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Hvino TOUR NEWS | Tourism Business In Georgia

"Hvino TOUR NEWS" (HTN) is news and information source on tourism, travel, and hospitality industry of Georgia in English. HTN is a sister project of "Hvino News", daily news resource on Georgia's wine industry. HTN and Hvino News are parts of

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"Forbes": Georgia's Tourism Strategy is Starting to Pay Off

Wed, 04 Oct 2017 11:47:00 +0000

by Stephan Rabimov04.10.2017. Georgia takes its tourism seriously, very seriously. Just ask Jesper Black. When the Dutch tourist landed at Tbilisi International Airport becoming the country’s six millionth visitor in 2016 he was whisked away in a Mercedes sedan for a red carpet welcome and private dinner with Prime Minister Giorgi Kvirikashvili. The agency behind the campaign to mark the country’s milestone even created a website for Georgians to vote on which national dish should be served to the six millionth tourist, khinkali dumplings or chkmeruli chicken?Clearly having jumped from 2.8 million visitors in 2011 to six million in 2016 is a big deal in this former Soviet Republic situated between Europe, Russia and the Middle East. And suddenly it feels as if it’s on every traveler’s radar. In 2015, Georgia ranked 25th on the New York Times’ 52 Places to Go. New flight routes have launched from cities around Europe and this year Georgia made Conde Nast Traveler’s list of hottest upcoming wine destinations.These inroads are the culmination of a significant push and investment on all fronts to develop Georgia’s tourism industry into sustainable major driver to improve its overall global economic position. In 2015, the Georgian government partnered with the World Bank to develop a cohesive strategy to attract high-value tourists from around the globe.Georgia has always been synonymous with a culture of hospitality and warmth, visitors are said to be “gifts from God.” In Soviet times its Black Sea resorts were a big draw along with its celebrated cuisine and wine culture. But after the breakup of the Soviet Union tourism began to decline due to crumbling infrastructure, corruption, failure to collect tax revenues and political unrest.Since 2004 the government has simplified the tax code, improved tax administration, increased tax enforcement, and cracked down on petty corruption, leading to higher revenues. The World Bank has praised Georgia’s anti-corruption efforts and is working closely with the country to modernize its tourism industry.Georgia has all the makings of the next great tourist destination -- an impressive list of UNESCO world heritage sites, rugged alpine villages with monasteries dating back to the Middle Ages and a renowned cuisine. But perhaps more than any other facet of its tourism industry, Georgia’s esteemed wine culture may ultimately put it on the map. Georgia has distinct wine traditions dating back 8,000 years, picturesque hill towns reminiscent of Italy’s Tuscany and hundreds of indigenous grape varieties.In Kakheti, one of the most prominent wine regions in the country, monks have been making wines in Qvevri, large clay vessels, since the Middle Ages. The Qvevri are filled with crushed grapes, skins and seeds then buried to allow for fermentation. Georgians refer to the nine month long process that forgoes sulphites and added chemicals as “leaving the wine with its mother before it's’ born."The Qvevri method is increasing in popularity with vintners who recognize the benefits of natural and organic wine-making. At Pheasant’s Tears, a restaurant and vineyard founded by American John Wurdeman and his Georgian wife, Ketevan, they use naturally occurring yeasts to achieve wines of unique character and sophistication.Their wines are on the menu at Denmark’s celebrated Noma restaurant and the couple, which has seven vineyards, plans to open a hotel, event space as well as a beer and hard cider brewery. As for how they chose the name of their restaurant, Wurdeman explains, “According to Georgian folk tale, only the finest of wines can bring a pheasant to tears.”Underscoring an upbeat mood about the economy, many young Georgians who were educated abroad are returning home to spur development in many business sectors and tourism start ups. Nino Turashvili, who works with the Georgian National Tourism Administration (GNTA), is a perfect example of young and mobile professional who has returned with knowledge and theory to make an impact on the country’s[...]

"The Telegraph" (UK): Casinos, craft beer and holy caves – is this Europe's most surprising country?

Fri, 08 Sep 2017 15:28:00 +0000

by  Liz Dodd08.09.2017. Georgia’s splendid food, breathtaking nature and rich culture have long made it a sought-after destination for adventurous travellers. But the country - which this year opened up to British travellers with new direct flights from Gatwick to the capital Tbilisi (courtesy of Georgian Airways) - has far more to offer than khachapuri and red wine. Thriving amidst its Orthodox Christian cathedrals and farmsteads is a culture of gourmet coffee, clubbing and casinos. Where else could you dance the night away in a Soviet-era sewing factory, then recover on a tropical beach or in a cool mountain cave town? Here are seven surprising reasons you should go to Georgia.1. You can visit Europe's most zany seaside townGeorgia’s Black Sea coast enjoys a bizarre, subtropical microclimate that feels more like Bali than Belarus. The best place to soak it all in is Batumi, an enticingly zany seaside town where casinos and skyscrapers - one with a Ferris Wheel stuck to the front - pop up in the middle of its lovingly renovated 19th-century boulevards. Just outside town the Botanical Gardens carpet the hillside with palm trees and plants from South America, Mexico and south-east Asia. In summer it can be suffocatingly humid and thunderstorms are frequent, so pack a raincoat alongside your swimwear.2. It's crazy for coffeeLondon’s hipster coffee bars have nothing on Georgian coffee shops. The country is crazy for coffee, which served in the traditional style is strong and bitter, like Turkish coffee; but locals are taking to new-wave coffee-making in droves. Coffeetopia, in a glistening Art Deco building in Batumi’s Neptun Square, is staffed by certified baristas who brew using everything from an aeropress to a Japanese syphon. Best of all when the temperature soars is the cold brew, which they make daily and takes 18 hours to prepare.3. There's plenty to do after darkBatumi and Tbilisi attract world-renowned DJs to their nightclubs. The Georgian clubbing scene is techno-heavy, and in Tbilisi Bassiani, built in an old swimming pool, hosts local and international techno and house DJs, while beautiful Mtkvarze promotes underground house nights in an opulent venue dotted with chandeliers. Enjoy an aperitif at Fabrika an achingly cool complex of bars and restaurants in downtown Tbilisi.4. And craft beer galoreGeorgia is rightly famous for its incredible natural wines, but in the capital Tbilisi an increasing number of microbreweries are stocking the pumps of a new wave of craft beer bars. Black Dog Bar in the old Sololaki district pours its own lager as well as a rotating selection of local beers. A word of warning: Georgian beer tends to taste quite sour, which takes some getting used to, but is perfect in the hot summer weather. The food at Black Dog is also excellent: Americana with a twist, so expect burritos with Georgian pickles and fries sprinkled with dill.5. It's heaven for cyclingOutside the big cities cyclists are still something of a novelty in Georgia, although this is changing as increasing number of cycle tourers riding the old Silk Route to Asia use the country as a corridor to Azerbaijan and the Caspian Sea. But on the roads outside Tbilisi you’re as likely to see road and mountain bikes as you are tourers: head into the mountains for breathtaking views or stick to the smooth highway for an easy ride. Watch out for stray cows: they always have right of way.6. There are hallowed hollowsThe Georgian mountains are dotted with monasteries and settlements carved into the rock – whole networks of homes hewn into the cliffside like something out of the Star Wars saga. A handful of monks still live in the spectacular cave monastery at Vardzia, in southern Georgia, a complex of some 3,000 rooms and corridors. Uplistsikhe, a settlement that was carved into the mountains near Gori in the Early Iron Age, is smaller but an easy day trip from Tbilisi. Close to the border with Azerbaijan, the breathtaking desert complex of David Gareji includes 13 different monasteries.7. You ca[...]

