Tourism seems to grow this year again. The best promotion are doing those guests, who have been here in the last 2-3 years already and then talked and recommended Georgia to their friends and collegues at home. They do this best, when they are satisfied with impressions, experiences and services here in the mountains of Georgia. Far from beeing usable for any statistics here are a few of my impressions lately:
Amazing, how many Israelian citizens coming to Georgia, organized by Tour Operators or as Individuals in small groups. Shall the long friendship between Georgia and Israel further continue !
A lot of individual backpackers are from European countries like Slovakia, Slovenia, Cechia, Poland and the Baltic States. They adopt to Georgian culture pretty fast, prefer English altough do rembember some Russian phrases as well if nessecary. Beside their interest in just relaxing and enjoying holidays some of those are always open to invent or combine a new business idea and put it maybe to life in Georgia. For them it is somehow easier to imagine a good business idea in Georgia than for other Europeans, because their home countries had to change into market societies 10-15 years ago similiar to the ongoing changes in Georgia today.
Young and very sympathic Russians discover Georgia as a excellent country for climbing, hiking and relaxing at the Black Sea. This gave me a big hope in the way, that politics did not succeed in the completely worsening of Russian-Georgian human relations. Beside the "new" Russian tourists it is also heard, that even the one or other Russian artist or journalist considers a permanent move to Georgia. Great climate, big diversities in cultures, contrasts of landscapes, good wines and still much lower prices for living costs than inMoscow or Petersburg makes the descision easier...
Armenians and Aserbaidshanians very peacuful enjoy next to each others the fresh subtropic breezes around the Batumi and Kobuleti Black Sea Beaches. Hey, dear friends from Baku, Yerevan and beyond, use your holidays for recreation and do not forget about the old dream of a whole, peaceful and even befriended Caucasus ! Dear Georgian hosts ! Couldn't be the beaches much cleaner ? If 5 or 6 hotels together would pay two boys each 30 Lari a day for cleaning the beach in your vicinity you could attract much more and more satisfied international guests. Beside it could have a good impact on the too slowly changing old Soviet "throw-it-where-you-stand-behaviours".
LOVE seems to play a big part in International-Georgian relationships. Two examples only from last week: Young successful webdesigner from Luxemburg falls in love to young sympathic Georgian girl. Marriage is planned. Young successful Polish businessman falls in love to young sympathic Georgian girl at the Airport (because his plane delayed by three hours.) Marriage is planned.
I always love to see astonished German faces tasting Georgian beers... Oh, they get so exited and do going on wondering: How the Georgians managed to brew such a good beers beside their born traditions of wine-making ?
On the Georgian side: Guesthouses in the Mountainregions looked very good booked this summer. Some new ones are still in construction. Locals in the mountains could at least this year make a decent additional income by guiding, horse renting, driving or guestbeds. My prognose: Next year will even be much better. My urgent advise: Start learning English (at least) now.
My favourite dish of the month August: Hot Khavitsi ( grilled and baked curd cheese similiar to Cheese Fondue) with herbs served in a Tushetian shepherders camp. Vodka or local Tsha-Tsha completes best.