On June 22 a session of the executive committee of the International Olympic Committee will take place, at which the fate of the three or four candidates concerning hosting of the Olympic Games will be resolved. The remaining applicants will stop their activities.
In April tour operators named Croatia as the most attractive country in Europe for tourists, it surpassed such giants in this sphere as England, France, Greece… This is a serious indicator of the fact that Georgia also has a chance of making its presence felt in this sphere. Then, where do the problems originate from?
Is it a myth or reality that Georgia will some day be able to host Olympic Games, and where is the key to implementation of this kind of global project? We spoke on this issue to the head of the group that worked out the project submitted by Georgia, Mr. Vazha Shubladze.
– Mr. Vazha, where does the idea of holding winter Olympic Games in Georgia originate from?
– In December 2004, at the session of the Olympic Executive Committee the leadership made a suggestion concerning holding of winter Olympic Games in Georgia. In general, it does not happen so that a country would nominate its candidacy for the first time and become a hosting country at once. Strasburg is a candidate country for the third time. This is a process in the course of which the country is built up, and all this will remain in the country. If we cannot achieve our goal now, let Georgia be the hosting country of the Olympic Games in 2018 or 2022.
– What does this mean for Georgia?
– It means a lot. First of all, gaining of the hosting right means a great authority in the world. Big international companies and investors will become interested in Georgia. This is a very good PR for the country, Georgia will advance for about 40 years in the world’s perception. The country is being built up, there will be a new infrastructure. In case of gaining of the hosting right, the International Olympic Committee only will allocate about 1 billion USD.
– What does this billion intended for?
– It is intended for operative costs necessary for holding of the Olympic Games. We made an application in August and it turned out that seven countries had already done it. 150 000 USD was to be paid in, and it was paid by Patarkatsishili’s Olympic Fund, after which we were registered in accordance with the instruction. We also submitted the letter of the country’s President Mikheil Saakashvili saying that the country supports this idea, it cannot be done otherwise. Georgia, Russia, Austria, Spain, South Korea, Kazakhstan and Bulgaria were registered as candidates. Cities and not countries are registered as applicants, so Borjomi is registered there as an applicant, just like Almaty, Sochi, Zaltsburg, Jaka, PyeongChang and Sofia.
– What about Zaltsburg’s chances of hosting the Olympic Games?
– It is possible to hold the Olympic Games in Zaltsburg even tomorrow. However, this is not the most important. We had time till February 1 of the current year to submit an application in accordance with all the rules of the 800 page instruction. The application itself contains 8 chapters, 25 paragraphs and about twenty tables. One table should contain the distances between all the hotels, sports units and Olympic villages indicated by you. Four relief maps taken from outer space that show the whole picture are necessary, etc. Everything is presented in these eight chapters. The first chapter contains your country’s outlook concept. Georgia’s concept, motivation and the project’s essence – why Georgia? These are very serious works. The following chapter deals with political and government support of this project. The following difficulty is making of a master plan of sports and Olympic installations that should be properly indicated on the relief map. Then comes the concept of transport service. It includes aviation, railway, water transport, motor transport, rope-ways, etc. The whole picture should be presented, the distance and time should be determined correctly. Accommodation facilities were to be calculated, since if you have less than 40 000 rooms your application will be put aside and the only reason for that would be the insufficient number of hotels. However, there is no need for this number to be available right now, you should indicate them in three colors in the application: green – the existing ones, dark blue – the planned ones, which means that, regardless of the fact whether the Olympic Games will be held or not, these hotels will remain in your country all the same, and the hotels that will be built especially for the Olympic Games are marked red. The concept of environmental protection should be worked out as well. The most difficult chapter is security – how safe the Olympic Games can be, and what forces, means and technologies you will use for this purpose. It is clear that the chapter devoted to financial provision is important as well, etc. The country does not have this kind of experience. In fact, by 2014, or 19 years in advance, you have to present the development concept of one of the country’s regions that drags the whole country. We had very little time for that – two months. It is difficult to do it without experience, that is why each country looks for famous and experienced PR companies. In August we invited the Americans to assist us in this work. They requested 3.5 million USD for making this application. While the Europeans requested 1 600 000 USD for consultations only. On September 14 Mr. Badri asked me whether we could make this application by ourselves. I replied that it was a great risk but it was possible. We formed a team of highly professional specialists and on October 5 we actually started the work. The first thin that had been planned correctly was our visit to Lausanne at the end of September with the purpose of studying the information. We hired