Georgian Tourism Administration awarded for best marketing in Korea

Tue, 06 Jun 2017 08:00:00 +0000

06.06.2017. Georgian National Tourism Administration (GNTA) has received the Best Tourism Marketing Award at the 32nd Korea World Travel Fair.This is to certify that the above organisation is honoured with the best tourism marketing award of the 32nd Korea World Travel Fair at COEX from June 1 to June 4, 2017 for its great contribution to the tourism industry development with positive PR and marketing,” reads the certification given to the GNTA.Together with the GNTA three Georgian travel agencies – Georgia Travel Group, VisitGeorgia and GeorgiCa Travel – participated in the fair as well.The Embassy of Georgia in the Republic of Korea provided the Georgian delegation with administrative and logistical assistance.The Georgian booth attracted much interest from visitors and organisers, enabling the GNTA to receive the Best Tourism Marketing Award.Source    ▼ View Map    ▼ Add new object    ▼ Read more info       Georgian Wine Catalogue       To add this Search Box to your website,  click  here. Many designs are available.[...]

Maya Sidamonidze: "The country has a huge tourism potential but its fifth is not used"

Mon, 15 May 2017 20:50:00 +0000

16.05.2017. Georgia's tourism industry is facing many challenges including education, staff, infrastructure, communication problems (electricity, water), - Maya  Sidamonidze, former chairperson of the National Tourism Agency, said in the air of  radio Commersant.As Sidamonidze explains, these problems must be solved gradually in order investors to become more interested in investing in the region.According to Sidamonidze, it is also important to diversify the attractiveness of regions as there are regions that work well on the season, but there are regions which potential is not used."There is a huge potential in Racha, Guria, there are many regions where tourism business can’t be developed   because of lack of infrastructure. There is a great tourist potential in the country, but its fifth is not used, " Sidamonidze believes.In her words, the private business faces  problems concerning taxes.It is also important to improve the legislative framework within which both Georgian and foreign consumers will be protected.She notes that the  private sector should learn to invest in human resources as  there are problems in finding personnel with skills."Therefore, the approach must be radical and complex. First of all, reforms should be carried out in the education system in terms of professional and  higher education. If these problems are not solved, nothing will change in this field, " Sidamonidze says.Source    ▼ View Map    ▼ Add new object    ▼ Read more info       Georgian Wine Catalogue       To add this Search Box to your website,  click  here. Many designs are available. [...]

The Vogue's 5 reasons to explore Georgia

Wed, 12 Apr 2017 06:13:00 +0000

12.04.2017 (Hvino News). A leading American lifestyle magazine Vogue published the article entitled  "5 Reasons to Explore the Mountains of Georgia". Written by Jennifer Murphy, the article outlines some of the most attractive touristic features of today's Georgia."Georgians, a proud, gregarious, food-and-wine-obsessed people, may be the world’s most welcoming hosts. The Tbilisi airport even greets visitors with a Wi-Fi network named “TBILISILOVESYOU,” - the article reads.Apart from usual touristic musts like khachapuri and chacha, Jennifer Murphy pays attention to other important attractions, for example competitive prices for heli-skiing or paragliding. "Heli-skiing tops many adventure enthusiasts’ bucket lists, but to hire a chopper in powder meccas like Alaska, Japan, and the Alps can cost a small fortune. The Caucasus Mountains offer big lines and untouched terrain at half the heli-price tag ($160 per person compared to $390 in Switzerland).""The mountain regions of Georgia offer endless adventures, from ice climbing and white water rafting, to mountain biking and mountaineering. For an adrenaline rush without much physical effort, try paragliding. ... In winter, ride the chair lift alongside skiers and soar through the clouds, high above snow-capped peaks, getting the ultimate view of the region before landing right on the slopes.Read the full Vogue article here.© Hvino News     ▼ View Map    ▼ Add new object    ▼ Read more info       Georgian Wine Catalogue       To add this Search Box to your website,  click  here. Many designs are available. [...]

Record number of tourists observed in 2016 in Georgia

Wed, 05 Apr 2017 20:16:00 +0000

05.04.2017. Tourism incomes have exceeded USD 2 billion, - Georgia’s Prime Minister Giorgi Kvirikashvili has said while delivering his speech at the UN World Tourism Organization Mountainous resorts third conference. According to the Georgian Prime Minister, the number of international visitors in Georgia has significantly increased as a result of the consistent and gradual approaches by the government. ‘In 2016 Georgia observed a record number of tourists, reaching 6.3 million. The tourist incomes have exceeded 2 billion USD. The newly-established visa-free travel represents the most important achievement for Georgian citizens that will further deepen and encourage contacts, business relations and tourism,‘ - Giorgi Kvirikashvili has said. Source  ▼ View Map    ▼ Add new object    ▼ Read more info       Georgian Wine Catalogue       To add this Search Box to your website,  click  here. Many designs are available.[...]

