Monday, February 25, 2013

Bank of Georgia Research: Georgia's Tourism Sector - Seize the Opportunity

25.02.2012. Before heading off on adventure, prospective travelers typically search the web for the top things to do in a given country. Less than a decade ago, many travelers would have been impressed by Georgia's long history and rich culture but turned off by poor infrastructure and services. Georgia has since drastically improved accessibility and services, as well as the safety of attractions. Tourism is not a new concept for Georgia, rather a recollection of what it once was. During the Soviet period in late 80s, the country of then just 5.3mn (official statistics estimates current population at 4.5mn) hosted over 3mn visitors annually, including 250,000 from outside the USSR. The collapse of the Soviet Union and the ensuing unrest brought Georgia's tourism to a standstill and the number of visitors slipped to around 383,000 in 1999, with most coming from the CIS.

Since then, Georgia posted an impressive 22% CAGR in visitors over 2000-2012. The Lonely Planet travel guide recently named Georgia one of its top-10 Best Value Destinations for 2013 (details here). As the world steadily rediscovers Georgia as a real tourist destination, we believe the hospitality sector holds attractive investment opportunities. This is especially true for accommodation as the segment is already starting to see a shortage.

Thursday, February 21, 2013

Georgia to sponsor wine tourism conference in Zagreb

21.02.2013 (Hvino TOUR News). Georgia will participate in 5th International Wine Tourism Conference (IWINETC). The event will take place on 15 - 17 March in Zagreb, Croatia.

Dimitri Kumsishvili, First Deputy Minister of Economy and Sustainable Development of Georgia, said that the event will be attended by representatives of the Ministry of Agriculture of Georgia and the National Tourism Administration. Georgia's National Wine Agency and National Tourism Administration are the gold sponsors of Zagreb's conference.  Next year the conference will take place in Georgia, according to Mr. Kumsishvili.

Report "Wine Tourism Destination Georgia" will be presented by John Wurdeman, owner of Pheasant's Tears winery.

Georgian wine tasting will be held during the conference, scheduled for March 16. Represented wines will include Kondoli Vineyards Rkatsiteli 2009, Qvevri Traditional Kakhetian, Kisi & Chateau Mukhrani Reserve Du Prince 2007 Saperavi.

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Tourism Advisory Council is set up to develop recommendations

20.02. 2013 (HTN - Hvino Tour News) Tourism Advisory Council (TAC) is created in Georgia. According to the National Tourism Administration, the Council is created upon the initiative of  private sector representatives operating in tourism industry. They explain that the goal of the Advisory Council is to discuss the global issues in tourism industry. In addition, the Council will develop recommendations aimed at the right direction establishment and their implementation for tourism development.

The First Deputy Minister of Economy and Sustainable Development of Georgia Dimitry Kumsishvili and directors of Georgian National Tourism Agency and tourism associations signed a Memorandum of Cooperation on the 20th of February on the basis of which Tourism Advisory council was set up for the first time in Georgia, according to official release of Ministry.

Monday, February 18, 2013

New Flow of Russian Tourists to Georgia

18.02.2013. From September 2012 till February 2013 the number of Russian tourists in Georgia increased by 72% compared to the same period of the year before. During the past five months Georgia has hosted 204,495 Russian visitors, of which almost half are friends and relatives of Georgian residents.

The number of Russian tourists in Georgia during the same period of 2011/2012 was 119,053.

“41% of Russian residents come to Georgia to visit friends and family,” Rusudan Mamatsashvili, Head of the Planning and Development Department at Georgian National Tourism Administration (GNTA), told The Financial. “Leisure and recreation is the main purpose of foreign nationals when visiting Tbilisi . Thirty-two percent of Russians visited Georgia for leisure and recreation while 5% travelled for business,” Mamatsashvili said.

Sunday, February 17, 2013

Tourism? What tourism? - Svaneti

by Tony Hanmer

17.02.2013. I was in Mestia a week ago, and stopped in at the Tourism Centre in Seti Square. They’re usually a good source for recent copies of Georgia Today.

But the latest copies now are from December 2012 – itself a bad sign. And the tourism numbers are far, far down from this time a year ago. If anyone should know, it’s the people in this place. But so says everyone else I’ve asked – owners of a couple of guest houses in the town, my neighbour who was skiing at Hatsvali recently, and others. One of the December 2011 copies of GT which I have even projects a much more optimistic figure for current tourists – about 60,000 expected for 2013.

So, what’s happening? People say that Ivanishvili has declared that Georgia doesn’t need as many tourists as it has been getting recently. Is this a true quote? I turned to Google for an answer, and this is what I found: nothing – in English, anyway – to support this claim.

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

RyanAir plans to enter Georgia

05.02. 2013 (HTN - Hvino Tour News). Irish company RyanAir, one of Europe’s lowest cost airlines, still considers an opportunity to enter Georgia. One of the founders of the company said at  London conference that RyanAir considered Israel and Georgia as potential markets.

Michael Kors names reasons, which may lead to their interest in Georgia. "This is a country with a very liberal economy,  and Hungarian WizzAir has already flied there,” - he noted.

Earlier, president Mikheil Saakashvili also expressed wish to bring the Irish airline to Georgia.

© HTN (Hvino Tour News)