An interview with the former head of theNational Tourism Agency Maya Sidamonidze
You are involved in the tourism business for several years, it became known that you aregoing to open a hotel. What amount do you plan to invest in the project?
About USD 700 000. I have taken out this amount at a bank.
Where will the hotel be located?
The hotel will be located in the center of Tbilisi. It will be a small non-branded 4-star hotel consisted of26-rooms that will serve middle and high-income customers. A boutique hotel will offer visitors high quality service and affordable prices.
How are you going to attract visitors?
Each room will have a terrace with a breathtaking view of the old city. A restaurant, which will serve boththe hotel’s clients and guests from outside, will be located on the top floor.
Our personnel will offer clients a wide range of exceptional services completely free of charge. Compared with a four-star hotel , this service will be of a very high quality.
Do you plan to offer any special privileges to those customers who use the services of your travel agency?
In general, the hotel and tourism business are linked together. Obviously, we’ll have some proposals for our travel agency customers. However, considering the fact that we do not have a lot of rooms, we will not be able to host very large tourist groups. The hotel will be designed for the corporate segment and individual visitors.
Tourism Department of Ajara has taken the initiative to introduce new regulations, such as the issuance of licenses for the opening of hotels and restaurants. In your
opinion, are these regulations needed?
The legislative regulations that can lead to the closure or fining of any object will not contribute to private sector development.
Similar regulations have been abolished in many countries. In my opinion, it is better to carry out encouraging activities and promote the protection of standards.
Excessive regulations always create some problems. Especially in the countries where small and medium business is in a process of development and needs support. Of course, safety standards and consumer rights are very important.
But I think the competition always regulates the market, because if certain standards are not met, a guest will no longer choose such a hotel and will go to the hotel that offers better conditions. So, I do not think that the introduction of such regulations in a liberal market economy is justified.