Georgia – diverse opportunities for each tourist

According to the latest report of the Georgian National Tourism Administration, in January – October, 2017 the number of international arrivals in Georgia reached 6,430,824, showing an increase of 18.8% compared to the same period of previous year. The majority of foreign travelers were from Azerbaijan, Armenia, Russia, Turkey and Iran.

The arrivals were also increased among the citizens of the countries from the European Union, such as Britain, Austria, the Netherlands, France and Germany. Exceptional growth in arrivals was recorded of citizens from the following countries: Saudi Arabia +171.5%, Kuwait +150.3%, Iran +122.8%, Republic of Korea +88.1%, Uzbekistan +75.4%, India +70% and China +56.9%.

The expenditures of foreign visitors to Georgia have a significant effect on the balance of payments, and approximately 64.3% of Georgia’s service export revenue comes from the tourism industry.

Georgia is offering to the tourists famous Hotel chains: Courtyard by Marriott, Biltmore Tbilisi, Hotels & Preference Hualing Tbilisi, Mercure, Millennium Hotel, Hilton Hotels & Resorts, Holiday Inn, Sheraton Hotels and Resorts, Radisson Hotels.

Georgia is attractive for tourists in many directions, especially for Wine Tourism and Ecotourism. Georgia is one of the oldest wine regions in the world and winemaking is deeply integrated in the culture of the country. The oldest archaeological remains related to grape seeds and winemaking dating back 8,000 years have been found in Georgia, while today the country cultivates over 500 varieties of grape.

Ecotourism in Georgia offers adventurous routs and every season is special for its unique opportunities to discover country. 41% of Georgia’s territory is covered by forests, with 25% of Georgia’s territory lying within protected national parks. Protected areas of Georgia offer various services including: bird-watching, boating tours, hiking, Eco-educational tours, biking, horse riding, safari tours and sport fishing.

Batumi and Tbilisi are a key gambling spots in the region, as many of the surrounding countries face serious bans on this industry. The focus on gambling, results in a higher number of visitors and this industry plays a major role in the country’s touristic strategy.

Business tourism has drastically increased last years, as many investors and businessmen are interested to launch their activities in Georgia thanks to the flexible tax system that country is offering.

It has to be mentioned that Georgia is one of the safest destinations for tourists. In 2017 the International Crime Index ranked Georgia as the 7th safest country out of the 125 countries.




Direct flights from Oman & Romania to Georgia to be launched in 2018

Two new airlines, Oman’s Salam Air and Romanian Blue Air Airline will launch direct flights to Georgia in 2018.

Romanian company Blue Air Airline plans charter flights to Georgia from February 2018. The flight will connect Bucharest to Tbilisi.

The agreement was made during the visit of Romanian companies to Georgia organised by the Embassy of Romania to Georgia. The main goal of the visit was to deepen tourism cooperation between two countries.

The travel agency Level Tour wants to propose Georgia to the Romanian tourists as an alternative to the ski holidays in Bulgaria, Austria or other known destinations for winter sports.

The direct flight has a duration of two and a half hours and will be operated in the charter system.

One more low-cost airline from Oman, Salam Air, is entering the Georgian market, scheduling the first flights to Georgia’s capital Tbilisi, for June 2018.

The flights on the route Muscat-Tbilisi-Muscat will link the two capital cities four times a week. Furthermore, the airline company also intends to open a representative office in Tbilisi and invest in Georgia.

Last years, Georgia became a hot tourism destination from all over the world, which brought new direct flights and it has been opened new airports as well in the regions of Georgia.


Hollywood Filmmakers in Georgia!

A group of Hollywood film executives have been on an exploration visit to Georgia to study some of the country’s most impressive and picturesque locations for future filming opportunities. Location managers of Hollywood movies , such as : „Transformers”, “Captain America”, “The Town”, “The Hangover”, „Sicario”, “Mission Impossible” were exploring the film making potential of Georgia.

On their return to the US, the experts planned to offer location recommendations to US film directors and producers, who will use this advice to launch film projects in Georgia.The US film industry experts have been hosted in Georgia by the Georgian National Film Centre and Enterprise Georgia.

Georgia started cooperating with the US film industry earlier this year after two Georgian agencies traveled to the US and presented the country’s cash rebate program Film in Georgia, which encouraged foreign filmmakers to shoot their films in Georgia.

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9 reasons to visit Georgia now by CNN

Out on the fringes of Europe, the former Soviet Republic of Georgia is a country shrouded in mystery.
Sandwiched between the Caucasus Mountains to the north, the Black Sea to the west and dry deserts to the south, this small country, which borders Russia, Azerbaijan, Armenia and Turkey, is not only a crossroad of cultures, but has a wealth of spectacular landscapes.
Until recently, many would have struggled to place the country of Georgia on the map (or at least mistake it for the U.S. state of the same name), but it’s quickly becoming one of Europe’s hottest new destinations.
Here are nine reasons to visit Georgia now.
1. Tbilisi: An eclectic melting pot
From the hanging balconies in the crumbling Old Tbilisi district and the Persian-style sulfur baths clad in turquoise mosaics, to unique art nouveau buildings falling into disrepair sitting side by side with futuristic glass structures, Tbilisi is a city that inspires.
The Georgian capital lies on the banks of the Mtkvari River and is surrounded by mountains on all three sides.
Archeologists trace the first settlement in today’s Tbilisi to the 4th millennium B.C.
Its position on the old Silk Road turned it into a multicultural hub, reflected today in the city’s ethnic diversity and eclectic architecture.

