Georgia tourism sector addresses government with 5-point plan to save tourism
Georgia’s tourism sector proposes a five-point action plan to save and re-establish tourism in the country.
In the open letter to the government, the representatives of the directorate say their recommendations, based on examples from various countries, would provide a safe start to the resumption of economic activity.
Point 1: Winter resorts must be opened on February 1.
Arguments: mobility will be high but properly equipped people will not run the risk of transmitting or contracting the virus. Hotels in the above resorts can observe the rules of safety, as well as hotels in Kakheti or other regions.
Point two: opening of both land and air borders
The tourism sector needs to open the border not unconditionally, but in accordance with the following rules:
a) admit to the country only foreign guests who present at the border a document confirming vaccination, or a PCR test done no later than 72 hours before departure, or a document confirming the presence of antibodies.
b) if the visitor does not have any of the above documents, they must pass a test at the border at their own expense.
c) also allow Georgian citizens to return home by the same principle (currently Georgian citizens return home and go into self-isolation)
d) to restore ground communication at the borders with neighboring countries in accordance with the same rules.
Point 3: immediately develop a Covid insurance programme for foreign visitors
This means that when entering Georgia, visitors must buy into an insurance program and pay for it themselves. The cost of insurance packages may vary depending on the funding.
Arguments: This will give additional income to insurance companies, as well as solve the problem of who and with what funds will treat a foreigner if he finds a virus in Georgia.
Point 4: open restaurants, museums and other accessibility
The tourism industry is demanding restaurants and other public places reopen as soon as scheduled flights resume, subject to strict regulations and strict controls.
The argument: if all this is not opened, tourists simply will not come to the country, and the abolition of other rules will also make no sense.
Point 5: Develop a tourism strategy for 2021
Tourism representatives are demanding that a working group with the participation of the private sector be formed in the near future to “develop a tourism strategy for 2021 quickly, correctly, safely and in the interests of business,” the open letter says.
Since November 28, strict restrictions have been in effect in Georgia. Schools, public transport, cafes and restaurants, any shops other than grocery stores are closed, as are all entertainment venues and attractions.
There is also a curfew from 9 pm. Most of the restrictions were to be lifted by the end of January, but the government decided to extend them. By government decision, only shops will be open from February 1. Everything else will remain closed again.