Posted: 1 year ago

Overcoming Obsolescence: Modernizing Georgia's 1997 Tourism Law to Address Today's Challenges

Davit Songulashvili, chairman of the sectoral economy and economic policy committee, recently pointed out that the prevailing tourism law, enacted in 1997, is no longer adept at addressing present-day challenges.

He argues that it is the inadequacies of the current legislation that underscore the need for a comprehensive and contemporary law to keep up with the evolving demands of the sector.

"The creation of a new law is not just a necessity but a crucial part of the responsibilities assumed by our association," Songulashvili stated. "The complexity of the bill necessitates the involvement of all stakeholders in the tourism industry in the development of the document. This broad-based collaboration ensures that the law is sustainable and takes into account the interests of all parties involved."

In Songulashvili's view, the new draft law on tourism would solidify the rules of engagement in the sector.

"As for the guides, and others involved in the sector, the crux of the draft law is to establish clear regulations for all players," he explained. "It is stated in the draft that guides who undergo and pass certification will enjoy various benefits and state support. This approach will help in designing certification requirements that best serve the interests of everyone involved in this field."

During a recent public-private dialogue involving USAID and Reformer, it was noted that the new law on tourism would ensure the development of consumer rights and safety protection standards. The law will regulate numerous areas and pave the way for the certification of guides.

The creation of this law marks a significant step in revitalizing Georgia's tourism sector, offering a tailored approach to overcoming the challenges that the current legislation, despite its longevity, fails to address. By doing so, it ensures that the industry evolves in line with modern standards and expectations.