential of Tbilisi and representing it on the international stage.

“Tbilisi is the tourist center of the region, while at the same time going far beyond it. The Ministry of Economy, GNTA and City Hall work a lot on this issue, so today we are gathered once again and are ready to discuss the outstanding issues with our colleagues and guests from other countries,” said the Mayor.

“Only in this way will the economy’s growth and development see greater heights. We are carrying out a large number of projects together with other institutions in order to attract more and more tourists and to let our cultural heritage go beyond the borders of the country. However, at the same time, we are pleased to welcome guests who will also talk about their countries,” he added.

Eka Karsaulidze

18 April 2016 20:24