Monday, November 12, 2012

Ski track construction continues in Mestia

Photo: Commersant
12.11.2012 (HTN - Hvino Tour News). Construction of skiing track in the mountain resort Mestia, started by Georgia's previous government, will continue under the new one, - said Giorgi Kvirikashvili, Minister of Economy.  The project is financed by Georgian and French sides. Under the previous government, the French side and the Ministry of Finance signed an agreement under which France should allocate 18 million EUR for mountain-skiing infrastructure development in Mestia region.

Mestia is an urban settlement in mountain region Upper Svaneti which has been the cultural and religious centre for the entire region for hundreds of years, and currently is also the centre of mountain tourism and mountaineering.

© HTN (Hvino Tour News)

Saturday, November 10, 2012

Georgian materials to appear in National Geographic Magazine next year

08.11.2012 (Hvino Tour News). More Georgian materials will appear in the Georgia's edition of National Geographic Magazine next year. Editor in chief Levan Butkhuzi informed radio Commersant that only two issues of the journal  were released in Georgia, but  sales exceeded expectations.

According to him, beginning from 2013 30% of the magazine's content will be Georgian materials. Butkhuzi explained that additional staff is necessarily, as well as funds need to be invested in next year's budget. Editor in chief  said that taking into consideration the readers' demand, current print run of the magazine -  5 000 copies -  is expected grow.

The scientific educational National Geographic Magazine is the official journal of the National Geographic Society. It was launched in USA in 1888. Today it is published in 37 countries around the world, in Georgia it has been released  last September (see: National Geographic Magazine Launches in Georgia).

© HTN (Hvino Tour News)

Friday, November 9, 2012

The railway to Abkhazia

09.11.2012. New Georgian state minister for reintegration Paata Zakareishvili announced intention of the authorities of the country to start a dialogue about the restoration of the railway through Abkhazia. Zakareishvili also proposed to recognize passports of citizens of Abkhazia and South Ossetia valid in Georgia. All of this demonstrates the strategy of the new Georgian government, which is very clear: they recognize Abkhazia not as a country, but as a reality. In this sense, the strategy is revolutionary.

"We need to promote the restoration of traffic through Abkhazia, both railways and roads. And we must avoid political hidden motives and consider the issue solely in economic way", Zakareishvili said. The new minister seems to take up the matter thoroughly, and without much regard for the critics.

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

World Bank supports infrastructure in Georgia’s Imereti region

07.11.2012 (HTN - Hvino Tour News). On November 6th in Washington the World Bank approved an International Development Association (IDA) loan in the amount of US$30 million to Georgia for the Second Regional Development Project. The project objective is to improve infrastructure services and institutional capacity to support the increased contribution of tourism to the local economy of the Imereti Region (for more detailed information, click here).

The project includes two components:
  • Infrastructure investments in urban regeneration of Tskaltubo and tourism circuit development;
  • Institutional development.

New Tbilisi - Odessa flight route introduced

07.11.2012  (HTN - Hvino Tour News)  Airline "UTair-Ukraine" has opened a new international airline route Odessa - Tbilisi, according to statement by Consul General of Georgia in Odessa Teimuraz Nishnianidze. Flights depart weekly on Sundays.

"Unlike previous years, the flight will will be regular weekly service on Sundays. From Odessa plane will take off at 9:00 am, and from Tbilisi at 15.05 local time," - reads the statement. The route uses modern aircraft ATR-72-500. Service on board is organized in economy class. The flight duration is approximately three hours.

Currently flights to Georgia, including Tbilisi, Kutaisi, Batumi are carried by Ukrainian and Georgian airlines from Kiev, Donetsk, Kharkiv, and Dnepropetrovsk.

© HTN (Hvino Tour News)

"The Wall Street Journal": The Museum as Mirror

by Melik Kaylan

06.11.2012. Like the country it embodies, indeed for the sake of that country, the Georgian National Museum is reimagining the past to carve out a durable future. The struggle for reinvention—a national obsession since the Soviet Union's demise—has if anything intensified with the Oct. 1 parliamentary elections. President Mikheil Saakashvili's staunchly pro-Western party lost control of Parliament to a free-spending oligarch sympathetic to the Kremlin, Bidzina Ivanishvili, who had made his money in Russia. Acute hostility divides the two sides, and nobody knows how much of the relentlessly modernizing president's post-Soviet orientation the new parliamentary leader will try to undo.

While most Georgians remain deeply anti-Moscow, many seem nostalgic for some vaguely imagined pre-Saakashvili era. One might call it a struggle to define the Georgian soul, and that defining is what a national museum can do most deliberately.

Georgia to invest another half million dollars into advertising in Israel

07.11.2012 (HTN - Hvino Tour News) About 26,000 Israeli tourists have visited Georgia in 2012. This is 20% more than during the same period last year. Georgia recently decided to invest about half a million dollars in advertising in Israel, according to newspaper Maariv. The Israeli newspaper refers to Maia Sidamonidze, director of the National Tourism Agency of Georgia, who visited Israel last week.

