Tourism Development International conducts the project ”Agritourism Development in Mukhrani”. As for the project details, significant potential exists for the development of Georgia’s agribusiness sector and specifically agritourism.
Opportunities exist in hospitality and traditional food production, particularly for women and youth. Agritourism also offers farmers an opportunity to diversify their business and add value to products already produced on the farm and which can support the generation of additional income.
EBRD has initiated a training programme to support the agritourism sector in Georgia. Mukhrani has been selected as a Pilot Area for the project. EBRD have appointed Tourism Development International (TDI) to undertake this project.
CBW had an interview with Peter Mac Nulty, Managing Director of Tourism Development International for further details:
Why did you choose Mukrhani as a pilot area; What’s the current climate there?
Mukhrani Village has significant untapped potential for tourism development. The village has a range of significant historic assets including Mukhrani Citadel, Niko the Boer’s Castle, internationally significant Roman ruins at Dzalisi, and Chateau Mukhrani. In addition, Mukkhrani has intangible heritage such as the production of traditional foods which could also have appeal for international visitors. In 2016, the Foundation for the Economic Development of Mukhrani commissioned Tourism Development International [TDI] to prepare a Tourism Development Plan for Mukhrani. The plan set out proposals for the long term conservation of Mukhrani’s built heritage and the sustainable development of tourism, including agritourism. The Tourism Development Plan highlighted the need for tourism investment and training measures.
How do Mukhrani inhabitants respond to the initiative?
To date, there has been a positive response to the agritourism training initiative from the inhabitants of Mukhrani. Quite a few individuals have their own ideas and are keen to start tourism enterprises. As tourism is a new industry for Mukhrani, these individuals and other potential beneficiaries are keen to obtain an understanding of tourism and how the citizens of Mukhrani can benefit from participating in this economic sector.
How do you plan to increase awareness of the area, what will be the main tourist activities?
The Tourism Development Plan for Mukhrani includes a Marketing Plan to raise awareness of the area. A programme of Workshops and Forums has been set up with Mukhrani residents to raise awareness of Mukhrani’s tourism potential and the agritourism training initiative. Newsletters will be prepared monthly and will be communicated via social media and email. TDI will also be reaching out to the print and electronic media in Georgia and in particular in the Mtskheta-Mtianeti region.
Who will be leading the training programme and which techniques will be taught within it?
The training programme will be implemented by Tourism Development International [TDI] on behalf of EBRD. The TDI team of 6, which comprises International and Georgian experts, is being led by Peter Mac Nulty, Managing Director of TDI.