Georgia’s economy is gaining momentum, thanks to favorable domestic conditions, strong external demand, and landmark achievements including the country's association agreement with the EU in mid-2014 and the coming into effect of the Deep and Comprehensive Free Trade Area.
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TourismBlessed with a rich cultural heritage and an abundance of natural beauty, Georgia has attracted an increasing number of tourists in recent years. Conservation efforts, infrastructure developmen... Show More +t, urban rehabilitation and cultural heritage restoration have all played their part in helping to boost tourism and grow the economy. But, there is potential to achieve much more.As such, tourism development is one of the country’s top priorities. Giorgi Kvirikashvili, Minister of Economy and Sustainable Development, points out that the tourism sector requires close inter-agency coordination, including with private and non-governmental bodies. “Taking into consideration all the above-mentioned factors,” Kvirikashvili says, “elaboration of the tourism strategy will clearly identify the challenges existing in the sector and define the main directions that will become the basis for development of this important sector in the country”.The World Bank Group works closely with the government through its Country Partnership Strategy with Georgia, and regards the development of the tourism sector, related business opportunities and private investments as priorities for the country’s economic development.“The joint World Bank and IFC collaboration focuses on fostering entrepreneurship and access to finance, improving the investment climate and developing Georgia’s tourism strategy that will determine how to improve the sector’s performance, align implementation priorities and enable job growth,” Henry Kerali says.Ahmed Eiweida, Program Leader for Sustainable Development in the South Caucasus, said in a recent interview that “Tourism and travel is one of the fastest growing sectors of the economy in Georgia and a key generator of jobs, accounting for 14.2 percent of total direct and indirect employment in 2013 and 6-7 percent of GDP. The sector currently provides nearly 20 percent of export earnings. The national tourism development strategy is, therefore, an instrument to develop further the sector in order to take full advantages of Georgia’s potentials and position it globally as a rich, diversified and high quality destination.”A process to elaborate the national tourism strategy took place at a workshop in Tbilisi on 3 December, 2014, following extensive consultations with a variety of stakeholders. Participants at the workshop shared their experiences and discussed the proposed Vision 2025 for the tourism sector. Public consultations will take place in the coming months and both the national education and tourism strategies, together with their respective action plans, will be finalized in spring 2015 for approval by the government. Show Less -