German company Ebert International as a consultant that has a great experience in holding of the Olympic Games. This consultation cost us rather cheap – 135 000 USD. On December 15 the Georgian variant of the document was already ready. Then its translation into English and French started in Europe. On January 27, with observance of all the terms, this document was handed over to Lausanne headquarters. This was preceded by the document’s presentation in Borjomi at the session of the Olympic Executive Committee with participation of the Prime Minister, since this matter should be dealt with by the government. I would like to say that an important detail was revealed – the efforts of our present-day authorities spearheaded at putting the infrastructure in order completely fitted in this project and an amazing thing happened, if someone asks us how much holding of these Olympic Games in our country costs, we shall say it costs 3 billion USD, but spending of 60% of the sum has already been planned, that is it will be done all the same. A four-lane motorway from Tbilisi to Khashuri and a new international airport should be built, hotels – Iveria, Ajara should be reconstructed, municipal improvements will be made in Tbilisi. All competitions in winter sports will be held in Bakuriani, but the ones the need ice rinks – in Tblilisi. They include figure skating, ice hockey, curling and skating… All European experts with whom we were working were amazed by Georgia’s natural conditions, the likes of which are nowhere to be found. I was in Turin together with the managers that wrote that Georgia had a team having a unique experience. In Turin, to which all the seven applicants were invited, we were really taught the management and organization of the Olympic Games. Our maps were recognized as the ones made at a high level. They were made for us by “Geographics” company that makes them from outer space. I can tell you about the motivation of our application that is very interesting. We have three motivations: the first one is that the most southern winter mountain-ski center in the world will be created, and the Olympic Committee is also interested in it since emerging of a winter mountain-ski center in the region will promote the development of these sports. Secondly, olympism and Olympic Games, in case of support on the part of the International Olympic Committee, will contribute to long-term peace in the Caucasus region and friendship between its peoples. By the way, the International Olympic Committee has pretensions that it plays no smaller role than the UN and other institutions in relation to this issue. Our concept differed a great deal from the ones presented so far, since we openly wrote that up to now the International Olympic Committee has been looking for developed, prosperous and successful countries with the purpose of holding of Olympic Games there. Presently, our country is not of this kind, but the International Olympic Committee, by means of its support, can participate in the process of creation of such country. That is how important our participation in the Olympic Games and the status of being one of the applicants is. On February 1 these applications were submitted by everyone, in February everyone gained experience by the experience of Turin Olympic Games. During the next three months each figure, position and concept of all the seven applications will be studied. The country’s activity and support towards the project will intensify. The Deputy Prime Minister of Russia, the ministers – all of them were in Turin and expressed an active support to the Sochi project, met the President of the International Olympic Committee and other members of the Executive Committee. I can remind you the last summer Olympic Games when Jacque Shirak and Tony Blair came to support their countries, and George Bush made a special television address. This is the level at which the state support of the hosting countries takes place. Unfortunately, the activity of Georgian authorities is not seen, though there is still much time and this situation can be improved.
– Maybe they are pessimistic about the project and do not believe in its success?
– It is not unlikely. However, it must not be so when there is the President’s written support. They believe in the International Olympic Committee that the government has properly considered the step since this letter exists.
– It is rather strange, members of the government go to Bakuriani and Gudauri for each week-end and point out that they do it with the purpose of popularization of the resorts.
– It is really so, but it is a fact that no activity can be seen as yet. On June 22 a session of the executive committee of the International Olympic Committee will take place, at which the fate of the three or four candidates concerning hosting of the Olympic Games will be resolved. The remaining applicants will stop their activities. Our main purpose is to be among these candidates, which will be a big victory for Georgia, since they will promoted in the world and continue their work for the period of another year, and a new 500-600 page application should be made. If now all this is considered conceptually, at the candidate stage they require that there should be a contract and financial guarantee behind each concrete idea. This is a serious work, and the hosting country will be announced in summer 2007 in Guatemala. Let us not be excessively optimistic, since there has not been a precedent in history that a country should become the host of the Olympic Games after the first application. The President of the International Olympic Committee Jacques Rogge said in an interview that the most serious candidates were Korea and Zaltsburg. We made our application for the first time, Russia and Sofia – for the second one.
– What else does our country’s being a candidate mean?
