Mikheil Saakashvili spoke about the development of tourism in Georgia at the World Tourism Organization Conference
The President of Georgia attended the World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) Forum today and addressed its participants. During his address Mikheil Saakashvili spoke about the importance of holding such events in Georgia and noted that our country is becoming a regional center in this regard. He also touched on the prospects and the rate of tourism development in Georgia. According to him, the reforms implemented in the country and the emerging investment climate is a prerequisite for advancement of this sphere. In its turn, tourism development according to Mikheil Saakashvili is a prerequisite for developing our economy and employing people along with having a political importance and creating security guarantees.
The Head of State also touched on the simplified procedures for entering Georgia. He stressed that Georgia made a constructive unilateral decision with respect to Russia under conditions in which it is practically impossible for Georgian citizens to obtain a Russian visa. Georgia established visa free travel for Russian citizens. According to him, this step has brought incredible results – the number of Russian tourists has doubled in this period. The President stated that the increased number of Russian tourists in Georgia is very important, because this way more Russians will see for themselves the truth about Georgia and spread this back home. Mikheil Saakashvili also spoke about the occupation of Georgian regions. As he noted, despite everything, our country is developing in every direction, which is a result of the fact that Georgia is at the same time open in every direction.
“Many residents of Georgia sacrificed their lives in order to defeat Fascism during the Second World War. Georgia was in first place of former Soviet countries in terms of per capita casualties. The cynicism of today’s situation is expressed in the fact that occupants have appeared in the territory of the former Soviet Union. I would like to remind you that according to the resolution of the European Parliament and many other international resolutions, Russia is occupying an important part of Georgian territories. Russia has reached a point where it is named by international terminology as an occupant of a country with which it defeated Fascist occupants and this is a humiliation of the Russian people by the government of Russia. “– stated the leader of the country.
During the address he also touched on the rehabilitation process taking place across the entire country and named development of the Adjara region as an example. According to him, despite the fact that Batumi was one of the most lagging cities several years ago, it has become an object of interest for the largest developers and investors of the world because of it’s incredible pace of development.
The President of Georgia also spoke to the guests about the construction of a new city, Lazika. This initiative according to him, envisions giving a special status to the city and accordingly, establishing a special form of governance there. There will be a special norm of holding civil disputes as well, which will make this place more attractive for investments. Mikheil Saakashvili also touched on the economic projects planned in Lazika. According to him, this place is close to the railway, the international airport, which makes it best for building a seaport. Accordingly, as the President stated, this city should be given a new status of development.
“Lazika is of course an economic project, which should become the main force of developing the places around the entire region…we need one more additional point - a logistical base which will lead us to Europe” – noted the President of Georgia.
Mikheil Saakashvili also spoke about developing the summer and winter resort zones. He familiarized the participants of the conference with the medicinal properties of Georgian natural resources and spoke about prospects of places like Borjomi, Abastumani, Sairme, Tskaltubo and others. According to the President, these resorts must become the most popular at least around the Post Soviet space. The Head of State focused attention on the infrastructural projects in the winter resorts and especially noted the prospects of Gudauri, Bakuriani, high mountainous Adjara and Svaneti, where the mountain skiing infrastructure is already being installed.
Additionally, Mikheil Saakashvili familiarized the attending audience with the initiatives which are being implemented in order to popularize Georgian wine. The President thinks that the tourists must have an opportunity to find out about Georgian wine and its history at the airport. Based on the new initiative, upon arrival, foreign guests should receive Georgian wine in small bottles with a small annotation providing information about Georgia and the fact that our country is the homeland of wine.
Mikheil Saakashvili finished his address by mentioning the formation of tourist retraining centers, which are being built in order to train professional personnel. According to the President, training qualified specialist is a decisive factor for a country of such tourism ambition.
The World Tourism Organization represents an important global body holding most of the countries of the world as members. Up to 80 delegates from 25 countries attended the forum. The President of Georgia congratulated the world war two veterans on the 67th year since the victory over fascism. Mikheil Saakashvili personally thanked each one of them for their devotion and relentless fight against evil and injustice.