Saakashvili Promotes Georgia in France
By Messenger Staff
Friday, December 9"Batumi and Anaklia are reminiscent of Cannes and Nice" the President of Georgia Mikheil Saakashvili said at a ceremony of the American Academy Award in Cannes, where Georgia won three nominations as a tourist destination. Saakashvili says that Batumi originally was built by the same architect who built Nice.
“He stayed in Georgia and died there. You can see the most beautiful architecture of the 19th century in this city, but there are a lot of modern buildings there. Distinguished Italian, German, British and Georgian architects worked on developing the city. Georgia is a country where you can ski and swim at the same day. The temperature is a half grade different from Cannes in Batumi. It means that the summer season lasts almost six months. The water is also warm and I think this is the only place on the Black Sea coast with palms and such beautiful beaches”, the president said.
Saakashvili said that Batumi has undergone a lot of changes in the last five years.
“When I first became president, Georgia received 120,000 tourists annually. Last year, 2 million tourists arrived, this year – almost 3 million. Next year we expect 4 million, and 5 million the year after. The country’s tourism potential is 10 million tourists at least. It is an immense change and the reason why Adjara is so special to us, with its old culture. The Argonauts arrived in Georgia to take the Golden Fleece, when it had a civilization to rival Greece. It is also interesting that we have the fourth, fifth, sixth and seventh century temples. You can see a lot of cultural monuments protected by UNESCO. You can see a country that speaks English. We invited 10,000 English language teachers. They teach English in Georgia and people speak it well. They also know other languages, so this is a European country. The hospitality of the country is also very important. There are more Georgian restaurants in the former Soviet countries now. We developed Batumi, and Anaklia with its sandy beach. It is a combination of Nice and Cannes, as they are of the same distance from each other. A city that resembles Nice continues with a boulevard like in Cannes, though Anaklia’s boulevard is longer than that of Cannes”, the president said.
He also said that construction of a new city, Lazika is starting, aimed at increasing the economic and tourism potential of the country.
“We have a developed Mestia’s ski resort, where you can ski almost all summer. I took [Italian skier) Alberto Tomba there in August and then he swam in the Black Sea which was very warm at that time. Now he opened a school there. There are about 400 towers from the 10th and 11th centuries in Mestia - it is the Dubai of the 10th and 11th centuries”, he said. The president addressed the people and invited them to come to Georgia and visit special places in Georgia that will act as souvenirs throughout their lives.