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Georgia at the Future of World Tourism Summit

By Natalia Kochiashvili
Thursday, October 28
The Ministry of Economy and Sustainable Development of Georgia together with the National Tourism Administration participated in the World Tourism Summit in Spain. The Future of Tourism World Summit is supported by the United Nations World Tourism Organization and our country was represented by Mariam Kvrivishvili, Deputy Minister of Economy and Sustainable Development of Georgia, and the Acting Head of the National Tourism Administration.

Within the framework of the summit, a high-level ministerial was held, at which Kvrivishvili delivered a speech. High-level bilateral meetings of the Georgian delegation were also held.

Various panel discussions were also held within the framework of the summit, where the participants shared their experiences gained during the covidium period. Talks focused on tourism recovery plans, the hospitality industry, urban tourism, consumer and tourist protection.

“The first task and priority of the Government of Georgia is to eliminate the problem of employment and create new jobs,” Kvivrishvili said at the World Tourism Summit while introducing the “Renewed Regions” project, which is implemented in all regions of Georgia at the initiative of the Prime Minister and promotes not only the development of basic infrastructure in all regions, but also the development of tourism infrastructure. The talks also touched upon the importance of employment that our country and other countries have in the reality of Covid-19.

“This event will contribute to the recognition and positioning of our country and we are proud that Georgia is considered one of the best examples.”

The Future of Tourism World Summit was held in Barcelona, Spain on October 26-27, attended by 80 speakers from 70 countries, ministries, administrations and international organizations.

During her visit to Spain, Kvivrishvili also met with the heads of European airlines. At the meeting with the representatives of “Air Europe” and “Iberia”, the sides discussed the relations between Georgia and the Kingdom of Spain in the civil aviation sector.

The Deputy Economy Minister provided detailed information to the representatives of the airlines on the pace of economic recovery in Georgia, paying special attention to the situation in the civil aviation and tourism sector and the positive trends observed after the gradual lifting of pandemic restrictions.

Kvivrishvili emphasized the importance of the resumption of direct flights between Kutaisi and Barcelona from October 31 that will further deepen economic relations between the countries. She also underlined that the appointment of direct flights between Tbilisi and Madrid will have a positive impact on tourism growth and attracting investors - initial negotiations are underway with both airlines.

“Diversification of markets and direct destinations is a top priority for us, to facilitate the flow of more tourists from Europe to our country,” Kvrivishvili said.

Recall that direct, weekly flights between Kutaisi and Barcelona will begin on October 31, at the western Georgian Kutaisi International Airport, by Hungarian airline Wizz Air.

The meeting with the airlines was attended by the Ambassador of Georgia to the Kingdom of Spain Ilia Giorgadze and the Acting Head of the National Tourism Administration. Ambassador stated that Georgia ‘is working very actively to schedule flights between Madrid and Tbilisi,’ noting that Air Europa and Iberia are ‘leading Spanish airlines.’

“I am sure that in the near future there will be direct flights between Madrid and Tbilisi, and it will cover not only Spain and Georgia but also Latin and Central America, which will help attract more tourists to Georgia.”