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Ministry of Economy and Sustainable Development and Minister of Finance Met the Managers of Hotels

Published: June 15, 2011 | 3:12 pm
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The COMMERCIAL TIMES

On June 15 Minister of Economy and Sustainable Development, Vera Kobalia and Minister of Finance, Kakha Baindurashvili held a meeting with the managers of successful Georgian hotels before the opening of summer season; the meeting was organized by National Investment Agency of Georgia. The meeting was also attended by the heads of GNIA and GNTA.

Possibilities for future development of hotel business, its problems, and directions which the hotels require assistance from the government in were discussed during the meeting. According to Minister of Economy and Sustainable Development, an unprecedented number of visitors came to Georgia in May, so the country must be ready for the new flow of tourists in summer, which will comprise up to three million visitors according to some forecasts. The number will increase up to 5 million by 2015. Vera Kobalia noted that this was the very aim of the meeting – to discuss all the directions the government can be of assistance to the sector in order for the country to meet the needs of the growing flow of tourists.  “Business and we must decide together what must be done in this direction,”- Vera Kobalia noted.

During the meeting, the parties discussed several aspects which should make the work of the hotels more effective: infrastructure (including transport issues,) development of IT Technologies and other modern means of communication, and unified maintenance of these aspects was discussed.  Businessmen who participated in the meeting noted afterwards that they received answers to all the questions they had.

Georgia has the leading position among 124 countries for the ease of receiving its Visa. 675 000 tourists visited Georgia in the first quarter of 2011, that is 43% more compared to the analogous period last year.  400 Hotels operate on the territory of Georgia and they offer up to 10 000 rooms. The main issue right now is the correspondance of price and the level of service. Demand on 2-4 star hotels is increasing. According to STR Global, US Research Center 100% of rooms at hotels that have more than 100 rooms were reserved in May.

Georgian Government created Free Tourism Zones in order to promote the development of hotel sector in the country and offered investors unprecedented terms such as: Free Land and General Plan for the hotel, Tax Exemption for 15 years. Moreover, the government provides communications and infrastructure such as roads and Anaklia-Zugdidi Airport.

The Adjaristqali project is developed in cooperation between Clean Energy Invest and IFC InfraVentures, an early stage project developer launched by IFC, a member of the World Bank Group. .

The main benefits for Georgia from the development of the project are expected to be:

The project will enable Georgia to use more of its energy resources to meet electricity    demand during the winter, reducing the need to import gas

The export of electricity will be a major source of export income for Georgia

The project will contribute with employment opportunities for local people

Municipalities along the Adjaristsqali river will receive local property tax income

Clean Energy Invest is a Norwegian based company which develops hydro projects in countries with a sustainable energy framework and untapped hydro potential.

About IFC

IFC, a member of the World Bank Group, is the largest global development institution focused on the private sector in developing countries. We create opportunity for people to escape poverty and improve their lives. We do so by providing financing to help businesses employ more people and supply essential services, by mobilizing capital from others, and by delivering advisory services to ensure sustainable development. In a time of global economic uncertainty, our new investments climbed to a record $18 billion in fiscal 2010.

 

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