Posted: 2 months ago

USAID-Supported New Tourism Law Bolsters Tourists' Rights and Aligns with EU Requirements

The USAID Economic Governance Program, in collaboration with grantee organization PMO Consulting, has unveiled a comprehensive cost-benefit analysis on proposed tourism reforms.

The analysis delves into the ramifications of regulatory shifts on the tourism sector and the broader economy, outlining the projected impacts of the legislative changes on diverse stakeholders.

The forum was convened under the auspices of the parliamentary platform for public-private dialogue. Attendees included members of Parliament serving on the Committee on Sectoral Economy and Economic Policy, representatives from Georgia's National Tourism Administration, and various stakeholders from the private sector.

Natalia Beruashvili, the head of USAID's Economic Governance Program, stated, "The newly-drafted Georgian Law 'On Tourism,' developed with our assistance, fortifies the safety and rights of tourists. It fosters equitable and transparent business practices within the tourism sector and is fully aligned with the obligations set forth in the Association Agreement with the European Union."

Davit Songhulashvili, Chairman of the Parliament's Committee on Sectoral Economy and Economic Policy, elaborated, "The proposed legislation aims to fully capitalize on Georgia's tourism potential and drive substantive progress. It not only facilitates a conducive business environment but also ensures high-quality services and safety standards for tourists. The draft law establishes a state policy framework for tourism that is harmoniously integrated with the commitments laid out in the Association Agreement."

The assessment projects that, from 2023 to 2033, the draft law's impact will be overwhelmingly positive, with an aggregate net benefit estimated at 4.3 billion GEL. This figure encompasses both financial and non-monetary impacts, such as alternative time expenditures due to increased staff workload and enhancements in service quality and customer satisfaction. In terms of direct financial consequences, the net benefit over the same period remains positive, totaling 3.4 billion GEL.