Bank of Georgia is a partner of Welcome to Georgia! National Tourism Awards the Annual Awards Ceremony for the second time.
We have talked with Zurab Masurashvili Head of Micro and Small Business Banking Department, about what Bank of Georgia plans in this year’s awards and how the bank is involved in the tourism development processes.
– Why did you decide to cooperate with the National Tourism Awards and what benefits will this partnership bring to you?
The National Tourism Awards and other similar events that are intensively conducted in our country for the promotion of the sector are very important. They facilitate the development of the sector and stimulate companies to improve the quality of service offered to customers, to introduce and develop more diverse and interesting concepts. The main aim of Bank of Georgia is to support and encourage small and medium size businesses engaged in the tourism industry.
– What are your forecasts about tourism sector in Georgia in following years?
As a citizen of this country, I believe in the tourism potential of Georgia. Recent figures show an annual growth in flows of tourists to our country. New tourism facilities have been developed, both hotel chains and relatively smaller boutique hotels. New, diverse services have been introduced. I think this trend will be maintained and Georgia will see more tangible results in this sector in the coming years. I am happy that we can be part of this development.
– Tourism has great impact on overall economy, is Bank of Georgia involved in the tourism development process?
Yes, Bank of Georgia is involved in the tourism development process. As you know, we have been an official partner of the Award for the second year now. Last year we were represented with only one nomination – the fastest growing small and medium business in the tourism sector. This year, we have offered a new interesting nomination to the industry – the most successful woman in the tourism sector. Let me note, that due to objective or subjective reasons, the second nomination has caused special interest. (Smiling) I think, the prize will be equally as interesting as the nomination itself.
Apart from stimulating measures, Bank of Georgia plays an important role in the financial support of this sector. Our loan portfolio exceeds GEL 1.6 billion. Quite a substantial share of this portfolio accounts for the funding of organizations operating in the tourism sector.
– What are your expectations from awards in short and long term perspectives?
I expect increase in the number of interesting ideas, interesting companies, successful women in business; a desire to offer improved, innovative products or services to the market. If we succeed in stimulating all this, we will declare that the result is achieved.
– In your opinion, how will the National Awards affect the tourism sector?
It will motivate the sector, stimulate and support new ideas. Facilitating the emergence of new actors in the market, inspiring some, or merely motivating others – these are the main objective of such events. You would agree that this is a key development factor of not only the tourism industry but any sector.