Frequently Asked Questions Sign In  |  Register
Giorgi Chkhaidze: «Hotels are not crowded in Tbilisi, for our industry it is a drop in the ocean»
29 July, 2021
Hotel "Wine Palace" was opened in Tbilisi in 2017.  (Address: Saburtalo, 31 Bidzina Kvernadze Street).  With its Georgian interior, friendly staff and its own cellar, it soon attracted attention.  However, the global pandemic has led to a reduction in the flow of tourists.  Hotel owner and director Giorgi Chkhaidze talked about the problems in the tourism sector:
 - Mr. Giorgi, it is the tourist season, both the Georgian seaside and the capital usually has many guests in July-August, but the pandemic has changed everything.  What is the situation at this point?
 - In our days, hotels in Tbilisi are mainly filled8 with guests from Arabia and Dubai, but they mainly stay in big, 5-star hotels.  As for the relatively small hotels, they are not overcrowded and this is a sad reality.  If someone wants to come to Georgia from Russia, he has to fly through Minsk and Yerevan and travel cost expensive.  For our industry, it is a drop in the ocean.  Many friends who work in the field of tourism development all face the same problem.  Recently, we had a meeting of hotel representatives at the Radisson, where it was mentioned that the picture is completely opposite to what the tourism administration is talking about.  I think,that  we need to talk about this reality.  If the Russian goverment will open its borders and will allow its citizens to come to Georgia, then the hotels will be 100% loaded.  Also if air flights will be allowed from Iran, because there is always a large flow of tourists from this country.  We are often contacted from Russia and we know for sure that they want to come even by car, but at this stage it is impossible.  If this picture changes, lots of people will be employed, both in hotels and restaurants, and the country will have an income.  By 2019, all hotels were well loaded with guests.  We have high hopes that we will have a stable environment as in an epidemiological side, as well as in politicall one.  The guest needs a quiet environment.  Bookings were canceled in many hotels after the events of July 5 in Tbilisi.  It mostly happend from Europe.  Of course, tourists should feel safe in the country.
 - Certanly, the staff at the hotel follow the regulations, however, what are your requirements for guests?
 - We ask for the answer of PCR test.  However, it should also be noted that it is desirable for guests to be vaccinated.  It does not matter which vaccine you use.  Our hotel staff are vaccinated, as well as me personally.
 - What do you see as the solution in the current situation?
 - The National Tourism Administration should take great care to popularize the country, get advertisement on Euronews, etc.  Video clips should be prepared not only about the capital, but also about the regions, and the country should allocate a budget for that.  The operation of many small hotels in Tbilisi must be strictly controlled.  Many of them have 4 stars assigned, but in reality they do not meet these standards with their infrastructure.  The tourism administration should control this issue as well.  Also another problem that our guests highlight is the lack of water closets and public toilets.  A guest arriving in our country should not have to enter the bathroom of a gas station.  This is a problem both in the regions and in the capital.  When large sums of money are spent on infrastructure, this disgraceful problem remains unresolved to this day, and it is embarrassing to talk about it in the 21st century.  I will also mention the positive side, the city hall takes care of the planting of squares and gardens, the guests like the green zones very much and the more we will have such places in the capital, the better.
 Finally, I would like to add that this year a competition should be announced for the position of the head of the National Tourism Administration.  He should be selected not on the basis of party affiliation, but should be a person with knowledge of tourism field and got dignity, who should not be limited to just talking, but should try to prove the development of tourism in our country.  The head of the tourism administration should be well aware of the problems of hotel owners in order to manage the case together and properly.  I think this process should be transparent and business people, as well as hotel managers, should be involved in the process of selecting the head of the tourism administration.

© 2011-2017, TRAVEL IN GEORGIA.