Two weeks ago the Prime Minister of Georgia, Giorgi Kvirikashvili, mentioned with pride the growing number of tourists (3 400 000 people) in the country throughout the last 7 months, which is 11% higher than last year’s index.

“It is a welcoming fact that the number of tourists from neighboring countries as well as the EU member states is increasing,” said Kvirikashvili hoping that this trend will continue. The PM also noted that the country should work hard to prepare local infrastructure for the inflow next year.

The Georgian National Tourism Administration (GNTA) claimed in an interview with the OBSERVER that Georgia will become a premier, year-round, high quality tourist destination by 2025.

“Our main target markets are neighboring countries: Azerbaijan, Turkey, Russia and Armenia and other countries in which administration promotes Georgia as a tourist destination,” said Eka Soselia, the Media Manager at the GNTA.

According to her, Marketing campaigns include outdoor, TV, digital and print media in 14 countries. 

Georgia is a year round destination offering a variety of tourism possibilities such as:  Culture, Food and Drink and many activities and adventure in both winter and summer.

“We are trying to convert cultural products into tourism products. Since the best we could offer is our authentic and extraordinary culture,” said Soselia.

Culture

You are about to discover a country rich in history, tradition, pride, and friendship. A land so pleasant, rich and fertile that it is home to the earliest remains of modern man found outside of Africa, dated to be nearly 2 million years old. From these early Georgians, living in the shadows of the mighty Caucasus Mountains, to the Ancient Greek myth of Jason and the Argonauts’ search for the Golden Fleece, the Kings and Queen that converted Georgia to Christianity in the 4th century AD and the events of the 20th and 21st centuries, Georgia has an amazing story to tell. Whether you visit our ancient cave cities, marvel at the highest settlements in Europe or experience the sights and sounds of our brilliant theatre, food, arts, wine and music, Georgia will capture a place in your heart forever.

Food and Drink

Nothing tells you more about the spirit and culture of a country than its native food and wine. And Georgia’s food and wine is amongst the best in the world. It may surprise you to know that Georgia has the oldest continuous unbroken tradition of wine making in the world, stretching back over 8,000 years and today, there are more than 500 indigenous grape varieties still cultivated here. A quick look at its geographical position and its landscape shows you why it is the perfect place for growing grapes.

Georgian cuisine offers a variety of dishes, with liberal use of various traditional herbs and spices. Each historical province of Georgia has its own distinct culinary tradition, such as Megrelian, Kakhetian, and Imeretian cuisines. And while meat plays an important part in Georgian food, very close attention is also paid to the locally produced salads, vegetables, fruit and greens. Many people come to Georgia and marvel at the sweet tasting produce and wonder how such flavour can be grown here. Again, the secret is in our history, location and soil type. A visit to Georgia is a true feast – let us show you how to eat and drink your way around Georgia.

Winter in Georgia

Ski in Georgia

There’s nothing better than getting to the top of a ski lift, breathing in the cold, pure air and gazing across the snowy peaks, realising that you are about to ski down the side of a mighty mountain. Here in Georgia we are lucky enough to have some of the most impressive and highest mountains in Europe, with the highest peak, Shkhara in the Svaneti region, reaching 5,193 metres. The skiing is equally impressive  and continuing upgrades and investments mean that our traditional resorts of Gudauri and Bakuriani are equal to international standards while our brand new resort of Mestia will be one of the most advanced resorts in the world. New runs are being opened every year, but if on-piste isn’t enough for you we are one of the few countries in the world that allows heli-skiing. The opportunities to heli-ski in Georgia are virtually limitless and it is probably the most exhilarating activity an advanced skier can do, anywhere in the world. For the best moments of your skiing life, come to Georgia.

Summer in Georgia

The Black Sea Coast

When your summer break is nearing, it’s time to think of the Black Sea coast of Georgia; sunshine, sea, snow-capped peaks, fabulous friends, food and wine. Whatever your perfect summer holiday, Georgia has it all.

Adventure

Georgia is perfectly designed for the ultimate adventure holiday.

Stride through some of the highest, most dramatic mountain scenery in Europe; hang glide off high cliffs; white-water raft down glacier-fed wild rivers; bike along barely used tracks and ride horses across plains untouched since the early days of the Silk Road.

Walking and Trekking; Paragliding; Horse Riding; 4×4 Adventure; Mountaineering; Mountain Biking; Rafting;  Caving; Bird Watching; Ballooning.

Future of Georgian Tourism

Georgia Tourism Strategy 2025, outlines the vision for the development of the country’s tourism sector for the next 10 years:

By 2025, Georgia will be well known as a premier, year-round, high quality tourism destination, centred on its unique cultural and natural heritage, world-class customer service, and timeless tradition of hospitality. Georgia will be at the forefront of tourism competitiveness, through strategic investments in infrastructure, education, marketing, and the development of unique Georgian visitor experiences that appeal to high-value markets around the globe. Tourism will significantly increase its contribution to Georgian economic growth and development, through increases in visitor spending. The focus will be on the quality and diversity of visitor arrivals, not the total number of visitors.

With this, the GNTA has selected 8 strategic objectives, 50 priority actions and over 100 activities, which will be oriented on development of the country’s tourism potential.  Overall, within the next few years, Georgia will progressively focus its efforts to diversify markets, raise awareness about the country throughout the world, assist the private sector in creating higher quality and niche tourist products, further stimulate the domestic tourism market, conduct training and capacity building exercises to improve the service quality in the country; and with this, place higher emphasis  on increasing the contribution of tourism to the country’s economy.

By Viktorya Muradyan

Source: http://www.observer.com

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