Largest low-coster Ryanair to launch service in Georgia

Wed, 15 Mar 2017 08:46:00 +0000

15.03.2017 (Hvino News). The information about Ireland's Ryanair entering Georgian market has been confirmed. Tbilisi already appeared in the codes of airline's airports which means that the company will make an announcement in the near future and start operating flights to Tbilisi.It was already discussed last year that Ryanair was going to start operating flights in Georgia. Prime Minister Giorgi Kvirikashvili met with commercial director of Ryanair David O’Brien. It was noted at the meeting that the interest of low-budget airlines for Georgia has increased due to the large amount of tourists, business environment in the country and visa liberalization process which allows Georgian citizens to travel visa-free to Schengen Area.Davit O’Brien explained that airline would examine the infrastructure of Kutaisi International Airport and consider the possibilities of operating flights. He said that he believed negotiations with Georgian government would have a positive result.Ryanair is a low-cost airline headquartered in Swords, a suburb of Dublin, Ireland, with its primary operational bases at Dublin and London Stansted Airports. In 2016, Ryanair was both the largest European airline by scheduled passengers carried, and the busiest international airline by passenger numbers.© Hvino News  ▼ View Map    ▼ Add new object    ▼ Read more info       Georgian Wine Catalogue       To add this Search Box to your website,  click  here. Many designs are available.[...]

‘Discount Week’ starts in Georgia

Fri, 10 Feb 2017 09:03:00 +0000

10.02.2017 Both domestic and international travelers can check out special offers this week for some of the best travel deals for a 2017 Georgia getaway.Travellers will be able to enjoy discounts starting from 25 percent on bookings at more than 20 hotels in Georgia’s wine region Kakheti starting from February 8.During ‘Discount Week’ – which is organised by the Georgian National Tourism Administration (GNTA) – Kakheti will welcome tourists seeking great vacation deals. Kakheti will be the first region to implement ‘Discount Week’, with regions across Georgia following with a similar event later on.The main purpose of the initiative is to attract tourists to various destinations in Georgia during the off season.The GNTA has already invited hotels to submit their letters of interest.Source  ▼ View Map    ▼ Add new object    ▼ Read more info       Georgian Wine Catalogue       To add this Search Box to your website,  click  here. Many designs are available.[...]

"Forbes" features Georgia in its "Top Underrated Wine Regions To Visit"

Mon, 16 Jan 2017 21:12:00 +0000

17.01.2017 (Hvino News).  Leading American business magazine  Forbes in its lifestyle section recently published article The Top 12 Underrated Wine Regions To Visit In 2017: A Month-By-Month Guide."After spending most of my year in vineyards around the world, I compiled this month-to-month guide identifying the new frontiers of enotourism", - author Lauren Mowery writes in her preface.The Top 12 Underrated Wine Regions To Visit In 2017 features Georgia's Kakheti region as follows:Kakheti, Georgia. Within wine circles and, increasingly, mainstream travel media, the word on Georgia as a vinous destination has spread. Yet few have actually made the trek to this country bordering Armenia and Turkey. Translation: villages remain authentically charming, the countryside still a peaceful refuge and the unique winemaking traditions endure intact. Kakheti, nestled at the foothills of the Caucasus Mountains, is the main region, known for fermenting wine underground in terra-cotta jars called qvevri. A delicious food culture sweetens the incentive to visit.Other regions in the same list include, for instance, Graubünden (Switzerland) and Alto Piemonte (Italy).Earlier Hvino News reported that Forbes Magazine for the first time included Georgian wines in its top wines list: See "Forbes" includes Georgian wines in its "9 Best Wines and Spirits to Start Drinking in 2015".© Hvino News Win FREE bottle of rare Usakhelouri in Win!Wine Lottery: Just write a comment to this photo. Happy holidays!   ▼ View Map    ▼ Add new object    ▼ Read more info       Georgian Wine Catalogue       To add this Search Box to your website,  click  here. Many designs are available.[...]

Georgia witnesses 7.6% tourist growth in 2016

Fri, 06 Jan 2017 08:19:00 +0000

by David Thompson06.01.2017. The head of Georgia’s National Tourism Administration, Giorgi Chogovadze, revealed 6,350,825 international visitors arrived in Georgia last year, which is 449,731 more than the year previous, according to local media.The largest number of tourists is reported to come from Azerbaijan (1,523,075, an increase of 9.3%)Second place is Armenia (1,496,246, an increase of 1.9%) followed by Turkey (1,254,089 – a decreased of 9.9% from last year).In fourth place was Russia with 1,037,564 tourists visiting Georgia in 2016, a full 12% more than in 2015.Visits from Ukraine increased by 21.8%, amounting to 172,631 people.The latest data indicates year-on-year visitors from Europe also show positive signs; with the total number of travellers from Lithuania, Latvia, Czech Republic, Bulgaria and Germany all significantly increasing.“A exceptional increase in tourism was observed from the following countries: Iran (+485%), India (+ 199%), Saudi Arabia (+ 116%), the Philippines (+ 89%), Oman (+ 75%), and China (+46%),” Chogovadze said.Income from international tourism was also reported to have increased, amounting to USD 1.7 billion in three quarters of 2016, representing $ 177 million more than figures from the previous year.Source Win FREE bottle of saperavi wine in Win!Wine Lottery: Just write a comment to this photo. Happy holidays!   ▼ View Map    ▼ Add new object    ▼ Read more info       Georgian Wine Catalogue       To add this Search Box to your website,  click  here. Many designs are available.[...]