– First of all, our country will be promoted in the world, at the same time we are given the right and an opportunity of advertising the country in the world. Applicants have the advertising right inside of the country only, while it is prohibited outside the country. That is, it is a great opportunity for the country’s PR in the world. The world famous companies – Nike, Reebok and Adidas share the candidates and, whether you like it or not, they surround and help you. This is a project without the risk of loss; the country does not lose anything, on the contrary, it wins and in case of loss you win all the same, since the country and its infrastructure are improved, new investments are attracted, etc. For instance, New York and Paris have lost to London. We conducted an opinion poll and obtained fantastic results. I do not know any other country besides Georgia, 80% of population of which set hopes on these Olympic Games. In any case, I am an international expert in tourism and know it perfectly well that before “Marriott” decided to build a hotel in Tbilisi (I was in charge of tourism at the time), its team had been working on the concept for eight months. They hesitated about investing money since they were afraid of losing their money, and let us not forget that the matter concerned one building only. Working out of such concept in a period of 2.5 months requires much work and is a very important matter.
– What should be built in accordance with this concept?
– Now we have 12 000 hotel rooms, and another 28 000 should be built.
– In case of our country’s becoming a candidate, they will already require financial guarantees. In this case, do we have the right of suggesting deals to investors?
– Yes, we do.
– Investors will invest the money even in case of non-holding of the Olympic Games, since if it is not held in 2014 it may be held in 2018. It is safe all the same, since so much attention was drawn to Georgia, that is it is possible to invest money there and there is a potential there. The matter concerns the fact that the country has a regional prospect. This is a serious business. In the United Arab Emirates 80% of GDP falls on tourism, in Israel – 37%, in Spain – 30%, Turkey, where there are 14 automobile plants, gets 25-30% of the GDP out of tourism. I believe that the concept worked out by you may have a big economic effect, and that in principle it is the government’s strategic plan that we require. It is one colored page of our GDP. By this work the experts’ team has shown what the Ministry of Economy should do, what the government team means, and what specialists and experts require from the government. We should conceptually consider the potential we have in this country, and check it on litmus paper. It is clear that Bakuriani and Borjomi is a good thing, but how valuable resource it is for the world.
– Even making of the statement concerning the possibility of holding of winter Olympic Games in Bakuriani has had a big effect – they begin the construction of a big cottage type dwelling for 3 000 persons.
– Is it already a real project?
– Yes, it is. The transport concept is interesting as well. I have discussed this subject with the government. Let us consider the current situation. The whole Europe travels by train, after getting off the plane at the airport you get on the train and go to another country. We told the members of the government that there should be a railway communication with Tbilisi airport. Under present-day conditions, it takes 6 hours to cover by train the distance of 135 km to Bakuriani, it takes 4 hours to get to Borjomi and another two hours from Borjomi to Bakuriani, since the average speed of the narrow-gauge train is 17 km/h. This is absolutely unacceptable, in Europe they cover the distance of 137 km in two hours at the worst. Our team started work with the railway experts. There is only one person in Georgia who has the experience of this kind of planning, and he is unemployed now. We have set a task to the experts to assess how much it will cost to reduce the time of covering of the distance to 2.5 hours. It turned out that 625 million USD was necessary for this purpose. These costs are included in the concept – a railway station should be built at the airport, a station in Borjomi should be reconstructed, etc. There is another aspect – how to transport such a great number of passengers by the narrow-gage railroad that connects Borjomi and Bakuriani. For this purpose we involved specialists and found out that it was possible to build a circumferential road that will enclose a fantastic ring including Tsemi, Tsagveri and Tskhratskaro. This costs 235 million USD. We have thought a lot as to what to do with the narrow-gage railroad. We found out that in France there exists “air tram” that is capable of transporting 1 500 people per hour. Its construction here costs 35 million USD. However, if we want to hold the Olympic Games in Borjomi-Bakuriani, this must be done. If someone thinks that these costs are very big, he is mistaken since prosperous PyeongChang is spending 3 billion USD on the infrastructure only. When I presented these plans at the government’s meeting, they were scared a bit, but after presentation of the table showing how much other countries, that are 20 times as much developed from the viewpoint of infrastructure than our country, are spending, they kept silent.
– It is interesting that a most difficult problem that still persists in Georgia will be solved by reconstruction of the road to Khashuri. Trains often have the speed of 5 km/h at mountain passes. While in Zaltsburg the railway works on tourism only.
