The messenger logo

How about the winter season?

Wednesday, October 22
Due to the Russian aggression the 2008 summer tourist season in Georgia failed.

More than a million tourists were expected to take their holidays in Georgia this summer, and this figure was quite a realistic one, as recently the number of holidaymakers here has increased every year. Now the question of the winter tourist season arises. As ever, state officials are optimistic that it will be a success but independent experts are rather skeptical.

There are 2 winter resorts in Georgia, Bakuriani and Gudauri. Around 70 % of holidaymakers in these villages come from Tbilisi, the rest from other cities of Georgia and some foreign countries. So far 80 per cent of foreigners coming to ski in Georgia are from Ukraine but the numbers of tourists from Baltic countries is increasing.

The Tourist Department of Georgia is optimistic, estimating that the country will attract more holidaymakers, either domestic or foreign, this year. Independent experts however think that attracting domestic tourists will be difficult for financial reasons. Winter sports, equipment, hotels and entertainment are expensive, and due to the current acute economic situation analysts feel domestic tourists are unlikely to go to the resorts in large numbers.

The Tourism Department is however carrying out special promotional activities to attract foreign tourists, and in late October a special press tour will be conducted in Georgia for journalists from Latvia, Lithuania, Estonia, Poland and Ukraine. Let us hope that at least the winter season will be successful for the tourist industry in Georgia.