The baths in Abanotubani follow the Persian tradition, only the thermal water bubbles up naturally from the ground below.
Tbilisi gets its name from the Old Georgian word “tbili,” meaning warm, due to its hot, sulfurous water.
Moving away from Abanotubani, a walk into the Old Town reveals old Georgian and Armenian churches, mosques and synagogues and even the ruins of the most northern Zoroastrian fire temple.
2. Ushguli: Europe’s highest village
Way up in the Caucasus Mountains around 2,200 meters above sea level, this small village is Europe’s highest continuously inhabited settlement.
Sitting at the foot of Mount Shkhara, Georgia’s highest point, Ushguli is famous for the medieval defensive towers connected to each house.
It’s deep in the Svaneti region, known for its unique culture that was once cut off from the rest of the country.
The main town of Mestia is on its way to becoming the Georgian equivalent of a Swiss resort but Ushguli has been saved by its poor transport routes, which have helped preserve the village’s timeless feel.
Young men gallop through the dirt tracks on horseback between the crumbling towers, dodging the livestock in the street.
Ushguli and the region of Upper Svaneti are classified as UNESCO World Heritage Sites.
3. The birthplace of wine
When we think of the origin of wine we tend to think of France, Italy, Greece or Persia, but Georgia is in fact one of the world’s oldest wine regions.
In 2003 archaeologists found evidence that Stone Age people were producing wine here up to 8,000 years ago.
Since then, wine has played a core part in Georgia’s national identity.
The country’s ancient tradition of fermenting grape juice in clay vessels, known as kvevris, has made it onto UNESCO’s Intangible Cultural Heritage list.
There are hundreds of indigenous grape varieties and Georgian wine is slowly gaining recognition globally.
While some of the homemade varieties aren’t particularly palatable, there are some excellent vineyards in Georgia producing premium wines.
A good place to start is with a red wine aged in oak barrels made from the Saperavi grape from Mukuzani in the wine region of Kakheti, such as those from Teliani Valley, or a white Tsindali, made from a blend of Rkatsteli and Mtvani grapes.
Soviet dictator and Georgian native Joseph Stalin was a fan of Khvanchkara, a sweet red wine from the Racha mountain region in the Caucasus.
4. Mysterious cave cities
Georgia is home to some of the most unusual cave cities in Europe.
By themselves, they’re reason alone to visit the country.
The oldest is Uplitstsikhe, an ancient settlement that resembles a lunar landscape.
Others include Davit Gareja, a vast monastic complex carved into the rock of Mount Gareja, andVardzia, a spectacular underground city that once housed 2,000 monks.

5. Supra: A traditional Georgian feast
One of the best ways to get to know the country is through its food.
In fact, if you haven’t tried a Georgian “supra,” or feast, you haven’t experienced Georgia.
The local cheese bread is called “khachapuri,” the most famous being the Adjaran variety.
It’s a baked bread boat filled with gooey, melted, tangy “sulguni” cheese, a whole egg yolk and some slivers of butter. Yes, it’s heart stopping, but so delicious.
“Khinkhali” dumplings come with a spiced meat filling that releases its juices when cooked, so you have to suck out the stock before eating.
Then there are delectable walnut dressing salads, bean stews cooked with fragrant cilantro and “shashlik,” tender marinated meat cooked on a kebab skewer.
They’re best enjoyed, of course, with some excellent Georgian wine.
6. Remote mountain villages
The remote regions of Khevsureti and Tusheti in the Caucasus Mountains are home to spectacular medieval villages with small communities that still retain their ancient pagan traditions.
The roads going up here are an adrenaline rush in themselves.
The ruined fortress of Mutso and the settlement of Shatili in Khevsureti look like something described by J.R.R. Tolkien.
Set dramatically against the mountains, they’re so close to Chechnya you can see the border guards walking up and down the ridge.
Tusheti is a cluster of communities, kind of like a Georgian Shangri La, full of old towers, churches, villages and spectacular mountain scenery with wild flowers and trees with leaves that almost look golden.
Tusheti has numerous hiking trails and the locals are known for their generous mountain hospitality.

7. Europe’s most surreal museum
To learn about the life of Old Joe, visit Stalin’s hometown, Gori, and the bizarre Joseph Stalin Museum.
You might know Stalin as a dictator responsible for millions of deaths, but in this hometown attraction there is a sense of pride about the “local boy made good.”
There aren’t any references to his purges beyond a small backroom that doesn’t feature on the tour, but there are pictures aplenty of Stalin, including one of the leader voting for himself.
There are also various statues, his death mask, carpets and frescoes featuring the dear leader’s face, his personal green railway carriage and — the star attraction — his one-bedroom childhood home preserved in perfect condition.
The museum has been criticized for being a “falsification of history” and an example of “Soviet propaganda.”
There were plans to transform the museum into a museum of Russian aggression, but so far this is limited to a little room hidden beside the entrance.
The museum is worth visiting as it captures the essence of Stalin, including his own self-glorification and propaganda, even if that was not its intended purpose.
8. Beautiful and ancient churches
Georgia adopted Christianity back in 324 AD and the country is full of spectacular churches and cathedrals in incredible locations.
Whether it’s the UNESCO World Heritage Sites of Mtskheta’s Svetitskhoveli Cathedral or Kutaisi’s Bagrati Cathedral, or the dramatic hill top position of the church in Kazbegi, Georgia’s churches never fail to paint a pretty picture.
Kazbegi is also home to one of the world’s most spectacular marathon routes.

9. The people and Georgian hospitality
Some Georgians might appear a serious bunch at first, but most of them are kind and welcoming.
For Georgians, a guest is a sacred thing and they will often go out of their way to help you.
Their generosity and hospitality will often take the form of lots of food and even more drink.
As they say in Georgia, “Gaumarjos!” (Cheers!).
Jennifer Walker is an Anglo-Hungarian former nuclear physicist turned writer based in Budapest, Hungary. She’s a compulsive traveler and has lived in the UK, Hungary, Spain, Germany and Georgia.