– I shall tell you another important thing. In Tbilisi we have to build two ice hockey halls, an Olympic village, and a curling hall, which requires about 30-40 hectares of land. After taking of a picture from the outer space we discovered a 30 hectares plot of land on Makhata mountain, where Russian military unit used to be deployed. It turned out to be a genius PR since the whole world knows that Russian troops are being withdrawn. The Olympic village will be built on the site were the imperial forces used to be deployed for 200 years. There is a wonderful view, the Trinity Cathedral can be seen, and the Olympic complex is in the background. There is a lot of this kind of nuances but I cannot tell you about all of them. From my point of view, this plan is an important gift to the government. There was an interested consideration, and I am pleasantly surprised at this. Zurab Nogaideli has shown a great interest, and we were speaking for 2 hours and 15 minutes on this subject. In other words, the whole of this work is seriously perceived.
– Let us imagine that we won and became a candidate. What stage will be the next?
– Then a huge work with participation of the government begins. I shall tell you one more thing, the World Tourism Organization has sent two experts to Georgia at its own expense. They are thinking of suggesting to Georgia of the concept of mountain tourism development. This is very important since in all parts of the world they trust the concept prepared by the most authoritative tourism organization in the world.
– It can be said that the country’s economy becomes doubled by what is invested by the investors.
– Yes, it has been calculated as well. The state’s expenditures make up 29% of this 3 billion, 35% is private, the rest is common. This common may reveal your intelligence and the ability to work. There is quite much time till 2014, the world may change during this period of time.
– In your opinion as an expert and specialist, in what other spheres there is a theoretical possibility of such a boom?
– I believe that if someone wants to help Georgia, he must make serious investments in tourism. However, the development of tourism does not include the only construction of hotels. We can also have a successful agriculture, but only in case of interest on the part of serious investors. We have problems in this sphere because now agriculture is left to the mercy of peasants that live in Dedoplistskaro or Gori. The state does not care for it, does not make investments and does not give an impulse to it. One cannot compare Israeli and Georgian fertile and blessed lands. Holland, the territory of which is equal to a half of our country, lives on agriculture and flower growing and supplies them to the whole of Europe. The opinion that market will regulate everything is a good one, but while the market is left without conceptual and global intervention of the authorities, it is a big folly. I see the sense of the existence of the Ministry of Economy in management of this kind of global and strategic programs, and this means formation of certain priorities and giving impulses. June will be the month of testing our export and economic attractiveness, and there is hope that in any case.
Prospects of Mountain Tourism Development in Georgia
(by the example of Bakuriani resort)
Prospects of Mountain Tourism Development in Georgia
(by the example of Bakuriani resort)
Mountain and mountain-ski tourism is one of the most popular, growing and profitable segments in the world. It is well developed in almost all countries of Western and Eastern Europe, Asia and also in many countries of South America, the USA, Canada, Japan, Couth Korea, Australia, New Zealand, etc.
From this point of view Georgia has a great natural potential. Presently, when development of tourism in our country is at the initial stage, and the variety of Georgian tourist product is rather scanty, mountain and mountain-ski tourism is one of the main kinds being in demand from the viewpoint of both international and domestic tourism.
From this point of view, the development of Bakurani and Daba Gudauri resorts is particularly important. However, if we take into account natural conditions of Bakuriani, natural curative resources existing here and a comparatively long tourist season, we can assume that there are better prospects for its development than for any other mountain resort.
The description of the resort
Bakuriani is a borough in Borjomi region, located at a distance of 37 km from Borjomi railway station. It is a part of Borjomi-Bakuriani group of resorts. It is situated on the northern side of Trialeti mountain ridge in the system of small Kavkasioni, at the height of 1700 m above the sea level. The resort’s territory and its vicinity are rich in vegetation: coniferous forest tracts (spruce, pine), there are alpine meadows above the forest bounds, the resort has been functioning since 1936.
As early as during the soviet period Bakuriani was one of important centers of ski assemblages. All-union and international competitions in winter sports used to be often held here.
The peculiarities of the resort’s climate are stipulated by its location in the subtropical zone, considerably high in the mountains. Spring is short here. It is cooler in autumn and the weather is changeable. Summer is moderately cool (average temperature in August is +140 C). Frosts start to appear in late September. Winter is moderately mild (average temperature in January -5,60C). It is characterized by a great number of sunny and moderately frosty days. There is snow cover from December to the middle of April. The annual amount of precipitations is about 800 mm. Relative humidity ranges from 57 to 65%. The duration of solar illumination exceeds 2000 hours a year, out of which 650 hours falls on the summer season. There is high intensity of ultraviolet radiation, strong winds are not a characteristic feature here.
