Georgia is waiting for numerous tourists for winter season. Ski resorts have met the season absolutely ready.
Mr. Aleksandre Onoprishvili, Director of Ltd “Mountain Resorts Development Company”, talks about the new components at ski resorts for this winter season.
– What are the ski resort novelties for the 2017 winter season? Do foreign investors show much interest?
– In summer 2017 was started Mestia-Hatsvali cable way construction. The works were finished in a record time and cable way will be opened on December 23, 2017. The six-pack detachable chairlift is constructed by the world’s leading manufacturer Doppelmayr. The total length of the cable way is 1200 meters. This project has a crucial importance, as it will connect mountains and the center.
It is also important that small cable ways so called platter lifts were built in Svaneti, namely in Mazeri, Ushkhvanari, Etseri, Ushguli and Lentekhi to popularize skiing among local residents.
For the first time in the history of Bakuriani, Kokhta-Mitarbi connecting ski piste was made.
Several new ski pistes have been added to Mitarbi and Didveli resorts.
In Bakuriani a public space will be arranged in Didveli Movie Theater, where costumers will be able to receive detailed information about the ski resorts and all the innovations.
Two small cable ways were added to Goderdzi Resort, children space will be also arranged.
– How the booking component has changed at resorts as compared to the previous years? What is the visitors’ statistics at ski resorts?
– We have active communication with hotels. For example, in Gudauri all the places are 100% booked for the end of December and January, while bookings for the late January accounts for 60%. We have the same situation in Bakuriani and Svaneti. The last season was the best one in the history of Gudauri. In 2016-2017 the resort recorded 276 634 visitors. As compared to the previous year, the number of visitors increased by 37%, while sales of multi ski tickets increased by 59%. The 25% growth was also recorded in Bakuriani. We want to improve the 2017 season in Svaneti as well and we are working hard for this.
– Which ski resort is the most attractive one for foreign visitors and which ski resort is preferred by local tourists?
– Our ski resorts differ from each other. Gudauri is near Tbilisi, which easies transportation. There are 14 ski lifts and 20 ski pistes in total 70 km. These trails are attractive for all categories of skiers. As for Svaneti, there are two ski zones, Hatsvali and Tetnuldi. Those, who like skiing in nature, who are thrill-seekers and who love powder snow, Svaneti is a wonderful destination for them. In case of Bakuriani, there are three ski zones Didveli, Kokhta and Mitarbi, which are adapted to all categories of skiers/snowboards. There is high-quality snow at Goderdzi ski resort, which gives us a chance to open the season very early and that makes it more attractive for the tourists.
– As we know, you have been actively concentrated on development of Goderdzi Ski Resorts. It is quite a new mountain destination and nowadays how many tourists can the resort host during the season and how many new hotels will be constructed according to the already signed contracts and how many rooms will be added to the resort?
– Resort development regulation plan was created, according to which the new stage of economic development of Goderdzi Ski Resort began. At this stage, 6 high-level hotel complexes are being constructed, with an investment of about 80 million GEL. These new projects will add 500 new work places and 435 beds.
On December 10, 2017, the Ministry of Finances and Economy of Autonomous Republic of Ajara signed an agreement with the four companies on the initiation of 4 new investment projects on the resort. In total, 15 790 000 GEL will be invested in those new projects, which will add 254 rooms to the resort, during the constructions 400 and afterwards 75 local people will be employed.
– Which ski resort is the most highly demanded one among the investors and why?
– The private sector is actively involved in all four ski resorts. Investments are made being implemented both on the construction of the hotels and cafes. In case of Gudauri, Red-co, MagiStyle and many other companies are involved in its development. As for Bakuriani, here you can find Orbi, Mgzavrebi and so on. Many new family houses are built in Svaneti Region. Active communication between the state and the private sector is the result of which investments are growing on mountain resorts day by day.
– What kind of marketing campaigns do you plan to make together with Georgian National Tourism Administration to grow workload of ski resorts in summer period?
– Georgian National Tourism Administration promotes Georgia at international tourism exhibitions and actively offers summer packages of ski resorts, organizes presentations and meetings with international tour operators and representatives of different airlines. Georgian National Tourism Administration together with Google Corporation carries out active internet marketing campaigns on target markets and introduces the potential of Georgia’s ski resorts in both summer and winter periods.
Ltd “Mountain Resorts Development Company” organizes various types of events during the summer season. For example, in 2016 we had a motorcycle competition in Gudauri, which is already traditional and we will definitely organize it next year. As for additional marketing campaigns, we will take very active steps in digital media both during winter and summer seasons. Together with our partner companies we will offer our customers a variety of information about the life style and relaxation in mountains, interesting blogs and photo reports. Well, we just promise you many interesting things.