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Tourism development - chance for Immereti. Local market support.

The undertaken actions are a continuation of the 2014 project entitled “Development of the tourist potential in the Imereti region. Support for the regional labour market” and are a response to needs diagnosed in the course of work in the region. Imereti is one of the most beautiful regions of Georgia, with a history dating back to antiquity and with unique value for tourists. More and more tourists have been coming to the region ever since low-cost airlines started regular connections to Kutaisi. The growing trend of visitors is confirmed by Georgia’s National Tourism Administration.

Alongside the potential and the increasing number of tourists in Kutaisi stands the inability of the local community to make use of the region’s resources and to promote them as well as difficulties in adapting to changes in the labour market given continuously high unemployment. An impediment to development of small tourism businesses is that visitors typically time spent in Imereti to a minimum. This is due to lack of information about interesting things to do and see in the region.

The project beneficiaries are representatives of the local community of Imereti. The beneficiaries of training concerning agritourism farms and vineyards are the owners and workers of these establishments. The beneficiaries of training in sales are persons who work with or who want to take up work based on product sales and contact with clients.

Tourism development - chance for Immereti. Local market support.

The project was aimed at strengthening the economic potential of the Imereti region – one of the most beautiful regions of Georgia – by developing local tourism, with the main focus placed on strengthening micro-enterprise. Actions were designed to supplement and disseminate information on Imereti and to expand what is offered to tourists, benefitting both visitors and residents of the region by enabling them to create jobs by themselves. This goal was achieved by expanding and disseminating tourist information in Kutaisi on the region’s attractions as well as by training on the development of micro-enterprise.

The project implementing entity was the ICAD Foundation and the local partner was Tourism and Reality. The project beneficiaries were representatives of the local community of the Imereti region, owners of farms and vineyards and persons working with or planning to work with clients.

Tourism development - chance for Immereti. Local market support.

As a result of the project, the website www.visitkutaisi.com was expanded to include additional sections. The number of hits on the website and the number of likes on Facebook increased.

The guidebook entitled Explore Georgia, Visit Imereti was printed and distributed in 9,000 copies along with 4,000 copies of fliers that were prepared in 2014. Training was conducted on marketing and customer service, followed by visits to check the possibilities of farms and vineyards. Each of the recruited farms and vineyards is now operating in the Imereti tourism market. Training on sales and customer service was conducted for 30 people. The training was held in three rounds, with 10 people trained in each round.