Tourism Industry

A picturesque nature, landscapes Great Caucasian Ridge, subtropical zone of the Black Sea, rivers and waterfalls, cave towns, resorts and mineral springs, urbanized cities and settlements, and traditional Georgian hospitality make Georgia the country of tourism. As a tourist destination Georgia has much to offer:

Diverse Nature. With a territory of 64 700 sq. KM. Georgia includes 330 km of subtropical Black sea coast, extensive agricultural regions and alpine valleys with dramatic mountains such as Shkhara (5198m) and Kazbek (5048m). 38,6% of the country is forest. It has 19 nature reserves, 860 lakes, numerous waterfalls and more than 25 000 rivers whose total length is 54 768 km.

Numerous Historic Monuments and Rich Ethnographic Resources. Georgia has 12 000 historical monuments and 150 museums: medieval towers pepper the sub alpine zones, and some of the cathedrals, churches, monasteries and some of the cathedrals, churches, monasteries and bridges date as far back into the past as the VI-V millennium B.C.

Resorts and mineral springs.  The diverse climatic conditions in Georgia give a tremendous potential for tourist resort development. Already there are almost all kinds of mineral waters with more than 2000 springs.

The most widespread type of mineral water is carbonic acid. It belongs to curative mineral waters such as: Borjomi, Nabeglavi and Sairme.

Borjomi sodium carbonate mineral waters are mainly used as a curative drink, for medical baths, inhalation and lavage of stomach and intestine.

Other balneal resorts are Sairme, Utsera, Surami, Nabeglavi and the world famous Tskhaltubo, which has no comparison around the world due to its mineral-radon water with a natural temperature of  +33-35 0C which allows the water   to be used without preliminary heating. The mineral water is used as an effective treatment for rheumatism, locomotor organs, neurological, gynecological and cardiovascular diseases. Tskhaltubo has 20 large health centers, first class baths, diagnostic and therapeutic clinics and laboratories. The mild climate and warm winter attract tourists annually.

Within the mountain balneology-climatic resort are – Abastumani, Tsagveri, Tsemi, Java, Kojori, Kiketi, and Manglisi at a height of 1000-1500 m.

In highland resorts at a height of 1500-2000m. – Shovi, Bakhmaro, Lebarde and Audkhara, many illnesses are successfully cured: pulmonary tuberculosis, bronchial asthma, anemia, some forms of cardio-vascular diseases, neurosis etc.

Many resorts are located on the coast of the Black Sea – Gagra, Pitsunda, Novi Afon, Sukhumi, Batumi, Kobuleti, Makhinjauri, Mtsvane Kontskhi, Ureki and others. The climate here is subtropical, with mild winters and long hot summers. The sea-bathing season lasts for 5-6 months. The sea climate is effective for the treatment of circulation and respiratory organs, functional disorders of the nervous system, as well as for relaxation.

As for the resorts of Abkhazia, which have a great potential, the unstable political situation created by the separatist local government deters the development of tourism.

In winter Georgia attracts tourists to its famous mountain-skiing resort centers – Gudauri and Bakuriani, where from November till April there is permanent snow.

Gudauri is situated on the old Georgian Military Highway, 2000 meters above sea level and is surrounded by the Caucasian Mountains. Here one can find modern hotels and chalets. Gudauri is both a sport and spa-resort. The mountain slopes are covered in snow until April and there are excellent conditions for skiing and other forms of winter sports

Bakuriani is situated in Borjomi Ravine, 1 700 meters above sea level. This is a splendid area, surrounded by coniferous forests. It is a resort where many international winter sport tournaments take place. Skiing, ski jumping, tobogganing and a variety of other sports can be enjoyed in this favored corner of Georgia.

To complete the picture of Georgian resorts, we should also mention the fact that Georgia is rich in curative Mud. The most popular is pseudo volcanic mud of lake Kumisi, which is used in the Tbilisi Balneal resort. They are used for the treatment of locomotor organs, peripheral nervous and gynecological diseases.

Folklore and Ancient customs.  The culture and traditions of Georgia are both Oriental and Occidental, a combination of Europe and Asia. The higher mountainous regions have remained largely unaffected by modern civilization, and local people maintain ancient customs, craftsmanship, hospitality and the tradition of tost-making at “supras” – or feasts.

Undisturbed Endemic Flora and Fauna. The Georgian countryside is unusually well preserved and rich in diversity. Endemic Flora and fauna remains of great interest both to scientist and tourists.

Out of the world’s 6 000 different species of flora, 4 100 are found in the Caucasus. Of these more than 20% - are endemic to Georgia. They spread themselves across Georgia’s remote and undeveloped pastures and gorges. Among Georgia’s endemic species is the famous Galantus, which in spite of its short life can be found from January through June. Other well-known species such as campanula and Primula are common across Georgia. Amateur naturalists will discover some outstanding flora preserved in Georgia`s stunningly beautiful landscape.

Food, Wine and Georgian Cuisine.  Georgia, the country that invented wine, today produces more than 250 fine wines. Both delicious and ecologically sound, most of food in Georgia is organic.

Hospitality. This is a fundament of Georgian culture, which affects every faset of life. The guest is considered to be a `gift from God` - and quite rightly so. For Georgians, being host is not only an honor but also a real pleasure, and continues a centuries-old tradition.

Activities relating to tourism in Georgia include the following:

-Cultural tourism: archaeology, history, agriculture, ethnography;

-Adventurous tourism:  trekking, mountaineering; skiing, horseback riding: mountain-biking etc.;

- Eco Tourism: (Bird wathing, Botany, Active Eco tours:

- Agro Tourism;

- Special interest tourism (wine and gourmand tours, photography,etc.);

- Resorts and recreational tourism;

- Conventions and Conferences;

The new face of tourism in Georgia now offers great opportunities for investors. These include hotels and other accommodation facilities, catering, transportation, communication, information technologies, convention facilities, sport and recreation facilities, as well as financial services. In fact every field of tourism-related business is now looking for investment and expertise.

Now is the time to invest in Georgia.

Geneva, Switzerland, 1 March 2007 –  The World Economic Forum released ranking of the Travel & Tourism Competitiveness Report 2007. The rankings are based on the first-ever Travel & Tourism Competitiveness Index (TTCI) covering 124 countries around the world. The TTCI measures the factors and policies that make it attractive to develop the T&T sector in different countries. For estimations the following 13 factors were used: 1. Policy rules and regulations; 2. Environmental regulation; 3. Safety and security; 4. Health and hygiene; 5. Prioritization of travel and tourism; 6. Air transport infrastructure; 7. Ground transport infrastructure; 8. Tourism infrastructure; 9. Information and communication technology (ICT) infrastructure; 10. Price competitiveness; 11. Human capital; 12. National tourism perception; 13. Natural and cultural resources.

According to the above mentioned ranking Georgia is in 66th place from evaluated 124 countries and left back such countries as Kuwait, Russian Federation, China, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Romania, Ukraine, Moldova, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyz Republic and others.

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