Thursday, October 3, 2013

"Tbilisoba" to be celebrated on October 4-6

03.10.2013 (Hvino TOUR News). Tbilisoba will be held on October 4-6 this year, according to information from Tbilisi City Hall.

Tbilisoba will be opened on October 4 at Jansugh Kakhidze garden with a music band contest. On Gorgasali square the traditional pressing of grapes will be organized. Music performance “Pirosmani” will be staged for children in Abanotubani. Chess and backgammon tournaments, fruit festival, auto show, exhibition of paintings and many other events will be held.

Georgian martial art performance “Shavparosnebi”, pop music concert on Gorgasali square, concerts by the bands “Egari” and “Bani” will be held in Abanotubani. On  October 6th the award ceremony of honorary Tbilisians will be held at the historic museum of Tbilisi (Karvasla).

Tbilisoba is an annual October festival, celebrating the diversity and history of Tbilisi, the capital of Georgia. It has become an established tradition since 1970-s. The festival features open-air concerts of traditional music and dancing and various cultural events, centered on Old Tbilisi, the historical part of the city.

© Hvino TOUR News   |  DRINK GEORGIAN!

Monday, September 30, 2013

"Drink Georgian!" community is launched for fans and producers

30.09.2013 (Hvino News). "Drink Georgian!" is the simple and catchy slogan of a global community launched recently for the fans of famous Georgian drinks worldwide, as well as for producers, importers and retailers. "Drink Georgian!" (DG!) unites under a single umbrella the Georgian-made wine, spirits, mineral water and soft drinks including the famous lemonades.

The mission of "Drink Georgian!" is to offer a platform for people and businesses to show they are fans of Georgian drinks. People who like Georgian wine, spirits, mineral water and soft drinks can simply “like” the community's Facebook page; while companies, government agencies, mass media and other organizations may also display their logos on the project’s website, to show their support.

DG!'s website also offers a choice of banners with community' logo for free download. The red square buttons are available in Georgian or in English and in various sizes. They may be copied and pasted to any personal or corporate site or blog without limitations, to raise awareness about the "Drink Georgian!" community.

An important marketing advantage of DG! is that it is not directly advocating alcohol consumption. Therefore "Drink Georgian!" is not restricted by laws which impose limits on alcohol advertising, which are in force in some of the world's countries including Russia., the initiator of "Drink Georgian!"welcomes cooperation with all organizations, companies, mass media who wish to support the promotion of Georgian products and exports, as well as popularization of Georgian traditional food, drinks, culture, and lifestyle.  Inquiries may be sent to our team at Hvino News / Hvino TOUR News.

© Hvino News   |  DRINK GEORGIAN!

Thursday, September 26, 2013

Spanish companies to invest in hotel business

26.09.2013 (Hvino Tour News). Deputy Finance Minister Giorgi Tabuashvili  met with representatives of Spanish investment companies Perfako Group and Metronia. "The companies are interested in investing in the gaming and hotel business. They are interested in business environment that exists in these spheres. During the meeting, they expressed their readiness to consider concrete projects in the near future, together with Georgian partners", - said Giorgi Tabuashvili.

The Deputy Finance Minister introduced the economic situation in the country, the business environment, tax policy, as well as the regulation in the field of hotel and gambling to the guests.

According to Francis Perez, president of Perfako Group, he is very pleased with the meetings held at the ministries of economy and finance.

© HTN (Hvino Tour News)    |   DRINK GEORGIAN!

Friday, September 20, 2013

Pegasus: after Atlasjet's entry, we will decrease prices

20.09.2013. The entry of a new Turkish airline into the Georgian market  will give an incentive to prices  reduction. "Pegasus" expects such results after Atlasjet's entry in the market.

Atlasjet (Atlasjet International Airlines) will launch  daily regular flights to Istanbul starting from October 3.The airline operates domestic scheduled passenger services and regular charter flights to Europe, Kazakhstan and the United Arab Emirates. Managing Director of the company's Georgian representation Samir Khalilov said that they are not a "discounter" company, the airline offers a full-service: food and drinks on board, business - class full service and an unprecedented offer for the Georgian market – a bus  which will bring passengers free of charge to the airport from the city center.

As for the prices, for example, one-way ticket costs 77 Euro while a flight in business- class will cost  177 Euro.

According to Levan Elizbarashvili, the head of the Georgian representation of the Turkish airline "Pegasus" operating on the market,  they will offer lower prices than Atlasjet and the company will not face a  danger of losing passengers.

Friday, September 13, 2013

Hilton Worldwide announces entry into Georgia via Tbilisi and Batumi

13.09.2013 (Hvino Tour News). Hilton Worldwide on September 12th announced the signing of two management agreements which mark its entry into Georgia. Flagship brand Hilton Hotels & Resorts will debut in the coastal city of Batumi in summer 2014, whilst Georgian capital Tbilisi will be the location for a mid-market Hilton Garden Inn property in 2016. The two projects are entirely separate with different partners but jointly represent Hilton's arrival into Georgia.

Patrick Fitzgibbon, senior vice president, development, Europe & Africa, Hilton Worldwide, said, "Georgia is a growing business and leisure tourism destination and we are delighted to have reached agreement on two separate deals to bring two new world class hotel brands to the country for the first time. Hilton Worldwide is growing across Eastern Europe and we see significant potential to bring quality, branded accommodation to the region."

Georgia is enjoying a period of sustained economic growth, driven by its production of sustainable energy and inward foreign investment. Representing a frontier between Europe and Asia, it is a key strategic outpost for businesses seeking to expand further east, and thus benefits from significant demand in the meetings and events sector.

Thursday, September 12, 2013

EBRD to fund construction of first Hilton hotel in Georgia

12.09.2013 (Hvino Tour News). EBRD reported that it will allocate loan of $18.7 million for construction of middle-class Hilton Garden Inn in Tbilisi. Concept of the hotel will be developed by Redix Group. 

The project site is located on Chavchavadze Avenue, close to the city center and major corporate demand generators, and would feature 160 rooms, 1900 square meters of retail space and approximately 80 underground parking units.

There are only two international branded hotels in operation in the mid-market segment in Tbilisi and very few in the pipeline. Non-branded mid-market hotels are classified according to the local rating system and the vast majority do not meet international standards. The project will thus improve standards of accommodation and services offered at affordable rates to both leisure and business travelers. 

© HTN (Hvino Tour News)

Monday, September 9, 2013

Russian tourists help Georgia’s recovery

09.09.2013.The years leading up to the August 2008 war between Georgia and Russia saw increasing unrest and a constantly widening rift. In September 1991, the people of Tbilisi in Georgia had already blocked Russian TV and radio signals and had covered or removed signs written in the Russian language. Now, five years after the war is over, Russian troops still patrol in South Ossetia and Abkhazia, two provinces of Georgia.

Diplomatic relations between the two countries are nil, and trade agreements are strained. Despite joining the World Trade Organization, Russia still blocks produce from Georgia completely and disallows commercial travel. However, the southern country has found ways of getting around these restrictions and increased Russian tourist numbers to nearly 500,000 visitors this year.

First, Georgia has removed visa restrictions for Russians who want to visit. Second, they structure their flights as charters and continue to fly from Moscow to Tbilisi two times every day, and from Moscow to Kutaisi, Georgia's second largest city, three times per week. These measures have made Russians the most common people to visit Georgia for pleasure.

Thursday, September 5, 2013

161 new hotels opened in Georgia last year

05.09.2013 (Hvino Tour News). According to Geostat, Georgia's official statistics agency, 161 new hotels opened in Georgia in a year. Geostat informs that in 2012 777 hotels and hotel-type facilities were in Georgia, in 2011 - 611. Total number of rooms in 2012 was 14 463 units, in 2011 - 12 901.

The agency explains that this data includes legal persons and individual entrepreneurs (including local units and branches), registered as hotel or hotel-type facilities in accordance to Georgian legislation.

It's noteworthy that number of hotels has doubled compared to 2007.

According to official statistics, last year visitors' number equaled to 1 185 100 persons, which exceeds to 2011 data by 332 100 persons. Among them 665 500 were foreigners,
8561 persons were employed in the hotels and hotel-type facilities.

© HTN (Hvino Tour News)

Monday, September 2, 2013

Georgia may host general assembly of the World Tourism Organization in 2017

02.09.2013 (Hvino Tour News)In 2017, Georgia may host general assembly of the World Tourism Organization, said George Sigua, head of the Georgian National Tourism Administration, during the current assembly session in Zambia and Zimbabwe.

Speaking at the plenary session Mr. Sigua talked about the Georgian government's tourism politics, the implemented projects and future plans, as well as the open sky policy and aviation issues.

After the presentation, Sigua met with Taleb Rifai, Secretary-General of the Organization. The meeting focused on Mr. Rifai’s possible visit to Georgia, the discussion of Georgia as a host country  of General Assembly in 2017 and other topics.

During the visit George Sigua also met with the Head of the Russian Tourism Agency Alexander Radkov, Head of the State Agency for Tourism and Resorts of Ukraine Elena Shapovalova, officials of tourism departments from Turkey, Azerbaijan, Czech Republic, Iraq.

Sigua received proposal from the Government of Zambia to become the country's honorary consul in Georgia.

© HTN (Hvino Tour News)

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Education challenge facing hospitality industry

by Maia Edilashvili

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.

Monday, August 26, 2013

5 million GEL to be spent on infrastructure projects in Borjomi

26.08.2013 (Hvino Tour News)A total of 5 million GEL will be spent on infrastructure projects in Borjomi municipality in 2013. According to Borjomi district administration more than one million had been allocated from the state budget. Infrastructure Ministry would allocate additional one million 200 thousand GEL.T hey say that more than one million will be spent on rehabilitation of the Borjomi Park, 340 thousand GEL will be  spent on the arrangement of Likani sewage systems. More than one million GEL will be allocated from  the local budget on the roads, street lighting and water system works.

© HTN (Hvino Tour News)

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Two hotels opened in Tbilisi with Kazakh funding

21.08.2013 (Hvino Tour News) Georgia-Kazakh investment group “Tiflis Development" will open two new hotels in Tbilisi in September.

The names of hotels are not yet known, but one of them will be located in Abanotubani, and another in Saburtalo district. The hotel located in Abanotubani will be 4-storey building and in total 2 million USD was invested in it. The second hotel, which will be 16–storey, costed 3 million USD.

“Tiflis Development " is going to open the hotel officially  in September. Management has not yet set the pricing policy.

© HTN (Hvino Tour News)

Thursday, August 15, 2013

Stalin statue roils Georgia 60 years after dictator’s death (with video)

by James Brooke

15.08.2013. This year marks the 60th anniversary of the death of Georgia’s most famous - or infamous - son, Josef Stalin. A missing bronze Stalin statue has become a lightning rod for controversy.

For 30 years, Stalin ruled the Soviet Union with an iron fist, killing as many as 20 million people through executions, exile and man-made famines.

But here in Gori, Iosif Dzhugashvili, or Stalin, is a hometown boy. On Stalin Avenue, Gori’s Stalin Museum preserves the humble brick cottage where baby Stalin spent his first four years.

Stalin is Gori’s number-one tourist attraction. But Gori’s love affair with Stalin took a jolt three years ago. Under the cover of darkness, the pro-Western government of Mikheil Saakashvili removed a massive bronze Stalin statue from Gori’s main square.

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Georgia had 26% more tourists so far in 2013

13.08.2012. The number of people who visited Georgia has increased by 26 percent in the first seven months of 2013 compared to the same period last year.

Giorgi Sigua, Chairman of the National Tourism Administration, said at a briefing that in the first seven months 2 797 910 foreigner visitors arrived to Georgia, which was 26 percent more than last year.

Turkey is where the highest number of visitors — 911 427 — come from, followed by Armenia with 620 213, and Azerbaijan with 550 543.

The number of visitors from Europe in the first two months was 2 115 144. This is a 27 percent increase.

In July, the number of foreigners who visited Georgia was 609 189. This is 16 percent more than in July, 2012 (527 006). The highest number of visitors came from Armenia, 162 592, followed by Turkey with 139 002 and Russia with 115 871.

According to the National Tourism Administration, 4 389 256 tourists visited Georgia last year. This year the administration expects to see more than 5 million tourists in total.


Monday, August 12, 2013

Mobile guides service to help tourists launched in Tbilisi

12.08.2013 (Hvino Tour News) Starting from today, mobile guides will serve the tourists in the capital of Georgia. According to the National Tourism Administration, guides will serve visitors 3 days a week, on Friday, Saturday and Sunday.

Mobile groups in branded uniform will work in the touristic areas. They will offer printed materials and provide necessary information to tourists free of charge, the National Tourism Administration states.

The guides will circulate between Liberty Square, Rustaveli Street, Shardeni Street, Abanotubani, Narikala  from 10 AM till 8 PM.

The project is planned for a period of 2 months and will last until October.

© HTN (Hvino Tour News)

Sunday, August 11, 2013

Kutaisi gets ready for Imereti Wine Festival

11.08.2013 (Hvino News). Preparations for Imereti Wine Festival are ongoing in the city of Kutaisi. The city will host guests of the festival in the vicinity of Okros Chardakhi. Okros Chardakhi (Golden Marquee) is the only surviving structure of the 17th century palace of the kings of Imereti in Kutaisi./

Imereti Wine Festival -2013 is organized by Georgian Presidential Administration. Similar event was held in Shida Kartli, and will take place in other regions of Georgia as well.

Wine Festival aims at popularization of Georgian wines and preservation of unique vine species. It will contribute to attraction of entrepreneurs and selling of Georgian wines both on domestic and international markets.

© Hvino News

Saturday, August 10, 2013

Investment of half billion Georgian lari is planned in tourism

10.08.2013 (Hvino Tour News) Giorgi Sigua, head of Georgian Tourism Administration, reports that about 500 million lari (approx. 250 million EUR) will be invested in different infrastructure projects. "We want to rise tourism's share in GDP up to 6.5% (currently, 4.5%) and later - up to 9%", he stated.

According to Mr. Sigua, serious investment is planned in Anaklia resort. Companies, which want to invest in Anaklia, will be exempted from taxes for 10-15 years, he says.

The Administration plans to build ski slope of 10-12 km in Mestia, which must be completed before March 2014.

Besides, the Administration says that rehabilitation of Tskaltubo would be completed with financial support from the World Bank.

© HTN (Hvino Tour News)

Friday, August 9, 2013

24/7 hotline to help tourists

09.08.2013. With the goal to help foreign visitors receive reliable information easily, the Georgian National Tourism Administration (GNTA) initiated a 24/7 hotline. So, starting in August all interested travelers both local and international can call 0 800 800 909 and receive information free-of- charge about transportation and the best places stay and eat.

In addition, visitors can also receive information about hiking tours, planned national festivals, events and other activities. The GNTA says that visitors will be informed about the hotline immediately after they cross the Georgian border.

According to the GNTA, at the first stage, the hotline is available only in three languages: Georgian, English and Russian, but the team hopes to add other languages soon.