Hilton expands European Capital City presence to Tbilisi

Tue, 20 Dec 2016 07:28:00 +0000

20.12.2016 (Hvino News). Hilton is to introduce its flagship Hilton Hotels & Resorts brand to the capital of Georgia with the signing of a management agreement with Granat LLC. The 206-guest room Hilton Tbilisi is set to open in early 2019. The building’s historic façade will be preserved as part of the design, while a striking glass roof will be constructed on top of the building and will house the hotel’s rooftop bar and spa.“Hilton Tbilisi joins a robust portfolio of Hilton Hotels & Resorts either trading or in development across 30 European capitals, underscoring our regional strategy to expand into more Eastern European cities,” said Patrick Fitzgibbon, Senior Vice President of Development, EMEA, Hilton. “Tbilisi’s diverse economy, with substantial international infrastructure investment, a burgeoning events calendar and leisure growth, makes the city a promising market to be introducing our flagship brand to.”Located on Kostrova Street, Hilton Tbilisi will be equidistant between two of the city’s most vibrant and colourful districts. Tbilisi’s main thoroughfare, Rustavelli Avenue, three kilometers away and spotted with picturesque architecture, is home to the city’s main cultural, religious and government buildings. Vake, the city’s busy commercial district and the heart of Tbilisi’s developing financial center, can be found the same distance in the opposite direction. Hilton Tbilisi will also be two kilometers from the city’s main train station and 15 kilometers from Tbilisi International Airport.Dimitry Kumsishvili, former Minister of Economy and Sustainable Development of Georgia said, “The long term goal of Georgia’s Tourism Strategy 2025 is to develop the country as a sought-after tourist destination and increase the international profile of Georgia. Projects such as Hilton Tbilisi are key to broadening the appeal of Tbilisi and Georgia to more international visitors and will help boost tourism to the city.”Elguja Tsintsadze, Chief Executive Officer, Granat LLC, said, “This is our first hotel development and we are proud to be working with Hilton on our maiden hospitality project. The exterior of the Soviet era building will be fully restored, while a stunning glass roof will be constructed on top of the hotel in a USD 50 million investment. The result will be one of the city’s finest and most unique hotels.”In addition to the rooftop bar, the hotel will include an all-day dining restaurant, lobby bar and a street facing café. For business and events visitors, the hotel will offer more than 1,000 square meters of function and meeting space, in addition to an Executive Lounge and business center.“Hilton is the world’s leading hospitality brand and throughout its nearly 100-year history it has continually pioneered into new destinations,” said Andreas Lackner, Regional Head, Full Service Brand Management, Hilton. “This magnificent addition in Tbilisi will invite our guests to visit the charming capital city, while sharing in our love of hospitality.”Hilton Hotels & Resorts has 18 properties currently under development across Europe, with two hotels in Georgia: Hilton Batumi on the Black Sea coast, which opened in the summer of 2015, and Hilton Garden Inn Tbilisi Chavchavadze, which is currently under construction and set to open in 2018 in the heart of Tbilisi's financial district.Hilton Tbilisi will be located at 59 Merab Kostava Street, Tbilisi, 0179.Press Release Win FREE bottle of Saperavi in our Win!Wine Lottery: Just write a comment to this photo. Happy holidays!   ▼ View Map    ▼ Add new object    ▼ Read more info       Georgian Wine Catalogue &nb[...]

Zurab Pololikashvili nominated to position of World Tourism Organisation's head

Tue, 15 Nov 2016 21:10:00 +0000

16.11.2016 (Hvino News). Georgian Prime Minister Giorgi Kvirikashvili nominated Zurab Pololikashvili as Georgia’s candidate for the position of Secretary General  of United Nations World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) for 2018-2021. Zurab Pololikashvili is Georgian Ambassador Spain, and Permanent Representative to the World Tourism Organisation.The Prime Minister underlined the UNWTO’s role in the development of tourism, economic growth and in the process of the country’s development. Giorgi Kvirikashvili noted that Zurab Pololikashvili’s background fully meets the eligibility criteria for assuming the most demanding duties of the General Secretary of UNWTO.The event was attended by representatives of the Georgian Government and the diplomatic corps. Georgian Foreign Minister Mikheil Janelidze  underlined that it is for the first time that Georgia has a real chance to present its candidature for such a high-ranking post.The Secretary General position at the UNWTO for 2018-2021 will be selected in May 2017 by an Executive Board comprised of 33 nations.Zurab Pololikashvili for many years has been holding leadership positions both in private and in public sectors. In 2005-2006 he worked as Deputy Foreign Minister; in 2009-2010 he served as Minister of Economic Development.In September 2016 UNWTO organized its first conference on wine tourism in Georgia.© Hvino News  ▼ View Map    ▼ Add new object    ▼ Read more info      Georgian Wine Catalogue       To add this Search Box to your website,  click  here. Many designs are available.[...]

"Euronews": Boosting the Georgian tourism industry with the help of international stars (video)

Wed, 09 Nov 2016 18:58:00 +0000

09.11.2016. At the World Travel Market 2016 in London, the leading event for the global travel industry, Euronews spoke to George Chogovadze, Head of Administration at the Georgian National Tourism Administration, about the country’s latest campaign in order to make its voice heard in the industry – through inviting major international stars.This year we have introduced a new project, which is called “Check In Georgia”. This is a program to bring big-name pop stars to make Georgia well known and to make people to travel to Georgia because of these new festivals and events. Next year, we will continue the project with big names from different fields, but we will also continue our marketing campaigns because of the fact that Georgia is a very small country despite this fact we have very diverse regions and experiences that we can offer to the world. allowfullscreen="" frameborder="0" height="315" src="" width="560"> Source  ▼ View Map    ▼ Add new object    ▼ Read more info       Georgian Wine Catalogue       To add this Search Box to your website,  click  here. Many designs are available[...]

