Posted: 8 months ago

Elene Otarashvili Discusses the Untapped Potential and Roadblocks in Georgia's Business Tourism"

According to Elene Otarashvili, the General Manager of Golden Tulip Design Tbilisi, substantial efforts are required to establish Georgia as a secure destination on the global tourism map. She emphasizes that business tourism, specifically Meetings, Incentives, Conferences, and Exhibitions (MICE), represents a lucrative sector within the broader tourism industry.

Otarashvili notes that due to ongoing regional conflicts, Georgia currently grapples with a perception issue, especially among European clients. "While we do receive business from European countries, it's considerably less than what we experienced prior to 2019," she says.

She elaborates that MICE tourism in Georgia was on an upward trajectory until 2019, when the global pandemic severely impacted this sector. "Post-pandemic, we began to see a resurgence in bookings from European nations. However, the continuing conflict in Ukraine has hindered the sector's recovery," Otarashvili adds.

Furthermore, Otarashvili identifies the absence of direct flights as a significant obstacle for business tourism. "Time is of the essence for business tourists, and the lack of direct flights becomes a considerable deterrent for this segment," she explains.

In summary, Otarashvili suggests that positioning Georgia as a safe and accessible destination is critical for tapping into the high-revenue potential of the MICE tourism sector.