Georgian Economy Minister Levan Davitashvili on Monday highlighted Georgia’s achievements in tourism, economy, trade, transport, energy and other fields at a press briefing to about 200 figures from international media just hours before the opening gala of ITB Berlin, the world’s major international tourism fair that is showcasing Georgia as its Host Country in the German capital.
The Ministry said Davitashvili had introduced the country to the press with its “unique culture and 8,000-year history of continuous winemaking traditions”, while also highlighting its historical significance as a “birthplace of the first Europeans” as shown by archaeological discoveries of the recent decades, among other notable aspects.
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He told the press Georgia enjoyed “all the advantages of being located at a crossroads of civilisations”, noting its status as a “dynamic country” with a “significant commitment to building a modern, competitive economy, as well as creating an attractive business environment for local and foreign investors”.
Davitashvili also pointed to efforts of his Government to further develop air connectivity by attracting more airline companies to the country.
Currently, 38 airlines operate in 59 directions from three international airports located in Georgia”, he told the media, while also pointing out the Government’s liberal visa policy allowed citizens of more than 95 countries to enjoy visa-free travel, simplifying travel planning and “significantly contributing” to the domestic tourism industry.
“As a result of these efforts, Georgia has managed to become one of the fastest growing tourist destinations in the world, which annually hosts three times more tourists than the number of its own population”, Davitashvili said.
The Minister also highlighted Georgia’s ability to host events of international importance, pointing to the newly concluded Freestyle Ski, Snowboard and Freeski World Championships in the ski resort of Bakuriani.
Photo: Ministry of Economy
Figures of international tourism revenue were also noted in his comments, with the official highlighting the eight percent increase in 2022 revenue compared to the previous year and noting Georgia had hosted 5.5 million international visitors and received $3.5 billion from the tourism sector last year.
The country’s double-digit economic growth rate of the past two years also found a mention in Davitashvili’s introduction, with the Minister telling the press the country had “maintained stability” and enjoyed a 10.1 percent economic growth in 2022, “despite external factors”.
Georgia is the Host Country of this year’s edition of the ITB Berlin, with the event running under the theme of “Infinite Hospitality” and aiming to showcase Georgian tourism destinations, cuisine, culture and performing arts to visitors over the next three days.
Later today, CityCube Berlin will host the official opening show for the fair under the heading “Infinite Georgian Culture - From the Beginnings of Viticulture to Modern Avant-garde Art”. About 2,500 guests will attend the 45-minute occasion.