21.10.2012. After a major restoration effort, the Black Sea resort of Batumi is being promoted as the next hot destination, offering the amenities of coastal Europe without the crowds. From a neglected pothole of a place that lacked running water and reliable power, historic Batumi has been transformed with an architectural face-lift and a string of luxury hotels. Visitors are receiving a warm welcome from locals eager to demonstrate the charms of their once-bleak nation, part of the former Soviet bloc. It remains to be seen whether Georgia can attract the jet set, but the initial investment seems to be paying off: Tourism in Batumi has jumped and added several thousand jobs to a struggling local economy.