Natia Chkhartishvili shares Shilda's ambitious expansion plans

Sat, 05 Nov 2016 10:56:00 +0000

Click to enlarge05.11.2016 (Hvino News). The London's Mayfair Times magazine in its November issue published an interview with Natia Chkhartishvili focusing on Georgian wine  (click on the scan to enlarge).Natia is known as founder of successful British jewellery brand Eshvi. Her UK-based family also owns wine and brandy production business under the Shilda brand in Kakheti, Georgia. She is daughter of Vano Chkhartishvili, former minister of  economy and MP of Georgia, who is currently considered as one of Georgia's wealthiest businessmen with estimated wealth of around $100 million.Noticing the lack of knowledge of Georgian wine internationally, Natia and her family formedShilda - "a wine company that aims to help the country’s small, traditional winemakers showcase their wine globally".Author Reyhaan Day points out that Natia wants to make Georgia – and in particular the wine region of Kakheti – a true international destination.In her interview entitled "A Fine Vintage" she explains that a series of contemporary buildings surrounding Shilda’s vineyards, including luxury accommodation and a spa, are currently being constructed. "This will be one of the most innovative projects in the Kakheti region", - says Natia.“We decided to construct super modern buildings which will be integrated into the vineyards. It will have the biggest wine tasting space in the whole region, with huge wine cellars, and it will also have places to stay, offering a 5-star experience".The ambitious plan is to make Shilda the main Georgian destination for visitors. “The concept is that if a tourist comes to Georgia for one week, the main destination will be Shilda, and we can organise tours all around Georgia from there. "Like philosopher's stone this is the process of magic transformation – vine roots absorb live energy of minerals and transform it into unique taste of Georgian wine" - reads the Shilda brand description.Mayfair Times is a glossy magazine which positions itself as "Real stories about real people in one of the world's wealthiest communities". The recent issue is completely devoted to stories about persons from former Soviet republics.© Hvino News  ▼ View Map    ▼ Add new object    ▼ Read more info      Georgian Wine Catalogue       To add this Search Box to your website,  click  here. Many designs are available.[...]

Rest areas will be developed on Georgia’s all main roads

Thu, 03 Nov 2016 22:14:00 +0000

04.11.2016 (Hvino News). Travel in Georgia will become more comfortable after the country’s National Tourism Administration introduces its plan of opening rest areas along all major thoroughfares across Georgia.Head of the Georgian Tourism Administration Giorgi Chogovadze revealed the plan in his interview.Chogovadze said rest stations would be spaced roughly 40 minutes apart on motorways at which drivers and passengers will be able to rest, eat, or refuel."According to our plan, on all central road arteries in Georgia there will be such services available,” Chogovadze said.He added that there were three such road arteries in the country:From Tbilisi to Kakheti in Georgia’s eastFrom Tbilisi to Kazbegi in Georgia’s northFrom Tbilisi to Georgia’s westThe Head of the Tourism Administration said the scale of such stations might not be as big as the one near Gori in central Georgia, but they all will include toilets and other necessary infrastructure.He stressed that in the first phase, the state would let businessmen express their interest in the project."Any person or company will be able to receive a land from the state with certain conditions and build such service areas on them,” he said."But if the private sector doesn’t turn out to be ready to accept this offer, the relevant infrastructure will be built with the efforts from the Government.”Source  ▼ View Map    ▼ Add new object    ▼ Read more info       Georgian Wine Catalogue       To add this Search Box to your website,  click  here. Many designs are available.[...]

Georgia’s PM Kvirikashvili Introduces Tourism Development Fund

Wed, 05 Oct 2016 20:39:00 +0000

06.10.2016. Georgian Prime Minister Giorgi Kvirikashvili announced at an official presentation Tuesday that the country’s Co-Investment Fund will establish a USD 680 million Tourism Development Fund for eight large-scale projects in Tbilisi, Guria, Ajara and Samegrelo (Megrelia).Kvirikashvili said he hopes the Fund will mark a major turning point in the development of Georgia’s tourism sector."Georgia has a great deal of potential when it comes to promoting the tourism industry. We can’t spare any effort in becoming a distinct destination on the global tourism map…Awareness and interest towards Georgia are growing on a daily basis and setting up the Tourism Development Fund is a very timely step towards achieving this goal,“ Kvirikashvili said.The Prime Minister also announced that a multifunctional retail and tourism complexes would be constructed near Tbilisi’s central Freedom Square, Sololaki Ridge and Tabor Mountain.The Tabor complex will include a recreational zone and golf course that will employ up 20,000 people.The Tourism Development Fund was established to help foster the rapid development of Georgia’s tourism and hospitality infrastructure.Its function also includes the administration of specific programs that help improve the quality of service provided by the hospitality industry. The Fund is also tasked with creating new tourism hubs in less economically developed regions of Georgia.Source  ▼ View Map    ▼ Add new object    ▼ Read more info       Georgian Wine Catalogue       To add this Search Box to your website,  click  here. Many designs are available[...]

20% more tourists visit Georgia this year, exceeds 4 million

Tue, 04 Oct 2016 06:28:00 +0000

04.10.2016. Tourism is growing in Georgia and the country is reaping the benefits of billions of dollars coming into the local economy from international tourism.So far this year almost five million foreign guests have enjoyed the sights and sounds Georgia has to offer.Today head of Georgia’s National Tourism Administration (GNTA) Giorgi Chogovadze summed up activities of the tourism sector during the first nine months of 2016.Between January and September 2016 the number of tourists who visited Georgia increased by 19.5 percent, while the number of international travellers had increased by 8.6 percent year-on-year (y/y).In the first nine months of the year Georgia hosted 4,879,031 international visitors (tourists, transit, other). Of this number 2,156,731 were tourists, said Chogovadze.Between January and September 2016 the most international visitors came from:Afghanistan – 563 percent increase y/yAustralia – 217 percent increaseMalaysia – 46 percent increaseBrazil – 42 percent increaseJordan – 40 percent increaseEgypt – 35 percent increaseIndia – 34 percent increaseYemen – 33 percent increaseLatvia – 26 percent increaseDenmark – 23 percent increaseHow did Georgia benefit from more visitors?So far this year $867.9 billion was generated from international tourism in Georgia.Chogovadze said this was 13.2 percent or $101 million more y/y.The value of foreign card transactions made by international visitors in the first eight months of 2016 reached 1.03 billion GEL, 13.6 percent more year-on-year,” he said.Tourism in September 2016In September 2016 alone, 631,302 international visitors arrived in Georgia. This was 11 percent more than September 2015, said Chogovadze.Meanwhile 304,814 tourists spent more than 24 hours in Georgia and this was a 34.2 percent increase y/y.Last month the most international visitors came from:Iran – 572 percent increase y/yIran – 571.9 percent increaseEgypt – 199 percent increaseSyria – 160 percent increaseIndia- 132 percent increaseSaudi Arabia – 83 percent increaseRussia – 31.3 percent increaseGermany – 22 percent increaseLatvia – 22 percent increaseTurkey – 21.5 percent decreaseLast year 5.9 million visitors came to Georgia, said the National Statistics Office of Georgia (Geostat). This was seven percent growth on 2014.Source  ▼ View Map    ▼ Add new object    ▼ Read more info       Georgian Wine Catalogue       To add this Search Box to your website,  click  here. Many designs are available.[...]