During Georgia's Independence Day cerebration in Herzliya, Israel, Ambassador Archil Kekelia said that his government allocated about a million dollars to promote Georgia's tourist attractions Israel. Apparently, the amount was only enough for three months, and Tbilisi decided to increase the scale of its advertising campaign Israelis, concludes Izrus news site.

© HTN (Hvino Tour News)

Monday, November 5, 2012

Radisson Batumi Expecting High Occupancy over New Year Celebrations

Photo: Financial
by Tako Khelaia

05.11.2012. Radisson Blu Batumi Hotel expects high occupancy during the New Year celebrations according to Mr. Torbjorn Bodin, General Manager of the hotel. As Mr. Bodin says, summer is the high season in Batumi and this is reflected in the increased number of hotel bookings during this period. “We were running at almost full hotel capacity from mid-June to mid-September with a lot of people in the Hotel, around the pools and in the restaurants,” he added.

Featuring 168 rooms the property is located at the centre of the city alongside the famous Batumi Boulevard. It is conveniently located in the main business district of Batumi. The Radisson Blu Hotel, Batumi, is designed for comfort. The bedrooms feature trendy and modern interior design and come equipped with complimentary high-speed wi-fi. The majority of the rooms offer breathtaking views over the Black Sea.

Radisson Blu Iveria Hotel has had the Best Occupancy Rate in 2012

Photo: Financial
by Tako Khelaia

05.11.2012. The year 2012 has been the best year so far in terms of occupancy according to Michael Jacobi, General Manager of Radisson Blu Iveria Hotel. The Hotel has been in operation since September 2009 and its business levels have grown steadily since the opening according to Mr. Jacobi.

“A lot of business over the summer was related to the parliamentary elections on 1 October,” said Mr. Jacobi.

“October was a little bit quieter than initially forecasted which was linked to the election outcome. Several projects were on hold during the formation of the new government which affected the numbers of visitors coming to Tbilisi . We are optimistic about the rest of the year,” Jacobi said.

Saturday, November 3, 2012

Finance Minister: President Saakashvili's palace may become a hotel

03.11.2012 (HTN - Hvino Tour News). The Palace of Georgia's President Mikhail Saakashvili may become a hotel, said Finance Minister Nodar Khaduri. "The Avlabari residence may well be converted into a hotel, it's an interesting location with a good view, the historical center of Tbilisi," - said Khaduri, as quoted by Russian newspaper Vzgliad. The decision has been made already that this palace is no longer the seat of Saakashvili, - said Finance Minister of Georgia.

According Mr. Khaduri, it is "absolutely possible" to pass other presidential residences to investors as well. "Then the assignment of these residences will change," - he said the TV channel Maestro.  He said that it will not interfere with the work of  Georgia's leader.

Friday, November 2, 2012

Tourism business dissatisfied with National Tourism Agency: "If tourism is not a priority for the government, it is better for the sector"

Photo: Commersant
02.11.2012. What will happen to the National Tourism Agency? Will its funding and functions be changed? The new government doesn’t have specific answers to these questions yet, but statements of the government members  make clear that "Georgian Dream" is not going to assign such an importance to tourism as the previous government.

"We, of course, will support the development of tourism, but tourism  can’t be  either the sole or the main activity because we have  more, much more richer and diverse resource," - Bidzina Ivanishvili  said in his  speech. Commersant tried to connect with the National Tourism Agency  and  find out how much the agency’s funding is and whether increase or decrease is planned or change of the agency’s functions. However, we have not received any response from the agency management.

According to the director of the travel company "Travel Tour" Siko Gegiadze, funding should be increased, but if tourism is not a priority for the new government, it is better for tourism industry development.

Balneological resort in Vejini to open in December

02.11.2012  (HTN - Hvino Tour News) The balneological resort in the village of Vejini in Gurjaani region (Eastern Georgia) will be opened in December this year, according to Chairman of Gurjaani Municipality Council Zakaria Iaganashvili.

Private investments have been attracted for the resort and more than 2 million GEL was invested in the project. Vejini balneological resort includes a 28 - room hotel, which will be also opened in December. Georgia’s President Mikheil Saakashvili announced the complex construction in 2011.

© HTN (Hvino Tour News)

Thursday, November 1, 2012

Georgian delegation to attend London's World Travel Market 2012

01.11.2012 (HTN - Hvino Tour News) Georgian National Tourism Administration will participate in the World Travel Market taking place in London on November 5-8. Georgia will be represented by Georgian National Tourism Administration, private sector representatives, and Georgia's national airline company. Georgia's booth number is EM1060.

