USAID/Zrda-supported Georgian tour operators at New York Times Travel Show! Zrda in partnership with Georgian National Tourism Administration (GNTA) and six Georgian inbound tour operators facilitates full cycle product development and marketing activities including the promotion and sales of new products at trade fairs in key outbound target markets. 560 tourist companies, including Georgian tour operators, participated in the NY Times Travel Show and had an opportunity to promote Georgia as desirable destination to more than 30, 000 visitors, as well as establish partnership with international outbound travel agencies.
Georgian National Tourism Administration and USAID/Zrda will Launch the Destination Management Organization in Samegrelo-Zemo Svaneti region! USAID Zrda Chief of Party Brian King and Head of Georgian National Tourism Administration (GNTA) Giorgi Chogovadze joined the Samegrelo-Zemo Svaneti Deputy Governor Nino Vibliani and the Mayors of the regional municipalities to announce intention to launch the Samegrelo-Zemo Svaneti Destination Management Organization (DMO) designed to position and market the region as one of Georgia’s premier tourism destinations.
Georgian National Tourism Administration and USAID/Zrda will Launch the First Destination Management Organization in Georgia! Deputy Chief of Mission Elizabeth Rood and Head of Georgian National Tourism Administration (GNTA) Giorgi Chogovadze joined the Samtskhe-Javakheti Governor Besik Amiranashvili to announce about their intention to launch the first in Georgia Destination Management Organization (DMO) designed to position and market Samtskhe-Javakheti as one of Georgia’s premier tourism destinations.
BP Georgia and USAID Zrda Activity to Support Communities across Georgia! On November 16, 2018, Deputy Chief of Mission Elizabeth Rood and BP Country Manager for Georgia Chris Schlueter joined Samtskhe-Javakheti Governor Besik Amiranashvili to familiarize with the opportunities of economic and social growth in Zemo Skhvilisi village of the Akhlatsikhe Municipality.
Recently, USAID Zrda in partnership with BP Georgia has launched joint program in 41 villages where BP and Zrda activities overlap, including village Zemo Skhvilisi. Joint program will be implemented as part of the wider Community Development Initiative program, initiated and funded by BP and its oil and gas partners. Focus areas of the partnership are agriculture, business and community development.
With support from USAID Zrda, Credo Bank and Traktor Technologies Launch www.kalo.ge.
Kalo is a modern way approach to agricultural services provision to farmers, as they will be able to benefit from the enhanced functionality of the portal - in addition to facilitating educational press releases and video instructions, farmers will be able to benefit from agro consultations and agro calendar for cultivating various types of cultures in a timely and productive manner. The portal will also provide comfortable online shop and service delivery channel for agriculture products, pesticides and equipment, with an opportunity to distantly fulfill acquisition with Credo Bank’s Online Credit Purchase functionality.
On October 2, 2018, USAID Zrda Chief of Party Brian King and Governor of Samegrelo-Zemo Svaneti Alexandre Motserelia joined USAID/Georgia representative David Tsiklauri and Acting Deputy Head of Georgian National Tourism Administration (GNTA) Tornike Zirakishvili to launch the Samegrelo-Zemo Svaneti Regional Tourism Development Symposium. The symposium aims to identify challenges facing the regional tourism industry and set priorities to better position and market this region as one of Georgia’s premier tourism destinations.
The Samegrelo-Zemo Svaneti Tourism Development Symposium is the first initiative of the regional tourism stakeholders working group to be registered as a Destination Management Organization (DMO) this year. Earlier last year, USAID Zrda partnered with GNTA, and regional public and private sector stakeholders to establish the regional tourism working group aimed at promoting a well-tested regional tourism development model in Samegrelo and Samtskhe-Javakheti regions. The model focuses on agro-, eco-, adventure-, and cultural tourism, and seeks to improve stakeholder coordination and cooperation in the region.
Zrda’s holistic approach to tourism seeks to support regional tourism development through new tourism product development, promoting new tourism destinations and attractions, and raising international quality standards within players in the tourism sector. As a result of Zrda interventions to-date, 415 guesthouses and restaurants across its target ABL and minority regions, including 207 from Samegrelo, have benefited from both digital marketing training and American Hotel and Lodging Association Education Institute (AHLAEI) certificate training courses on hotel administration, and are now registered on well-known booking engines like Booking.com, TripAdvisor and Airbnb. Thanks to the Zrda-supported Information and Media Tours to Samegrelo, Samtskhe-Javakheti, Kvemo Kartli and Tusheti, the leading Georgian tour operators have recently included the newly discovered sites into their touristic packages and generated up to $700,000 in sales in just several months following the activity. The initiative also assisted local actors to generate more income, and upgrade their services to meet international standards, all aiming to support increased employment in the hospitality sector of the regions.
In line with its adventure tourism development initiatives, Zrda facilitated preparation of 60 wilderness guides and instructors in canyoning, rafting, hiking, trekking and diving, all catering to the variety of experience levels. As a complementary activity, Zrda in partnership with GNTA supported the positioning of 38 e-maps of hiking trails in Samegrelo-Zemo Svaneti region on www.wikiloc.com- search engine popular worldwide among adventure lovers.