Georgia, the country claiming to be the birthplace of wine, is one of the most beautiful countries on earth and a marvellous canvas for walkers, riders, cyclists, rafters and travellers of any kind (Lonely Planet). Wine tourism, mountain tourism, sustainable tourism, have been the key themes of international conferences and events, showing the leadership of Georgia in the tourism industry. A must see country not only for visitors but for tourism planners, strategists and investors as well. I will present PM4SD next week to the key stakeholders of the Georgian tourism value chain within the framework of 2017 International Year of Sustainable Tourism for Development.
“2017 is a unique opportunity to promote the contribution of tourism to achieving the future we want – and also to determine, together, the exact role tourism plays in the sustainable development agenda, to and beyond 2030″(UNWTO Secretary General, Taleb Rifai).
“With the launch of the International Year of Sustainable Tourism for Development we once again emphasize that our nations all face common global challenges, which can only be resolved through advancing relations and furthering partnerships. By introducing this initiative, we have highlighted that Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) are the focal point for future development, and will guide us to create long-term assets, and prevent relevant liabilities.” (Prime Minister of Georgia, Giorgi Kvirikashvili, Jan 2017)
Georgian Chamber of Commerce and Industry and IHK for Munich and Upper Bavaria, through a common project, want to support the 2017 International Year of Sustainable Tourism for Development and the Georgian tourism businesses and its stakeholders by providing proven know how about sustainable tourism – starting in Tbilisi, in Imereti and Adjara AR. Within this context PM4SD has been selected as international standard to modernize the VET system in line with the VET Development Strategy 2013-20. The one week event includes: organized meetings, info events and lectures, together with the stakeholders, from the industry, the public sector, the knowledge community and the civil society, we will build, through PM4SD, a roadmap of policies and actions for sustainable tourism in Georgia.
Georgia is building its sustainable tourism path. Just few days ago more than 300 participants from 32 countries gathered for the 3rd World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) conference “The potential of mountain tourism”. Opening the event, Prime Minister of Georgia Giorgi Kvirikashvili said: “It is significant to note that mountains make up more than 65% of the country’s landscape, and the government has been active in effectively using the aforementioned resource and advancing opportunities in tourism. According to various studies, Georgian ski destinations have the potential to generate more than 300 million US dollars in revenues from visitors. In this light, the Government of Georgia has focused considerable financial resources on sustainable development of the country’s mountain destinations, including implementation of major infrastructural projects.”
Prior to the UNWTO conference, eight companies and associations joined the Private Sector Commitment to the UNWTO Global Code of Ethics for Tourism: Adjara Group Hospitality; Caucasus Travel; Explore Georgia; Georgian Events, Georgian Incoming Tour Operators Association; Georgian Tourism Association (GTA); Living Roots; and Tourist Agency ‘VisitGeorgia’.
The 67th annual AIEST conference will take place in Tbilisi (3rd – 7th Sept). For more information you can visit the Aiest website here.
Last year the World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) in collaboration with the Georgian National Tourism Administration, organized the 1st UNWTO Global Conference on Wine Tourism, which was held in the Kakheti wine region of Georgia on 7-9 September 2016.
The event convened over 200 participants including representatives from the Ministries, Destination Management Organizations (DMOS), National Tourism Organizations (NTOS), and tourism experts from nearly 50 countries. It offered a unique opportunity to discover the richness of local Georgian culture and to exchange innovative ideas to promote wine tourism between destinations, a key component of gastronomy tourisdm and a growing pillar in the strategies of diversification of many destinations.
To discover more about the travel experience in Georgia click here.
I will start my journey tomorrow, my first time in Georgia, and I’m sure it will be a very rich experience.