World Travel Market, the leading global event for the travel industry, is the must-attend business-to-business exhibition for the worldwide travel and tourism industry. Almost 48,000 senior travel industry professionals, government ministers and international press, embark on ExCeL, London every November to network, negotiate and discover the latest industry opinion and trends at WTM.

© HTN (Hvino Tour News)

Welcome to Hvino TOUR News!

01.11.2012. Today we are pleased to officially launch our new resource Hvino TOUR NEWS Since September - during over a month's period -  Hvino TOUR NEWS  has been fully operating, and today it is finally announced.

HTN is a "junior sister" of  Hvino News, which today has a small anniversary - 6 months of operation. The team which is behind both information projects is working to deliver quality news and information to our global readership as fast as possible. We are happy to broaden our scope by including tourism and hospitality news from Georgia, and we hope to contribute in raising global awareness about Georgia's unique offers to the world.

Enjoy reading Hvino TOUR NEWS! You may also subscribe for receiving our news by e-mail (see "Subscribe" box in the right column), or follow us via FacebookTwitter, LinkedIn, or RSS.

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Minister of Regional Development: Bakhmaro, Ureki and Anaklia Projects to Continue

Photo: Commersant
30.10.2012 (HTN - Hvino Tour News) Tourism development projects started by former government in Bakhmaro, Ureki and Anaklia will continue under the new government, said Davit Narmania, Minister of Regional Development and Infrastructure to radio Commersant. Mr.Narmania stated his ministry is implementing over a thousand projects, which are now under examination. According to Mr. Narmania, development projects in projects will continue, while several entertainment projects will be downgraded to lower priority.

Before his recent ministerial appointment, Davit Narmania was Executive Director of Caucasian Institute for Economic and Social Research (CIESR). He holds a professorship and a Ph.D. degree in economics.

©  HTN (Hvino Tour News)

Monday, October 29, 2012

Sheraton Reports on Increase of Leisure Travellers to Georgia

Photo: The Financial
by Nana Mghebrishvili

29.10.2012. “The occupancy rate at the Sheraton Metechi Palace Hotel is more than 80 percent over the whole year. This has been the best year for the Hotel,” claims Andreas Heidingsfelder, General Manager at the Sheraton Metechi Palace. “More and more tourists are coming to the country and luckily many of them stay with us,” he told The Financial last week.

Q. From your point of view, how will the recent change of government influence the hotel business?

A. We can’t say for sure yet, but we will soon see. Leisure tourism has been going up over the past several years as a result of the country’s politics. The government has been actively promoting Georgia as a country for tourists to enjoy. I hope that this trend continues.

HTN publishes Wine Map of Georgia

29.10.2012. (HTN - Hvino Tour News).  Hvino TOUR News is pleased to offer to its readers the Wine Map of Georgia. This map was made available to us by the author Mr. Wojciech Bosak, who kindly provided the map and gave us permission to publish his material.
Click to Enlarge
Mr. Wojciech Bosak is wine journalist and writer from Poland. When asked him why he decided to make the Georgian wine map,  Wojciech's answer was very simple: "Previously I published several articles on Georgian wine, and when I wrote the the last one about Georgian wine appellations I just needed a map. That is the story".

You may find the map in our section Maps, and in section Appellations of Hvino Newsour sister news site on Georgian wine. Comments from wine experts about the map are always welcome. HTN would like to thank Mr. Wojciech Bosak for his contribution.

©  HTN (Hvino Tour News),  © Wojciech Bosak.

Saturday, October 27, 2012

Tbilisi leads in Hotel Valuation Index in 2012

26.10.2012 (HTN - Hvino Tour News). Leading hospitality services consulting firm HVS has published its 2012 Hotel Valuation Index for Russia, CIS and Georgia. This Index presents historical and forecasted value trends across 14 markets in former Soviet Union countries including Georgia, giving operators, investors and owners a clearer view of the region from a valuation perspective.

According to the study, Tbilisi hotel market demonstrated a 14% increase in 2012 versus just 1% in 2011. Performance of hotel market in Tbilisi is called as strong, allowing to move up three places since last year, recording a per room value at approximately €177,000. Tbilisi behaved exceptionally well in the value ranking, going up to 7th place, while most of the other markets maintained their rankings.

"Improved operational performances allowed Tbilisi to climb into the top three markets by increase in value in 2012 (14%), from €155,000 to €177,000", - point out the authors of research. "Improvements in the economic environment and investment climate in Georgia, coupled with cancellation of the visa regime for EU, US, Canadian and CIS countries' citizens assisted in developing the tourism industry. The growth in demand has offset the 11% increase in room supply in Tbilisi and resulted in a noticeable increase in occupancy (up 14%)."

HVS has forecast hotel values in Tbilisi to improve in the medium term, reaching approximately €262,000 per room in 2017.

© HTN (Hvino Tour News)

This article was reposted by: