President of the World Bank has named Georgia among the most successful countries regarding its tourism and infrastructure development.
Georgia’s achievements in a tourism development were applauded at the World Bank Group Tourism Forum 2015, held on December 8-9 in Washington DC.
The website of the World Bank announced that it may be somewhat surprising, that Georgia has only recently developed a long-term strategy for its tourism industry.
“For many years the country had a vision, certainly, but no clear and well-designed strategy that it could implement and monitor,” the World Bank noted.
According to the website, the tourism development strategy was established by the Government of Georgia with the support of the World Bank Group.
Georgia Tourism Strategy 2015-2025 is a 10-year vision and strategic plan for increasing the value and importance of tourism for the benefit of the country’s economy and ultimately its citizens.
“It contributes to the achievement of the World Bank Group’s twin goals in Georgia. The plan was formulated through a partnership between the government and the private sector with a view to maximizing tourist satisfaction, diversifying market and products, increasing the size and profitability of the industry in a sustainable way, and maximizing opportunities for job creation,” the World Bank website reads.
According to the World Bank between 2009 and 2013, Georgia achieved one of the fastest growth rates of tourism globally: total visits to the country increased by more than 300 percent, from 1.5 million to 5.4 million. Total tourism revenues increased from approximately $475 million to $1.8 billion, or more than 20 times the global average during the same period.
Minister of Economy and Sustainable Development of Georgia Dimitri Kumsishvili emphasized that Georgia’s National Tourism Strategy outlines the vision for the development of the industry until 2025.
“The Government of Georgia will progressively focus its efforts on diversifying tourism markets, raising awareness about the country, assisting the private sector in creation of higher quality and niche tourism product, improving service quality and further stimulating the domestic tourism market. With this, development of infrastructure and attraction of new investments will be the driving force of advancement and progress within the industry,” he said.
Georgia’s National Tourism Strategy for ten years was presented jointly by the Ministry of Economy and Sustainable Development of Georgia and GNTA on December 4, 2015 to representatives of the country’s tourism and travel industry, government, donors, and civil society organizations.
“The purpose of the Strategy is to create a road map increasing the value, profitability, and sustainability of Georgia’s tourism industry. It also aims to define and implement a plan for converting Georgia’s tourism assets into world-class tourism products and visitor experiences that will attract tourist from some of the world’s highest spending travel markets, including the European Union, North America, and East Asia,” Mercy Tembon, World Bank Regional Director for the South Caucasus said.
According to the forecast of the World Bank, by the 2025 Georgia will become well-known as a premier, year-round, high-quality tourism destination, centered on its unique cultural and natural heritage, world-class customer service, and timeless tradition of hospitality.
Photo: World Bank Website