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Summer morning swim, afternoon ski

By Gvantsa Gabekhadze
Thursday, August 5
Georgia will launch a global advertising campaign announcing the chance to swim in a resort on the Black Sea coast and ski in the Caucasus mountings during the summer, the President of Georgia, Mikheil Saakashvili stated in Georgian Region Svaneti, on August 3.

“We are starting a global ad campaign from next January that Georgia is the only place in Europe where, in the summer, you can swim at tropical beach in Anaklia and ski two hours later (or even twenty five minutes later if you take a helicopter flight). Half an hour earlier I was swimming in the sea and now I am skiing, it is really amazing. We are constructing cable cars here, Australians and Canadians have commented that the ski runs in the location of the cable cars are up to Olympic standards,” Saakashvili said.

The President said that the development of the resorts of Mestia and Anaklia was his idea, but that the reality has exceeded his expectations. “I did not expected that the sea and conditions in Anaklia would be so great. As for Mestia, this place from a touristy viewpoint is more than 10-12 Gudauri put together (Gudauri is one of Georgia's ski resorts). 40-45 chair lifts can be constructed here,” the president said. He mentioned that Georgia will soon be the Switzerland of Caucasus, or maybe the contrary. “For dozens of years we have been explaining to the Europeans that Georgia can be Switzerland of Caucasus. There is nowhere in the world with such a combination of sea and ski resorts – that’s not an exaggeration; so instead of us becoming Switzerland of Caucasus, let Switzerland now become Europe’s Georgia… Let others compare themselves to us; but for now Georgia needs a lot of work and a lot of investments,” Saakashvili remarked.

Saakashvili did not forget to mention Russia in his speech, “Our enemy could not even manage to step on Mestia land and we should start out significant development from the region.” The President also appealed to the Georgian business sector to invest there, “Invest here now – even a small sum and you will reap a hundred-fold profit in five years. Believe me in 5-6 years time up to 600-700 thousand tourists or even a million will be visiting this place,” Saakashvili enthused.