France’s Le Figaro to feature article on Georgia’s tourism

Tue, 20 Sep 2016 10:33:00 +0000

20.09.2016. Journalists from French daily Le Figaro are currently taking part in a media tour of Georgia and plan to write 10-page coverage story highlighting Georgia’s tourism potential.According to Georgia’s tourism board, the journalists will visit sites in Tbilisi, Kazbegi, Borjomi, Vardzia, Akhaltsikhe and the country’s main wine-making region of Kakheti.The article will appear in Le Figaro in spring 2017.Le Figaro’s print edition currently has a circulation of 400,000 readers in France, while its online edition has 31 million  monthly readers.Source  ▼ View Map    ▼ Add new object    ▼ Read more info       Georgian Wine Catalogue       To add this Search Box to your website,  click  here. Many designs are available[...]

UN to host first conference on wine tourism in Georgia

Wed, 07 Sep 2016 09:08:00 +0000

06.09.2016. For the first edition of a UN-organized conference on wine tourism, leaders will gather in the cradle of winemaking next week to discuss the burgeoning industry and its importance in local heritage.It's a strategic and significant decision to hold the first edition of the UNWTO Global Conference on Wine Tourism in the South Caucasus country of Georgia instead of bigger and more popular wine tourism destinations like France, Italy, Spain or Australia.By choosing Georgia, organizers are returning to what some experts have described as the birthplace of winemaking.Evidence of winemaking traditions have been traced back 8,000 years among archeological records found in Georgia, well before reaching Western Europe.At the conference, experts and industry leaders will discuss the development of a Wine Tourism Prototype, a model that will focus on the integration of wineries in the local cultural, economic, social and environmental heritage.Sessions will be hosted at different wineries in the Kakheti, Georgia's main wine-producing region.The conference will also invariably help promote Georgian wine and the country's unique winemaking traditions which were inscribed on UNESCO's List of Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity in 2013.Traditional Georgian winemaking entails storing and aging wine in large, egg-shaped clay pots called qvevri. Likewise, winemaking is a family affair in Georgia, with many households producing their own homemade batch.“Knowledge and experience of qvevri manufacture and wine-making are passed down by families, neighbors, friends and relatives, all of whom join in communal harvesting and winemaking activities,” reads a UN profile.“Children learn how to tend the vines, press grapes, ferment wine, collect clay and make and fire qvevris through observing their elders...Wine plays a vital role in everyday life and in the celebration of secular and religious events and rituals. Wine cellars are still considered the holiest place in the family home.”The UNWTO Global Conference on Wine Tourism takes place September 7-9. [Hvino News will take part in the conference and provide coverage. Stay tuned!]Source  ▼ View Map    ▼ Add new object    ▼ Read more info       Georgian Wine Catalogue       To add this Search Box to your website,  click  here. Many designs are available[...]

Georgia and UNWTO to host first Global Conference on Wine Tourism (+ Conference Program)

Wed, 17 Aug 2016 17:52:00 +0000

17.08.2016 (Hvino News). The World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) in collaboration with the Georgian National Tourism Administration will present the 1st UNWTO Global Conference on Wine Tourism to be held in the Kakheti wine region of Georgia from 7-9 September.See the conference program below.The Conference will have a unique and dynamic format in which the sessions will take place in different wineries. Expert speakers will provide snapshot presentations to lead the debates which will ensue at each of the tables. Participants will be requested to actively participate in the interactive debates with the expert speakers which will be rotating among the tables. The conclusions of the Conference will be a compilation of all the information debated during each meeting.“Wine tourism represents a growing segment with immense opportunities to diversify demand. In the case of Georgia, this potential is well-known and we are very pleased to be holding the first UNWTO Global Conference on Wine Tourism in the country,” said Taleb Rifai, Secretary-General of UNWTO.“Georgia’s unique wine-making traditions date back 8,000 years and are part of UNESCO’s intangible heritage, creating the ideal base to host the Wine Tourism Conference. Herewith, the country’s recent success in attracting a growing number of tourists, its development in terms of tourism products, branding and marketing present an excellent platform to share best practices, experience and knowledge", - said Dimitry Kumsishvili, Minister of Economy and Sustainable Development of Georgia.1st UNWTO Global Conference on Wine TourismPROVISIONAL CONFERENCE PROGRAM7 September11:30-13:00 3rd UNWTO Gastronomy Network meeting (by invitation only)Chaired by Yolanda Perdomo, Director of the Affiliate Members Programme15:00-17:00 Technical tour of Tbilisi20:00 Inaugural dinner (hosted by the Prime Minister of Georgia, H.E. Mr. Giorgi Kvirikashvili)- Welcoming remarks by local authorities and UNWTO representatives- Keynote address: “Georgia, the beginning of everything: a historic journey through wine”8 September9:00 – 12:00 Travel to Kakheti – Wine Region12:00 – 13:30 Alaverdi monastery visit: traditional wine-making practices in GeorgiaLocated in the picturesque slopes of the Caucasus Mountains in Kakheti, the Alaverdi monastery is home to a spectacular 55 metres high Cathedral. The history of the monastery dates back to the VI century and a former preferred place of worship for Georgian kings. The monastery is home to an ancient VIII century cellar boasting an intriguing collection of about 50 original, preserved “qvevris” (traditional Georgian wine vessels). It has managed to maintain throughout the generations, the ancient Georgian “qvevri” wine-making technique, nowadays and a trademark wine-making method of the Kakheti region.14:00-14:10 Welcoming remarks- H.E. Mr. Dimitry Kumsishvili, First Vice Prime Minister, Minister of Economy and Sustainable Development of Georgia- H.E. Mr. Taleb Rifai, Secretary-General of the World Tourism Organization (UNWTO)14:10-17:00 Session 1: Best practices in Wine Tourism (Khareba Winery)· Giovanni Mantovani, CEO,  VeronaFiere and creator of VINITALY (Italy)· Janet Dorozynski, Trade Commissioner, Canadian Wine, Beer and Spirits and Tourism, Trade Sectors Bureau (BBI), Global Affairs Canada (Canada)· Ayana Mizawa, Chief winemaker, Chuo Budoshu Co., Ltd., Grace Wine (Japan)· Mike Veseth, Wine Economist, Professor Emeritus of International Political Economy, University of Puget Sound (United States of Ame[...]

