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PM Giorgi Gakharia meets with entrepreneurs from Samegrelo

By Inga Kakulia
Monday, October 28
Prime-Minister of Georgia, Giorgi Gakharia met with entrepreneurs in Samegrelo, Zeda Etseri. According to the Prime Minister's press office, the head of government talked to local entrepreneurs about the development of agriculture and tourism in the region and heard suggestions and problems from them.

According to Giorgi Gakharia, in addition to traditional crops, tourism needs to develop local viticulture.

Gakharia stated that for tourists Georgia is mostly associated with wine and most of the time visitors don’t know the difference between regions and expect the same wine and experience everywhere.

“I understand that this will not have an industrial character and it will not be important for the economy, but we have to make small cellars. This will be important for tourism…The foreigner cannot distinguish Kakheti, Kartli and Samegrelo. When he arrives for the third and fourth time, then he learns the difference, but for now, whenever the tourists come to Georgia, they think that good grape and good wine should come everywhere. Historically, however, there were grape varieties here and it can be restored.

Agriculture and tourism is something that can bring good money quickly to Samegrelo today, ” said Giorgi Gakharia.

Gakharia highlighted that even though tourism has become one of the primary sources of Georgia's income, Samegrelo gets very little profit from it.

“Russians canceled flights to Georgia for July, August, September, October, November, December - within five months the country's budget lost $ 350 million. Today, tourism revenues in Georgia have exceeded two billion dollars. Of these, less than three percent come from Samegrelo. It is partly because a proper plan was not put in place, hence it is still not a tourist place. We need to work on it. Your local government, along with the governor, knows this very well.

There are many hotels to be done in Zugdidi, Nokalakevia has to be restored on time, there are many historical monuments. Route Martvili-Chkhorotsku, Chkhorotsku-Tsalenjikha, Tsalenjikha-Zugdidi is to be done," told Gakharia to the local entrepreneurs.

Prime-Minister also noted that a lot of people go to protected areas. According to Gakharia, there are many places in Samegrelo where tourists can stay for about 5-6 days. So hotel infrastructures in Zugdidi and Poti first and foremost are needed. Gakharia also added that Family-style hotels in Chkhorotsku-Tsalenjikha should probably be developed.

During the meeting with the entrepreneurs, the Prime Minister emphasized the importance of Anaklia port construction.

“Today, young people asked me about Anaklia, Anaklia Port, employment and so on. Of course, Anaklia is very important. I don't view Anaklia as a port alone. It isn’t just a port. The problem in this region is that Samegrelo has become a dead-end for the last 30 years. This is the problem. In economic development, the biggest problem is that Samegrelo is a dead end. Anaklia is also one of the ways to overcome this impasse, such as the restoration of the railway, after the restoration of the territorial integrity," said the head of government.