Casinos in Adjara
By Messenger Staff
Wednesday, December 30Adjara has started attracting winter season tourists, and economists think this is the consequence of a November 6 decision of the Georgian Parliament to abolish excise fees for casinos in hotels with more than 100 rooms, meaning such hotels no longer have to pay a quarter of a million GEL a year to have casinos in them and can use this money to improve services. Two smaller hotels in Batumi, the Inturist and Tanamgzavri, are currently doing building work to increase their number of rooms to 100 and thus save money in the coming year and attract more visitors to spend money in their casinos.
In 2010 three more world famous chains will open hotels in Batumi, Marriott, Hilton and Hyatt. In 2009 more than half a million tourists visited Adjara. Many tourists, mainly from Israel, come to Batumi specifically to gamble in the casinos.
The Georgian Government considers tourism to be a priority economic sector and thus it assists this industry. It is envisaged that by 2012 Georgia could be hosting more than 2 million tourists and if it does not take quick and efficient steps to enlarge its hotel network there could be a deficit of rooms. To host 2 million tourists the country needs 20,000 rooms, but currently there are only 10,000 available.