PM pledges to develop mountainous tourism in Georgia’s Black Sea region

Mon, 15 Aug 2016 17:45:00 +0000

15.08.2016. Georgia’s Black Sea region Adjara continues to gain popularity for its sea and mountainous places among foreign visitors choosing to spend their holidays in Georgia.Prime Minister of Georgia, Giorgi Kvirikashvili, while presenting the majoritarian candidate for the region, announced that the government is working on a plan to turn Adjara into a developed four season tourist destination.“I am happy to see that the region is full of tourists and visitors. We have a plan and definite intentions for both coastal and mountainous Adjara, aiming to make them even more attractive for tourists,” Kvirikashvili said.The PM emphasized that the plan includes renovation of new roads leading from seaside areas to the mountainous parts of Adjara, as well as construction and promotion of new European style mountain resorts in the region.The latest statistics published by the Tourism and Resorts Department of Adjara state that the number of tourists visiting the region during the January-July period increased by 73.35 percent y-o-y to reach 21,500 people. The majority of guests are from Russia, Poland, Ukraine and Israel. The information is based on data provided by tourist information centers.According the Adjara Tourism Department, most visitors are interested in high-mountainous areas and ecotourism.Source  ▼ View Map    ▼ Add new object    ▼ Read more info       Georgian Wine Catalogue       To add this Search Box to your website,  click  here. Many designs are available[...]

Georgia as a top tourist destination: Behind the scenes

Mon, 18 Jul 2016 11:37:00 +0000

by  Keti Sidamonidze and Ludovic Girod18.07.2016. Less than four years ago, in 2012 the worldwide known tourist guide Lonely Planet attributed to Georgia a title of top world destination. Afterwards, the US influential magazine New Yorker named Georgia as the place worth visiting in 2015 and, this year, the country has been acknowledged by CNN as one of the best tourist destinations. The growing world’s attention to this pearl of the Caucasian region can be said is primarily driven by the uniqueness of place, constant tourist infrastructure development, effective governmental initiatives, as well as efficient marketing strategy.The recently published data by the Georgian National Tourism Administration shows that Georgia has experienced significant growth of the number of international arrivals: since 2014 the growth rate has been established at 14% while the worldwide index does not surpass 3.4%. Development of tourist industry has a noteworthy impact upon the economy of the country since its share in GDP amounted to almost 6.8% in 2015. According to some experts of the industry, the potential is still to be exploited better. For example, the Travel & Tourism Competitiveness Index of the World Economic Forum ranks Georgia at the 71st place among 141 countries. The country has got the lowest score in a sub-index of natural and cultural resources (2.1% and 1.5% out of 7% correspondingly). These pillars concern attractiveness measures to promote natural and cultural World Heritage sites, the percentage of nationally protected areas, the number of large stadiums hosting significant events, the number of international meetings within the country, etc. This information unveils some areas for further performance improvement.The qualitative improvement of the industry is indispensable for attracting solvent tourists mostly from the Western countries. Currently, the neighboring countries such as Armenia, Azerbaijan and Turkey constitute the biggest share of the tourist market – about 72.1% in 2015. A slight decline in a number of Turkish visitors has been caught up with extensively expanding second markets like India and Iran. Nevertheless, the purchasing power of this population cannot be equaled with a budget of an average Western homologue. The question how to attract this category of tourists is still being deliberated, some important initiatives have been already undertaken to promote a luring image of Georgia, particularly, by the means of Check in Georgia program.Check in Georgia program is managed by the Ministry of Culture while Georgian National Tourism Administration is in charge of the promotion of this program abroad. Mr. George Chogovadze, Head of the Georgian National Tourism Administration, mentions 4 million views of the internet pages publicizing the program targeting the foreign public. The upscale events attract numerous young tourists, mainly, from the neighboring countries. The program contributes to prolonging duration of the visitors’ stay in Georgia as, currently, a number of visits surpassing 24 hours amounts only to 39%. Due to this program, inner tourism will also be developing since it encourages the Georgian population to travel and discover other regions of the country. Some representatives of the hospitality sector share that it would be very beneficial for the national economy if these events are organized throughout off-season and in various regions to assist, in this way, in their development as touris[...]

Air Arabia begins services to Batumi

Tue, 12 Jul 2016 13:04:00 +0000

12.07.2016 (Hvino News). Air Arabia, the Middle East and North Africa’s first and largest low-cost carrier, touched down in Batumi, the second largest city of Georgia.The airline operates two weekly flights to the famed Black Sea port city from its primary Sharjah International Airport hub on Thursday and Saturdays at 13:15, arriving at Batumi at 16:40. The return flights are scheduled to leave Batumi International Airport at 17:30 to arrive in Sharjah at 20:50.A fascinating seaside resort city steeped in history and blessed with abundant natural beauty, Batumi has built a reputation as a safe, affordable destination, helping it find a niche among travelers looking beyond traditional tourist spots. The city’s varied charms include a cluster of classical 19th century edifices dotting its historic Old Town, including museums, monuments, cultural centers, and mosques and cathedrals.Batumi is equally known for its stunning beaches, parks and squares, and the surge in tourism over the last decade has seen a number of modern buildings, including five-star hotels and resorts from international chains, take their place alongside the historical town that offers a window into Batumi’s rich past.Commenting on the announcement, Adel Al Ali, Group Chief Executive Officer of Air Arabia, said: “We are happy to announce an extension to our connectivity in Georgia. Batumi is a growing tourism destination and is popular during the summer months. We expect to see healthy demand for the flights and further encourage tourism between the two countries.”Air Arabia already operates daily to Tbilisi, the capital and largest city of Georgia, which is rapidly emerging from the margins of Europe’s tourism landscape to become its fastest rising star, with a 2014 report by the World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) showing Georgia to have recorded the largest increase in international visitor numbers of any European country.The announcement by Air Arabia comes after the carrier launched its flights to Sarajevo in Bosnia and Herzegovina further cementing its rapid expansion in EuropeAir Arabia currently operates flights to over 120 destinations in 33 countries across the Middle East, Asia, Africa, Asia, and Europe.© Hvino News  ▼ View Map    ▼ Add new object    ▼ Read more info      Georgian Wine Catalogue       To add this Search Box to your website,  click  here. Many designs are available.[...]

