Georgia witnesses 81% growth in Indian travellers
Kahini Chakraborty – Mumbai
With an aim to create awareness about Georgia as a tourist destination in the India market, Georgian National Tourism Administration (GNTA) in collaboration with Air Arabia organised its first roadshow in New Delhi and Mumbai. Georgia witnessed a 81 per cent increase in Indian visitors in the first nine months of 2015. Speaking to Express TravelWorld on the sidelines of the roadshow in Mumbai, George Chogovadze, head, GNTA said, “India is one of the target markets for us. Despite the fact that the destination is lesser known in the India market, we received approximately around 7000 Indian visitors from January-September 2015. With an aim to establish our presence in the India market, we have already started our marketing activities. And we will have our representation office in India by next year.”
As part of their plans, Chogovadze informed that the destination will be targeting honeymoon, FITs, families, groups, MICE travellers from the India market. “Georgia has a variety of tourism products to offer, be it activities around mountains, seaside, vineyards, spa and wellness, culture and more. The destinations that will be promoted include Batumi, Tbilisi and Black Sea Coast. We are not only targeting high end luxury travellers but also the growing middle class segment.”
Last year Georgia received 5.5 million international visitors and this year GNTA is expecting to attract six million international visitors. He mentioned that Air Arabia has good flight connectivity via Sharjah to Georgia and similarly from other destinations as well. “Hence we have decided to promote Georgia as a tourism destination together as a combined product in the India market. Going forward, we will continue organising roadshows, seminars, FAM trips for the media and travel trade, in order to understand the destination better,” said Chogovadze.
Elaborating on the hospitality offerings in Georgia, Chogovadze informed, “Georgia has five-star to budget category hotels to cater to the needs of every type of traveller. Presently the average length of stay of Indian travellers in Georgia is four-five days, but we are hoping that with more awareness building activities in the India market, the length of stay will increase further.” The destination also has many investment opportunities, he said, adding that, Tata group has invested approximately US$ one billion in hydro electricity projects. With several Bollywood movies been shot in Georgia, GNTA is looking at attracting Bollywood tourism as well.