08.May .2020 19:01

What should we do to attract tourists in the existed reality - Vera Kobalia's opinion

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"Air tickets are likely to become more expensive and the category of tourists we were counting on will probably not be as large as used to be in Georgia", said Vera Kobalia, former minister of tourism of Georgia.

As Kobalia told BM.GE, given the challenges posed by covid-19, Georgia should pay special attention to attracting high-income tourists.

“The tourism industry will change and more emphasis will be made on quality instead of quantity. Unfortunately, many different directions will be monopolized, including aviation. Because international traffic will not return to normal by the end of the year and of course, many airlines will not be able to withstand such pressure, so this market will be monopolized, which means that prices will rise. So, the category of tourists we were counting on will probably not be as large as used to be in Georgia.

What should Georgia do in this situation? - We can take some steps… First of all, we must improve the tourist infrastructure and focus on high-income tourists. What do these types of travelers need - for some reason we think they are looking for five-star hotels and so on. This is not the true, they have five-star hotels in their own countries. On the contrary, today's European or American tourists are looking for closeness to nature, tranquility, natural products ... That's why they are interested in mountains, clean rivers, culinary ... In short, to get emotions. We must also understand that tourism is not a separate sector, it is closely linked to agriculture, and if we can sort it out and rethink it and send international messages, marketing rings, that is what Georgia offers foreign tourists, I think it will not be bad”, said Vera Kobalia.