Georgian Railway deploys Swiss-made double decker trains

Wed, 29 Jun 2016 21:36:00 +0000

30.06.2016  (Hvino Tour News). Swiss Stadler Rail is to supply Georgian Railway with four KISS double-deck electric multiple-units under an €39.6m agreement.The EMUs are to be delivered between June and September and will be deployed on fast services between Tbilisi and the Black Sea resorts of Batumi, Kobuleti and Ureki. GR said the new rolling stock would improve passenger comfort and help to support tourism. The new trainsets would be fully compliant with European safety standards, and be the first Georgian trainsets to be ‘completely adjusted to the needs of physically disabled persons’, GR added.Each new train will be able to service about 530 passengers at once and reach a maximum speed of 160 km/h.Georgian Railway says it has no plans to raise the cost of tickets. At present, a ticket from Tbilisi to Batumi costs 19-26 GEL.The KISS EMUs were originally ordered by Russian airport shuttle operator Aeroexpress, which awarded contracts for 16 four-car and eight six-car units in February 2013. However, the fall in the value of the rouble made that contract unaffordable, and a settlement was reached in February 2016 which will see Aeroexpress take only 11 units; two have been delivered so far. Azerbaijan’s national railway ADY has taken over five EMUs from the original order, with four now delivered, and GR has now taken four.Brand new, modern double-decker trains made in Switzerland have been introduced to the Georgian railway network which will serve passengers travelling between capital Tbilisi to the country’s Black Sea resorts this summer.An official page of Georgian Railways published first pictures of these latest trains which will be available soon.© Hvino News  ▼ View Map    ▼ Add new object    ▼ Read more info       Georgian Wine Catalogue       To add this Search Box to your website,  click  here. Many designs are available.[...]

Travel & tourism investments in Georgia to rise by 6.3% in 2016

Mon, 20 Jun 2016 13:29:00 +0000

20.06.2016. Travel & Tourism investment in Georgia in 2015 was GEL 231.7mn, or 3.4% of total investment. The figure is forecasted to rise by 6.3% in 2016. The direct contribution of Travel & Tourism to GDP was GEL2,195.9 mn (7.1% of total GDP) in 2015, and is forecast to rise by 5.9% in 2016, and to rise by 6.1% pa, from 2016-2026, to GEL4,212.6 mn (8.4% of total GDP) in 2026.According to the World Travel & Tourism Council (WTTC), the global authority on the economic and social contribution of Travel & Tourism, in 2015 Travel & Tourism in Georgia directly supported 100,500 jobs (5.8% of total employment). This is expected to rise by 4.2% in 2016 and rise by 1.8% pa to 125,000 jobs (7.2% of total employment) in 2026. Rochelle Turner is the head of research at “WTTC Travel & Tourism Economic Impact 2016 Georgia”.The total contribution of Travel & Tourism to GDP was GEL7,310.2 mn (23.5% of GDP) in 2015, and is forecast to rise by 5.3% in 2016, and to rise by 6.1% pa to GEL13,874.7mn (27.7% of GDP) in 2026.Travel & Tourism investment in 2015 was GEL231.7mn, or 3.4% of total investment. It should rise by 6.3% in 2016, and rise by 5.8% pa over the next ten years to GEL433.3mn in 2026 (3.9% of total).According to the report, in 2015, the total contribution of Travel & Tourism to employment, including jobs indirectly supported by the industry, was 20.1% of total employment (347,000 jobs). This is expected to rise by 3.5% in 2016 to 359,000 jobs and rise by 1.7% pa to 423,000 jobs in 2026 (24.4% of total).Visitor exports generated GEL4,701.0 mn (36.4% of total exports) in 2015. This is forecast to grow by 5.9% in 2016, and grow by 6.4% pa, from 2016-2026, to GEL9,216.7 mn in 2026 (40.3% of total).Leisure travel spending (inbound and domestic) generated 62.1% of direct Travel & Tourism GDP in 2015 (GEL3,674.1 mn) compared with 37.9% for business travel spending (GEL2,238.6 mn).Leisure travel spending is expected to grow by 6.6% in 2016 to GEL3,915.9 mn, and rise by 6.0% pa to GEL7,009.1mn in 2026.Business travel spending is expected to grow by 4.5% in 2016 to GEL2,339.6 mn, and rise by 6.1% pa to GEL4,219.6mn in 2026.Domestic travel spending generated 20.5% of direct Travel & Tourism GDP in 2015 compared with 79.5% for visitor exports (i.e. foreign visitor spending or international tourism receipts).Domestic travel spending is expected to grow by 5.3% in 2016 to GEL1,276.1 mn, and rise by 4.7% pa to GEL2,012.1mn in 2026.Visitor exports are expected to grow by 5.9% in 2016 to GEL4,979.3 mn, and rise by 6.4% pa to GEL9,216.7mn in 2026.“The outlook for Travel & Tourism in 2016 remains robust, despite economic fragilities and other sources of volatility in the wider market. The sector’s GDP growth contribution is expected to accelerate and again outpace growth of the wider economy. Stronger growth in 2016 is likely to be underpinned by an improving global economy. The lowest oil prices in more than a decade will continue to boost demand through lower transport costs, whilst household finances and disposable income will benefit from reduced energy costs,” said David Scowsill, President & CEO at WTTC.“There are other factors which are influencing the flow of travellers around the world. Notably, the strength of the US dollar relative to other currencies is shifting the price competitiveness of destinations and will affect who trav[...]