|Tourism and Georgia: conference about this issue|
|July 04, 2008|
July 4, 2008
A conference on Georgian tourism was held in Sheraton Metechi Palace Hotel on July 3. The conference addressed legislative problems in the tourism business sector, the problems of infrastructure and the national lack of qualified people working in tourism.
Tourism experts outlined their recommendations and gave advice to the tourism and airline companies and the government on how to alliviate these problems and increase tourism in Georgia.
According to Dr Nika Kvaratskhelia, a historian and tourism academic, tourism companies try to cover too wide a range of types of tourism, instead of becoming experts in one or two areas.
Kvaratskhelia said: “Georgia has great potential to develop the cultural tourism, business tourism, agro tourism and other types tourism. That [concentrating on one type] would be a better approach for the development of this field.”
Dr Marina Metreveli is the chief advisor to the parliamentary economic committee, an expert in tourism issues, and a doctor of science. She has worked with the government for three terms now, and has been trying to amend legislature in the field of tourism for the past nine years.
Metreveli said: “Tourism is one of the most important ways of developing the economy of the country, especially for Georgia because this country has great potential to develop a diverse range of tourism. If I take only the results into consideration, I would have to give a negative evaluation of this field, as I have seen no real progress.” According to her, the only solution for this problem is to amend the 1997 legislation in this field as it is now outdated.
Zaur Nachkhebia, the head of the board of directors of the academic journal ‘Business and Legislation,’ said that 1,200,000 tourists came to Georgia last year. “But the statistics are not exact because we even do not have the definition of the term ‘tourist.’ These statistics show how many foreigners came here but we do not know what their purpose was,” said Nachkhebia. According to him, the government of Georgia should work on the policy in this field.
The conference was attended by 15 tourist companies, airline companies, representatives of the Tourism Department and politicians. The conference was organized by the monthly academic journal ‘Business and Legislature’ (‘biznesi da kanonmdebloba’) and sponsored by Elite Electronics.
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