28.08.2013. Despite a love for guests, Georgians have struggled to overcome their Soviet past and create efficient, professional -- and civil -- hospitality staff for the growing number of tourists coming to the country. A new program by Tbilisi City Hall, however, hopes to increase standards and create a warm welcome for tourists and locals alike.
Being a gracious host is an art form in Georgia, where being hospitality is a considered a birthright and nurtured from childhood. But despite the priority placed on hosting at home, in the commercial sector, Georgians are still struggling to create a culture of hospitality.
Hotels that lack basic amenities, boring tour guides, and cafés with surly wait staff that serve more snark than sandwiches may mar otherwise fabulous trips to gorgeous Georgian destinations.
A 2011 Value Chain Assessment report from USAID's Economic Prosperity Initiative (EPI) found several reasons for these problems, including the fact that workers are undertrained, young people are uninterested working in the service industry, and employers are reluctant to hire potential employees over the age of 40.