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Take an inhaler to the Georgian resort2009-07-31 16:50
The tourist flow to the sunny Georgia has reduced as compared to the pre-war figures; however, the reduction is not that tragic. Nearly 50 thousand Russians will soon go there - this figure is larger than the amount of tourists coming from any other CIS country, provided, of course, that the A/H1N1 epidemic brought from Europe does not spread over the Black Sea coast.
After the August conflict, the share of the tourism industry in the Georgian GDP has reduced by 0,4 percent, as Eurasianet.org reports. The government had to invest much money in advertising the Georgian resorts and developing the infrastructure in order to prevent the bankruptcy in this sphere. The Western countries, which seem to have true liking for the little "Caucasian democracy", also provide certain help. Recently, EU made a decision to allocate 17 million euros to Georgia specially for developing connections with European Union in the field of tourism and culture.
At the beginning of this holiday season, the Georgian tourist agencies and hotels complained about the lack of clients and suffered losses. The situation was aggravated by the opposition's protest actions and constant talks about another war. As director of one of the hotels in Adzharia Shalva Alaverdashvili explained to Kavkazski Uzel, potential clients do not feel safe. "One can say that the August war has cast the tourist business back for 5-6 years back. Each statement concerning destabilization in the country, or the fear of resuming military actions that is published by the media negatively influence the business. I do not know how much time and effort is needed to recover the business and bring it at least up to the 2007 level", - he says.
Nevertheless, about 446 thousand tourists have visited Georgia since January till June, which figure is almost the same as it was in 2008. Besides, the major part of holiday-makers is represented by the citizens of Russia that come to the Georgian resorts through the third countries. On the whole, there are 49 thousand Russians that have already been to Georgia or are planning to come there this year. This fact is reported by Business Georgia with reference to the ExpressNews agency. Head of the tourism and resort department of Georgia Petre Kankava underlines that this figure exceeds the amount of tourists from Ukraine and other countries of the post-Soviet territory.
Those hotel owners who keep complaining about the lack of residents are recommended to bring down the prices, the authorities promising to reduce taxes as well. According to Minister of Economic Development Lasha Zhvania, today, a 3-4-day vacation in Europe equals a one-day vacation in Georgia including the travel costs.