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All joys of tourism in Georgia: from diarrhea to death2010-09-06 10:46
The Georgian president has set a hardly feasible task before his subordinates: to ensure a 5-fold increase in the tourist flow over 5 years. To accomplish this, the government will have to press both the hotel businesses and foreign embassies: this summer France, England, Australia, Germany and even the USA, Georgia's strategic partner, issued such recommendations for those who want to visit Georgia that any desire to come to this country immediately disappears.
The Georgian government is dissatisfied over the way foreign embassies present the current situation in Georgia to tourists. Diplomats from progressive countries advise thinking twice before paying a visit to Mikheil Saakashvili who, as he personally believes, outfought Russia two years ago.
Official "horror stories" scare travelers away and hamper development of tourism in Georgia without any sound reason, Archil Kekelia told The Financial, a Ukrainian-Georgian English-language newspaper. He assures that visitors feel quite secure.
The ministry of economy and the ministry of foreign affairs are trying to limit the amount of negative information about Georgia. They managed to convince Japan to cross the Caucasian republic out of the highly dangerous holiday sites list. The number of Japanese tourists immediately went up by 108 per cent.
Embassies of other countries don't want to lull their citizens' vigilance to sleep.
As British diplomats explain to The Financial, proactive recommendations have nothing to do with political or economic considerations. This is merely a desire to secure compatriots. Pieces of travel advice for tourists get regularly updated on the basis of statistical reports from various sources: local law-enforcement bodies, press, internal information the diplomatic representations have. "The travel advice for Georgia includes guidance on sensible precautions that should be followed when visiting anywhere unfamiliar", - Sofiko Kastarava, a British Embassy representative in Tbilisi remarked.
The US Embassy highlights that a Country Specific Information sheet is meant to inform US citizens on potential risks to personal safety and security, including exposure to crime.
A representative of the German embassy confesses that such precautions discourage German tourists to come to Georgia. He also assures that as Georgia's second largest donor Germany is interested in economic progress of the recipient, making a comforting note that the number of German guests increased significantly despite all menacing recommendations.