Tamar Tandashvili: The New Tourism Reform Will Answer All the Challenges That Exist Today
"The current law on tourism, which has been governing the industry since 1997, is no longer equipped to handle the evolving challenges of the sector. The forthcoming reform is designed to directly address these contemporary issues," affirmed Tamar Tandashvili, a representative of the Tourism Alliance, during the "Business Partner in Peak Hour" program.
Tandashvili disclosed that the Tourism Alliance has been conducting meetings with specialized groups for three years, thereby ensuring the proposed legislation aligns with the interests of all stakeholders.
"This extensive reform, which will adeptly handle today's industry-specific challenges, is a significant step towards elevating our national standing. The orderly functioning of the tourism industry is crucial for Georgia," stated Tandashvili. "We currently have a limited number of tour operators in the country who independently offer products inclusive of charter flights. These offerings are usually procured by tourism companies and then delivered to the consumers."
Tandashvili pointed out that the Georgian market is served by a relatively small number of tour operators. As a result, international companies gain entry into the country and promote their own products to Georgian tourist companies, primarily targeting outbound tourism.
A well-structured legal framework would instill confidence in Georgian companies, thereby driving growth and innovation within the sector.
The instrumental role of donors cannot be overstated. Their efforts encourage collaboration between the private and public sectors, as well as aiding companies in managing processes in a fair, transparent, and appropriate manner.
To provide some context, the tourism sector is currently undergoing a reform supported by the USAID economic governance program and reformers. A draft law on tourism is in the works, the adoption of which would regulate the host-guest dynamics in Georgia in a novel and effective manner.