The National Tourism Administration positively appraises the 2015 tourism season. The administration head Giorgi Chogovadze assures the 2015 report will register record figures.
The administration will continue campaigns for attracting foreign tourists in 2016. The next year Georgia will host the first international wine conference that is organized bye the world tourism organization. The event is expected to draw a new wave of international tourists to Georgia.
Shalva Alaverdashvili The founder of the Hotel and Restaurant Federation overviews the 2015 important aspects.
The year of 2015 was much more fruitful for the tourism sector compared to 2014. The sector’s sales have grown in 2015.
“The year of 2014 was comparatively worse because of restricted visa regime. The regime was alleviated in 2015 and the tourism sector received real benefits,”says Alaverdashvili
“All these factors have largely stimulated eastern countries to enter Georgia. Tbilisi was full of foreign tourists in August 2015, while in 2014 the capital city lacked for visitors and tourists were mainly heading to resorts. And this year both resorts and Tbilisi were full of tourists and the ratio of visitors from Arab countries is decisive in this indicator,”he added,
Despite this category of tourists belong to the medium segment, they spend more money compared to the visitors from Poland, for example.
The current year was satisfactory for the private sector, despite they had higher expectations from the Tbilisi Youth Olympic Festival. These expectations have not justified in this respect. In other cases the results were satisfactory, including the UEFA football match in Tbilisi was a fantastic event. I think in 2015 Tbilisi has performed very well. Timely marketing campaigns are of vital importance to increase the tourist inflows.
The time and period is of crucial importance in this business, despite the fact marketing campaigns are conducted in ordinary regime. For example, the Olympic Games advertising campaign started on July 25, when the Games were scheduled for July 26. The campaign lasted up to August 20 in the EuroNews channel.
Several millions of USD has been spent on popularizing and advertising Georgian ski resorts in foreign markets, while the public awareness remains at low level in Georgia. In practice, I have not seen ski resort advertising commercials in Georgia.
We should also make a use of everything by providing timely reaction. For example, RIXOS commercials are permanently circulated on Russian channels. At this stage, the Turkish Rixos has been blocked for Russian tourists in practice. Therefore, we have a good opportunity to redirect Russian tourists from Turkish Rixos to Georgian Rixos. We must use this chance and attract as many Russian tourists to Georgia as possible.
The government should achieve this objective jointly with the private sector.Advertising campaigns are very good, but timely advertising is of vital importance.
Several days ago, Goderdzi ski resort opened in Ajara, but I am interested whether our citizens had full information on the inauguration of this new ski resort. Only reporters and a small group of Georgian citizens were aware of this event. New resorts should be unveiled by huge PR campaigns, advertising campaigns.
Specific affairs are made, but we lack for timely and intense PR campaigns. All affairs must be supported by adequate PR campaigns.
Previously, affairs could be less, but PR campaigns were more intense. Today the real affairs are done, but there is a deficiency of efficient PR campaigns. And this is a negative factor. Ski resorts should be not be advertized on the eve of inauguration, because this is a delayed PR campaign, because foreign and domestic vacationers have already planned their tours. The same problem exists in relation to the Tetnuldi resort.
When the resort inauguration time will come, a group of persons will arrive there, unveil the complex and the ceremony will be over. In practice, tourists cannot receive information and cannot get there, because they have already chosen other destinations.
“Today Information Campaigns Circulate around Georgia and Nobody Cares Developing Products”