Dry mountain air with the aroma of coniferous trees, abundance of sunny radiation, etc. create favorable conditions for treatment of chronic diseases of respiratory apparatus of nontuberculous character and bronchial asthma. The resort’s peculiar climate is used for holding sanitary and prophylactic arrangements, especially among the adolescents.
A short historical excursus
In late 80s of the last century Georgia received 4-4.5 million tourists a year. Abkhazian coast of the Black Sea, Tskaltubo resort and Borjomi-Bakuriani group of resorts were especially popular. In the former Soviet Union Bakuriani was considered as the most famous and prestigious winter resort. Sanatoriums, pensions, holiday centers of all-union ministries and departments were located here.
Combined sports teams from the whole Soviet Union used to hold their trainings and assemblages before competitions here, this concerned all winter sports and most of the summer ones.
A big group of cosmonauts had a rehabilitation course in Bakuriani after space flights.
And, of course, a large number of soviet and foreign tourists can be added here.
In view of all the aforementioned, the resort was functioning during the whole year and was distinguished by a high rate of load. In 1980s it was planned to nominate Bakuriani for holding of winter Olympic Games in 1988, and in this relation a certain research was carried out with participation of French specialists, and Bakuriani’s capabilities were considered as high.
The events that took place in Georgia in 1990s delivered a serious blow on the tourism industry, including Bakuriani resort.
The general infrastructure sharply deteriorated, most of the sports constructions were destroyed and plundered, the number of tourists catastrophically decreased, etc.
In spite of this kind of state of affairs, Bakuriani, in comparison with other famous resorts, did not stop functioning even for a year, and a certain number of tourists had a rest here under such difficult conditions.
From 1997-1998 a positive growth dynamics was observed, which was followed by increasing of supply, and construction of infrastructure and new units for accommodation of tourists began.
The current situation
Presently there are 569 hotel rooms for 1281 bunks.
In comparison with other Georgian resorts, Bakuriani has the longest holiday season that lasts for about 6.5-7 months.
Proceeding from this, in Bakuriani the period of return from the investments in hotel business and other tourist infrastructure is shorter that at other resorts.
The fact that a lot of hotels have been built recently suggests Bakuriani’s attractiveness. Until recent years only Georgian investments were made in creation of tourist infrastructure, but lately the interest of some foreign investors becomes apparent (the French, the Russians, the German, etc.).
The fact that an application for holding of winter Olympic Games in 2014 was made and that Borjomi was recognized as one of the applicant towns is very important for the development of Bakuriani.
It is noteworthy that the application to the International Olympic Committee was made at a high professional level, a large amount of actual material is considered in it, serious research has been carried out, an interesting and original concept of Bakuriani’s development is given, which is an important material for investors and deserves their great attention.
In the application there considered a concept of holding of winter Olympic Games in Georgia, motivation and essence of the project, a complete plan of transport services and putting in order of the infrastructure, the concept of accommodation provision, relief maps and master-plan of Olympic constructions are drawn up, the issues of security of the games and the scale of financial provision are thought through, and government and political support guarantees are given.
The Georgian National Olympic Committee and the Olympic Fund (Chairman – B. Patarkatsishvili) have done their best so that this Olympic application would be made by a Georgian group, at the same time a big European team having much experience was invited, after consultations with which (German company “Ebernt International”) a high level international project was drawn up in English and French and submitted to the headquarters of the International Olympic Committee in Lausanne and at the stated time (till February1, 2006). If we take into account the fact that a group of managers of “Borjomi 2014” was sent on a mission to Turin winter Olympic Games where the experience unprecedented for our country was gained, it can be easily said that Georgia already has a group of trained managers with a unique experience of planning and implementation of international projects in future.
Besides, the Olympic application stipulated for creation of a positive international image of Borjomi and Bakuriani in particular, increasing of interest in them on both the domestic and the international markets, which was naturally followed by increasing of demand. Based on the market economy principles, the result of all this will be the fact that there will be a corresponding demand for the increased supply.
The indicator of growing of interest in Bakuriani is also the fact that on March 13 of the current year Georgia was visited by two experts of the World Tourism Organization – John Inright and Joseph Zenhausern that were sent on a mission here by the World Tourism Organization’s Secretary General Mr. Francesco Frangialli.
The purpose of their visit is elaboration of a master-plan for the development of mountain tourism in Georgia.
