The President of Georgia visited Stepantsminda
The President of Georgia visited Kazbegi today. Mikheil Saakashvili toured an new medical center in Stepantsminda built by an insurance company “GPI Holding.” Mikheil Saakashvili also spoke to the medical personnel and expressed interest in the local conditions. The insurance company has already opened several hospitals within the scope of the hospital sector development program. The Kazbegi 15 bed hospital, which is equipped with ultramodern technology became functional in December. The clinic offers locals ambulatory, surgery, and emergency medical care. It also has a maternity department. 34 highly qualified specialists are employed at the clinic and up to 30 specialists are providing emergency care for the local population.
Mikheil Saakashvili also met with the population gathered around the center and spoke to them about the necessity of developing the region.
After the meeting with population the President of Georgia toured the construction process of another hotel of a new Georgian brand “Rooms Hotel.” He spoke with the people employed at the construction and focused attention on the local prospects of employment.
“There is a small amount of human resources in Kazbegi. It is basically necessary for people to return to Kazbegi. There will soon be a customs and transit infrastructure here. The gorge will revive. It is very important for specialists to raise their qualifications and this process has already begun – they are retraining at the new “Holiday Inn”. At this point 75 specialists are taking these courses, but their number will increase in the future. Last year, tourists lived in almost every family here. There shall be no problems regarding the issue of tourism in Kazbegi. There was always a problem of selling agricultural products here. But now, the population will not have enough products for themselves because they will sell all of the production. Aside from this, all of the businesses, cafes, and restaurant will be fully loaded. We now only have to move towards making the infrastructure better. The construction of the new tunnel will take about 3 years but once it’s finished, Kazbegi will become a small suburb of Tbilisi. This will be a miracle – a miracle connected to Tbilisi. You can see this place from Tbilisi, but it also has to be connected to Tbilisi by a road” – stated the President of Georgia.
The 156 room hotel “Rooms Kazbegi” will host the first tourists at the beginning of the season, in June. At this point there are 200 specialists employed at the construction of the hotel and up to 250 will be employed at the hotel once it’s finished. Most of them will be local citizens. The hotel is being built fully though Georgian investment.
The Head of State also arrived at the Larsi border checkpoint and personally greeted the visitors coming to Georgia from Russia. Mikheil Saakashvili familiarized himself with the checkpoint’s work and spoke to the newly arrived tourists from Russia, who no longer require visas to enter Georgia.
“188 thousand persons crossed this border last year. 400-500 thousand people will cross this border alone this year. After building the tunnel number may increase to 700-800 thousand or even up to a million people. If each person leaves at least several hundred USD here, our economy will grow significantly. “– noted Mikheil Saakashvili.
The tourists thanked the President of Georgia for the warm welcome and took memorable photos with him. The Larsi border checkpoint will soon be widened making it more comfortable and decreasing the waiting time at the crossing.