On September 29, CENN with the financial support USAID’s E&E Bureau, Economic Development, Governance and Enterprise Growth (EDGE) Project hold a kick-off event of the project Digital Caucasus and a thematic forum Digitalization – The Driver of Growth for Caucasus Tourism Businesses.
The kick-off event of the Digital Caucasus project was opened by a welcome speech of Nana Janashia, CENN Executive Director and Medea Janiashvili, Deputy Head of the Georgian National Tourism Administration. Ms. Medea spoke about the visions of the National Tourism Administration and noted the need to create ecotourism products for the development of the sector in the country and the region as a whole. In this regard, he stressed the importance of new initiatives and expressed support for the project Digital Caucasus.
The event consisted of short presentations about the project and thematic panel discussion covering the tourism potential of the Caucasus region as a unique destination and the topic of digitalization as the driver of economic growth for regional tourism service providers. During the panel discussion, experts in the sector talked about perspectives of tourism development in the regional dimension, advantages of green tourism development and provided insight on how digital marketing can support economic growth of SMEs involved in the tourism value chain.
Natalia Bakhtadze – Engländer, Co-founder and Consultant at the Georgian Ecotourism Association and Lali Tevzadze, National Coordinator of the TJS programme talked about the importance of the transboundary tourism product and the steps during its development.
Tornike Guruli, Professor at the Ilia State University presented different opportunities digital marketing is offering to the tourism sector.
Rati Kochlamazashvili, Deputy Chairman of the Georgian Farmers’ Association (GFA) talked about GFA’s role in the development of Agritourism in Georgia and the project Promoting Agritourism in the South Caucasus.
To the event have also contributed Irakli Gogoladze, Company Iknow, Founding Member of the Georgian ICT Cluster, Guja Narimanashvili, Founder of the TravelGuide Application and Sopo Bagauri from the Transcaucasian Trail.
The event has been facilitated by Ia Tabagari, Tourism analyst.
This event brought together service providers involved in the regional tourism value chain, public authorities and non-governmental organizations active in the sector.