This is a considerable assistance from WTO to our country since financing of experts was made by WTO, which is a rather rare occasion in the practice of this organization.
During their stay in Georgia the experts will examine Bakuriani and Gudauri. Based on the analysis of the examination’s results they will elaborate a concrete plan for the development of mountain tourism in our country.
The existence of a master-plan elaborated by the world’s most authoritative organization will contribute to attraction of foreign investments and raising of the level of confidence in Georgian mountain resorts.
Along with the aforementioned examination, in March of the current year the Tourism Department carried out marketing and statistical research the purpose of which was the investigation and analysis of the problems existing here, singling out of different target groups, as well as revelation of the supply in which local and foreign tourists are interested.
The figures obtained as a result of the research are interesting and give an opportunity to draw certain conclusions and give recommendations.
16% of holiday-makers interrogated in Bakuriani are 16-24 years old, 46% are 25-34 years old, 33% are 35-49 years old, and only 5% are at the age of 50 and more.
68% of holiday makers have a rest with their families, while 32% – with friends.
12% of tourists were in Bakuriani for the first time, while 88% traditionally have a rest at this resort.
48% of holiday makers live in hotels, 12% in inns and 40% rent private flats.
3% of holiday makers in Bakuriani are there on business, 31% – for recreational purposes, 25% – for recreational and sports purposes, 1% of tourists are participants of conferences, while 27% go there for prophylactic and medical treatment purposes.
The purpose of visit to Bakuriani:
The duration of stay in Bakuriani:
Daily accommodation expenses of 1% of holiday makers make up less than 10 GEL, 46% pay 10-30 GEL, 18% – 30-60 GEL, while 5% – 60-100 GEL.
Average daily expenses (without accommodation) are distributed in the following way:
3% of customers are dissatisfied with accommodation facilities, 22% find them satisfactory, 57% consider them as good, and 18% – as very good.
A large part of holiday makers believes that in Bakuriani there is lack of additional offers (Internet cafes, entertainment facilities, cultural tours, sledges, fitness clubs, adventure tours), for which they would gladly pay additional sums.
Foreign experts’ conclusions
According to the National Concept of Tourism Development in Georgia, which was worked out by the EU experts, it is pointed out that three products dominate in the domestic tourism, and one of them is “winter holiday mainly in Bakuriani and Gudauri” (the National Concept of Tourism Development in Georgia, Chapter 1.1.1), while the so called “discovery tourism” is offered for the international tourist market. Offered in this kind of tours are “hikes, mountain tourism, ecological and nature cognitive tours as well as routs according to a special subject-matter. Proceeding from this, practically a single type tourist product is orientated for foreign customers. In spite of the fact that the aforementioned tourist product is very attractive, it is intended for customers with a high level of incomes and, hence, deserves considerable attention in all tourist programs, in contains one segment of the whole tourist demand”. (The National Concept of Tourism Development in Georgia, Chapter 1.1.1).
In the strategic part of this concept foreign experts call mountain tourism development as the first marketing strategy. In their opinion, “the priority of this kind of tours in Georgia is stipulated by the fact that there are corresponding wide natural opportunities. At the same time, the instability and security problems existing in the region are considered as a less inhibitory factor for the customers of this category in comparison with other target groups. For the period immediately ahead, Western Europe will remain the main market for the sale of discovery and adventure tourism’s product, though the following countries should be considered as potential markets:
– the USA;
– Japan, South Korea;
– non-residents living in the Caucasus” (The National Concept of Tourism Development in Georgia, Chapter 8.1.2).
According to the same European experts, a special care for the development of the mountain tourism segment in Georgia is necessary. “This kind of trips may be: tracking, mountain cycle tours, rafting in mountain rivers, mountain climbing, canyoning, rock-climbing, horse tours, ski trips, etc., for instance the success of Helly Skiing program in Georgia clearly shows the effectiveness of this kind of tours.
The segment of this kind of market is a narrow one, but it is characterized by a strong trend of the market’s growth. The so called “discovery character” of this kind of product contributes to its selling”.
The product requires a high price/quality indicator and is characterized by neat dependence on nature.” (The National Concept of Tourism Development in Georgia, Chapter 8.2, stage 2).
Proceeding from all the above-mentioned, we can conclude that Georgia, in particular Bakuriani, has unique conditions for the development of mountain tourism. This segment of tourism is characterized by a strong growth trend, it is orientated for high-income and less pretentious customers and has a big market both for the international and the local tourism.