Georgia Introduces Mandatory Professional Liability Insurance for High-Risk Tourism Service Providers
The Georgian government is planning to roll out mandatory professional liability insurance for high-risk tourist service providers. This scheme is proposed in the draft law "On Tourism", which aims to establish a robust state policy regarding tourism and regulate the key aspects of its management.
The novel law will mandate high-risk tourism service providers, including those offering mining, skiing, and alpine trekking activities, to secure a personnel certificate and/or a compulsory civil liability insurance policy. Failure to comply will incur a penalty ranging between 500 to 1000 Georgian Lari (GEL). If the violation is repeated, the fine will double, levied between 1000 to 2000 GEL.
This proposed law serves to govern tourism-related activities and solidify the rights and protections of tourists as consumers. It also addresses the contractual relationships involved in providing tourist services and explores mechanisms for private-public partnerships within the tourism sector. Furthermore, the law emphasizes tourist safety and other aspects relevant to tourists' experiences.
The proponents argue that the current "On Tourism and Resorts" law, enacted in 1997, is inadequate in addressing the contemporary challenges in the tourism sector. As such, the new draft law represents an essential step towards aligning Georgia's legislative framework with the evolving tourism landscape.
The new regulations will be phased in starting June 1, 2024, with the mandatory insurance requirement being the first measure implemented.
This development is a part of a broader reform effort in Georgia's tourism sector, supported by the USAID economic governance program and tourism reform advocates. Upon the adoption of the draft law on tourism, a revamped regulatory approach to the relationship between guests and hosts in Georgia is expected. The move is anticipated to bolster tourism's contribution to the country's economic progress, by ensuring safer and more professionally governed experiences for tourists.