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Four major hotel brands opening in Tbilisi

By M. Alkhazashvili
(Translated by Diana Dundua)
Thursday, April 17
Tbilisi will see no fewer than four new hotels open soon.

Radisson SAS, Hilton, Hyatt and Kempinski are all planning to open branches in the capital over the next three or four years, collectively taking the total number of hotel rooms up to around 7000, the newspaper Bankebi da Finansebi reports.

Beka Jakeli, who heads the planning division of the Department of Tourism and Resorts, says that some 63 percent of hotel guests come to town for business reasons.

The emphasis on quality hotels, Jakeli adds, is necessary for Tbilisi to accommodate business meetings and conferences as the country develops its business sector.

Indeed, government officials have repeatedly stated their aim to make Georgia a financial center in the region. Earlier this week, President Mikheil Saakashvili inaugurated the creation of a free economic zone at Poti port, hailing the project as a “golden” beginning for the country.

Another stated priority of the government is increasing tourism, however, some tourists agents are complaining that pricey hotels take away from the country’s appeal as a holidaying destination.