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Developent of touristic potencial in the Imereti region. Support for the local labour market.

The Imereti region is one of the most beautiful parts of Georgia. It is situated in the Kolkheti Plain between the Lesser and Greater Caucasus. The history of this region goes back to antiquity. It is rich in tourist attractions: it has more than 200 historical monuments, numerous mountain trails, lakes, waterfalls, caves, and health resorts with mineral water sources. The administrative centre of the region is the city of Kutaisi, with its many cultural and tourist gems. The number of visitors, particularly from abroad, is constantly growing. In 2013, the number of foreign tourists rose by more than 25 per cent over the previous year.

Neither the city of Kutaisi – the second-largest city in Georgia – nor its surroundings are ready to receive tourists, however. First of all, the population is not aware of the potential, the opportunities or the needs of tourists. Owners of coffee shops, restaurants, rooms for rent, shops, and agrotourism facilities are not used to tourists, especially not from other countries. At the same time, the Imereti region is affected by significant unemployment, which despite the considerable decline in the last five years is still at about 20 per cent.

Developent of touristic potencial in the Imereti region. Support for the local labour market.

The project was implemented from 17 March to 15 August 2014 in the Imereti region of Georgia. The main actions were carried out in the city of Kutaisi. The project was aimed at strengthening the economic potential of the Imereti region by developing local tourism and popularising employment in this sector.

The beneficiaries of guide training were unemployed people and staff of firms and institutions associated with tourism who wished to improve their qualifications. Beneficiaries of training on how to run a business in the tourism sector consisted of small-business owners who wanted to adapt their activities to the needs of tourists. Material on the Imereti region was prepared bearing in mind the region’s residents, entrepreneurs engaged in tourism, tourist agencies and social organisations active in this sector.

The project is designed to serve the priorities of “small and medium-sized enterprises and job creation” and “education and occupational and social activation.”

Developent of touristic potencial in the Imereti region. Support for the local labour market.

The project made it possible to stimulate the tourism industry in the Imereti region. Project actions included:

  • training for 80 people in the field of running a business in the tourism industry and on the work of a tour guide;
  • building a website containing all the material prepared as part of the project (www.visitkutaisi.com and www.visitkutaisi.ge);
  • preparation of an information brochure (with a print run of 10,000 copies).

Already during the training, over 60 per cent of participants declared a readiness to work in the tourism industry. One tourism firm established by project participants is in the course of registration.

The website and flier created under the project inform tourists about what the Imereti region has to offer. Many people flying into Kutaisi immediately started planning a visit to more distant towns and regions. By receiving a flier at the airport, potential tourists may consider the possibility of staying in Kutaisi or the Imereti region.

Both the flier and the website remained available after the project’s completion. The project partners can maintain and update the content with the help of the Kutaisi Info tourist information centre.