Supporting the Development of the Georgian Tourism and Hospitality Industry
Georgia has become a desirable destination of late, and consequently, the number of tourists is increasing year by year. As such, it is one of the utmost priorities for institutions in the tourism business to do more to promote the sector in various directions and to create a positive image of the country worldwide.
Started in 2015, the Welcome to Georgia! National Tourism Awards is one of the most significant, events for said sector; a kind of Oscars for Georgian tourism and travel businesses, highlighting Georgian heritage, culture, traditions and modern achievements. It is also a big challenge and motivation for different companies involved in tourism to improve their infrastructure and to provide better service.
Ukrainian Maryna Chayka, the CEO of Welcome to Georgia! National Tourism Awards and co-founder of the Welcome to Georgia! Awards Project, told Georgia to See Magazine that the award ceremony has increased in popularity, attracting more and more companies to participate. She also noted that the second official ceremony held on December 2 , 2016, at Biltmore Hotel Tbilisi, brought together more than 300 nominees, which is considerably higher a number in comparison with the previous year.
“It is a great challenge and motivation for us to have such positive feedback from the Georgian tourism sector,” Chayka said, who in turn is so enthusiastic about her work that she has started to learn Georgian and is really succeeding at it.
Getting back to the ceremony, as usual the event ran in a festive and inspiring atmosphere and was attended by General Managers and owners of the best hotels and restaurants, market leading developers, the main businesses of the country, wineries, goverment officials , national and local authorities,representatives of the largest hotel operators, travel agencies and tour operators, mass media and industry press. At the award ceremony, winners were revealed in 19 separate categories.
The Awards Project has also received the support of the government and the private business sector. The Georgian National Tourism Administration is a co-organizer of the project , while official supporters include Tbilisi City Hall and the Ministry of Economy and Sesteinable Development of Georgia . General sponsor – Alliance Group . Official sponsor of the Award – Bank of Georgia.
Regarding future plans, according to Chayka there’s a lot ahead, including organizing trainings and masterclasses run by renowned specialists from international schools, a forum at the end of April and inviting representatives of the international media. The project is expanding in scale, supporting Georgian tourism and the hospitality industry in its further development.